I wasn't able to take part in any of Elgin's Bike to Work activities this week, except for one -- actually getting on my bike and riding to work.
It's sort of an important step for me, though. Because of a recent move, home now is 16 miles away. That's much farther than the commute-of-sorts I had whenever I pedaled between my west-side Elgin home and The Courier-News office on Lake Street, on the city's near-east side. In those days, I could practically fall off my bike and be at work.
So although I'm an experienced bicyclist, today's trip still was a new adventure. There were the practical considerations, of course: having work clothes ready at the office so I could get out of my riding attire (I brought a gym bag of clothes to work yesterday), leaving early enough to get here on time (an hour instead of a half-hour), knowing the route (including the Fox River Trail bike path).
More considerations, Bike to Work Week activities, after the jump.
There also was another consideration that was as important as the others -- no, more important: the decision to do it. I've taken countless bike rides that have gone much farther, but I still was uncertain about doing it as part of a lengthy workday commute. It was a mental block -- or maybe inertia -- that kept me from believing it was not such a big deal.
And it wasn't such a big deal after all. I need to do a better job at preparing for some details, such as at-the-office cleanup, and for leaving even earlier so I don't spend work time doing that cleanup. But those indeed are just details.
I'm glad Elgin actively encourages bicycle commuting. It could do a little better job fixing its downtown link in the Fox River Trail. But it seems committed to making the city overall a better place to bike -- and for folks like me who need an occasional push to hop on the bicycle, that's a good thing.
Check out this list of Elgin's Bike to Work Week activities. And share your bike commute stories here in the comments!
-- Marty O'Mara, Night Editor