The Ride, Week 1
This was the first week of the bike commute and I enjoyed myself very much. Here’s a quick recap of how things went.
Monday: It was a little cold out for the ride too work, but I survived nicely. Riding into the wind, however, was a bit rough of a way to start the week. It turns the ride into quite the leg workout. I discovered that I don’t like 38th Street. It’s very narrow and has no bike lane. Cutting across from 8th Ave to 6th was no fun. I rode home after dark, which was nice. Traffic was way down. I discovered that riding down 9th Avenue I can coast most of the way because it’s downhill.
Tuesday: I rode even though there was a chance of rain. The morning ride up was good. I recharted my path so that I didn’t have to use 38th street. Instead of going up 8th I crossed to 6th Avenue at 20th Street, which is a wider street and has a bike lane. That allowed me to only be on 38th for half-a-block, which was much more tolerable. I also started going to workout after the ride uptown. I’ve already got to hit the gym to clean up , so I might as well workout too! On the ride home it rained and I didn’t care because I still enjoyed being out. I did shout at a pedestrian on 9th Avenue who just blindly stepped into the bike lane. Luckily I was paying attention to her and was aware she wasn’t looking where she was going, but I still let her know she was being stupid.
Wednesday: 100% chance of rain and it was actively raining in the morning…so no biking today. It was annoying that it cleared up just in time for going home though. It would’ve been a beautiful ride.
Thursday: I started to get into the groove today. The ride up was good and I was able to go a bit faster. The DOT did work on 20th street too and filled in a sizable trench in the pavement. I was able to bike through it, and it made me happy I had a bike with shock absorbers. It was another ride home after dark too.
Friday: I was tested by pedestrians all along the ride to work. At least a half-dozen of them tried to be in the wrong place. I don’t know why pedestrians like to forget the bikes have the same rules as cars in terms of signal lights. Just because there are no cars coming doesn’t mean you get to cross the street and not worry about the cyclist. I have taken to talking to them and letting them know they are doing something wrong. On the way home I discovered I can be as prone to traffic delays as the cars. Getting across from 5th Avenue to 9th took many minutes more than it should have because of cars jockeying for position, and in some cases leaving me no place to go.
Saturday: I had a sunrise ride to the rink this morning, which was gorgeous. Since I was out by myself, I cranked up the iPod and jammed my way uptown. Coming home there was more traffic out, but it was still a good cool down.
Overall, it was a great week. I upgraded the bike’s scurity on Thursday by getting lock skewers so my wheels are safer. I also bought a new seat since I managed to destroy the other one by mishandling the bike while trying to get it into the elevator.
My fitness is up too. My legs, especially right now post-ride and post-hockey are kind of destroyed. My legs are usually pretty strong because of the hockey, but the biking is working them different so they are sore.
I’m already looking forward to next week! Bring on the commute.