I’d been nervous about riding my bike to work because of the distance, darkness and time involved. But when training for a new computer system had my husband and I both scheduled to go into the office at 10 a.m. late last week, I figured it was a perfect opportunity to ride up with Bob and ride my bike home — this time in broad daylight.
It took me more than 2 hours to ride the 21 miles from the office to our front door, including periodic waits at busy intersections. But the traffic itself wasn’t bad. I rode the River Greenway and the Towpath Trail for the first 4.5 miles, then took a lightly used back route home. (I hadn’t even realized Coverdale Road crosses over I-469 until a couple of weeks ago; I think I maybe saw one motorcycle in 3-4 miles on that lonely road.)
Riding through rural southern Allen and northern Wells counties reminded me of the times my brother and I rode our bikes to Berne during the summer to see Dad at the bank. I kept reminding myself that I was in no hurry, that I could just enjoy the ride if I wanted to. At one point, I startled a turkey buzzard as wide as my bike was long and watched in awe as it took flight 20 yards ahead.
Fun as that was, I can’t budget 2+ hours for each end of my commute, even if it is only a couple of days a week. (I could work to do it faster, but that won’t happen overnight.) But on Monday I did leave early enough to ride the last 4.5 miles after leaving my car at the Towpath trail head. The sun was just coming up as I rode, and the recovered wetlands were alive with the sound of birds. The ride back afterward was just as fun — maybe more so because I was leaving work instead of just arriving.
Now for the bad news: Despite accumulating 42 low carb commuting miles so far this month (37 on the bike and 5 walking), that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the 1,048 miles I’ve put on the car through the first 16 days of June.