Making excuses for not riding my bike to work is easy. Making excuses for not riding an Optibike to work is just as easy, it you want it to be.
I live 17 miles from work. 4 miles of that is washboard dirt path. 3 miles of it is steep winding canyon with no shoulder and “rush hour” traffic. There is a 2000 ft+ elevation loss (and a 2000ft climb going home!) I could see my breath this morning and another frost had driven the final stake into the heart of my garden last night. Oh, and I have a 45 lb dog named Alohi that would never look at me again if I did not take her to work for the day. The list of valid excuses for not wanting to ride to work goes on. But I decided last night, to my wife’s disbelief that October 7 was the day.
Having finally got an Optibike 850xli of my own, I put my down jacket on (along with my big boy undies), strapped Alohi into a borrowed Burly trailer, threw my computer and briefcase into the trailer with her and took off down Boulder Canyon towards Optibike central. The time was 8:16 am.
8:20 am: Alohi is “adjusting” to trailer riding, in a very vocal fashion.
8:24 am: I remain very happy that I wore a down jacket, gloves, and wool hat under the helmet.
8:31 am: Hitting loose sand on a paved turn at 35mph is a great way to ensure that you are 100% awake in the morning.
8:40 am: I reach Boulder, and start the backroad and bikepath trek towards Optibike.
8:50 am: Pretentious Boulder cyclist yells [at me], “You’re cheating” when I blast by her on a sidestreat incline. I silently wonder if she would have yelled the same thing if I drove by her in my truck. I wonder what would have upset her less.
9:03 am: I arrive, slightly late with a sleeping puppy and a huge smile.
My normal commute takes about 30 minutes, on an Optibike the commute time was 47 minutes. Of course, that was the downhill ride stopping several times to make sure Alohi was well adjusted to her new chariot.
The biggest difference was that I felt like I had a little mini adventure in the morning rather than just another drive in my car. I feel a little silly to start my new bike commuting habit in the crisp Colorado fall, but now I am going to be looking for excuses to leave a little early and take the long way home. Alohi will surely enjoy the bag of groceries that she will be sharing the trailer with on the ride home tonight.