After last week’s achievement of biking to work every day of national Bike to Work Week, I have built enough confidence and satisfaction to keep the momentum going. The week of participation also made me aware of what motivates me to keep biking to work, and what doesn’t.
There are a few barriers that keep me from going completely without a car: kid shuttling, groceries, weather, night time, and wardrobe.
Kid shuttling… School will be out in a couple of weeks. While I’ll still be shuttling them to lessons, many car miles will be removed from my carbon footprint. This summer they will learn that I won’t be the able to drive them to places they can ride or walk themselves. Let’s see how that motivates them to get on their own bikes.
Grocery shopping… Until I find a balance between meal planning, CSA pick up, meat and dairy products that need a cool ride, and the routes that won’t challenge my sense of safety, I’ll be using the car for hunting and gathering food for my clan. I’ll try the CSA pickup on my bike when that gets started. But the rest… I just don’t feel confident enough. And that’s OK.
Weather… some days I’m just going to suck it up and ride in the rain. I’ll keep a towel at the office. Unless it’s a downpour. Maybe then I’ll work from home. Or walk. Or bus. I don’t want to feel like a wimp because water is falling from the sky.
Night time…. I love living in Bethlehem. I feel safe biding my bike in daylight. But I’ve seen crazy drivers on the streets when the sun goes down. There aren’t enough lights, reflectors, or whistles to remind drivers to watch out for cyclists after dark. Kudos to the cyclists that are out there with all the right markings. It’s just not for me. Or my kids.
And finally, wardrobe… As flexible as the dress code at my office is, I still like a little style in my day. I’m no fashionista. And as much as I’d love a revenge body, at 52 years old I’m much happier with a “not for me” attitude, which is totally reflected in the clothes I wear. Call me old fashioned, but 24/7 active wear doesn’t suit my preferences toward casual work attire. I took two rides to work in a dress. Shoes were sensible walkers, or colorful Chucks. On the hotter days, I rode into work prepared for sweat, and came home to shower and change before evening performances.
I started a little research on women’s clothing for biking to work; NOT a bike workout or other active wear. (Thanks, Pinterest.) I just bought a new bike helmet that will help motivate me for more rides. I have a feeling this summer project / adventure could turn into a category on this blog. Maybe I might venture some guest blogging for others, if they are interested.
Do you think other people would be interested in what a 50-something hefty woman who bikes to work wears?
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