The Long Commute

I’ve been busier and more stressed than usual lately and it’s started catching up with me. The other day at work I found myself completely exhausted. I could not wait to go home…

Long Commutes

…And pass out. It was all I could think about. The second the workday was done I hopped on my bike and raced across town toward my couch.

But once I sat down I had an unexpected change of heart.

My head was clear and my energy had returned. My couch was boring. Was I really going to just stay home? And sleep? I was bummed that my commute was only 4.1 miles. Some days that’s just too short. I wanted to bike more.

Long Commutes

I remembered I had been invited to a party across town. Seven miles across town. It was one of those parties I had no intention of going to. Suddenly it was the most appealing party in the world. So delightfully far away. With that, I was off…

Long Commutes

More energized and less stressed than any other commuter….

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  • Opus the Poet April 6, 2012   Reply →

    Yes! I love my little commute from working at church during the week. Getting out of the house is the thing i look forward to the most all day.

  • Chris April 6, 2012   Reply →

    You have captured the transforming power of a cycle ride! Thank you for making me laugh.

  • Mike April 6, 2012   Reply →

    Oh gawd.

    I had this expect experience a few weeks ago.

    Well, not exact; it was a Saturday and I wasn’t at work. But when it came time to head off to a barbeque I’d been invited to, I hopped on my bike and pedalled along a path I’d never hit before.

    It was a only a few kilometres to my destination, but it was an incredible day – sunny without being hot.

    It was one of those rare days that is the exact antithesis of that moment when you’re at work and thinking “I’m having one of those days”.

    And the homes bordering the bike path were so beautiful. They would have all been more than 50 years old, easily, and the fences and railroad and gardens and even the graffiti all had an unloved-but-loved retro style that made me feel as though, if not for the smartphone in my backpocket, I could have just as easily been rolling through a moment 30 years older than myself.

    It was really something else.

  • Justin Winokur April 6, 2012   Reply →

    This is great. I like bike commuting for the other way. I had a really, really important meeting that was early in the morning. I didn’t sleep well (out of nervousness) but my 3 mile commute (and just a bit of coffee) woke me up perfectly.

  • Ben April 6, 2012   Reply →

    I often find I have the reverse feeling, at least in the morning, when my longer commute requires me to wake up too early. In the afternoon, I take a longer route home to enjoy it a little more, but my 7.7-mile inbound commute can sometimes be pure agony for how long it feels when I just want to get there already.

  • Invisible Visible Man April 6, 2012   Reply →

    I have a five-mile commute and I often wish it could be longer. But, if I’m meeting anyone and they offer to come to my office, I tell them firmly no. I make up stuff like how we have no meeting rooms (we don’t have many but I could probably get one if I put my mind to it). If I’m really lucky, they might ask to meet me in the west end of London or even Kensington (six miles away). I’m keen on meetings at Canary Wharf, too. That’s about four miles down one of the routes referenced here ( Best trip of all is if I have to catch a flight from London City Airport, 13 miles from my house.
    On a good day, with strategically-placed meetings, I can turn my 11 miles of commuting into about 30 miles of cycling. It’s often the best bit of my day.


  • Jon April 6, 2012   Reply →

    I get this every night. I work about second shift hours, but I try to live a first shift life. I get home around midnight and cant go to sleep until 1 or 2 AM because I just have so much energy getting of the bike. I really do blame the bike.

  • anniebikes April 6, 2012   Reply →

    My commute is plenty long enough, 22 miles round trip. But I often look for errands to do, events to attend, especially if it’s a gorgeous day.

  • scott April 6, 2012   Reply →

    Love the last drawing! How’d you do it? Brilliant.

  • Amy April 6, 2012   Reply →

    Love that last panel! I’ve got my choice of the quick half mile commute or the slightly for fun 2 mile commute. I always choose the 2 miles. :)

  • MT Cyclist April 6, 2012   Reply →

    My commute is short, but I always take the longer way around, because there’s less traffic and because I enjoy getting in a few more revolutions before facing work. And when I’ve had a stressful day, the ride home always puts my mind at ease.
    I have also enjoyed many “whoopee” moments while biking in the dark. But once a driver pulled up to me and said, “Except for those flashing lights and reflectors (I had 2 lights, 6 reflectors on this particular bike) I can’t see you.”
    I replied, “Whenever I’m driving and I see a flashing red light 2 blocks ahead, I’m pretty sure that it’s attached to somebody on a bike.”
    Your ‘toons rock!

