Friday, July 2, 2010

Traffic: Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It

For some time now, I have considered riding my bike to work.  And this morning?  I DID IT!!!  Will I do it again?  Probably, but meditation, deep breathing, and soul searching must occur first.  For as much as Chris and I try and say we care about the environment, I was starting to feel like a hypocrite.  We just traded in my sedan for an SUV this past week.  I cannot pretend that this was a green decision.  But...I love my new car (post for another time).  However, I had to do something to make up for the gas I was using.

I only work 1 mile from home.  Yes, you heard that right.  1 MILE.  I had very few excuses why I should not be riding my bike daily.  Our small town also has shut down one of 5 routes out of town, and that bridge will be closed for a year.  Traffic is an absolute nightmare.  My commute would frequently take up to a half hour.  For that itty bitty mile.

So why hadn't I ridden or walked before?  I walk much farther than that multiple times a day.  It certainly wasn't the strain it would put on my body.  The 1 mile between my house and my office is ENTIRELY highway.  It is only a 45 mile an hour state route, but it is entirely void of sidewalks, and only occasionally has a shoulder.  The idea of riding my bike on it simply terrified me.

My hand was forced today.  Chris's car is in the shop and he took my pretty new baby to his office.  So, I strapped on my helmet, and took off.  And can I say that riding a bike certainly uses different muscles than running?  And that the mile is much hillier than I ever realized?  Besides the point.  It was pretty much as scary as I thought it would be.  In fact, at one point I was shaking so badly that I had to get off and walk a bit.  But I made it.

I believe that small towns like mine, in particular, have a duty to encourage people to leave their cars at home.  So many of us could easily reduce the traffic volume if riding bikes or walking were more viable options.  However, there must be an emphasis on bike lanes or sidewalks to make this a reality.  I believe Phoenixville actually is making this a priority, but I work just over the border in another township.  And there?  The safety features disappear.  I will continue to try and make this a more frequent occurrence, but for now?  Let me catch my breath.


  1. Dude- 1 mile? I'd soooo walk! or ride a bike! Congrats on doing it!!!

  2. Good for you for conquering your fear and doing it! :)

  3. Thats great! I like that you used an opportunity for something so good. Hopefully it's not always so stressful to ride.

  4. You're brave. At first I was thinking, one mile, that's not bad, but highway? No way in heck. I used to have to bike a mile along a busy road with no bike lane and it was AWFUL. I was so sure I was going to die on that road.