akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Friday, 16 April 2010

Why I RTW

RTW = Ride To Work
!caution: plenty of words below (1,175 to be exact), with no photos or fancy diagrams.
 
to justify the $
Oh yes, $ is the first factor :)
 
I spent quite a considerable sum (to my standard) for a pedal-powered two-wheeler. A 25 km ride over a weekend seems to be unjustified with the amount of dough and passion spent over it. Thus, to extract as much possible benefit, I make it a point to ride at least 2 days in a week to the office. That would easily make my odometer reading added about 50 km per week. Added with an offroad ride during the weekend (not on working Saturday weekend, though), it would make my total riding about 75km a week. Not much, but it's definitely better than having the bike idle sitting pretty in a showroom condition in the house for two weeks.
 
saves me some $
Af course, it would. Albeit, I don't really calculate it. That may come in a direct and indirect avenues. Directly, that means lesser $ spent on fuel. Yup, just fuel. No tolls in Pasir Gudang and no parking fee for my workplace parking space. Indirectly, $ saved (hopefully) would be on medical bills and gym. Okay, those don't actually qualify, as my company medical support is quite good; and I have never joined a gym. However, the maintenance of the bike and worn parts to be replaced may offset the measly amount of $ from the fuel saving (15km to and fro the workplace by car). So, no, in my opinion RTW does not really directly save me big $.
 
get the kilometers
I'm working on an alternate Saturdays basis. To be fair to the family at home, I'm restricting my offroad rides to only during non-working weekends. That means, blood donation, mud splattering (and perhaps proper bike wash after all that) are only on the first and third Sundays. So, if I'm consistent enough, that would make my total monthly riding about 250 km. Good enough, compared to 50 km of weekend-only offroad rides.
 
to satisfy the crave
Before RTW, I used to crave for bike rides (perhaps endorphin), so much so that I would go for weekday night rides. Of course, that's much to the dismay of the missus, and a quite lethargic feeling at the office the day after (unless if I RTW, to combat that - see below). There's still an urge within to go for night rides, though, as the feeling is different. However, it is not as bad as it was back then. I would be okay to stay at home if I couldn't ride with the guys (currently people in Pasir Gudang doing night rides every Friday), for I have enough kilometers from my RTWs.
 
one less car
If you're on your motor-powered vehicles along the Pasir Gudang Highway on a weekday morning towards Pasir Gudang, you'll be greeted with a couple of hundred meters traffic jam right before the entrance to MMHE. Ditto on the evening (5-7pm), towards Johor Bahru. You'll get stuck in a jam right after MMHE. Right now, there are more than 3,000 workers in the yard at any one time on a weekday. Thousands of motorcycles in the external parking area and in the yard. Hundreds of cars too. My in-yard motorcar parking privilege has ended last year, hence I have to park my car outside in the parking area. This, plus a 10 minute walk into the yard to the office.
 
RTW eliminates not only one car on the highway, but on the congested parking lot.
 
door-to-door transport
RTW provides the most delightful, walk-free transport. I don't have to walk from the parking lot to get to the office, rather cycling straight to the office building entrance. It's door-to-door commuting, literally. Okay, not really from the door of my house, but from the gate outside.
 
consistent journey time
It's quite a straightforward thing. My RTW would almost definitely ensure a consistent 40 minutes journey maximum, if there's no emergencies or accidents.In many occasion it's much lesser than that, particularly if I decided along the way to do it aggressively.
 
At first I thought the journey time would be affected by how early I get out of the house. A few minutes before 7 am would ensure a smooth ride, with lesser vehicles on the road. Ten minutes after 7 am, and I would face a heavy traffic. However, as the route is more or less regulated by traffic lights at a certain spots, it does not make much difference, time wise. Of course, I prefer to be early - not much smog along the way.
 
health
I can't really say that my health improves, for I did not measure it. However, my general wellbeing is taken care of. I had a period of weight loss for some time, but my colleagues and friends told me that I'm too skinny. Now I'm back to my normal weight of around 70 kg, and I'm feeling good.
 
exercise and peace of mind
It is also obvious that RTW provides me the exercise that I need. With the sweat (and odor), endorphin released and I get inner satisfaction. This translates to positive attitude in the office. Stress at work (if any) got released during the evening ride home.
 
'me' time
My RTW rides are quite solitary. I take the opportunity to be alone, just me and my bike gliding through the tarmac. It is also a good time for reflection, sometimes. Most definitely, as I don't use any ear-plugging device for music or such (solely due to safety reasons), it is filled with zikr. Albeit, I would sometime slip into humming a song playing in my head. Hmm...
 
no more instant coffee
I used to chug a mug of Nescafe if I'm feeling sleepy at the office, especially due to short of sleep the night before. Now, to combat that, is a refreshing RTW. I could manage to keep awake for the day provided that I have a short nap during lunch hour. The ride may be a bit slow at first, and the body is a bit tired; when I break sweat, however, the ride is as normal. Also, my stomach seems to reject Nescafe and coffee in general nowadays; while at the same time, I prefer tea.
 
patriotic
This one is a paradigm pointed out by fellow bicycle commuter, Azizan Fixie. I'm using lesser petrol, hence lesser subsidy from the government. I save some $, and hopefully it would be channeled to appropriate causes.
 
carbon footprint
I don't really calculate what's my carbon footprint. However, 2 days in a week without using the car for a total of about 40 km journey to and fro would certainly count into something. That's my contribution to the environment, no matter if it's small.
 
 
Ultimately, I RTW because I can.
Alhamdulillah, I hope this blessed bliss would continue for many more years to come.
 
With the support from Mak and Naza, it's doable. Thank you to you both!
 
Thanks for dropping by.
Have a nice ride.

4 comments:

Acong Fikri said...

is there any shower room at ur workplace?? and where did u park ur bike? in the office?

norizzuddin said...

Keep it up bro! I'll shall make more effort too.

shahibbul said...

I'm just wondering how do you park your bike, won't anyone steel it? or you just park in front of the security guard.

Akmal Hizam said...

thanks for your comments, dear reading riders.

Acong, Shahibbul:
I park my bike in the office pantry.
http://akmalbikepark.blogspot.com/2009/03/parking-in-pantry-got-noticed.html
The trick is not to ask for permission. Just do it selamba dog. If the authority does not bark, it's ok then.

Dino:
More kilometers! Go bro!