Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Tipped over the edge?



Katie says I suffer from insanity. I vehemently protest that she's dead wrong. I'm not suffering. Actually, I enjoy every precious second of it! What's crazy is that it was her idea in the first place. I carry it out and now she calls me nuts! Sheeesh!

What I'm going to relate is totally true. There have been statements made that truth is stranger than fiction. Other people talk of how life imitates art. Perhaps all they say is true. Read on and you can be the judge. Tell me what you think. Have I finally tipped over the edge? I'm almost afraid you'll say I have. What worries me even more is that you won't find me crazy. You may nod your head pityingly. You might think it would be crazy for anyone else; but knowing me, you can totally understand. All I can do is relate the sad state I've found myself in. There is another possible outcome, you know. You may not want to admit it but there may be a little envy. That's right, you might be envious that you didn't think of it first.

As you know, this blog and several others in our blogosphere are mainly about riding to work. Lately, though, the need to actually go to the office is diminishing. I still make customer calls but the paperwork and reporting takes a lot of time. With a laptop computer, an internet connection, and a phone, I can do all I need to do from home. Why fight freeway traffic for three hours just to work in an office a hundred miles North? I grab coffee from the kitchen and head for the room I use as an office. Sounds like a great thing, right?

There's a down side to this, though. I'm sure you can see it coming. Riding to work implies that there is actually someplace to go. Not going to a work place equals no riding. It was okay for a few times. Call me sick but I have to ride fairly frequently. If I don't I get out of sorts and slightly cranky. Katie may not use the word "slightly" but, hey, it's my blog, not hers! Riding is literally my way to relax. Katie says that for me riding is a misdemeanor. As in, "the more I miss, da' meaner I get!"

You can see the problem. Working at home more means riding less. I wasn't sure what to do about it. I thought of taking a ride in the afternoons but there wasn't always time due to a hectic schedule. It was turning into an ugly situation.

Then one evening the answer presented itself.

We were watching the Food Network. There's a car commerical playing. It's for a Lincoln MKZ. This guy kisses the wife goodbye and pats the young son on the head as he leaves. During the ride the man calls for messages. Soon he arrives at his destination. Which happens to be back at his house. The wife looks more businesslike now. The man says "Good morning, Grace!" The son says "Hi, Boss!" He's acknowledged by the father saying "Johnson". Later on the son asks the boss if he has time to play catch. The father says he can take an early lunch. It's actually a very cute commercial.

Katie says, "You could do that!"

Ever notice how doing the same thing in two different contexts can make the difference between normal and crazy? You know how a woman you deeply love can be. She has this way of getting me to do these kind of crazy things. There's both mischief and a promise in the way she looks at me. All the while drawing me deeper and deeper into her schemes. It seemed weird to think of but I let her start me down the path.

I planned a route that included some fun roads. It would take anywhere between thirty five minutes and an hour. I could ride more or stop for coffee. I have to say it's really working out well.

The other bikes in the picture above belong to a couple of gents I met while having coffee. They were sort of camera shy so I had to settle for a picture of just the bikes. We're at our range in Salem. The man who rides the BMW was having some low speed control issues with the big bike. We arranged to meet for some personal coaching.

You can call me nuts but this is a really great thing on several levels. For one, there's absolutely no time pressure. Secondly, in order to be successful in working at home a person needs to set up a situation to be productive. There has to be a mental transition from "being at home" to "being at work". Taking an early morning ride puts me in the business mind frame. The extra productivity helps me get more done early in the day. Which means I can also take a ride more frequently in the later part of the day just to clear my head. Most of all, during those weeks when I have to spend several days working at home, I still get my fix!! Not to mention that it's fun.

With a little creativity ( and possible insanity ) I've discovered there's more than one way to ride a bike to work.

Miles and smiles,

Dan


9 comments:

Steven said...

dude, I don't "know" you but I don't think you're insane at all... making some sort of 'hard' seperation between the home and work environment is a good thing (somthing that I had a real hard time with, which is why I'm very glad I'm not working at home any longer). "Sometimes the peas and mashed potatoes need to each stay on their own side of the plate." Otherwise the two blend together, you never get "work" done because there's laundry to be done and then the "office" intrudes on dinner with the family... that just makes a big mess.

Your method seems as good as - heck, it's *better than* - any other I've heard.

Besides, insanity is inherited... you get it from your kids. :)

Steve Williams said...

I second steven's assessment. You will have to work a lot harder to appear crazy. What you are doing just makes sense.

I've thought about what it might be like to work at home and I fear I would have difficulty making the line between work and home. A ride to work so to speak might do it.

Lucky....!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Lucky said...

"Misdemeanor" is right. I'm going to have to tell Lady Luck about that one. She's always looking for good words to describe my odd behavior...

Well, I don't think your crazy for going out for a pre-work ride. I've noticed I'm a lot sharper when I start working if I've ridden that day. Riding is a good way to blow off the cobwebs.

Kano said...

My goal is to eventually work from home and I have thought about missing the riding time to and from work. You have come up with the perfect solution! Thanks!

Krysta in Milwaukee said...

What they said... It's a great idea, if the company is OK w/ you working from home most of the time & you can focus on work. If riding helps you move from home to office, even if it's only in your mind, have at it.

When you started into the "I'm going to work from home" idea, I had 2 thoughts: 1) no more blog?!? 2) he's going to get a pocket bike & ride from the kitchen into the office. (2a - Katie would love that, I'm sure.)

irondad said...

Steven,
It's certainly easy to get the two intertwined. I started this just to get some riding on my work at home days. Separating work and home is a nice side benefit.

Steve,
Lucky? That's the really cool thing about folks like us. We encourage each other's addiction. Are we really so accepting of diversity? Or is it because if we can get someone to look crazier than us we don't look so nuts after all?

Lucky,
A brisk morning ride is certainly tons more effective than a couple of cups of coffee alone. "Misdemeanor" can be used in several situations, by the way!

Kano,
Glad to help a fellow Valley dweller!

Krysta,
I end up working at home about a week and a half spread out during a month. So there will still be plenty of actual commuting.

I never thought of the pocket bike in the house! Great idea. I'll be sure to give you credit when Katie protests! :)

Dan

Bill Sommers said...

I saw that commercial and thought that it was cool. I wasn't thinking that anyone I knew was going to bring it to life though.

You know, if we both get carted away because of our personal "insanity" issues, I hope that we end up in the same nuthouse.

Have fun,
Bill

irondad said...

Bill,
I would be honored to be your Rubber Room mate! We could sit in chairs, put our feet out like on pegs, our hands on imaginary grips, and have some totally rockin' rides together!

Joe said...

Hell of an idea! Nothing fixes brain mush like a brisk morning ride.