Slowly I Turned
The way back typically took a bit longer, having a few more uphills, notably during the last three miles or so, but I recall being pleased that on the Rambouillet, when I wasn’t carrying a lot of books, I would generally average less than 80 minutes total.
These days, by contrast, I’m pleased when I come in around the hour and a half mark, and it’s not uncommon, especially if I stop to take off my jacket or retie my shoes, that I don’t pull into my backyard until at least an hour and three-quarters after I’ve left school. (On the way out, I can usually count on making it in an hour and half, but that brings me dangerously close to working up a sweat, always a bad idea when one is going to be teaching two classes in close quarters during the course of the day.
I sometimes wonder how long this slowing trend will continue; if I’ve essentially added three to five minutes to my commute every year, and if I keep this up until my predicted retirement date sometime around 2029 (assuming I hang on until I’m 72), then by that time, it will take me something like three hours in each direction, yikes! That means I’ll be traveling about six miles an hour, or barely twice as quickly as I could walk.
Of course, if I’m still riding my bike at three score and twelve, I’ll probably welcome the chance to pedal as long as possible.