Why limit yourself to only one route?
With my trusty Valencia back in action, I’ve had the last few rides to and from work to start commuting again. Originally my route would take me through Madison’s fantastic bicycle lane system; I would be able to traverse all 7 miles of my commute on East & West Washington Avenues without issue playing next to the cars, and making short work of my ride.
In a way, a route like this is exactly why people drive cars. Getting from Point A to Point B as fast as possible makes sense while driving. You’re not apart of your surroundings, you’re traveling through them. I came to this realization tonight as I was on my way home tonight, as I’ve decided to alter my route because I really don’t want to ride next to cars in these conditions.
This new route is about a mile longer, and overall a little slower but it’s a lot more fun. Madison has a fantastic network of bicycle routes throughout the city, and by switching routes I eliminate probably 3/4ths of my time spent with cars. I’m pretty happy about that. No more sketchy bridge to cross over Highway 30! It’s a wonderful thing. There congregation of cyclists on this route is also quite a bit higher as well. Seeing others out in these conditions helps build that inner strength that makes it easy to get out and ride during these cold months as well.
Change is good, change is fresh. The night before, instead of turning off of John Nolen drive, Matt and I kept on riding towards Olin park, eventually turning onto the Wingra Creek bike path. We eventually made it home after some more diversions into the snowy playground of roads around our neighborhood and the Zoo. All in all it was an hour long ride last night, about double my normal commute time. It surely didn’t seem that long though, I guess that’s what happens when you go exploring and have fun at it.
So for those that are used to always going the same way: take a wrong turn on purpose. Change it up a little. I re-discovered a fantastic local pasta company who I would always visit at the Farmer’s Market before I worked every Saturday morning. I’ll be stopping there soon on some ride home to fill up with fantastic carb goodness.
It’s all the points inbetween A & Z that make the adventure, afterall.