Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Biking To Work!

Today, after much hesitation and fear of sweatiness, I rode the bike to work. It's only 5 miles, but it's a hilly 5 miles, and the trip requires some level of exertion. The weather today was good, with temps in the upper 70's/low 80's and sunny. I rode wearing a moisture wicking running shirt and a regular pair of shorts. I packed in my courier bag a change of shirt and some water and extra innertubes and bike tools. I wore regular sneakers, no clipless bike shoes.

The ride was thoroughly enjoyable, as I'm able to stay off the busiest roads for most of the trip. Having a bag on my back makes it hard to stay cool and dry, however. I'd really be better off with a basket or at least a smaller bag, but until I get either of those, my GAP courier bag will do. The only crazy part of the trip is when I have to cross the highway on Plainfield avenue. That's some crazy traffic. I stuck to the side of the street (no sidewalks, I've popped a tire that way), and I signaled for turns (only right, thank goodness), though taking my hand of the handlebars at downhill speeds in heavy traffic made me a tad nervous.

I gave myself plenty of time, but the trip only took 20 minutes - only 10 minutes more than in the car. After a quick refresher in the men's room and a change of shirt, I was looking good for work. I was really looking forward to the ride home, but at the end of my shift I was notified that I will have to be on call tonight, which means the company vehicle comes home with me. Aggravating, but I'll look forward to riding home tomorrow instead. All in all, a very pleasant experience! More responsible than a car, and cheaper and faster than the bus!

Thanks to Jeremy and my co-worker Jason (who has no choice as his car broke down, but rides much further than me) for the inspiration!

If you're curious, I'm proud to ride a(n at least) third-hand FUJI TEAM road bike. It has nice but dated components, old enough that the gear levers are mounted on the down tube. I'd guess it's from the late 80's or early 90's. It was bought four or five years back under the table from a guy who worked at a bike shop for $150, and I love it!


Anonymous Jeremy said...

Mad props (Mad!) to Joe!

I wussed out on riding to work this morning. Which means I've only got two days left this week to make my goal of riding at least once per week. But I'm really looking forward to pedaling in nice fall weather.

9:13 AM  

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