Thursday, December 30, 2010

Almost a Cliche'

I had a looooong day today.
I started the day at 6:30am  getting into a zipcar and driving out to site meetings in the burbs.  A  tough site meeting is like running a gauntlet of people beating you with sticks.  A good site meeting is like running a gauntlet of people beating you with Nerf Noodles.  Had one of each today.  One is debilitating, the other is just tiring.

Got back to Harvard around 11, stopped at home just long enough to eat some breakfast (!)
and rode into work. I took a run at riding the Charles River path, but it was too snowy and "mashed potato-ey" to ride comfortably, so I portaged over a giant snowbank, and got back onto the mostly clear streets.

By 8pm when my day was over (lots of processing things from the site meetings, plus getting caught up from my extra day traveling back from vacation)  I was so tired I didn't think I could make it down to the lobby, let alone ride home.  The Scientist offered to pick me up, but I wanted my bike for errands over the long weekend.

But (here's the truism part)- I got on my bike, and I started to ride,  and before long,  I felt better: more relaxed,  happier, less tired.  How many drivers finish their commute and say "I feel so refreshed?"

It's a founding mythology of bicycle commuting, that a good ride home cures all ills- it's so oft repeated that it's almost a cliche'.  But you know what?  Just because it's a cliche' doesn't mean it isn't true.

I think that a lot of people who see me riding on a snowy day think I'm crazy or masochistic or maybe I have a DUI or can't afford a car.  But they just don't get it.  It's just not something you can understand until you've experienced the endorphins of a good ride home


  1. I remember, a few years ago, I was stuck in the office for a software launch, trying to coordinate things with a Hawaiian systems team (and having to stay late as a result). There was a bit of a snowstorm outside and one of my coworkers was offering me a ride -- 12 hour workday, plus blizzard, and all. I told him that I was touched but it was ok, made some excuses about how it would be a pain in the ass to get my bike in his truck. The storm eventually abated eventually, and we left the office an hour or so later, around 11pm. The plows had done their job and nobody else was on the road.

    I slept well that night.

    Happy New Year, btw!

  2. I can definitely confirm that this is not just a myth. I work ten hours a day standing, the ride home is very relaxing and stress relieving.