Many people have stated that they don't want to bike commute because of the time factor; they feel that biking would take way more time than driving. I have to say that in our particular circumstance, biking does not take that much more time (if any) than driving. In fact, when we first arrived in Blacksburg, Diana and I drove her car downtown to meet up with the boys, and the boys rode their bikes. And you know what happened? The boys actually beat us home by about 30 seconds! And I've been told by numerous people that traffic will get MUCH worse when all of the students are back in town - making biking actually FASTER than driving. Now, that will not always be the case - witness The Night Everything Went Wrong - however, on average, biking and driving are interchangeable (time-wise). Add to that the fact that you're getting exercise while biking and...well, you get the picture. (For an even more in-depth look at time savings, check out this article.)
So, anyway...today we ran errands, and I have to say that I don't really think it took much more time (if any) than if we had done them by car. We left the house around noon, took a deposit to the bank, stopped at the post office, picked up a part for my bike at The Bike Barn (and spent the time there attaching it), stopped at the library and got library cards and picked up books, and hung out at Starbucks for about an hour. All of this, and we were home by 3:30. AND - bonus! - we got to witness a runaway lawnmower. (The second time in 2 months I have done so - what is it with that?) Now, I really don't know that we would have shaved any time off of this trip at all by driving, because everything was within 3 miles or so of home. Of course, there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to this; obviously, the 450 miles to Toledo would take quite a bit longer by bike instead of by car. But shorter distances are quite manageable!
So, to those of you who are concerned about the time factor...I would encourage you to give a bike commute a couple of tries and compare times. With stop lights, traffic, parking snafus, etc., driving can be time consuming. And even if it does end up taking a few more minutes by bike - well, usually the scenery is a bit better, the frustration level is much lower (road rage, anyone?), AND...you just had your workout, saving you time later at the gym.
So get out those stopwatches and start timing!
(And by the way...no mocking duck today. I think he tried to crash my bike though, because he ran -well, waddled, I guess - out onto the path in front of me.)