Sunday, December 04, 2005

A cyclist's view of his commute

This morning's Washington Post contained an item dealing with "Commuter Survival Skills". I sat up and read more carefully when I saw that one of the items was from John Pickett, a customer who purchased his Tour Easy from bikes@vienna. Here is the lead in to the item from the Post and then my favorite item, "Two-Wheeler":

Commuter Survival Skills

 Last month, we asked readers to submit tried and true methods for dealing with the headaches of their daily commutes. Wow, did you ever respond. Who knew there were so many survival strategies being employed? Maybe all that time stuck in traffic really gets the creative juices flowing.

From a highway poet and lottery fantasist to a masochistic traffic jam seeker, legions of bikers and even one woman who takes out her Beltway frustration at a Rockville shooting range, we heard some intriguing methods for coping with the commuting grind. Here are just some of our favorites:


Sixteen years ago, I moved to Mount Vernon fully aware of the 15 mile/30 minute car commute to my job at L'Enfant Plaza. Day after day, I sat in traffic; year after year, the traffic worsened. No more.

For the last 10 years I have ridden a bicycle to work along the Mount Vernon Trail. I started this rebellion with a small backpack and a road racing bike. The racer gave way to a commuter model, outfitted with fenders, generator light system and a rear rack. In 2003, I acquired a Tour Easy recumbent bicycle (with windshield no less).

In the last five years, I have averaged about 130 bicycle commutes per year. I don't save a dime in gas and parking since my wife, who works in the same office building, still drives. Why bother, you ask? I watch in fascination as the new Wilson Bridge rises from design concept to near completion in slow motion. I substitute egrets, herons, fish hawks, bald eagles, deer, turtles and bunnies for cars and buses. I smell the seasons instead of exhaust fumes. I hear the birds of spring instead of Idiot in the Morning on the radio.

-- John Pickett, Mount Vernon

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