The Beamer 3 headlight cast a white beam of light in front of me that was enough to make sure I saw the road ahead, and that oncoming traffic could see me. To the rear, I was lit up like an ambulance headed for a trauma center. The Super Blinky Extremes are retina burning bright. There is simply no way a motorist can claim to have not seen them. None. Alley cats flew into epileptic fits as I passed.
My commute is not that long, nothing to brag about, and not really notable except it was my first time commuting by bike since 1985. I locked up the bike, removed the lights, and easily made it through the ER doors in time to change into my scrubs. I was checking the case log well before 0600.
One of my younger scrubs was amazed that an old man would pedal to work. "Totally awesome!" was his response. My partner wondered which bike I rode, he knows I have several. I told him it was an old converted pawn shop bike that I didn't have to worry about being stolen. A thirty dollar bike with a seventy dollar lock. When we were done with cases, I changed back into my biking togs, and we walked out into the parking garage where the rusty black beater was still locked up to the staircase. "Cool!" he said. He understood.
As I reattached the front wheel to the fork, my partner mentioned that he had a couple of old Murray mountain bikes that I could have if I wanted them. "Parts is parts," I replied. "I'll take them."
The Louisiana sun was beating down and bouncing off the blacktop as I pedaled back home. I needed a shower when I got home, but then, I shower off anyway after work. A lot of cyclists rhapsodize about how invigorating it is to ride to work, and how the ride back home cleanses the soul. I won't go that far.
I'm not biking the commute to save save the planet, or even save gas. I'm biking for myself. Several nights ago, I weighed myself for the first time in over a year. I found that I had somehow lost twelve pounds. The only reason that I could find for that loss was my return to bicycling. By biking to work, I hope to get in enough pedal time to lose some more.