Bike to Work, day 15

April 6, 2009

Yesterday it was 60°, sunny, with a touch of  wind.  All in all beautiful.  This morning frost clung to the world and laughed it’s slow, bitter victory over life, but I biked in anyway.

0:23′30, 6.46mi
avg 16.5mph, max 27.6mph
34°F, Odo 278.0mi
Cadence: 65-87rpm

About three quarters of the way to work I realized that I did not care, at all, about how fast I could ride in today.  I even cut through the walkways to get there sooner.

The weekend was amazing, but tiring.  More later.

I dropped my cyclometer at my doorstep, and my shoe covers completely failed to keep my feet dry.

0:??’??, 6.77mi
avg ??mph, max ??mph
41°F, Odo 284.7mi
Cadence: 75-80rpm
*heavy rain

Now, after a hot shower, I’m going to take myself a nap then consider driving to boston for spin jam and ceremony and such.

Or forgot to remember.  Regardless, I’m amazed that I beat my morning time again.

0:21′23, 6.77mi
avg 19.0mph, max 30.4mph
52°F, Odo 251.2mi
Cadence: 60-87rpm

However, that’s not what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about the things I remembered, and forgot, recently:

Monday: Forgot that I was covering class at the studio.

Yesterday: Remembered to lube the chain, adjust the rear derailleur.  Forgot to lock the bike at work.

Today: Forgot my helmet.

Woops!

Rained with increasing intensitiy during the ride.  Fairly heavy rain by the end.  I’ve cycled in thunderstorms before, but today I should have worn the tights and gloves.  Thunder cut my post-ride shower short.  No new record.

0:20’56, 6.77mi
avg 19.4mph, max 27.4mph
50°F, Odo 251.2mi
Cadence: 60-87rpm
*rain

What a week.

Yesterday I took a sick day and didn’t ride in.  Stayed in bed most of the day.  I feel bad about not cycling.  I’ll make it up this weekend.

The ride was poetry.  It started dark and gritty, and late.  I had a goal so I hit the gas and did not let up.  Soon I was hauling up every hill, every straightaway.  And I did it all in the big gear ring. The ride flew by!

0:21’38, 6.75mi
avg 18.7mph, max 25.7mph
40°F, Odo 197.1mi
Cadence: 65-76rpm
*very wet, light rain

I have never been fond of keeping my cadence at 90rpm.  It just feels like too much spin.  Sure, I understand ‘racers’ keep their cadence up at 100 and higher, and it really is my goal to race at some point, but it just feels wasteful.

In spite of my nearly constant hammering on the pedals, I did actually ride smart.  I ‘coasted’ down hills, though I did not stop pedaling.  I only used the smaller cog up one hill (the overpass).

Nearly one and a half minutes faster than my fastest time last week!  Woohoo!

0:18’19, 6.21mi
avg 20.34mph, max 29.2mph
61ºF, Odo 204.3mi
Cadence: 70-85rpm
*pulled clock at the park entrance

Well I have a beautiful average speed if I cut the clock at the park, before the intersection of doom, but then I drop it and forget to measure the rest of the mile home and it’s a mess.  Stupid traffic.

Humbling Experience

December 10, 2008

This morning as I drove to work (for shame!) I saw something I will not soon forget.  I coasted up to a red light, warm and cozy in my car, listening to Yo Yo Ma playing Bach when I noticed a light on the side of the road.  It was bouncing far too much t o be a bicycle, and not moving fast enough.  Jogger.

Remarkable!  I thought, in this weather: chill and rainy.  It was snowing yesterday, all day!

She was very thin, out there in the dark, and had a sweatshirt around her hips.  There were two joggers behind her.  Again, girls.  One in one of those day-glow vests with no headlight, and then the third.

It was the third girl that shocked me.  I already felt like a lazy bum for driving when I could be on my bike (thanks for the motivation!).  But I felt like a total wimp when I saw her.

She was in shorts and a sports bra.

I’m such a wuss.

Rain

August 12, 2008

Monday after work, while driving home I thought “Hmm, maybe the bike shop finished my bike early, since I’m driving past on my way home, I’ll just stop in an ask.  No harm in that!”

