5/20/08

My Experience (so far) with Bicycle Commuting

This is my new bike. Mine's cooler, though. I pimped it out.


I feel as though I have a slightly new perspective on travel. Here's a few specific things I have noticed now that I've cycled to work (a whole two times).
1. Hills- on the way to work, the slow climb along US 51 is a bit tiring. On the way home, I can coast. The hill at Lewis and Grand is the worst. I have to climb it both ways.
2. Roadkill- Ugh, you would not believe how many dead and bloody things I encounter. It's kinda gross, but it doesn't bother me that much except for the...
3. Odors- Passing a dumpster, a smelly vehicle, or the above mentioned roadkill can make my stomach turn. I've got a super sniffer, and there are a lot of nasty things to sniff.
4. Speeding cars- This town is pretty good about moving over for cyclists, but I do get a little nervous when someone seems to be in a big hurry.
5. Litter- You also wouldn't believe the amount of garbage and broken glass I peddle through. Actually, you probably would if you knew my route. It's right through the "heart" of campus. I pass all the most popular bars, party housing, and a liquor store.

Here are some things I appreciate about my bicycle-
1. Shock absorbing seat- the extra cush for my tush is great. It still takes some adjustment (the bike shop calls this getting "butt calluses"), but it hasn't been too bad.
2. Rear Rack and...
3. Expandable Trunk bag- A necessity for commuters. It's too hot and heavy to add weight to my back. So far, I have carried groceries, extra clothes, books, my lock (very important), keys, wallet, phone, etc. in this great bag.
4. My sweet helmet- Not really part of my bike, but they go hand in hand. As a kid I hated wearing my helmet (thanks, Mom). They weren't very good at making them back then. They were hot and heavy and very nerdy-looking. Now they're light, airy, and (I think) sleek.

Mostly, I love the self-righteous feeling I get by riding my bike. I get to stick my nose up at all the people who are wasting their money on gas and polluting our planet. I arrive to work feeling invigorated. I smile and pat myself on the back for being such a fine human being.

Seriously, though, the cycling is great. I highly recommend it.

3 comments:

Shannon Anderson said...

Great job on the biking! I wish i could do that here, but unfortunately I am way to far from Campus. However, Matt and I were the occasional bikers down in Carbondale and I can relate to all of the whoas, especially the road kill and that darn hill!
But just think by the end of the summer your legs will be super strong!!:)

Chase Abner said...

Mostly, I love the self-righteous feeling I get by riding my bike. I get to stick my nose up at all the people who are wasting their money on gas and polluting our planet. I arrive to work feeling invigorated. I smile and pat myself on the back for being such a fine human being.

Precisely why I have yet to become a bike commuter.

Jeff Stevenson said...

Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.

Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.

If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.

So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.

Just go to my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylstevenson and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 9,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.

Jeff