[Posted by Bryan Dawson, October 14, 2014]
Each year I try to ride my bike to and from work on 50 or more days. This year I’m already approaching my goal; I’ve ridden 47 times as of 10/14/14, so I may be able to squeeze in 60 rides before the light fades too much and the rain, sleet and snow make it too miserable.
When I ride to our West Linn office, the route is a very hilly but especially enjoyable six or seven miles. The hills make it fun as I cruise down the mile-long descent on the way to my office, nearly keeping pace with cars with minimal pedaling. Of course, the same hill makes the commute home rough but good exercise. It’s a beautiful ride through two parks and along the Willamette River, mainly on quiet roads.
I mainly do it because I love riding. I see and experience things that I miss when I whiz past in a car. Because I’m basically silent, I’ve seen a coyote run out of the trees and begin to cross the road before he finally saw me. Another time, a mink or other small weasel-shaped animal ran across the bike path in George Rogers Park. If I had been in a car, he might have stayed in the bushes until I passed, or he might have ended up under my tire without me ever having known. As a bicyclist, I also “experienced” riding past the corpse of a giant, squished opossum until it finally got disposed of by crows and/or dried enough by the sun. It tested my ability to ride and hold my breath. Within a week, it seemed, another opossum or raccoon was squished on my route.