Why I Changed My Ride to Work

It was just a few weeks ago that I wrote about how I had found the perfect route to work and had been using it with very little deviation for over two years. Today, I changed my ride to work…and I liked it.

Picture evoking a change in my ride to work
After two years riding the same streets, I may have found something better.
Photo by Elliot Brown.

On Saturday I needed a book from a branch library that I had not visited in years. It is between my house and my office, but is on a road that was part of my list of ten ways not to ride to work. I discovered that some time in the last two years, the city had re-striped the road and it now had a very nice bike lane. I have taken this road for the last two days and have really enjoyed it; my new route has less traffic and allows me to take advantage of some new bike infrastructure.

No matter how long you have been riding, you can always find a way to make it better by experimenting and exploring. You change, your circumstances change, your ride should change, too.

You Change
When I started riding to work, I was out of shape and didn’t want to be. Inefficiency was valuable because it made me work harder. I rode a heavy mountain bike, used a route with lots of stops, and wore a heavy backpack.

Today I am in much better shape and inefficiency makes me grumpy. I ride a lighter bike, go fast, endure the fewest possible stops, and use a bike bag. These are all changes that I made after experimentation or talking with other riders.

Circumstances Change
The city never stays the same: new bike lanes, paths, and roads are being added all the time. Businesses and schools come and go changing the pattern of traffic. Streetcars are built, intersections get new signals, and perhaps a new favorite place to stop on the way home opens. Technology allows you to listen to great podcasts or track your progress toward your goals. If you are not changing how you ride to work, you are missing out at best and possibly putting yourself at risk.

One of the themes of this site is “Question your commute.” It’s not just about choosing between cars, buses, bikes, and sneakers, it is about constantly evaluating an important part of your day and making it better; because it always can be.

Question: What improvements have you made in your commute? Enter your comments in the box below.