Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bicycle commuting

I have enjoyed riding a bicycle since a young child. I recall riding my bike to school in 6th grade, riding to Little League baseball practice, riding it on my paper route, riding to class at BYU, riding in my last mission city, riding it for a BYU bicycling PE class, and commuting to work at my first job in China Lake. I always enjoyed the exercise, the thrill of going fast under my own power, and the economy of that mode of travel. On my mission I liked it because we could go anywhere, anytime, without dependency on the bus schedule.

After moving to Oregon I started commuting by bicycle off and on again, and my employer (Sequent) was only 2.5 miles distant. After starting at Intel, I went back to the car for a while, since it was 8 miles, but then decided I might as well use the commute time for exercise (and economy), as I was ramping down my running regimen due to too many aches and pains.

I set a goal to ride at least twice per week, year round. In fact, I circle all the dates I bike commute on my calendar at work (sorry for the garish color):

I've been averaging decidedly better than twice per week. Sometimes I will go several weeks on end without driving my car to work. Winter is more challenging, of course, with the colder, wetter weather, and the dark ride home. But if you have the clothing and the lighting, and the mental fortitude, it works out fine. This will be my 7th winter of commuting to Intel.

If it is particularly stormy, with wind or ice/snow, then I avoid cycling, due to the safety factor. Riding in the wet is not much fun, makes the bike messy, and increases wear and tear, so sometimes I opt out. I've blogged previously about riding with the temperature in the teens. And about the inconvenience of getting a flat tire.

But in the end I feel very good about myself for cycle commuting, and enjoy the physical and mental benefits.

1 comment:

  1. I love bike commuting too. Last year, I got myself a folding bike, which has actually made winter really nice. If it looks nice in the morning, I ride in, but if it turns ugly during the day, I can take my bike home on the bus or train no problem. I don't have to ride in icy weather, and I don't have to leave my bike at work.