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maura @ 10:34 am

It’s dawning on me that I’m afraid to ride my bike to work. Yeah, it’s summer, and summer is hot, maybe not the best time to start riding your bike to work. But there are so many good reasons to do it:

1. Cheaper. I <3 the subway, but that $2.50/ride adds up.

2. Exercise is good. I have been walking home all summer (which helps somewhat with #1, above), but biking would get me moving in the morning and the evening.

3. The biggest reason is probably that biking is the only mode of transport that lets me bring a bunch of stuff to work (lunch, coffee, extra clothes if need be) without having to carry it on my back. I <3 <3 <3 my backpack* but the fact is that since the slipped discs in my neck started bothering me starting to get old I probably shouldn’t be carrying lots of weight on my back for 45 minutes at a time each way to and from work on a regular basis.

* Yes, pricey, but seriously a fantastic bag that’s holding up amazingly. I’ve carried it practically every workday for something like 6 years and it still looks nearly new. Plus it’s super comfortable when I do have to carry lots of weight (i.e. a laptop) which I know I shouldn’t be doing but still sometimes have to do.

I have ridden my bike to work in the past, though inconsistently. There are somewhat annoying bits to it. I have a sturdy bike that’s pretty old-ladyish — 3 speeds only, plus coaster brakes! — so I imagine it’s not much of a theft risk, but I do still worry, especially since the bike racks at work are just out of eyesight of the security guards at the entrance to the college.** The ride itself is fine, though sometimes the street I spend the most time on (which has a bike lane) gets crowded, and I’ve occasionally experienced grumpiness from fellow bikers as they pass me. Dudes, it’s not a race! There’s room for everyone!

** I’m almost positive that it’s technically legal to use freight elevators to bring bikes inside buildings, and there is actually a frieght elevator that goes right to the floor in the library where my office is. But it’s a little ways to go through the college getting to the elevator and I suspect that the security guards wouldn’t let me walk my bike through that area.

I’m willing to concede that all of these minor complaints might be concealing a bigger fear, which is the fear of being mowed down by a car while I bike to work. Of course that’s always possible — even walking in NYC can be dangerous — but in reality the streets that I’d need to bike on are pretty quiet and safe most of the time. There are lights at every corner and bike lanes the whole way.

It’s been a busy summer with lots going on, new stuff to adjust to, and more coming down the pike. So maybe the real real reason is that I just can’t accommodate any additional new things right now, cognitive overload and such. Tomorrow morning looks nice and cool, maybe that will be the day to begin. (Or maybe not.)

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