Five years of a non-conformist commute

Five years ago today I bought and started restoring the bike I currently ride to work—a 1972 Schwinn Super Le Tour. I’ve spent the last five years using it to commute in a city that is not particularly bike friendly and whose weather is too hot and rainy for most of the year. That hasn’t stopped me.

I rarely see other bikers who look as if their commuting to work. It just isn’t common in this part of South Florida. However, my understanding is that bikes are the most used mode of transportation in the world. Riding a bike is also how I got around during most of my childhood and through high school.

For the first year after my wife and I moved to South Florida, I had a 40 minute commute to work each way (which I have been led to believe isn’t that bad). When I got a new job closer to home, I was happy to give up all the time I had been spending sitting behind a steering wheel and being part of the constant traffic congestion. Fortunately, there have always been relatively safe routes to and from work, and when I get caught in the rain or stranded with a flat tire, my wife has always been able to come and rescue me.

When I started biking to work, it wasn’t to save money on gas or wear and tear on the car. It also wasn’t for an idealistic environmental purpose. The primary reason I began biking to work, was because I knew I could not trust myself to exercise consistently without it being a prebuilt part of my day. Since I needed to get to work five days a week, it just made sense to me to combine that necessary task and my daily exercise into one activity. Bikes run on fat and save money. However, I wouldn’t have stuck with it for this long were it not for the best reason to ride: It’s fun!

For nearly all of those past five years, I have been planning on purchasing a new bike. However, the one I have works just fine and takes me where I need to go. A more modern bike would be lighter, faster, and more efficient. However, those improvements would take away from the bike’s purpose—to make sure I am getting enough exercise every day. A newer more efficient bike may not be better as a fitness device, but a faster smoother ride would certainly be more enjoyable.

I look forward to many more years of riding—either on my trusty Super Le Tour or on whatever new bike I get the future.

One thought on “Five years of a non-conformist commute

  1. Last year I wrote a post of Fourteen things I’m thankful for in 2014. This has been another year filled with new challenges and joys, and I’m glad to be able to share another list of blessings. Here are some of the things I’m thankful for from 2015:
    For my wife who took good care of me all year, especially during the difficult times where she faithfully kept the ‘for worst’ part of our vows
    For a vacation with good friends to Cancun to celebrate friendship and an end of a hard summer
    For getting a great new job with wonderful coworkers at an amazing company just when I needed it most
    For taking my family to my sister Kelly’s wedding and spending time with my parents, sister, and new brother-in-law
    For a new iPad (for reading comics) and new iPhones (for everything else)
    For how the Star Wars movie reminded me of the great things of my childhood and gave me the opportunity to share that joy with my kids
    How Mad Max reminded me to confront problems rather than drive yourself crazy trying to run from them
    For fun work trips to exotic and not so exotic (and not so exotic) locations — Stamford, London, Orlando, Dallas
    For heros like Rey and Kara for my daughter to look up to in popular media.
    For my oldest son’s amazing progress in learning to read (he has a great teacher)
    For my younger son’s unending sweetness
    For my baby girl becoming less of a baby and more of a girl
    For finding a joy in running and pushing my body to its limits
    For another year of avoiding a traditional commute and biking to work
    For a ridiculously fun Christmas and New Year’s Eve with the family
    This really was an exceptional year, and I’m looking forward to the challenges and joys of 2016.

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