I had tried my hand at bike commuting but never committed to it. Just the occasional attempt now and then. When we got down to just one car an opportunity presented itself. Something that could have been a setback turned into an opportunity.
Two years ago we had an old Toyota Corolla which was a fantastic car, and what was then a new Toyota Rav. The Corolla burned oil, and had certainly seen better days. My wife used it for her job which requires her to spend most of her day driving from one home to another, from one appointment to another, as part of her work as a parent educator. All city driving. But, it was a beater car with dints and dings, and the kind of car that you didn’t care if somebody dented it some more. Which did happen. And it certainly was not the kind of care that somebody would break into. It was also reliable until it just wasn’t anymore. When our mechanic informed us that it was time for a new engine we knew it was time to put it down. What to do?
She asked me if we should go car shopping and I suggested that we try car pooling instead. So she inherited the Rav. On Tuesday and Thursday when I went in late I would ride my bike. Or I would have her drop me off sometimes and I would hike home. However, this last May I decided to try my hand at bike commuting, and with one week to go I only caught a ride with her for one and a half trips to work. One day both ways, and one day I walked home.
I had ridden my bike to work a time or two before, but could never gather the courage to be regular about it. It is pretty hard to roll out of bed in the morning, especially when it is cold, and ride 5 or 6 miles to work. I decided to post pictures from my ride the day before yesterday.
The pictures are looped but in order. The first picture in the series is my bike in the garage as I prepare to leave, then outside on the drive next to the Rav, and ends with a picture of my closet at work. Two things that make this whole project possible is that about two thirds of the ride is on the Katy Trail so I don’t have to deal with cars, and I have that closet at work. It is a small closet and kind of rough but it gives me a place to keep clothes to change into. I have about six pairs of paints, and as many shirts. Two pairs of shoes .
My normal ride is 33 minutes there and 33 minutes back. Just this week a main section of the trail was closed off for several months while four old bridges are replaced. So I have to make a detour. Most of it riding next to traffic. It makes it 6 instead of 5 miles and includes a pretty big hill.
In some future posts I want to review my evolving gear closet, and discuss what I have learned. I love using the bike. I hardly drive anymore which is fine with me. Driving has lost its allure with the demise of REAL super cars. Like the 40 Dodge Magnum, GTO, GTX, the Shelby Mustangs! It saves money, and it is free exercise. So now I don’t have to worry about finding time to exercise. I have to in order to get to work and then get back home. I miss running but this is a fun, and practical, replacement.
I would love to hear from anybody who commutes, and how they handle things. Gear, dealing with weather, and dealing with traffic. I will be sharing what I am learning.