I work up at 4:00 this morning. I laid there for a few minutes, listening to Bhikkhu fluff his bed, before I realized that my thighs were burning. I took two ibuprofen and laid in bed, wide awake, for a while longer. When I got up at 5:15, I knew that I was not riding my bike to work. My legs hurt and my energy level would be nil on less than five hours of sleep.
So ended my attempt to go car-free for a work week, maybe even a week. I had thought of the challenge as a way to get in shape fast - my own boot camp. Maybe if I'd been biking more this summer, riding 23 miles a day, with a 700 foot elevation difference between home and work, would have been sustainable for a few days in a row. I knew it was going to be hard; I just didn't know it was going to hurt.
So I carpooled with Paul to and from work today (still earned 2 points for the Green Commute Challenge). I had missed this time that we had to talk about the day ahead or debrief about the work day behind. And the irony that most of my biking meant that he was the sole occupant of our car did not escape me. That's why the challenge was not really about reducing our household's carbon footprint. It was about reducing the imprint my own feet make and pushing myself to try something new.
I was disappointed but I'm not beating myself up. Now I've got incentive to bike to work more often because I really think I should be physically able to bike it everyday. And I realized that I've got a much better car commute than most people because I get to spend it with my best friend. Either way - bike or car - I've got it good.