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Two wheeling to work on Bike to Work Day

Posted: May 15, 2014 9:49 p.m.
Updated: May 15, 2014 9:49 p.m.

Signal reporter on his bike ride into work.

 

Bike To Work Day is pretty straight forward. I get it.

But perhaps city planners might have prepped participants a little better had they called it Bike To Work On The Hottest Freaking Day of the Year or Bike To Work at the Tail End of a Four-day Red Flag Fire Warning. Just saying.

Enough complaining, though. I had a most wonderful time biking to work Thursday, cruising along the sun-dappled paseos and down bikeways off limits to motorists. It actually took me just half an hour.

The only people I encountered on these trails that wind through the backyards of Valencia homes were dog-walkers and moms pushing strollers. Beautiful. I love dogs and kids.

And, yes, I want to reduce my carbon footprint. But, honestly, I’m more interested in reducing the size of my gut.

So biking to work, as a way of getting healthier, has been something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

Two big hurdles have kept me on the road, contributing to the carbon dioxide collecting in the skies of the Santa Clarita Valley: One, being the police and fire reporter for The Signal, I didn’t relish chasing fires and ambulances on my bike; two, there’s nowhere to shower once I actually get to work.

I think I may have found a way of overcoming these obstacles.

First, keep my fossil-fuel-burning machine parked at the newspaper so I can use it to get to traffic collisions, brush fires and mud runs.

Second, we can clean up in The Signal’s old abandoned press room where pressman used to clean up. I learned about it after I consulted with the paper’s resident bike-to-work guru, Kevin Smith.

“I’m sweating like a pig,” I told Kevin when I completed my Bike To Work experiment and walked into the newsroom drenched.

He showed me where he parks his bike — in the back room where the presses used to be and where the pressman used to clean up after work.

A couple of months ago, I interviewed a man who cycled across America. I remember him telling me that people in the Santa Clarita Valley were so lucky to have these paved pathways called paseos.

He was right.

When I think back on other jobs and wonder about biking to work in those towns — the newspaper in Canada’s Steeltown (cough) or a certain Los Angeles TV station that was once near Hollywood and Vine.

Getting to work there meant an hour on the road, on a good day, despite what the GPS said. And that’s with a car. Getting there by bike? Never going to happen.

The thing that makes biking to work in Santa Clarita so wonderful is that it’s in Santa Clarita.

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