Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Commuting to Work by Bike - 25 Miles Each Way

First of all, I’m not a huge bike commuter, but for the last 3 years my goal has been to try to bike to work at least 5 times. Not a huge goal, but seems like the stars all have to be in perfect alignment in order for this to happen. With a little planning it is getting easier so I thought I would share how it works for me:

• Number one, I usually wait until the weather gets warm enough for the morning commute AND I have enough daylight.
• To contradict number one, it occured to me this year that there are ways around this. If it is too cold in the morning or too dark, I do have the option of riding the bike home from work. I drive to work in the morning with my bike on the bike rack and ride home. The next morning I catch a ride to work with someone. This is possible since it seems half the population of Wakonda works at USD. This year we had a snap of warm weather in March so I used that chance to ride my new Bike Friday home. I usually don’t get any commuting miles in that early!
• If I wait until there is a day when the weather forecast is perfect, the bike commute will never happen. My philosophy now is if the weather looks good in the morning, go for it. Those forecast of scattered thunderstorms are so hit and miss that I’ll take the chance and ride anyway. If it is looking stormy about the time I leave work or if the wind is gusting over 20 mph and I don’t want to deal with it, again, I call someone who works at USD and lives in Wakonda for a ride home.
• Have an extra gym bag at work with work clothes, hairdryer, make-up, etc. I am very fortunate to have a locker room in our new building with showers. But before that I would have baby wipes in my bag and they were okay for cleaning up after a morning commute. Unless I have something special going on, I skip the make-up and blow drying my hair when I get to work.
• The time goes much faster on the 1 1/2 hour commute if I have some music. I have the iHome bike speaker for my iPod that goes into a water bottle cage that I love. Or sometimes I like to listen to the news on my way to work, I have a cheap mp3 player with a radio band, I just put in one ear bud and listen to that.

My personal reasons for bike commuting:
• Besides the typical reasons of doing something good for the planet, etc., one of the main reasons I bike commute is because it is a great way to get in some decent miles of riding in on a weekday while being able to hangout with my husband in the evening.

Okay, now I’m wondering why I don’t commute more often by bike!

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