I’d decided to ride my bike to work at least once a week…ok, maybe every couple of weeks. I moved a couple of months ago closer to work, only 14 miles each way – totally doable. I should mention I am a rookie. I have a 7 year old mountain bike that cost me approximately $150 at Sports Authority – it’s not the best bike, but it it's not the worst 1 either.
Today was THE day. My bike was ready, and, more importantly, I was ready.
Last night, I looked over my checklist: headlamp (plan was to wear it around my chest with the light facing behind me), gloves, helmet, clothes in my backpack, water, phone, wipies, deodorant – check. I was pretty confident I was prepared for every and any emergency.
I decided to leave 2 hours earlier (6am) than I had to be there. This would give me enough time to deal with traffic (there was none) and hygienically “compose” myself at work.
The ride itself was very serene: very little traffic, no dogs and no mishaps. The perfect dark & cloudy morning. Perfect opportunity to...just think as I rode.
I wanted the commute to be a workout since I wasn’t planning on running today. I didn’t want an easy slow ride, but at the same time, I didn’t want a sprint to work either. Besides, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect physically - would I be sore all day? Would I stink all day? Would I be sweaty all day? Yes, no and no.
I averaged 5 minute miles the entire way while working up a pretty good sweat. Early on, I could see the sweat glistening on my arms - I knew it was quickly becoming a good workout.
I made it to work in 1 piece. And just in time: it started raining as soon as I walked inside the building. Just a quick unexpected shower (note to self: check the weather forecast next time).
Finding out that the coach’s restroom shower head is actually functional - priceless. A quick shower and presto!!!
There are several things I learned for the next time because there WILL be a next time:
1. Work clothes should be in a plastic bag inside my backpack. The sweat went through my pack and got them damp (fortunately, I threw them in the dryer at work).
2. While my headlamp as a back light worked, I really need to get some of those flashing lights for the back and a light for the front of my bike.
3. It’s a good idea to have wipies, soap, towel and deodorant at work. This, being my 1st time, I carried all these items in my backpack.
There are also several things I need to learn for the next time:
1. When stopped at a traffic light and there are no cars (since it was early in the a.m.), do I stop? Do I go? I assume the same laws that apply to motor vehicles apply to bicyclists.
2. Is it possible to add a cup holder to my bike? I missed my cappuccino this morning for fear of being late to work late.
3. I wonder if I can fill my camelback with coffee???