About a month ago I was driving my car to work and approximately 15 minutes into my commute the engine compartment squealed, revved, made crazy noises....my timing belt had snapped. Luckily for me this is an interference engine and the repair is much more involved then replacing the timing belt; the short of it is the entire engine will be replaced as a result of improper maintenance.
"Huh? Wha-!? You said luckily."You bet! I am certainly capable of performing the repair myself and could have the car back running in about a days worth of labor. Yet it still sits with the engine prepped for removal on jack stands in the garage. Why you might ask? Let me run you through my new morning routine:
My morning begins like just about every other working American, everyday I hit snooze a couple too many times, I groggily get out of bed stubble to the bathroom and begrudgingly being the process of making myself look like a human being again. When I get to the dressing myself part of my morning I diverge from the crowd. I don't don the typical business casual work attire, I head for my phone and check the weather app. Will today be cold or cool? Will it be rainy? How is the wind? I make a determination for the next 12 hours of weather and put on the appropriate biking clothes. WAIT BIKING!?!
Yep! I have ridding my bike to work everyday* since Jan 24th and love it!See, its all luck! Had my car not broken down I would have never motivated myself to commit to biking my work commute; something I have been mulling over for over a year. My reasons for considering this option started as financial coupled with increased exercise, but the rewards have been far more than I ever anticipated. Mother Nature on more than one occasion has decided to test my willpower with a few 30-degree rainy days, several inches of snow, and 30+ mph wind gust. The first time dealing with each of this scenarios seems impossible but is more mental than physical, however the reward of arriving to work on time during one of our famed nor'easter is amazing!
My morning routine have also been turned on their head and replaced with the nastiness that is responsibility. No longer can I just out of bed at the last possible minute and speed like a maniac to work. Every morning must be carefully planned else I am late for work, or worse yet broken down on my way. Is my chain lubed? Tires inflated? Does my lunch have enough calories? Lights charged? Work clothes protected from the elements? I am now an active participant in my day to day activities. I get to experience the beautiful 45-degree winter days for more than a 10 foot walk from the car to the door. I arrive at work fully awake, endorphins rushing, ready to work (imagine that). Bonus: part of my commute is 30 minutes of light rail, unlike a car I can sit back and read while the train is driven for me!
To be continued...
*Full disclosure: I on occasion accept rides for a portion of my commute due to bad road conditions, etc.