Ride With Me To Work Today

This week was ride your bike to work week, and today is Ride Your Bike To Work Day. I actually almost always ride my bike to work, but I thought I'd bring a camera along and take a couple pictures so you could ride with me today.
Its just as easy to get ready in the morning when I plan to ride and it doesn't require that I wake up any earlier than usual. This is because my ride to work is only 5 miles so it takes about twenty minutes, just a few minutes longer than if I drive. If you have farther to ride you'll need to figure about 4 minutes per mile to ride, so if you have to travel 10 miles you'll need to give yourself 40 minutes to ride, whereas you might only need 20 to drive. Anyway, I pack my salad and yogurt and soda for a lunch the evening before and my lunch bag is ready to go in the morning. I bring a fresh clean bra, undies, and a shirt each day to work. I wear the socks I'm going to wear all day. I keep about 6 or 7 pairs of pants and capris at work in a desk drawer to wear at work. I also have 5 pairs of shoes under my desk to wear with my variety of pants. I wear those funny black shorts with the padded butt, along with my Keen Commuter Cycling Sandals (which I highly recommend) and a bright neon yellow shirt. Once I get to work, I change into work clothes.
So once I've packed my clothes and lunch in my panniers, I'm ready to go. The ride has nice calming segments in neighborhoods at the beginning and end which is nice. The middle 3 miles are on a busy 50 mph road with a 3 ft shoulder that I can safely ride on. The route brings me past a busy high school and the teen drivers are my biggest worry. They have almost all the accidents I see on my way to work and I hope that one doesn't hit me from behind. I'm wearing my hi vis yellow shirt, and I use my rear view mirror all the time to see whats coming up behind me. I ride on the right side of the road with traffic, and stop at all the lights too.
At first its a little intimidating to ride with the fast traffic, those big diesel dump trucks and the city buses - but you get used to it. I would like to encourage you to try to figure out a way you can ride your bike to work. It really can help you feel better about yourself and your health will improve. Next time you're driving to work, notice the road you're on and see if it has a shoulder to ride on. If not, is there a sidewalk? If not, is there a side road that is parallel to your route you could take? Probably. It's actually pretty easy to figure out a safe route to most places, but it might take a few minutes more to get there.
So there's another week left in the month, why don't you try to ride your bike next week?

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