Back in the saddle…

So as of this morning, I feel like I am officially a bike commuter again.

The last time I rode to work was back on June 11, and even then, I only rode TO work (since I got a flat when I got there, and had Carrie pick me up after work). But now, armed with my newly fixed rear tube and tuned brakes, I was a force to be reckoned with.

In fact, this morning at avg speed of 12.29 mph was my fastest ride to work so far. Looking at my bike journal, I can see that I had rides last year that had a faster average speed, however, that was when I had my old bike computer that I think was not as accurate in terms of distance (those rides claim my ride to work was 6.9 miles, but now my bike computer, which is actually precise, says it is 7.12 miles). Although now that I look again, I can see that I have a ride in Sept of last year that was with my new computer, on the same route I took today, with an avg speed of 12.80 mph. Damn. But I still kicked the crap out of my average times for the couple of rides this year 🙂

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~ by Matt Stratton on July 16, 2007.

8 Responses to “Back in the saddle…”

  1. I really admire you for doing the bike thing. I wouldn’t even know how to buy a bike, let alone map out a route. But it’s something I’d love to do, since I’ll be working just three miles from home, which I’ve decided would be too far to walk twice a day. I’m just afraid it wouldn’t be safe.

    Many kudos to you for getting back on track!

  2. 3 miles is a pretty decent bike commute – no matter what your biking fitness level, it would be a quick ride and pretty easy to pull off. As far as the safety goes, it really does depend upon your area. One thing that is nice about bike commuting vs. driving is that you have the ability to take a lot more “slow” side streets, which would make your drive a lot slower, but makes your ride a lot safer (and more pleasant).

    Different cities have different levels of bike-friendliness; a lot of people would disagree, but overall, Chicago is a fairly bike-friendly city. At least the city is – the drivers might not be, but the city is pretty dedicated to encouraging biking, and there are a lot of facilities in place to help that along.

  3. I think I just need to drive it a few times and check out the different streets. My school is on the other side of my neighborhood, which is just not the same as my side of the neighborhood. (There’s a methodone clinic on the northwest corner of my school’s parking lot.) I probably just need to scope things out, I guess. Being hit by a car vs being murdered and discarded in a park. Hmmm….

  4. At least the city is – the drivers might not be…

    Oh, scary. Exactly what I was mentally interjecting while reading your previous sentence.

    You do get more support than we have in the burbs, though. When I worked at Lucent, I thought I’d try riding my bike since it was less than 7 miles from my home. But I could not see riding on the same road I usually drove, and though I found a safe and pretty alternate, the whole route was 10 miles, and just too long and sweaty for a regular commute.

  5. At least the city is – the drivers might not be…

    Oh, scary. Exactly what I was mentally interjecting while reading your previous sentence.

    You do get more support than we have in the burbs, though. When I worked at Lucent, I thought I’d try riding my bike since it was less than 7 miles from my home. But I could not see riding on the same road I usually drove, and though I found a safe and pretty alternate, the whole route was 10 miles, and just too long and sweaty for a regular commute.

  6. When you start looking, look for a commuter bike… used (so it’s not a big deal if it gets stolen), fenders, and where the top tube is low enough you don’t have to worry about dresses. If you plan to use the bike for long distances, off road etc. you will need to get some help for a proper fit.
    Klickfix has a cute basket that comes off to carry inside. My manager also rigged a twist tie thing to keep a travel coffee mug in the corner 🙂 good luck.

  7. When you start looking, look for a commuter bike… used (so it’s not a big deal if it gets stolen), fenders, and where the top tube is low enough you don’t have to worry about dresses. If you plan to use the bike for long distances, off road etc. you will need to get some help for a proper fit.
    Klickfix has a cute basket that comes off to carry inside. My manager also rigged a twist tie thing to keep a travel coffee mug in the corner 🙂 good luck.

  8. I clocked about 400 city street miles last year, and only had one really scary incident (when I was doored when I first started riding to work). I’ve definitely found that as long as I assume that every driver on the rode wants to run me down, and that any other cyclist is insane, I am pretty safe. I also have worked hard to find routes to and from work that keep me feeling secure – and riding at smart times. When I’m bike commuting, I tend to leave earlier in the morning, and leave work earlier in the afternoon, to minimize full-on traffic riding. Generally speaking, I leave around 2:30 PM on bike days, which results in fairly light traffic – if it’s going to be a later day, I tend to opt for the lake path.

    This morning I almost t-boned a chick in her SUV who was turning left onto Damen from Elston as I was going straight through the intersection; I had the green light, but she was looking in the back of her car as she turned (swatting her kids or something) – she was damn lucky I was on a bike and could swerve around her – if I was a car, she’d have been in a nasty accident. Who the hell doesn’t look where they are going while TURNING LEFT ACROSS TRAFFIC??

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