Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 1 biking to work

The alarm went off at 530 this morning and I was sorely tempted to change the alarm to go off in another hour and go back to sleep.  I sat in bed weighing the options, going over a pro and con list (pretty impressive for someone still feeling half asleep), and decided that it was today or never.  I got out of bed, changed into the clothes I'd prepared last night, finished packing the backpack with the change of clothes for work, some snacks, and emergency bike repair stuff.  Then I headed out of the garage on my bicycle.  It was a bit chilly to start, and I began wishing I'd worn long pants instead of shorts.  I pedaled and pedaled and pedaled some more, all the time wondering if I was crazy for deciding to commute by bike.  As the wind rushed over my glasses, my eyes began to water, my arms were cold, and I knew I had to peddle faster to get the blood pumping before I froze. 

I made it to the first stop light (only about 1 mile away) and was mentally kicking myself for not having ridden more consistently in preparation last week.  I was going from zero riding to a 16.4 mile commute round trip.  Not one of my smartest moves.  Never the less I continued onward.  I made it to Cirby and was feeling pretty good.  I made it over the overpass over the freeway, and was starting to feel a little tired but kept pressing onward.  I continued up Cirby to Rocky Ridge, and wondered how sore I'd be at work sitting at my desk all day.  I passed the info sign by Maidu park and the library and read 59 least by this time I'd ridden long enough to be warm.  I pedaled hard to make it up the hill to Douglas.  Stopped in a parking lot to add some air to the back tire, which made pedaling much nicer.  Saw a clock that read 630 and I realized that I was making great time, which would explain why I was feeling quite so tired....I'd been riding harder than my normal commute.  I pedaled the last couple miles up Douglas to the office building and went to freshen up for work. 

As the work day progressed I took lots of opportunities to get up and walk around the office in the hopes that my muscles wouldn't get too tight or sore. Things seemed to be going well, and as the work day came to a close I was feeling alright.  Then it was time for the commute home, which for the most part is downhill.  Nice, except for the fact that the wind was blowing against me most of the ride home.  (can't win).  I made it down douglas, rocky ridge, cirby, and headed toward the overpass again (the eastbound direction is so much steeper than the westbound), I pedaled hard, downshifted a lot, and finally gave in and walked the bike the last 1/3 to the top of the overpass.  Then I got back on and rode down.  I decided that I would try a new way home today to see if it might be faster.  Instead of going through the neighborhood, I went down Whyte all the way to Roseville Road and then headed toward Antelope.  The cars zip down Roseville Road at pretty fast pace, and it can be a bit unnerving.  At one point there was debris in the bike lane and I had to enter the traffic  lane briefly to go around the object.  (talk about risky business).  Luckily I was good and signaled the car behind that I'd be coming into the lane.  I think on any non-windy day Roseville Road might be the faster option, but because it is so open, and unprotected, unless lots of trains are parked on the tracks, the wind whips through like crazy.  I pedaled against some pretty strong wind all the way down Roseville Road.  i was getting a bit tired by this point and was very happy to see Antelope around the bend.  I travelled down Daly, then to Tupelo, then to home.  It was a good adventure.  I'm not sure how sore my legs will be in the morning.  I guess I'll have to wait till I wake up to find out for sure.  If I'm feeling good it will be biking again in the morning.  If I'm sore, then I'll wait a day and bike again on Wednesday.  My goal is to be able to bike every day.  It is a great way to spare the air, and an excellent source of exercise.  Here's to hoping I'm not sore in the morning :)

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