By Bike | Weeks 7 – 11 (Miles 710-972)

At some point I have to return to my “weekly” series on my bike commute. So you should consider this my return. March was miserable and pitiful month and, too often, I let that pressure me into a car. Sick, cold, windy, rainy and work obligations are among the excuses for two weeks (eight and nine) of almost no riding. I have similarly weak excuses for the lack of writing.

I really don’t have much to say. I’m at the point in my transition to a bike commute that the novelty of riding everyday has worn off. That’s not to say that my commute is a chore – I’m still loving my twice daily ride – it’s just part of my routine.

The routine suffered slightly as a result of the two off-weeks. When I started riding again I struggled with departure times and bag packing but after a couple of weeks back in the habit things are pretty dialed in. I’m up between 4:30 and 5:00 and allow myself until 5:15 to putz around, eat, drink coffee and, in general, be unproductive. By 5:15 I need to be packing my lunch and finishing off the last of the pre-ride caffeine. At 5:30 I’m packing my bag – unless I was proactive (rarely) and took care of that the previous evening – then washing my face, brushing my teeth and starting to think about kitting up.

Throughout this routine I’ve been checking the weather compulsively. Doing my best to gauge how many layers I’m going to need and if any of them need to be waterproof. The weather report also gives me a hint as to how much time to dedicate to complaining about the wind. If everything goes as planned – meaning I don’t putz around too long – I’m gassing up the tires by 6:00 and on the road by 6:10.

It’s this routine – the little pieces leading up to my morning ride – that seem most threatening. I put off getting out of bed or making breakfast or putting away the laptop or making lunch or packing my bag and, suddenly, they seem like too much. And, especially if it’s cold or I’m tired, I start to think it might be easier if I just drove. I’d have more time. I could write that long overdue post about riding my bike to work…

Of course, the second I’m in the saddle, even if it’s cold or I’m tired, I’m glad I didn’t trade my ride for a little more time. Even if it means I didn’t have time to pack my lunch or write this post.

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