My right leg looked like lunch

Last week after a light to moderate commuting load on my bike (i.e., no laptop, no full change of cold weather clothes), which felt pretty heavy going home in another headwind, I decided to weigh the beast and found out it was 47 pounds! With more stuff, which I carried the previous week, it would easily be over 50 pounds. Hauling around a third of my body weight isn’t very speedy.

Yesterday I tried reducing the load as much as possible. I took off the pannier and left my Timbuk2 bag at home, just taking half a change of clothes (I keep the shoes and stuff in a locker at work) and even leaving what I wore to work behind for the way home. (It’s storming today so I drove, and I can pick up all the dirty clothes and other things I left behind.) Since it was warm yesterday I hadn’t worn a jacket and tights in the morning so I didn’t have to haul that either.

Bike + minimum commute stuff = 38 lbs. Well, that’s better. I have to say both directions felt a lot better and went a LOT faster, even in hot & sticky afternoon sun. I guess I just need to learn to haul less. I barely missed the things I normally carry. Perhaps this will be a new era of simplification!

2000 Gary Fisher Marlin commuter
Other than not having the pannier hanging off the rack, this is my new setup. A slimmed down road bike with commuting accessories could weigh ten pounds less, but seeing as how I don’t have hundreds of dollars sitting around, I’ll just learn to exercise harder on the bike I already have and like. 🙂 Meanwhile I can trust it on debris, railroad tracks, crappy roads, and gravel, and all my experience is on trails anyway, so as long as I treat the streets of Indy that way I shouldn’t fall too often. Speed would have been handy yesterday when a Rottweiler tried to eat me, though. He charged off a porch a few feet to my right and bottomed out when he reached the end of his chain.

Cheesy picture from back when Dad and I went off road several years ago! This was back when cameras had much worse resolution, as you can see.
mountain biking
I wore those shorts yesterday!

4 thoughts on “My right leg looked like lunch

  1. I should loan you my light road bike. It’s certainly not getting any use lately. When I switched to it from my COUGH 20-year old mountain bike during Boston commutes I was stunned at how much speedier things were.

  2. Andrea and I bought bikes over the weekend and I got a Gary Fisher too. We rode around Notre Dame Sunday and yesterday I road several miles to the library and then to Mom and Dad’s place. I feel like a little kid, I keep asking Andrea, “wanna go ride bikes?”

  3. MBM: I guess you probably won’t be using it for awhile! I haven’t been on a traditional bike since I had a crummy 10-speed in the early part of college. Very kind, though I foresee a big old frame-busting crash with my luck… I didn’t realize mountain bikes had been around for 20 years. I guess we’re old, huh?

    Matt: We should totally go trail riding together! We could go up there or down here… I have yet to try the one in Indy. Isn’t it weird to rediscover biking? I keep thinking of all the years of my life I spent riding around Bercliff Estates…

    Do you think Maddux would tolerate one of those bike leash things? He could finally go fast!

  4. Pingback: Amy’s Gripping Commentary » The old bike and the first job

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