I've been commuting by bike on and off for more than 18 months... some weeks are 4x, some are 1X but since June it's been more regular than any other period over that time. I believe I've entered a new phase to my commuting life, the phase I'm calling it the "get to work" aka the "Yeah, so?" phase.
When I first started, I was nervous, I was excited, I was out of shape. I made a big deal out of the fact I rode my bike to work. I bought every shiny new gadget I thought I would need. I invested in high quality trunk bags and panniers. I was all over the road, dodging potholes and bad patch jobs. I was constantly worried about the weather and getting hit by a car.
I progressed to the adaptation phase. I got my bike dialed in, I got comfortable with the roads, with the cars and with myself. I tinkered with gear, with clothing, with routine to make things go smoothly. I learned how to ride assertively and safely. It still took an effort to get on the bike in the AM, but I made myself do it.
Now, this third phase, the "Get to work/ Yeah, so?" phase, I think I have things dialed in with my equipment, I know my routine, I know what I need to brave the weather, the road and how to interact with motorists. Riding to work no longer requires a choice in the AM, it's just the way I get to work. There's a more active choice, and a greater ordeal, when I have to drive. Riding is no longer a point of discussion with my co-workers, it's normal.
I'm feeling though that I need to change things up, I'm getting complacent. For the first time this morning, I thought it might be nice to have my iPod playing as I rode (which I think is dangerous.) I might need to start doing some bulk miles after work or something. I might need to change the route a bit to keep me on my toes. My strength and stamina have improved, but I'm no racerboy. Then again, the fall will be here soon, wet leaves, shorter days, more challenging weather may throw me the monkey wrench I need.
Anyone else notice these patterns? How do you overcome complacency? What's the next stage I should expect? Am I on track to become a full fledged Fred?