At that time the only bike I had was a mountain bike I had gotten to ride around at college (that sadly, never even got much use). I didn't know a thing about cycling - I had no idea how far I was capable of going, and was still skeptical of all the cycling gear (hello spandex) but knew it came with the territory. My dad had always had a huge interest in cycling and has been involved in it since he was in his twenties so I turned to him for help and in early May 2008 I became the proud owner of a very beautiful Trek road bike.
Once I got my bike and started to get in tune with all things cycling, I discovered that May is national "Bike to Work" month. I work in Davis, a town where cycling is part of the heart of the City's identity (we were just recently designated as the site of the National Bike Museum) and in 2008 one of my co-workers who sat in the same part of the office as me was in charge of spearheading the campaign to get people in our organization to ride their bikes to work. He was constantly joking with me and a co-worker that we needed to ride our bikes to work (even though we live in Sacramento - roughly 20 miles away). Being that I just got my bike my co-worker and I started talking about actually doing it. Should we train? Could I even ride 20 miles? Where would we get dressed? Would I be sweaty all day? We decided just to go for it and on May 28, 2008 we rode our bikes from Sacramento to Davis. I will never forget the look on his face when we walked in! I don't think in a million years he thought we would do something like that.
I will admit - I am not very consistent in my riding to work - maybe only doing it 10 times or so a year. Not because I don't love it, but because yes, I am kinda vain and never feel very put together that day since I don't shower when I get to work. Although, every time I do it always feels nice to know that when I go home for the day I have already gotten in a good bike workout in and of course, I am one less car out there commuting! I love it when the freeway is all backed up with cars and I am flying by on my bike.
Last Friday I biked to work with one of my co-workers and we actually left right from our front door (usually we have another spot we meet at and leave from there since getting from our neighborhood to main road that takes us to Davis has lots of stops, turns and traffic). From my front door to the front door of my work is 22 miles - 44 miles round trip! It is quite the diverse route too - through our neighborhood, through a not to nice neighborhood, through a huge park, along the river, through old town/downtown Sacramento, over the causeway and finally into Davis. Normally I would never even consider being able to get in a 44 mile ride mid-week so this was a nice treat to get in such a long ride. I have to say though, it is a lot harder to do a 22 mile ride, sit for 8 hours and then another 22 mile ride then just riding 44 miles straight! She had just gotten a new road bike so we had a great time - despite biking the majority of the way home in the rain. Total Time: 3 hours and 8 minutes.
Today, I biked into work with another co-worker. We met at her house and her husband took us to our normal departure point, however, we wrote directly back to her house after work to add some more miles. While I was driving over to her house it was pouring rain which made me a little skeptical but we had committed to riding today no matter what. Luckily by the time we actually got on the bike the rain had stopped but the roads were still wet which meant MUD!! We were both covered in mud when we got to work.
During the day I had all my cycling clothes and socks spread out under my desk in hopes they would dry out before I had to put them on again to go home. Of course, I chose today to wear a white shirt too. By the time we were ready to go home though everything was dry (dirty but dry) and the dried mud was more like sand and was easily falling off.
(trying to be artsy)
(the bike path along the causeway)
We had a great ride back to her house and ended with a total time of 1:56 round trip for 28.1 miles.
*Sigh*, one of the things I will miss when I leave. Although, I hope I can convince them to still go on long weekend rides with me. I am very lucky too in that most people dress fairly casual at my work so it is easy to bring clothes to change into and not worry about them getting wrinkled, etc.
Have you ever biked to work before?