Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thoughts on Biking to Work

I rode my bike to work on Friday in honor of National Bike to Work day. I had done a test ride on Sunday and mapped out my 5 mile course. I found that traffic was way different on Friday than it was on Sunday, but I made it to work just fine. Everyone asked how sweaty I got. It was kind of cloudy and windy, but I did manage to work up a decent enough sweat to change my shirt when I got to work. (I am pretty active, so riding my bike wasn't too physically taxing, I attribute the sweat mostly to the weather.) Also I should add that I don't wear make up or fuss with my hair, so I didn't care much about that. I did get a nice helmet head though and my face felt like it was coated in dust.

It took me about 45 minutes to get to work, rather than my usual 15-20. However, I did get to see some birds up close, smell a giant hydrangea bush, make eye contact with and smile at several drivers and pedestrians. My favorite was a man near LeBonheur who put his thumb out like he was going to hitch a ride from me.

Once at work, it was cool not having to worry about parking. The guard told me to bring my bike up to my office since we don't have any bike racks. I definitely raised a lot of awareness of Bike to Work day by hauling mine up the elevator, through the halls, and having it parked next to my desk!

I really liked having it when it was time to go to the expo at Court Square. I just zipped right over. And when it was over, I zipped right back.

When it was time to go home, I had to give myself a little pep talk. I was tired and not looking forward to the "long" ride home in Friday afternoon traffic. I decided to take a new route--actually one of two official bike routes from Downtown to Midtown that I learned of at the expo--North Parkway to Bellevue to Overton Park.

North Parkway, despite being nice and wide, is very trafficky. So much so that I opted to ride on the sidewalk rather than the street. (I also learned at the expo that the ordinances were recently changed to allow bikes on sidewalks as long as they yield to pedestrians.) The sidewalks on North Parkway are actually pretty nice until you pass Danny Thomas. Then it got crazy bumpy and I feared my little lunch sack would fly out of my basket.

Once I cut over to Bellevue and then Overton Park, everything was smooth sailing. I think the best part of my ride home was the big whiff of Cozy Corner that I got midway.

Now, the big question. Would I do it again? I think so. Maybe not everyday, but I'd like to try once a week. Probably not on Friday though.

For those of you who don't have bikes, you can rent them at Mud Island. It's a fun place to ride and it will give you an idea of what it would be like to have your own bike. My bike is a beach cruiser which means it has a big seat and peddle brakes like a kid's bike. It's fun and easy to ride, but I think the lack of gears may make me a little slower than someone on a moutain or street bike.

Based on this calculator everyday that I ride my bike I save $4.44. That's $22.20 per week and $88.80 a month!

1 comment:

Kristopher said...

When is skateboard to work day?

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