Friday, June 24, 2011

First Days Of Bike Commuting!

After commuting via bike,  driving is now a total let down! My inaugural commuting this week was an adventure and I am now hooked! On my first day I saw crop dusters and fields, farms and flattened rabbits, runners and cyclists, angry commuters stuck in traffic and so much more. I experience so much hmm, I want to say more but that's not right either, I experience different things cycling than when driving. While driving I hear music or talk radio, deal with slow drivers, fast drivers, obstacles, brake lights etc. Riding however, I hear the sound of shifting gears, the wind whistling past my ears, the sound of cars speeding past and the sound of train horns startling me. I hear things I'd never hear while ensconced in my truck,  the hum of overhead power lines, generators on the side of a cornfield powering...something? Still not sure what!
Amtrak. Their horns are a terrifying sound if you aren't paying attention.

My morning commute are calming and energizing, and I'm not enough of a wordsmith to convey the feeling. To use a drug addict term and runner vernacular, the 'high' from cycling is a more subdued strain of stoked. It's not the pounding in your chest, sweat flailing, 'chasing the puke' high that you get from running a 5k or longer distance road race. Speaking of sweat, I wasn't as sweaty as I thought I'd be! It's a very mellow workout, I mean, obviously there's exertion but it's not the same as running. I don't mean that in a diss to cyclists, it's just...running miles mean more to me than cycling miles. No way could I run 13-14 miles and sit down to work without needing to shower! Whereas yesterday I was able to clean up just fine at work and changed into my work clothes.
A farm on my way to work. Something about the sun's rays at this time of day make everything glow.
My evening commutes are a different animal, I'm able to sweat it up, BUT I'm also more weary. As an aside, the first day I rode to work, it was the first day of summer and that afternoon the temp rocketed up to 100 degrees, it made for an interesting ride home involving 3 water bottle refills a slower pace, and a post commute jump into the kiddie pool in my back yard. Yesterday's ride home was tough, not as hot, but it was really hard to get motivated and a few times I told myself  "Just take the bus" but am glad that I pushed on. It reminds me of marathon training long runs, that initial feeling of indecision "can I really do this?" eventually being replaced with "Yes! I totally did it!" Comment if you know how this feels, come on! You know you do! A crossover from running - I've been waving to everyone I come in contact with, said hello to some runners yesterday and if I see that someone is cycling towards me, I at least lift up a hand or give a nod. I'm finding that runners are more friendly but this is just a very unscientific observation. I've only commuted twice this week and run into less than a couple dozen riders.
This random haven for skateboarders is awesome.
I love the contrast of concrete and corn
If you are considering bicycle commuting, don't think about it - do it! I'm doing this for many reasons, to heal my knee, to run again, to get some mileage in, and of course to just expend calories, but at the end of the day, I just feel more alive. I hope no matter what you do, whether it's walking, riding or running, you feel the same. Thanks for reading! Now go take on the day!


  1. You make me want to ride a bike. And yep! I know *exactly* what you're talking about when it comes to long marathon training runs.

  2. Nice!! I just started commuting to school on my bike and I no longer have that tired haze that I usually do.

    Also, biking gives you a completely differnt connection to the world. Driving is so far away and running is so close. There's just enough detachment on a bike.

    What time to you leave for work?

  3. I've been commuting by bike for a while. Your mention of the Amtrak scaring reminds me of a friend who has a much longer commute than my but I got him to start taking the train with a folding bike and he rides the last few miles with me. He's on one of
    They're pretty legit bikes

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