Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Missing my Ride

I was laid off from my job in January.

Aside from all of the stress of not having a steady paycheck, trying to put together a freelance subsistence, and missing my old job (which was the best job I've ever had) I've discovered something else.

I miss my commute. I've been working from home, alternately job hunting and working short gigs as a marketing/social media consultant, and that means I get up in the morning, skim the paper, pour my coffee, and commute all of ten feet to my computer desk. Where once I got up and rode about 40 minutes from Ottawa South to Vanier, and that 40 minutes again back home, now I'm lucky if I get out for a mile or so to run errands in the afternoon, or out to an event downtown in the evening: and it's winter, which means that recreational rides are just that much harder to do. Bike paths uncleared, roads gritty and soggy and icy and generally not that pleasant.

How accustomed you get to that morning ride to wake you up, and that afternoon ride to wind back down and switch gears. If anything has proven to me that cycling has become part of my life, it's how sluggish and restless I feel without it. And I'm not a recreational cyclist, really. The reason I called this blog "The Incidental Cyclist" was that I felt that was how cycling got itself insinuated into my life: as an incidental thing, just how I happened to get around but not something I did as, I suppose, an enthusiast. I don't really go out just to go for a ride. But I'm feeling so lazy and sedentary these days. And I don't like it. Not one bit.

Which means that as I type this, and the sun is beginning to wipe out my screen (giving me my excuse to get out of the house) I'm thinking of getting out there on Mike and going to a grocery store several miles away, just for the trip. This - this - is how much a part of my life that morning commute had become. I miss my ride.


  1. Yeah, my commute is about four blocks, which doesn't make for a very awakening ride.

    Have you tried doing some work from coffeeshops to give you a place to go?

  2. I know what you mean. I'm not a cyclist, I'm a pedestrian. But I miss the regular walks now that I'm in the same boat you are.

  3. Yeah, I actually am planning to pack up the laptop at some point and work from a coffeeshop somewhere. I did a little bit of that last Friday and it was good. I'll have to pick one a good distance from home. Maybe I'll go to Westboro! (*Wish* the Riverside path got plowed, that would be a really nice ride...)

  4. There's the right distance to commute, and it lies somewhere between 5-10km. Long enough to actually absorb the outdoors and get a workout, but not so long as to be tiring, sweaty or hard to schedule. Mine is 25km, and it is just way too easy to come up with an excuse ("too cold", "woke up too late", "gets dark too early", "have to run an errand after work", etc).

    And I'm really sorry you lost your best job ever. That sucks.

    - A

  5. Mine was, according to MapMyRide.com, about 7 and a half miles, whatever that works out to in km... about 40 minutes (an hour in the winter, cause I couldn't take the Riverside path.) And yup, I thought it was just about perfect.

    And thanks for the sympathy, too, Alex! It _was_ a pretty awesome job. But, like many awesome jobs, didn't get the funding it needed/deserved. Serves me right for working in the arts...

  6. I enjoy my short 5 km commute to work because I can ride easily all winter and in inclement weather. When it is nice out, I can take a longer route along the canal.

    My winter bike has been good to me - she has one more month to go before she gets cleaned up and can rest for the summer.

    The spring bike is cleaned, oiled and ready to go.

  7. I know the feeling. I commute about 4km to work and it is too short. Last year I had 15km each way and I thought that it was too far, until I changed jobs. Now I miss the extra 11km each way and I am gaining weight.

    Sorry to hear you lost your job and commute... good luck.

  8. Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiencesThank You, Good contest, My boy will love it, He’s looking forward to hunting soon. It will give him practice.