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bike to work

I truly know absolutely nothing about bikes. I don’t know how to change gears, I can barely ride the thing, breaking (or is it braking?) is difficult for me, and if I get a flat tire I’m pretty much SOL. Alas, with this great knowledge I decided, with a little prodding from a co-worker, that it would be a brilliant idea to ride my untrained on the bike butt to work.

This is my bike. I literally know nothing about it, so that’s awesome. I got it for Christmas from my in-laws.

I mean a stationary bike and a real bike are kind of the same thing right? Anyways, I am used to a beach cruiser, and that’s about how far my biking experience goes. And I can spin the crap out of a bike too. I love spin class and if the “studio” I love to go to wasn’t $75 dollars a month, I would spin more often, but alas, stationary bike at the Y for me is awesome too. I work roughly about 7.5 miles from my office. My coworker helped me plot the least deadly route, and encouraged me this was a great idea. Also, said co-worker is like an Olympian in biking. I kid you not. Probably not the best person to have encouraging me to ride bikes since I know nothing. I have ridden my bike twice thus far, since getting it for Christmas. Both times, on the riverbed, where there aren’t cars.

I drove the route I was to take yesterday to get a feel for what I would need to look for and be prepared for. There were a lot of speed bumps, but mostly the route was pretty ‘gentle’ (I saw another race use that to describe their course and it made me laugh). This morning when I woke up, I told myself I could do this and got ready to come into work. I packed my backpack with clothes that were work acceptable, packed up my banana and put on workout clothes and running shoes and off I went.

It usually takes me 15-20 minutes to get to work taking my normal route. I usually leave at 8 and get here at 8:15-8:20. I left my house at 7:45 and traveled the route I had planned. It was scary at the beginning because I realized how big cars are! I remembered to check my surroundings, stop at stop signs and make sure I was always aware of what was going on. Of course I wore my helmet as well. I saw another biker not wearing a helmet and I almost said something, then I realized the hipster was probably going to jump me if I opened my mouth. I had my iphone playing pandora in my pocket on my backpack, so that made it a little more fun, but I am not going to wear headphones anytime soon. Most of the route is through pretty neighborhooded areas, which was nice. I love looking at houses and what different people do to their front yards. I’m also 90.

I got about half way here and was really enjoying the ride, the last two miles are the only area where I was a little fearful of my life, but I remembered to be confident in my riding skills, but still, I’ve read blog posts and have heard about many people falling, getting hit, hitting something, and it just scares me. I would have to say one of my biggest fears is getting hit by a car running or riding my bike.

The last two miles involve some pretty heavy street crossing, so I made sure I was completely aware of what was going on and was in control of my bike and myself.  It sounds stupid but this bike is so much lighter than my beach cruiser which makes it much more squirrely. The final two miles are also rather hilly, so that was another thing, I didn’t want to catch so much speed that I would go flying off into an intersection.

I must be honest, most of the time, I rode in the bike lane or sidewalk, and I used the crosswalks about 50% of the time. Until I am more comfortable with the bike, I will probably continue to do the same. I am not one to just act like car in the street yet.

Arriving to my office in one piece was pretty rewarding though. I changed over and realized I didn’t even sweat or get warm. I was most likely going so slow that it wasn’t even a work out. HAHA. I took me about 35 minutes to get here.

B asked me if I was going to keep riding my bike to work, and honestly, I did enjoy it, minus the areas that freaked me out, but I know if I kept with it, it would get easier and I would be more comfortable. Especially as the weather is so nice right now. So for now, I will keep doing it for a while on days when I don’t have a meeting. I also think it’s pretty important that I learn how to fix a tire. The ride was nice though, and though I was nervous, it was actually fun and a nice way to start off my day, dare I used the word relaxing to describe it?

Anyways, now I guess I have to ride back home. We’ll see how that goes now won’t we.


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