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Clif Bar’s 2 Mile Challenge

by Warren T

I’m sure some of you may be familiar with Clif Bar’s 2 Mile Challenge, but I came across this again recently and thought I’d share it. This would make a wonderful New Year’s resolution for someone.

Some of the data from the video:

  • In the U.S., 40% of all trips are 2 miles or less.
  • 90% of those trips are by car.
  • If 1 out of 10 car commuters switched to a bike, CO2 emissions would be reduced by 25.4 million tons per year.
  • The U.S. has the highest per capita bicycle ownership in the world.
  • But it’s at the bottom of the list for using them.
  • If 1 million people replaced a 2 mile car trip once a week with a bike ride, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 50,000 tons per year.
  • More information is available at their website. Try entering your address and see what trips you could make by bike within your two mile radius. I love this idea; it’s one of the reasons I’ve been biking in the snow lately — to show people it can be done.

     
    The Chariot Summer Sale - 2013

    5 Responses to “Clif Bar’s 2 Mile Challenge”

    1. Noah says:

      I’m all about it. I try to go for about a 5 mile radius when it’s nice out and I won’t need to lug anything more than a duffel bag and panniers can haul. I am a bit more car reliant in sub-freezing weather, but last year I’d proven that one can ride 3 miles at 3-below-zero (Fahrenheit) without any ill effects aside from co-workers repeatedly mumbling about how insane you are.

      I don’t need a map to tell me that 2 miles will cover scads of establishments along the thoroughfares near me.

      On residential roads or in typical urban traffic, a bike keeps up with motorized vehicles anyways. Plus, you’ll often find that any time lost on the road vs. driving gets more than made up in the parking lots when you’re riding a bike such short distances.

      Thanks for linking to this. I must have been living under a rock.

    2. JoelGuelph says:

      That’s a great video. As a bike geek, I can say it is a little bit too bad they used the profile of a mountain bike for commuters, but that is a very minor complaint. I wonder how we can get this message out to more people. Imagine if someone ponied up the cash to play this as a Superbowl ad.

      I have to say that one of the big reasons I commute is to show people it can be done. My wife and I have one car and we happen to work within one block of each other. The fact that we have rearranged our hours so we can commute by car together has basically eliminated one car from the road. The fact that I often commute by bike, therefore, has little environmental impact if my wife drives. But, I hope I am opening peoples eyes ever so slightly by riding my bike in all sorts of weather, from pleasant days to minus 15C days. The big bonus is when my wife rides to work too. I am working on getting her away from being a “fair weather” commuter and she is coming around (she’ll occasionally ride in the rain, but not the cold). Every little effort makes a difference, if not environmentally, psychologically to the people who see us commuting.

    3. I visited the US two years ago. While biking there, I noticed a couple of oddities when I stopped to ask for directions.

      Once I was given directions to a mall. “It’s pretty far. Turn left and go on for two miles.”. It turns out I could see the mall and the distance was less than one mile.

      The second time I had to ask directions to my hotel. I was told it’d be eight miles away. This was at first quite puzzling, since that would have meant I had been going at the opposite direction. Anyway, it turns out that his directions were correct, but the real distance was around 4-5 miles.

      I’d guess that people who do not bike or walk often (if at all) have some sort of a distortion in their internal maps. They probably estimate close distances correctly and probably large ones too. The middle ground, the walkable and bikeable miles have a factor of 2 in there.

      Probably for this same reason people also seemed to overestimate the time it takes to travel by bike. “Oh you’ll never make it by sundown.”

    4. jason (sd) says:

      Good point about the parking lots. I live in a small town, about 15000, and a lot of people where I work spend 5-10 minutes walking from their car to where they work. Certain times of the day it can be 10-15 min to find a place to park. My bike commute is 10 min or less.
      I also wanted to comment on estimating distances. I use to live in the Minneapolis area, and people would tell you how long it took to get somewhere, but had no idea how many miles it was.

    5. hokan says:

      Not everything on their web site seems to work with my Firefox browser…

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