A Lovely Bike Commute?

My bike commutes this week have been lovely, full of sunshine and flowers and blue skies.  That’s what I was thinking, anyway…

Then I read Sam’s “Bike to Work Week” post, which is hilarious (as always), but sadly too true.  You gotta read the post yourself, but basically it has me wondering how lovely my bike commutes really are – objectively.

I have so much experience riding in the city now, the stress mostly rolls off my back: speeding SUVs buzzing me, car doors flung open in my path, cabs idling in the bike lane.  All of that craziness is a dim hum in the background for me, but a new bike commuter would be totally freaked out – and with good reason.

But there’s a lot to be said for sticking with bicycling long enough to get over those initial freak-outs.  Because, as Sam discusses, once you move beyond all that, bicycling “will be the most blissful state of existence you will ever know.”  That’s where I’m coming from when I rhapsodize about my lovely bike commutes every day.  Totally subjective.  :)

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13 thoughts on “A Lovely Bike Commute?

  1. MamaV says:

    lucky duck- it’s been pouring here… all darn week. I was still game to bike to tennis if only tennis hadn’t gotten cancelled… For the afternoon I stayed indoors much to the kids annoyance. I was not up for walking to the library in the rain at all.

  2. Carolyn I. says:

    It’s been nice riding here. I finally took a ride out into the country this past weekend. I really enjoyed the birds singing away and the lack of automobile sounds. Today I noticed that the blossoms are finally coming out! I love spring…

    • David says:

      I’m glad it’s nice for you, it wasn’t bad here either. I was in Chicago all weekend, worst weather ever for mid-May, wasn’t it?
      But yeah, great post, and thanks for sharing the link to the very funny/true post! I can remember thinking my route was crazy. Now I don’t even think about it. I just enjoy the blissfulness of bicycling.

  3. SurlyGirl says:

    Lucky you! This is my first week of commuting and it has rained everyday. Not just a drizzle but a downpour.

  4. Maureen says:

    It is raining in NY for the past few days, and will continue to do so the rest of the week. No riding here for me. I’m off to read the recommended post. Cheers to tailwinds and a sunbeam to warm you!

  5. Amy says:

    It’s true, you do just get over all of it! It’s been rainy here all week so far. Got a good soaking on the way home Monday night. :)

  6. Stephen says:

    I read Sam’s post. I understand all too well that many bicycle commuters and wannabes don’t have good choices for all kinds of reasons, but there’s a lot of this that is attitudinal, experiential, and educational.

    My first couple of months of bicycle touring in our mid-sized southern city had plenty of white knuckle moments, and that was for a route that many commuting bicyclists would enjoy. Years later, I recognize that a lot of that was my timidity and inexperience.Now that I’m more schooled in how to ride in traffic safely, I’m more relaxed and safe. I also know to avoid main routes if possible, and I don’t wear Fredly or weekend warrior bike clothing. I try to be just a normal person riding to work, and I think most drivers respect that. Sure, there are always a few drivers who act like idiots, but beside the fact that they’d be like that whether I was there or not, I just chalk it up to jealousy.

  7. cycler says:

    Sunshine? Blue Skies? I’ve almost forgotten what those are.
    It’s been an icky spring so far in the Northeast- cold for a long time and now rainy.
    I’m afraid that bike to work week has been a bust- although I think there are more bikes on the road in the rain than there would be normally.
    It’s just hard to convince people to get out (even with free breakfast) when it’s rainy and they’re not in the routine of just hopping on the bike.

  8. That’s so true! I consider normal now what in the beginning seemed shocking. I think that’s why blogs from beginner cyclists are so relatable to other beginners.

    On a separate note – I notice in the picture that your indicator chain cover has partly fallen off and is now hanging off of your chaincase. You might want to either re-atatch it or remove it entirely; it could get stuck and interfere with your pedaling.

  9. Lyanda says:

    Sam’s post is hilarious. I’ve noticed something interesting cycling around chilly (and of course hilly) Seattle this spring. Bicycle controversy abounds as our mayor (nicknamed McSchwinn rather than the actual McGinn) continues to promote bicycle infrastructure, so while Seattle is generally bike-friendly, you never know what attitudes you will run into. A few weeks ago my family and I went cycling through the famous tulip fields in a nearby town, and decorated our bikes with silk tulips for the occasion. The coral and yellow tulips looked so pretty with my sage green mixte that I left a spray of them wired to the back of my saddle after we got back. I cannot believe the difference this little gesture has made as I ride around town–people smile, wave, point and smile, wave some more, even wave from their cars! Maybe this is a version of the Mary Poppins effect. In any case, it seems that a small gesture in the direction of joy and good cheer can really have an unexpectedly powerful effect.

  10. Stephen says:

    Sounds positively European.

    I think people are hungry for such small gestures. As a working planner, our cities are really beastly in how they treat people vs. cars. You often don’t fully realize that until you slow down and look at the automobile-related trash, the pounded earth, the brutality and senseless of the road-dominated environment, the broken sidewalks, the immense wealth tied up into two- and three-ton private vehicles that cost a full year’s salary for most people.

    I’m not that schooled in French social revolutions, but the image of a bicycle embellished with tulips sounds deliciously subversive. Prenez vos désirs pour la réalité!

  11. Scott says:

    Dottie, it looks like the black plastic cap that covers the spot where the shifter cable meets the hub fell off on your bike. I found that if you use a zip tie to keep that thing secure it will not fall off. The shifting will suffer if the cap is off and dirt etc gets in there.

  12. […] both on Dottie‘s and Velouria‘s blogs discussions about being a ‘novice’, writing a […]

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