Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Greg Peck: Bicycling season hasn't ended

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Greg Peck
December 12, 2014

I've done something five different days in the last two weeks that I've never done in any previous December in four decades of adulthood. In fact, I might have never done it as a child, either: I'm bicycling.

Some people might think I'm nuts, and even my wife has questioned my sanity, but I bicycled to work two days last week, and again the last two days. I despite the freezing drizzle out there this morning, I still opted for the bike rather than the car as I carefully pedaled to work. It makes no sense to risk a spill and wind up like the singer Bono, after all.

As I stated in a July 11 blog, I set a goal this year of bicycling to work at least 150 times. That's after doing so about 110 times last year.

Because I return home for lunch, I can bicycle the mile to work twice a day in good weather, if it's not the height of spring and fall pollen seasons and if I don't foresee needing my car on the job or for an errand after work. My first such ride this year was March 31. Despite having five weeks off work since then, I reached my goal Oct. 30 and kept going. By Nov. 12, I hit 160 and was thinking 170 or more. That's when winter weather set in and halted me. I figured if temps hit 32 and streets and sidewalks were clear of ice, snow and slush, I would don a windbreaker, gloves and earmuffs and head out again. But the cold stayed. I finally got back on the bike last Thursday and Friday, even though it might have been below 32 degrees. I stayed warm except for the cold air I was breathing in.

I rode again Wednesday and Thursday after conversing by email with a local man I know who's part of a group planning to ride throughout the dead of winter. They have the attire and equipment to do it. But I figured, hey, if they can do it then, I can ride now. (Gazette customers will read more about these riders in the days ahead).

I started the day with 166 trips to the office. That's 332 fewer miles on my car, 332 fewer ignition turns. I ride because I enjoy the fresh air and exercise, and pedaling home for lunch and back to work seems to give me renewed energy for afternoon desk duties.

Riding in December is sort of mentally helping me delay the start of winter. I might just hit 170 yet!

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or [email protected]. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or [email protected]. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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