Farewell to a bike commute
0 comment Friday, April 25, 2014 |
I'm starting a new job on Monday, which will cut my commute down to 10 blocks, a distance that makes it hard to justify actually getting on my bike instead of walking. But I'll keep it up.
My commute is going to change from a ride from Cap Hill into the fringe of downtown and into downtown, into a ride from Cap Hill to the City Park neighborhood. I expect a certain loss of adrenaline from my previous commute. That's the bad news. I expect a drop in the amount of fear and anger I feel, too.
My route was basically 12th Avenue almost all the way to downtown. If I wanted to avoid the malfunction junction that is 16th Avenue, Broadway and 16th Street, I had two choices: ride three blocks of Lincoln or three blocks of Colfax. Both were fun in their own way and always woke me up in the morning, but sometimes, at the end of the work day, I just wanted to walk my bike home. I never did, except for broken spokes.
My favorite thing about my old commute was the half-loop I got to do around the state Capitol building every morning -- squeeze through the gate, weave around some elected officials getting out of their cars, exit onto Colfax, fly downhill over Lincoln, squeeze past the No. 15 bus, over Broadway, onto 15th Street, left on Cleveland, then through the back alley and into the parking garage.

I'll miss it, but I think it's good for me. I was doing some errands this morning and realized I wouldn't be going down 12th and around the Capitol on my way to work, so I detoured way out of my way to get back on the old commute and did it one last time.
Once, I was pedaling around the west side of the building, and Gov. Bill Ritter was walking down the west steps, talking on a cell phone. My immediate thought was, "Slow down, hold up your hand and high-five him on your way by." I didn't. And I'll always regret it, because I think he would have gone for it.