Bike to Work Day
Saturday, May 18, 2013
So yesterday was Bike to Work Day here in Bellingham. Normally I like to walk to work, but with my foot still injured that's out for now. So I decided to bike to work, even though the event stations that were handing out stickers and other goodies closed up shop at 9:30am and I worked swing shift. (You hear me, event organizers? WHERE'S THE LOVE FOR US SWING SHIFTERS?!?) I bought lights for my bike the other day in preparation, and even though it was a bit drizzly out I decided to go for it anyway.
Despite being a bit wobbly and getting honked at once (apparently a bicycle on the roadway is offensive to some), the commute *to* work wasn't bad. Of course, the commute to work is all downhill. I barely have to pedal. I did pass 25 cars from the point when I started counting to when I stopped...I probably passed 35-40 total. It's a fantastic traffic back-up for the little street, especially on Fridays. (When walking, I can sometimes keep pace with the car at the end of the line; we both get to the bottom of the hill at the same time.)
Riding back, though, is another story. My bike is, in theory, an 18 speed, though it's old (I've had it since I was 10 or 11) and it's rusty and things don't shift like they should. I had to bike halfway up the hill (almost 1/4 mile) before my front gear finally shifted down. Even when it did decide to shift down, I was still panting. My lungs hurt, mainly. The legs were mostly alright about it (though my injured foot decided to complain this morning...so maybe not such a good idea), but my LUNGS! I was still coughing this morning when I woke up! Ack! And it's only 1/2 mile!
It doesn't help that my laptop is a brick. I think if I wasn't hauling so much stuff in my pack I would have handled it just fine, but loaded down with my backpack my lungs just decided to be all "screw you, we're gonna keep you up for hours coughing".
I would like to ride my bike more. We've taken our bikes out to Hertz Trail before and that's a nice (mostly level) ride. I think I need to find more rides like that and ride them carrying a full pack before I try to tackle the hill again.
Or I need to find a way to afford a lighter laptop.