Pro Choice December 6, 2014
My family moved out of Providence last summer and we landed a few miles down the East Bay Bike Path to a place where we can smell the ocean. This changes my commute into the city from a 15 minute spin through an urban hardscape in jeans and flip flops to a 45 minute ride along the coastal edge of upper Narraganset Bay in chamois shorts and SPDs.
Although my commute takes longer on a bike, it is often more time efficient than driving; which can turn from a 15 minute cruise up the highway to a 45 minute slog through gridlock depending on the time of day. Even when the weather looks threatening, the relentless traffic factor makes my decision to ride in that much easier to make. So far, a typical week has me riding 4 out of 5 days, and I couldn’t be happier.
The satisfaction of making my miles by bike is only part of it however. When I look back on my day and I can say I saw egrets in the mud flats at low tide, and pushed through a morning fog into the sun, and saw that green Heron, or circling osprey there’s an extra bonus that I can’t put a value on. I see, feel and smell the weather and seasons in a way I could never feel them behind the wheel.
I’ve been living the bicycle-as-transportation lifestyle for many years so it is easy to take certain things for granted. Such factors as having a bicycle and appropriate gear ready to go at all times is a big one. Knowledge I have acquired related to weather and how to dress is important also. However, in making this recent change, I have reflected on the fundamental thing which makes it possible to choose a bicycle over other means to get from A to B is the realization that I have that option in the first place. Whether your ride takes you through city streets or country roads, over hill or over dale, I hope you do to.