Sometime around 2004-2006 my daily commuted was from my parents home in Annapolis, MD to work in Adams Morgan of Washington, DC, where I worked at the service manager of City Bikes. The commute normally included driving my car to the end stop of the metro line near College Park, MD. Parking my car and then riding my bike into the city, roughly 14 miles through neighborhood streets and then into Washington D.C.
Little did I know, I was riding on some of the most dangerous intersections and roads that I would find in my lifespan. My commute into the shop normally started around 8:30am, navigating through the end of rush hour. My evening commute ranged from 6pm, or 2am.. The 1am time is why I commuted by bike, as the local metro line shut off early during the week and would leave me stranded in the city if I didn’t ride a bike.
The ride home after 10pm became the peaceful, calming and the one things I looked forward to everyday. The ride alone is what kept me from moving into the city and cutting my commute into a 1/4 the distance. During this late night commute I saw many things including drug bust, drunk drivers and other kooky bike commuters. The lack of cars on the road gave me a false feeling of safety and the night wrapped her arms around me keeping me safe.
The New York Times has an article about The Night Riders. The unique individuals that find them on the streets long after others.
“There weren’t too many cars on the street, and those that were, it always seemed as if they were watching for me,” said Ms. Casner, 53. “I seldom had to stop or even slow down, and no one honked they way they do during the day. It was just, as I said, almost magical.”
No firm numbers exist for the number of New Yorkers who commute by bicycle during the wee hours. But in a city of inveterate overworking undersleepers, it’s a near certainty that many of the tens of thousands of regular bike commuters are doing so. Often festooned with lights and reflective clothing, these night riders find an almost monastic commute in the slowed-down streets.
Originally found at NYTimes
What is your latest or earliest commute. How do you feel being on the road when there are no others?