As I clock in on my 36th birthday, I finally have started doing something I’ve wanted to for a decade: ride my bicycle to work. It took another friend at work to start riding as inspiration, and it took planning a route that lets be on non car accessible paths for 50% of my ride, and reduces my interaction with busy roads to < 10% of my ride. The road bike I bought 12 years ago, and barely used until now, is now seeing it’s day in the sun.
I’ve now bike commuted twice to the office, and it’s glorious. It’s 9 miles each way, which is about 40 – 45 minutes in, and 50 – 60 minutes home. In comparison, my car commute is 20 – 25 minutes. The way home is always going to be slower, as I’ve got to gain elevation over it, and it’s a lot warmer at 6pm than at 8am. I’m only going to ride in good weather for now (not raining, high < 90), but even with that I’m hoping to make this a 3 day a week thing.
When you start biking something that you’ve always driven, something in your brain flips about the scale of the universe. What used to be teleporting via you car, a disconnected universe, is now a much more present, and connected journey. This ride is interesting and varied, cutting through Vassar’s campus and some of the quiet neighborhoods of Poughkeepsie. I ride past the houses of two friends, and the work place of another. I’m sure one of these days I’ll actually run into someone I know during the ride.
And lastly, I get this incredible clarity and decompression during the ride home. The ride, the exercise, just clears your head in an amazing way. I love it.
My only regret is that I started doing this so late in the year. Once we get late into September waning daylight is going to make the ride start touching sundown, at which point I’ll need to give it up for the winter. But I think I’ve started a new habit, and I’m absolutely loving it.