Friday, October 16

Deadly Serious Bike Commute

Transportation cycling is a test of a cyclist. A bike commuter rides day after day. The bike has to be kept operational. You ride the roads as they are. The mantra of motorists about riding on the paths people have put in is irrelevant. For most, it’s largely solitary. There are no prizes or trophies, but that doesn't mean there are no rewards. In six parts, consider why I believe the term “casual urban cyclist” is completely off base when applied to transportation riding. This kind of cycling is fun and safe, and deeply satisfying, but it's not play. It's deadly serious and you better treat it that way. You deal with how many miles you're getting out of a set of tires and whether you need to get studded tires if you live in the snow belt. Mittens, gloves, & foot warmth pick up new interest. Even things like the "abc check" fade out when you're riding the bike every day, twice a day. I know it takes 5 or 6 strokes of the floor pump in each tire each week. I know I'll have to replace the front pads before the end of the year. I've got 2982 miles on Buddy's chain as of October 16. This week, in the Part 6 finale, I look back on six months of the new commute. It turned out to be more than I expected. Sometimes, a challenge makes you stronger...

Part 1..........Prelude – WHAT?
Part 2..........Can I Make this Ride?
Part 3..........Yes, I Can!
Part 4..........Change I Believe In
Part 5..........Cycling’s Dangerous
Part 6..........The Long Road