Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Taking the Lane: My 1st Commute by Bike and the 3 Lessons Learned

My first commute to work on bike was great.  I cycled in on a weekend.  I needed to simply complete some  work in the lab and there were no time pressures, I had all weekend to do it.  It was a beautiful late Sunday afternoon when I made the trip. There were no time pressures to be to work at a specific time, so there was no need to hurry.  I mapped the best cycling route on maps.google.com.  I wanted to be sure to take the best route.  While I knew most of Lincoln's Trail System, I wasn't familiar with all of it, especially on the opposite side of town.  I did miss a turn and ambled down a few streets I had never been on before.  But I know the town more or less and knew where work was; I wasn't worried.  I'd make it there eventually.  Which brings me to lesson #1 when commuting for the first time - expect it to take longer than you think it will the first time you commute to work.

The day was beautiful, the sun was to begin setting and I knew I needed to head home.  To my surprise when heading back out the door to my bike was a huge menacing looking storm cell.  Oh no. My commute to work took around an hour at a leisurely (and slightly scenic) pace.  I knew if I went fast I could easily cut 15 minutes off my time, but didn't know if I would beat the storm.  I didn't.  It was one heck of a thunderstorm.  The wind was so strong it blew a huge tree branch down just feet from me.  It was at this point I was convinced I wouldn't make it home alive.  Admitting defeat, I called the re-enforcements to pick me up just 2 miles from home.  Which brings me to tips 2 and 3; always check the weather and always have an emergency back up plan - or at least a cell phone.
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