Saturday, May 07, 2011

Bike Commute 2011 - Day 7

It occurred to me that I might be taking entirely the wrong approach.  At work I try to maintain normalcy.  I try to make it not a big deal that I bike commute.  I try to make it so that if you didn't see my bike you wouldn't know I rode it; I don't want you to see me ride it in and I don't want you to see me ride it out.

I think it might be good that I want people to know that I'm normal even though I rode my bike to work.  I can go to meetings and be clean and on time.

On the other hand, though I've haven't asked for it, I think it might be right to ask for special considerations on account that I ride my bike to work.  It isn't an imposition to my employer.  It isn't that I'm some crazy fool that expects work to bend over backwards because I'm having too much fun playing around with my bicycle.  It is fun, and because of that I've been feeling like it's a guilty pleasure, but it shouldn't be. I shouldn't be ashamed or feel guilty.

I should advertise it, or at least let it be known.  I ride my bicycle to work, and so should you.  Why aren't you riding to work?  I encourage you to, I'll help you, I'll show you how, I'll be an example.
Hey, Mr Big Corporation who is so interested in presenting yourself to the world as a great place to work and a friend to all the little people, why don't you showcase me, the eco-friendly, health conscious bike commuter.
Abbott Laboratories, where I work has a half dozen health programs.  I'm in one now called Exercise Across Abbott, where they challenge individuals and teams to compete against each other to see who can exercise more.  I just completed a program called Body for Life, sponsored through Abbott.
On the other hand, the corporation recently had a fun poll on their main website asking employees world-wide how they got to work.  Do you know, more people answered that they walked to work than biked?  Something like 6% walked to work while only 2% rode bikes.
At my old building there was a concrete pad where a bike rack was supposed to go, but there was no rack there. When I asked for one, they were very happy to accommodate. They put a rack there designed for one single bike. The real trouble was that it only weighted less than 50 lbs and wasn't bolted down. Basically it was a small concrete block with an eye-bolt sticking out. I never used it. I brought my bike into the building and put it near my cube.

The bike rack for my current building is on the opposite side from where I enter, which is the front of the building.  Also, it is all the way out at the parking lot.  It is where the side walk and the parking lot meet.  Wow, if that isn't car mentality.  Why should it be there?  Why would a bike commuter want to park his bike where his car isn't?  Why can't it be where the sidewalk and building meet?
I don't know, but I'm thinking that as long as I keep my bike under a bussel the thinking won't change.  And I think that might be a bad thing.

IN - Good ride today.  I twas that in between temp that messes with me (50o).  It was too warm for the jacket, but to cold not to have it.  2/3ds of the way along I had to unzip part way and I didn't wear my gloves at all.  On the other hand my left eye was teary all the way and my nose ran like a faucet after half way.  Whoo Boy, you don't get that kind of fun in a car now do you.  There was a bit of fog, especially at the end.  I saw some mysterious shapes crossing Atkinson near the highway and it turned out to be deer so I talked to them all the way until I got on the bridge.  Funny that my shouting at them seemed to have less effect than my little bicycle bell.  There was no hidden train this morning, but only about two minutes after I crossed the last train tracks I freight train arrived.  I would have been stuck.  Since I make a sharp left turn after entering campus the road runs parralel to the tracks for a while.  I don't know how I developed it, but I have an instinct to race trains.  It wasn't much of a race since that train was booking, but I did pick up my pace.  Must be my inner prop kicking in.

HOME - I had to ride home to get on a phone meeting that would go over 1:30.  I ended up leaving a lot later than I had planned.  I think I need to time how long it takes to get from working at my desk to walking out the door with my bike.  I think I'm grossly underestimating the time it takes me to get out the door.  I didn't have time to really look around as I rode home so I don't have anything much to report except that it was really busy.  I guess a lot of people were trying to get home early for the weekend.  One thing to note though is that I rode with my work clothes on.  Actually I think I did that all but one day this week.  I'm pretty sure that Wednesday I changed into my shorts before leaving.  When it's only about 60o then I'm comfortable in my work clothes.  Oh, and I didn't make it on time for my 1:00 meeting.  I was five minutes late.


LBJ said...

I know what you mean about the bike racks! The building where I work doesn't have *any*. Luckily for me, I have a folding bike, so I can take my bike right into the office and put it under the desk (although I can't be a stealth bike commuter doing this)...if I didn't have a folder, I'd have to leave my bike locked to a stop sign down the street.

Inner Prop said...

Stop sign down the street is not acceptable.

Where I work is an entire campus, so it's only "us" here, but I still wouldn't want to put it down the street.

I bring mine in for now. There is an unused cube near me, I'm on the first floor and I come in at 5:00 before almost everyone. So, that all helps me be able to put Blackie inside with me, for now.