A co-worker helpfully pointed out last week that I had "missed" National Bike To Work Day. I suspect what this person meant was that I didn't make a big deal about it. There was no parade. There was no fanfare. On the morning of May 20, I got on my bike and rode to school. At the end of the day, I got on my bike and rode home. There was no parade. There was no fanfare. It was just the way I got to work.
The part of the crisis in education that has gone unreported until now is this: If I were to change jobs, I might have to change my commute. Sure, I know there are plenty of alternatives, but this is the way that I have always done it. When I became a teacher, I started biking to work. Fourteen years, one hundred and eighty days a year, two miles there and two miles back. If you don't have your calculator handy, that comes out to be about ten thousand miles. Even if you take out the occasional day when things needed to be hauled or jury duty or other interruptions to that string, I would still add back in the days I taught summer school and weekends when I came in to do a little clean-up. If the circumference of the Earth is just about four thousand miles, and there was a bike path on the equator, I would be around two and a half times by now.
As another Bike To Work Year draws to a close, I have to admit that there have been days when I wished for a cushioned ride in climate-controlled comfort. But that doesn't keep me from being pleased about the low-cost, low-stress way I have made my way to work over the past decade and a half. I don't know if all that smug keeps me from being classified low-emission.