One of the top reasons for moving back to Carson City was to be able to commute to work by bicycle. My previous commute was a 32 mile round trip, but usually became closer to 50 miles when I added other errands or lunch time rides. It was adventurous and fun, but certainly not practical to do everyday. I only did it three times during bike to work week, and gave up.
Today was the first bicycle commute from my temporary residence, a distance of 1.4 miles. Much more practical! At such a short distance, you really gain nothing from driving. By the time you wait at stop lights and find parking in your car, you’ve made up the difference on the bicycle. The only real complaint I had was that the ride wasn’t long enough. I was just starting to have fun! The commute from my permanent residence will be slightly longer at 2 miles (4 miles round trip). The additional riding time will be welcome. Overall though, today’s experience was very liberating!
I knew today would be a learning ride. Since I also ride for fun at lunch, I would need to bring riding clothes for warmer weather in addition to the work clothes that were in my pack. The weather forecast was incorrect, and it ended up being pretty cold at lunch. The warm weather clothes were useless, but luckily I wore cold weather gear for the commute in and was able to use it for the fun ride at lunch. I suppose there is a learning curve on which clothes to bring with you, and which ones to stash at the office. Other things came to mind too; for example, a bicycle lock. I forgot to bring one in case I needed to run an errand.
It was just starting to get dark when I rode home. I had a white blinker light on the front, and it worked really good. No cars pulled out in front of me, and they appeared to see me coming. My rear blinker light is still in the storage shed, and I won’t have it until this weekend. I felt a little invisible from the rear and took evasive maneuvers. As we get further into winter, I may adjust my work hours to coincide with the sun for better visibility.
I plan to make bicycle commuting a regular topic here. There is much learning to do, and many adventures to be had. I also plan to interview bicycle commuters from around the country, and share their experiences and advice with the challenges they face, whether it be traffic, bicycle storage at work, or riding in extreme conditions.