Today’s post is Kevin LaFleur’s first guest post here at BRU. This article is of particular interest to Shelly and I as we’ve been doing quite a bit of run commuting lately. I regularly walk to work and run to our gym, and can attest to the benefits Kevin discusses. Please share your run commuting experiences in the comments!
My love for commuting by my own power began in the 2nd grade. Per the Vermont norm, a wicked snow storm one night failed to close schools. Bus service to our hills, however, had been canceled and so my mom decided to skip work. I don’t remember whose bright idea it was, but we donned our cross country skis and made the deep powder trek into downtown Quechee in time for class. The thrill and beauty of this adventure has had its lasting effect. By my own tiny 8-yr old power, I could go where vehicles with their hundreds of horses could not go.
Today was my last day run commuting my job in Raleigh before moving to a new town next week. Running in our modern age has many impractical benefits, but many practical uses remain. Examples range from the ability to respond well in an emergency to clean, efficient transportation. Among the numerous benefits of commuting under your body’s own power we have pure joie de vivre, development and sustainment of general health, decreased stress, discovery of all that is off the beaten track, and the more measurable practicals such as dollars saved.
For those interested in numbers, here’s how the past few months figure (ignoring the [im]practicalities of each mode of transport). I had 34 recorded commutes since September for my part-time job. At a minimum, that’s $34 saved in bus expenses. These commutes equal about 243 miles. With a POV averaging 26mpg, the cost of this commute at today’s pump ($3.34) approximates: 9.35 gallons or $31.22. Throw in your usual POV expenses including insurance and maintenance, and the savings are dramatic if you never need a vehicle for anything other than a short commute. In a dense and expensive city like DC, I foot commuted more, and savings were even greater, both in dollars and sanity. Nothing inspires like the forlorn glazed gaze from drivers passed in mile after mile of gridlock.
If commuting under your own power is within your means, give it a shot and reap the rewards! The above aren’t huge savings, I understand. The significant benefits are found elsewhere. Explore and discover them.