Bike Commuter Journal – Wake Up and Smell the Bakery

Don Pillsbury bikePlease welcome another guest commuter this week, Don Pillsbury – if you’d like to share your commuter experiences, contact us at wwbikeped@gmail.com

How far is your commute? For me it is almost a trick question. The first half of my commute is 35 miles – snaking through Trenton, Bordentown, Mt. Holly and eventually to my office in Mt Laurel. For the trip home I “cheat” and use the RiverLine train for half the journey. The ride from my office to Riverside Station is 8 miles and then there is another 8 miles home from the Trenton Transit Station. The round trip is 50 miles.

Except for this winter, I typically do this twice a week. I’ve come to cherish each piece of the route for what it is. The early morning ride on car-free roads that I would not normally be brave enough to travel. The smell of the Guatemalan bakery preparing the day’s treats. Watching the sun rise over Burlington County farmland. The trip home is the antithesis. Passing schools and playgrounds bustling with activity. Pausing for 40 minutes to read on the train and enjoy the camaraderie of regulars. And finally, riding through the City of Trenton with all of its urban vitality.

It was Ernest Hemingway that said: “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and can coast down them.” Perhaps my route is too flat to fully appreciate Mr. Hemingway’s point. But then I think his observation misses the nuances of life that can be witnessed and appreciated by riding a bike.

This post also appeared in On the Move, the blog for Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association.

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