Riding the single-track freeway to work
As I was commuting to work today, I suddenly remembered how lucky we all are to live where we do.
My wondering mind stumbled on the fact that I was not, in fact, sitting on a 10-lane parking lot in southern California. I wasn’t even standing in a stuffy, crowded subway.
Shoot, I wasn’t even waiting in a drive-through line at a suburban Starbucks.
No, none of those things are my reality, and that alone makes me lucky.
But what makes me downright privileged is the fact that while I was pontificating on the reality of global warming and road rage I was barreling down some smooth single-track on my bike heading into Burton Creek State Park on my way to work.
Sure, there are plenty of people in the country who commute via bicycle.
But how many of them are lucky enough to do it off road, on single-track and forest service roads?
How many people are lucky enough to regularly not see one single person on their way to work?
Everyone likes a little alone time during the day, not many dream of that time being during a commute.
I suppose some people view their shiny new BMW cockpit with an eight speaker surround system as alone time ” ignoring the rest of the city right next to them on the freeway.
But today, as I came down out of a field of mule ears, off the single-track and onto the service road that leads me to the office, an a-frame sign solidified just how lucky I actually am.
The sign was for the XTERRA Tahoe City triathlon that will be coming to town on Saturday.
It was notifying local bikers, hikers and joggers like myself that a race would be taking place and to please keep the trails clear and be aware of racers starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
“How lucky am I?” I thought. “This is a national-caliber event coming to my tiny town, and they’ll be racing through my daily commute.”
Not that I get from my house to the office in record race time, but if the route is good enough to hold a race, I sure am lucky to commute on it.
So as the days get warmer, get out there and get after it. Those of us who call North Tahoe, Truckee and Incline Village home are fortunate enough to have race-caliber trails out of our backyards. Big Blue Adventure’s final race is through the Tahoe Vista Regional Park.
XTERRA’s National Championship is held out of Incline on Tunnel Creek Road and the Flume Trail.
The North American Freeskiing Championship is at Kirkwood.
I suppose that’s why we all live here, but it sure does come into perspective at 8:15 a.m. on a week day as you’re mindlessly pedaling along on your way to the office.
And if you feel like checking out my daily commute, visit http://www.bigblueadventure.com and register for the triathlon.
Alex Close is a sportswriter for the Sierra Sun and the assistant editor of the Tahoe World. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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