Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Daily Commute

I'd like to believe that I'm luckier than most. I only work 3 days a week. Granted, they're 12-hour nights, but it works out in the wash. I say this because if I don't, this sounds more impressive than it really is: I commute by bike everyday I work.

Without the disclaimer it sounds pretty hardcore, with it, not so much. The reality is that in commuting by bike I'm able to exercise, clear my head and not be a complete road hazard. At least when riding a bike in a sleep deprived state I'm not going to kill/maim/injure anyone but myself. I'm less of a danger to my fellow commuters than if I was driving.

It's nice though. I can have the roughest night at work and by the time I'm home, it's gone. Awhile ago we a had a particularly nasty code situation that affected my physically and emotionally. By riding home, I had the time to process the situation and debrief myself a little, allowing me to relax and slow down enough to sleep. Had I been driving I more than likely would have been still stressed and still running on pure adrenaline when I got home. It is my meditation time.

The commute itself is truly multi-modal. I'm sorry, no matter how hardcore I may think I am, there is no way I'm going to ride over the Hill and then spend a 12 hour shift on my feet. Sometimes I feel like a poser, having to use the MAX, but then I realized I ave nothing to prove to anyone. One evening talking with a fellow MAX rider and fellow cyclist I was remarking on this very subject to which he said that the only reason he can ride all the way in is because he sits in a cubicle all day. When I first started working on my floor, I wore a pedometer to see how far I walked in a shift. I figure based on that I average 5-6 miles a shift. Combine that with a 13 mile ride and I'm burned by the middle of the shift. So I multi-mode it. Ride to the MAX, take MAX over the Hill, ride from the MAX to work. It averages 6 miles a day, round trip. The nice thing is that I can get off early and ride further home, ride further before getting on the MAX or ride the normal run. It works.

I've been doing this now for over a year. I started in April 2007 and went through the winter and continue it now. How many times have I driven? Both ways: twice since 2007. One way: 2 times since the start of the year. Even when I don't ride my bike, I ride the MAX and walk.

That's my daily commute, in a nutshell.

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