Monday, June 27, 2011

A Beginner's Bike Diary

I've just started biking to work. It's 4.5 miles, from near Boston University to the Arnold Arboretum in JP. I'm slow and unfit, and I got my bike in 2007, second hand from a Wellesley student, at a grand cost of $40. But riding to work is incredibly fun. I wanted to try it because I thought "why not?!", but having actually started, I'm amazed by how it restructures my day. The two segments of "dead" commuting time have new life on the days that I bike.

What makes it fun?

1. I wear wool, so I don't really have to worry about smelling.

2. I ride slowly. I'm stronger than I expected (that comes from saving Noah as he leaps off various things), but I haven't exercised properly in a long, long time.

3. I ride to work very early in the morning (5am) before any traffic. My commute home is harder, because it's hot and there are school buses everywhere.

4. I feel super cool and hippy-like for riding (let's not talk about the greenhouse gases from all the flights I've taken).

All good things.

As an aside, weaning my hair off shampoo has actually been key in being able to ride to work and not look greasy and smelly all day. My hair is generally not as oily, so I'm able to just put it up when I get to work, whereas before a little sweat and my hair would look like I hadn't bathed in weeks. I use a small amount of baking soda as deodorant when I get to work.

1. Do you wear a helmet?
Of course.

2. Do you bike on bike paths/lanes?
Where possible. I have new anger issues related to cars double parked in the bike lane, but they're minor. I'm trying out different routes to work to see which route has the fewest hills.

3. Do you obey traffic rules?
Is it 5am or 2:30pm?
The temptation to go through the red light is too great.
I want to live. I also don't want cars to be angry at cyclists.

P.S. I've put up a Facebook page link on the right.  If you click 'like', I won't e-mail you or anything creepy, I'll just be putting up links to pages. I'm really interested in how one creates an online learning community, and I wanted to connect more with you, as I'm starting to think more about what is useful for you to read.  Thank you!


Linda said...

Hi Jo,

Sounds really relaxing! I'd love to ride to work - especially since it counts as exercise so saves time elsewhere as well.

Unfortunately riding in Durbs is a bit scary, there's been quite a few cyclists hit on the roads, even in non-rush hour periods.

Oh, and we don't have many bike roads.. probably explains the accidents. I think NMR now has a bike lane, but taxis probably use it as their own personal lane, so meh....

Concrete Gardener said...

Yeah- I was never brave enough to ride in durbs- I wonder what it would take to make it possible?

Yes, on saving time elsewhere. Although I'm out of practice on actually exercising...

It's really cool to hear from you :) I hope to see you soon!