Going For A Bike Ride – Part 1

Ever since we started this whole path towards FI, and even a couple years before that, I have been riding a bike on my commute (like a good little Mustachian).  From our old house it was actually 17 miles each way, most of which was along a beach path in Los Angeles.  It was pretty fantastic; I’d leave and a half hour later I’d meet my friend/coworker and we would continue on our way.

My old commute

My old commute

It would take about an hour each way, and I was able to shower once I got to my office.  Not a bad gig. An hour’s worth of cardio to and from work, all while riding along the beach in the morning, listening to the waves crashing on the sand as I went.  I grew to the point where I would not even consider driving my car or riding my motorcycle as an option.  I remember specifically having this conversation with the Mrs.  “But, how will I get there, I’ll have to leave like 2 hours early so I have time to bike home, then shower.”  To which she responded brilliantly, “Or you can just drive your car.”

Well, now that I’ve started a new job and we’ve moved to a new house my commute has changed from 17 miles each way along the beach, to about 4 miles along some neighborhood roads.  My first attempt at a riding to my new job was a little chaotic, I rode along one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles.  So, I decided against going that route.  I found something a little less trafficked and continued to ride this route every day, rain or shine, except that it doesn’t rain much in LA, so it is mostly shine.

This was great! I can lock my bike up, shower, change and next thing I know, I’m in my office.  Bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready for a new day, with my 15-20 minutes of cardio done in the morning.

Now comes the fun part and why I felt compelled to include this story about my bike commute. On my way home the other evening, I was riding along the road and a car came from the other direction, turned left as I was crossing the intersection and slammed right into my bike. I have no recollection of the incident. All I know is the story that has been told to me. Mrs. Wow received a phone call from me, apparently calm as can be, asking for her to come and pick me up since I had been hit to which she happily obliged. Not even a minute later she received another call from me requesting to get picked up, again. She replied, “I’m on my way, you just called me, don’t you remember?”. At which point she realized that something was seriously wrong, so she called me back to make sure that I was not just wandering the streets confused. I told her that I was there, talking to the paramedics. She shows up and the paramedics stop her to ask if it is normal for me to not know my address, or any current events, or the date. And while I’m absent minded a lot of the time, this is odd even for me. So, they packed me up in the ambulance and totted me off to the hospital. My bike was in about 5 pieces. My helmet just as bad, which thank goodness I had it on to begin with.

My bike after the crash

My bike after the crash

Once at the hospital, the Mrs joined me in the room where I proceeded to run in about a minute loop. “Did I call you? Is my bike destroyed?….. Did I call you? Is my bike destroyed?” I guess she started having fun with me knowing that I would repeat the same thing in about a minute and have no memory of what we just talked about. Crazy, the human body is unbelievable in some ways. The doctors did all sorts of scans all which came back fine. Really the only thing that was broken was my bike. And my memory of the evening and the incident. On the way home, I continued to ask questions over and over, but had shifted to new ones about how crazy it was to get the phone call from me, and what Mrs. WoW thought about her new car. Then once we got back to our house, I paced around the house, I’m assuming still in shock, while continually asking if it was ok for me to go to sleep. I guess the new science says it’s actually good for you to sleep with a concussion, contrary to everything I’ve ever been told.

I woke up the following morning, Mrs. Wow had to fill me in on what happened, I really had no idea what went on the night before. Nuts, huh? A little hazy and bruised, but really no worse for the wear. A week later and I’m still feeling a little headache and still have some road rash, but for the most part I’m ok. Just got a call from the girl’s insurance, so I’ll have to fill that part in on how the finances of all these things.

Well, that’s the background, so now, what does all this have to do with FI and early retirement and all the rest of what we are talking about on this blog? It really puts life into perspective. I mean, there’s a very real possibility that my lovely wife would have been stuck answering the same 3 questions every minute for the rest of her life. So, now I was riding my bike to work, behaving myself. I was trying to save money and the environment and all that could have been taken. Most people have these epiphanies and saying ‘YOLO! I’ll do what I want”, but for us it’s been quite a different experience. It’s actually strengthened our resolve to achieve FIRE sooner. We want to make the most of our life. We want to leave a mark on the world, or at least some small portion of it. If that takes us a little while longer to make it to our goal, we feel like it’s worth the effort. A little sacrifice now for a lifetime of freedom. I feel like that’s a reasonable trade.

