New home. New commute. New bike?
Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I moved recently. Buying your own place can be very exciting, but it also dominates your world for a while. My friends have probably heard enough about it already…
Part of moving, though, is figuring out your new routines. Lots of new routines. I won’t bore you with the multiple shoe storage arrangements I’ve already tried (email me if you have tips), but will instead talk about our favorite topic—bikes!
So many people are moving to our state, and within the state, as rental prices soar and the housing market heats up again. I’m sure many can relate to what I’ve been thinking about lately.
Step 1 – Where to put the bikes
First, I had to figure out what to do with my bikes. I am very fortunate to have a private garage with my condo, and it’s a decent size, although certainly not huge. After chewing on it a while and getting some wise counsel from my friends at Feedback Sports, I picked a couple of minimal wall-mounted racks for the lighter weight road bikes, complemented with two floor stands that can easily accommodate step-through style bikes. I’m still trying to figure out where to put my Brompton but I’ll get there!
Step 2 – Where to ride the bikes
Once the bikes were (finally!) in the right place, I had to figure out my new commute. I mapped out a route and then checked out the bike feature on Google Maps. I was pleasantly surprised when they redirected part of my route to a bike path that I’d forgotten had been completed. I love it when technology works! I’m curious to hear what other apps or resources people have used to determine or improve their bike commutes.
I was most recently renting a condo for two years that was only 1.5 miles from the Table Mesa Park-n-Ride, where I catch an express bus downtown. My new place is just a “tad” further…almost 8 miles. Sure, it’s now quicker and easier to drive, but it’s also more expensive, less enjoyable and not environmentally friendly. And bike commuting is obviously something I believe in.
Boulder is such a great place to ride and I’ve been reminded of that on my new commute. My ride starts on quiet local roads (that are designated bike routes) with a few little “cut throughs” for non-motorized traffic and then takes me on bike paths for the majority of my ride.
The paths and bike routes in Boulder are really well marked and the underpasses let me bypass all but about two major stoplights. I’m grateful to live in such a place and am excited to see other Colorado communities striving to increase the number of safe bicycling options for transportation.
Step 3 – Which bike to ride
So now that I’m commuting on a new route, it’s got me thinking whether or not I “need” a new bike for this commute. I have a big ol’ Dutch-style bike that was awesome for my short commute but a bit too ungainly for my new distance. But I also have a touring bike that works well for a longer commute and it has a rack for a pannier to hold all my stuff. So while the thought of a shiny, “cute” new bike sounds fun, I guess I don’t really “need” it. But window shopping for one sure is fun!