After fifteen or more years of complete cycling negligence, I bought a bike this weekend. I love it so much that I have reposted this picture from my bike shop several times, a picture that was taken from a squatting angle that is particularly unflattering and featuring an outfit chosen for the utility of riding home.
I did ride home from the shop and then to work both of the days I went into the office this week. Though I remember putting some miles on a pink Schwinn with a banana seat in my childhood, I wasn’t an avid cyclist as a teenager, so I feel like I am embarking on a whole new adventure.
Before riding a bike to work, I believed that midtown and downtown were relatively flat. Now I know about every hill, as well as where to find a decaying carcass and dirty diapers left in the bike lane. Which circle of hell would Dante send those who leave dirty diapers in the street?
Bike commuting is it’s own challenge. I hope to order a pannier soon, but for right now I am bungeeing my bag to my back rack. A bag that has work clothes carefully rolled, a lunch and my laptop and various cords. It’s not lightweight. I am supposed to get a new computer at work and once I can leave the laptop at home, it should be a little bit better. Luckily, I can store my bike in my office and the building security showed me how to access and use the freight elevator. I do miss the thrill of the ultra modern elevators in the lobby.
Another challenge: I don’t know anything about bike maintenance. I do know that if you use a bike for transportation, you need to be able to do some basic repairs like fixing a flat. So I went to my bike shop for a free class and a Ghost River Golden Ale. I learned a lot. Going to test my skills with the girls’ bikes, which both have flats.
Right now, I’m just tired and sore. My office building is just less than 3.5 miles from our house, so I am a little ashamed to admit that. But I am hoping that I round the corner on that soon.
In this time where everything feels new, I can’t wait to get to the routine where biking to work isn’t hard, I have found time to read again and the rest of my life (meal planning, cooking, doing stuff for myself) falls back into place.