Monday, March 05, 2012

The Streak - Five Calendar Years

Not only is today the birthday of my wonderful daughter Marissa, it's also the fifth anniversary of the day that I left the car for good in my quest to prove that I really didn't need it to get to work, no matter the conditions. This was the Monday after a nasty spring blizzard came through and a friend of mine called me to pick me up on a Friday because she knew I'd be crazy enough to try to bike that day. She was correct as I was all suited up for the elements and I caved and accepted a ride. This wiped out my longest commuting streak to that point: 48 days! At that point I was just wondering if I'd be able to break my old streak, not to be on a journey that has now tallied 1,288 days as of today.

For brevity sake, and because many of you who have followed my blog in the past already know details of my days that my sanity in commuting was questioned, here is a recap of some of my commuting highlights over the past five years:

* Amazingly, in these five years, I believe I only had to "push" my bike part of the way to the emergency snow routes 2-3 times. I live about three blocks from the emergency routes so once I'm there, I'm usually good to go.

* One day was so icy that I'm almost certain I could have walked to work faster than I rode my bike. I was thankful for a flat commute as even the slightest decline was scary and I spent as much time with my feet off the pedals as on.

* Rain: Snow biking is much easier from a biking standpoint than rain. Even with rain gear, a cold spring or fall rain is by far the most miserable conditions for me.

* Cold: I believe the coldest commuting air temp was -22 and the coldest wind chill was -64. Don't hold me to either of those numbers, but it's close at least. Cold can be brutal, but with the correct gear and only having a one mile commute, it's not that bad actually. Still better than the rain above.

* Lightening: I admit it. Nothing scares me more than lightening. I am glad to say that I've only had to brave lightening once during the streak. One other time I chose to be 10 minutes late to work to allow a system to pass through before I left for work.

* Obstacles: I have actually hit one squirrel on my commute. Calm down, he lived, though slightly dazed. I have been hit by a decent sized tree branch. On a windy day I was drilled by a pizza box.

* Spills: I have crashed on occasion, usually with ice hiding under snow. The worst was a post winter crash a couple years ago though. Going to the dome to teach my cycling class (pre Wellness Center) and I was taking the s-curves with a fair bit of speed and confidence, and I hit very loose gravel left over from sanding the roads and went down really hard. Lots of blood and sore for a couple weeks, but the ego was bruised the most.

* Conflicts with vehicles: Too numerous to mention, although either they are getting better as of late, I am mellowing out and don't care, or my education efforts are working as my coexistence with them has been MUCH better.

What does all this lead up to? Park your car and ride your bike. It's good for you and good for your soul.


The Designer's Prospective said...

Congrats! That's awesome.

Snakebite said...

"Lightening: I admit it. Nothing scares me more than lightening."

Even Zombies?

bikingbrady said...

I can usually out run Zombies. Of course, I always carry a bag of brains to throw out to thwart their attack.