I did, and it was!

You can guess what I did after that =)

I estimate that I rode about 20 miles, however I seemed to have misplaced 5 miles of it.  This could be because I was sucked through a wormhole, or possibly my cyclometer was unseated for a while.  I’ll let you decide.

Fortunately it only started spitting rain on my way home.  I tucked my ipod and other junk under my arm and continued on.  After getting home the sky opened up.  Once again I was lucky to avoid the rain.

The bike feels fantastic.  It shifts like a breeze, the breaks are super responsive.  In fact, the breaks are almost TOO responsive.  Perhaps I lost those five miles while being abducted by aliens who somehow implanted a mind-reading AI into my bike.  Or maybe the bike guys just pulled the slack out of my break cables.  But where’s the fun in that?

Anyway I made it home all smelly and happy. =)

On Monday when I picked up the bike, I had been very excited to get back to biking to work.  This morning it’s cold and raining.  I don’t have rain gear, and simply cannot find the motivation to ride in to work today.  The downers far outweigh the benefits.  Once I get to work, after the soaking cold ride, I’ll have to hang everything out to dry in my cube in a somewhat inconspicuous way (there is no such way).  Once I’ve finished my 8 hours of technical support, I’ll put the cold, wet clothes back on and ride home (probably in the rain again).  If I had proper waterproof gear: just a coat and pants, I wouldn’t even hesitate.  I’d like to have a helmet cover and gloves.  On any given day (take last night’s ride for example) I can generate enough heat to keep myself comfortable.  Monday’s afternoon ride was shirtless, but I never felt cold.  It’s probably not as bad as I’m making it out to be, but the benefit just isn’t there today.

After work the sun was out, and I had about an hour to ride, but a thunderstorm shook the sky and rained on my parade.  I chose to practice Kenpo techniques instead.  The hour is over and there’s still no rain.  I’ll take this as a lesson.  Next time just get going.  Oh well, time to go teach.

Running errands after karate was a bad idea, because I got to bed more than 2 hours late.  That simply means I was tired this morning, and didn’t push for any records.  also it’s raining and cold.  It’s a good thing I didn’t work hard to get here, too, as I forgot my towel at home.

22:48, 6.5mi
63ºF, Odo 1655mi
avg 17.1mph, max 27.0mph
*light rain

Not bad for no effort.

The ride home started 3 hours later than usual, due to training at work.  The training was useful, but it was dark at 3:30pm due to heavy cloud cover and rain; you can imagine how much worse it was at 6:30pm.

Almost as soon as I started home, within a mile, I slipped and fell off the bike.  I was speeding around a tight little corner, slightly downhill, in the rain.  Oops.  Suddenly I was on the ground watching my bike bounce, and there had been a car 20 feet or so behind me.  Before I even knew what had happened, I was on my feet.  I assumed the car was about to run me over.  Unfortunately, though I was deft enough to regain my balance, my shoes had soles of plastic and slid around uselessly.  Sure, I was on my feet, but I was still moving from the momentum I had before falling.  I was immediately pissed off.  As skilled and balanced as I was, I could not control myself well enough to get out of the way because of these shoes.  There was nothing I could do.

I managed to glance behind me and see the other car going in a different direction.  Ok! I’m not going to die right now.  I continued sliding awkwardly to the bike which had stopped slightly ahead of me.  My knee felt scraped, so I glanced at it without slowing down.  No blood.  I picked up the bike and moved to the grass above the curb.  Bike shifter bent, immediately repairable.  Still no blood on the knee.  All body parts in working order, all bike components still attached.  Right sleeve pulled up to armpit but no damage to right arm.  Cut on base of the left thumb, bleeding a little.  My knee hurt, my thumb did not.  I pulled the shifter back in place.

Now in a foul mood, I got back on the bike and rode home.

20:08, 6.2mi (forgot to re-seat cyclometer)
63ºF, Odo 1662mi
avg 18.4mph, max 26.3mph
*Rain

When I arrived home, I met my roommate, Jack, at the door.  He had seen me as I left work (we both work at Fidelity Investments), and we got home at the same time!  Cool!

Here’s how my knee looked when I got home.  By then my thumb had healed over.