Commuter Story: Better now than never

Ed – This commuter story from Rehan of Indianapolis, IN. Send yours to

I’ve been into biking for quite a few years now, but only recently did I decide that yes, I should go to work via bike. I’m actually annoyed that I didn’t do it earlier.

I work in downtown Indy and live north in Carmel. Fortunately, the Monon Trail (rails to trails) runs north-south. I go about 2 miles to the trail through an empty-at-six-a.m. corporate park and then it’s tree-covered bliss without too much hassle all the way into town. The almost 16-mile trip takes about an hour, and I simply change clothes at work. My bike gets stashed in the empty cube next to mine, and on the ride home I can hammer all I want since I know I’m in for a shower. These days I’m working in town (two days) and over a hundred miles away (three days.) Once the longer assignment is over (this week!) I’ll try to ride the bike five days a week.

I had a feeling before that the reason I didn’t cycle so much was because of our new baby (he’s almost nine months now). I hate spending time away from him, so I did some math on what this commute really means.

5:30 a.m. Wake up, sort out bike, wash up, get a little something to eat. No shower. (Clothes and gear have been laid out the night before. This is a huge help.)
6 a.m. Leave
7 a.m. Arrive at office
7:15 a.m. Cleaned up from ride, some snack, working.
+9 hours
4:15 p.m. leave
5:15 p.m. Arrive at home, shower, eat
5:45 p.m. Ready for evening

Car (assuming same wake time)
5:30 a.m. Wake up, shower, eat
6:15 a.m. Leave (the half-hour drive to the office does not assume adherence to speed limits)
6:45 a.m. Arrive at office
+9 hours
3:45 p.m . leave
4:15 p.m. Arrive at home, change, leave for two-hour “bicycle-equivalent” workout at gym. (This is definitely the worst part … go home, say hi to the kid, then be like, ok, well, I’ll be back in two more hours.)
4:25 p.m. Start workout at gym
6:25 p.m. End of two-hour workout
6:35 p.m. Leave gym, go home to shower (again) and change, eat.
7 p.m. Ready for evening

Notice there are two showers with the car. Even if you took out the first one to make things completely equal, I’d still be ready for the evening (car-wise) at about 6:45 p.m. So although the actual traveling time via bicycle is an extra half hour each way, the workout portion is benefiting me.

Come November, we’ll be moving. Then we’ll be 25 miles away. I figure that it should be just as easy to do that five days a week considering all the 32 mile days I’ll have already done!

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0 thoughts on “Commuter Story: Better now than never”

  1. Eric J Smith says:

    Great commute story. Pretty much mirrors my schedule, except riding is my only workout (for now). I have two boys 6 and 7. Let me tell you, they were infants yesterday! You can’t “make up” time with them. It’s all about balance. In one sense, you need your workouts as an investment for the future – so you’ll be around for their graduations, weddings, grandkids, etc… On the other hand I never regret choosing to cut other things short to come home and go to the pool with them, or do a bike “ride” with them, or even just watch a movie or something with them. It sounds to me like that’s where your heart is – and I get no end of encouragement when I hear about dedicated fathers. It’s something that’s even more sorely lacking in the world that bike commuters…

  2. Galvin says:

    I also used to commute on the Monon Trail in Indy. My commute was a bit shorter, from Broadripple to Downtown. Due to the distance that I had to walk from the parking garage, the bike commute was the same as driving. I did that commute for about 3 years until moving to northwest indiana last summer. I ride a bike trail for 3/4 of my commute now, but it is not nearly as nice as the Monon north of Broadripple!

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