Before I head off on my 5,000 mile bike ride this summer, I feel it wise to get in a good amount of physical training. And a chance to integrate it into my daily life is my daily commute to the school where I work part-time as an ELL teacher’s aide. It pains me anyway whenever I’m burning gasoline when I could be burning my own calories instead. So now, at least once a week and three times if I can manage it, I commute by bicycle to work.
The route I’ve established is about 18 miles round trip with the return trip a little longer because I take a hike-n-bike trail. Earlier this year, when the sun had yet to rise by the time I left for work, I was decked out for full visibility. See the image below. As angelic as I am, that is not my halo but my headlight… in the truest since of the word. Now that the sun rises before 6:30 AM, I have stopped wearing the headlight but still use the tail light and reflective vest. I have certainly come across some automobile drivers who are not respectful of my right to the road (these are usually the same ones that don’t respect anyone else’s right to the road). But I would say the majority are careful when they encounter me on my smaller, simpler machine.
Thus, bike commuting is great conditioning, much more fuel efficient, fun, and – with proper preparation and alertness – safe. Why wouldn’t I do it? When there’s no ice or snow on the ground, there’s no better way to get around.
Special thanks to Todd for being the assistant and light stand for this self-portrait.