It’s Take Your Bike To Work Day Today, But I’ll Never Ride My Bike To Work
Today, May 16, 2014, is National Bike to Work Day. I couldn't find a website or organization who actually sponsored it or came up with the idea. There were a lot of cities across the country promoting it like Washington, D.C.
This morning, in honor of the day, I "took my bike to work" in the back of my truck. But I will probably never ride my bike to work. It's not that I don't like riding a bicycle. But one reason I won't is that I just don't like riding it that much. Besides, when you go to work at 5:00 A.M. and have a ten minute drive, the added time of a bicycle ride doesn't sound fun.
The two primary reasons I won't ride my bike to work are the hills on 57th Street and the big hill on Cliff Avenue south of I-229. Occasionally I will see hardcore bicyclists attacking the steep climbs and descents on 57th, but I don't recall seeing the die-hards tackling the hill on Cliff.
Last weekend I saw a couple of teenagers trying to ascend the steep climb on Cliff Avenue. It was amusing to watch but it also made my quads burn. They had shifted their gears down so low that their feet seemed to spin at 1,000 rpm to maintain a speed of 1 mph.
It's not just the going up I would averse to. Going down those hills would scare the hell out of me. Again, the Cliff Avenue hill would be the most terrifying. I weigh around 270 pounds. The brakes on my bike were not designed to slow down, let alone stop, someone of my girth going 30 mph downhill. The things that could stop me in this vicinity include the bridge railings over the Big Sioux River, the river itself, or a vehicle entering or exiting Tuthill Park. I'm sure there are bikes with brakes that could handle my heft but they would likely cost as much as the rifle I would rather buy.
I'll stick with my bike in the back of my truck. It's just safer for everyone.