Saturday, October 1, 2005

The Secret Origin of a Cyclist

Just after Hurricane Katrina gas prices were going crazy. At work, I made an idle threat to some of my coworkers, "If gas hits $4.00 a gallon, I'm going to start riding a bicycle to work." I have no idea what possessed me to say this. I was 39 years old and had not ridden a bike since I was a kid. I only knew a couple of people who rode recreationally and didn't know anyone who commuted by bicycle.

I started doing some research about bicycle commuting and discovered that my threat wasn't as crazy as I first thought. Through the magic of the internet I discovered all sorts of information about bicycle commuting. Many people did it and it wasn't as dangerous as most people seemed to think. I am fortunate that I live only nine miles from my office and that my office building has showers.

Even though gas didn't hit $4 a gallon, I decided to buy a bike and start commuting. I talked to Stewart at Maplewood Bicycle and he recommend a Trek 7200 hybrid bike. I took it for a test ride and found that the old saying is true: you never forget how to ride a bicycle. I bought the bike also bought a rack, fenders, and lights.

That was on Wednesday, September 14. Thursday it rained, but on Friday I rode my bike to work for the first time. From that point forward, I was commuting by bicycle the majority of the time.