While living in Europe for 11 years, I grew accustomed to using public transportation when traveling. Never did I imagine using it as my sole means of travel. As I prepared for my new journey to the United States, a part of the process was shipping my car 2 months before leaving. Usually most wait until the last few days to ship, but I wanted my ride waiting on me in America by the time I landed. With many days of work ahead and finalizing everything, I decided to rent a bicycle from a local shop and purchase a local train ticket to commute.
A few months earlier, a coworker took me on a bike ride around the local villages, which made me realize that I had underestimated the sport of cycling. I always gravitate to cyclocross style bikes because of its ability to handle the road or a forest trail at any given moment. My plan was to ride the bicycle to the local train station (Kaiserslautern HBF) catch the train to the nearest station from my job (Landstuhl) and cycle on in for the homestretch. Google Maps estimated my cycling time of travel to around 30 minutes one way. My initial ride was amazing but I forgot one thing, I have no windows or doors to protect me from wind and rain! I was wearing running clothes, which are very thin, and Nike Prestos (note to self, never wear this again!!!!). Let’s just say I was literally a walking puddle.
At this point, fashion is not a concern, I needed clothes that would keep me protected. I visited the city’s TK Maxx (yes not TJ Maxx) and picked up a windproof water resistant jacket, pants, set of gloves, and face protector. More experienced bikers and locals would always give me crazy looks, but who cares, I was comfortable and warm! Riding on the busy streets was a big scare for me, but locals respect cyclist as much as another vehicle. Most cars would pass around me at least 10 feet away. With a month of cycling approaching, I can honestly say I’ve gained yet another hobby. Boise, Idaho watch out, I will be ripping up your River Greenbelt and other local trails in no time!