Today is Bike to Work Day for the San Francisco Bay Area. For new bike commuters, it may be a challenge: planning a good route, deciding what to wear and what to carry, finding secure parking for their bike and a place to clean up. As a daily bike commuter, I have the basics down, so I push myself with new challenges: commuting in a dress suit, grocery shopping at Costco, and riding in the big city, in the rain and really late at night. It keeps things interesting for me.
Last week I faced with a new challenge: riding to the airport for an overnight business trip. The flight wasn’t terribly early, the airport is right across the freeway from my office, and I knew there was a bike rack in the garage and a low-traffic way of getting there. Yet I was nervous. Could I carry my luggage on my bike? Would my bike be safe overnight? Would I be safe riding down the bike trail and catching the train the next night?
For the luggage, I realized that I could pack everything I needed in a small messenger bag. For the theft issue, I decided that the rack was in a visible spot near the entrance and I would ride my least valuable bike and take the risk. So I took the train like I do every day, rode my bike to San Jose Airport and caught a flight to Seattle.
The next evening I flew back to San Jose, where I found my bike exactly where I left it. But instead of riding down the trail that night, Dick picked me up at the airport. Some challenges are not worth the risk.
What challenges do you face in riding for transportation? Which ones have you overcome?