Last year I rode my bike to work a handful of times. This year for whatever reason I haven’t gotten into the habit. I don’t have a good excuse if the weather’s nice — Capital Metro at 5th and Pleasant Valley is only 6.3 miles from my house in South Austin and I can ride most of it along the Town Lake Trail on Lady Bird Lake. The gravel trail means I have to work a little harder than if I stayed on pavement but the tradeoff of not having to dodge traffic is worth it.
So this morning I pulled the bike out from the back of the garage, dusted off the cobwebs and set off. Pumping up the tires and getting my “Go” bag ready took a little time and I was running late, so I passed within yards of the Bike to Work Day celebration at City Hall without stopping for a free breakfast taco. Sounded like they had a crowd of people out there though.
My favorite part of any run or ride around Town Lake Trail is the section on the north side of the lake, east of I-35. It’s so quiet and peaceful compared to the hustle and bustle of the trail on both sides of the lake from Austin High to the Ann Richards Bridge. This morning I encountered a few other cyclists, a couple of fishermen, one or two people sitting at picnic tables, and a handful of pedestrians and runners along this quieter stretch but very little else except birds and trees. Riding along there is good way to begin the day.
This evening after work my plan is to ride up to the Intramural Fields to join some friends for some pickup soccer. After a couple of hours of soccer at my age I’ll likely have trouble even walking TO my bike – never mind pedaling it home. I’ll walk or pedal over to Lamar and 51st and put my bike and tired self on the # 3 southbound to get me back to the neighborhood. Wake me when we get to Artz Rib House.
National Bike to Work Day is a good reminder to me that with a little bit of planning lots of us could find healthier ways to get to work – healthier for us and healthier for the environment. I wish there were free tacos every day though.