This was my first week bicycle commuting. Itâ€™s still winter time in the Upper Peninsula. There is about twenty inches of snow lingering in my yard. This is after several days of melting and minimal snowfall in between. Our roads are full of stamp sand and some icy spots. The night after a snowfall, there is no sidewalk to ride on along M41. I canâ€™t ride those days. Itâ€™s too dangerous with the high volume of traffic along this highway, and I must ride two small sections of 41.
Monday followed a long weekend of meltdown. I prepped the cyclocross bike and filled my backpack with a change of clothes, a notebook, and a calculator. I wasnâ€™t toting my college textbooks along. I set out for my first commute. It took me a chilly 65 minutes to reach Michigan Tech. The first six miles of my ride is a long, gradual uphill with a couple of quick downhills. Itâ€™s hard work. The last five miles consist of a sharp, four-mile downhill followed by some generally flat riding. Now, imagine that in reverse. My return trip also took 65 minutes. Either way, Iâ€™m getting one heck of a hill workout!
I could not ride Tuesday or Wednesday. The roads were covered in snow, as were the sidewalks, and my road wasnâ€™t even plowed! Today, I was able to ride again. This time, I rode a 6.4 mile trip to work. Itâ€™s the first six miles of my school commute. You get the idea. The return trip would have been a blast, but I was heading for a strong wind coming off of Lake Superior. Wind is ok â€“ if itâ€™s a hot summer day. Today, it was 30 degrees. The upside? I got to ride my bike.
I am very much looking forward to commuting regularly to school and work. I love rolling along, and using the bike for transportation gives it more of a purpose than just staring at asphalt and a yellow line. Even though I’m riding when I can, I am finding myself longing for the warmth of the summer sun.