All a man needs out of life is a place to sit ‘n’ spit in the fire.

Category: Cycling

Bike Commuting for Sanity

Yesterday I did something crazy – well not crazy for me, but something odd for Puerto Rico. When I lived in the States, I commuted to work on my bicycle.  It was a great experience.  I would get to work, clean up with a wet wash cloth, or shower if one was available, change into my office clothes and get to work.  All my commutes have been around 15 miles each way, which makes for a pretty decent workout.  The nice thing about bike commuting is the energy you have early in the morning. While everyone else is grasping for cups of coffee like brain-starved zombies, you feel ready to go, oxygenated, pumped, energetic. If I had ever taken drugs, I imagine that’s what it feels like.  You feel like anything is possible, the world is at your fingertips.

The ride home is just as cathartic. Maybe you’re a little tired or stressed after a long day, but as soon as you get on the bike, it all melts away as you eat up the miles, reflect on and interact with the city, talk to strangers, see things you wouldn’t see from a car, and stop for a bottle of wine for your lovely wife/husband.  These were some of the happiest times of my life – even if the job was brain-dead.

I’d gotten away from that though.  Sure, I’d go out in the morning to do grocery shopping and run errands, but it just wasn’t the same.  Since I’m a consultant, when I visit an office, it’s usually not for the entire day, or it’s multiple offices in a day in inconvenient locations.

But the other day in a fit of “I’ve gotten so FAT,” I got an idea.  Why can’t I just plan a day to take care of all my pending tasks onsite.  I usually do them from home, but sometimes working in isolation is not motivating.  So I cleared my schedule and okayed my plan with the client.

I took off early in the morning for a 14 mile ride through San Juan into Cataño.  The morning was a little wet from a recent rain, but the air was cool, and the bike was comfy.  Laura had packed me lunch – a sandwich, orange, and apple – and I had my laptop stowed away in the paniers, along with a change of clothes, washcloth, and towel.

Man, did that feel good. It reminded me of 17 years ago.

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