For me, at least. It’s been ages since I’ve had any bikey news, and am ashamed to say I have hardly been on my bike in the last two years. I’m not sure why I didn’t ride much last year, but this year got off to a very bad start when I contracted either bronchitis or walking pneumonia back in March. It took a long time to fully get over that, and when I did, the weather was still crappy. Maybe because of the prior respiratory problems, my allergies went into overdrive this year, thus further preventing me from even being able to be in the front yard pulling weeds. I’m sure my neighbors were terribly sympathetic (actually they were probably about to report me to the city’s code enforcement. Such nice neighbors I have).
So my poor aluminum steed has been patiently gathering dust in the living room (at least I don’t make it live in the garage) all this time. I think I got out on a couple of rides, but nothing like I should have been doing. Plus, now that I’m taking mass transit to work, I have even less time on weekends to ride because I’m trying to catch up with everything I don’t have time to deal with during the week. Blah.
I have now hit on a new way to incorporate my metallic friend into my day. Instead of either walking to the train in the morning, or (worse) driving (it’s just about 4/10s of a mile from my house, too stupid to drive but I do it a lot) I have finally invested in a backpack to cart all my daily crap, vice the purse and tote bag, and have this morning begun to ride my bike to the train. I have panniers, but am concerned they would fall off the bike when I hoist it up onto the bike peg on the trains, and it’s too much work to keep taking them off and putting them back on. Backpack seemed to simplify things. All went very well this morning. I left a little later than I planned, but was able to ride hell-for-leather and made it in time. I even learned how to use the bike carriers on the front of the bus. I have to take the light rail to the express train, and then a bus to get to work via mass transit. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but does take about twice as long as driving myself. So I either pay in gas, or time. I took the bus from the transit center to get to work, but it’s only about 3 miles (I think) so when I’m better prepared with clean clothes to change into at the office I can ride it. I’ll ride over this afternoon after work and probably beat the bus. At that point I don’t much care if I break a sweat.
It’s amazing how many comments I get and how many conversations are sparked when I ride, though. Guys come by to talk about the bike (most of them think it’s a man’s bike because it’s black and has a higher bar than they’re used to seeing on a woman’s bike. It’s not the step-through cruiser style). I always get props for having a cool bike. I think riding in my regular clothes this morning was a plus too, it may encourage others to try riding who don’t want to go with a spandex wardrobe. And being female I got a lot of interested looks. People are used to seeing guys with bikes on train, but in all the time I’ve been taking the trains I can only think of 3 other women I’ve seen who had bikes with them.