A bug smashed into my forehead the other day on my way home from work. I nearly fell off my bike in a panicked attempt to wipe the guts off.
That was reason no. 1,200,687 that I’ve regretted my decision to buy a bike and begin riding to and from the office on slow, sunny days.
More often than not my job is not suited for bike riding; I have a lot of meetings all over the county, and oftentimes, all over the region. But with the coronavirus taking over our lives, my job has been relatively stationary, meaning it was the perfect opportunity to wheel my bike out of the shed and get back on.
When I was in college — what feels like an eternity ago, but was really only four years ago — I rode my bike several miles every day to get to work, school and back. I loved it; it was the one part of my day where I could ignore everything else in the world and just focus on my immediate surroundings.
While it definitely still gives me that same level of peace, I forgot about the pain that comes with adjusting to riding my bike. My muscles were not ready for that shock and neither was my bum. Saddle bruises are no joke, y’all. Oh, and the bugs. So many bugs.
Since I’ve gotten used to riding again, it’s reminded me of some of the other benefits. I began dropping weight quickly, and my muscles toned up. I felt happier as I started my workday.
I’ve also been able to separate myself from work by the time I get home, something I usually struggle with. My commute now takes a little longer, and it forces me to think about other stuff that is not news related — like bugs, beautiful landscapes I’d have missed otherwise and cars that drive too close.
(Yes, silver Buick guy, you were too close. And no, the hand gesture you saw was not a figment of your imagination.)
Honestly, I don’t think riding my bike will ever be an everyday option for me because my life (mostly my job) will never really allow it. But on the days that I can make it happen, I am grateful that I have a fun way to get some of my excess energy out and take a deeper look at how beautiful our city really is.