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Successful Bike Day - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Successful Bike Day
Last week I didn't manage to bicycle to work at all. My scheduled Bike Day (wednesday) ended up being too rushed in the morning, and friday it was raining. Riding in the rain is okay on the way home from work. But on the way there it isn't very fun, especially since I don't have a shower at work. I'd just end up spending the day wet and muddy.

This week, on the other hand, worked well! I got up on time this morning, got ready, and pedaled happily all the way to work. I didn't even make any wrong turns this time; I'm getting my route more-or-less figured out.

I was a little worried about my injured foot. I wasn't sure if pedaling would put pressure on the wrong spot. But it turned out to be just fine! The body is an amazing thing. It still hurts to walk, but I can pedal without a problem.

That was a relief. I'd promised F that if it was hurting a mile or two out, I'd turn around and go get my car. Doing actual damage by pushing things would be bad. Neither of us want my foot to get any worse, but I really wanted to ride today! So I'm thrilled that biking doesn't aggravate it.

Incidentally, ice skating doesn't aggravate it either, which I found out yesterday after some cautious attempts. In fact my skate functions much like a cast or a brace, holding it immobile in a very comfortable way! I felt a little excessive pressure toward the end of my skate, but mostly it felt good. I'm thinking of wearing my skates all the time; they're much better for my foot than shoes.

Or I'll just start bicycling everywhere, even indoors. Just pedaling down the hallways at work.... Crazy, huh? It's walking to the water fountain that's painful, but sports hardly hurt at all. (My preferred sports, at least. I'm definitely going to stay away from running, or even walking much, until walking stops hurting.)

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johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 24th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Too bad about not having a shower at work, because riding in the rain actually IS a lot of fun.

Having a good vented rain jacket that's made for cycling and a rain cap for your helmet is a must, particularly in cooler weather. I paid about $110 for the two (I don't go for name brands or it would have been $200 and not any better). Once that's out of the way, honestly I'm exactly as comfortable in the rain as when it's dry. When it's warm it's even better because I don't get sunburn.

I haven't ridden in a full-on thunderstorm yet. I was hopeful a couple of weeks ago but the rain let up before I got out of work. The only thing that would bother me is the wind, it's hard to like wind unless it's at your back, and that never happens, somehow.

Oh yeah, fenders. Fenders are a must. Full fenders, not mudguards. I don't know why the heck they even sell bikes without fenders. At least, commuters and touring bikes should have fenders. With mudflaps. With those, you just really don't get muddy, at least not above the ankles. It can be hard to even FIND someone that sells full fenders.

I think I might be a little less comfortable in really heavy rain without a strobe on the back. Mine is wired into the bike's electrical system, but Lightman makes strobing blinkies that the cops use when working accidents, for those not willing to wire up their whole bike.

But you're right, without a shower at the end of the ride and no fenders, it would be a miserable day. With fenders, a towel in the bathroom while changing would fix it, but if you get muddy too, then forget it.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've enjoyed riding through a warm summer rain before, yeah.... but ending up at work would take the fun right out of it. I have no fenders. I don't like the idea of extra weight and noise. But I can see their usefulness -- I guess if I start commuting more regularly.

Your bike has an electrical system?! Wow. I just have a blinkie light that I clip to the back of my pants. I do have a back rack and panniers, which are wonderful for commuting.

Eventually, I'll get more equipment, piece by piece. It's a gradual thing, as I start to use it more. My latest goals are a mirror for my helmet, and perhaps clipless pedals.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 25th, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Weight, OK, they might add a pound total. I'm running SKS Chromoplastic fenders, they don't weigh much. OK, I just looked it up. 532 grams, so a bit over a pound. Noise? How do fenders make noise? If anything they damp the noise a bit, and make things a tiny bit more aerodynamic. They're banned for racing.

I'm not exactly a weight weenie. My basic load in my pannier bag is probably 6 pounds; a spare tube, multitool, tire levers, camera, the bag itself, breakfast, lunch, spare change, maybe a rain jacket depending on the forecast, crud that's been living in there for a week I haven't gotten around to cleaning out, etc. Probably half the days I have at least a couple of shirts, or a new towel, or something. Once a week or so I have an 8 pack of 16 ounce bottles of soda in there.

