Oh, Creatures of the Night – Bicycle Commuting

The other night I found myself commuting on the Border to Border Trail from Tree Fort over to the west side of Ann Arbor to meet up with a friend. I’ve traversed the route more times than I can count in the years I’ve lived in the area, and commuters seemed sparse at best. On this ride, I was struck by the number of bike commuters that I encountered. Despite the cold January weather, dozens of riders were out making their way to any imaginable destinations. From single riders to a large group of eight or more, we all were out for the same purpose, utilizing a great path system.

It was rather rewarding to ride by all of these commuters with their bright neon yellow jackets, blinking lights and various methods of carrying the day’s gear, be it panniers or messenger bags. The more riders I encountered, the larger my smile became, and I felt more and more a part of a unique group of creatures who come out during the night to silently make their way from one point to another.

Perhaps it was a coincidence that I happened to see the number of commuters that I did, or maybe it was a sign of an increasing number of commuters in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area — something we hear about often enough, but less frequently find opportunity to measure. Either way, I’ll take it. As the weather remains cold and more snow is usually just days away, it’s nice to know that there’s someone not too far away who’s out there commuting just as I am. Pretty soon, as the snow falls again, we’ll leave tell-tale signs in the form of snow-bound tire tracks, signaling that others are out there.

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