Testing Out the New Commute

8:46 AM

This past year I became a fair-weather commuter, and the results were nothing but positive.  (OK, there were a couple of soggy mornings where a rainstorm surprised me on the way in, but generally, it was all good.)

My commute was an easy one to maintain.  It was incredibly short (just 3 miles each way), took only 30 minutes of my time a day, and didnt involve any big roads or major traffic.  It was so easy, Ive started to consider the life of a full-year commuter.

I realize what that means as a Minnesotan.  It means a possible temperature range of -20 degrees to, oh, +90 degrees.  It means buying more specialized winter equipment, including ski goggles (I did a couple of rides this past winter at around +20 degrees, and while it was easy to keep my hands warm, my eyeballs were painfully freezing).  Maybe it is the lovely weather we have had of late, or the imminent arrival of my summer vacation, but bike commuting for the next school year still sounds like a good idea.
This might be cute...without the flaming food

Next fall will also find me at a new building, so my commute will be longer (5 miles each way), and this week I was able to test out a route when I headed over for a meeting with my future colleagues.  The extra distance means more traffic, as I have to cross three of the biggest surface streets in St. Paul.  Still, most of it is on side roads with little traffic.  This is good, as I manage to make it across town without ever riding in a bike lane or hitting a bike path.  I was also happy to find out that my new site welcomes bikes in the building, and has accommodations (lockers! showers!) for commuters. 

I have the summer to plan, and more importantly, shop!  One thing that became clear this past year is that my work wardrobe was not purchased with bike commuting in mind.  I have a new appreciation for fabrics that can be stuffed in a bag and still come out looking professional.  I see a summer of hitting the local thrift shops (never buy new clothes unless you cant help it) to seek out skirts and dresses that dont require an ironthink Title 9 or Athleta on a budget.

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