My commute

I prefer getting to work on my bike.

Sitting in a car in traffic is not fun, and while too often a necessary evil, not especially healthy. This is axiomatic. To add insult to injury, it’s 2.5 miles from our house to my office, and a significant majority of the stop lights in Kalispell lie in between. We also have, in my jaundiced opinion, excessively egregious traffic for a city so modest. Where does it come from (that no one who works in Whitefish lives there)? If we had good food, I could put up with traffic, but the number of decent eateries fits on one hand, and thus when faced with car commuting I despair.

Occasionally I have to drive to work, but as often as possible I try to ride. Yet in winter, my commute becomes rather unpleasant. Most of it can be done on quiet back streets, with many detours down urban singletrack for variety, but on one stretch a golf course sits between a four lane highway and a river with no alternatives but the shoulder of the former. Sans snow this is fine, but once the shoulder is plowed in that 200 meter stretch of hogging a lane removes a lot of the mentally and spiritually productivity of riding to work. Back in December I resolved to find an alternative, and after too much searching in the wrong spots found an unlocked gate which allowed a sneak across the golf course, and opened up an infinitely more enjoyable route, to which the Mukluk is at the moment ideally suited.

Riding to work and riding back home isn’t a very sexy adventure, but many days during the week is all the outside time for which I have space. It’s nice to be able to make it count.


12 responses to “My commute”

  1. There is something super special about even a short time out too and from work. 15-20 minutes makes a big difference in how I come in the door. Are there fenders out there for these beasts?

    1. I believe so. Lots of discussion on empty beer, in any case.

  2. “all the outside time for which I have space” – which is why I enjoy my commute so much and turn down lifts from colleagues passing me in their cars.

  3. There are several routes I can take to work. Two are filled with headaches (and quicker) the other is longer and less stressful. I take the longer one most times.

  4. You live in Kalispell?!?!?!?!?

  5. Here in Norway, surveys have revealed that in some places up to 70% of the car trips are three kilometres or less. Many parents drive their kids to school because of car traffic … and at work I’m considered a nut-case because of my year-round commuting by bike. I guess self-propelled transportation is not the state of affairs these days.

    … and then there’s all the people who take the car … to the training center to cycle indoors ;)

  6. Cool video. How’d you take it? Helmet cam or digicam?

    1. Cheap helmet cam mounted to the fork blade.

  7. martin cooperman Avatar
    martin cooperman

    Well, after all your exotic adventures in scenery that mostly appears on calendars for me, I can finally relate to something you wrote!
    I’ve been commuting 6 miles to downtown Cleveland by bike for 36 years. All year ’round. No sneak-around routes; All roads lead to downtown. But I grew up in NYC and learned to ride in traffic as a kid, and I actually enjoy it. I feel like a lion-tamer, keeping traffic in line, behaving nicely, sharing the lane like they should. My wife rides down with me every day, then turns around and rides back to where we live because that’s where her shop is. It’s so much nicer, not only arriving at work, but, even more so, arriving home from work just relaxed and exhilarated. No need for down time to recoup, no fatigue, it’s like it’s 9AM every day when I come home. I’m retired now and I still ride downtown most mornings to use the University’s exercise equipment and internet. Then I go off an have more fun on the bike. Enjoy your commute. Like you say, some days it’s all the exercise you get.

    1. Respect Martin. I can’t imagine Cleveland is especially kind to bike commuters. My downfall is that on days I’m going out to see clients, I have to drive. Makes it a bit easier to slack on days when I could bike or walk.

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