As I was pedaling my way in to work this morning, I began to think about why I bike commute. Soon my thoughts led me back to the day it all started. I had been mountain biking for a few years while in college plus riding to class. I moved back in with my parents for the summer of 2000 to complete an internship at Williams Communicaitons, located in downtown Tulsa. After a few weeks of driving downtown for work, my dad posed a question at the dinner table one evening. "How about riding your bike to the office" Dad suggested. My response was something to the effect of "crazy, not gonna happen". That night and for the next few days I felt challenged to ride my bike the 14 miles to downtown Tulsa. I finally committed to making the ride happen when I bought slick tires for my mountain bike. It was a few weeks later when I got the slick tires on and decided to make an attempt to bike commute.
I had driven my planned route on the way to work a few days prior but had never ridden 14 miles, let alone 28 in one day. I woke early (6:00 am) to begin what would soon become a routine while working at Williams Communications. Upon beginning the ride, I noticed the clouds headed my way but kept pedaling in hopes of dry weather. I only made it 3 miles when the rain began to pelt me along with stong winds. After realizing I wasn't up for the challenge of riding in a downpour, I turned around and headed back home. Dissappointed in my first attempt, I changed into office clothes and promised myself another attempt the following day. The next day turned out much better with me making it to work and back home via my bike. That summer was filled with good times biking to work in 100 degree heat and 90% humidity, man I miss Oklahoma summers.
Its funny that I had to same thoughts as I contemplated bike commuting in Salt Lake. I had considered the idea for a few years before taking the challenge and getting a bike set-up for commuting. Once again, bike commuting is easier than initially thought and really provides many benefits. Thanks to bike commuting I'm healthier than I've ever been but more important is the strength I've gained in other sports. My skiing last season was greatly improved along with my mountain biking this spring(either that or my friends are getting slower).
If not for my Dad challenging me with his "question" years ago, I may have never explored the ability to commute to work via bike. Thanks for the challenge Dad, I'm now a stronger person because of you.