April 5th, 2010
It’s been a long and wet winter here. We live down a dirt/sand/gravel road, and when it rains, it’s difficult to get a car down the road due to mud. And impossible to get a bicycle down it. As a result, I’ve only been able to ride my bicycle to work once since November, and that was in January.
Last Thursday, I intended to ride in to work, but discovered my front tire wouldn’t hold air. I had heard about a wonderful local bike repair shop, so I dropped off the wheel there. The owner replaced the tube and checked it out, and charged me, yes, $4 — including labor and the tube. Nice.
So today was my first ride of the season. I rode a total of 21.8 miles (35 km) today, which was probably unwise enough for being as out of shape as I am. It’s 9.6 miles each way to work, plus I did some errands over lunch.
But add to that the winds — 30 MPH (48 kph) with gusts to 43 MPH (69 kph). This morning, they were weaker and also mostly at my back. This afternoon, though, they were mostly a vicious crosswind. If you’ve bicycled much, you’ll know that’s less annoying than a headwind, but is still quite annoying and takes a lot more energy to battle than you might think.
So, I am now rather sore. And the question is: will I be silly enough to do this again tomorrow?
The answer to that probably depends on how late I stay up watching the Butler/Duke game tonight, as I have to get up an hour earlier on days that I bicycle to work.
I found that the bicycle rack at work — which, somewhat to my annoyance, was moved indoors last year — has been rather disused. It is in a rather dusty and dirty part of our manufacturing shop, and there were large metal bins completely blocking the path to it, which I had to move before I could park my bike.
Then, of course, it was the usual comments — which I take with a smile — about somebody that shows up to work wearing cycling shorts & shirt.
It should be noted that I change into professional clothes at work. But my commute is too long to wear them on the way in and expect to be presentable, non-smelly, and pain-free.
In any case, evidence that this may not have been the best day to start my commute: it hurts to sit at the moment.