From Seattle Wa.

Commutes 13 Miles RoundTrip for 4 years and 6 months
Four or Three Days a week, I am a bike commuter Year Round

Currently I ride from the Northgate area south and west into Ballard. Mostly gradual downhill in the morning, uphill at night. I have two or three variations to my route. In two of them, I go around a portion of Greenlake. It is nice in the morning. Very few people, and in the spring, the sunrise is nice. I like to leave some time so I can stop and do a morning meditation there. Other mornings, I get a cup of joe at Tully's. Cage dwellers on this route, at this time, are white knuckled inattentive and out of tune commuters. Between putting on their make-up, talking on the cell phone, smoking cigarettes, fiddling with their radio's, SHAVING, believe it or not, at vying with each other for pole position at the next red light, it's a wonder they don't run me down. Every day I have at least one close call. Keeps me sharp. One day my thoughts were elsewhere and a Metro bus ran me down. I live in the moment when I commute. I have been motivated to find lesser traveled streets. It helps a lot. Even with the hazards (and the rain) it's the only way to go. commuting.

I have ridden bikes since I was six. I started commuting to school in the seventh grade. By high school I rode every day. 10 mile round trip, no biggie. For the first four years after high school I rode everywhere. Did not even own a vehicle. When friends saw me drive, they said it seemed unnatural somehow. When I moved to Seattle (the big city) I gradually succumbed to the desire to drive. I got fat and depressed. Over four years ago, after the third doctor recommended Prozac for my depression (they hand it out like candy here) I decided there must be a better way to combat depression. I thought about it for a while and it finally occured to me how sedintary I had gradually become. I wondered how I had ever gotten so far away from a virtual lifetime of cycling. I was afraid to invest a lot of money in a bike, because I didn't know for sure if I would really ride, so I went to a thrift store and bought an old ten speed for ten bucks. I got new tubes and tires, and started riding. At first, even the small hills left me winded and sweating. Almost immediately, "S.A.D." went away. Long story short, cycling is my cure for weather induced depression.

We have an annual ride here called the Chilly Hilly. It's held in February, prior to the bike expo. Sponsored by one of the local clubs (Cascade Bike Club). It is considered the kick-off of the Northwest cycling season (for those funny people who don't ride year round). It's held over on one of the islands, which means we have to take a ferry to get over there (included in the entrance fee). One ferry is a 'bike only' ferry. I never felt better about being a cyclist than when I rode that bike only ferry. No cars at all. Filled to the brim with cyclists and their bikes. It is cool. (No cleats on the ferries).

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