Despite living almost six years in the Bay Area at my current job, not once have I been able to participate in National Bike to Work Day. Either I'm not working, or I have a shift less conducive to riding my bike. The hours for the free handouts at the BART stations are skewed towards commuters with 9 to 5 jobs. Pooh.
So this year, I was going to ignore it again, planning instead to do my 3-5 hour run through the southern East Bay hills for my 4 pm to 2 am shift in Fremont. But then another doctor needed noon to 3 pm coverage for a call center shift (phone advice to nurses giving advice to patients), which I did from home, doing some of it while spinning on my new bike trainer. I was still planning on running 30 minutes to the BART station, but then found out they were actually giving out the goodie bags at the Fremont BART station (where I get off) starting at 4 pm. So I thought, what the heck, let's finally see what swag I've been missing.
Since my own commuter bike needed a new tube, I pumped up the flat tires on my wife's bike, donned by helmet and backpack, and rode 20 minutes to Hayward BART. I used to do this often, but more than a year ago I started running only; the bike with headlamps, flats, BART platforms, and no safe place to lock it at work, seemed too much a hassle.
A few minutes after leaving the Fremont station, some volunteers arrived with boxes. I helped them unload their truck, then took my free cloth tote bag (a "musette bag" is what they called it) filled with a Scharffenberger chocolate, a mini Cliff Bar, a coupon for free food at Chipotle, and some other coupons and brochures, before the short bike to my hospital.
OK, that was fun enough.
Ironically, an ultrarunner who bikes to work on Bike to Work Day ends up feeling like a REAL SLACKER. Will have to make up for this next week.....