"Why am I paying to experience hell every morning?"
One summer morning at 8:47AM, I got off subway Line 2 and decided to save myself. It was time to end this underground life.
What will save me?
Five stations by subway. This distance is neither far, nor close. By bus, This route requires a transfer and the bus schedule introduces a unnerving sense of urgency. I'll pass on that. My dream motorcycle came to mind, but it's more expensive than a small car and for a 15 minute journey? Pass. Shared electric scooters are popular these days, but the thought of opening an app in the morning to search frantically for an available scooter doesn't seem fun. Then i suddenly remembered the image of Paul Smith on a bicycle that I saw at an exhibition not to long ago. The though made me smile. That's when I realized I wanted a relaxed and healthier morning, not just an escape from the subway. Sir Paul Smith, who was riding a bicycle with white hair dancing in the wind must have been in my mind before I even knew it.
Alright, it's a bike!
I asked my friends who bike as a hobby for some suggestions on buying a bike. Believing that exercise starts and ends with equipment, they all suggested wildly expensive bikes and well-crafted Italian riding suits. We started looking at different drive systems, frames, and wheel sets. The more I looked, the more complicated it got. Suddenly, I realized I had been plunged into a see of information and I kept swimming even when it wasn't necessary. I wasn't going to buy a bicycle to participate in the Tour de France. I just needed a commuting bicycle. The use of the bicycle was set, the price range was clarified, and Italian riding suits were deemed inessential.
Buying a bike for commuting
It's important what kind of bike you buy, but it's also important how you're going to get that bike. Bikes occasionally need some maintenance, so instead of searching "drive system," "frame," and "wheel," I began searching simply "bicycle shop." I found a bicycle shop near my company and was convinced more than ever that this was the path to choose. As I entered, the bike shop, I saw all the beautiful shapes and colors of the bikes. I even though, "Should I go for the Tour de France after all?" My boss, who accompanied me to the store, made a recommendation for which bike to buy and I tested it by getting on and off the bike. My boss was also able to give me some tips for biking such as foot placement for efficient pedaling and how to safely avoid vehicles. This convinced me more than ever that it was a good thing to search for "bicycle shop" instead of "bicycles." I was able to find a convenient place and bring a good partner along for the decision process.
Saving myself through (Paul)ception
I successfully escaped hell by riding a bike. The commute is enjoyable; stepping out a confined space and weaving in between the pedestrians creates a rush that the subway always stole from me. When the scenery is nice, I can stop and take a picture and I'm able to feel the change of the seasons and the winds brushing my cheek. Although at times, I am still a bit clumsy on the bike, the thought of being as carefree as Sir Paul Smith on his bike keeps me pedaling each day.
On the way to work 9/30
Leaving work 8/20
Leaving work 9/16
Leaving work 9/23
Good Buy, Bad Buy
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