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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@trailrunningmom led another successful #Yoga at #Sunset for the #boltonlandtrust This year's venue was the #BoltonHeritageFarm It's been a tradition to move to a new spot each time. I got my first #cyclocross ride of the year in too! #yogini #yogi #shavasana Sightseeing on my second favorite road in #Connecticut #grassyhill #cycling #bicycle #sevencycles #horstengineering Camp was swell! @thecubscouts @boyscoutsofamerica #cubscouts #boyscouts #junenorcrosswebster I visited the new HQ of the @appalachianmountainclub that is under construction at 10 City Square in #Charlestown I had to ride by the #BunkerHill Monument at the end of the #FreedomTrail #Boston #sevencycles First time at the People's Forest Trail Race since 2011. This first image is the look of a dejected man who lost 25 minutes with a wrong turn on a big descent. That's costly in an 11 kilometer race. Even worse is that @trailrunningmom is the one who led him (and two other runners) off course! They survived. It was a nice day on the #FarmingtonRiver. #trailrunning #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders 🏃🏻⛰🏆 Another great #sunset at #windingtrails Two distant pre-swim thunderclaps turned the race into a #Duathlon which suited me just fine! It's nice to not come into T1 with a two minute deficit. #Triathlon #mountainbiking #trailrunning #teamhorstsports Once again, @trailrunningmom took the cookie prize for winning the special summit competition at the finish line of the #shenipsitstriders #SoapstoneAssault Here is a picture of a picture of myself taking a picture. @cwoodside59 put together a nice piece for the @ctforestandparkassociation quarterly. I'm looking forward to my next #carfreecommute #selfie #bicycle #windingtrails Kid's #Triathlon

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