With the spring racing season upon us, there is a lot of talk about the pros– what it means to be pro, how to look pro, and so on. There are two things that distinguish the professional cyclist. The first is talent, which is a mysterious thing and best left for another discussion. The second thing is that the pros ride every day. This is so simple that we forget its importance. We also forget that it is ours for the taking.
To be a commuter is also to ride every day. To do something every day is to experience it from all sides. Rules are broken, rides are fast, rides are slow, the bike is filthy– and we keeping riding. We ride to get somewhere, and then we ride to get back. We ride without a computer, without matching kit, without a training goal. We ride because it is simply a way to get from A to B. There is no glorious finish line and no support team, yet we share something with the cycling elite: every morning, we wake up, look outside, shrug at the weather, and get on the bike. The gesture is small but when accumulated over years it becomes sublime.
For those who are toying with the idea of commuting, some simple advice: go all in and do it for a full two weeks. At first, it will seem complicated and annoying. The logistics of your work clothes and your bike gear outweigh the enjoyment of the ride. You will think about how much simpler your weekend training rides are without all this stuff to cart around. You will find reasons not to ride – just for today, you will tell yourself. Doing it everyday, however, will breed efficiency, and after two weeks your routine (and the amount of gear) will become streamlined. With a set of habits in place (my wallet goes here, I leave me shoes under my desk, etc), things will seem easier. With enough time, the details of your commute will fade to the background and you will enjoy the ride itself.
Then your bike will not just be your tool to get from A to B, it will be your freedom…just like the weekends, except every day.