I’ve always been impressed by people biking to work regardless of how bad the weather is. Since I’m not really a ‘morning person’ and usually take a long time to wake up both physically and mentally, I used to commute by bus. It doesn’t take a lot of thinking: go outside, wait for the bus at the next stop, hop on and hop off. Theoretically, it should be easy and fast. The perfect way to slowly wake up and have a relaxed commute to work. That’s at least what I told myself for a long time.
As it turned out, commuting by public transit can be very stressful. Most of the time my bus was delayed or crowded. Sometimes it even never showed up. Although the distance between my home and the office is only about 4 miles, it can take 45-60 minutes to get to work with the waiting and the necessary bus transfer. Even though it enables me to stay in my physical comfort zone for a little longer by sitting down in a nice heated bus, I usually get to work mentally exhausted and stressed out. My concentration is gone and I’m often tired and listless. It was time for a change. A change to the world of cycling.
I had my first bike commuting experience with the Paratrooper Pro. This mountain bike enabled me a quick and easy start into daily riding. Since we were still hanging onto the remnants of a historically snowy winter here in New England, it also kept me safe on the streets with it’s 2″ tires. When I was younger I used to ride my bike to school every day. I met with friends and together we rode all the way to school each morning, talking about the latest news in our daily lifes and having fun cruising through town. Getting back on the bike now brought up some great memories.
For safety reasons and as a tribute to my earlier cycling days, I’ve equipped my Paratrooper Pro with a funky ‘bell-pepper’. It always makes me smile when I hop on my bike.
Of course, I picked one of the nicer routes to get from my home to work. It takes me along one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Cambridge and is well-balanced when it comes to comfort level and terrain. One of the roads I take is Brattle Street which is lined with many beautiful and historic buildings. I really enjoy riding here, especially in the morning when the sunshine peaks through the old trees and adds a warmth and glow to the passing scenery. Furthermore I’m riding by the oldest university in the United States: Harvard.
Pictured above is the house that served as the headquarters for General George Washington during the Siege of Boston from July 1775- April 1776. It later was the home of renowned 19th century poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
I’ve been riding my bike to work now for over a month (it hasn’t been gone long, but the snow is finally melted now) and I can’t imagine going back to public transit or really any other kind of commuting. Instead of being dependent on the bus schedule, I can now decide when I want to leave the house. I don’t have to sit in a stuffy, crowded bus any more, and instead I get to enjoy the breeze and wind in my hair while riding.
I can feel my entire body and mind warming up and getting ready for the day while pedaling one mile after another. Moreover I have the freedom to take the route I decide to and make a stop wherever I want. I’m saving lots of money and time (about 30 minutes daily and $75 monthly with the bike!), and I’m doing something for my health every day. Biking to work is so much fun and it makes me feel energized and far more productive in my job. At the end of the day there’s nothing better to clear your head than a ride home in the sunset.