I survived my New Years Resolution.
You know the one. The one where I committed to commute to work for a month.
The real question now is, will I ever commute again?
At first I thought I’d be so relieved that my month of commuting was finally over, but it's been three days since my last commute and I’m starting to miss the routine of hopping on the bike every morning. The satisfaction of making it safely to work and rewarding myself with a hot cup of coffee.
Most rides I felt like I was traveling through the Arctic, so I for sure won’t miss the extra cold mornings even though the bike path was much more vacant.
In just one month I managed to overcome the rain and not get a single flat tire. My co-worker, Chase, who I made plans to ride with in my previous story was not so lucky, and got a flat the one-time we did commute together, just seven miles from home. He said he was down to go again, which was surprising given how our first rides went.
And finally, my worst commuting nightmare came true, I actually got hit by a damn car. The last quarter mile of my commute was on the sidewalk, which was the most relaxed part of my ride, or at least I thought. There are usually no people walking in this part of town this early in the morning. I was about one hundred feet from work and passing a driveway to a parking lot. I clearly had the right of way and this minivan even stopped for me, but at the last minute decided to let off the brakes as I was right in front of their bumper. I thought the van's bumper was going to swallow me, my legs and my bike. Luckily, I fell sideways and caught myself and luckily my loaner Ritchey didn’t get destroyed. I was so angry and shocked and didn’t have time for all that bull. I just wanted to get away from everybody and that's how I felt riding for a few days after that. I was just wishing I had an invisible bubble nobody could penetrate. According to bayareabicyclelaw.com in California there are 235,000 traffic accidents a year on average, and the bicycle injuries make up 5.3% of total injuries. Imagine how many others are unaccounted for, just like mine. 33,000 people die each year in car crashes but only 667 (while still a lot) are killed while riding a bike, making it much safer says the Department of General Services.
Even though I only had a bruise on my knee I can’t stop thinking that no cyclist should have to experience this type of thing... But even after all that and having my confidence go from 100 to 0 I am ready to give commuting another try. The only reason I haven’t yet is because I’ve returned the bike and I don’t see myself buying myself a bike for commuting. I have my eye on a downhill bike.
If you have the opportunity to commute, I recommend you give it a try. I thought I would hate it, but it is so beneficial to my health taking up such a small amount of time. Even just 3 hours of biking per week can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50%. My biggest concern was how fatigued I thought my body would be because I was still doing cross fit work outs from squat cleans to ab work most days after my morning of pedal pushing. Studies show people who bike to work are less tired and have less difficulty sleeping. And I really felt this one. I slept like a baby every night. I could go on and on and on but I'll just recommend you give it a go yourself. And a week is fine, but a month will really change your perspective.