Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Think Kit #4: A Little Two-Wheel Wisdom

I'm not big on decisions. Let's just say it runs in the family to follow the following interminable thought process:

  • Reach a juncture
  • Consider the options
  • Ruminate
  • ...keep ruminating...
  • Choose the less-bad option while constantly checking and re-checking your decision
Following the rumination, there's also an out that involves not making a choice. Keep a hand on the tiller and keep driving. Needless to say, when it comes to evaluating "wisdom" – I don't consider myself an expert, after all, what's wisdom in a world where the middle-class has been hollowed out, a 140-character thought-dump is worth billions, and the Clippers are actually good

I try to focus instead on overall goals and themes, and work towards them to align my lifestyle and choices. One decision I made this year was to ride my bike to work. Every day (excepting for snow/ice). In the Summer, Amelia & I even reduced our working motor vehicles to one. Since March, I've been fortunate enough to only drive to work twice (once to transport musical gear, and once due to snow/freezing rain). Biking to work has improved my life in a number of different ways:

(Action shot via. The Monon may be Indy's greatest asset.
Except when it rains and you have no back fender...
...you'll be picking the splinters out of your pants for days.
)
  1. More exercise – well, yeah. 4+ miles round-trip. That's a good 20 miles a week. More exercise also produces more dopamine, which reduces stress levels and clears my head. 
  2. Less tech – On a bike, I'm not attached to a device (If you bike and wear headphones–shame on you. Yes, I'm judging.), I'm just listening to wind, and breath, and passing dogs, and cross-traffic, and inner rhythms. I get to think.
  3. Save money – driving into Broad Ripple actually takes longer than biking. And all those traffic lights, stop signs, and crazy 22-year-olds make the drive that much longer. According to Commuter Connect, I save my employer and myself $1.52 each bike trip. That's at least a burrito, or a pint or two of beer each week!
  4. Pollute less – have you run in Indianapolis lately? I run five days a week. Most runs end (or are halted half way) for me to (warning: bodily fluid reference forthcoming) hack and blow grey snot out of my body. Indianapolis...your air is kinda gross. Let's work on that.
  5. It's fun – if you haven't been on a bike lately...it's still fun! It's still fun to ride with no hands (within reason)! It's still fun to pedal backwards! It's still fun to wave at other bikers! It's still fun to get a great deal on bike lights and attach them to your frame! It's still fun to feel the wind in your hair (unless it's below 40-degrees)!
Lastly, I got a great deal on a used bike and supported an awesome community organization at Freewheelin' Community Bikes. Go there and get yourself some wheels.

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