Bicycle, I am so sorry. I was a fool to forget you. All the cold, wet, unpredictable weather had me choosing CTA over you for months. But no more. After today’s heavenly ride to the Metra station, I’m head over heels again. Please take me back.

Oh — hi, blog readers! I didn’t see you there! We were just — I was — … this is awkward.

Today I had a revelation about biking being awesome. And it’s just in time. Because this week is National Bike to Work Week! (And May is National Bike Month!) When I realized this, I felt strongly that the universe was trying to tell me something. So I’m going all-out this week. I’m going to ride places I usually don’t ride. Like to Evanston. And maybe even all the way downtown! The weather is supposed to be gorgeous. The extra exercise, time spent outside, and money saved will be well worth the violin-shaped sweat spot on my back.

I ride with quite a lot of crap: my violin, music, stand, purse, and a packed lunch, plus a big fat bike lock. How? The two essential tools I bought last year:

Artonus Elipe violin case. It’s super light, with backpack straps and pockets that hold all my music and a folding stand. Gone are the days of my old case, whose strap either strangled me or left red marks on my chest.

My pannier bag, mounted to an Eco rack. This little guy wasn’t cheap, but he changed my life. See how it looks like it’s emitting a magic light beam? That’s because it is. Before installing this rack, I used to try to carry a backpack AND my violin. On my person. While biking. Terrible idea. This bag lets me roll up to rehearsal with everything I need. I am, obviously, lusting after much cooler bags, once my wealth and status are restored to me.

With a small investment, you too could show up to rehearsals excessively warm, invigorated, and happy. Can’t wait to hear about your biking adventures this week!