Thursday, March 27, 2008

First bike-commuting of 2008

Bike parking at work, pre-season! Old Blue is king of the mountain!
There's a 2nd, completely covered, bike rack behind the one you see.

March 27, 2008 is the first bike-to-work day of 2008.

It is hard to transition from a warm comfortable convenient car (with radio!) to the more weather-immersive method of using a bicycle.

You have to find the motivation to get everything prepared the night before, to get dressed up in cold weather cycling gear, get onto a cold bike seat (yikes!) and ride to work, past the potholes and craters in the road, past the icy sections threatening to drop the bike if full vigilance is not observed, and to change into regular clothes when arriving at work, always hoping nothing was forgotten, or that you dressed not too warm or too cool for the actual temperature, and let's not forget that evil fiend, wind chill!

OK, I found the motivation to get on the bike. How did I accomplish this?

Easy, I gave my coworker a $50 dollar bill, and said if I bike to work today you give the money back. If I drive, you can keep it. So, I was highly motivated to bike this morning, as you can imagine!!! (unlike, say, monday, tuesday and wednesday when I had no financial motivation!)

So how did the trip go?

Fine, except it started to snow half-way to work. It was pretty but increased the hazard level a bit. On the other hand, it wasn't really cold rain!

It starts snowing at the halfway point, at least it's not rain!

In the freezing-my-buns-off department, I am happy to report that I was nice and warm, then too warm once the muscles heated up from cycling. This is the hard part, to select the perfect level of insulation for the temperature, and I actually knew I was overdressed, since I had dressed for a -10C temperature when I knew it was going to be only -1C. My bad.

One surprise was when I got to work, the bike racks were still buried in snow. Aieee!

Biking to work in the morning is ok, but biking home after work is GREAT!!!! Ok, since it was above freezing, it was slightly wetter, but really, is anything better then getting out of the workplace and riding away into the sunset? I can't think of anything better, but then I am a bike addict.

One final bonus, I save money that would go to gasoline, and with prices hovering around $1.20 a litre, these savings will add up fast.

Have a great 2008 everybody - and watch out for puddles.

Puddles are danger zones; they conceal holes and and spread ice, and get your clothes nasty - watch out!


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