10.29.2003

As as bicycle commuter there can never be the question, "to ride or not to ride," as it is unsafe to ask that question.....

Each day offers a myriad of excuses for not riding...
-It is TOO HOT.
-It is TOO COLD.
-It it TOO WET (as it is today and was yesterday.)
-It is too nice outside.
-I am TOO TIRED.
-I am running TOO LATE.
or
-I just don't feel like it.

Giving way to any of these excuses will lead the commuter down a difficult path where they try and hand pick their days for riding to work. Which will become more difficult to select as a new list of excuses enter the equation.

-I have a meeting at work today and I don't want to carry all that extra clothing.
-I am meeting people for drinks after work and don't want to ride home in the dark.
-There are people coming in from out of town and I need to make them dinner.

This is starting to feel like an episode of FAMILY FEUD....as I pan my brain for more excuses. Funny I don't have any trouble finding these excuses as I gather my stuff in the morning for my ride to work. But the point is made. If you want to ride your bicycle to work you need to ignore the excuses and create a system.

The system for me involves leaving shoes and pants at work and traveling with shirt, underware, and socks. When my pants get dirty, I use the dry cleaner by work. There is also a cold weather jacket at work so I do not have to offend my coworkers with commuter gear that is heavily laced with "STINK FACTOR!" There is also a towel and bathroom supplies for those seldom days where I go for a longer ride or get so dirty that I feel I must shower to keep my job. Some GOLD BOND and some SPEED STICK tend to mask the odors of the morning well enough, or people are too gentle to tell me otherwise.

This SYSTEM must also include the correct cycling equipment...
A Bicycle (at least one, but more if you can afford it) Lights, Helmet, More Lights, Rain Gear, fenders and rack on bike.
This could get very involved so I will stress the basics again, bicycle and lights (helmet is obvious)

enough for now
I need to get to work
so I have a job tomorrow

For me there is no real choice. Work is only 15 minutes away. Driving would be a more involved process than riding my bike, well perhaps not if I factored in the changing into riding gear and into work clothing when I arrive to work. For me the issues compound after work as I try to extend my work out to get some exercise....

The key is to ignore those little voices. Get up with the intention of riding and well and that 20th Century philosopher NIKE once said, "JUST DO IT!"

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