A few years ago, I exchanged my car commute to Roseville for a bike/bus commute to Midtown. I’ve never once regretted this decision but I have at times made my short commute sound simpler than it actually is.
Lots of little things can go wrong when you’re biking or busing to work. At first, my biggest bike nuissance was having both tires stolen off my brand new and somewhat pricey man bike. (You haven’t seen a grown woman have a meltdown unless you saw that scene. Jonathan had to tell me to “pull it together.”) Then, after replacing my tires, I learned about the other not-so-easy things with bike riding. Things like: Inhaling bugs. Freezing morning temps. Sweltering evening temps. Rain. Almost getting hit by a car. Getting made fun of by my boss for wearing a helmet. Looking like a dork with my pants taped tight around the ankles. Planning my outfits around my commute. Tying down my lunch to the back of my bike, only to watch it fall off. You get the idea…
On the days when all of the aforementioned challenges are too much to handle, I exchange my bike for the bus. The bus presents another host of issues to navigate: Vienna sausage dude and scary homeless man. Constantly saving quarters and dollar bills. Borrowing change from my boss when I forget quarters. Chasing a moving vehicle more than once.
If I’m not in the mood for either the bike or bus, I have three more options: pay $6 for parking near my office; park for free seven blocks away but have to walk; or convince Jonathan to pick me up. If you call yourself a friend of the Miller Duo, you’ll know we’re too cheap to pay $6 each day. Enough said about that option.
Now that you have a full understanding of what my daily commute decision looks like, I think you’ll agree with my solution: Meet Emilia! (My new/used red Schwinn beach cruiser, complete with a basket and bell.)
The decision to purchase Emilia was a bit agonizing for me. I felt a little bit like, well, I was cheating. Poor Betsy–she’s been so, so good to me, but she was never the bike I wanted all along. She might be faster, she might be smoother, she might be easier to ride, but she sure doesn’t make me look good. And honestly, if I’m going to swallow bugs and brave the rain, I just want to look cute while doing so.
I’m not one to make big purchases without unhealthy amounts of over analyzing. When Jonathan told me he wanted to train for a triathlon, we worked out a deal. He could use Betsy (sidenote: yes my legs are equally long as my husband’s) and I would buy a cruiser. When I saw Emilia advertised yesterday on Twitter, I threw all analyzing out the window. In less than a 15 minute phone call, she was mine. I even got a bike basket and bell included for only $75 total.
For anyone concerned (Mom, Dad, Marlene, Steve, my boss): I promise I’m still wearing my helmet and when it’s dark out, I’ll still wear my reflector triangle. Safety first! (And fashion closely second!)