Although I try to ride my bike to work a few days a week all year ‘round, spring is the time when I really get motivated. It’s finally light when I go to work and when I head for home. In the daylight I feel a little safer and there’s more to enjoy on my ride – dramatic skies, spring blossoms, ducklings at Green Lake, and parades of joggers, dog-walkers, and families out for a stroll. The ride can still be a bit chilly, but I don’t need as many layers or as much determination as it takes to ride in the middle of winter. The number of cyclists picks up too and I appreciate the company of other riders, whether they are racing past me in spandex, purposefully riding by with carriers full of kids and cargo, or spinning along on an oversize unicycle.
One of the best things about riding is that the only schedule that matters is my own. The bike is ready to go whenever I am! I get a nice downhill in the morning, so I can generally be at my desk within 30 minutes of leaving my kitchen. The ride home takes a little bit longer, but it is always faster than taking the bus. When I arrive at work I’m awake and invigorated and often filled up by the beauty of the morning. By the time I ride into my garage at night, the day’s work has been left behind and I may even have run an errand or two on the way home. On summer Fridays I stop at my neighborhood farmers’ market and feel so European riding home with a saddle bag full of fresh produce and flowers.
Would you like to live the good life of a bicycle commuter? May is Bike Month at UW and all over Seattle and it’s a great time to give it a try. The Cascade Bicycle Club presents the Adobe Commute Challenge to encourage bike commuting, especially among new riders. Sign up as an individual or join a team for some extra encouragement. Ask around your department to see if a team is forming – if not, you can start one! Here at the UW there will be extra classes and resources available for cyclists, including two support stations for bike commuters on Bike to Work Day (5/16) and a Trail Party (5/22) right in the heart of campus.