Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Riding to work?

I have fantastic news.

In one month, my company will be moving our offices out of Chinatown. Sorry, I just need to write that one more time. My company will be moving our offices OUT of Chinatown. Oh God that feels good.

The new office building is located in Liberty Square. And for those of you thinking to yourselves "Where the hell is Liberty Square?", here you go! If you aren't into clicking on links for some reason, I'll just tell you. Liberty square is right between the financial district and Faneuil hall.

Along with the fact that we will no longer be residing in arguably the dirtiest part of Boston, we will also have the entire seventh floor of the new building to ourselves. This gives us our own bathrooms (no longer sharing toilets with the Golden Age Asian Alliance in a room with one window that doesn't open), our ability to decorate everything the way we want and the option to bring our bikes to work.

Naturally, I'm interested in riding to work. The T and the bus are incredibly crowded every morning and it's expensive to buy a pass each month. But, I have some reservations about riding to work.

First, I'm scared of cars. I'm not a very aggressive driver, so I'm definitely not going to be an aggressive road biker. I have ridden on the road a few times, and I fared rather well but I had Michael with me. The morning commute, albeit 2 miles at most, will be through the most congested roads in the city at the busiest time of the day and I'll be navigating them by myself. I'll definitely need to invest in many pairs of big girl panties before attempting such a thing.

Second, how do I deal with the clothing situation? I bring a purse to work every day. Where do you put a purse on a bike? Also, I have clipless pedals. Am I going to have to bring shoes with me every day in my purse to change into after riding? I've seen girls riding to work with a messenger bag (gross) which I assume has everything they need, but those girls are riding with flat pedals (and no helmets). I guess I could have the flat pedals put back on, but then I'll have to change them out every time I want to go mountain biking. That could be really annoying.

Third, umm..sweating? What if I'm drenched in sweat every day once I get to work? My hair will be all gross from my helmet and I'll smell. Awesome.

So is it really that great to ride to work every morning? There was a guy that I worked with once that rode every day, even in the snow and rain. But he was on a road bike with flat pedals and he was a software engineer so nobody thought twice if he was sweaty or had helmet hair. I feel like the only way that a girl can ride to work is if she isn't in a position where she has to be around people during the day and/or if she's a hipster with a fixie who rides in flip flops and doesn't care if her new dress from Urban Outfitters flaps away in the wind.

It's too complicated. I guess I'll just be satisfied with the private bathrooms and leave my bike at home.


1 comment:

  1. I commute often. The short way in is 15.5 miles. I don't need to be pretty at work, but I don't want to be offensive or uncomfortable.
    Once a week I bring a bag of fresh clothes to work (and bring home the stinky ones), I keep them in a locker (possible a desk drawer would work for you with some toiletries and hair care implements?). When I get to work I freshen up at the bathroom sink. My bathroom is private and locks (and I'm the only one here) so I get pretty thorough at the sink.
    They make bike racks that attach to your seat post which have a capacity of 25 pounds or so and even cases that fit on them (or ordinary rear racks) which might provide you with enough capacity for your commute.
    A word of cation from my wife:
    Last night she grabs my arm and anxiously asks "When you ride to work you have lights on your bike, right?" She passed two cyclist yesterday one with lights, one without. With the low angle of the morning sun it made a huge difference(yes I have lights; red blinky in the back and a white blinky up front until it's time for a real headlight) .
    Sorry for the book, have fun and be safe.