Zen and Commuting by Bike/Rail

My kids were so excited about St. Patrick’s day that they slept in green pajamas.  When I asked my son why, he matter of fact stated so that he would not get pinched when he woke up.  That was my inspiration for choosing a green jersey and going ‘green’ today by bike/rail commuting to and from work.

After loading up my bike with lights, lunch, water, and a change of clothes, I was off in the dark drizzly morning pounding out a rhythm on my pedals.  A nice change from the brake and accelerator pedals of my car.  It was quiet and fresh in my neighborhood and full of the morning aromas, both good (the pastry shop down the street) and bad (urban chickens??).  It is urban riding after all.

My commute took me from the Path to the BeltLine and on to the Midtown MARTA station via 10th street. One of the best urban improvements Atlanta has made recently is the BeltLine.  It made for a car free traverse across a dense part of the city without traffic lights or potholes.  Upon arrival to the MARTA station I was pleasantly surprised to see a friend heading to the airport and had the chance to help her with her Breeze card reload.  Within five minutes the Northbound train arrived, relatively full, and we were off to the medical center station. (BTW, a big shout out to MARTA for allowing bikes on their trains, thank you!).

One of the nice aspects of bike riding is that you really experience your surroundings.  I mentioned the aromas earlier, but you also keenly notice the temperature and air quality.  Getting off the train at the medical center I was aware of how much cooler it was and how much more rain was falling.  Fortunately it was a quick zip to my office from there.  After a brief stretch of the legs and change of clothes I was ready to start the day.

About the day, I had more energy and a more cheerful outlook with regard to my commute home.  I was not dreading the stationary parking lot on the highway but looking forward to using public transportation again and being back on the bike.  I shared my experience with my patients and staff and who knows, maybe I even inspired someone else to do the same thing.

So on the way back MARTA was an easy ride, I took special pleasure in whizzing by the cars doing the slow crawl on 400.  The ride was chilly, so my hands were cold when I got home, but I was immediately warmed up by my enthusiastic kids welcoming me at the door.  They asked if I got pinched today.  I showed them my green jersey telling them that I also felt ‘green’ inside because of my bike/rail commute.  In fact I felt so good and so inspired I plan on doing it again soon.

Thanks for reading.  -FRN

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