CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Debate!

Soderberg numbers and relative car use

(83 posts)

  1. fimm
    Member

    In this thread HankChief proposed a "Soderberg number" to be defined as the number of days travelled by bike / number of days travelling by motorised means.
    Soderberg being the name of the cafe formerly known as Peter's Yard.

    He included a link to this blog which is by a person who didn't allow themselves to travel by car at all (neither as driver nor passenger) for a year.

    Now while I keep wondering if I cycle further then I personally drive a car during the average year, I've never done the stats to find out, and I'm certain that I travel further by car than I do by bike (my hillwalking habit sees to that).*

    I've a friend who is trying to never buy stuff that has plastic packaging. She was struggling to buy cheese IIRC... I wonder how she does for shampoo?

    *Yes, there are hills that can be done by public transport, and I've done some like that. But one of the things about being a member of a mountaineering club is the car sharing; if I stopped doing that I wouldn't really be a participating member of the club any more, and I haven't got to that point yet.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  2. gembo
    Member

    Mellis will sell cheese in a bit of paper for 50p extra. She maybe stopped using shampoo?

    My Large soderberg number which is solo transport is approx 240/2 = 120

    But my smaller soderberg number where I am in a car with others is much smaller

    Posted 9 months ago #
  3. sallyhinch
    Member

    My weakness is train journeys - the best available train to Edinburgh for us goes from Lockerbie, which is 20 miles away and means either bike + bus or a lift. It would be cycleable but I don't fancy the A709 one bit, and the alternative, while lovely, is 5 miles longer. Mostly I'm good and take the bus but if I'm coming back late at night or need to go early in the morning I get picked up.

    I think given how rural we are, I do quite well on the bike/car mileage front but I'm aware that my own virtue is underpinned by the other half driving the car to Tesco and being willing to come and pick me up from train stations ...

    Posted 9 months ago #
  4. Blueth
    Member

    Would Mellis waive the charge if one took one's own container I wonder. As I used to do when a kid for various items sold by the grocer, but principally using the tattie bag.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  5. unhurt
    Member

    Shampoo: Lush are way overpriced but their shampoo and conditioner bars are the business. Sold in a paper bag, last for ages and ages.

    Mellis wrap all their cheese in paper. Not aware they charge extra for that. Maybe they charge for a paper bag?

    I have a car but I should probably sell it. Possibly to a sibling! It's been parked at my old flat since November 13th, full of stuff for the recycling centre / furniture donation. I've driven a pool car for work once in the intervening period (to Lanark with two passengers - train goes via Glasgow which just takes too long) and tagged along to Jupiter Artland in my best friend's car. Otherwise, all bike, feet, the odd bus and two (shared) taxi rides late at night.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  6. gembo
    Member

    Sorry No, Mellis incorporate the 50p into the price of their cheese ( clearly this is not just for the paper but also for the niceness of the shop and the cheese)

    Posted 9 months ago #
  7. unhurt
    Member

    Gasp! Swizz! etc!

    Posted 9 months ago #
  8. fimm
    Member

    I think it was cheese.
    It may have been something else.
    My friend is also not particularly well off and may have baulked at paying Mellis prices...

    Unhurt, sell your car and join the City Car Club. Mr fimm and I did that years ago. You can spend money on car travel if you have the money, and refrain from spending it if you don't. No more spending money on something you are not using.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  9. unhurt
    Member

    @fimm I really should. Except a handful of times a year I want a car for getting up north/west. Have now split insurance costs with @sheeptoucher: if car moves to live mostly at his place then perhaps a sort of stealth sale will eventually take place and I can borrow it for trips away. Though if he reads this I'm busted!

    Posted 9 months ago #
  10. HankChief
    Member

    Thanks for setting up a distinct thread for this Fimm. I should have done that from the start but wasn't sure if the idea would take off or not.

    I'm currently on a Sodenberg of 3 for 2018 which I hope to improve on but expect it will be disappointing to see it nose dive when I have to travel for business later on this month.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  11. crowriver
    Member

    From that blog posted by fimm:

    "if you have a car you use it, and if you don’t, you don’t"

    Pretty much.

