I flew home from my busy week in Las Vegas yesterday and I’m settling back into my usual routine. Normally that would mean grabbing my bike this morning for my preferred Caltrain + bike commute. But in the spirit of the Anything Goes Challenge I grabbed my scooter instead and pushed off for VTA Light Rail.
Since I’ve only taken tried scooter + light rail commute once, I didn’t think not fair to judge it yet. We’re biased toward what’s familiar and like any route planning, it takes a few times to work out the kinks and otherwise optimize the trip. Plus the Wi-Fi on the train would give me some time to work on this post.
When I started this challenge, I thought I could come up with an equation that would definitively choose the superior commute mode given specific data points. But since we all value things differently, creating a universal equation would be as short-sighted as the usual method of simply considering travel time and cost. We know there’s more that drives our preferences than that. Here’s my personal value equation:
- Time Wasted Score = overall time – (exercise time up to 45 min) – (50% reading time, 90% if Wi-Fi)
- Lifestyle Convenience Score = 1 pt for each positive answer (partial credit given)
- Determining Factor = A particular criteria that drives a particular choice.
Why didn’t I focus more on cost per trip? Because it’s not what drives me to choose one mode over another. I’m not strongly driven by environmental factors either. Except for driving, they are all equally good in my book.
To enter the Anything Goes Challenge: Take two or more distinct transportation modes to a specific destination you visit regularly (work, school, store, etc). Take the same mode a least twice to give it a fair shake. Collect data, tabulate your scorecard, and assess each mode according to your own value equation. Explain which mode works best for you and why.
Send your summary to email@example.com by April 30. Please include one or more photos that I can include in a post about you, as well as your scorecard data and your personal value equation. Selected stories will be featured on this blog throughout May for National Bike Month. If you’re private about things, just let me know and I’ll use your first name only or an alias of your choosing.
And while this is a challenge, not a contest, my buddy Richard of Cyclelicious is seeing what he can do to scrape up a prize or two. So you may get something more than just bragging rights for your efforts.
So get out there and scoot, ride, pedal, paddle, run or glide today! Take a watch, take photos and be creative.