Numbers and Maps and Graphs, Ohh My

Things get graphic as I explore my trip by the numbers thus far. Using my data from the first 4 weeks from Halifax to Ottawa I discuss the statistics for Km, money, and social media as robustly as I dare. If numbers is not your thing: look away, this is not for you.

Numbers are my thing, sort of. I actually have an engineering degree from the University of Guelph. Many people question when I plan on actually using my degree and to be honest; I feel like I use it everyday. While biking from Halifax to Vancouver doesn’t have the word engineer in the title, nor did teaching English in Spain, or doing forestry research in Northern Ontario among other little money making jaunts I have picked up along the way; I would hate to have to define myself for the rest of my life based on what I went to a formal post-secondary educational institution for. Particularly because that was a decision initially made when I was 17 years old. I am not saying I regret my engineering degree, I am glad to have it. I think that the skills I learned and developed in getting it were instrumental in making me the person I am today and I wouldn’t be biking across Canada had I not had the experience. But I don’t think it needs to be the flag I use every time I run an identity up the flag pole, I try to make a quilt of the flags that I do have.

The Biking Numbers

I made four google maps of my weeks 1-4 putting them in paint, they are below. I have since realized that it is possible to create a map with google that you can make public. I am going to attempt to make one of those soon that I can update regularly and this way there is no need for the rigmarole of screen shots.

Here are some general highlights:

  • Total distance biked: 1750 Km
  • Number of days on a bike: 16
  • Average Km/day: 109 Km
  • Longest day: 160 Km (did it twice)
  • Shortest day: 40 Km
  • Number of flat tires: 0

Economics

Going into this trip I had set out a budget of $5000 for myself. I wasn’t sure if it was too much, too little, or just right but I think when you have a budget you adjust so as to spend within your limits. I have kept my financial information available to anyone who wants to view it in my budget section. Basically I put $5000 into my chequeing account on April 6th and have recorded my expenses in a google spreadsheet as accurately as I can. Obviously I round the numbers and sometimes I fall slightly behind and have to guesstimate costs if I paid in cash. Generally every week I try to make the bottom lines equal in an effort to provide a solid representation of what I have spent money on.

My reasoning behind making these numbers public was because I thought it was a unique idea that might interest some people. I had a rough idea that various legs of the trip would be more expensive than others. I assumed that my East of Ottawa portion was going to be slightly above the $38 average I need to maintain per day to make $5000 last for 130 days. Given that I would have costs associated with forgotten items, that it is fairly populated, and I would be making frequent stops in cities. I am scared of the hit my wallet will take in the month of May as I float around waiting for Gender Blender in Guelph at the beginning of June. Afterwards, in terms of money, I am looking forward to the desolation I will find in Northern Ontario and I am hoping to come out below average there. Then if I can stay on average from Winnipeg West I will hopefully be able to stay true to my budget.

I cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel for the generosity I have already received from the people I have met along the way. My budget would already be in shambles had I replaced the couches I slept on with hotel beds and the home cooked meals with ones from a restaurant.

A pie chart of my expenses in the first 4 weeks.

A pie chart of my expenses in the first 4 weeks.

In the pie chart above I separated all my costs into seven different categories, I think they essentially explain themselves. While it may not be a perfect representation it gives me an idea of what I can do should times get tough. I am looking at the scary blue alcohol section as a really good opportunity to save money, should it become necessary, it represented nearly one fifth of my total money spent. I came out of the first 4 weeks, or 28 days, having spent $1021 which is an average of $36.50 per day which means I was under my expected trip average of $38.

Once again presenting this data is NOT meant as a means to get money. I appreciate couches and food but keep your money where it belongs.

Social Media

Here are the stats, guess you just became one of them

Here are the stats, guess you just became one of them

The above picture shows a screen shot of the statistics page for this website. I have nothing to gauge whether it is good, bad, or mediocre as far as I am concerned it just is. It is nice to know that my mom isn’t the only one who follows along though.

In general, as you can see by the graph, the website has ups and downs which usually are related to me posting a blog, putting a sweet picture on fb, or if a lot of new people get exposed to the website through a link. Normally the number of views per day increases after I write a post, I can usually count on about 100 unique visitors in the two days following a blog post with a large portion of my readers being linked through facebook.

Here are some general social media statistics:

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