At Garmin, we don’t just dream up and build products for people on the move — we’re quite active ourselves. And some of us won’t let a tough Midwest winter or 18 inches of snow stop us in our tracks. A group of Garmin cyclists, including one in Romania, embarked on a winter bike commuter challenge from November through the end of March. Riders, equipped with their own Garmin Edge or other GPS devices, were asked to track the total miles they rode each day, along with the number of days they biked. The data was tracked on a shared spreadsheet, and their stats, when all stacked up, are quite impressive:
- 13 riders
- 821 round trip commutes
- 10 miles, average commute
- 8,620 total miles
- 4.73 tons of CO2 annually (saved)
Jason, a software engineering manager, was the originator of this commuter challenge. This image shows how the collective miles of these commuters look when mapped out in Garmin Connect — a roundtrip ride 'round the continental U.S.! Here’s what Jason, who logged a total of 1,162 miles, had to say about the experience:
There have been moments, especially at 6:15am and with single-digit temperatures, when I’ve questioned my commitment to bicycle commuting to work. It wasn’t until we began collecting and viewing our ride data that I began to understand that there’s more to this than exercising and my own selfish benefit. Collectively, we made an impact on the number of cars on the road and carbon emitted into our environment. It’s not just me anymore, and that’s empowering. While some might consider riding in the snow “crazy”, I found that those were some of the most memorable, peaceful and perfect rides. It’s amazing how quiet and soft everything is when you’re rolling through fresh snow. When I imagine the car-version of that, it makes me cringe.
Bob, director of aviation software engineering, is a long-time bike commuter. With a roundtrip commute of 28 miles and 1,820 miles total for this challenge, he logged the most miles of the group and he had a few interesting tales to share:
Dec 20st blizzard: A large snowfall was predicted. I had a really early meeting to discuss a project, so I had to be to work by 4:00 am. I left before the snow really started at 2:52 am. The ride to work was really not bad, but when everyone else was trying to get to work, the conditions were much worse and nobody could believe I was able to ride. The ride home was challenging. I was able to ride on the trails, but they were icy. This was probably my hardest ride of the winter.
Feb 21st blizzard: Ride to work was pretty normal, no snow when I left the house, and just a couple of inches by the time I got to work. The ride home was not so traditional. I knew my trail would be too deep to make any progress (thanks to Jason who emailed me after his challenges of getting home), so I waited it out until the plows finally caught up and decided to take as many 4-lane roads as possible, knowing the shoulder would be packed with snow. Only stopped once to push one lady out of the snow.Just goes to show a little white stuff…or a lot of it…won’t stop folks with two wheels and one big goal. Check out the Garmin Connect data from Bob's coldest ride. His Edge 810 recorded an average temp of 4.7 degrees!