Sunday, April 20, 2008

Moving on to something more germane to today's environment: Bicycle Commuting. By the way, I'm retired and try my best to stay out of everyone's way during peak traffic times. But I have ridden my bike to work in the past, and I know folks who do that now. Riding to and from work is a very efficient method for putting miles in your legs. When training for my coast-to-coast ride, I had my wife drop me and the bike off at work, and then would ride home the long way. At the time, coats and ties were required work attire, and the logistics were more than I wanted to tackle. Earlier, when I only had a three mile commute, I could leave the coat at work, and wouldn't be too sweaty when I got there in the morning. I was also about halfway home before most had left the parking lot.
If I had to decide today, my first consideration would be: how much time do I sit in stop and go traffic? If I can do 20 miles in 20 minutes in a car vs an hour and 20 minutes on a bike, I believe I would find a better way to save gas/environment. If it starts approaching a wash in time, then the bike gets the nod. The logistics of a fresh body, clothes, etc also come into play. Getting caught at work without a vehicle could be bad. For instance, what is a single parent who gets a call from school to do? Sometimes, biking to work is not a good choice. On the other hand, try scheduling one day a week as a test.
So that I am not labeled a hypocrit, I am happy for everyone who can work bicycle commuting into their lives, but I see too many negatives to recommend it for the majority of cyclists. When I did it, it was short term and with a specific goal to be reached. Once achieved, I drove the car. But these are different times...carpe diem!

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