The other part about this that really struck home. Being able to provide for my wife should something happen to me, and knowing that she would be taken care of. It’s a really morbid and twisted benefit to this whole FI thing that not a lot of people talk about, but it’s true. There’s an element of comfort knowing that we’ve set each other up heaven forbid the worst happens. It really hit home, it’s sobering.

What do you think? What are your reasons for striving to get to your goal?

8 Comments

  • Mr. Need2save March 5, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Glad to hear there is no long term damage [Maybe Mrs. WoW should answer that :-)]. An accident can certainly put things in perspective.

    I occasionally bike into work (about 10 miles each way) and practice ‘defensive’ biking. That said, you never know what another car is going to do. Out of curiosity, have you biked to work since?
    Mr. Need2save recently posted…Finding The Retirement Money You Think You LostMy Profile

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    • Mr WoW March 5, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Unfortunately, I haven’t biked since. I haven’t replaced it yet.

      I always bike “defensively” since I’m on a motorcycle sometimes as well. But yeah, this was a completely empty street during the day when I was already in the intersection. Not really much else I could have done.

      I miss it. I need to start again. I changed jobs and it’s a lot further and now I have no shower. Alas, those are all bad excuses. I have to figure it out.

      Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 13, 2017 at 1:32 am

      For the most part, I think he is back to “normal”. Although, sometimes (or a lot of the time) he doesn’t remember something I say. I wonder: is it typical spousal selective listening or perhaps brain damage? 😉

      Reply
  • Mr. 1500 April 10, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Yikes, like a real live version of that movie Memento.

    Glad your OK, but it’s sad to see your bike destroyed like that.

    Did the cops get the driver?
    Mr. 1500 recently posted…Ask the Readers: Are We Hypocrites?My Profile

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    • Mr WoW April 10, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Ok, is a relative thing that you’ll have to ask Mrs. WoW.

      The driver actually stuck around and freaked out. She was pretty young and didn’t know what to do. I’m lucky she was driving a mini, apparently I went up onto the hood and out into the street. Had it been the standard SUV, I’d probably have been roadkill. They didn’t write her up for anything, I was almost through the intersection and she didn’t see me. Accidents happen, but we’re lucky it wasn’t A LOT worse.

      The Mrs. is really the one that was stronger through the whole thing. I was just a happy go lucky idiot. She had to deal with it all.

      I’ll just have to get another one. I don’t have a bike commute anymore.
      Mr WoW recently posted…Going For Bike Ride – Part 2My Profile

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      • Mr. 1500 April 12, 2017 at 7:47 am

        Man, I got chills reading that. Scary sh*t.

        You mentioned motorcycles and I ride them too, but man, they’re dangerous in the age of the distracted driver. I’m so ready for autonomous cars. Robots will be superior drivers. Bring it.
        Mr. 1500 recently posted…Living Right with Montana Money AdventuresMy Profile

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        • MrWoW April 12, 2017 at 8:18 am

          What kind of bike do you have? I’ve got a Triumph speedtriple. And it’s a hell of a lot fun, it makes me giggle every time I ride it.

          I’ve had some close calls there. Splitting lanes on the freeways is a good time. I’ve also seen some serious accidents on my rides. Luckily mine wasn’t bad.

          But Ive had worse luck on my bicycle than on my moto. I’m guessing because I’m going to speed of traffic and have the power to get away from people.

          And yes, bring on the robots!!!! I will name our first one Ironhide.

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  • Random Questions with Waffles on Wednesday July 12, 2017 at 3:01 am

    […] Wow – Mine has to be, “Going on a Bike Ride – Part 1“. Kind of weird, but it’s the first one that I published so it really started me to […]

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