Column: Preparing for a bicycle adventureI’ve spent a lot of time in recent years riding my bike. Maybe you know that already. I tend to mention it a lot in this space because, well, I don’t have a whole lot of interesting stuff going on.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
I’ve spent a lot of time in recent years riding my bike. Maybe you know that already. I tend to mention it a lot in this space because, well, I don’t have a whole lot of interesting stuff going on.
I’ve taken my bike on long rides and short rides, hilly rides and flat rides. I’ve gone on rides that ended with people being hauled away in an ambulance. I don’t recommend that. It turns into a big hassle.
Hills are kind of a pain too, now that I think about it.
Through all of the years and all of the rides, though, I’ve never tried to commute by bike.
There are reasons for that. My home is approximately 26 miles from my office. And while that’s not an overwhelming distance, at least in a geologic sense, there are parts of my job that make it a challenge. Meetings keep me at work late many Monday nights. Deadlines keep me late most Tuesdays. And then there are the interviews during the day. Bicycle is hardly the most efficient way to get to an interview subject’s house, and I don’t expect many of them would appreciate it if I showed up sweaty and dressed in spandex.
Some might, I suppose, but I don’t find that idea any more comforting.
Then there’s the shower issue. There is a wide variety of cleansing wipes made for bike commuters. They’re a little like oversize wet naps for your various body parts. They probably work very well, but I feel like most of my co-workers would not appreciate the idea of me wiping myself down in our office’s only bathroom.
I’m not crazy about the image myself.
Things are changing, though, and I think I’m finally ready to try the commute. At least on a limited basis.
I finally have access to a shower near work, for one thing. And while the beginning of the week is usually troublesome for long bike rides, things usually loosen up later on.
If things go well, by the time most of you read this I will already have biked to work and home from work at least once, though not on the same day.
That’s the plan for now. Ride home one night, ride back to work the next morning. Keep the car at the office so I can arrive at interviews sweat-free.
It’s still a bit of a tricky proposition. For one thing, perfect riding weather on a Wednesday night could turn into a torrential downpour on a Thursday morning, leaving me a choice between getting soaked on the road and faking a cough so I can stay home and dry. For another, schedules won’t always cooperate. My original plan was to bike home on Thursdays, back on Fridays. But Thursday night commitments this week and next have forced some adjustments.
Why write about all this here? For one thing, I figure the idea someone might actually read this and ask me about the commute will make me more likely to follow through. I’d hate to have to explain to someone I’ve just met how miserably I’ve failed in my goals. I imagine you’ve all built up a pretty heroic vision of me by now, and I don’t want to ruin that.
And, again, I don’t have a lot else going on.
I’m looking forward to this adventure, and I plan to continue writing about it at a new blog that will be set up any day now. If you’re really interested, you can find it featured on our web page.
I have high hopes for this experiment. I think it will be fun.
Unless I get hit by a car.