Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Dichotomy of Commutes

My commutes to and from work yesterday could not have been any more different.

Yesterday morning, I donned my new Showers Pass rain gear. The sky was filled with dark clouds, the roads were wet and slick, the rain fell relentlessly and the wind blew a gale across the James River.

Yesterday evening, I tucked my rain gear in my bag and rolled up my sleeves. The sky was clear as a bell from horizon to horizon - setting up a perfect backdrop for a beautiful sunset. The temperature was in the low 70s, the roads were nice and dry and the wind blew softly across the James River.

Note that I said the commutes could not have been any more different, but I refrained from labeling one as more preferable than the other. The simple fact of the matter is, I enjoyed them both equally for what they were. I believe that is but another advantage of commuting by bike.

In a car, one is isolated from the whims of mother nature. In a car, one deals with the elements by the turning of a knob or throwing of a switch.

On the other hand, when you ride a bike, you are directly exposed to those elements, they literally smack you in the face. There is no escaping them. You are forced to contend with them each and every pedal stroke.

On the surface, it would be easy to conclude that having to contend with the heat or cold, wind and rain, is but a hassle. However, from a bicycle seat, one learns to not only accept them as a part of life, but you get to know their intricacies and grow to appreciate them as well.

PS - The Showers Pass gear worked like charm. I stayed nice and dry and the ventilation was just enough to keep the perspiration to a minimum.

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