You Never Forget

May 06, 2009

With the exception of perhaps 30 minutes riding late October 2005, I haven't ridden either of my bicycles in 12, maybe 15 years. Several of my co-workers are commuting to work via bike, and given that we live only 4.5 miles from my office, I have been thinking about what it would be like to ride to work rather than drive.

Our neighborhood is quiet and tree-lined, so riding there would be easy. There is a major 4-lane road to cross, but I can do that at a light without going out of my way. Just across from that intersection is the only true obstacle on the whole route, a sizable hill. Fortunately it borders the northeastern corner of campus and has a wide walking/running path along its entire length. If I were forced to walk the hill, I could do it in relative safety.

From the top of the hill it would be level or even slightly downhill the remainder of the way. And most of that way is bordered by walking/running paths which would keep me out of traffic.

This evening, after doing some gardening with Sibylle, I got the better of my two bikes out of the shed, inflated the tires, put on my helmet, my bicycling shoes, and set of for a couple laps of the neighborhood. It's true that you never really forget how. Not having ridding any significant amount since well before my lower back became a concern, I don't know how it will fare on my sporty road bike. If I am to be successful with bicycle commuting I may end up investing in something a bit more upright, perhaps with some fenders and a rack with which to carry my computer bag.

Even with some uncertainty about riding two and from work, it felt very good get on a bike and ride around the block a couple of times on the eve of my 48th birthday.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.