The Trial Ride
My commute currently consists of walking down my stairs and into our guest room / makeshift classroom / office. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home while the world is self isolating. My boys have their classroom set up next to me as I sit at my desk, between us is my bike build project; unfinished but oh so close to done. An ever present reminder of what a joy it would be to be able to commute to work on my bike each day.
So while my bike is in various states of togetherness, I have been riding my wife’s bike around town to get my fix. She has a 2020 Trek Marlin 29er so it’s not exactly a chore, and I don’t have any qualms about riding a purple bike either. The frame is much too small for me, but since it’s just short term I’ll survive just fine.
This past weekend I decided to see just how much of a reality it would be to ride my bike to work once everything goes back to normal. The roads were pretty much empty and a bike ride falls within all of the social distancing guidelines.
I have two options, a short ride to a train station and then a short ride from a train station to work. Second option, strictly biking all the way there and back. I don’t want to get on a train at this point in time for obvious reasons. So I decided to go for a long ride, scout a path and see how long a relaxed ride to work would actually take.
Google Maps does an excellent job finding bike accessible paths and it proposed two possible paths. I decided to take one on the way there and the other one on the way back to judge which one was the better route.
I tracked each route using an app called Strava:
This route was great, some paved paths, a little single track and dirt paths and a good mix of uphill and downhill sections.
On the way back I took the other suggested route, I must say that biking home immediately after biking out was not my best decision. My energy levels were a little low for this ride, but I still accomplished it.
This path was also enjoyable, much flatter roads, another good mix of paved and dirt paths. This one tracked more along the main roads though and did include a section along a busy road with no bike path. So not quite as good as the first route, plus it was just about 2 kilometers longer.
**Note** If I had taken this route first, the elapsed time would have definitely been a little bit quicker.
All in all, I found that this is a very real possibility. Once everything goes back to normal I will test run the train option as well. To save the impact of a daily commute in my diesel car, no matter how economical the mileage, is just too big to ignore. I feel strongly that this is something that I need to explore further and try to incorporate.