Use the morning commuting hour wisely, get in the work-mode mind-set and get the day organized, that sounds great, but, some days there is too much joy in this journey, to ruin the scenery with thoughts of work. During the afternoon ride home a production problem from the office may get solved, to be implemented tomorrow, but during my morning commute, more often than not an idea for a new article takes shape.
I'm pleased as punch with the miles that are adding up on my commutes, but, as with many of our commuting members, the realization has sunk in this summer that we, like a lot of other cyclists, are victims of our schedules. Commuting Club members and non-affiliated cyclists alike, find it necessary to ride when we can, and personal schedules may not jive with club schedules as much as we would like. We are hampered with a lack of travel time from leaving work to ride start time, lack of daylight or varied pressing obligations.
For these reasons, many of our club’s most active cyclists may only be seen at our special events, a Tour De Gil or the year-end banquet, but they (we) are out there riding every day.
Remember, if you’re not commuting yet, commuting can very easily turn into mini-training sessions, provided one can clean-up upon arrival at work. Intervals from traffic light to light, sprints, rock-dodging, accident avoidance, zone training can all be done during a commute. And your mileage base need not suffer, since riding to work kept Mary Margaret and me able to ride weekend centuries even when every weeknight didn’t include club rides.
I’ve been lucky this year with few motorized vehicle confrontations, and drivers that are, for the most part courteous. Hopefully, apathy is turning into trust, for those motorist types that pass me on our separate ways to work. Maybe, just maybe, some motorists may actually see us as equal road users someday if we can keep this commuting thing going long enough.
It’s that time of year where the commute gets a lot more comfortable but a little bit darker one way or the other. Get out those lights, reflective vests and leg-wraps, and bone up on your Effective Cycling commuting rules, it’s a great time to ride to work.
Who’s going where? Long-time club member, Rick Croslin, is rolling 70 commuting miles per week for at least the last 6 months, or just over 2000 miles as this is written, biking to Kinetics at Distillery Commons most days. Tom Knight — for the new folks, who might not know him — is an ECIT (Effective Cycling Instructor Trainee) who wears an old Highland Cycle “Road Hog” Jersey sometimes. According to neighbor Rick, Tom has missed just two days commuting all year. That adds up to more than 2700 miles and counting! Tom was instrumental in starting Alliant Health Systems’ Bike Patrol, and trained Alliant’s personnel based on what he has learned, for their patrols to remote parking lots that are quiet, non-polluting and healthful for the guys in hospital blue. Debbie Browning commutes to Micro Computer Solutions in Bluegrass Industrial Park from St. Matthews and even carries her bike with her on frequent multi-day trips to Evansville. Debbie’s routes this year have unfortunately taken her into the side of a Japanese sports car, but don’t look for her to quit this commuting thing anytime soon.
The Wheelmen’s first commuter award goes out this year from the Touring Committee, see it at the banquet, or better yet YOU can get started on early for next year’s award.
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