Yay, bike commuter! I did it! Rode in Monday and Tuesday, and here's the thing: I was excited about doing it, too! Sunday night, G asked if I was riding in: unequivocally, immediately, my answer was "YES." There ya go. That's what I'm looking for.
I am really glad I started using the shower at work. When I first started riding in, it sounded like a real PITA to me. But very quickly after I tried it...oh yes, that feels good. Long, hard ride followed by a nice hot shower and I'm good to go for the day.
Unfortunately, I had a couple hard PM commutes home already this week. Monday afternoon, I got a flat rear tire. Pancake flat, with a big ole gash in the tire. Not sure what I hit! Well, I have a flat repair kit, and I have a replacement tube, but I broke down in a terrible place. A trail under the freeway with bad visibility and a ton of cyclists zooming through quickly. I walked it out of there and ended up pushing it quite a ways. I called G and asked him for a ride home. Of course it was rush hour traffic and he was at the north end of town, and he's unfamiliar with the area, and, and, and. Well, he did come get me but the whole thing was a pain in the butt. I won't whine too much about how he didn't want to come get me in his brand new car to dirty it up with my filthy bike. WHINE. But he did. :) There's love for ya.
Anyway, I rode off Tuesday morning with brand new tires on the bike (yay!) and had a glorious commute in. On the way home, though, it was blazing hot. My commute is about 12 miles, which isn't bad, but the last mile is straight up hill. What a stupid place to put a hill.
At the bottom of the hill, I was already exhausted. I simply had no gas in the tank. Before the red light, I had changed gears, but didn't have time to cycle through the complete gear change. When the light turned green, I forgot that the bike was mid-change. I put all my weight on the pedal to take off, and WHAM! the chain fell off. I didn't fall, really, but somehow I banged around enough that I got a nasty contusion above one ankle and a bleeding gash above my knee on the other. What the heck? Well, I still had that stupid hill ahead of me, too!
The hill is a hairpin curve at the base that quickly turns into a 12% grade. Normally, it's hard, but doable. Yesterday, though, I think I was just not mentally there anymore. I hit the hill in the wrong gear, so busy trying to build some momentum at the base of the hill, I didn't downshift for the steep change in grade. Hit that 12% and physically could not push the pedals. Oops, off the bike. I didn't even try to get back on it, I just walked it a couple hundred feet and then got back on.
I was soooooooo glad to get home. I think it might be too hot for me to ride home right now. I stay awfully well-hydrated and eat plenty. I think the sun and heat just got to me. Anyway, I didn't even attempt to ride in today. :( I was so bummed because I wanted this to be the week that I did all ten commutes on the bike!
But hey - I'm thinking like a bike commuter! Yesterday, I stopped at a bakery in the International District to get my son some hum baos. He has been dying for them. Unfortunately, they were closed on Tuesday. So this afternoon I was planning my stop there on the way home - I can probably fit six easily in my backpack, etc.
Hey. I took the bus this morning! The bus takes me nowhere near the hum bao bakery. It's interesting to me the mindshift change I'm making toward riding my bike in. Now to strategize for those real crap days where biking is the last thing I want to do! That doesn't really count for this week - I was enjoying both rides home, right up until the minute I wasn't. :)