Going in I had some questions, would I be able to carry all my papers? How about the returns? Even though I would be able to toss out the old papers in various trashcans along the way, would they fill up my trunk before to long?
As I loaded up my bike, two older ladies looked over and into my bike's "trunk"..."You have more storage than my car does" said one of them. I took that as a good sign. As it happened I was able to fill up the bike's storage compartment with all but one bundle of papers. Considering how my route would bring me past the pick-up site about a third of the way through this was not a major issue, by then I should have room for the last bundle of papers. Still though this was an inconvenience which is avoided in the car. If I had a top case I could have taken everything (hint hint).
|A sad and blurry picture of a loaded Burgman|
In the end the Burgman averaged 44 miles per gallon, My route is 40 miles long, so for a gallon of gas I did the whole route. Considering how I normally get anywhere from the mid 50's to the low 60's in gas mileage, I can't help but be surprised that the start and go nature of the route lowered the mileage that drastically.
Efficiency was another thing I looked at. Would it be easier or harder to use the bike for the route? Would I spend more time getting the papers from the car, or from the bike.
This was actually a lot closer than you might think. I was able to pull up to the front doors of a few stores, parking just feet away from the entrance. Once I actually drove onto the sidewalk to deliver to a street box...areas I would never be able to put my car. Problem was I had to remove my helmet going into a few of the convenience stores I deliver to due to their security concerns (wearing a full face helmet prevents the security camera's from getting a clear picture of me...which I didn't consider till I was asked to remove my helmet in one of the stores). Although it is legal to ride without a helmet in Florida, I always wear my helmet. My gloves also proved to be more of a hindrance than a help. After a few stops they ended up in the glove compartment. This dressing and undressing took time.
With the car I don't have the maneuverability. Sometimes I do have to park way in the back of the parking lot but I'm didn't have to go back for additional papers. I had additional room for the returns and could separate them as well. Not having to remove my helmet and gloves all the time is a definite advantage.
I give the edge to the bike but just barely.
Comfort was another factor. My car wins hands down in this category. The temperature peaked at 85 degrees - which even native Floridians consider hot for February - and although I was comfortable while moving, the second I stopped and entered a building it got hot. My jacket weighing heavily on my shoulders. The air conditioning in the car is a wonderful thing. Plus I've gotten in the habit of getting a coffee and a couple doughnuts about halfway through that then travel with me. I could not do that on the bike without stopping, and since I normally have to work later in the day; stopping is not always an option.
The jury is still out to see if this becomes a habit. i will be taking the bike out again next week on this same route to see if can be done faster and better.