Friday, September 11, 2009

Bike Commute Update

I’ve done pretty well this week. I have ridden three out of four days; both directions. Whew!

I got a new seat for my bike, which is wonderful. It’s all wide and puffy and gel-filled (I’d say, just like my butt, except that I have a rather flat bottom – so, it’s more like my hips…). It makes a big difference. The next bike gadgets I will purchase are: a blinking reflector and a headlight. I had a headlight, the kind that has a little wheel that flips down onto your bike wheel and spins something inside and makes the lamp light up. I don’t know where it is, but if I can find it this weekend I’ll use it. Some things I would like to have but probably won’t invest in are: a bell, a rear view mirror and a basket. I’m leery of putting any money into a bike since I have had so many stolen. But, I’m going to a bike shop this weekend and who knows what I’ll leave with.

So, I’m pedaling along pretty steadily, but I have yet to pass another bicyclist. I probably never will. Sometimes I’m hard pressed to pass runners. Sometimes I see other riders like myself, you know, old, fat, out of shape, and they are cruising along at a much faster clip. I think it might be that the bike I’m riding is a “mountain” bike and might be geared lower. At least, I comfort myself with that thought. Yesterday, riding along the waterfront, there was a pretty good headwind blowing and I could really tell the difference. I was going slower than ever!

It’s still taking about the same amount of time to get home. I did figure out the time discrepancy that was bothering me last week though. It’s the danged Tram! Well, it’s the walk from my office to the Tram, waiting for the Tram, riding down the Tram, and then finally getting on my bike. It can easily be 15 or 20 minutes from my office to the street. I haven’t had the nerve yet to ride down the Hill. It’s really steep! I’m going to do it one of these days just to see if it is terrifying and to see how it affects my time. I’ll keep you posted!

One last thing: one morning this week I was just approaching the Steel bridge from the east side when the alarm sounded and the lights started flashing. The gates clanged shut and the lower section, the train track section, started going up. Ok, that’s not unexpected around here. There is plenty of shipping traffic on the Willamette. So I waited, and waited, and waited… a couple other bicyclists and pedestrians were waiting too. Eventually, all of the bike riders turned around and headed down the east bank to the Hawthorne bridge. As I was passing the Morrison a dredging barge came motoring down the river. It must have been up past the Ross Island bridge when they raised the Steel. Ridiculous! I was almost late for work! But, it did give me a chance to try out the east bank and the Hawthorne. I’m going to stick with the waterfront because it’s flatter.

Ok, that’s it for the bike update. A little long, thanks for bearing with me. In other news, the self defense class at Linfield College has started back up again and I have another great group of women. They are all very enthusiastic and willing to try stuff and are already hitting HARD! It’s going to be a great term.

Please feel free to comment… please!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of you for biking to and from work. That's so awesome.
    Be so careful when you decide to go down the hill. I remember how buses used to go flying around those corners, and I always worried for the bikers. Also, you don't want to get going so fast that you lose control.