I wake up between 6:30 and 7:30. This can happen before an alarm or after sleeping straight through two. It depends more on the day before than the night before.
Wiping sleep from my eyes, I take a shower. Feed the cats while I shave and slip in my contacts over the bathroom sink. I put on clothes, usually pants and a t-shirt and then gather things into my pockets. These include: house keys, bike-lock keys, credit card, CTA card, any cash I have left, and my phone. After opening the window Marybeth has closed the night before, I put on my shoes by the door.
I place my bluetooth earphone into my ear and pair it to my phone as I walk down the stairs to the lobby. Before I’m in the second staircase down to the garage, I’ve started playing a podcast. I unlock my bike hanging in the closet and walk it out of the depths and onto the surface streets.
I hop onto the bike and ride West on Randolph, obeying traffic laws at intersections. I have a fixed gear bike, so I have to concentrate on maintaining control as I speed down the hill. You have to keep your eyes peeled - I once found a crumpled dollar bill right in the middle of the Michigan & Randolph intersection.
I eventually reach the other side of the highway, usually after a few drivers yelling at me that bicyclists should use the sidewalk. Sometimes I ride along the river and take Kinzie heading West and the people there are less furious.
Once I’m in the West Loop, my focus shifts to avoiding the potholes. I’ve gotten three flat tires in as many weeks. I ride past the building construction for Google’s new headquarters and dozens of meat-packing plants and a few bakeries. Crossing the Metra line, I arrive at our office. It’s not our office but a co-working space where we rent out a whole floor. There are five to six other companies in the building on any given day.
I carry my bike up the back stairs and punch in the key-code on an old mechanical lock. Setting my bike down and wiping sweat from my face, I tap the keyboard paired to my iMac 5k and I’m logged in.