Inaugural Bike Commute

Yes, first day! Wow, a couple of those hills were killers. My thighs hurt, I hope I can make it home tonight! I think reversing it will be mostly downhill. My town is barely above sea level, so most of the trip in the morning is uphill. Some of it looks flat, what they call a “false flat”, but you can feel as you’re pedaling you’re working to keep moving. I did drive to my co-worker’s neighborhood and park the car there (about 12.5 miles), then rode the 13.5 miles in to work. I’m not sure how much gas this is going to save, actually. Hauling the bike on the car kind of cuts down my fuel efficiency, but at least I’ll get my rides in. It was pretty chilly when I started out, and even some fog in a couple spots. But it warmed up as the sun came up, and really it was a beautiful morning for a ride. I got passed a couple times by guys on bikes, one just blew past me going uphill. Show-off. I don’t think he was human. The other guy passed me along Tualatin-Sherwood Road, and kept going straight when I turned off onto Avery. At least he smiled and said hi when he went by. I was most of the way down Boones Ferry, just in front of the high school, and he passed me again.  He was probably wondering how I got ahead of him! 😉 It was funny. He said “Hi again!” as he passed me again. We both laughed. I managed to keep up with him (by “keep up” I mean I didn’t drop any further behind) at this point, but we were kind of heading into a downhill. The sections of the road I was so worried about turned out to be no problem at all. I guess I came through early enough that I beat the worst of the traffic, and all the people who overslept and then try to make up time at Mach II weren’t on the road yet. I think I remembered most everything I needed to bring, which is hard for a creature of habit like myself. Just moving things from purse to pannier it’s easy to forget something. Got to work, managed to open the bike locker, got cleaned up and changed clothes, and voilá! I may not ride again this week, I think I’ll need a recovery day tomorrow, and then Thursday and Friday are supposed to be awfully hot.

 

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About D. D. Syrdal

Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. Currently prepping a vampire novel for submission. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.
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6 Responses to Inaugural Bike Commute

  1. dsangie says:

    Those hills’ll get easier. You learn the best way to manage your energy on them pretty quick cause they hurt! Try and keep a high rpm spin like the racer.
    I just started a car/bike, bike/car relay to work with cheapo Nashbar grocery pannier for my stuff. Good to get my stuff off my back, and pretty good for grocery’s but maybe underbuilt. The Banjo bro you use seems nice, could it hold a shopping basket of grocerys?
    I use a rear light on the trafficky parts of the ride, little front one too if I get paranoid. Gonna be getting darker soon. Plan on riding fall/winter?

  2. Digital Dame says:

    Hi DS,

    Wow, that was a killer ride home last night. Being tired already, those hills on the return almost did me in!

    Not sure the panniers I have would hold a whole grocery basket full of stuff, but they are surprisingly roomy, especially without the waterproof liners. Those do add a bit of weight so bear that in mind.

    I ride at all times now with front and rear lights (both are LEDs) set to the flashing setting. I figure if motorcycles have their lights on at all times (and many cars do now as well) we’re really not being overly cautious to have lights on our bikes on. Paranoia is my middle name 😉

    I’m not sure how much riding I will do once it gets dark and rainy here. It’s not saving me any gas by hauling the bike on the car for 12 miles, so there’s no incentive there to do it. I mostly just really like riding, so I will probably bike in for the exercise and the sheer enjoyment of it. When it gets to be 30 degrees and raining sideways here, I’m thinking not so much!

  3. dsangie says:

    Do you have a roof rack? I think bike on the roof over a certain speed aint so hot for mpg’s. I drive a fast 20 miles then park at a county park and ride the rest 8 or so miles through Mendham into Morristown, NJ, where the driving would slow alot with traffic lights. Its fairly hilly around here. Probably 600 ft. or so of climbing on the way home. I make sure I eat a good bit before & after the ride. Big climb right out of work parking lot. It can be a battle.

  4. Digital Dame says:

    I have a trunk rack, not roof. I should check the hills I ride, not sure how much of an elevation change there actually is. It’s probably not as much as I think/feel it is 😉 Maybe I should start out by driving farther, and biking less until I get a little stronger. I might have bitten off too much all at once trying to do 27 miles a day when my rides have until now been strictly weekend, recreational. I hear you about starting off uphill. When I parked at my co-worker’s house the other day, it’s a steep uphill to get out of the development. Ugh, not what i was expecting at 6:30!

  5. Scott says:

    Glad to hear you survived your first day… and yes, those hills will get easier. Hang in there!

  6. Digital Dame says:

    Hi Scott,

    Glad you stopped by again. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m thinking another shot at Iowa Hill this weekend, so the muscles don’t forget what “uphill” means 😉

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