But honestly, I've ridden it almost bare at < 35 pounds, and loaded up at > 50 pounds, and there's no difference in the time it takes me to make the trip, or if there is, it's a fraction of the difference that a slight headwind can make. It just isn't worth worrying about. The difference between an easy ride and attacking is about 3 minutes, so unless I feel like pumping up, I just take it fairly easy; if I do want to run myself out to the limit, extra weight just helps. Heck, even towing a trailer doesn't make THAT much difference in my commute time, probably only another 3 minutes.

I suppose if I had a super light road bike and had a chance at feeling like I was flying on a feather, I'd worry about the pounds, but my bike is a utilitarian beast. It probably weighed 30 pounds before I bolted on the racks, fenders, lights, batteries, cyclo-computer, frame pump, video camera, rear strobe, voltage regulator, panniers, etc. But all that crud together probably doesn't weigh more than 10 pounds. Without the battery, < 5 pounds. My own weight can change 5 pounds in a day. The best way for me to shave the pounds off my bike would be to lay off the chocolate, but that's just crazy talk. I dropped 20 pounds in the first year I started commuting.

Since I commute all winter, my trips in start and finish hours before dawn, and I need a REAL headlight and serious rear lighting. I have an HID lamp up front, equivalent to about 50 watts of halogen lighting, which draws a bit over an amp at 12 volts, plus a rear strobe that pulls another 1/3 amp or so. At least a couple of hours runtime is nice, so I either can go two days between charging, or make it home with lights if there's a storm or fog or something. So I went with a NiMH bottle battery, which gives me 3.5 hours with everything on. It's a bit of overkill, I might try it with a set of 10 AA cells stashed in a PVC tube somewhere if I were to do it again; it's kind of a pain having the best bottle cage taken up by a battery.
From: jer_ Date: May 24th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have been mulling the idea of riding to and from school most days. I have plenty of time, but the issue I'm debating is that of odor and sweat. I sweat a LOT. No, that's a lie. 40 pounds ago, I sweat a lot, now I sweat like a heavy-sweater wearing a 40 pound track suit under his clothes. I'd require a shower after the ride before I'd be comfortable sitting in a closed room with these poor people. If only I hated them...
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Does your school have a gym with lockerrooms? How far is it?

I really enjoy riding to a place I'm actually GOING, and the feeling of accomplishment when I'm through.
murphyw From: murphyw Date: May 24th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Broke-foot" has been on my mind muchly of late. Best advice is exactly what you're doing, rest it lots. Doesn't hurt to eat some Vit I (ibuprofen) to keep any inflamation down. Stiff soled shoes (like your skates) will help too. I'm going to try out cycling later today to see if that's an exercise I can do too! (Cycling, eliptical trainers, and swimming were the advised exercises the orthopedic surgeon recommended.)

Almost all kinds of "broke-foot" result in these same treatment regimens. Which kind of "broke-foot" only changes the expected healing time.

Good luck on (and off) the foot!

renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2006 11:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks...I can believe it's been on your mind a lot! Fortunately my injury isn't as bad. It's already much better, now that I've rested it for a week. I can feel it start to twinge sometimes, but it hasn't really flared at all today. Hopefully that means

I hope you find you're able to ride, and enjoy it!
nishar From: nishar Date: May 24th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe you could go everywhere wearing in-line skates?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
ooh...excellent idea! (:
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: May 24th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay for a painless bicycle ride!

I see more bicycle riding in your near future. This weekend, even. :) Maybe it's time to hook the bicycle rack to the car. Hines Drive, anyone?
shakespeare__ From: shakespeare__ Date: May 24th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Skating <3.

I'm on a novice team now! Did I tell you that?
I have no idea how.

I'm nervous. The only thing I've ever been in is non-qualifying, and only youth and teen/open-juv.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I saw.... that is AWESOME! I think you'll really enjoy it. Qualifying is so exciting -- and you get to go to Nationals! Congrats. (:
(Deleted comment)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
*laugh* Wow, that proves my "a skate is like a cast" theory! Very cool. Maybe this will help me pass my moves....
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