Thanks, Shannon, for asking!
I did it! I biked to work!
It's not such a big deal, really, but overcoming my anxiety about it -- the timing, the interactions with cars, the sweating, the newness of it -- felt like a major hurdle. So I'm very proud of myself.
It took a lot longer than I expected, mainly on the way to work (not on the way home), but I think that was mostly due to things like unfamiliarity with the route, plus waiting for lots of traffic lights.
I live on a major boulevard with the first bike path in the country, designed by none other than Frederick Olmstead, who also designed Central Park and many other famous parks around the country. It's on its own dedicated sidewalk, so there's no danger of being dinged by a car door opening unexpectedly in front of you. Which is awesome.
But. Since Ocean Parkway is such a major boulevard, there's lots and lots of intersections with traffic lights. Where both cars and bikes and pedestrians are crossing. Which means a lot of waiting. And a constant fear, for me, of being sideswiped by a car turning without looking. This nearly happened to me once before, while Calliope was in the baby seat on the back of the bike. In that instance, the car and I were traveling parallel, just separated by a few feet of grass, so it was really unconscionable that the car cut me off so aggressively -- there was no way he didn't see me.
Unfortunately, in matters of car versus bike, ethics don't matter all that much. Which is scary.
So now I'm debating eschewing the bike paths in favor of quieter streets, and just riding right in the street when it's narrow, or otherwise riding on the side and letting cars pass as needed. I tried this on the way home and it seemed faster and also, maybe, safer? Safer from traffic, I think, if not from parked cars making unexpected moves into traffic.
My goal is to ride for two or three days this week. And then take Friday off, partly because I have a staff meeting at a major hospital (with no easy bike parking, plus a need to look presentable) and partly because Old Flame, it appears, might not be flaking after all. And if he's making an appearance this weekend, I want my girly bits to not be all bruised up from all this unaccustomed time on a bike seat.
Anyway, I'm hoping that by the end of the week, I can make the trip in thirty minutes. If it's much longer than that, I simply can't make it to work on time.