Tag Archives: commute

Longest Commute Yet

Yesterday morning I put my bike in the truck and rode with Rose to her work and then continued on my bike the rest of the way to work. As I mentioned in a earlier post, my commute went from ten miles to over seventeen and I normally don’t have enough hours in the day to make the commute. Yesterday was an exception because Rose wanted to go to her aerobics class after work so I was on my own to get home. I talked to my boss and arranged to come in early and take a short lunch so I could leave a little earlier.

When I was leaving that morning I talked to my neighbor and mentioned what I was doing and he thought I was crazy. “It’s supposed to be 95 degrees today.” he said. He even offered to give me his number if I got into trouble but I really didn’t think my bike was going to fit in his Corvette.

I was out of work and on the road just after 4:15. The weather was hot but after being cooped up inside all day I was happy to be out. I rode the familiar route home and stopped at Rose’s office for a few minutes to stretch my legs and then I headed home. This time I was riding a new route and didn’t know what to expect.

From Rose’s office I had a few routes to choose from and I chose the most direct. It is seven miles west on a very busy road. The first few miles have no bike lane so, for safety, I chose to ride on the sidewalk. At least I thought it was safe but not long after getting on the sidewalk I was again struck by the curse of the clipless pedals. My front tire went off the edge of the sidewalk and the lip was to big to steer it back on so I tipped to the left. It was no big deal and putting my left foot out would have prevented a fall but I couldn’t unclip fast enough and down I went.

My bike after fall.

My bike after fall.

The rest of the ride was uneventful except for a hill that seemed to never end. I kept thinking, “This is Florida, it’s supposed to be flat.” It really showed how spoiled I have been and how I really needed this challenge. Of course, the greatest part about a hill is that there is always a downside, and by that I mean an upside.

I made it home just after 6:30. As I was turning into my driveway I waved to my neighbor who was pulling out in his Corvette. What a great ride. I want to do it again but I don’t want to push my luck and try to leave early too often.

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Finally a chance to ride!

At last, the weather was dry enough today to ride my bike to work. I wanted to record some health factors so I can compare it a few months from now. I am 6’2″ tall (hopefully that won’t change) 227 pounds and my resting heart rate is 60 bpm. I wanted to take my blood pressure but I can’t find my blood pressure machine, or whatever you call it. (Can you tell I don’t work in the medical field?)  When I do I will post it, although it has always been pretty low.

It took me 90 minutes to ride the ten miles to work but I think it was more like eleven miles this morning because I rode past the entrance to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail and didn’t realize it for a half mile or so.The ride went better than I expected considering I used to ride only four miles to work and I haven’t done that since I moved in November.

Upper Tampa Bay Trail

Since than my bike has sat in the closet because I was sure my back couldn’t handle a longer ride.That is why I bought the recumbent and it worked because I had no trouble with my back when I got to work. I also did not feel tired or sore.

I did however feel a little pain in my butt as I got closer to work. I was surprised by that, given the big cushy seat, but I suppose that will get better when I get used to it. The only other problems I noticed is that the steering seems a little loose and there is a slight clicking noise that I can’t identify…yet.

The return trip was the killer. I don’t know why it was that much harder but I was pretty worn out with over two miles to go. As I got close to home my butt really started hurting and my fingers and toes were tingling. When I finally stopped and stood up the muscle in front, above the knee of my right leg (more evidence – see above) cramped up and I could barely push the bike inside. That only lasted 30 seconds or so and I felt fine afer that. I think I will rest tomorrow and ride to work again on Tuesday, weather permitting.

I noticed something unusual today but I think I will save it for next time.