I have a serious desire to be the type of person who commutes by bike instead of wasting countless hours behind the wheel of my car. With 30 miles separating my work from my home, this isn’t a realistic option. However, when it came time to planning for this week (Thursday-Tuesday) in class including my reservation to stay with the P’s and carpool with my coworker, I jumped at the chance to ride my bike. Although class is 15 miles away, my coworker lives only 6 miles from my parents. Since I needed to get in some biking in anticipation for next weekend’s triathlon and time would be tight, riding to my friend’s house sounded perfect! I planned ahead packing up my bike and my bike gear, and last night, I set everything out so I”d be ready for this morning’s commute.
Over breakfast, I planned out my path with a few alternatives. Luckily, I know my way around town pretty well, so I had a few options to choose from.
I also explored the new Map My Ride Ap that I recently downloaded after watching hours of the Tour de France. This super cool application allows you to track your bike route via GPS. At the end of your ride, it will tell you your distance, speed, miles, and calories (although I’m not sure how accurate this is). I easily hooked up the ap to my Google account. I pushed the green play button before my ride, and by the end I had a map, pictures, and stats. I’m sure it does even more, and I can’t wait to figure it all out.
I was (surprisingly) able to fit all my clothes, face wash, and a snack into a pack on my back (although taking a picture of this proved to be more difficult than expected).
I prepped my bike, and hit the road. Since I didn’t know what to expect for the ride, I brought my hybrid so I wouldn’t have to clip in and out often at the stoplights and could handle the bumps along the way.
It was the perfect morning for a bike ride. Many degrees cooler than it’s been all summer with a comfortable breeze and cloudy sky. Just 1 mile into my ride, the sun was starting to emerge, so I stopped to put on my sunglasses and take a few pictures of the lake. With the dry weather and the leaves on the ground, it almost looked (and felt) like fall!
Who wouldn’t want this view on their morning commute??? It was a real treat! A few miles into my ride the BOY called, and I was able to chat with him briefly while I maneuvered my way the along the path with a few other riders. I rode the 6 plus miles to my friend’s in under 30 minutes and took a few extra minutes to enjoy a ride through their neighborhood before pulling into her driveway.
It was easy and quick to wash my face, change my clothes, and be ready for a ride to class. We had a long day of learning, but by the time class was over, the sun was shining and the weather was gorgeous. I was definitely looking forward to my Friday commute home (which is a far cry from how I usually feel on Friday workday afternoons). For my trip home, I took a different route. There wasn’t as much sidewalk as I had expected, so I wandered my way through some local neighborhood roads. I hit one dead end before finding a shortcut that I haven’t seen since my junior high cross country days. I was happy to have my hybrid instead of my road bike to handle the bumps, turns, and off road experiences.
At one of the bigger intersections, I stopped for some water and had to laugh to myself watching as the cars zipped by since usually that is me sprinting for home! From the side of the road, I had a strong appreciation for this leisurely ride back to my parents.
I took an extra lap around the lake enjoying the fresh air and the cool breeze.
The lake was filled with walkers, riders, rollerbladers, runners, sailors, and even some guys kayaking along the water. I tried to take a few photos on the go while holding on tight with my other hand.
It was an awesome ride home, and I loved every minute of it!
I forgot to reset my bike computer before making my way home and was pleased to see that I had gotten in a 15 mile ride today. It didn’t even feel like a workout, yet my heart was pumping and I was sweaty.
I definitely worked up an appetite for dinner by the time I made it back to my parents.
Look at my post-bike ride glow!!! This is the face of a happy commuter!
To complete my healthy, earth friendly day, dinner started with a salad topped with fresh cucumbers and tomatoes from my close friend’s garden. This fresh salad (complete with my CSA greens) was crisp and delicious!
It was the perfect pre-dinner salad, and I’m looking forward to taking my leftovers for lunch tomorrow. If you have to spend all weekend in class, it is important to have an awesome lunch! Sadly, there will not be any leftover salmon for tomorrow as my Mom and I devoured the entire piece.
After dinner, my mom and I took a stroll through the neighborhood, but first we stopped to check out my parent’s garden. My dad wanted me to scope out his zucchini plant, and my mom was impressed with her peppers.
It really is a great looking garden, and I just can’t wait to get my hands on some of those zucchinis! With all of the stress of work and school and life, it was such a treat to be able to unwind on my laid back commute home. Although I’m not sure when I will be able to take my bike to work/class again, I’m hoping to work something out soon! Or at least take the bike to some local stores in my neighborhood….anything to spend less time in my car.
Here is what I learned from today’s journey…
The negatives of commuting by bike:
-I didn’t get in a pre work wake up shower
-It takes a little bit of planning
-It is hard to carry anything big with you
The positives of commuting by bike:
-I loved the fresh air!
-Much better view
-I was able to get in 15 miles of riding
-I worked off this afternoon’s latte which was necessary to keep me awake through neurophys
The most important things about commuting by bike (except for the helmet, of course) is having a plan and being confident on the roads. I can’t wait to do it again!
Have you ever commuted by bike?
Do you have any biking aps that you use?
For more bike commuting fun, you have to check out these blogs…
EcoVelo is all about sheek bikers on the go.
BikeyFace is a hilarious cartoon version exploring the world of commuting by bike. Any time you are having a rough day, check out this blog for a good laugh, including this illustration of the biker’s wardrobe!