I’ve had excellent intentions to bike to work for the last three years, mostly because I (theoretically) see myself as the kind of person who bikes to work. Plus, it’s good exercise and makes a (very tiny) dent in my carbon footprint. Today, I actually did it. My husband and I woke up bright and early and hit the WO&D, a big commuter trail in the D.C. area. He chaperoned my first bike commute because I was too much of a baby to head out on my own and I have a terrible sense of direction and was afraid I wouldn’t make it on my own.
Biking to work is a lovely idea, but there’s a reason I hadn’t done it…it’s hard. It’s been a year since I last rode my bike and let me tell you…bike butt is real. After mile three or so, the wind-in-your-face-gliding-down-the-trail euphoria wore off and all that was left was soreness, an epically red face and legs that did not appear to be responding to my brain’s commands for forward movement. There were actually joggers passing me at one point. The crisp suburban air in my lungs, the rustling creeks and the bountiful blossoming dogwoods and crabapple trees? They meant nothing to me. I just kept replaying the opening of “Eye of the Tiger” over and over in my mind and giving my husband dirty looks every time he stopped to check on me. I tried to remember that there are people in this world who actually run marathons for fun and live to tell the tale, and that a 10-mile bike ride is not exactly a major athletic feat, but man, it was painful.
But I made it! One hour and 20 minutes later, at a deploringly leisurely pace of 8 mph, I made it to work, sweaty, red-faced and barely able to walk. I feel great now though, better than I have in a long, long time…until I think about the fact that I have to bike home.