I finally did it, I took the bike three times this week to work! woohoo! Previously I’ve only ever bike commuted two days in one week, and I wasn’t sure I was quite conditioned for this. Granted it’s only 14 miles one way, but that’s 28 miles a day which is a lot for me. And I did ok! Yesterday was probably the worst on the way home, it was really hot, and at one point I started getting the tell-tale chills of heat exhaustion. I rested for a minute, drank some water and kept going and made it. At the last hill, when I was really getting tired I downshifted to the small 3rd ring the dang chain came off which it has never done before. Maybe it was the universe’s way of making me take another break. As I was standing there trying to get the chain to stay on, a rider on the other side of the road had stopped and called over to me to offer assistance. Luckily I had managed to get the chain back on (it fell off again after the first time I pulled it back on), but I would have told this guy not to try crossing the road to help me anyway. It was the midst of rush hour on a two-lane high speed road, very busy. I doubt he would have been able to get across in one piece. I just yelled “I’m ok” (geez I hope I said thank you) and got back on the bike to finish the ride to my car. If I’d had to I could have walked from this point, probably less than 3/4 of a mile. But I thought it was awfully kind of that guy to stop to help. He looked like he was just out for a training ride, spandex-clad on a nice road bike, not a work-commuter like me.If by some chance he sees this blog (which I believe the odds are slim to none, but just in case…) whoever you were, thanks for the offer of help!
I also got into a great discussion with a co-worker yesterday who found out I was riding to work. He doesn’t live too far from me, and had done a combined mass transit/bike commute yesterday. So we pulled up Google maps and I showed him the route I take, talked about all aspects of riding in (time it takes, average speed, bike lockers, and so on). When I talk to women about my biking they all commend me for it, tell me how awesome it is, but never think of trying it themselves. Granted, guys have it easier, they don’t have to fuss with hair and makeup, but it can be done!
So I’m looking forward to riding three days again next week. I think the only thing that might stop me at this point is if it gets too hot. I’m not exactly sure how hot it was but it felt like about 90 degrees, with almost no breeze. One section of road I ride is through kind of an open valley, which I’ve started thinking of as Oklahoma (‘where the wind comes sweeping down the plain’) because it tends to be windy there. Not so yesterday. I could see rain clouds in the east heading my way, but of course they didn’t arrive until after I was in the car driving the second half of the commute, and then it poured in a couple places. I may be the only cyclist who was actually wishing for rain yesterday, that would have been exactly what I needed in that heat!