The sun was a pale warm glow glinting off the emerging Spring leaves of the trees as I clicked into my pedals, shuffled into the confessional and made the sign of the chainring.
“Forgive me Great Bike Commuting Father for I have sinned. It has been over 2 years since my last bike commute to work”.
I’m not sure why I stopped riding my bike to work. Perhaps it was laziness or maybe it was not having ready access to a shower at the past two places I have worked, but for whatever reason I have fallen into my car coffin every morning and navigated into the office via internally combusted dinosaur guts.
Many years ago I was what some might term an “extreme” bike commuter. Riding anywhere from 25 to 90 miles a few times a week I elevated the voyage to work to a level I’m sure I’ll never be able to top. Frankly, I’m not sure why I’d ever want to do a 90 mile ride on a fixie ever again, let alone before work. I don’t miss it that much!
But what I have missed is that feeling of taking something as mundane as a commute and turning it into an adventure. Whether it was riding along the shoulder of a crowded California freeway in the dark on a rainy day (legal, but definitely not recommended for that stretch) or going many miles out of my way just to mix in a few miles of prime singletrack, I always found a way to take the stress of going to work (hey, I’m an introvert – dealing with people is stressful sometimes) and make it fun.
The past few years my adventures (commuting or otherwise) have diminished to a certain degree due to my nagging hip injury. I’m just not getting out there as much as I used to. Or maybe I’ve just become lazy? Or beaten down? Or just a little numb?
Today (fittingly enough on “National Bike to Work Day”) that all came to an end.
I was not lazy and woke up early. I felt the sun on my face and listened to the birds sing as I rode my bike to work along unfamiliar roads. I was not beaten down nor was I numb to the world around me. Pausing only to snap a photo I tapped out a constant act of contrition through my pedal strokes.
Hail bicycle, full of grace!