20 Steps to Bike Commuting for the First Time in Months


1. Inspired by Bike-To-Work Month, decide today is a perfect day to recommit to the whole biking-to-work thing.

2. Start answering emails instead of getting ready to leave.

3. Realize how much time you’ve spent answering emails instead of getting ready to leave and wonder if you should just drive.

4. Scold yourself for even thinking that.

5. Shower, put on extra antiperspirant, blow dry your hair, then flat iron it as a defense against helmet head.

6. Look for your bike pants. Not with your workout clothes, not with your pjs. Strange. Find them in a heap in the closet corner, along with the suitable-for-lap-swimming-at-82 Speedo.

7. Wonder what to bring to change into for work. It’s only 5.5 miles. Do you need a whole change of clothes or can you bring jeans and ride out the day in a slightly sweaty T-shirt and sports bra? Recall it’s questions like this that made bike commuting so impossible before.

8. Seek out panniers. Find one. Find bike shoes inside. Feel triumphant. Grow concerned when the other one doesn’t appear. Where could it be? It’s too expensive to replace. Decide to worry about it later.

9. Pack laptop on top of jeans in pannier. Toss in earrings, lip balm and notebook. Decide that’s probably everything you’ll need, especially as it’s already noon.

10. Wheel bike off deck. Curse the amount of stuff currently stored on the porch. Note potential Instagramability of both dying bee and cross-set kayaks. Stop. Take photos. Upload. Like your friends’ photos while you’re at it.

11. Click shoes into pedals and head up the driveway hill. Almost fall over since you’re not even going one mile an hour yet. Free foot in time to save yourself.

12. Make it half a block before realizing you forgot your sunglasses.

13. Go back.

14. Might as well get a water bottle while you’re at it. You only have metal ones, so tuck it into a beer cozy left over from a friend’s bachelorette party so it won’t bang while you ride. A jaunty “Gettin’ Our Drink On!” is emblazoned across the cozy.

15. Leave again.

16. Realize you forgot to lock the door. Ignore it, even though your husband and son are away for the night, so probably someone will be hiding inside when you get home and kill you.

17. Realize you forgot your sandals, which means you will either have to walk around the office barefoot (gross) or in sweaty socks (gross). Since you work for a nonprofit environmental agency that likely has a long history of stinky-footed hippies, decide you’ll make do and continue pedaling.

18. Make it half-a-mile before your cell phone rings. Your coworker can’t bring the supplies for tonight’s event after all. You will need your truck.

19. Pedal back home.

20. Lug your bike back up the porch, chuck all your stuff on the couch, consider making a Bloody Mary, but don’t, of course, because you still have to work and do an event and set a good example, for whom you’re unclear at this point, but someone, somewhere, needs to know that we can all persevere toward the right things even when the going gets ridiculous.


Leave a comment


  1. I did like half of those.

  2. Lew Buckner

     /  May 15, 2014

    Thanks for making my day!

  1. 2014: the good | early morning fog, partial clearing
  2. The Reluctant Cyclist: pedal to the meta | early morning fog, partial clearing

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