My butt hurts

I rode about 50 miles to and from work on my bike in the last week since I started this little commuting project. Observed:

    One catcall and one general holler
    Two cheery guys with booze in paper sacks
    One muskrat
    No crashes (did almost fall off this morning and saw one person fall over with a clip incident)
    Four trips before I even noticed a McDonald’s along the way
    One chunk of broken TV on the giant bridge
    Two wrong turns
    Felt short in my compact car after riding so much perched on the bike
    No near death experiences
    Zero flats, hooray
    Twenty-plus pounds of gear in my backpack!

Without my laptop, the backpack isn’t that heavy. Well, I guess it still is, but not so painful. I leave a lot of shower and clothing items in the locker room at work, but I do tend to overpack no matter how I’m traveling. I discovered the way in is 150 ft negative elevation change over the whole route, which means riding home is really hard work to recover that (not to mention the up and down of the bridge both ways right by work). That isn’t a huge change in elevation, but when you suddenly weigh 180 lbs with all that stuff on your back, you have knobby tires, and there’s a headwind, it can take almost an hour to go seven miles! I am ready to get a rack and/or panniers to help with the load. I can probably leave the heavy U-lock behind because no one is going to cut a cable lock at my security-controlled workplace populated with upstanding people. I hope to get a new cross strap for my Timbuk2 bag and just carry it messenger style like it was designed, instead of inside the backpack. I must learn to part with more things.

For Bike to Work Day this morning, almost thirty of us left from a bike shop in Irvington to ride together downtown. I was riding just behind the people in the video in the local paper’s sidebar coverage. Riders from 11 points in the city met at the circle for breakfast, press conferences, free bike parking… pretty much all of which I missed because our eastside group arrived late at the circle, and my coworkers were leaving together for our plantsites then.

The ride in: Michigan Street

Waiting forever for a train

It was a nice mix of people: racers on road bikes in team spandex, random people like me on mountain bikes, and regular joes in jeans on cruisers. I don’t think those groups mix a lot otherwise, but the point was to highlight bike commuting and riding in a group provides safety and camaraderie, even when you don’t know anyone else.

I liked this shot of my coworkers converging at corporate headquarters for a group picture (which I don’t have). I noticed a lot of them are carrying backpacks too so maybe we just need a lot of stuff at our jobs!

It was a gorgeous day today and I spent more time on the bike trail for scenery, but the ride home still hurt with all that crap on my back.

5 thoughts on “My butt hurts

  1. As proud I am of you and your bike travels (don’t ask me about bike to work week in Michiana. Ours doesn’t kick off until the first week of June), all I could think of when you mentioned your Timbuk2 was, Timbuk 3. Yes, that quintessential band who brought us that toe-tapping hit, “Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades”.

    Now I have that crappy song running through my head and I have you to thank. I would say I have their numerous other hits swimming through my head as well, but alas, that song is the extent of their magic. Who knew a band with such a catchy name like “Timbuk 3” (Get it?… Hilarious!) would only have one hit? Seems like they should have come up with some sort of Top 40 hit using Djibouti or Lake Titicaca or something…

  2. Congratulations on biking to work. Did you figure out how much you saved in gas as well as decreasing CO2 emissions? Rob and I have started to carpool and hope to begin biking to work at least 2 days/week. Wish us luck!

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