Dayโ€™?s Verse:
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!
Philippians 3:1

This morning I met a lady on the train who was riding the train with her bike for the first time ever. She asked my advice, since I had some experience with train-bike interactions, and I told her, โ€œBring a bungee cord to keep your bike from tipping over.โ€ I showed her how you could loop a bungee cord to some racks to secure a bike. Which started me thinking about the amazing number of changes that I’ve implemented since I started riding my bike last summer:

First I started by wearing normal clothes and riding my mountain bike one way every other day.
Then I switched to spandex with shorts over top, and a work-out shirt.
Then I started riding one way most days.
Then I got slicks.
Then I got a rack for my bike to bungee-cord my backpack.
Then I actually started caring for my bike (greasing the chain, cleaning the bike).
Then I started riding both ways three times a week, one way two times a week.
Then I bought a new helmet, and not long after got another helmet cause that car hit me.
Then I started bungee-cording my bike to the train to keep it upright.
Then I started wearing spandex regularly without shorts over top, cause it was winter.
Then I wore synthetic shirts to wick sweat better.
Then I wore four layers of shirts and pants to stay warm.
Then I bought my Timbuk2 bag.
Then I bought my MassBike membership.
Then I bought the new bike.
Then I started riding both ways every day.
Then I took that bike class.
Then I wore spandex without shorts overtop.
Then I tucked the handlebars into the seat to keep the bike from tipping over.
Then I started riding just for fun on the weekends with Ruk.
Then I stopped driving a car.
Then I bought bike shorts (meh).

On a totally separate topic, I need some advice. The situation is this: My company gives us 40 hours of sick time for the year. At the end of the year, those 40 hours vanish, and employees receive no financial reimbursement for not using any sick time. Naturally, I feel loath to forgo 40 free hours off, but I do not anticipate needing a whole week off for any illness that might strike me. Last winter I washed my hands dozens of times a day and only got a couple minor colds.

The question is, do I lie and take sick time while healthy?

Or should I just let those 40 hours fade into oblivion at the end of the year? I lie only rarely, and even the thought of lying to take sick time while not ill makes me feel kind of guilty. But man, I hate the idea of losing 40 hours off!

KF quality

6 thoughts on “Biking Evolution (2,315 Miles by the Odometer)

  1. The “sick day” issue is intriguing. Personally, I strongly believe that one’s personal integrity is not worth 40 hours of anything… and that it is so easy for me to start talking myself into entitlement and then where do I stop once started? I have had coworkers who regularly took sick days off just so they wouldn’t lose them, and that never set well with me.

    That said, I would agree with Nora that “mental health days” are important to your personal and professional sanity and productivity. We’ve had this issue at work, too, since most teachers rarely take a sick day and our 40 hours also disappear every year.

    This past year there was a change in policy that allowed 3 “personal days” that could be taken for illness, doctor appointments, hot dates, etc. The hitch was that you could not take two of the days in a row or as a Friday/Monday combination. The funny thing is that few people were aware of the change until May, when suddenly there was a flurry of need for Friday subs. I think that next year we may all be more savvy and use the days for things like doing the hideous grading of lab reports or essays that usually eats up an entire weekend.

    I, myself, am thinking about the pleasure of just staying home and reading a brain candy novel while soaking in a bubble bath.

    My advice is: check with your human resources folks and clarify whether a “mental health day” would qualify for sick leave. You may be pleasantly surprised.

    Joe’s company finally just gave up on this issue a couple years ago and awarded “PTO” – paid time off – rather than nickel and dime the vacation/sick leave distinction. The risk then is that you burn up all your PTO and then contract the flu. Then you take unpaid leave when you are ill. So it simply turns the ethical issue into one of gambling. Hmmm.

  2. At my workplace you can legitimately take sick time to care for family, which I’ve done for Ben lately. So… next time Ian gets the flu you could stay home to read to him and make him soup ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve also taken sick time for migraines a couple of times.

    You also might be able to take sick time for your minor colds– you’ll probably get better a lot faster if you stay home and nap than by biking to work in the cold and officing all day.

  3. I hold myself to a pretty strict standard for taking off sick days. I took one off once when I didn’t need to, reasoning that I was so tired I wouldn’t be of much use anyway. And then I totally didn’t make use of the day in much of a productive way. It was mostly a waste, and all I got was guilt.

    So if the guilt you feel is like that, it’s not worth it. If it’s not that intense, maybe a mental health day is for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I always ended each year thanking God for the sick days I did not need…sick days were implemented to assist those who were really in need, not just another “freebie” for the greedy.

    Be glad you feel kind of guilty about cheating…that is your guardian angel steering you in a “healthy” direction. Thank the Lord!

    I feel the same way about folks who “borrow” handicap parking placards. I am so grateful each day not to be handicapped I am not even tempted to use my husband’s placard unless he is with me.

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