“Be gentle with yourself”

I was featured in the Williamson County section of the Tennessean last week, as part of an article a reporter covering the Williamson County beat did in response to the Brentwood BPAC (bicycle & pedestrian advocacy committee) report about bike and pedestrian friendliness in the Brentwood area.

(Spoiler alert: it’s not great.)

I was lucky enough to meet Ray Howze and tell him that yes, I was going to begin bike commuting again to Brentwood and that yes, I had tried it a little bit last year and found it more intimidating than invigorating. But then I got a new-to-me road bike and now – well, I understand that a road bike can get me there faster and more efficiently than my (well-loved and well-ridden) steel frame hybrid bike.

So I says, Sure, I’m willing to talk with you and be photographed on a commute!

The article is great. I was grateful to both Ray and Shelley Mays, the photographer, for being fantastic folks with whom to speak. And I’m trying to live up to my twice-a-week vow.

But.

It’s difficult sometimes, even when thinking about a half-mute, to get out there. My best friend told me to “be gentle with yourself” – and so I’m trying.

I’ve still got two days this week when I can honor my twice-weekly vow – back to back, Friday and Saturday.

And believe me – I know the answer to the question. I definitely feel better afterwards, and the effects continue on throughout the day. I am privileged to have a vehicle in which I can commute (I await the quips of “Bike advocate seen driving car”).

How do you motivate yourself to get out there, when your commute could stretch to 15+ miles on some super-unfriendly roads?

One comment

  1. “How do you motivate yourself to get out there, when your commute could stretch to 15+ miles on soem super-unfriendly roads?”

    Usually, all it takes to motivate me to get back on the bicycle is to take the easy drive into lower Broadway one morning, only to have figure how to get out of there in the afternoon.
    It seems every time I drive, I wish I were on my bike for the trip home.

    The frustrating part is that the most ‘unfriendly’ road that I encounter is the two-lane, no shoulder (or sidewalk) 40mph speed suggested (treated as a 50 mph minimum), arterial that is a must use near my home.
    However, you are exactly correct in saying, “I definitely feel better afterwards, and the effects continue on throughout the day.” That mirrors my experience plus, after commuting by bike every day (well almost) for going on four years now, all my stuff is on the bike. I’m discombobulated and can’t find my keys when I drive the car.

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