You can’t change the world.
But you can change yourself +1, and that’s pretty much the same thing.
One thing I’ve noticed about bike commuting is that people love to hear about it. Here are some things no one has said when I tell them I just finished the first half of my 70-mile, round-trip commute:
- You’re crazy.
- That’s stupid.
- Get a car.
- That’s dangerous.
- You stink.
- You look terrible.
- Glad I was able to sit in traffic for two hours while you were riding your bike.
Here are some things I’ve heard:
- That’s awesome!
- I admire you!
- I love to ride a bike, too!
- You look like you just stepped out of a Tesla! (The lady at the Starbucks register at the courthouse downtown really said that. Still not sure what it means.)
- I’m going to start riding again.
- You are in amazing shape.
- Your shirt and slacks are so crisp!
- You look so happy.
- Be careful out there!
Yesterday’s commute would have been a bear if I’d done the whole thing by bike. I had a meeting in Mission Viejo which is a solid 65 miles one-way, and instead of sucking it up and riding the entire thing, I did the pedal downtown then hopped on the Amtrak Surfliner, with my bike, to San Juan Capistrano. From there I pedaled the five miles to Mission Viejo, had my meeting, and then caught the 1:33 back to LA.
You really don’t need a car in L.A., but when I offloaded back at Union Station and faced the 32-mile, full-on traffic commute home ending in Basswood-Shorewood, I sure wished I had one. More to the point, I realized that there was an easy solution–the bus. There’s a direct, 50-minute ride that dumps me off about 40 minutes from home, and then, if you’re still not feeling the love, another 40-minute bus ride almost exactly at my front door.
Minus Basswood and Shorewood.
“I’m taking the bus,” I said, “but first I’m eating one of these.”
As I licked the spoon clean, my mood changed, I hopped on my bike and began the 2-hour ride home.
Changing the world is great and everything.
But ice cream is even better.
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