I have always enjoyed the magic of riding a bike; from my first “stingray” to my current 14 speed Trek. I’m a pretty average cyclist, which means I like to ride as fast as my spindly legs will take me with my buddies on Saturday’s, my church ride on Sunday’s and occasionally a week day evening ride. And yes, I participate in a fantasy Tour deFrance league during that epic race.
However, it wasn’t until I hooked up with group of commuter’s did I realize a whole new world of real bicyclist. This group takes biking to a different level to what I traditionally associated with biking. Where wet, cold and dark are reasons for cancellation of my other rides. These items are simply things to be overcome by the hardy bike commuter. Where my “roadie buds” seek routes further and further out in the country to avoid auto/bike contact; the commuter is forced to safely, and hopefully peaceably interact with ever more automobile congestion.
Unfortunately, my job requires for me to utilize my personal car to travel around town to call on clients and project sites which leaves only a few special days per year for a “full commute” from Carmel to Indianapolis. However, those commutes have shown the many benefits of bicycle work commuting: 1) you just feel better, awake and alive all day, 2) you’re the talk and the secret envy of many of your co-workers, 3) you become more efficient at your job, because you know you need to leave on time, 4) and most important to me is biking to work adds a little adventure in my life. Hey, I’m 56 married and living in the suburbs with 3 grown children. For many people that defines boring, but a bike commute adds new spice to the day, adventure, exploration, danger :)! When was the last time you had that in your life?
One commuting day I make sure to ride is the National Bike to Work Day. It is great fun to head into town with full peloton of fellow riders, veteran commuters, racers and first time rookies. We then all meet at the Monument Circle in downtown Indy, maybe win some swag, hear fellow cyclist Mayor Ballard speak while eating free food from gracious sponsors. You never know you will see on a bike such as me with Indy car driver, Vitor Meira, in his fine ZIPP kit. I look faster just standing by him.
This ride is in May and in Indy that means racing. Additionally, for the past 3 years BTWD is also my industries “Day at the Track”. So from the Circle it is peddling off to Speedway and the annual hassle with the infamous Yellow Shirts who are most confused about a bicycle, then lunch at the Speedway Motel. Ah, an afternoon of cold cars, hot beer and fast women, or something like that. At the day’s Happy Hour end, it is time to put on the gear and saddle up for the ride home. When zipping past all the stalled cars while riding on the Canal Tow path to Broad Ripple I think what a great day, what a great adventure.
It is time for your bike commute, YOUR adventure.
Name: Eric Carleton
Bicycle: Trek 2200
Eric, Thanks from everyone at Bicycle Garage Indy for sharing Your Bicycle picture and story. Many us from BGI will look forward to seeing and riding on the 2011 Bike To Work Day in Indianapolis.
Details at http://www.bgindy.com/for/yourbicycle