Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So, why DO I ride 55+ miles to work, anyway?

Wednesday is my regular "ride my bike to work" day, which may not seem all that exceptional except that I live in San Francisco and work in Cupertino, a 55+ mile one-way commute. After this morning's ride, as I usually do, I uploaded my GPS track to Strava and posted it to Twitter (which also forwards it to my Facebook page ... ah, the world we live in today).

While I was standing in line at the cafeteria waiting for my hard-earned spinach and artichoke pizza, I noticed that one of my friends commented on my ride's Facebook post:
"Dude!  You are crazy."
This got me thinking.  Am I crazy?  Sometimes I'm pretty sure my wife thinks I am.  But, if I'm crazy, then surely these other guys (and gals, from time to time) who I ride with must also be crazy.  Maybe there's something in the water...

As I thought about it some more, I decided that, no, I am not crazy (which is, of course, what most crazy people think, but that's beside the point).  I actually have perfectly good reasons for doing this!  Perhaps I should enumerate them!  So, here goes:

  1. Aerobic exercise is good for your heart, lungs, and a whole bunch of other body parts.  This, in turn, will hopefully allow me to live longer (and healthier), which, I assume, my family will appreciate.
  2. I have 2 young kids.  You need to be in pretty good shape to keep up with them.  See #1.
  3. It keeps me thin.  Pretty sure my wife like this.  See #1.
  4. If I'm not currently concerned about being at race weight, I can eat pretty much anything I want.  This includes ginormous piles of carnitas (which, oddly enough, I haven't had for a while... must take corrective action).
  5. Except for the rare occasion, I sleep really, really well.  Not enough, mind you (see #2), but that's a whole different problem.
  6. It's fun!  I really, really, really like to ride my bike.  I'd do this 5 days a week if I could afford the time.
  7. I often ride with some really cool people whom I probably would not have met if not for SF2G, which in turn I would not have found if I hadn't been riding 55+ miles to work from San Francisco.
  8. It makes me feel happy, good, at peace with the world, etc.  This is more than just the garden variety kind of happy you get from doing something fun.  This is more like the happy / good / at peace I imagine one feels after some quality meditation time.  Of course, I also like to ride hard, which puts pain in the legs (and and sometimes a number of other places), so maybe this is just the endorphins talking.  But hey, I'll take it.
  9. When I get to work, I feel like I've already accomplished something big.  Hey, I just pedaled my ass off for 3'ish hours!  If I can do that, I can take anything that work dishes out.  Never underestimate the value of this.  I work at a company that can, at times, be a serious pressure cooker, and so for me, this is huge.
  10. It gives me an excuse to fire up the stove late at night to mix up batches of tan liquid comprised of brown rice syrup, dextrose powder, sea salt, and water.
Well, there's my short list of 10 reasons.  I'm sure there's a few more lurking around in my head, but I'm kind of tired (see #5) and have to knock out a couple of things for work before conking out for the night.

So, dear readers... how about you?  Do you ride your bike to work a long enough distance that your friends / significant other think you're a little bit nuts?  Do you do absurd things like look for ways to make your commute longer, as I often do?  What are your reasons for doing it?


  1. Yeah, it all resonates with me. Ever since I started working downtown regularly, I find myself missing the rides down the peninsula. Still doing a lot of riding during the week, but it's more of the 25-30 mile variety (longer rides have to wait for the weekend, which is complicated with kids). Now, don't get me wrong, I have no desire to give up working downtown, but I certainly miss doing long rides with the sf2g group on a regular basis. As the weather improves, I expect I'll do some more sf2g rides again soon (have to plan for it though by leaving clothes down in advance -- should be manageable, as I am in the Sunnyvale office at least 1-2 times per week).

  2. p.s. yeah, you're crazy (and so are the rest of us)...not for doing the ride, but for enjoying it as much as we do

  3. Nope, not crazy. I thought you were crazy before when you were sitting in front of a computer all day and not riding or running. Of course, that's coming from your sister who thinks that running for 6 1/2 hours at a time is fun, so maybe it's genetic. If it is, though, I'd say we got some pretty damn good genes.