Nothing starts me up like a morning commute. Today I rolled out the front door at 7:03 AM, the temp was 46°, it was twilight, calm winds. In my 25 minute ride to work, I had not one close brush, no horns, no creepers (cars creeping behind me), no one even yelled at me. Perfect ride in. I locked up my bike by the smokers, went in the revolving door with a wave of my security pass, hopped an elevator to the 3rd floor, and made my way through the maze of cubes to mine. I know it’s mine because it has my name on it. After a few minutes of cooling down, I slip into the mens room for a baby wipe bath. Other than the exceptionally well behaved traffic, it’s just another Thursday in this little river town. But I feel GREAT!
What is it about my little commute that quickens my step throughout the day? Why does a 25 minute bike ride kick start me better than a cappuccino? Endorphins? Could be. Sense of accomplishment? Could be. Feeling fit, capable, and in control? Maybe. Skipping the gas pumps? You bet! On top of all these benefits, I have a 30-45 minute ride home, depending on how meandering I choose to be. During that time, I wind down from the cubicle work, and get pumped for my “real life” – my time. I don’t just come home and hit the couch anymore either. In fact, I find that I rarely watch TV at all. I’m living life for myself now, instead of watching other people living for me on a TV. To cap off my day, when I do log off this computer and go to bed, I sleep better than ever. Sure, every ride is not perfect – but the good always outweighs the bad.
On a side note – I rode by my mothers house on my way home today. My mom just moved here from Germany about 4 years ago, and she still has that ‘old country’ spirit about her – I love it. She ALWAYS want’s to feed me. I’m a vegetarian and she hates it. She kept insisting I carry a 4 pound frozen hen home with me on my bike. It was all I could do to convince her it would be dangerous for me to hook the grocery bag to my handlebar and ride home with my front tire scrubbing the chicken back. Thank GOODNESS I took the rack off the back of my bike last week. Anyway, after leaving her house from this surprise visit, I actually passed Bruce who was commuting from work to home on his Surly Steamroller. He’s the man who finally inspired me to commute. We stopped and chatted for a bit as we crossed paths. Now there’s something you can’t do in a car – at least not conveniently. In a year of commuting, I’ve never passed a fellow commuter. As if the day wasn’t good enough, let me just say, the temperature warmed up to 74° for this afternoon’s ride home, the sun was shining bright, I hit every intersection as the lights were green, and the wind was at my back.