Saturday, January 24, 2015

Embarking on a New Adventure, New Commute

A holiday gift from my old employer: a fun costume jewelry rendition of a step through
 bicycle. After 15 years of employment, plus parking my bike inside their garage, 
you might say they knew me well!

I'm teetering between employment opportunities, about to embark upon a new challenge, and with it—once the weather starts to warm—a totally new commuting routine.

Like a friend mentioned, it's the beginning of a new era. And I couldn't be more excited!

A pretty birthday card. Get your own at Trader Joes.

I leave behind an 11 mile (each way) commute. In its place will be an easier 5 mile one-way jaunt with multiple route options, which includes a mix of separated bike path, bike lane, and neighborhood streets. Best of all, I can extend the commute as I wish, pedaling along Lake Champlain's waterfront path, or snaking through woodland parks. It can be a "loop commute", going to and from the office.

And it gets better.

Another advantage: because of safer road conditions—90% off road route, and what minimal interaction with traffic I encounter, has an ample bike lane—I should be unaffected by Daylight Savings Time. Using lots of lights, I look forward to a longer commuter season, riding before late March and well after early November.

Ill be sharing this year's ride aboard the Mount Saint Helens. With shorter distance involved, it's not necessary to shave time, riding my speediest bicycle. And instead of standard black panniers—since saving weight is not an issue—I may explore using alternative baggage options: floral pannier and/or upcycled messenger bag. I made these bags: might as well put them to good use!

Goodbye long commute; hello sweet, early spring riding.

To my new co-workers: I hope to see you on the road!

Thoughts on the ultimate commute length
I've often thought that five miles is the perfect distance. (And I speak from experience.) Five miles is long enough to feel like I get exercise, but short enough to endure riding in almost any weather. A side benefit: less time involved means arriving home at a reasonable hour.

What is your optimal commuting distance?


  1. Brilliant! You're going to love it. My commute has got further & further as the office keeps getting moved. Now a 30 mile round trip. Sure my mileage looks great & I have route options, but I'd relish a shorter ride that I know I would enjoy more - I'd pick a more off-road route more often as I wouldnt need to think about the length of time the commute takes.
    I have Mondays off work and just ride up to my mum's and back - a lovely ride through the woods and the park and then usually back through town to nip to the shops - it's a 12 mile round trip and I think that's about the right distance to work as a really enjoyable commute.
    The main problem I find with a really long commute on busy roads is picking the time I ride - I set off really early to avoid the worst traffic, and in winter when it's dark, this has it's issues. A shorter commute, that's more off road would mean I could spend longer in bed.
    But life is a changing and I'll have a little lad in the next few weeks time. I've already invested in a frame to build up a cargo bike and I'm hoping that when I get back to work, I'll have options to work from 'touchdown' offices closer to home rather than having to be in the office as much. Fingers crossed!

    Really enjoy your new commute. I know exactly how great it will feel :-D

  2. I agree that long commutes are a two-edged sword. Riding long distances requires timing plus we tend to take the most direct route. I won't miss my long commute. Traffic was getting heavier over the years with new neighborhoods popping up adding to the congestion. And then there was the last mile - a dirt road.

  3. Congrats on and good luck with this new era.

  4. I found my commute of 7 miles each way to be almost ideal. Earlier, when it was 20 miles each way, the time was a problem.

  5. Great! Five to seven miles seems just about right to me. That way, I spend about an hour a day total on the bike, and can stretch it out into a longer time if I feel like dawdling or detouring, or, can also ride fast if I am running late or need to get home.


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