My normal commute goes like this:
5:10 am get on the north bound train
5:35 am arrive at the current most north bound station
5:45 am get on the bus
6:10 am arrive at the last stop of the bus
Try like hell to ride the bicycle the last 5 miles and get to work by 6:30 am, so far I have not accomplished the last part. The best I have done is 6:34 am and I only managed that once, 6:37-6:40 am is far more normal. I get out of work at 3:30 pm and do the whole thing in reverse to go home.
I had to take a week and a half off due to the fact that I hurt myself on the fourth of July, and the first week back on the bike didn't go well. My first day back on the bike, the bus goes thirty feet from the train and breaks down, they have no clue how long it will take to fix, or how long it will take to get another bus out to take over the route. I can't just sit there all day in the train station parking lot, so I got on the bike and started out. Nervously I start west on 550 I have never ridden this stretch and the month before a bicyclist died on this road, struck by a driver that fell asleep. I got to the spot where I normally start my ride, and my back tire blew out. I still had the 5 miles ahead of me that is nothing but hill after hill it was already 6:30 am. I pulled out my cell to leave a message at work telling them what happened and that I will be very late, well I forgot to charge my phone and it was deader than the bus. I had made it about a mile pushing the bike over the hills when some of the crew that work at the factory half of my company recognised me and gave me a ride.
I got a lift back to the train station in the afternoon and took the bike to the shop; I don’t know how to change the tire. It was not ready until Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday was going as it should; at least the morning did, in the afternoon the bus is supposed to pick me up at 4:15 pm. They were late, 4:30 pm arrived and I still had no sighting of the bus, the train would be leaving in twenty minutes. Luckily the ride from the bus stop to the train station is mostly a gentle downhill five miles, but it is still five miles. I get on the bike and really lay it all out pedalling like the devils on my tail. Half way there the bus passes me and if I had the strength to flip them off I would have. Two minutes before the train leaves I pull in out of breath, sweating like who knows what and pretty sure that I was going to vomit. The ticket agent loaded my bike on the train and helped me to a seat, someone got me a cup of water, I love the train the employees are so nice. The rest of that week was perfectly normal, but since this experience it is really a struggle to do the normal five miles, my legs just burn and I am totally winded by the end.
I am becoming addicted to the ride; if I don't get to ride I start to get a headache. Even though I don't get to look around a lot during the ride I miss the views from the tops of the hills on the days I have to drive. I have learned that wind pretty much always sucks, unless it's pushing you from behind then it is awesome. I love the speed in my face when I hit the downhill slopes. I have found that a little gray green weed along the road has the brightest blue flowers I've ever seen, and that a building I pass everyday always smells like fresh baked cinnamon rolls. Every now and then in the morning I get to race a jackrabbit until it realises it can run in a different direction to escape, there are lizards that live in a big juniper bush at the bus stop, and I have seen a large family of quail scurrying out of my way. So I do miss it when I can't ride it is like my skin craves all that fresh air.
I ride along a rural highway and there are some things I just don't understand. I don't know where all the glass in the road comes from. I have never thrown a glass bottle out of a car. On the rare occasion that I have had something roll out of the car and break I have always picked up the pieces and thrown them away in an actual trashcan. I also don't know why people honk at bicyclists. I know there are cars, I am aware of the traffic, there is no need to honk, all that it does is startle me and make me swerve a bit. Some of these people aren't even on the same side of the highway as I am, or are several lanes away, so I don't get it. Except for the few honking jerks I have found the people on the road with me to be very polite and accommodating of my five MPH struggle up the hills.
The weight thing is frustrating I know that I am building muscle. I just figured, I was chubby enough that the conversion ratio would still show on the scale. After 16 weeks, and roughly 600 miles with watching what I eat I have lost one pound, that's right one pound. Oh well I wasn't doing it to lose weight I was doing it to save money but I did think weight loss would be a nice side effect of all my hard work.
I don't know where the bike commute will take me health wise, but I am having bicycling dreams, and I fantasise about just how much I could do. Maybe I should check into public rides on the weekends, or classes to increase my skill. I probably should learn how to change the tire before I get too involved in longer rides. I bought a bicycle maintenance book but I don't understand it, I wonder if they wrote a bike maintenance for dummies book.
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