This summer, my office is participating in the National Bike Challenge - competing with office teams throughout the country to see who can collectively log the most miles on a bike. Since moving to the region nearly 3 years ago, I have been an almost exclusive Metro commuter. But, wanting to be a good colleague and teammate, I volunteered to join the ranks of the passionate bicycle commuting posse in my office - albeit on a part-time basis.
And so, for the past few months, I've been trying to ride my bike to work 2-3 times each week. Some weeks are better than others. While I don't think I'll ever be a full-time bike commuter, I have certainly come to realize a number of benefits:
- I get to work roughly 15 minutes faster on my bike than I do on Metro.
- Even if I have time for no other exercise that day, a 6-mile round trip bike ride is better than nothing.
- Red-line delays and broken escalators do not factor into my bike commute.
- The time I save allows me to sleep in a little later, or (in case my boss is reading) get to work a little earlier.
- It takes a little more planning. On more than one occasion, I have forgotten to pack something of importance for the workday. Like deodorant. Or, shoes. Over the last few weeks, however, I have begun to amass a collection of work-appropriate attire that remains in the office.
- The water pressure in the office shower simply cannot match that of my apartment (first world problems, I know. But, I’m extremely thankful to have a shower at all – as many offices don’t).
- I sweat. A lot. I have determined it is next to impossible for me to make the trip in normal clothes without destroying them.
As I continue to find comfort in my bike commute, I doubt I'll ever become an everyday bike commuter. But, what I have learned is that's ok. What is great about my commute is that I have options. Each day, I'm able to choose the commuting mode that works best for me. Don't be afraid to try new things - change your commute every now and then to keep it fresh. One of the best things about working in Arlington is that there are a number of different systems in place to help get you where you need to go.
Learn about the different options available for your commute at www.arlingtontransportationpartners.com.