Wednesday, June 10, 2009

commuting via bike to save the planet

Today was pretty cool because I completed my first round-trip via bike from 3434 to work in Lester. I used to commute about 3 days a week to our old location in Cinnaminson, NJ, primarily when I had torn my hamstring and was out for the 2006 season. Yes, I end up sitting out just about every other season for one thing or another; torn hamstring in 2006, broken collarbone & heart arrythymia in 2008, and now in 2009 with a heart that suddenly and unexpectedly works with the help of [insert pacemaker contest winner's winning entry here] , I am not sure what to do with myself as I slowly climb out of my hole and back into some semblance of racing form. Some would say I should just hang it up and make use of those ovaries that God gave me but I'm not sure I am ready for all that nonsense; besides, one thing our overpopulated and overpolluted world does NOT need right now is another kid. Furthermore, I am having issues with an incontinent elder dog and I can't even imagine dealing with diapers and poo.

Anyway, um, regarding the bike route to work, it's awesome! Half of the route I am on a bike path, meaning there is 50% less chance that I will get hit by a car. I cut through Fairmount Park near the Mann Center (this time did not get lost, see below), then I go west to 63rd street, take that south through the 'hood (don't love this part of the ride I must confess) and then I hit the Cobbs Creek Parkway and it is smooth sailing until that one crappy 4-5 block section of Island Avenue where I have to hop my bike sideways over deep rutted trolley tracks and gigantic potholes on a stretch of road with no shoulder and some ornery drivers. I might be able to figure a way around that though.

On my first attempt last week I got lost in Fairmount Park because I neglected to take into account the one-way roads when I was google- mapping it. With my tail between my legs I set down the bike and walked into this cool-looking historic building right by the Mann and sheepishly told them I was lost. This woman came out from behind the counter and went over the directions with me 6 times, even telling me the safest route through the 'hood. She lives in the 'hood I was about to ride into and I was very touched by the care she showed me. Anyway, I googled the place and it looks really cool; I would like to go to lunch there sometime. Check out a review here.

I love how bike commuting suddenly multiplies the hours in my day; as my formerly wasted commuting time in the car now becomes training time. I can come home and feed the dogs, cook dinner, relax in my garden, and feel good about the fact that I have just reduced my carbon footprint. A little. At least it's one more small step towards a sustainable world.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
-attributed to Lao-tzu (c 604-c 531 bc), founder of Taoism

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