Risks and Rewards

Over the past few months I have been considering the possibility of commuting to work via bike.  Here is the lay of the land:

  • I live only 7 miles from work (a relatively flat 7 miles)
  • There are no showers at work, especially during hot summer days, I would need to use baby wipes or something.
  • I would need to arrange how to get my clothes relatively wrinkle free to and from work, or invest in more casual but durable work attire.
  • Work has a “bike room”! Storage isn’t an issue.
  • The route of the commute (for the most part) is one of the most dangerous cycling/pedestrian areas. Often nicknamed “The Boulevard of Death”. Of course I could find a route around that, albeit won’t be as direct.
  • The route isn’t “great scenic roads” but rather city streets riddled with traffic lights and busses. Perhaps not the best for my road bike. Do I invest in another bike? A commute bike that has heartier tires, frame, etc? Maybe even a single speed. (There is something enticing about this idea)

The rewards would be that I would save $11.00 a day in bus fare, and my commute would be close to 30 minutes each way (which is not the case going home, with traffic, during the summer, etc).  I would be getting about an hour of riding each day.

Rain. If it is raining, do I ride to work? Show up looking like a drowned rat? If I wear rain gear (jacket, pants, etc) and stay drier, is it worth it?

There is a risk of something going wrong. Getting hit by a car or bus, getting a flat tire, etc. These are new risks, as today I don’t incur them while riding on the bus.

This topic is intriguing, and will require some more consideration, but I think it will be clear soon that riding in to work will be a standard mode of commute for me. (I am partially inspired by reading an ‘reader’s comments’ in the current issue of Bicycling where someone wrote that they haven’t driven their car in 2 years.)  While that isn’t my goal, it is admirable.


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