The Challenges of Bike Commuting


It’s July. The weather is perfect.  I have a brand new bike. I do not have the problems the owner of the bike above was clearly dealing with. Still, I cannot seem to get it together to ride my bike to work.

I started prepping Wednesday evening for a Friday AM commute.  I ironed clothes to bring to the office and leave. On Thursday, I left my laptop locked up at the office (an act that left me struggling with withdrawal symptoms from constant access to technology). Thursday night, I started laundry, planning a riding outfit, a work outfit, plus footwear for both. There is a shower at work if you can believe it — a perk that should make commuting by bike even easier.  It doesn’t.  I considered a hair dryer, shampoo, towel, assorted toiletries.

My backpack for the ride was starting to bust its seams. I don’t have panniers, which I realize would really help. But the act of getting ready for work, at work, seemed a little counterintuitive.

Wow, this was really becoming a production.

Then, I realized my coffee Thermos wouldn’t fit into the water bottle cage.

Last straw. 



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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling.

4 responses to “The Challenges of Bike Commuting”

  1. Brandt A. says :

    Big deal. None of the things mentioned are problems that couldn’t be remedied in a day. Even the laptop and clothes didn’t have to be ‘left’ and “locked up”.

    • Karen says :

      Wow, how supportive! I love uninvited hostility for no good reason. FYI…I did end up doing it this morning. I’m not sure what you do for work but I do have to look presentable at work, which require ironed clothes, makeup, and not stinking. I meet with clients and sell technology to multi-million dollar organizations so I’m not going in lycra. My commute is only 12 miles but over a mountain range, so I’m going to get sweaty. And I’m not risking my laptop to a chance spill. It’s my source of income.

      • Brandt A. says :

        You made me feel bad. I wasn’t trying to be hostile; I was just thinking of how a having a pannier could fix all our problems in one shot. You have a shower at work, so you can get to work early (15-30 minutes) with your change of clothes, your laptop, and all the other things you need. I work in an office where there is no special attire, but I don’t like to get there all sweaty, and I’m lucky to have a shower here too, so when it’s hot enough, I shower at work instead of at home. I also use the same pannier that has my change of clothes to pack my lunch, my laptop when I need it, and my documents needed for the day.

  2. Karen says :

    Sorry I made you feel bad. This is maybe the drawback of electronic communication. I do need panniers for sure–they would help the situation. I’m really uneasy about the laptop coming along on the bike. But the backpack was heavy to carry while riding, I’m thinking having the weight redistributed to panniers would at least make me more comfortable while riding. PS–I did manage to get my coffee thermos into a water bottle cage–wasn’t pretty but it worked!

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