Commute Challenge 2018

Bruce Dawson in wet suit with commute methods, copyright 2018 425 Business MagazineI’ll bet I had more fun commuting during September 2018 than you did.

In April 2017 I gave myself the challenge of commuting to work using a different method every workday for a month – twenty ways in twenty days! The write up and video are here. It was great fun and it also served as a joyous celebration of the many ways to make commuting more fun than sitting alone in traffic.

In September 2018 I did the same thing, with nineteen new methods. It was a lot of work but a huge amount of fun, and I’ve got the video to prove it. I got assistance from friends, coworkers, and strangers in ways that I would not have thought possible, and the second commute challenge actually worked.

Enjoy the videos and I hope you consider mixing up your commute occasionally, even if you can’t get your friends to carry you in a litter.

Kirkland ReporterMedia coverage:

The #commutechallenge video playlist is available at and here’s a calendar that links to all of the videos:

Labor day - no commutePaddle board, day 1, September 4thE-bike, day 2, September 5thPedal board, day 3, September 6thVictoria Clipper, day 4, September 7th
Seaplane, day 5, September 10thCarpool, day 6, September 11thBus, day 7, September 12thTelecommute, day 8, September 13thOffroad unicycle, day 9, September 14th
Electric skateboard, day 10, September 17th, 2018Paragliding, day 11, September 18thLitter carry, day 12, September 19thElectric scooter, day 13, September 20thHigh heels, day 14, Sepember 21st
Wheelchair, day 15, September 24thPedal and sail kayak, day 16, September 25thHand cycle, day 17, September 26thElectric police UTV, day 18, September 27thDrift skates, day 19, September 28th

Much thanks to:

  • Day 1: Diane (paddle board carry) and Paul (paddle board loan)
  • Day 2: Nick (e-bike loan)
  • Day 6: Greg (driver) and Michael (passenger)
  • Day 7: June (videographer and Kirkland’s Transportation Strategic Advisor)
  • Day 10: Bobby (e-skateboard loan) and Brian (videographer)
  • Day 11: Caleb (pilot) and Steve (equipment loan)
  • Day 12: Camille (organizer!) and Cathy, Diane, Gina, Greg, Michelle, Steve, Sue, and Wilf (litter bearers)
  • Day 13: Ian (e-scooter loan)
  • Day 14: Kiro7 (for great coverage)
  • Day 15: Jamin and Brian (co-commuters, wheelchair loan)
  • Day 16: Mike (pilot and pedal/sail kayak loan)
  • Day 17: Tami (hand cycle delivery), Dave (hand cycle loan), and Brian (videographer)
  • Day 18: Kirkland Police department for a ride in their electric UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle)
  • Day 19: Greg (videographer), CJ (videographer), and Filip (pusher)

The Brian who lent me a wheelchair and co-commuted that day is not the same Brian who was a videograper. But, they are both Brian B. so I gave up on disambiguating.

And of course the biggest thanks go to my supportive wife Helen who did video recording, travel planning, video critiquing, and much more.

Here’s the summary video from September 2018:

Commute challenge 2018 summary

And here’s the video from April 2017:

Commute challenge: the video

This post can be found through

@psteinb_ promised to do the commute challenge in Dresden in May, 2019, and you can see how that worked out by following @dresdencommute or seeing a summary here.
And also, if you can avoid a long commute, you should, even if it means having a smaller house or a job that pays less, because the shorter commute will make you happier, says science.

About brucedawson

I'm a programmer, working for Google, focusing on optimization and reliability. Nothing's more fun than making code run 10x as fast. Unless it's eliminating large numbers of bugs. I also unicycle. And play (ice) hockey. And sled hockey. And juggle. And worry about whether this blog should have been called randomutf-8. 2010s in review tells more:
This entry was posted in Commuting, Environment, Unicycling. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Commute Challenge 2018

  1. Sijmen says:

    Cool project, good luck!

  2. dynastycuts says:

    You’re seriously considering taking a bus? Scary!

    Some more ideas:
    One of those transparent inflatable balls you get inside
    Side Car
    Dog Sled
    Crawl on all fours

    • Russ says:

      BTW, that last post was made from an alternate WordPress account by mistake. That was me, Russ.

    • brucedawson says:

      Uber and cab are only allowed (by my rules) if I carpool – I am protesting single-occupancy car commuting. I did scooter last year and I plan to do an electric scooter this year, as well as motorcycle. Side-car, inflatable ball, dog sled, helicopter, jet pack, tricycle, and horseback are all great ideas but come with some logistical challenges. Do you have any ideas on how to make any of them actually happen? I am a decent horse rider, I just need one I can borrow…

  3. Simon Bond says:


    We’ve all been watching your commuting antics from England. My daughters have a few suggestions (some achievable, some less so):

    Pogo stick
    Steam engine
    Human cannon
    Quad bike
    Armored vehicle
    Monster truck
    Tunnel (you’ll have to wait for Elon)
    Hyperloop (Elon again)
    Hot air balloon

    • brucedawson says:

      Thanks for the suggestions! I would love to do pogo stick and I may have to try that sometime. It turns out that it is very hard to make forward progress, especially on the kids size pogo stick that I own. I inquired about a hot air balloon but it was deemed infeasible – I guess I need a longer commute to make that one work.

      My last commute is today and then I’ll edit and post the last four videos. I hope you enjoy them.

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