May 12-16 is Bike to Work Week and you will undoubtedly have many opportunities to read about the health and monetary benefits of riding a bike to work. Those articles will be informative and enjoyable and I encourage you to read them.
My Bike to Work Week post, however, will have no practical value.
Springtime is ideal for riding a bike to work for so many reasons, but my favorite—by far—is the beauty of the ride. It’s something you can’t appreciate through your car’s tinted windows. It’s something you don’t dare appreciate at 65 miles and hour in bumper to bumper traffic.
But on a bike…
On a bicycle commute, you are sitting above most cars, with no blind spots and a wide field of view. On a bicycle commute you can look up and see the sun and the clouds and the blossoms on the trees (you can smell them, too). On a bicycle commute stoplights don’t mean you have to change the radio station, read a text, or sip your coffee; you can just look around.
Here are some of the springtime delights I’ve enjoyed seeing on my commute that I would have missed in the car or on the bus.
Sunrises and Sunsets
In the winter, the sun rises after I get to work and sets before I head home. But for those few weeks in springtime, the sun is coming and going when I am. The color of light at the beginning and end of day, the long shadows, the way a low sun lights up the bottoms of clouds, and the chance of rainbows from a rising or setting sun blow my mind from time to time. (A few weeks back, the rising sun created an intense double rainbow that lasted over 25 minutes, unfortunately, my phone camera couldn’t do it justice.)
Spring is so changeable. Far from being a bad thing, this allows me to ride to work in a light sprinkle (and experience a jaw-dropping rainbow), then ride home under a fiercely blue sky broken up by clouds of the whitest white. It gives otherwise dirty streets a luster usually reserved for car commercials.
Spring is a delightful pause between the dull cold of winter and the oppressive heat of summer. Encourage your friends and colleagues to get out and enjoy it this week.
You enjoy it, too.