Scenes from a morning bicycle commute

Sometimes when we tread on familiar ground day to day, we forget to take notice of the familiar. On my bike, I tend to notice scenery I never notice in my car. I feel a part of the environment, whereas in my car I feel separated from that outside world. So today, on my morning commute, I took a few shots of some of the finer points of the familiar ground I tread both in my car and by bike. I don’t stop to smell the roses as much, even on my bike, when I’m trying to keep up with my ABC buddies on our weekly rides, either. It’s nice, sometimes, to be by yourself, going your own pace!

Below is a shot of the wonderful paved Hike & Bike Path owned by Summit County. It pretty much looks like this the whole way through with even nicer spots when you go along the rock-walled ledges. Sometimes this path is actually running parallel to a road, but you’d never know it because of all the buffering by trees. Trees and greenery are what makes Ohio beautiful (I actually missed all the green and shade in Colorado).

I stopped this morning to snag some shots of the mighty Cuyahoga River along Riverview Road in the valley. This is actually quite a beautiful little spot. Too bad when you pull over to take pictures, you get passed by speeding traffic. The glint of sun covers the picture in a heavenly haze, which gives you some indication to the kind of weather we had this morning. In contrast, yesterday was foggy for most of my commute, especially in the valley.

The train tracks are for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which is a touristy passenger train that goes, I believe, from Canton to Independence near Cleveland. I’ve never ridden it, shamefully. I’ve wanted to, though. The wine tasting rides are booked all the way through the year. I suppose I could just go on a normal ride and take my bike to ride back from some point (which is something else they offer). I just want to avoid having the rides that involve being locked on a train with millions of screaming kids…

Here’s the same shot with more sun.

More sun to get blinded by! But I love the way the light makes rainbow lines on the picture. It’s like I managed to catch the rays of the sun. What a beautiful morning!!

Here’s my bike pounding the pavement. Please disregard the 12mph shown on the computer. You try taking a picture of your front tire on the road while going 15-20mph! (I was generally doing about 17-18mph on the flat areas–the bike path and Riverview Road up to Snowville).

I’m definitely in heaven with commuting by bicycle to work. The last time I felt this great was when I used to bike commute in Colorado. It’s just a great way to start off the morning and get the blood going for work. I don’t mind sitting in a chair for eight hours in front of the computer with my nice morning workout and the anticipation of a longer, ambling ride home. I might ultimately end up doing this more than twice a week if the weather holds up. It’s really not a big deal to ride 16 miles to work and I love crunching up Snowville knowing that I’m only improving my muscles for climbing.

I thought it would be a big deal not having showers here, but it’s been great so far. I take a shower before I leave home, and with my hair still wet, I put it in a ponytail for riding. When I get to work, I wash my face and scrub my arms and legs, put my still-wet hair into a twist and tie it off with a clip. Then I apply my face makeup–foundation–and curl my bangs with the hair dryer I leave at the office and then top off my hair with a little hair spray. I don’t think I look any different than I do when I come into work fresh without a ride. And I don’t think I smell… Hopefully my coworkers agree!

And, as a side benefit, I’m not wasting gas to drive 16 miles. I almost made it through yesterday without using my car. I’m going to try to skip the car all together today. I guess I’m helping the environment as well as my health! Yay, me!


3 thoughts on “Scenes from a morning bicycle commute

  1. I hope you make all those people sitting in their cars in some traffic jam on Route 8 jealous of your commute.

    Also, I'd point out that the photo shows you're going 12.7 mph, not 15to 20, but nevertheless impressive considering your balancing a cell phone and trying not to crash.

  2. Something to keep in mind on your commute. Keep a schedule. When the same people see you in the same place each day, they start to watch out for you which makes things safer. Once had a guy in a pick up give me a ride past a flooded spot because he saw me there everyday. bAD dOG

  3. Bob — I SAID to disregard the fact that my computer read 12 (or 12.7 to be exact). It's only that low because I was slowed down while holding the camera and looking down to take the picture. I was just glancing down to ensure the handlebars and tire were still in frame while looking back up to make sure I was riding a straight line and that no cars were around me. This kind of attention/multi-tasking tends to reduce one's speed. ;) You are right, I was trying not to crash while doing something really dumb.

    bAD dOG — Already done! I seem to leave my house at about 7:00am every morning, even though I intend to leave at 6:45. I get to work at about 8:10. Not bad! (If it werent for the Snowville climb, I bet I'd get to work at 8!) This leaves me just enough time to clean up and be ready to work by 8:30. Which actually turns out to be BETTER than when I go to work by car… in which case, I leave my house at 8:15 and arrive at work around 8:30-8:45. So, I actually kind of get to work early by bike… ;)

    I'm actually going to drive to work tomorrow so that I can ride with ABC at Revere. And Thursday, I'm doing the Deep Lock ABC ride. Though, technically, if I wanted to be TOTALLY nuts, I *could* ride to work, ride to Deep Lock and do the ride, and then ride home. Ha! I'm crazy, but not that crazy. (Besides, Thursday has the possibility of t-storms… ack!)

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