Do you have a favorite time of day or a direction to ride your bike? Not really, if I can I ride a bike all year round – especially to commute to work or do errands.
During the non-winter months around here it is simply too easy and enjoyable to commute by bike that there is very little reason not to. I understand some jobs require a large amount of tools and equipment but that is about the only reason I can see that might limit someone’s ability to bicycle commute in our town.
The summer months bring on that absolutely maddening traffic around here. Visitors and locals alike all in their shiny metal boxes, driving around distracted by the scenery,the phone, a taco on the go, a song they need to hear, and racing to beat each other to the next red light. Oh who is this person obviously from the big city right on my rear bumper, the closer you get the slower I drive! And now with the ridiculous 40 mile per hour speed limit through town there is always some jackass going 50 racing towards that car a hundred yards ahead that is doing25. And the funny thing is there are probably few people around who need to commute any more than 7 miles. By the time I drive my three miles to work I am pissed off and full of the wrong kind of adrenaline.
That all makes getting on your bike for a little commute much more attractive. But then we can add some route variations into the equation too. We are lucky to have all these fun shortcuts or “long cuts” around town. Dirt trails that actually make the commute fun and beautiful and in some cases exciting, (the right kind of adrenaline). I can do my entire commute on trails, it is so nice to start the work day with a single track commute that is what some people come here to do for their weekend or vacation. I like to call it “the best commute in the world.” Though I’m sure there are lots of folks around here that claim that.
We hear all kinds of excuses why people don’t get on their bikes to commute. “It takes too long.”Leave earlier and enjoy yourself. “I get sweaty.” That means it was great for your health, grab some moist towelets to keep at work and wipe it off. “I have to wear a suit.” Hang one up and change when you get there, suits are just silly anyway, no one should have to wear one of those for work!
What is your commuter? Your road bike, mountain bike, BMX or just a beach cruiser. I just saw Steve go flying past on his fixie, he is always having fun commuting! Lots of people set up a dedicated commuter bike that is a comfortable and efficient workhorse, some lights a bell and a comfy seat. Why not have some fun with it,I know you have seen Bob’s “Horny bucket bike” around town. He has about 25different horns and bells that he has collected over the years and a bucket strapped on the back to carry stuff, perfect! We have two different Karens that never drive, they just pedal their bikes for everything they need to do.
A good lock is mandatory. Don’t try to save money or weight on a lock, get something good. So much will depend on where your bike needs to park during the day, and there have been some mean people cutting locks and stealing bikes lately. We recommend people do a “destination lock”meaning you get the big heavy maximum security lock and it stays locked to the rack (your workplace does have a bike rack right?) or railing or something so it is there when you arrive and you don’t have to carry it daily.
If you need to carry items on your bike there are so many great baskets made of all kinds of fun materials and colors. Many of them come right off with the lift of a handle so you can just walk right inside with it. There are lots of very cool “grocery getter” bags and panniers that make carrying anything you need so easy that there just aren’t any excuses.
Of course, if you don’t really want to pedal but you want that two wheeled air in your hair feeling of freedom (that sounds so corny but we do love it) then an e bike is the answer, the perfect use of a motorized bicycle. Quick and easy, sweat free non petroleum way to commute. And yes, I do have an e bike myself that when feeling lazy but not drive to work lazy, I go electric. I call it my rat rod e bike. It’s a 50s era Goodyear Highway Patrol cruiser complete with the patina, uh rust, of over seventy years living in Christmas Valley at the Celio Ranch. I added battery, motor, new tires, retro life, still cruisin’ Tahoe!
Is there a better way to start your work day, oh and to finish it too? And I still say we need to reduce the speed limit on Highway 50 to 25mph and give the two slow lanes to human powered transport only!