Second best

My one hangup with my fabulous new carpool is the bike parking situation.  I hoped for some kind of covered, secure place to lock my bicycle, perhaps a garage, easily accessible basement, or a covered porch at my coworker’s house.  I rode the first morning, not knowing exactly what I would find (I already knew the garage option was out) but determined to make it work one way or another.

I arrived early on day one and found no covered parking options.  Instead, I locked up to one of the vertical support poles of a chain link fence in the back yard.  Baby Jake and I were not pleased.  Other than when actively being ridden, or for relatively short lock-ups when running errands, Baby Jake is an indoor bicycle.

I didn’t like the idea of my lovely bicycle sitting exposed to the elements for ten-and-a-half hours every day, not to mention some concerns about theft.

Enter Back-Up Bike (BUB).

BUB lacked some of the convenient commuting accessories I’d added to my main bike, namely a rear rack and crate.  I found a used rear rack at Bicycle Works, and planned to just switch my lone plastic milk crate back and forth between Baby Jake and BUB, but I tired of that pretty quickly.  I toyed around with the notion of carrying a back pack, but it’s so nice to ride “naked,” i.e., no back pack, especially in the heat of summer.

I could just bike to a store and buy a plastic crate, but that would be too easy, so the search for a used milk crate (or something similar) continues.  I will find one!  In the mean time, I rigged up a super classy cardboard box, as you can see in the above photo.  It fits will with some of BUB’s other swanky features:

Wine cork in handlebar end
Another cork, plus fender secured with string

Très chic, non?

Uplifting and depressing

Yes, it is possible to be both of those things at the same time.  Last week, I attended the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit.  I sat in on some great breakout sessions.  With over 700 attendees, all bicycling enthusiasts, from across the country, the summit filled the air in D.C. with energy and passion for all things bicycle.  On Thursday, we stormed Capitol Hill to get our representatives and senators on board with bills that support bicycling (and active transportation, livable communities, and all things beautiful and good).  And who wouldn’t want to cosponsor something named the ACT Act (H.R. 4722)?

The down side?  The constant reminder that I am not currently a bike commuter. At the moment, I’m a former bike commuter, a wannabe bike commuter.  As we look toward spring and really ideal bike commuting weather, this gets harder and harder to take.  I struggle more and more with the question of whether or not it was worth the trade-off — my beautiful bike commute for a job that better fit my interests.

Some kind of platitude seems appropriate here: “Live and learn,” or “This, too, shall pass.”  Or something . . . .

To end on a better note, People for Bikes makes my heart happy.  Go to the site, watch the video, and sign the pledge.