Friday, December 4, 2009


Not "let me grab a sweater" cold. We're talking -22 windchill, snot frozen to your face, roads like ice skating rinks, everyone looks at you like you're nuts for riding a bike in this kind of weather cold. In that spirit i'm re-posting something I wrote this past spring about getting back to bike commuting and how easy it is on days like today to fall out of the habit. Enjoy!

Falling back in love with bicycling

Bicycling is my life, no joke. Bicycling is my job, my hobby, my social group, and at times my best friend. Unfortunately as with all relationships, we've been through our rough times. Last winter was one of those times. Denver got a ton of snow, I kept getting sick, and I had a nasty snowboard injury that made most everything painful. I started taking the bus to work. ME, Maggie, "the bike lady" was taking the bus to work. Ugh.

The bus was not horrible. There are a few benefits, it's warm, you can read, there's some fantastic people watching. On the flip side it took forever, sometimes seats were at a premium, and who has $2 in exact change on them at any given time?? Certainly not me.

Something had to give. My co-workers were worried about me. First it was light teasing "what happened to your bike Maggie? did you forget how to ride or something?". Once the coughing stopped, and the snow eased up, and the sun started to come out they changed their tone. "Maggie, are you ok? You seem a little off your game". I was off my game. The exercise, fresh air, freedom, and fun that I had always gotten from riding to work had slipped away. I wasn't my usual bubbly self.

Strangely enough the Internal Revenue Service plays a large role in the next part of this story. My tax refund arrived in the mail. Cash was burning a hole in my pocket. Trip to Mexico? New gutters for the house? Then it struck me. If I had this much money in my pocket any other time in my adult life, only one thing would have come to mind. A new bike...

You know those first few days after you meet a promising person who you are really into and they seem to be really into you? That's what it was like. I rode everywhere on the new bike. Showed it off at the office and the local coffee shop like a proud new parent. "Did you see the 8 speed internal hub?" "how cool is this double kick stand!" "you know you can fit a whole case of beer in this basket!". It was official. I had fallen back in love with bicycling.

Looking back at the months since then I realize that folks who are riding the bus, driving their cars, or taking the train are missing out on something big. It's bigger than loosing a few pounds or saving a few bucks. It's the smile on your face, the urge to sing along with your music, and the freedom that gets me on the bike every morning. I wouldn't trade it for all the riches in the world..

No comments:

Post a Comment