By | September 27, 2012
I don’t get to participate in CYCLEBUTTCRACK shenanigans as often as I would like.  In addition to CYCLEBUTTCRACK, I have a wonderful girlfriend, full time job, family obligations, a house to care for and a cat named Sparkplug.  Like most of you, it is hard for me to find time to ride.  Another problem is that my petrol monster keeps demanding gasoline to take me from place to place.  The solution to two of my problems…  Bike commuting!!!  Like most things that take effort, I can make a thousand excuses not to ride.  They include, but are not limited to:  my feet hurt, it takes too long, I work the evening shift and it will be dark when I ride home, it is getting colder, I have too much stuff to carry, and I am cold and there are wolves after me.  Well a couple weeks ago I fought through the evil clutches of lethargy and bike commuted for the first time in over a year.  It was also the first time I had ridden Since RSVP over three weeks before.  These are my observations…    
Cycle Commute Day 1.
I commute 17 miles each way.  I follow the east side of Lake Washington as I head north to Bellevue.  There is some rolling terrain.  Overall a nice little ride which is on 85% bike paths or bike lanes.  By the way, a 17 mile commute is a different animal than a 50 mile training ride.  It may take me 15 miles or longer to get into my rhythm on a training ride.  When I ride my bike to work, I want to go NOW NOW NOW!  The faster I can get there, the better.  Since my last bike commute was a year ago and I had not ridden in a while, that was more than just a little bit of a shock.  My top end, climbing and sprinting power were gone, I was easily winded and I found myself pooping out before I crested hills I am used to powering over.  I was also wearing a Deuter 30 Futura Zero backpack with 16 lbs. of clothes, tools and food in it.  I really felt as though this extra weight was weighing me down.  Despite all of this, I made it to work in 1 hour 4 minutes and 30 seconds of rolling time.  The last time I rode it, it took me 1 hour 7 minutes.  Not Bad J  I work at a gym, so I am able to shower before work. 
‘The Long and Windy Road’ home.  The ride Home was an adventure of its own.  I have a little LED headlight and a tail light.  It was a warm night, but the moon was not out.  Let me tell you that the trails on the east side of Lake Washington are DARK!!!  There were times when the only thing I really knew was that I was on the trail.  I could not tell how fast I was going or even if I was going flat or uphill.  It is really disorienting!  At any moment I feared a wolf would jump out of the darkness and eat my face.  Once I made it through the trail and onto city streets, I was fine.  My head lamp and tail lights ensured that I was visible to traffic.  I actually enjoy riding at 11:00 at night.  There was hardly any traffic on the roads on my route.  I have a big climb up to my house to contend with on the route home.  It took me 1 hour 13 minutes to make it home. 

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