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My Own Bay State Bike Week

April 24, 2008

I just heard that not only is May national bike month, but May 12-18 is the “Bay State Bike Week” in Boston. Normally I’m totally against any of those lame themed months (not the causesnecessarily, just the month theme idea) and would be against it, but I’ll let it slide this time. It is a part of much larger initiative to support cycling in Boston, another part of which is the creation of a “Bike Czar.” I just think the title Bike Czar is hilarious, but still cool.

The idea is to help people realize that commuting to work by bike is a viable alternative. They are doing this with organized group rides heading from various neighborhoods and ending downtown, passing by free coffee stops along the way. Unfortunately, unlike most people, I work about 15 miles north of the city. This makes my commute (both by car and by bike when I do it every so often) pretty quiet and traffic free, but it doesn’t look like much of this Boston bike commuter party will be along my route to work.

Coincidently, I happen to have another rest week that week and it has gotten me thinking. Since I don’t feel as obligated to stick to higher intensity workouts during my rest week, I’ve decided I’m going to commit to commuting to work every day that week, rain or shine, and share my experiences about what it is like to be a bike commuter. My real interest is to see what the difference is between commuting and riding for fitness.

For triathlon training, I ride early, on the weekends, or after rush hour to stay far away from traffic, and ride out in the middle of nowhere where I’m more likely to pass a cow pasture than a traffic jam. I don’t expect to have such luxuries while commuting. There also aren’t any really “bike friendly” routes to work either. I doubt there is a single bike lane between my apartment and my job, and I have to pass over two major highways just to get there. Not necessarily ideal conditions. At least the 10 mile route each way is relatively flat and  traffic free, but I’ll have to see if I can discover a more bike-friendly (but likely longer) route.

I’m also fortunate enough to have a shower in my office building. I’ll definitely be taking advantage of that and changing into new clothes packed away in my messenger bag so I don’t get any dirt looks for stining up the office from my coworkers.

So that is it.

5 Days

10 miles Each way

100 total commuting miles.

That doesn’t seem so bad, right? I figure as long as I don’t get run over, still manage to make it to work on time, and am still able to end the week nice and refreshed, I’ll be happy.

Stay tuned.

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