Friday, June 14

Big Schemes: Part II (Overnighting It)

Recently I realized that the Monday through Wednesday after the Old Kentucky Home Tour I would be in Louisville for a conference.  It doesn’t make much sense to spend the weekend in L’ville, drive back home Sunday night, and then return on Monday morning for the conference. 

And my next thought was: what if I just rode home from Looavul on Wednesday and Thursday?  I’d have to take an annual day on Thurs, but that would be okay.  It’s about 140 miles—easy day and a half or two day ride.
Frothing at the mouth I combed through my calendar for more conference/meeting commute opportunities.  A-HA!  Next week there is a meeting in London, Kentucky.  76 miles.  Drat! That’s an easy five or six hour haul one way.  I’d have to leave at 5am to make the meeting and I still wouldn’t get home before 7pm that night; assuming I blew off the rest of the work day except for the two hour meeting.  Plus, that would be 152 total miles of riding in a single day.
The next day is a daylong charette in Georgetown to plan trails.  That’s 62 miles from my house and starts at 10am—easy 3-4 hour commute.  And maybe I could even get a ride home from someone working in Lexvegas.  

Its 76 miles to London from my house.  Then its 104 miles from the meeting place in London to the meeting place in Georgetown.  If I rode north from London say 40 miles (giving me a total of 116 miles the first day) in the afternoon and then got on the road by 6am the second day I could make the meeting in Georgetown easy.  It would then be a mere 62 miles to return home for a grand total of 242 miles in two days.
Okay, to most people it sounds absolutely like Ludacris, but to me it almost sounds feasible.  If I were self-employed and scheduled for those two meetings I’d make it work.  Unfortunately the sticking point for me is the time I’m supposed to be “working” taken up by my chosen mode of travel.
Let’s compare.
By car I would spend 6 hours and 30 minutes travelling between home, the office, the meetings, back to the office and back home.  That represents 322 miles, 188 of which would be chargeable (I drive my own car, there is no company car available to me).
By bike I would spend approximately 18 hours riding if I rode from home to the first meeting, stayed overnight, travelled directly to second meeting, and then returned home.  That’s 104 miles less of travel, but still 30 more than what I am technically allowed to charge for miles.  However, after subtracting the chargeable travel time by car and my meeting times within the 15 working hours only 3 hours and 40 minutes would be unaccounted for. 
I would lose those 3 hours and 40 minutes in the office with my biking scenario, but also eliminate 2 hours’ worth of personal driving from the grand scheme.  Obviously I would have to be travelling by bike outside the normally commuting/working time to make it happen.  
Truthfully, I would be eliminating 6 and a half hours of driving full stop.  I would reduce my carbon footprint by 0.12 metric tons based on the car I drive.  Without going into detail about how much I make, etc.; I would save my employer $23.00 if I ate the vehicular travel expenses and they ate the 3 hours and 40 minutes of time I wouldn’t be working.  And together we’d be saving 264 lbs. of carbon from being put into the atmosphere.
To further complicate the picture, those 3 hours and 40 minutes would come at the end of the first day (I’d return to the office around 1:30pm—day ends at 4:30) and early the second day (about 40 minutes to an hour after arriving to work I would have to leave for the charette).   I might be somewhat productive the first day, but I doubt I would get much done on the second day before having to leave the office.  And let’s face it, how productive would anyone be after riding for an hour in a car after a two hour meeting and then facing three hours of desk jockeying before quitting time?
This (painful) exercise shows that from an economic standpoint my daydream scheme is actually feasible.  Would it fly?  With the right employer, framed in the right way…yes.
Would it be physically feasible?  My numbers are based on a 12 mph average consistently for 218 miles within a 38-40 hour window.  And somehow managing to stay awake through a 2 hour meeting and a 6 hour charette.  Best case there is little time for delays and only 4 hours of personal downtime (with an additional 8 hours of sleep).  I would have to leave at 4am on the first day and wouldn’t return home until around 8pm the second day.  Obviously I’d have to carry at least clothes and perhaps camping gear to save money.  The routes I’d travel pass through populated areas, so obtaining food and water wouldn’t be a problem.
This would happen next week.  Based on my current mental and physical fitness levels and gear could I pull it off?  That’s the big unknown.  I could manage the miles unloaded on the sporty sport bike.  I know I could.  Hauling the weight on a finely tuned Cannonball—which is my only viable touring bike at the moment—is an untested scenario.  And right now the Cannonball is far from being finely-tuned...

It really is just s scheme, and not one that will happen in such a short time frame.  But don't think I won't be looking for similar opportunities down the road...

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