Tucson is beautiful. The weather is awesome. I got one of my worst sunburns ever a few years ago in February, riding at Saguaro National Park. I thought, Hey, February--I don't need sunscreen. Ooh, I was wrong.
I have commuted for almost three years now. Not every day, and not 21 miles each way at first, but now the 21 mile commute seems routine. It has never ever really been so cold that I couldn't ride. The toughest part is riding in the hot weather. Last summer I rode home in 101 and 103 degree temps. Maybe I was just stupid. I was able to do it but just barely. The ride home is up hill towards the last seven miles or so--and that's when I started to get cramps. When I get cramps I'm basically done, spent, and over. And drag myself home--and I'm just worthless because I get home, shower, and stay in a funk until the next morning.
Last year about this time I got pneumonia--when the doctor looked at the x-ray of my chest, she told me I was poster boy for pneumnia. She also noted the extensive skeletal damage to my shoulder, collar bone, and ribs. Those were from a 1995 horsebacking riding accident, which is another story in itself. On some of the long brevets I've done this year, where I've pushed myself to the limit physically, those old injuries reappear and nag me. Motrin shakes it.
I commute for the following reasons:
Keeps me fit.
My part to help save the Planet.
I feel great all day at the office.
I feel camaraderie with other cyclists/commuters.
Positive energy that keeps mind and body running insync. (I guess?)
No stress in traffic like when you drive.
The road is open--that is so sweet!
Evolution, Baby--we live in the Neolithic Era but our bodies are still Paleolithic. This means we are designed to walk, run, forage, gather, hunt, etc. We got to move or we'll just get sick and fat.
Because I am able to move because I'm not somewhere that's cold, well--I move. I am lucky really lucky to be able to do it.