Fifty Bucks and a Backpack

Since I moved to Denver in August, I’ve wanted to be a person who bikes to work. I’m lucky enough to work only two and a half miles from my house, but I’ve only biked to work twice. Twice! You see, I am incredibly talented at making up excuses. It’s too cold. My tires need air. My bike doesn’t have a basket. I don’t have the right shoes. I don’t want to have helmet hair at work. It takes too long. I might have a meeting and need a car. The list goes on.

Today I woke up late, a mistake that perfectly facilitates the “it takes too long” excuse. Instead of using it, I let my boss know I’d be late and started getting ready for the day. My tires needed air, so I filled them. Instead of making excuses, I rode my bike to work. I really enjoyed it. It made me feel productive in a way that driving a car never can. I get to incorporate exercise into my routine, smell the air and trees, and feel the sun (oh, right – add “I can’t find my sunblock” to my list of potential excuses).

After work today, I went to the bike shop to get some professional insights as to how to make my sub-par bike more efficient. I also asked about equipment: Should I get a better seat? Can I get a basket or rack to carry things on?

I left my bike there overnight for a tune-up. It costs fifty bucks, and it will make my bike easier, more comfortable and safer to ride. Even though I’ve heard talk of snow, I’m excited to get my bike back tomorrow and see the difference the tune-up makes.

Sadly, my bike can’t easily accommodate a basket, so, until I buy a new one, I’ll have to carry my belongings in a backpack.

But, that’s no excuse not to ride.

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