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Sunday, September 9, 2018

A COMMITMENT TO COMMUTING

Back in 2008, when gas first shot up to over $4 a gallon, I made the the decision to start riding my bike to school.  At the time, some people thought I was crazy...after all, I'd be commuting approximately 11 miles each way...in the predawn hours...with morning traffic.  Regardless of what some people thought...I decided to park my truck and commit to riding my bike to school as much as  could.  As far as I was concerned it would be one less vehicle on the road and, hopefully, a lot more gas money left in my pocket.

My Roubaix near Northeastern Middle School in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania. -- June 2, 2016

The first thing I needed to commute to school was a bike.  Sure, I had a mountain bike...but I had no real desire to ride a mountain bike 22 miles a day on the road.  Afraid of committing to a traditional road bike, I took a page from my friend, Glenn's, playbook and purchased a 2008 Specialized Tricross.  I figured I'd be more comfortable with the "knobbier" tires and that it would be significantly faster than my mountain bike.  I practiced a few times...experimenting with routes and figuring out exactly how long the average commute would take me.  I would, obviously, need to shower and change when I arrived...so arrangements were made to use the coaches room early in the morning.  Strict ground rules regarding the weather...the temperature had to be above 35 degrees and the local weather men had to guarantee me a dry ride.

My 2008 Specialized Tricross.  I wasn't sure if I really wanted a "road bike."   Ultimately, because I only used it on the road, my Tricross ended up on Ebay after owning it for just under a year. -- 2008


After selling my Tricross, I purchased my first real road bike...a 2009 Specialized Allez.  On days that I road my Allez to school, I would proudly display my NMS parking permit on it in my classroom!  -- 2011

My Roubaix replaced my Allez in 2012.  It's been my transportation to school many times.  -- September 6, 2018

The shortened commute to school allows me, if I so desire, to ride my Stumpjumper to school every once in a while. -- October 4, 2017

For three years, I made this journey as many times a week as I could.  I figured that riding all five days a week was the equivalent of not putting half a tank of gas in my Silverado.  It was well worth it and it became part of my daily routine...until I abruptly stopped riding to school in the Fall of 2012.  That summer I moved to Manchester...a mere two and a half miles from my classroom.  I began to use that, and other things, as an excuse for not riding.  I would tell myself that it "wasn't worth it" to spend all that time getting things ready for such a quick ride....or that "it wasn't a good enough work out."  These weren't reasons...they were just, as I said, excuses.


I've recently repurposed my 2009 Allez and brought it out of retirement for commuting.  It's nice to ride the old bike again...even if it is just a short distance. -- August 28, 2018


With the beginning of a new school year, I decided to recommit to riding to school again.  My commute may be short...but it's fun.  I found that it takes me just as long to ride my bike to school as it does to drive the short distance.  My ride home can be detoured through the local developments and neighborhoods...on a few occasions, turning my 2 mile ride into a 12 mile ride!  When  students in my class ask about my bikes, I'm given the opportunity to be an advocate for cycling and the importance of fresh air and exercises...which is super cool.  Ultimately, (and most importantly) I begin, and end, my day happier than I would have if I drove the same distance...which makes the little bit of extra effort all the more worthwhile. 


One of the biggest perks of cycling to school is seeing the sunrise over Mount Wolf.  It can be quite beautiful. -- 2017


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond --  September 9, 2018
I'd like to give a shout out to two of my friends, Mark Lentz and Clark Evanitus, who have been commuting to work and...well...just about everywhere they can...for years.  Thank you, gentlemen, for your example.


With my short commute, I can ride on days that I work at GUNG HO BIKES after school and still make it to the bike shop in plenty of time.  No excuses.  Also no reason why I can't run across the street and pick up some Italian Ice, too! -- September 8, 2018



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@mountnbiker73

Here's the GARMIN map and data from quick commute to school and a few of my extended rides home...Happy commuting!









All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at YOUR TRUE NATUREGUNG HO BIKESPENNSYLVANIA DCNR, and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.

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