Differing Commutes

1976 Raleigh Grand PrixThere’s a good article on Chasing Mailboxes about how employers can set the tone for cycling to work, and make it more accommodating. I’ve had some experience with biking to work from a couple of different locations, as well as several different jobs, and I figured instead of writing a two page comment, I’d throw up a response here. This is less of a response, really, and more of adding my own information.

Of the three jobs I’ve bike commuted to, my current is clearly the best, not having to wear cycling clothes and taking a whole 6 minutes. My second job, though, had shower facilities, so if I wanted to go out for a lunch ride or longer ride before coming into work I could. Then again, my own shower isn’t far.

Job 1

  • 1976 RaleighOffice or Cubicle:  The was retail work delivering auto parts via truck, so no office. Or the world was my office, or just the truck. Whatever
  • Parking: Inventory area behind the counters.
  • Type of Rack:  Nada
  • Shower facilities:  Just a bathroom to wash up in.
  • Discussion: This job was only a few miles from work, so while I still rode in full cycling gear, I rode slow, and it wasn’t in the middle of the summer. I just washed up quick in the women’s bathroom (private stall) and changed into work clothes. This job was close enough that if it snowed during the day I could just get a lift, with the bikes, back home. I felt safe enough leaving the bike in the back of the building (inside) all day as the only ones with access were my coworkers, and at any time there were only a handful of them. Towards the end of my time at the job I spent less time on the road, and was in the building anyway.

Job 2

  • 5597838980_e88a9cb481_oOffice or Cubicle:  Cubicle, technically
  • Parking: Partially covered from the elements (some parking completely protected) and under cameras, but not within sight of security.
  • Type of Rack: Pretty awesome poles with a circle on them. More were installed a few months before I left.
  • Shower facilities: Showers available.
  • Discussion: During the time I worked here, we bought the house, meaning my commute to work got longer. It used to be only 7 miles, which mean a 30 minute ride and I just needed to wash up and change in the bathroom. I used to do this commute 3-4 times per week at one point. Then we moved, and it turned into 34 miles round trip to commute. I only did this once a week, and made full use of the shower facilities in the office. I also used the commute to tie into the weekly women’s ride I helped to lead.

Job 3

  • Riding to work in a hurricaneOffice or Cubicle:  Office, kinda
  • Parking: Inside the building
  • Type of Rack: Nada
  • Shower facilities:  Just the bathroom
  • Discussion: My current job is a whopping 1.2 miles away. I’ve talked about it a bit before. This means that I wear my regular clothes on the bike for the commute, and there’s very little to do once I get to work as far as getting ready. As we’re the only business in the building I’m able to leave the bike under the stairs on the first floor without worrying about it. I’m also able to ride whatever bike I want to work, vs always riding either the Raleigh or Trek. I’m not worried about leaving the Fuji outside, and I can ride the cross bike when the weather isn’t great.

Have you commuted to different jobs or from multiple locales? How does your commute stack up?

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2 Responses to Differing Commutes

  1. I commute as much as I can, but working at a job with two geographically separated buildings, and being expected to wear business attire, makes it something I can’t do every day. I have found ways to work around it. First, I purchased a garment bag pannier for the commuter bike, mounts onto the trunk rack. Second, I pack deodorant and baby wipes, as we don’t have a shower. Those days I do commute, I have several routes to choose from, but have recently been leaning toward, and using, the longer of my options, not only does it feel better to get 20 miles in before starting the work day, also the route takes me away from most of the traffic, making a much more comfortable commute.

    • Thanks for commenting coach! Sometimes I miss doing the 17 miles before work in order to get to work, but realistically when the weather is warmer and the sun doesn’t hide before I get out of work, I’m going to enjoy being so close and going out for rides afterwards.

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