Eddy got a new job this year. Since he began his new job, he has been biking to work. His new workplace is located less than a mile from our house, making the bike commute very easy for him. Lack of hills and back roads also make the commute easy and safe.
I, on the other hand, work 2.9 miles away from where I live. Several steep hills make my bike commute a bit tougher. More importantly, there is a 1.4-mile stretch of the commute where I have no choice but to to bike on a busy street. This makes the commute a bit scary.
A bus runs to my workplace, so I’ve taken it on days that I have no off-site meeting. But after seeing the film No Impact Man, I decided to overcome my fear of biking on a busy street and bike to work.
Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, decided to live one year without motorized transportation. That means no elevator, no subway, no car, and no plane. He wanted to go a year without train rides, but his mother, combined with Christmas, forced him to relent.
Colin biked everywhere in New York City. If No Impact Man can bike on busy New York City streets and survive, surely I can bike on one busy street in Little Rock and survive.
But before I ventured out on the street, Eddy and I embarked on making my bike commute as safe as possible. He helped me select bright bike lights, for both front and back, to make myself visible to drivers. We mapped out the shortest and safest route for me to bike to work and tested the route on a slow Sunday.
Next Monday, wearing bright clothes and a helmet, I biked to work. Guess what? It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be to bike on a busy street. In fact, I found out that most drivers on this particular street were very accommodating to me.
Since then, I’ve been biking to work on days that I have no off-site meeting. I enjoy it tremendously. During the 20 minutes it takes for me to bike to work, I get in workout AND personal time.
I’m very fortunate that my workplace has a shower and is understanding of bike commute. One day, when I had to go home in a hurry but was on my bike, my co-workers were quick to offer me rides.
Sure, there are some busy streets in Little Rock that I will never bike out of fear that I may be hurt. Drivers harass me from time to time. But so far, I’ve been enjoying biking to work, thanks to my workplace and Eddy who helped make my commute safe.
If you have ever considered biking to work, try to find out if it’s possible. I learned firsthand that what appeared impossible only appeared that way because I feared it. Now that I lost the fear, biking to work is not only possible but enjoyable.
So, let’s not unnecessarily fear commuting on bike. Take safety precautions and bike to work!