Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Side effects of bike commuting

I get up every morning, put on varying degrees of warm/water-proof clothing, hope on my bike and pedal the 4.5ish miles downtown. To my pleasant surprise, this has been happening every day since the end of September (aside from a couple of bus rides due to excessive rain or mechanical difficulties).

In general, this has been a positive experience. I almost never get hassled by traffic. I sleep better at night and I have more energy during the day.

But it has caused some interesting side effects that I had not considered.

I have lost the ability to know how long it takes to get somewhere by car

Some weeks, I don't set foot in a car at all. On the rare occasion I do, I end up getting to my destination 10-15 minutes early because I've budgeted too much time to get there.

I forget to avoid certain routes during peak traffic

Once again, if I'm driving somewhere, I often forget that traffic is going to be horrible because all of my cycling happens almost entirely independent of normal traffic.

I use up massive numbers of batteries

Since it's dark when I head to work and getting dim when I head home, I have to ride with all manner of blinking lights. My front-light is rechargeable but my headlamp and rear lamp are not and I find myself changing the batteries in those almost every week. Might be time to invest in some rechargeables.

Extra laundry

  • Dirty clothes set #1: I get up and work out before work.
  • Dirty clothes set #2: I have clothes that I ride to and from work in.
  • Dirty clothes set #3: My actual work clothes that I wear all day.

All minor but amusing things about cycling to work.