Friday, August 5, 2011

The Little Bike Commute that Could

My mode of transportation to and from work is less about my desire to bike commute and more about what else I may have going on that day.  Some days I can bike to work and stay at work all day then simply bike home.  Other days require that I pick-up kids, carry heavy stuff or attend meetings that would be very difficult to get to by bike.

On days that I know I will be driving, I typically get a road ride in before I need to go to work.  This means making sure that I ride early so I am back and showered in time to take it downtown.  The other day, I was planning on doing just that until some email responses and other tasks extended beyond the time I had estimated and my morning ride became impossible if I was to make it to work on time.  Dang, I really needed a ride that day.

Fortunately, it occurred to me that I still had enough time to grab my stuff and bike to work and still get my needed riding in for the day.  Normally, I bike commute when I have ample time - not when I don't have enough time.  In this case biking the 11+ miles on my bike was going to save me time - wow, what a concept.

Next choice was which bike and route to take.  Should I bomb in on the road bike or thrash in on the mountain bike and enjoy the High Drive Bluff trails on the way?  I am not sure why, but the mountain bike seemed to make the most sense that day.  The ride was a nice combination of both road and dirt trail though a little warm due to the weather.

One thing I noticed though was that my off-road riding was not as confident and fluid as I remembered it being last time I was on the bluff.  The grass and foliage on either side of the trail was much taller and more dense than I remembered and interfered with my sight lines and the lack of moisture made the surface a touch sketchier than this spring.  All of which conspired to make me ride a little slower.  Would I make it on time?

I probably lost a little time on the bluff, but the last mile on the road was heaven as I went flying down from 14th to 1st and made every green light along the way. Yes, I made it in less than an hour and felt exhilarated upon arriving.  This experience has made me rethink the whole time issue with respect to bike commuting and look for more opportunities to combine my need to ride and the need to be at work.

The ride home was a little more relaxed and a great chance to enjoy being outside on a bike on a warm summer evening.

See you on the road (or trails).

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