Last May (2017) I finally decided and committed to bike commute full time. Although, I didn’t sell my car and cancel my insurance, I cancelled my employee parking permit ($56 per month, $672 per year). Along with the cost, a few other things fell into place that made bike commuting an easy sell.
I’ve been hooked on cycling ever since I watched Lance Armstrong race for the first time around 2001, when he won his 3rd Tour de France. Around that time, I remember riding laps around a newly developed neighborhood on an old ten speed my Uncle pulled from his barn in Ohio. That bike was great. It was yellow like the Tour and had blue handlebar tape.
Since then the cycling bug has only gotten stronger, which factored in when I started looking for a new job. Besides the fact that sitting in traffic sucks, I knew I wanted to be close enough to my work to eventually bike commute.
Sure enough, I land a new job with a great organization less than 4 miles away from my apartment. As I “car” commuted for the first month and half, I quickly learned my supposedly quick commute on google maps was closer to a 30-40 minute buzz kill. Even though I worked “less” hours (8 hrs max), the car commute still sucked!
So, I started to consider gym options that the organization has on site. Then I struggled internally weighing the monthly membership ($26) and what I would really be using it for (the showers). Long story short, I eventually learned after dropping the idea of bike commuting to a few of my colleagues, there is a shower on the top floor of my building available for commuters or individuals who work out during lunch – free of charge. The bike commuting equation that I had developed in my head was complete.
I wasn’t able to come up with another excuse to justify why I shouldn’t cancel my parking permit and start bike commuting. If you’re reading this and haven’t committed and keep making excuses… Like Shia LaBeouf once said “Just do ittttt… dooo ittt!.” So I canceled my parking permit, signed up for the alternative commute option and the rest is history.
Now being more than 60 days in I thought I would share with you what I have learned:
- Do make a list of everything that you need to get ready in the morning.
- Do bring a bottle and fill it up with cold water before you hop in the shower.
- Do buy baby wipes just in case the shower doesn’t work when you get there.
- Do bring extra food because you will be hungrier.
- Do take a cold shower – trust me – residual heat is real.
- Do leave extra clothes at work in case you forget something (i.e. a belt, socks, underwear…)
- Don’t leave your bike shoes by your desk all day – they smell even if you can’t smell.
- Don’t under estimate the power of compounding – bike commuting miles do add up. It’s been sixty days and my legs are still getting use to it.
- Don’t forget to have fun – use Strava – add miles – attack every commuter you see. Go for a KOM even if your commute is only 3 miles long.
- DO NOT pee in the shower.
Here’s my list:
Items to bike:
– Working lights (rear/front)
– extra tube and pump kit
– bike shoes
– extra socks
– light jacket
– bike lock
– rain jacket/poncho
Items to shower/work:
– electric razor
– hair paste
– flip flops for the shower – leave in locker
– work shirt
– work pants
Leave the laptop at work – if possible.
Items to have on hand at work:
– two extra shirts
– a tie
– wet wipes
– lock for locker
Have any questions?