Bike Commuting Challenge: Week 1

I have successfully completed Week 1 of my bike-to-work commuting challenge. This first week was mainly about adjusting to the habit of bike commuting and tweaking logistics.

For the most part, I had excellent weather to ride in all week. 85 and sunny every day except for Thursday. Thursday was the real challenge. When I first saw Thursday's forecast, I was pretty optimistic. There was only a 30% chance for thunderstorms. But come Thursday morning I woke up to thunder, lightning, and pouring rain, and already on Day 4 I was rethinking this challenge in a big way, wondering what the point was and whether it was worth getting completely drenched on the way to and from work. But then one of the other voices in my head spoke up and said that I couldn't quit a 17-week challenge in the very first week. So I sucked it up and headed out and survived my first not-so-ideal two-wheel commute to work. The weather on Friday was amazing again, and I soon forgot about my wet Thursday ride.

As far as being organized goes, I don't even notice much of a difference anymore. I grab an outfit, underwear, and shoes and put them into my work bag. It really is that easy. I've placed a hairbrush, deodorant, and wet wipes in my desk drawer at work and spend about five minutes freshening up and changing into work clothes once I arrive at work. Time-wise, it takes me maybe ten minutes longer to commute. I give myself thirty minutes. Some days it takes nearly that long by car depending on how many red lights I hit on the way.
Water bottle in one cage and travel coffee mug in the other

Summer temps mean light summer dresses that roll up easily into the ChicoBag daypack

My commute

I've come to really appreciate the morning ride in and how much friendlier the people I pass on the way are. I pass people out walking, riding, running during my commute, and most of them say hello and wave. That shit just does not happen commuting to work by car, my friends. The ride home is relaxing as well. At first, at the end of my work day, I would think to myself, "Ugh. Now I have to bike home." But as soon as I get out on the bike, I start to unwind and take my time getting home. Sometimes I stop off at Perry Farm and relax on a bench for a bit, or I take a couple extra spins around the park for a little more mileage.

Total Week 1 Mileage (work days only plus a few errands before or after): 81.71.

I know these warm sunny days will soon be coming to an end, and I already am preparing for that. But for now, I am happy with the challenge and continue to bike on to Week 2.


Kristopher said…
Keep up the good work, just remember there is nothing wrong with taking a so called "day off" due to weather. Its kinda crummy that our area does not have a better mass transit system to help out people like this situation like most of the bike cycling cities: Seattle, Minnesota, Madison, ECT. Did not know if you were looking for suggestions about storage on the bike but here is the information I can pass on for you. A great company that hand stitches their bags in Alaska is called Revelate Designs and would recommend either the Tangle or Viscacha Seat Bag. However their bags are not waterproof 100% but they make some killer bags.
If you wanted some Bomb proof waterproof bags I would go with Ortliebs bags or backpacks they are AWESOME. The man to get in-touch with is Wayne from have not found a better price anywhere else. Phone number for Wayne is 800-747-0588 he is a great guy and very knowledgeable with bike products. Do not know if this helps or not but thought I would throw this out there.
Deborah said…
Kristopher, I bought a neat new commuter bag just this week. It is a Detours bag with straps to be worn like a backpack and with clips to be used as a pannier. I am going to discuss it more in my Week 2 post. I will be switching over to my hybrid when the weather gets wetter and will be able to clip the bag on to my rear rack. Thanks for the info. I will check out those sites.

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