Bicycle Commuting

It was nice to see that Jen Murphy, wrote her 1 July column about bicycle commuting. I was checking up on her “What’s Your Workout?” column, as I periodically do. You would think that the current energy woes would motivate more people to ride their bikes to work or to run other errands using a bicycle, but I haven’t seen much of an increase. I still see the usual suspects driving their honking big SUV’s, trucks, and assorted gas guzzlers. I spend a fair amount of time driving places too, but I feel much better when I ride. For all the skeptics out there, all I suggest is that you try it.

This is what I posted on the WSJ Forum dedicated to Jen’s column:

I’ve been riding to and from work for many years. It is 14 miles each way to our plant in East Hartford. I strive for three days a week. On the ride in, it takes 45-50 minutes if I go all road and an hour if I ride the Rail Trail (dirt) for the first eight miles. On the way home, it takes 15 minutes longer because it is uphill. If I can’t ride both ways because of a meeting, family commitment, Daddy duty, etc.; I drive in with my bike on the roof, leave my vehicle, then ride home. The next day, I ride back in.

I leave early (6:00 A.M.) so I don’t see too many people, and need to use lights in the colder seasons. I wish I saw more riders. I go through some higher traffic urban areas and I am forced to ride defensively. At least once a week, an ignorant motorist squeezes me against a guardrail, cuts me off, or turns in front of me (like today). I ride defensively. My main commuter bike is an Ibis Hakkalugi cyclocross bike converted to singlespeed with old parts from my basement. It has 32c tubeless-tubular tires and full fenders, and is the perfect machine for the task.

Incidentally, my wife, Debbie, also commutes via Rail Trail to work at a yoga/fitness center a few times a week. Often, she pulls our two year old in our Chariot jog stroller/trailer. She leaves our son at the gym childcare center, which is a nice benefit. Recently, she has been doing errands as part of her commute. You can load a fair amount of groceries into the trailer.

We have both experienced the overall good feelings that result from commuting by bike.

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Good day at #mountgreylock @trailrunningmom ran her 20th consecutive Mt. Greylock Trail Race. I did the 5K with the kids and then rode to the top. Trophies went to Deb and Shep. #trailrunning #cycling #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃‍♀️🚴🏽⛰ 🏆
Good to be back at #windingtrails for the Summer #Triathlon Series. #mountainbike #trailrunning #sunset
Livingston Family firefighters. 🔥 👩‍🚒 🚒 When @trailrunningmom “smoked” the obstacle course AND added some push-ups for good measure, the Chief pulled out his business card and made a pitch for her to join the squad. I thought I was the competitive one, but she can turn anything into a competition! The kids had a blast too at family day.
From race directing to @thecubscouts directing. Proud day for our son, @trailrunningmom and the rest of #cubscouts Pack 157 Den 5 as they earned their Arrow of Light. Four of her boys are moving to @boyscoutsofamerica #scoutsbsa after five years of fun and learning.
Little D and I ran the @shenipsitstriders #soapstonemountaintrailrace Jerry Stage Sampler 6K with a bunch of other crazies! Tackling the infamous Sandpit with its 40% gradient and slick conditions was great fun. #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃‍♀️⛰
Start of the @shenipsitstriders 34th annual #soapstonemountaintrailrace This is the 15th year as Race Director for @trailrunningmom #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports ⛰🏃‍♀️
REWARD: Less likely to be $1 billion and more likely to have hops 🍺 or grapes 🍷 in it. Best suited for those in CT. On Monday at the end of my #carfreecommute to @horsteng I realized I lost one of my two custom orange/black @dillpicklegear panniers on the way. Within an hour, I retraced every pedal stroke in reverse. My route was Bolton to Manchester to S. Windsor with sections of @eastcoastgreenway and #wickhampark The only item in the bag was a brand new @lifeproof iPhone 6s nuud case in Hot Pink. That’s another story, but it was on clearance and I got a deal! It was in the unopened mailer/package ADDRESSED TO ME. I rode the route again on #biketoworkday today and no luck. At this point it is going to have to find me. So sad. I still can’t believe I couldn’t find it which means someone has it. Maybe they are a #goodsamaritan But no luck yet. Keep your eyes peeled!
After a full day at the CFM( Safran and @geaviation ) supplier conference, I explored the emerald green urban oasis known as #burnetwoods The sights, sounds, and smells (other than the dead possum) were delightful. @cincyparks #trailrunning #cincinnati
@trailrunningmom had a great week! She topped it off on #mothersday by spending some quality time with her favorite @disney character.

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