- ADAM SNEED
- May 26, 2017
Since moving to Washington, D.C., six years ago, there’s one question I know I’ll hear when I go home to sprawling suburban Phoenix: “So, you don’t have a car?”
For five years, I commuted almost exclusively by metro. More times than I can count, when I’ve said this to friends and family back home, they’d respond with some comment about how nice it must be to get some work done on my way into the office.
Sure, when I need to field some emails while standing on the train, it is nice. Mostly, though, I spend that time mainlining media: shuffling through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and more or less All The News. My former life as a car commuter was great for listening to music; this new one was perfect for the golden age of connectivity. But then I fell in love with its exact opposite: a mode of transportation that wouldn’t allow me to do anything but commute.
I finally committed to becoming a bike commuter when the D.C. metro hit rock bottom last year. I told myself I was doing it for the normal reasons: it’s healthier, cheaper, and greener. I’m also lucky to have decent cycling infrastructure in my neighborhood, so why not use it?
These were compelling enough reasons to test the waters. I fixed up my bike, took a deep breath, and prepared for battle with every driver on the road. Deep down, I thought I would revert back—to the path of least resistance—soon enough. For a while, a powerful voice in my head would say that I wasn’t prepared to sweat this morning, or I didn’t have it in me to carry the bike down to the street, or, yeah, I’d rather just do some work on my way to work.