The new bike commute
The commute to work from our old house was about seven minutes (just long enough to listen to Non-Stop from Hamilton). The new commute is about twenty minutes (4.5km) - almost triple! We thought through the commute issue before we moved and ultimately decided that spending an additional 2.5 hours per week on a bike was not the worst thing that could happen (ask me about this again in, like, January). I am sad to lose my easy-peasy commute, but I am honestly looking forward to a bit more exercise being built in to my day.
And with that mandatory exercise comes: stretchy pants. I rode my old commute in my work clothes - slacks, high heels, whatever. When you're only on the bike for five minutes, it doesn't really matter what you wear. But now, I have joined the true commuter ranks, wherein I wear stretchy pants on the bike and then change into nicer clothes in the locker room at work. I feel as if I've joined a club! It also feels good to be able to really exert myself on the bike, rather than worrying about fussy things like my work clothes getting worn out in odd places.
It rained very hard all day last Thursday, which was the perfect chance to try out my new rain jacket. I had a very specific list of features I wanted in a commuter rain jacket, and I bought one this summer in the US. I also bought a waterproof backpack cover. (The rain pants are from our olden days in Ithaca.)
I wore this and stayed warm and dry for the whole ride. Success!
My dad (a seasoned bike commuter) once told me that the hardest thing about a bike commute can sometimes be your mental attitude. If you can talk yourself into accepting it as part of your routine, it will go much better than if you're fussing about bad weather or a headwind on specific particular days. I've found that advice very helpful so far. The best tactic for me has been to think of the exercise - how lucky I am to be able to exercise both before and after work, riding on wide, dedicated-use bike paths on such a beautiful route! So far, so good.