Well yesterday morning I was all proud of myself for having my first bike to work commute ever! Things worked out well for me, I had the bike all packed and ready to go, I was up on time, on the road as planned, and made it to work without getting rained on! All in all good first time. Wasn’t even cold outside! Sometimes the weather gods smile on you.
The luck seemed to hold as the day went on, I took the bike next door to REI, showed them the loose spoke and the guy said “No problem! We can get it done for you!” I saw him write down $12. Easy! Life is good.
The day went quick, I was even taken to lunch as the new guy on the team. World Wraps is good!
Now, how many of you are thinking, “In a story like this, there is always a “but”.” Well, you are right!
Long about 2 o’clock I get a call from the shop. Ummm, it’s not a broken spoke, the rim itself has started to crack and the spokes are pulling free. (well it has had 11000 hard miles ) They do not have a comparable (price range) rim to mine. They have one that is a lower quality for $90 and a higher for $160. Well, normally I am a cheap bastard, but I need this bike to carry me a lot of miles this year. OK, do the $160. They told me it should be done by 4 (quittin time for me)
Well, 4 rolls around, I head across the street, and it is pouring down rain. Greeeeaattt. Well the bike isn’t ready till 430, but I am not complaining, they squeezed me in without an appointment. I also still had $40 left of my dividend which helped some. I saddled up and headed out.
Remember when I said sometimes the weather gods smile? Well other times they don’t! It was a steady downpour the whole way north. glasses fogging, giant puddles on the trail, cranky drivers and cyclists. If this was the first time I had ever ridden my bike, I might never ride again.
However, as we know, it wasn’t my first time on a bike. Therefore, I am able to see the positives! (Yep even in a monsoon!)
- First of all, it wasn’t cold. I hate freeing cold rainy rights. My light shell and rain pants were plenty
- I had the right clothes. I might need to think about a better rain shell, but my old Mountain Hardwear gave a valiant effort to keep me warm and relatively dry
- I had a tail wind! Any biker will tell you that the worst misery is made better by a decent tailwind!
- Finally, I still had something left in the legs. Even though I did stairs last night, and biked in hard this morning, the tank felt full. I was cranking it along the trail, passing people left and right. My theory was the less time I spent in the rain, the less wet I would get! It was one of those rides when you feel like a “Lead on the Wind.” No resistance, no pain, just flowing forward!
So the long and short of it, I picked a lousy day to bike commute. But, as I have tried to point out in here throughout my short blog career, you can’t always count on sun. If you want to use the bike as basic transportation and exercise, then you have to take the good weather with the bad. Especially in the winter and spring in Seattle.
I won’t lie, there was a second there when the bike was not done at 4, and it was pouring, that I considered calling Michelle to come get my pitiful butt. She would have, no problem. I looked at the freeway though, and southbound (the way she would be traveling) was crappy, it always is, and rain makes it worse. She would have had to slog her way to me, then turn around and get right back into traffic. This would have taken over an hour. It’s only a bit over an hour to bike home!
Suck it up cowboy! You aint gonna melt! Hell it was dark when you came to work, so even if the bike was even longer getting done, I could still make it. And I did! I honestly had a great commute in one of the worst weather days I could’ve had. I felt strong, the bike handled well, and I got a GOOD work out in! if I was able to do all that in a day like this, then imagine how much I will like it when it is sunny!
So like I said, picking today as my first bike commute (both ways) day seemed like a good idea at the time! And, looking back at it, wearing my sweats, fleece shirt, wool socks and sitting in my warm house, I honestly think it really was a great idea!