Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bike to Work: No Better Way to Start (or End) the Day

There are so many reasons to love the month of May and riding a bicycle is at the heart of quite a few of them. National Bike Month reminds us to pause to celebrate and spread the joy of cycling near and far. This May has also marked my daughter's entry into the world of driving, which has freed me up to ride to work with greater frequency without the need to pawn my kids off on someone else to ensure that they get to school. On Friday, I packed my pannier and suited up to join thousands of riders from around the country on National Bike-to-Work Day.

My trusty commuter complete with coffee mug and Ortlieb Office pannier.
One of the wineries I pass on my ride to work.
The Hudson Valley Rail Trail is always a treat.
The view from the Walkway Over the Hudson never gets old.

Since I live about 15 miles from work, the commute presents a great way to begin and end just about any day. Starting on July 1, though, my work and school worlds will change radically. After working in schools as a teacher and administrator for the past 25 years, I'll be leaving campus life to take up a new position as the Associate Director of the New York State Association of Independent Schools. In this role I'll be responsible for overseeing the accreditation of private schools throughout the state. While I'll spend time on the road visiting schools from the tip of Long Island to the far reaches of Buffalo (and all points in between), one of the best features of the job is that . . . (wait for it) . . . I'll be working from a home office.

This new position has the potential to have a profound impact on my cycling life. While working in schools provides more flexibility than most jobs, I'll now be even freer to pop out for a ride when the spirit moves me. Since I've solved plenty of sticky problems and devised some winning plans on two wheels over the years, I'm optimistic that the arrangement will work out beautifully. Not only will this flexibility help with ride frequency, but with a few larger panniers I may just be able to visit schools by bike as well. Think: Johnny Appleseed.

Up Next: The Central NY 400K.

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