Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Father's Day Tribute ( a little late)

This morning I made the increasingly familiar 20 mile bike commute to work. Tonight I'll ride the same 20 miles home. It was 88 degrees on the way in and will be 108 when I leave tonight. Just when I start to feel like some kind of martyr to the biking cause, I'm reminded of just how cushy I have it compared to my Dad, who still makes his own 14 mile round trip commute by bike.

First let's look at my commute:
  • 20 miles
  • little to no elevation change
  • bike lane the whole way
  • never any precipitation
  • 3 months a year of triple digit weather / 9 months of perfect weather
  • private commuter room with showers and lockers at work
  • indoor bike storage
  • new bike co-op at work for all repairs
Now my Dad's commute:
  • 7 miles
  • rolling hills
  • no bike lane, some limited multi-use path
  • rain in summer, some snow in winter = frequent wet/icy roads and storms
  • bike locked in public parking garage
  • shared office bathroom
I think it is important to note that until just a few years ago my Dad's route involved crossing a creek on a sewer pipe while carrying his bike. At times the pipe was slick as the result of natural phenomenon, and at times it was booby-trapped (greased) to keep him from crossing. He's ridden in hail, sleet, snow, rain, humidity, and heat. He's had to change in his office for years and clean up in the bathroom. I've ridden when it's hot outside...hmmm.

I feel a great deal of pride in continuing the bike to work tradition. So tonight when it's 108 and the oven-air-breeze blows across the blacktop I'll be thinking about just how good I really have it and what an inspiration my Dad is.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Good comparison! Pretty amazing and awesome for the both of you.