Monday, January 18, 2010

Car Light Index

One of my New Year resolutions is to "Expand the practical use of my bicycle". Living in the area that I do and given my current lifestyle, I've accepted the fact that going "car free" is not realistic. However, there is no reason that I can't reduce the amount that I use my car (truck). Therefore, I have decided to aim for "car light" instead of "car free".

The question is how light is "car light"? How do I measure it?

I have been racking my brain of late trying to answer those questions and as a result, have devised what I've dubbed the "Car Light Index (CLI)". The "CLI" is a measure of how many trips I take with my car with respect to how many trips I take overall. The simple formula is a follows:

Car Light Index (CLI) = # of Trips by Car / Total # of Trips

I have defined "Trips" as when I use a vehicle (car, bus, bike etc.) to get somewhere or accomplish an errand. In this definition, when I climb on my bike simply to take a ride for leisure or training, that does NOT count as a trip.

Also, a single trip constitutes going to and from a destination (round trip).

One further point of clarification in the use of the CLI is that I will only count solo trips. That's trips that I take by myself. I have purposely left off trips that include other family members, principally my wife. My wife ain't into all this bike stuff. Recently, I nonchalantly mentioned the possibility of the family going "car free" and seeing how this blog is rated "G", I will refrain from providing an exact quote of her response. Actually, my wife doesn't use foul language, but never-the-less, she was perfectly clear in communicating her opposition to such a ludicrous idea. Therefore, my measure of CLI will only reflect "MY" performance, not "OURS". The last thing I want is for my quest to achieve a low CLI to negatively impact the quality and quantity of time I spend with my wife.

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