Maria Vargas

From San Leandro CA, USA

Commutes 15 Miles RoundTrip for years and 2 months
Four or Three Days a week, I am a bike commuter Year Round

My commute route is fairly simple, however, there are a few hairy sections at the moment. A couple of miles is thru residential neighborhoods, and then a long stretch on a busy road which passes along the Oakland Airport. Those of you in the area may know that there currently is road work being done at the Oakland Airport. This is one of the hairy sections. Barricades were placed right up to the traffic lane with no room for cyclists. There is another section on my route that is under construction and the same thing was done. When I reach the Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline just north of the airport, I hop off the busy road and take a short quarter mile or so paved trail along the shore. Trees separate the Shoreline park from the busy highway. If I'm lucky, there will be a couple of rowing (4- and 8-person) teams out training.

I've been cycling for many years. Mostly moutain biking and got into road riding last summer. I decided I wanted to complete a century, which required purchasing a road bike. I completed my first century, the People Powered Ride, with 6791' of climbing, in the Solvang area, on October 28, 2000, which is also my birthday. What a way to celebrate, eh? :)I then decided to start riding to work. I had upgraded my mountain bike, had a bran spakin' new road bike, and had the old entry-level mountain bike laying around. I purchased skinnier tires, a rack, panniers, and a trunk rack, put them all on & now ride 2-4 days per week. During Bike Commute Week, I rode everyday. I was pretty tired by the end of the week. But it was great!

Let's see. Have been honked at, yelled at, and just recently been congratulated on bike commuting by a truck driver. Made my morning.I do like the way I feel throughout the day after riding into to work. And being able to release the tension of a particularly stressful day by riding home is a nice form of therapy.

Join us, add yourseelf