Commuting by Mountain Bike

When I first started riding my bike to work several years ago, I had a department store “mountain bike” and my commuting route often took me along the unpaved trails in the river valley and Mill Creek ravine. As the years have passed I’ve acquired better bikes and have gradually shifted focus to riding more on the roads and paved trails. This is partly because I’ve mostly been riding road bikes and partly because I’ve allowed my early rising discipline to erode, resulting in a sprinting, mad dash to work most days, along the shortest possible route. While this hurried commuting is certainly good from a fitness perspective, it definitely diminishes my ability to take advantage of the variety of routes.

After my great trail ride on Sunday, I was keen to try riding the Ravine Bike to work. In fact, I was eager enough that it actually gave me the motivation drag myself out of bed early yesterday.  I rode a mixture of mostly singletrack and gravel trails all the way to work and back home again at the end of the day. I zipped along paths I haven’t been on in a long time and explored some new ones, discovering some pretty great singletrack. After this ride, and my major trail discovery on Sunday, I’m starting to realize that this stuff is quietly waiting just out of sight all over the place.

 

Near the beginning of my trip home. I've always felt an impulse to climb onto the supports of this bridge with a musical instrument and play a few tunes. Is there troll blood in my family tree?

Near the beginning of my trip home. I’ve always felt an impulse to climb onto the supports of this bridge with a musical instrument and play a few tunes. Could there be troll blood in my family tree?

The river is running high and fast.

The river is running high and fast.

There were a lot of ominous eddies and vortices. They looked much more impressive in person than they do in this picture.

There were a lot of ominous eddies and vortices. They looked much more impressive in person than they do in this picture.

As commuting routes go, this is simply fantastic.

As commuting routes go, this is simply fantastic.

This beaver was making surprisingly good time swimming against the current.

This beaver was making surprisingly good time swimming against the current.

As great as the riding was, I wouldn’t want to do it every day. I think some of the fun would be lost if it became just another routine. I do, however, want to start riding the mountain bike to work on a regular basis. Perhaps once a week? There is another advantage to consider: the lack of racks and cargo capacity on the Ravine Bike gives me a perfect excuse for not running any shopping errands on the way home.

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13 thoughts on “Commuting by Mountain Bike

  1. Happy and a little envious that you commute to work. The area where I live, Odenton, MD, is not really safe for people to bike ride, but since a recent influx of more military personnel in the area, I am close to Ft. Meade, I’ve noticed that there are more people biking riding as their way to commute from home to work and vice versa.

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  2. This looks great! Reminds me of all the trails I used to ride and hike when I was little, when getting lost was always a concerning, new adventure… As you get older the immediacy of getting or being lost isn’t as mysterious and scary — kinda sad you lose that wonder of being ignorant of what’s “out there.” Looks like a cool place to get lost and to then find “yourself” haha, awesome!

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