For the last three days I’ve biked to work. On Wednesday, it was because my car was getting an oil change, and on Thursday and Friday, it was because I was still pretending that my car was getting an oil change.
I did not bike much as a kid. I mean, I had bikes and I road them occasionally, and I even saved up and bought a nice one once (which was later stolen sadly), but I was not one of those kids who cruised the neighborhoods for hours on a bike, exploring and thinking and having adventures. I had adventures in my mind, and later, on the city bus.
But when I bike to work now, there is one hill steep enough and long enough to make up for all the hills I may have missed while growing up. I start getting excited as soon as I make the right turn onto Robinson, it’s coming, it’s coming, it’s here! I try to predict exact right moment to begin coasting, to balance the speed and the thrill. Every time the wind whooshes through my helmet, something inside me whoops for joy.
I started biking this summer to save money on gas and because it seemed silly to drive a distance of less than two miles. These reasons still motivate me, and when I have to drive to work (like I will again come Monday), these are the annoyances that flit around my head like flies, even as I try to remember that it could be worse, my commute used to be much longer and my job much less pleasurable.
But as important as saving money and the environment are, these annoyance are just a gloss above the real, more selfish reason I dislike the drive to work. The real and selfish reason is that I miss the wind. I miss the joy. Inside a car, that magical hill is nothing but a dip in the road, over in mere seconds and immediately forgotten.
This week was lucky and special because I got to bike more than I had to drive. One day all my weeks will be that way, I keep telling myself. And if I keep telling myself that, and keep working to find ways to bike at this job, and selecting jobs with an eye toward transportation, then one day, inevitably, I will make this true.