Its Never Dull

When it coms to cycle commuting, I know I am very lucky.  Since Michelle and I work in the same office, I get to carpool in with her in the morning, and bike home.  Or, on other days, I cycle in and ride home with her.  Rarely do I do a round trip.  But its an option I keep open.  This has allowed me to ride the bike either to or from work all winter! This has kept my legs in shape, and helped me avoid too many evenings riding on the rollers in the shed.  Outdoor miles beat indoor any day of the week.

I started the cycle commute to get exercise and to relieve work stress.  Little did I know that cycling could also make my commute an adventure, on a regular basis, as well.

Thinking back over the years.  I can think of a handful of car commutes that I would consider unique or an adventure.  Many of them involved snow

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or some other major weather event.  All in all though, most car commutes involve merging onto the free way, choosing a lane and try to get home as soon as possible.  Pretty darn boring.

However, on the bike, all bets are off.  Many commutes can become memorable, and you never know when excitement will hit.

Let’s look at yesterday, which I learned, thanks to a tweet from my wife, was the 5th rainiest day in March ever!  It had rained all night, and poured during our morning drive to work.  (Really glad I have a warm dry place to park my bike during the day.)

At lunch, though, the sun came out!  It was a gorgeous day for a walk after I ate, and I ended up shucking my coat.  If I coulda done it, I would’ve saddled up right then and headed home.  Sadly, I really can’t work just 4 hours a day!

Along about 2:30, I was sent this!

imageThis a weather map tracking the storm that was coming right toward us!  The message said the local weatherman was calling for the heavy rain to hit us at 5.  5 is when I normally get home.

This meant that when I left, there was no time to fool around.  By the time 330 hit, it was already raining lightly, but VERY warm.  This presented a bit a dilemma.  Its all about the layers, but too few and you get cold, too many is even worse you get too hot.  I decided on rain shell and shorts, no rain pants.

PERFECT!!  Legs dry later, but I was able to crank out the miles and  make the dash for home!  The drizzle kept up for most of the ride, but with it was a decent tail wind!  This propelled me to the house JUST as the clouds opened.  One more red light on the way home would’ve been too much!

Then came today, same wet UGLY morning! The day didn’t get as nice, but the rain did stop.  It was another great walk at lunch, I am keeping the legs moving whenever I can.  And, better yet, it was dry when it was time to leave!  But DAMN the wind behind me was blowing!  There were a couple of times, without really trying, I was pushing 20 mph on the flats.

Now, one would think that a dry ride with a tail wind would be uneventful….  One would think.

You see, last month, we got just over 6″ of rain for the whole month.  So far in March, we already have 3.8″ and its only the 7th.  Thats a helluva lot of rain in a shot time.  Which in Seattle can spell mud slides.  And the Burke Gilman trail, is known for this!

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Yep! Right across the path.  Luckily I wasn’t there when it happened, but I had to navigate a patch of slippery, muddy, and rocky path.  Then for the next mile through this steep area I kept looking up at the hill and hearing water flowing the whole time!

When’s the last time you had to deal with that while simply coming home from work??

However, with the tail wind, I got through there quickly and actually got home early!

I am approaching one year as a cycle commuter, and I still LOVE it!  I’m the only one at work who’s continued it throughout the winter, and now with the better weather ahead, I am in great shape to reach this years goals!

Barring another mud slide of course….

 

 

 

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