What’s the rush?

On my commute today, I decided to take it nice and slow. After about the first mile I started to think…”why haven’t I done this before?” Typically when I’m bike commuting I have this sense of urgency that propels me to ride fast, sprint out of intersections and race against buses and cars. But today I just felt different and decided to take in the nice cool Fall weather that we’re having in Southern California by taking my time to get to my destination.

This even inspired me to take some photos of my ride.

I even stopped off in downtown where I snapped this photo of the Redline 925 next to the Christmas tree.

Now that I was able to enjoy this slower paced bike commute, I think I’m going to do it more often! I felt great, super relaxed and not sweaty as a result of it.


  1. Doug November 11, 2011 2:48 pm 

    When I first started commuting by bike I would do the same thing – sprint out of the gate as if I was out on a training ride. It was only 2.5 miles and I would get to work sweaty. At some point the lightbulb switched on and I realized there was no need to rush. I now have a 4 mile ride to work, up a fairly large hill, and never break a sweat.

  2. Steven November 11, 2011 3:04 pm 

    that’s funny you were compelled to take it slow today, upon leaving my apartment this morning i felt a strange feeling, not that something bad was necessarily going to happen, but just an overwhelming feeling to take it slow and focus on taking my time.

  3. Mike Myers November 11, 2011 5:25 pm 

    Sometimes you have to practice strategic deconditioning. I tend to do mine on the weekends or at night.

    Sometimes it’s really nice to put on the headphones, cue up the Radiohead, fire up the lights, and hit the road for a mellow ride. May do that tonight, as a matter of fact.

    Sometimes I do it with only the night sounds and the gentle droning hum of my tires on the pavement as my soundtrack. It’s a meditation.

  4. Ghost Rider November 11, 2011 7:21 pm 

    I almost always take it slow on the way to work…but when it is quittin’ time, I go into full “individual time trial” mode (holdover from my racing days). I don’t care how sweaty I am when I get home.

  5. Mir.I.Am November 11, 2011 7:54 pm 

    RL – I was just thinking what a nice commute I had today, thanks for posting!!! Shared sentiments… I didn’t even mind commuting on Veteran’s Day (government Holiday means ALL of downtown was empty!) and APEC is in town, so people were encouraged to keep of the streets if possible. Nicest commuter ever. I saw one bicycle and only three cars. Taking it easy in the “fall” weather. Nice pics!

  6. Elizabeth November 11, 2011 8:15 pm 

    Go figure — I raced a bus and taxi today and WON! :-) Made my day. The “rush” was exhilarating and actually de-stressed me… got the endorphins goin’.

    But I do occasionally enjoy the slower pace. :-)


  7. Steve A November 12, 2011 1:03 pm 

    Except for the extra wind resistance, you burn the same energy on a bike commute whether you go slow or fast. I go for fast and minimum stop signs and lights, which gives me more cool-down time. I also prioritize less conflict with my motorists so my own stress levels remain low.

  8. Guy November 13, 2011 10:48 am 

    Good advice. Experience the moment. The slower pace is what is about. Being in a car, you’re thinking ahead to that appointment or meeting and racing what is it going to be all about. On a bike, you’re experiencing and concentrating on the moment.

  9. Dan November 13, 2011 5:47 pm 

    Nice photos! I recognized the location and scouted it out.
    Birch Street, downtown Brea, CA. Santa/Christmas display across from the Sarah Bain Gallery. The gallery was the giveaway.
    A nice part of town this time of year. I stopped by the area and gave pause while finishing my morning training ride.

  10. Iron_Man November 14, 2011 6:04 am 

    My commute is my exercise routine, so I try to keep the heart rate up. Plus, since I work four ten hour days, I leave the house at 5:15 AM and leave the office at 4:30 PM, I’m not wanting to add much commuting time in getting to work and generally want to get home to the family as soon as I can. On very hot days I take it slow. Still I’ve never been one to be very good at going it slow alone. I might try out to keep it slow, but over time I just start ramping up the effort, and before you know it I’m putting in a hard effort. I need a slow riding partner to keep me slow–like my kids (who I’m generally pushing hard on the pedals to get home to see).

  11. john n November 14, 2011 8:12 am 

    i ‘fell’ for the speedy stuff when I first started. Somewhere in time, I figured out how much more I enjoyed just taking some time, looking around, and relaxing on my commute.

    Around that time I started using my bike for grocieries, errands, and stuff like that more – think I just saw it as less of an exercise routine and more of pure, simple transportation. My personal ‘light bulb’ I guess.

  12. Tina Pham November 15, 2011 4:41 pm 

    That’s my kind of ride. Taking the scenic approach. :)

  13. Elizabeth November 15, 2011 7:32 pm 

    To quote H.G. Wells, “I came out for exercise, gentle exercise, and to notice the scenery and to botanise. And no sooner do I get on that accursed machine than off I go hammer and tongs; I never look to right or left, never notice a flower, never see a view – get hot, juicy, red – like a grilled chop. Get me on that machine and I have to go. I go scorching along the road, and cursing aloud at myself for doing it.”

  14. db November 16, 2011 8:41 am 

    Going a few miles-per-hour slower is also a good strategy for cold weather. It was 18 degrees (F) here this morning, so I dropped a gear or two below my usual for a fast cadence with a bit less air resistance, which is what hurts my fingers and toes when I’m out there.

  15. Litter Patrol November 20, 2011 12:53 am 

    That’s the way to live brother!

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