Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bicycle Commuting

When gas was over $4 and I was over 260 pounds, I took up biking to work. I loved it. I did it through most of last summer and fall. I was able to gain some weight loss momentum and useful experience. Then I ran into a trifecta of obstacles as well as a slick patch of grating. It was getting more and more challenging to get the kids ready and dropped off and still be able to leave with enough time to get to work. Plus it was getting colder. Then I had a nasty fall and suddenly daylight savings time kicked in and the bike was hung up in the basement for the winter.

Today I got back on the bike. I was waiting for good rainfall to wash out some of the salt and cinders. What I got was enough rain to make the roads wet. I was a bit tentative, but I got to work in less than 22 minutes. My best time last year was over 17. But I got there safe and sound and a little more emboldened. And I was able to get the baby to the sitter, grab a shower at the office and got in my desk right on time.

The way home is much harder, but I’m not too worried. I feel great right now. Riding to work has a lot of benefits, provided you don’t live 40 miles away. Remarkably when you factor in parking and everything it only takes me 3-5 more minutes to bike than to drive. And when I get here I feel awake and invigorated. Biking is very stimulating both physically and mentally. You’re forced to be more alert and the trip becomes more like an adventure than a chore. Driving is very passive, especially when it’s a repetitive commute. Not to mention the gas money, wear and tear on your car and calorie trade you’re saving.


This is what I'm riding: a KHS Flite250 with some clip on TT bars and flat pedals.

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