Rode my bike to work today after a long, painful month of commuting. Thus comes the blog post about freedom which I’ve been putting off for at least two weeks. Here’s the witnesses report:
I’m living under a terror. Terror of time. Every morning for the last month has basically been running. It’s because of a crappy commute: 134 departs only twice per hour – at :22 and :52. And so I run to the bus stop almost every morning and barely catch that damn bus. Forget morning coffee. It’s departure time – no room for your “sit down” nonsense! Then the transfer – one where I have to run to the other bus stop or I’ll miss the 612 which departs twice per hour. Returning home is even worse – the transfer is so tight it’s basically a hit-or-miss aided (only a bit) by an Android app which shows me the location of the return 134, which is often late. If it isn’t, I have to take alternate route which is 20 minutes longer, because 134 – YES YOU GUESSED IT – departs once every half an hour.
If you think this is just a commute – think again. This is my time, my valuable and precious time, being wasted. The original title of this post was Enjoy life, with the point being that it’s hard to do so while running.
This is precisely why I enjoy riding a bike so much. It’s all about freedom – the freedom to drink my morning coffee, to choose the route and the stops and the speed and the mood and everything about how and what I am. It’s about being able to change my mind without excruciating waits, about being able to spontaneously stop to shop for fruit and vegetables at some little local grocery, to make an impossibly tight U-turn and get back to some interesting spot I just passed. It’s about the road – not the points A and B that delimit it.
If life is just a ride, then being stuck in a giant metal cage rolling around the city at a bizarre schedule and an abysmally slow pace is not a ride. It’s a torture.
I welcome my bike back. I don’t feel intimidated by the impeding winter anymore: as long as I remember just how much there is to lose, I’ll just find some warm clothes, wrap myself up tight and keep rolling.