Last week, it was Bike to Work Day in my hometown of Petaluma, and both of my parents rode their bikes to work. That got me thinkin’, I wanna try it! Here’s a great shot of my dad after his 6.5 mile bike ride.
Though there’s some debate about if LA County’s Bike to Work Day is today or tomorrow, I rode my bike to work today! I live just under 4 miles from work, and on the way there, it took me about 38 minutes. I was going slow and rode on sidewalks and used the lights to cross major intersections. The San Fernando Valley is not especially biker-friendly… I think I rode into branches, spider webs and various sidewalk clutter several times. There’s a lot of major streets that don’t have sidewalks either, which put me dangerously close to the caffeinated soccer moms schlepping their wonder children in gigantic SUVs.
What I loved about my bike ride was that I felt so much more awake by the time I got to work. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and when I hit a smooth, straight patch where I just cruised, it was like being 9-years-old again and pedaling around town for fun. What I didn’t love is that I didn’t have the foresight to bring a change of clothes – and I spent the rest of the day feeling like a stinky, sweaty chick.
The ride to work was about 40 minutes, and the ride home was about 30 minutes, probably because I took a different route with less lights. I also really took my time – I wasn’t interested in impressing anybody. I feel really proud that I made it both ways! In fact, for the ride home I was thinking of getting a ride with my friend because it was 84 degrees and I felt lazy – but my bike didn’t fit in his car, so it was a sign that I needed to not be a lazy bum and pedal to the metal all the way home.
While I don’t know if I’ll become a regular bike commuter just because my bed is far too appealing in the morning, this definitely gives me some insight into what morning exercise might do for my energy level. All day I felt so alert and alive – pretty impressive for someone who’s usually yawning at 3 pm. I’m proud of myself because eight miles feels like an epic journey – which is why it’s staggering to me that so many of my friends (I’m looking at you, Amy, Jason, Shelley, Matt…) regularly run huge, long distance marathons for PLEASURE. Who knows – maybe I’ll become a convert!
Have you ever rode your bike to work or some place else “far” away? What’d ya think?