I started a new job in February which happens to be located in beautiful Burnsville, Minnesota. Being that the job is so close to my home and we only have one car, I made the decision that I would begin biking to work regularly (the plan was every day but the wettest May on record as well as two work trips has limited my riding quite a bit).
I did some research on commuter bikes, with the help of both MSPD and Reuben, and settled on a 2012 Daily Cross by Specialized from Erik’s in Bloomington. A really nice commuter bike, this one came with fenders and a back rack pre-installed. I added a back bag to the rack and bought a helmet and I was set to go for the summer.
The first day I biked into work I chose to ride all the way down Galaxie to McAndrews and found myself quite tired from the trip. I wasn’t looking forward to the climb back up McAndrews at the end of the day and rode along 140th to Cedar and came back that way. I took a few days off after that due to traveling for work and came up with the route you see above. The route I ended up choosing is shorter, utilizes roads which are not busy at the time I ride (outside of rush hour), and have wide shoulders which keeps me out of the general traffic for the majority of the trip.
In my time on the bike I have only been screamed at three times. The first two were within 24 hours of each other. One friendly individual telling me to get out of the street (I was only in the street at that particular location because of sidewalk construction) and another who chose to use a racial epithet which I will not repeat here. Today I was screamed at in some unintelligible manner probably because I had the audacity to ride my bike to work instead of driving my car.
While the ride is pretty easy overall, I have to admit that adding 20 to 25 minutes to my commute each way is a bit depressing. Knowing I’m saving gas and getting exercise is a nice thought and I like ringing my bell at wayward children wandering on bike paths. I hope that by the end of the summer I’ll be a total beast on the bike and that it will take even less than 20 minutes, especially on days where the wind is blowing 20 mph in my face.
Have you ever wanted to commute by bike to work? Do you have the ability to do so but choose not to? Have you ever yelled at a biker (I have but only when they were blowing stop signs or not paying attention to their surroundings)? When you choose your bike routes do you choose roads which are less traveled? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.