Thursday, September 10, 2009

My First Commute

For the past few months I have been looking forward to the end of the work day with greater enthusiasm. Not because I want my day to end, on the contrary, I am having a pretty good time and the least thing I wish for is for time to go by any faster than it already is.

The reason for my positive anticipation, is the fact that I no longer brave the traffic on my way home as I have discovered the joys of bicycle commuting. Instead of sitting in idle traffic for almost an hour burning gas and wasting time, I now ride my bicycle through neighborhood and quiet streets that allow me a better view of our wonderful city.

Up until last week, my chosen mode of transportation was my Diamond Back mountain bike which along with a full set of lights and its corresponding rechargeable battery, plus my my laptop and clothes in my backpack made for an additional 15 pounds of weight to carry along. My added weight is simply regarded as increased resistance that provide for a better workout throughout my commute so it is not exactly a negative issue. The reason for riding my mountain bike was because often I jumped curbs, or cut through parking lots or other minor acrobacies required during the route that would be totally unpractical to say the least on my road bike.

Anyway, two weeks ago, our city of Miami was declared Bike Town USA by Bicycling Magazine, as a result 30 bikes were give out to those who submitted essays and were selected. My essay was chosen, and I received a new Jamis Commuter bike -

My commute has become more of a challenge, a bit of workout where I set goals throughout the route and constantly try to improve on my time or hit some mini sprints or intervals in between lights. I enjoy every bit of it all the way home - thus I look forward to it throughout my work day.

I rode my new bike home for the first time last Monday and it was nothing short of a fantastic experience. The new ride has a different feel, one of a touring bike more like a commuting bike- I can still crank it up on the straight aways or race to beat the red lights, but the feel is a somewhat different, one that takes me back to my high school days when I couldn't wait to finish my homework so I could go out and ride my bicycle.

The significance of this event is exactly the parallel I draw between the feel of riding my mountain bike and how my new commuter bike feels now - See, back then BMX was a fledgling sport and all we had was either touring bikes or high performance road bikes - so needless to say, my bike was a breed between a BMX and a touring bike, with a single gear and coaster brakes- but I tore the neighborhood up in that sucker.

Nowadays, as I ride my new commuter bike, I feel once again as if I am riding a mixed breed bike, and it feels good - I visualize myself standing atop the stairs in the second story of my house yelling down to the kitchen asking my mom if I can go out to ride my bike. My mom's response ... "Did you finish your homework?" is barely audible as I am riding away from the house towards the evening neighborhood races.

Ride on ....