  • Virginia Schrader April 6, 2012   Reply →

    Oh yes…I love my commute, always take the long way home. Now that it is getting lighter early, I sort of miss riding in the cover of darkness.

  • Jennifer April 6, 2012   Reply →

    One night I was feeling kind of bummed out so I took a long bike ride at like 12:30 AM. It was a really nice experience – just me, my bike, and the occasional pizza or taxi guy – and sure enough, improved my mood. Unfortunately it took me forever to get to sleep afterward – I didn’t want to stop!

  • Jean April 6, 2012   Reply →

    My work bike commute is only….4 km. 1 way but it does depend if there is headwind @ 30-40 km or if it’s -26 degrees C winter. But after work, it’s great to stop for a coffee, do some grocery shopping or just go ….longer! :)

    When I lived in Vancouver, I stretched a 3 km. one way bike commute to 12 km. one way through Stanley Park in the dark with old growth soaring trees. Spooky with a climb up short, steep hill.. Good memories..of stretching out a commute ride for fitness but more for exhilaration!

  • John Romeo Alpha April 6, 2012   Reply →

    I commuted several miles in the wrong direction on my bike one evening this week to go and look at a work of art, a tree made out of recycled blue jeans, swim suits, and other clothing, called A Tree Grows in Scottsdale. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on the deep respect and appreciation I have for trees. I could have zoomed straight home in a car, if I had one, but I would have missed so much.

  • The Saturday morning ride to work is where I sweat out all of Friday night’s overindulgences.

  • Vocus Dwabe April 7, 2012   Reply →

    Hominids evolved on the plains of East Africa as bipedal roamers, able to walk hundreds of miles in a season to follow the migrating animal herds on which they preyed. So really it’s not very surprising that half a million years later their descendants are still built for getting around on their own two legs, and find the present oyster-like existence enforced upon them by the motor car and the computer screen both physically and emotionally irksome.

    So, Bikeyface, your sudden an unexpected urge to leap onto your bicycle and set off again after coming home from work was not in the least pathological. Quite the opposite in fact: your blood had been re-oxygenated after eight hours spent vegetating at your desk, your metabolism had switched back from “Standby Mode” to “Normal Running”, and so long as you fed in the kilojoules you would have been able to keep going until the dawn came up or the police arrested you for whatever is the US equivalent of conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.

    When I was at school in the 1960s we would often go on all-night bike rides to celebrate things like the end of exams. Pedalling along the roads of the Welsh border country at 2:00am under a full moon is something which few, if any, children these days will ever experience. Not the least of its charms was that at night you always seemed to be going much faster than you really were.

    (Tip against being left temporarily blinded by oncoming car headlights: wear a hat or a helmet with a brim, and incline it down for a few moments to shield your eyes. Also works well against nocturnal insects. Low-flying bats aren’t a problem: far too agile to run into you).

  • Dottie April 7, 2012   Reply →

    Love this. I get tired a lot during the day, so when I first started bike commuting, I worried that having to bike home every day would be too draining. As you illustrate here, biking home has the opposite affect on me and I’m almost always more energized afterward.

  • Lee Hollenbeck April 10, 2012   Reply →

    My commute is 18 miles one way, and I make 2-6 trips per week. Only in the summer do I try to make longer rides. I can get 8 miles of dirt out of 20 on the mt bike going through 3 different parks.

  • Jessica Mink April 11, 2012   Reply →

    When I was younger, I got so worn out on my 20-mile-per-day commute, that my spouse suggested that I should take a day or two off per week and drive. Gradually I got more used to the daily ride–through Boston’s Emerald Necklace and up the Charles River–that I did it more and more often. The last year I had a parking permit at work, I only used it twice, so I gave it up and have biked every day since. It’s easy to add errands, events, and social life to your ride when you don’t have to worry about traffic or parking!

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