Commuting with The Bike

Here's me & the bike I had when I studied abroad in Germany (in 2007) when it was last appropriate to say "I commute with the bike." This was actually the first time I had a bike for practical reasons, and it's also when I learned how to ride in a city without getting hit! Ah, that bike was so great.

That’s how I say it. When I travel to work on my bike. That I commute with The Bike. Sometimes, I steal german word order in my English talking. I cannot help it, and I have no intention to try to.

I am lucky enough to work a bikable (10 mi) distance from my home, so, every once in a while, when I wake up and any of the following are true, I bike to work:

  1. I don’t want to shower immediately
  2.  I have to watch TV at night, and won’t have time to go to the gym after work & cook dinner before Prime Time (this is only relevant during So You Think You Can Dance)
  3. I have errands to run for work in the town where work is, and these errands are bikable
  4. It is a beautiful day and I don’t “have” to run for exercise that day
  5. For some reason or other, I can’t be at the mercy of the train (I’m usually a car-less train commuter)
  6. I don’t have professional well-ironed-outfit requirements for the day
  7. I don’t want to shower immediately

Of course, please add, “and the weather is cooperating” to each of those items. Because communing with the bike in rain is certainly possible, and while it’s fun, too, I don’t ever tend to do it (on purpose). Because it’s messy.

As you have likely guessed, biking to work requires a bit more organization than the normal commute. If only workout clothes were business casual, my life would be a lot more streamlined. 

In the backpack to work, I’m bringing clothes for the day (including a necklace & sandals — such a shame I hadn’t left appropriate shoes in my shoe drawer at work), the watch so I don’t lose my mind, lunch, the Kindle (I’m a dork and I need my books), the wallet, cell phone, iPod, CamelBack reservoir, and, of course, my helmet. But don’t worry — the helmet was on my head. Not in my bag. That would be dumb.

Looks like a lot of stuff, but the backpack was quite smooshdownable.

Sometimes, when I’m really organized, I plan that I will bike to work an entire day in advance, and just bring the clothes & the lunch to the office the day before. Then I can commute with just the CamelBack backpack and not the giant one I’ve had since 7th grade.

Also, I know it’s tempting, but please don’t forget keys. Bike lock & apartment, please!

Always pump your tires up to their recommended PSI before biking. It always blows my mind (pathetic pun acknowledged, not intended) that after only an hour of riding and a day of sitting on my back stairs, the tires can go from 100psi to 80. Science, man.

Then, assuming you’ve taken the initiative to change out of your pajamas and breakfast & coffee yourself, it’s time to go!

Crazy faced picture, but whatever– I’m excited for the commute! Waking up & biking first thing is just so great. And look at all of that sunshine!

On the bike, traffic jams and stupid drivers are a million times more bearable than when you’re in a car. ‘Cause you can zigzag (safely, don’t you worry) around that biznass. 

Also morning is just better on a bike.

Okay, Bike. One of us has to earn the living. You hang out here while I slave away.

It is convenient if there is a shower at work to use. There is for me. But. I won’t lie — I don’t always use it after a morning bike commute. Depends on my level of sweatiness upon arrival and Professional Fanciness Requirements for the day. My desk drawer contains the necessary items for freshness, anyway.

Wow, clearly I currently have a wide array of gum options.

The back of one’s office door can easily double as a sweaty bike clothes drying line. Please don’t leave these items in a pile on your office floor.

When you leave to bike home, don’t take so much stuff! There’s no reason you can’t leave the work clothes at work for tomorrow. Plus, if your backpack is somewhat empty, you can stop at Trader Joe’s and stock up on essential items, like hummus, veggies, and wine.  

These are the reasons why biking to work is so great:

  1. You arrive at work feeling GREAT, endorphiny, and ready to attack the day.
  2. Exercise is fit into the day VERY easily.
  3. If you know your bike is waiting for you outside, not much can get you down.
  4. Your colleagues think you’re trying to inspire a new trend as you arrive at the office in your helmet. If they try to follow suit the next day, it’s hilarious. (this has never happened in my office, but a girl can dream).
  5. It’s just fun. Fun Fun Fun.
  6. There’s just something nice about self-propelling yourself for practical reasons.
  7. (The first list had 7 items, so this one needs to, too.)

Bikes are just so great.


6 Comments to “Commuting with The Bike”

  1. Wine at work? I want your job!!!! Great post, but you couldn’t pay me to bike through Atlanta. We’re CRAZY drivers down here. Great post as always. I love how you took the picture at the red light. Very safe indeed. Enjoy your ride home!!!!

    • No, no, Susan, the wine is AFTER work. I stopped at Trader Joe’s on my way home. Wine at work? Not on a Monday!

      Boston’s got some crazy drivers, too! I accept your “bet you can’t bike in Atlanta” challenge 🙂

  2. Awesome! I’m luck to live 2 miles from my office, but sometimes I wish my bike commute were a *little* longer. Well, when some construction is finished, I can turn it back into more of a five mile commute.

  3. P.S. INSANELY jealous that you can stop at a Trader Joe’s (on your bike!) on your way home from work!

  4. P.P.S. Ich auch fahre gern mit dem Rad! Letzte Woche (during cycling club ride, which I cannot think of how to say in German) habe ich Deutsch mit einer Deutscherin gesprochen. Viel SpaB!!!!

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