Tuesday, March 16, 2021

CNBC explains why the pandemic caused a bicycle boom, plus a double driving update: Pearl and Snow Bear

Both of our cars passed another 1,000 miles within the past seven days, so it's time for a driving update. I'll post details over the jump, but first, I'm sharing CNBC explaining Why Covid-19 Caused A Bike Boom, which includes a graph showing how driving has decreased during the pandemic.

Bikes have been a hot ticket item during the Covid pandemic as more people look for recreational activities and outdoor transportation. With more bikes and other forms of micromobility on the road, transportation experts say the moment is prime for a transit upheaval in the United States. Here’s how the Covid bike boom could change the way Americans get to work and around major cities.
I'm glad to see something positive happening from decreased driving during the pandemic that might last, which might contribute to less air pollution and a decreased environmental footprint, two things I thought might not last after the pandemic ends.

CNBC also asked its viewers "Did you invest in a bike during the coronavirus pandemic?" No, I didn't. I gave up that resolution six years ago. Instead, I bought Pearl. However, if any of my readers did, I'll repeat CNBC's invitation, "Let us know in the comments if you plan to stick with it after the pandemic." I hope some of you do.

Follow over the jump for the driving update.

In the most recent driving update from July 2020, I wrote "I may not post another driving update for Snow Bear this year, but I expect I will post another for Pearl in October or November." That didn't happen then, as Pearl the Prius prolonged her reporting period, delaying rolling over her odometer past 52,000 miles until Thursday, March 11, 2021, five months after I predicted last summer. As a result, it took 258 days from Friday, June 26, 2020, when she passed 51,000 miles, until last Thursday. Consequently, I drove Pearl 3.88 miles per day, 118.22 miles per standard month, and 1,414.73 miles per standard year. That's even less than the 6.62 miles per day, 201.99 miles per standard month, and 2423.84 miles per leap year or 2417.22 miles per standard year I drove Pearl between January 27, 2020 and June 26, 2020. For the actual miles driven over the past year, I'm dividing 2,000 miles by the 409 days between January 27, 2020 and March 11, 2021. That becomes 4.89 miles per day, 149.14 miles per standard day, 1,784.84 per standard year and 1,789.73 miles per leap year. Once again, I have never driven my primary vehicle so little.

But was Pearl really my primary vehicle during the past seven or eight months?

Snow Bear also passed a milestone when her odometer turned over 8,000 miles today, March 16, 2021. She passed 7,000 miles on July 26, 2020. That's 1000 miles in 240 days, which translates to 4.17 miles per day, 127.08 miles per standard month, and 1,520.83 miles per standard year. That's more than the 3.92 miles per day, 119.61 miles per standard day, 1435.29 miles per leap year. and 1431.37 miles per standard year my wife and I drove her between November 14, 2019 and July 26, 2020. It's also more than I drove Pearl during the same time, so she wasn't really my primary vehicle; Snow Bear was, barely. That's because I was driving her for errands (she has more cargo capacity) and the weather (she's better in snow). I still have never driven my primary vehicle so little.

Was Snow Bear the primary vehicle during the entire year? For that, I have to look at the actual miles per year, which involves dividing 2,000 miles by the 488 days between November 14, 2019 and today. That becomes 4.10 miles per day, 125.00 miles per standard month, 1,500.00 miles per leap year, and 1,495.90 miles per standard year. Since that's less than the equivalent for Pearl, so no; Pearl was still my primary vehicle during the past year of the pandemic.

Now it's time to calculate the total miles driven on both cars. For that, I'm using the full 1000 miles for Snow Bear plus the miles I drove Pearl during the same time, 912.6. I derived that by multiplying 3.88 miles times the 30 days between the cars last milestones, subtracting that from 1000 miles, and then adding the 29 miles that I've driven Pearl since last Thursday. The result is 1912.6 miles divided by 240 days or 7.97 miles per day, 243.06 miles per standard month, and 2,908.75 miles per standard year. That's a lot less than the averages of 11.32 miles per day, 345.31 miles per standard month, 4143.69 miles per leap year, and 4132.37 miles per standard year I drove both cars between November 14, 2019 and July 26, 2020. All of that is mine, as I'm switching back and forth between the two vehicles while my wife hasn't driven for the past year. The result is that I'm contributing to the decreased driving by Americans during the pandemic and recession.

Now, that's a dramatic drop! It looks like what I expected when I wrote "the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven will continue to go down for at least the next year" last June. The next month, I wrote "I expect it will start to bottom out in the second half of 2021." Stay tuned to see if that happens.

Last July, I illustrated this section with Cruz Ramirez in pirate costume. Today, I returned to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme with a window sticker of Redd from the latest update of the ride. Drink up me hearties, yo ho!


  1. I bought a pedal assist e trike and haven't looked back. I enjoy riding all around town. I go shopping with it, to the library. Don't know why I didn't do this years ago.

    1. Good for you! I hope you keep doing it after the pandemic is over.