So I tried it yesterday. From my house to the Financial District. The long way, so I could get in close to 10 miles of what is - as the crow flies - a three mile trip.
It was terrifying.
The ride in wasn't so bad. I'd ridden most of the route before, and I previewed it in my car last weekend. But the traffic, the shifting bike lanes, bad road conditions and all the reckless bikes made me a little uncomfortable. But once I hit Market St., and rode my bike up to the intersection of Montgomery, I felt like I could conquer the world.
|Me and my bike in the elevator. Why does the elevator have a mirror?|
I stretched, showered, and was at my desk before most people got to work. I really love riding in the mornings.
Come 5:30pm, I felt a little differently. The ride home was full of big trucks, reckless cyclists, and way too many tourists in the bike lanes. I thought a few times about bailing for a nearby bus stop. But, ultimately, I wanted to finish. I knew the worst part would be over once I hit the Marina, and as the traffic thinned out and the tourists disappeared, it was a lovely ride home.
I'm not quite ready to give up on bike commuting. But I'm also not quite committed to hurting myself in the name of a few extra miles each week. I'm talking to some bike-commuter friends about better routes than the one I chose. But I just don't know if the risk is worth the reward.