Sharing the Ride

Sometimes I thoroughly enjoy the alone time of being on my bike; other times it’s great to have a friend to share the bike commute home. A couple of weeks ago was one such night.

Flurries had been in the weather forecast for the evening, but the meteorologists seemed to not make a big deal of it, so neither did I. However, by the time the sun set, I looked out the window and knew I would dread my bike commute home. Snow was falling in big flakes and the accumulating snow might be just enough to hide the slick spots on the road.

When I set out for home, I simply repeated a mantra in my head to keep me focused on the riding task at hand and praying for a safe bike ride home.

Unfortunately I had worn my glasses that day (foregoing the contacts) and couldn’t fit my ski goggles over my spectacles. I decided to take the most direct (hopefully fastest) and well-lit route. The snowflakes fell on both sides of my eyeglasses – blinding my view and causing me to pause every few blocks to clear them off. At about the midway point – feeling on edge and anxious to be home already – while I was waiting at a traffic light, I saw another bike commuter pass by. I waved. He waved. And after he passed, the “ah ha” moment dinged in my head like a bike bell — “Hey – I know him! That’s Greg!” (for more about my recognition of this fellow commuter friend and his bike, please see Dottie’s LGRAB post)

He must have had that same “ah ha” moment as he passed because he waited for me to turn the corner and catch up. We marveled at the unlikelihood of running into each other, but he had worked late and I had left a bit early. Result = my mood immediately lifted. Snow seemed to let up, too. Turns out Dottie could rest at ease as he and I shared the rest of the commute home. Safety in numbers.

Thanks Greg for sharing the ride.

What “sharing the commute” bike commuting stories do you have to share?


  1. Iron_Man February 22, 2011 10:24 am 

    I like your articles Elizabeth. You’re capturing the various experiences of Midwestern bicycle commuting quite well. This blog was a bit too heavy in the “everyday is a perfect sunny at least 55 degree day” articles thanks to the So-Cal and Florida contingency. No offense fellas, your articles are good too—especially at making me jealous. :) Keep them coming.

  2. Ghost Rider February 22, 2011 12:51 pm 

    @Iron_Man — that’s why we hired Elizabeth: there was a HUGE gap in our coverage of other weather conditions, conditions we simply don’t get here in Florida or in SoCal. E is worth her weight in gold for sharing these experiences!

    @E — Mr. Dottie! What a great chance encounter. I agree, when conditions suck, it’s great to have a friendly face along for the ride. Funny that it took you two a few seconds of time to realize who each other was; I would imagine being bundled up makes it difficult to recognize folks.

  3. Ghost Rider February 22, 2011 1:37 pm 

    By the way, it was 78 and crystal clear today. We’ve got it pretty tough here in the viral swamplands of Florida. Too bad I didn’t get to ride my bike!

  4. Ghost Rider February 22, 2011 1:39 pm 

    Oh, and for another point: next winter, I’ll be commuting and reporting from Ohio — snow is in my forecast. Maybe then I’ll better appreciate what our midwestern readers and writers have to go through!

  5. Elizabeth February 22, 2011 1:40 pm 

    @Ghost – what’s taking you to Ohio? Moving???
    Oh — and more snow on the ground here this morning and black ice last night. Midwestern riders – take care.

  6. crazy commuting cyclist February 22, 2011 3:36 pm 

    I feel the same way about commuting in the morning during the winter months. It is really hard to get out of a warm bed knowing that a cold blast of wind and snow is waiting for you. In the winter months it becomes more about getting to work quickly and safely rather than getting a lot of miles in. I can’t wait until spring.

  7. PhilGE February 22, 2011 6:28 pm 

    Ride on through winter! I love riding in light snow or on well packed snow. The mushy stuff is another story entirely.

  8. Dottie February 24, 2011 6:56 am 

    Love this!

    Here’s some insider info: before you both left, I emailed you and texted Greg to be extra careful due to the nasty weather and the awful ride I had on the way home. Very happy you two were able to enjoy the ride and have safety in numbers. :)

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