Yes, I will be honest, I had some big hopes when I first started bike commuting that I’d start something…that others would join me.

As the months have gone by and I’ve become increasingly annoyed by the comments from the coworkers (“what are you going to do when it rains?”, “it’s too cold for you to ride”, “be careful!”) I’ve stopped thinking it even remotely possible that any of my coworkers would start bike commuting. My big hope now is that they just keep their comments to themselves.

And yes, even their “you’re a trooper!” comments are better left unsaid.

Especially at oh cranky in the morning.

But today…today seemed different.

I had one coworker start off in the normal way, by expressing his surprise that I rode in today (despite that it was warmer than every morning last week). Yet as we talked about cold weather biking, and I shared the truly revolutionary idea that the way to deal with the cold is to dress appropriately, he seemed to start to understand. The weather outside might be (not really) frightful, but me on my bike, I’m not cold. It was a 1.5 minute conversation, just long enough for me to heat up my morning oatmeal (steel cut with almond milk and agave nectar…yum!), but at the end he said that he admired the fact that I was riding my bike through the winter. Is it true? I’m not just the freak of the office any longer, I’m doing something admirable? Amazing!

Another coworker started off the same way, and I fully admit that I went on auto pilot at that point. Plus I don’t always feel like this particular coworker and I are involved in the same conversation. It is weird, we understand every word that each other says, but sometimes I don’t feel like we were really speaking the same language. You know, there are just some people we are out of sync with, conversationally! He’s one of them for me. So as we talked about biking and how little people walk, how he used to walk all the time, and never does anymore, he related a conversation he’d had with a bike shop owner who doesn’t have a car and also rides a fair distance to and from work. My coworker voiced a vague thought about how he might be able to ride if he parked his car halfway and rode the rest of the way.

At that, when it sunk in, I perked up. I told him how I’d gotten great advice from the local bike advocacy group, that they’d actually given me a good route from my house straight to work. HE perked up at that. I gave him their website address and he emailed it to himself.

Could it be? After six months in the middle of a period where gas is cheaper than it has been in about three years, and right before the first winter storm of the season, do I have a coworker seriously considering biking partway to work?

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