Tuesday, May 08, 2007


After jumping through some hoops, I finally got a security badge to access the company offices downstairs in the DC building I'm working in most days. Those offices include a company gym. I don't particularly care about the gym, but now I can get to the showers. This was the last bridge to cross before ditching my car and Metro and commuting to work by bicycle.

I ride through Del Ray, linking up with the GW Parkway trail near milepost 13 at National Airport. I ride up the bridge across the Potomac, linking up to Maine Avenue near the Jefferson Memorial. Then I can pick up M Street and ride straight to the office, or dodge around the traffic by hitting some of the side streets.

Now, I like my car. And I've written before about how I enjoy riding Metro. But this new arrangement is an improvement in almost every way.

  • I save money, since I don't have to pay a red cent for anything.
  • I save time - it actually takes less time to ride in than it does to walk to the bus stop, wait for the bus, ride the bus to the Metro, wait for the train, transfer to another train, and get to work.
  • It also saves time since now instead of commuting home, then taking a bike ride for exercise, I just ride home and knock two birds with one stone.
I use some of the extra time to tour around a little bit. Yesterday, I rode up to the National Mall on my way home. This morning, I detoured slightly to the south to ride past the new National's stadium under construction. And while it has been quite cool these first two mornings, Washington is a beautiful city at sunrise. The view as I cross the 14th Street Bridge of the monuments, the Capitol, and the Cathedral is a great way to start my day.

But mostly, I just use the extra time to relax a little more at home. It's great, more time for everything. And I do feel pretty good about myself - getting exercise, doing what I can to alleviate traffic and pollution, seeing more of my city. The only problem is if I get really into this, I'll convince myself I need another bike, just for commuting.


Ryan Eling said...

Dan, this is great! Biking makes so much more sense than the waiting, money spending and polluting of other transportation. If more of us biked, it would make a huge difference. I am jealous: I wish I could do this. My commute is not long enough to bike efficiently, so I walk.

Matt Boulanger said...

Welcome to the ranks of bicycle commuters! My commutes to the County and REI are one and three miles one way, respectively, and I often wish they were longer (though I must note that within the one mile commute, I do pass a two bakeries, a brewery, an Indian restaurant, and a place that makes its own ice cream on site.

Christopher said...

My bike has a basket. Is that wrong?

Dan said...

If that is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Matt, sounds like you have a great ride into work. Though I expect you to one-up me now, and become an unicycle commuter.

Matt Boulanger said...

Chris, that's not wrong at all- I plan on truning my fixie into a wooden-basketed dedicated beer run bike before the summer's out. I plan on a 12-pack capacity up front and a growler on each side of the rear wheel. Of course, the brewery is only three blocks away....

Dan- I uni'ed to work once for bike to work week- got an award for creative commuting even. But, it hasn't yet become a regular thing.

Christopher said...

Thanks for the votes of confidence, guys!

(I feel better now)

Anonymous said...

It's Shivers. I just had to put in my two cents. I'd love to bike to work, but 11.5 miles one way in the dark, in OKLAHOMA, is not the wisest career decision. Did you know that sidewalks are considered an unnecessary convenience around here? Not to mention the fact that red light running and turning sans-signal is a sport in these areas. No, I beleive I'm forced to stick to my Mazda Protege for my 0530 commute. At least I can feel a little safer with my quarter inch of aluminum between myself and the 20 ton trucks barreling past me on I-240.

Christopher said...

Does your Mazda have a basket?