    I do like trains, and since reviving an interest in hillwalking use buses a bit more. Once or twice a year maximum board a plane for family hols. Otherwise it's by foot and bike nearly all the way.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  12. fimm
    Member

    unhurt we took a City Car Club* car up to our mountaineering club hut north of Inverness over New Year. We also find that car hire over a weekend that is out of season can be really cheap (but it is more hassle to go to wherever it is to pick up the car).

    *Strictly speaking I should say Enterprise Car Club.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  13. fimm
    Member

    So far:
    Number of days when I travelled by car: 2
    Number of days when I travelled by bike: 3
    Soderberg number from the above: 3/2 = 1.5

    However if we include trains:
    Number of days when I travelled by motorised means: 5
    Number of days when I travelled by bike: 3
    Soderberg number from the above: 3/5 = 0.6
    - but the trains are electric, do they count? ;-)

    Posted 9 months ago #
  14. neddie
    Member

    If you never use motorised transport, do you get a Soderberg number of infinity?

    To infinity and beyond...

    Posted 9 months ago #
  15. gembo
    Member

    @neddie-h yes, the blog Mr Hankchief linked to on the first thread had a person who managed a year without a car. She received the Soderberg Infinity Certificate.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  16. HankChief
    Member

    So, one week in and I have a Soderberg of 6 and its likely to rise during next week.

    (The only reason it's not infinite is visiting some out of town relatives on New Year's Day. I could have cycled but too far the other clan members so we drove)

    Possibly more pleasing is the family Soderberg number is no longer zero as we all managed a ride out today :-)

    Posted 9 months ago #
  17. crowriver
    Member

    Currently my score is as follows:

    Number of days when I travelled by motorised means: 1 (train)
    Number of days when I travelled by foot: 2
    (No cycling yet in 2018).

    Soderberg number from the above: 2/1 = 1

    Alternatively, if we're strict about only bikes counting, then my Soderberg number = 0

    Posted 9 months ago #
  18. Ed1
    Member

    I have used my car once this year but only 4 miles done about 100 on bike. I use car once a week as cars don't like to sit idle.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  19. gembo
    Member

    2/1= 1?

    Posted 9 months ago #
  20. amir
    Member

    0/10. See me!

    Posted 9 months ago #
  21. sallyhinch
    Member

    Mine is currently infinite (four days on the bike, none by motorised means). OTOH my other half's is 0 (four days in the car, none by bike). I think HankChief suggested multiplying numbers together to get your household score, which would give us 0 (I think, can't remember if infinity trumps 0 in multiplication) but the slightly fairer adding together of nominator and denominator would give us 1 which I think quite accurately represents our current household car dependency.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  22. HankChief
    Member

    cars don't like to sit idle.

    True. Our car wouldn't start this morning (for my wife). I might get a hit to my Soderberg number from getting a new battery for it.

    0/10. See me!

    Eh? It's the number of days by each travel method so you can only have a maximum of 8

    Posted 9 months ago #
  23. HankChief
    Member

    slightly fairer adding together of nominator and denominator

    I quite liked the nuance that multiplication brings. I.e. it is worth more to get a low cycling member of the family to cycle an additional day, than it is for the 'cyclist' to rack up another day.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  24. amir
    Member

    0/10. See me!

    Eh? It's the number of days by each travel method so you can only have a maximum of 8

    Ah confusion reigns! That wasn't my Soderberg number, it was me marking crowriver's maths.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  25. HankChief
    Member

    LOL

    Posted 9 months ago #
  26. sallyhinch
    Member

    Fair dos. It's easier for me to replace a car journey myself (e.g. offer to cycle down for something that we might have got by car) than it is to persuade the other half to do something he doesn't want to do. He does cycle but not when it's cold/wet/the roads are quiet so it's faster by car.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  27. Iain McR
    Member

    anyone else got spreadsheet for this ?

    Currently on 1.66.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  28. HankChief
    Member

    Sally - I suggest we let the Soderberg committee rule on the definition next time it meets.

    Meanwhile, I dropped to 3.5 today and had to fork out for a new car battery :-(

    But don't worry, I have a private MCC meeting on the TROs tonight to cheer me up...

    Posted 9 months ago #
  29. unhurt
    Member

    anyone else got spreadsheet for this ?

    Where do you think you're posting? that you haven't shared the template yet?

    Posted 9 months ago #
  30. crowriver
    Member

    "it was me marking crowriver's maths."

    Arithmetic.
    Anyway yeah, what was I thinking?

    Posted 9 months ago #

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