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And I think to myself...(7 posts)

And I think to myself...UncleMoe
Dec 12, 2001 9:04 AM
What a wonderful world.

I finally got back on the bike commuting wagon today. I live in San Diego. Even here it gets crisp and cold in the morning, and its been raining a lot too. However, the biggest reason for my commute neglect was I was sick of my bike after training all summer for a 625 mile tour from San Fran to San Diego in October. When that was done, the last thing I wanted to do was bike to work.

But I began to miss it a few weeks ago. I had planned on 3-4 occassions to get back into it, but each day I had planned turned into a rainout. Until today.

As I left my house in the dark at 5:50 am, it was a crisp 43 degrees (I'm a bike geek with a thermometer on my pack). My Marwi bar light shined the way, with two seperate Specialized fireballs on the back of the bike to display my existence to the sleepy driver I was sure to encounter.

It is a 4 mile ride to the coast. By the time I got there, the first shades of daylight were breaking. What a beautiful morning. The air is very dry and clear, with some scattered clouds. If you've ever seen pictures of a Jamaican sunrise, that is what the San Diego coast looked like this morning. It was a great day to ride.

My legs have lost a lot though. I've been doing some MTBing, but the spin factor isn't quite the same. Lots of stops, starts, coasting, etc. My commute is just over 20 miles. My fastest time to work this summer was 1:15 and barely winded. By minute 30 today, I was tired and going noticably slow. But who cares, it was still a great day to be alive.

I couldn't help but notice that the world wakes up slower this time of the year. In the summer, I suppose with the earlier daybreak and warmer temps, by 6:30 even the coastal route had noticable traffic. Today it seemed to be just me, with a morning jogger here and there. I did pass two surfers putting on wetsuits for what I'm sure would be a very cold session.

I took a break at the midway point just to check my pack and rear lights...and to check the temp (geek). It had warmed up to 50 along the coast. I had a sip of Tang from my water bottle.

As I get closer to work, I need to leave the coast and head back inland. I was looking forward to getting to work because of my tired legs. Boy did I lose a lot over the past few months! I took a quick break to check the temp as I went thru a canyon road. Burr, back down to 45.

Ah, one last hill before I make it to the office. It looks like a cupcake of a hill, but its not. Damn, I had to go to the triple. Yes, I am tired.

I'm back on the bike and looking forward to doing this 2-3 times a week. My bigger test will be the nighttime commute home in the dark. Its easy being on the roads in the dark with little traffic. Angry and nasty drivers after a long day of work on the ride home could be a different story. I just hope my batteries last.
Ah, MAN, do I miss California...cory
Dec 12, 2001 9:20 AM
Today's bicycle commute weather in Reno: 29 degrees, light snow falling on top of packed ice on the pavement, sunrise at 7:11, sunset at 4:36 and more SUV morons than you can BELIEVE. But later in the winter we'll get some really bad smog, so I have that to look forward to.
Ah, MAN, do I miss California...morey
Dec 12, 2001 10:26 AM
I live in Tampa, FL. It is 80 degrees, no rain in sight. Beautiful riding weather. I love it!
Sounds like a great rideSoftrider
Dec 12, 2001 10:24 AM
I have stopped commuting for the winter I'm just not brave enough to do it in the dark, plus the weather is so unpredictable.

My commute is about the same distance as yours. It is absolutely the best way to start the day. Your story has really made me want to get started again.
re: And I think to myself...Crankist
Dec 12, 2001 12:45 PM
I enjoyed your post Moe. Low twenties here in Albq. @ 5:15 am. 20.5 miles to work on only isolated bike trails, I am not courageous enough to peek at thermometers. The ride home in the mid-40s sunshine however, requires no courage at all.
Have Fun, Mike
10 degrees and snow packed roads...Brooks
Dec 12, 2001 2:01 PM
But then, this is a ski resort town (Park City, Utah). My commute is only 2.5 miles all uphill. You warm up fast, except fingers and toes, and the City keeps the multi-use trail reasonably cleared. Patches of snow/ice and grade are good for bike handling skills. The ride home is faster, darker, and colder with lack of sufficient pedaling for awhile. Lots of reflectors for those stretches on the road and dual beam headlight. I love the winter commute. No, really, I do. Just waiting for the Olympics to hit town and all those drivers with no place to go. I'll just smile and wave.

Ride in peace,
ah, CaliforniaDog
Dec 12, 2001 2:12 PM
Saturday, I rode over 9 hours up in the foothills and mountains. Snow had blanketed everywhere over 5,000 feet, and there was snow still in all the shady areas under 3,500 feet. Headed up the hills, I just had to be amused by the sight of a line of palm trees with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. It was like riding through several climate zones in one day. While I griped about the cold on some of the descents from over 4,000 feet, I had to be thankful for being able to be on the bike in the winter at all, and not in the garage.