Sunday, November 22, 2009

Clark Kent Commuting

The new home brings with it a new, shorter commute. The front door of The Cycle new-and-improved World Headquarters is just one stinkin' mile away from my cubicle.

I have issues with change. Mess with too many variables in my usual routine and I get kind of twitchy. So the first day I rode to work from the new HQ, I did my usual: Wake up early, dress in bike clothes and clipless-compatible shoes, pack work clothes, ride to work, change to work clothes, work all day, change back to bike clothes and clipless-compatible shoes, ride home, and change out of bike clothes. In other words, for about a 20 minute round-trip, I spent a solid 45 minutes changing clothes. Dumb.

Since Day 1, I've adapted myself to a civilian commute. I put flat pedals back on the daily driver and started riding that mile in my work clothes and shoes. It's an adjustment, I'll admit, but so far, it's been a worthwhile one. I get to sleep later since all that transition time is gone -- I just ride to the office, lock up, and stroll to my desk. I get a lot more flexibility too, since I no longer feel like I have to pop into the phone booth and come out in my superhero clothes just to ride. Hit the grocery store on the way home? Sure. Ride straight to a restaurant for dinner with my wife after work? Why not? Hop on the bike at lunch to hit a good restaurant on the other side of downtown? Yep. It feels like being on foot, only faster.

The downside, obviously, is that I'm less inclined to take the long way home and "turn a pedal in anger" (to quote the legend Phil Liggett). Time will tell if this change in my commuting style makes me fatter, or if the lack of exterior maintenance on the new casa frees up enough time that I can get more of those angry pedal-turnings outside my commute.

(The other downside to the new domicile? Small garage! If I weren't the custodian of Steve K's old Raleigh International, I'd feel almost obligated to cut back to just -- gasp! -- ONE bike to conserve space. Thankfully, that International is just too darn nice to vote off the island.)


Dingbat said...

You'll work it out, ne'er fear.

I've found a pair of flipflop pedals gives me a bit more flexibility w/r/t "I'll throw some tight clothes and stiff shoes in my bag for an after-work ride."

d'ya have a shower at work?

Anonymous said...

Ah... you screwed up and moved too close to work, didn't you! :-)

There is something to be said for having a short commute and having time to go out on the go-fast bike later. Being unburdened does add fun to the rides.

Who are you kidding about the one-bike house?? If you got rid of one bike, it would be 4 days before you found another bike that you couldn't pass up. I think the key is to have as many bikes as the house can hold, but make sure that they are all really, really great bikes! (says the guy with 8 bikes....)

but above all.. have fun!

Steve K.

Steve Fuller said...

The West Side has room for more bike. I'll store it over winter for ya. :)

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

Hmm, Steve F... according to my Facebook connection, that space for one more on the west side has already been filled by a certain new Salsa... or did you have to vote TWO off the island to add one? :-)

Steve Fuller said...

Making use of the heated basement space. There's already a Salsa and a Raleigh Grand Prix down there. Pretty sure some more bikes are gonna make it down there this winter so there's room to move around the garage.