Tag Archives: Bicycle commuting

Our Big Move

It has been an entire month since my last post. Where does the time go? Rose and I have been busy with a move. First it was searching for a new place, then , since what we found is smaller, we had to spend time weeding out stuff to be donated. After that it was two weeks of packing and another week of unpacking and we still aren’t done.

We moved back to Dunedin. For me, it is the fourth time I have moved to this small city. Every time I leave, something keeps pulling me back. It is a great place to live, especially where we are, just a half mile from the Pinellas Trail, which is a 47 mile linear park built on an abandoned railroad corridor. It runs mostly north and south throughout the entire county. My path to work is east to west so I will use it for weekend rides with my wife if we can ever find her a bike that she is happy with.

Map to Pinellas County Trail

Another benefit of the new place is that I can keep my bike on the screened patio. Our last place had a screened patio that was too small and had no extra room for a bicycle. Consequently, I had to maneuver it through the front door to the right and then immediately to the left and into a long, narrow closet. It was difficult to do without scratching the door frame. I also got a lot of static from Rose about getting the carpet dirty. Now I just need to find a cover for it.

My bike on our patio

The problem I face now is that we moved seven miles in the opposite direction from my work, which takes my ride from 10 miles to 17 miles. I am up to the challenge and would welcome a longer ride but the problem is time. My wife, as a manager, works many hours more than I do so I have many responsibilities at home that include taking care of the cats, making coffee, breakfast, etc. An extra 14 miles a day would take away another 90 minutes from an already cramped schedule.

Fortunately, we traded our car in for a truck the same day that we moved (It was a busy day). For now, I plan on putting the bike in the truck and driving to Rose’s work and then I will ride to my job from there. I will reverse the process on the way home. This leaves me dependent on Rose being ready for work early enough. Not an ideal situation but it is the best I can do for now. I welcome any other ideas.

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Trial Run

I went out this morning for my first real bike ride. Before my first ten-mile ride to work on Monday, I wanted to get used to the bike and see what I could handle. After the first mile, I almost changed my mind about starting on Monday. My legs were tired already and it seemed I was in way worse shape than expected.

I put the bike in a lower gear and pushed on a little slower. After that I felt better and the rest of the ride was much easier. The best part is, after raising my wimpyness rating, I was able to lower it back down again.

I wanted to stay close to home because of the weather so I rode around the industrial park near my home for about 45 minutes. The last 20 minutes I rode in a light rain, which actually felt good, but the rain picked up and I decided to head home.

My newly installed odometer said I went 6.5 miles but I am not yet convinced that is accurate. I think I will Google Map the trip to work and compare the distance when I go there.

Now I just need to buy reflectors, which are surprising hard to find, spare tubes, and then track down a clicking noise.

Preperations

I’ve decided to make the ten-mile trip to work on my bike this coming Monday, weather permitting. This is a big leap for me because I could barely ride it for five minutes Wednesday without my thigh muscles feeling the strain.

I feel like I am preparing to launch the space shuttle. There is so much I need to do. Yesterday I bought an air pump and mounted it on the bike. I also partially hooked up a speedometer that has been in my closet for about a year. I bought it for my last bike (which I gave to my son yesterday) but never got around to putting it on. I am really less interested in how fast I am going then how far I have gone.

This morning I stopped at Wal-Mart and bought a helmet. I considered getting one at a bike shop that was made for my big head, and I may still do that, but It would probably cost three times as much and I would have to order it and wait for it to come in.

I also got a mirror that fits on my helmet. I don’t really like the ones on the handle bars because my body tends to get in the way and the handle bars are closer together on this bike which would make that worse.

The only thing left that I can think of is a rear reflector and a rain jacket. Since I live in Florida, we get plenty of rain in the afternoon during the summer months. These last three days have been especially wet and it seems that trend will continue through Monday. Hopefully, if I get caught in the rain, it won’t be a heavy downpour with lightning.