This morning I completed a goal that I had set for myself several years ago when I first started bicycle commuting on a regular basis – to bike commute in every month of the calendar year. Thankfully, the unseasonably mild winter we are having this season (thus far) has made that goal easier to accomplish.
Has completing this bicycle commuting goal taught me anything? Absolutely, yes. Here are a few of the lessons I have learned:
- Anyone with a reasonably short work commute can accomplish this goal if they put their mind to it. For those with longer commutes, consider the options of keeping a bike at your office and riding during your lunch hour, cycling to a nearby transit stop, or perhaps bike commute to a park-and-ride lot and then carpool from there.
- Bicycle commuting is fun – a lot of fun, even for those of us that fall into the middle-age category.
- Bicycle commuting is a great was to refresh oneself and get a good start on the work day. I feel more alert and healthy when I bike commute than when I am stuck in a two-ton metal egg.
- Bicycle commuting is a great way to stay physically fit throughout the year. Sure beats jogging which gave me shin splints.
- You learn not to mind getting drenched or sweaty (at least on the way home).
- What a great way to experience the nuances of your community at ground level.
- The sweet little things about nature become much more noticeable – a sunrise; birds singing; summer breezes; snowflakes falling; leaves changing colors in the fall; a butterfly passing by; and the sound of a small stream are all examples.
- You have a chance to interact with other people instead of being cooped up in your coupe.
- You almost instantly become a defacto member of the bicycling culture, as fellow riders nod their head, wave, or say hello.
- I plan my day around my bicycle commute so that multiple errands can also be accomplished by cycling.
- Some of my best ideas come to me while pedaling across the landscape.
- You quickly learn where corrections and improvements need to be made to improve cycling and walking safety.
- You also quickly learn how rude some drivers are and how little regard many of them have for your safety. Cyclists are far too often regarded as a hindrance or impediment to care-free driving.
- Each month/season of the year has its own splendors, from the chilled artistry of winter, to the rebirth and renewal of spring, to the sun-filled days of summer, to the amazing cavalcade of fall colors in autumn.
- Nature is a gift to us all. By bicycle commuting, I feel each of us has more opportunities to enjoy the many blessings that nature has to offer.