Monday, August 11, 2008

bikes

Last Wednesday I contemplated biking into work, but the thought of packing up extra clothes and digging up the key to my U-lock was just too much for 7 a.m. To avoid having any such excuse in the future I brought in clothes/ towel on Thursday. So today I had no choice but to give it a try.

Traffic was low since I was out early and everyone’s on vacation, which made it less nerve-wracking than it might have been. I avoided the problem I have with exercising in the morning (can’t eat when I first wake up or I feel sick; can’t exercise until after eating or I’ll get dizzy) by taking my time and not particularly exerting myself. (There are only two uphills of any significance on my way to work. The route home is harder.) My only issues:

a) I could really use a side mirror. I can’t keep from drifting while looking over my shoulder, even for a second.
b) I couldn’t get in to the showers here until after 9. I did without today because it was a cool morning and I don’t have any meetings, but I do sweat buckets and will normally have to shower when I get in. I need to find someplace that will copy keys that say “do not duplicate.”
c) I suspect that if I rode home my quads would be unhappy with me. Obviously that problem will solve itself if I commute regularly.
d) Rumor has it that I’d be much happier with road tires than my current mountain tires. I’ll consider switching them out if I start riding more.

I’m probably not riding home because it looks like the thunderstorms are not going to clear up as I’d hoped. But we’ll see. (I was very much wishing I’d ridden last Thursday, when I sat in traffic for an hour on the way home due to flooded streets.)

C can ride surprisingly fast. On short stretches I can only overtake him by using higher gears. (Dan claims this is cheating because I have 21 and C has 10.) Unfortunately his bursts of speed doesn’t translate to getting places faster- he was taught at school to dismount the bike and walk while crossing intersections. Dan has been regularly biking the kids to the pool (2-ish miles) and it definitely slows things down. He’s starting to feel more comfortable staying on his bike past small streets at least.

Dan has been biking more and is starting to get disenchanted with having A’s bike seat permanently attached. In addition to looking dorky it prevents him from using the toe clips on the pedals. However, besides being useful, I also see it as a good theft-deterrent- if you’re about to steal a bike, you don’t want the one with the bright blue toddler seat on it, right? We’ve decided not to invest in a removable one for that reason and because we expect that she’ll be ready to use the tagalong bike next spring. (She won’t be able to help Dan by carrying six-packs of beer for him anymore but he’d have space for a bike rack to use instead.)

3 comments:

kombu said...

Congrats on making it to work on your bike!
I find it so weird that there are people who *won't* duplicate a "do not duplicate" key - it's a fact of being outside NYC that I've not yet gotten used to.

Nana said...

How far is it to work? Way too far for ME ever to consider biking. Especially in the city traffic. Especially when there are hills.

..must go sit on couch now...

Sarah said...

Only five miles, and the hills are little. I'm giving it another try tomorrow- maybe, just once, there won't be a thunderstorm?