Riding to work, piece of cake. Four and a half miles downhill. Cold weather has made this a dread. Windproof gloves have become a necessity. It is not a good experience when your hands are so cold you can barley change the gears. The first two weeks of riding home, interesting. Yes four and a half miles uphill. To some of you probably no big deal. For me, big deal, at least until my body got used to it. Now when people say, "you ride all the way up there?" I think yeah, it's not so bad. I actually like it with the exception of rude drivers.
I walk somedays too. If I have the mornings off, I tend to walk to the local village and get a cup of coffee and walk back home before going for a run. Other days I walk to work. It slows me down and I wish that I could do this everyday. My preference has always been to be on my feet. I feel grounded that way.
In these last few months I've learned that it takes 13 minutes to get to work and 32-35 minutes to get home on a bike. I learned that I can walk the distance in an hour. I've learned that I can still be doula, cabs and public transport are quicker and I don't have to deal with parking. I've learned that I need to learn to fix a flat. I've learned it takes 15 minutes walking and 3 minutes riding go get a cup of coffee (yes, I am still addicted, but I am working on weaning off a bit...). Ok enough of what I learned. I enjoy getting around by bike and foot. It is changing perspectives, habits, and attitudes. Cars go too fast and before you know it your at work or grocery store or home. Biking and walking offers me transitional time where I don't just shut off from the world. I absorb it.
The only problem that I face without a car is getting to and from races. I've done the rental car thing, but the cost isn't working to my advantage. When a pilates client offered her 1990 Nissan Sentra with 82,000 miles, I checked it out. I fell in love with the manual everything. The doors that stuck. The no power steering, damn it really does work your arms. The cute little tape deck, which works. Looks like I am giving in and might have a car again. But, my goal is to still bike and walk to work and use the car for races and births. I don't think I'll rely on a car like I did. Using my body to get places makes me feel more connected and less stressed. I prefer this over sitting at red lights and watching the mph on a dashboard.