by Kathy Brown
I have always considered myself active. I enjoyed biking or rollerblading after work, talking a walk with friends, sailing etc.
One thing I never considered, though, was a non-motorized “carless” commute to work. Why would I? I have always lived too far away – period. Until I met my husband who asked the question, How far away is too far? 20 miles, 30 miles? Well of course, that’s too far. What about 10 miles or 5 miles or 2 miles? Hmmm, now he got me thinking….
So, in April 2014, after a week of planning, I decided to bike to work. My commute one way was 5.33 miles. Long enough that I had to pack a spare outfit. Long enough that it took my fingers forever to lock up my bike, unstrap my saddle bag, unbuckle my helmet, fumble with my badge and finally walk into the building and punch in. I felt fantastic, though, alive and awake. I DID IT! Then around 3:00 p.m., the thought occurred to me…I have to ride home.
I bike commuted to work 12 times that year and then 2 more times in the spring of 2015. Then we moved up north where my bike commute was only 2 miles one way. 2 MILES downhill TO work! Now I had no excuses… Then it rained one morning. Hmmm, What’s a little rain? So, I found a yellow rain suit that I had just unpacked and I was surprised just how fun it was to ride in the rain! Then the snow hit, and I was done.
Eventually, the nice weather returned and got my bike out again. I started riding every day to work, one day led to the next and the next until I rode 117 consecutive days to work, 151 total bike-commutes in 2016. Then the snow hit, and I was done…or was I?
How far away is too far to walk in the snow? 2 miles? Yes. 1.5 miles via the backyards? That might work…
December 12th was my second walk-commute to work through the snow and the wind and the ice and cold. I felt fantastic, alive and awake. I DID IT! Until the 3:00 p.m. thought returns…I have to walk home…almost all uphill.
Ask yourself the question – how far is too far?