Bike Commuting. Those Were The Days

 

One of the highlights of National Bike Month, was Bike to Work day.  Many communities, especially in cities, made this quite an event. There were pit stops that offered coffee and snacks to bike commuters.  Many also offered swag (stuff we all get, or souvenirs, wearables and gifts.)

The one thing I miss most about my working days, was the daily bike commute to the office.  Home was a little over thirty miles from work.  I can remember the stress of planning my first bike commute.  My research of finding a place to park was pretty extensive.  I settled on the local high school nine miles from the office, and set a date for the first commute.

I was apprehensive as I drove that first day to the high school lot. Like the times leading up to my bike tours, all I could think of was things going askew.  All the bad things that could happen.  Nine miles is nothing, I kept telling myself.  Finally, the first bike commute began.  I’m thinking back now that it took a couple dozen pedal strokes when I realized, “this is pretty cool.”   Over time, I settled on three different spots for my bi-modal commute.  Fifteen, ten and fives miles options that were dependent on the time of year and if I left home on time.

I have talked about those days a few times over the past two weeks on friends blogs. Yesterday I had the epiphany.  Back then, it was 10 miles in the morning, then 10 miles again in the late afternoon.  This morning I rode 10 miles, and as soon as I finish posting this to my site, I’m going to do the afternoon 10 miles.  Just like I did for many of those best times at work. Tomorrow I’ll do it again. The conclusion?  I’m back to daily bike commuting.

 

Red Hook Crit 2017. Brooklyn, NY

I have personal friends, blog friends and online friends who like to ride their bikes very fast.  That’s all relative.  At 11 MPH, I’m one of the faster bikers on my local MUP.  I have a few Strava and blog friends who like to ride and are the faster bikers in their “pond”.  Then there are others.  #3 son competes weekly in the Driveway series races in Austin, TX. When I visit, I ride with the racers from Mellow Johnny’s bike and coffee shop downtown, to the Driveway.  It’s about 8 miles. It’s a casual ride and we are all chatting it up at a low teen pace.

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Riding with the pros to the Criterium

I hang out at the event, usually taking video and stills to post online. After the races, many bike to a Bodega, AKA the “stoop”. Someone buys a case of beer, a few joints get lit and there is a mini party lasting about an hour. Bikers like beer.

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At the Stoop

Our group passes up that part, and ride to a place called Liberty.  It’s a bar that had been converted from a bungalow style house.  The doorman is stationed at the front gate checking ID’s and levels of inebriation.  The back yard of the bar has tables of varying styles.  In the alley behind the bar is a food truck.  Personally, alcohol of any type makes me sleepy, so the only time I have a drink or two, I’m in a comfortable chair, in the place I’m going to spend the night.  Those who do drink, seldom order a second.  For us, this is a place to eat some great Food Truck meals or tapas.

This all leads up to a documentary for all of youse who like to ride fast. Let this be your goal.  It’s 45 minutes.  You can watch on your TV if you have access to YouTube. Or get comfy and watch it here.