What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sometimes it IS peaches!

I recently wrote a post about a totally botched bike commute. Just nothing went right. It all wanted to go wrong.

Well, sometimes it goes the other way!

I was out orienteering (WWW.CASCADEOC.ORG) in Shoreline and planned to meet my friends afterward for grub and drinks, then ride/bus home.

The directions were easy-- turn right on Greenwood and keep going 'til you get there!

The traffic wasn't bad-- 4-lane arterials are usually terrible for cycling, but I took my lane and there didn't seem to0 much traffic going my direction... I didn't feel cramped or rushed. It was rad.

I pull up to Naked City (it has nothing to do with being naked! It's just extremely good beer!), but don't have a lock with me, so I park my bike in the window and sit at the table in front of it. Problem solved.

Friends show up, I have an awesome scotch ale and great sandwich, we chat, pay the tab and I change into my bike gear. The plan is to ride to Mercer Island, then catch the express bus home.

I ride in the cool, damp night-- well lit by my awesome lights. Breath vivid, skylines supreme, sweat light.. and pull up to the Mercer Island Park & Ride. My bus shows up in 10 minutes.


What a seamless ride.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lots of Foldy Lately

I'm still experimenting with my commute. I'm learning exactly how long it takes to get to the transit center. It's slightly downhill.

I'm comfortable putting foldy on the front of the bus now-- he just seemed too small to hang on, but I've seen other people do it lots of times now.

I keep an ankle band (for keeping my pants out of my chain) in my coat pocket. And earphones, which I've learned need a good push to get plugged in all the way (sorry!).

It's only 3 or 4 miles to the bus, but it's far enough to get actually soaked if it's raining. I've worn all sorts of jackets between here and there. My casual rain jacket, my orange bike commuter rain jacket, my Gore water resistant rain jacket, my yellow wind jacket..

If I feel gutsy, I wear my jeans. If it looks reliably wet, I wear "travel pants" that dry quick and pack my jeans in my bag.

And slowly emerges- a routine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yes, a basket!

Okay, so maybe I should have gone for the bigger basket..

..but having a basket is great!

Sure, tell someone that you're getting a front basket and they'll say, "but won't it affect the handling?"

Answer: yes.

But can I deal with it?: yes.

Most loads will be much lighter than the one pictured above and adapting to the altered handling is very quick. Just like when I switch from road bike to mountain bike- it feels goofy for a minute, but my brain figures it out.

Even when I've got a heavier load-- I never ride this bike very far or up anything super steep. The grocery store is about 4 miles away.

I could easily install a rack and go the pannier route with this- but there's something nice about just setting your stuff down instead of having to pack it all up into bags. Sorta like when I had my Xtracycle. The X easily swallowed up grocery sacks without any packing.

So I like my basket! Besides, it kinda handles like a loaded touring bike when it's loaded down. And that makes me wistful. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's not always peaches

Whilst reading and writing bike blogs, it can be a bit too easy to wax on about riding bikes as all peaches and pie.

Oh, bike riding is so wonderful! It's so easy! So fast! You can stop and smell the roses! It's so fun! It brightens my day!

and blah, blah, blah..

but let's be real-- sometimes--

sometimes it kinda sucks.

Sometimes, you wake up extra early in the morning so that you have time to put on studded tires so that you can ride the icy roads to get to your bus stop to get to work.

While installing a tire, you pinch the tube, causing a flat. You patch it, get on with it, and ride out the door only to discover that your rushed job didn't hold.

In desperation, you grab a can of instant-flat-fix, only to let half the can foam everywhere. A third of the can finally goes in the tire. The tire pressure is low, but rideable.

About a mile down the road-- you realize that a third of a can of foam isn't going to cut it. You're flatting again and not even halfway to the bus.

You ride the flat, until finally jumping off to scamper onward-- pushing, shuffling, running. You're overdressed and sweating, worrying- will I catch my bus?

And you finally get there-- only to discover that the bus arrives 15 minutes later than anticipated. Huh.


And somehow, even on a crap ride such as that--

it still makes me happy.

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