Commuting to Work On a Bicycle

I've been toying with the idea in my head for a while now. Normally, I'd just brush it off and ignore it. Other times I'd just think of reasons not to do it.

"It's too far."

"It's too dangerous."

"It's too hot right now."

"Some driver will road rage on me and I'd end up in a ditch."

Finally, this week, I decided to ditch the tutu and man up. First were the logistics.

Where would I leave the bike? That was easy. I just talked to the warehouse manager and he found a spot in the warehouse for me to leave the bike where it wouldn't get in their way.

How would I get there? Thanks to Google maps and my limited knowledge of the general area, I was able to devise a route that was fairly easy to remember and went through a few side streets. It was 13km in total. Yikes! I remember reading a book where the author detailed his daily 70km round trip commutes by bicycle. Wow, I really feel like a wuss.

What time would I need to leave home? According to Google, my route would take 45 minutes. I'm not an avid cyclist, so I tacked on 30 minutes on top of that to play it safe.

This morning at 7:15am, I set off for work. It was a fairly decent trip. I had to watch out for cars a few times, but generally, drivers do their best to avoid you. I did get lost 20 minutes into the journey on some of the side streets, but I managed to find my way. I guess the route wasn't as easy to remember as I thought. Halfway there, I took a break and partook in my water bottle. Glorious water. I drank that water like a sodaholic at a Harvey's*.

After that, I continued my trek. Nothing of note happened. I did see a police officer pull over a car (likely for speeding). Fortunately, they were on the other side of the road, so I didn't have to ride into the left lane.

By the time I got to work, it was an hour later.

The most surprising thing is that it didn't feel like an hour had gone by. Honestly, it felt like 45 minutes. I was expecting to feel dead tired, but almost 3 hours later, I'm still okay. I brought some extra food with me to work in case, but so far I haven't needed to eat it.

I also brought an extra change of clothes as I sweat quite a bit, especially carrying a backpack. Washrooms with paper towel to wipe off the obvious dirt and deodorant to keep the illusion of freshness helped in a big way. Obviously, it would be better if there was a shower here, but still better than nothing. While I do sweat, my sweat doesn't smell at all. Also, I sweat more on my body than on my head. Not sure if I would want to make the trip on a sticky day. Today was decently cool with no humidex.

Overall, I would do this again weather permitting. Maybe I'll make this a weekly trip. Not sure I will do this in the winter. I will feel safer if in a car with winter tires. Especially with all the hills and bumps I'll need to make on the road. However, the main thing is knowing that it can be done. Making this trip once a week will save me some gas money. It'll also be better for my health. Maybe when I get stronger, I might consider doing this trip two times a week.

We'll take it slow for now.

*Harvey's is a burger joint in Canada. Serves up real burgers and you can get real cheese (not processed). Even comes with all you can drink soda in some locations. I don't drink soda, though. I usually bring my own bottle of water.


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