I recently decided, largely out of curiosity, to try driving into work for a change.
It’s a 3.2-mile trip. On my bike I can make it in about 12 minutes if I want. I say ‘can’. This is behaviour I reserve for when I’m running late. More commonly I take it easy, enjoy the scenery, nod good morning to everyone, ride as courteously as possible, and don’t arrive hot and sweating. I allow 20 minutes for this and arrive most times in 15. Door to door.
So I took the car. I allowed the usual 20 minutes, assuming it would be if anything a tad faster than the bike. And arrived late.
I couldn’t take the shortcuts I enjoy on the bike, making the overall journey more than half a mile longer. Rush-hour queues at the five junctions along the way slowed me by an extra few minutes.
Then there was the unnecessary faffing around finding a parking space, displaying the parking ticket, and the 1/3-mile brisk walk from the long-stay car park to my workplace in the town centre.
25 minutes door to door. And I still arrived a bit sweaty from the fast walk.
At such a slow average speed, I was getting 25mpg, which is £0.20 (US$0.40) per mile. Plus £2 for all-day parking. My total direct car costs for the day were £3.40. The local bus is cheaper.