Friday, May 16, 2008

Bike to Work Day!

Since I started the Bike to Work thread on STR, I figured I had better ride to work to avoid public shame

Actually, I contemplated that for me to make it to work on time (7:30), I'd have to leave for work by 5:30 at the latest to make it from home to work. Not going to happen.

So, I made a compromise: drive in part way, park at my friend Laura's house, and then ride the rest of the way to work. Not the greatest, but it was something, I figured.

I have ridden on the road a fair amount. Usually, I find my mind is paying attention to cars and random scenery. For some reason, though, today's short ride was to prove to be an avenue for contemplation about all sorts of random things, too lengthy to list here (and frankly, I can't remember them all)!

BTW day begins...


My bike of choice today


What I do know is that I learned some lessons...

Lesson #1...clothing counts

Not in the "oh-I-am-dressed-so-cute" way, but rather the "classical conditioning" way. Pavlovian, sort of. I chose to ride my Niner to work since I knew it would be a fairly short ride. I dressed in trail riding gear. My brain expected a trail ride. D'oh!

Self-portrait


Lesson #2...drivers can be too nice (kinda)

I came up to a "T" intersection and the light was red. It was 6:30 in the morning. Not a lot of cars on the road. I wasn't heavy enough to trip the sensor and make the light change. I watched it cycle through twice without going green. The car behind me gave me sooo much room (2 car lengths) that he didn't trip the sensor either. I finally coaxed him up closer and was on my way in no time.

Pit stop at Performance...Micro is there to greet me (said I was 3rd or 4th rider of the day) and hand me some swag


Lesson #3...street names can be deceiving

I work on Hilltop. I rode almost all the way along Hilltop. I spent a lot of time climbing.

Photo-op


Lesson #4...sweating

No matter how hard I tried to not pedal hard and attack the hills for fear of arriving at work a sweaty mess, I couldn't help it. Baby wipes to the rescue!

Lesson #5...always look both ways


No, I didn't have a close call. Actually, I was looking for my right turn onto Peppertree. As I approached the intersection that I thought might be it, I looked at the street sign on the left. G Street. Not yet, I thought. Until I was a block past and realized it's G Street on the west side and Peppertree on the east. Oops

West side


East side


Lesson #6...perspective is everything


Being on my bike and waiting for a lot of lights gave me time to observe a lot of drivers. I drive about 40 miles round trip to work. I drive. I probably have some bad habits. But what I saw with people driving today made me cringe. You name it, I probably saw it.

A nicer perspective




Lesson #7...trying something new can be scary

...but in the end, it's more the fear of the unknown that scares you. I had never commuted to work before. I was nervous about taking the rights clothes, choosing a safe route, not forgetting anything, how much of my lunch I could fit in my pack, etc. Despite fretting a tiny bit, it all worked out great. I see the beginning of a new trend.....

I was thinking of exploring...


All in all, I only rode 12.5 miles (no idea about elevation gain) but...if I do the route 3 times a week, it'll be like parking my car at home for one whole day. And, I managed to squeak in a whole hour of cardio that I otherwise may have had to go to the gym for. And one of the best parts...I hyped up Bike to Work Day in my classroom the past two days. My students naturally asked if I would be riding. I was honest and said only part way. Only 6 miles, I said. "Whoa! 6 miles!! That's far!!!" they exclaimed.

Hope everyone enjoyed the day!