Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Pleasant Ride Home From Work On My First Bike-Commute From The R-J

There are few things that offer more satisfaction than a bicycle commute home from work.

I have bike-commuted in diverse places ranging from Denver to New York City to Tampa and tonight I added Las Vegas to the list.

At 6 pm, I changed out of khaki slacks and a dress shirt and put on black mountain bike shorts with a white long-sleeve shirt, a bike jersey, a nylon vest and a reflective vest. I placed my work clothes in a locker at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. There are plenty of lockers in the newspaper building hallways and I received two from the HR department -- one for my work clothes and one for my bike clothes.

My bike was in my car. It was my second day at the Review-Journal, and I drove the 12 miles from the Vegas hills around the corner from Red Rocks Canyon to the news office, which is off an interstate on the edge of downtown and industrial land.

I popped my Trek 5200 out of the car and started biking home at 6 pm. It's dark. But I have two front lights and three red rear lights -- and a reflective vest. I said good-bye to a newspaper security guard named Gavin who lived in the same area as I did. He told me to stay safe.

What a stress-free ride, It was flat for the first three miles or so as I headed west from Vegas' downtown area but the road I followed, named Alta, started to gently climb out of the Vegas valley to the Vegas foothills community called Summerlin. A calm ride. Nobody screaming out of a car window to bike on a sidewalk like they do in Tampa.

It was 12.3 miles in all. And mostly uphill. I was spinning away. moving along at about 10 mph up the incline.

The good news? Mostly downhill to the Review-Journal in the morning.

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