I started my morning out an hour earlier than normal to give myself enough time to get prepared and complete the nine mile ride into work. After packing a bag with a my regular workday essentials and a change of clothes, I started my journey toward my office building. A brief trip down the city street that runs in front of my house led me straight to the bike path that would guide me for the majority of my ride. Following my turn onto the path, I immediately noticed a change in the environment. The whirring of the road faded away leaving only the sounds of the birds singing and the gentle breeze blowing through the morning air. The bike path, still damp from the previous night's rain, was mostly free of other people except for the occasional jogger, dog walker, and bicyclist. I figured the majority of people were likely avoiding outdoor activity during the early morning hours as a result of the continuing threat of rain, but I was happy to be surrounded by the stillness that came as I traveled further away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.
|The morning ride.|
|Two hills down, two to go...|
Less than a mile from my office, I quickly noticed the earlier feeling of tranquility had all but disappeared as I began to worry about what time it was and about the tasks I knew I had to accomplish during the day. "Monday...", I thought, "Damnit, it's a Monday..." I snapped myself out of my worried state as I rounded one of the last curves before my office building. My eyes widened as they caught sight of the last hill left to conquer on my trek. Its slope seemed to increase endlessly as I began pushing myself toward the top. I shifted gears to give my legs some rest and kept peddling. "Almost there... Come on..." I said between labored breaths. With my legs ablaze I hammered my eyes shut and bore down. What seemed like minutes passed as I continued to peddle. Suddenly, I felt the resistance ebb and the force of gravity begin to work with me. I opened my eyes and saw my office building from atop the hill. I made it, but I needed a shower... bad.
After parking my bike I quickly rummaged through my bag for my cell phone and work ID. I was relieved to see I had made much better time than I thought I would. I was even more relieved to find that the onsite shower was free. Following a quick clean up and a change into my work clothes, I climbed the stairs to my floor and made my way to my desk. The workday flew by as I hurried through the reports, administrative tasks, and meetings that occupied every square inch of my Outlook calendar. Sooner than expected, the workday had drawn to a close and my journey home was ready to begin.
My first experience biking to work was challenging and gratifying. I know my legs will be sore tomorrow, but a little stiffness is well worth the opportunity to try something new. I have never had the ability to unwind before the start of a workday, which is valuable enough to make biking to work a repeat event in my life. Although I know I will not likely have many opportunities to bike to work over the next 357 days, I'm sure it will be a part of my routine next spring and summer. The peace of mind I gained this morning is worth it... and I want make sure those hills know I can kick their ass whenever my heart desires.
|Bonus! - This is me as a sweaty mess looking like an exhausted idiot.|