2016 in numbers

2016 in numbers – or how to make sense of your personal data

Here is a little disclaimer for this post:

  1. <nerd alert on>
  2. This has become a bit of a long post … don’t say I did not warn you
  3. And I am not a designer – so this is not pixel perfect. But for this purpose it is good enough for me. If you look very carefully you’ll probably spot some pixels that aren’t completely aligned but then I am not a designer. I hacked this together in Google Draw, it’ll have to do. I’ll try to explain how I gathered all the data.

1. Cycling to work

This shows the number of times I have cycled to work this year. In order to automatically track this I created an IFTTT recipe which gets triggered on my phone  when I pass a certain location on my route to work. I can only pass this spot on bicycle and will only pass it when I cycle to the office, so this works fine for me. IFTTT logs this in a Google sheet, so the only thing I need to do at the end of the year is check how often this is logged.

So I cycled to work 105 times this year.

  • (Since I am also tracking when it rains (as you do…)) – I only had to cycle 5 time through rain. This is only 4,7% of the time (quite amazing when you think about it).
  • 105 cycle trips to work have saved me about €220 in gasoline and has also saved me from the stress and frustration of standing in traffic jams during rush hour.
  • It hasn’t saved me from some serious bruises though, as it turned out that taking a turn on a frozen cyclepath makes you fall flat on your face… (be careful cycling in the wintertime is the lesson here).

And finally, here is a graph (click for larger version) showing how much I cycled per month. (from the last 4 years). Seems like I finally figured out this year that I can cycle to work in the fall/winter too. Let’s see if we can tackle the spring too in 2017.

Cycle stats
Cycle stats

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Local fruit stall

Cycling and local produce

Local fruit stall

The great thing about cycling around is that you sometimes find places like these along your way. Here (Yes this was in Nieuwegein of all places) you could buy cherries, strawberries, red berries and even gooseberries for just a couple of euros. You had to put the money in the moneybox, which to my surprise had not been stolen yet.

In the mean time, summer has arrived, it is around 30 C here in the Netherlands. (But I understand London has the same temperatures at the moment)

Stolen bicycle poster Amsterdam

My daily cycling route to work

I thoroughly enjoy my short (2.7 km) cycle ride to work every day. It is a very relaxed ride on cycle tracks seperate from cars. My bicycle trip passes the old Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. I also pass loads of houseboats (very Dutch way of living) and a lock which connects de Schinkel to the Nieuwe Meer. Amsterdam really is a city of water. You can see the lock below.

Larger map

In the evenings and weekends my bicycle is safely parked in the fantastic underground bicycle parking space at Amsterdam Zuid train station where it is guarded 24 hours a day. Yesterday however I had to park my bicycle for a couple of hours at an unguarded bicycle parking spot at a Metro station. And I found this poster:

Stolen bicycle poster Amsterdam

I was really happy my bicycle was still there when I returned.

Here is (for now as I am moving soon – more about that later) my daily trip. What is yours (if any)?

San Francisco – Day 2

Is it me or are people on the west coast of the US just friendlier than the ones in New York? I spoke about this with two ladies from the US and they agreed. In New York everyone is in a hurry, they don’t have time to be friendly. Here everybody seems friendly. Is it the weather?

Well I certainly get in a good mood of this weather, the weather today was perfect, perfect to bike the bridge.

I left relatively early as I wanted to make an early start, but then I discovered the sea lions at Pier 39 and I was sold. They were so so cute, and there were so many of them, I could watch them for hours. When I finally got myself dragged away from them it was a bit later than planned, but I was ready to bike the bridge.

Again, if you ever get to San Francisco, this is the thing you want to do. I admit that there were some stretches that were a bit steep (the bridge is high, and you need to get on top of it to cross it) but once you are up the views are spectacular. It is a fantastic trip, I ended up cycling to Sausalito where I had lunch and I took the ferry back from there to San Francisco (which was a lovely sailing trip too!).

After another visit to the sea lions and a beautiful purple sky, I am now ready to sleep. And so are my legs!

The thing I learned today about the sea lions – you can distinct between seal and a sea lion by looking at the ears. Sea lions have tiny ears, seals don’t. I had no idea.

Here are the photos. (Expect a lot of sea lions, and a lot of bridge!)

Cycling in London is cool because – part I

From the official Ding Day home page:

Wednesday, 9th September will see Londoners create music on the streets with their bicycle bells as the second annual Ding Day takes place. Designed to add a little fun to a cyclists day, the concept is simple and open to everyone. All that is needed is a bike and a bell. The idea – to make cycling London streets a joyful and happy experience.

The concept is simple:
On Wednesday 9th September whenever you see another cyclist you give a little ‘ding ding’ on your bell, and they will return your greeting with another ‘ding ding’. From sun up to sun down, no matter where you are in the saddle on Ding Day, remember to ding your bell.

The idea behind Ding Day:
To create a fun experience for cyclists and locals in and around London, with the hope of creating more of a sense of community amongst fellow cyclists, including commuters, parents, children, basically any cyclist young or old. It’s free and open to everyone.

It is a celebration of cycling as one of the most environmentally friendly, healthy and quickest way of getting around our great city.

More on the Ding Day home page / Ding day twitter / Ding Day Facebook.

I am in!