Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Ride Into Work!!

Success!! Today was the first time in, and actually, the first time on the bike. I’ll talk about the return trip on another post, this will describe my first trip coming in. As I continue this, I’ll have to see what I’ll add into as far as daily info (weather, traffic, wind, etc.) so as to make it a template for each ride. 

Weather: 55 deg F. and BEAUTIFUL. Hardly any headwind and no humidity. Perfect day to ride. It’s supposed to go up to 70 F.
Time I left my house:  A little later than I scheduled- 8am on the dot.
Time I arrived at work: 8:43 am
Distance: 8.22 miles
Avg. Speed: 12.2
Max Speed: 21.1
Time: 40 min.12 sec.

Pre-game: After my wife left with the kids (Wednesdays she takes them both into Queens to her Aunt and Uncle’s) I had to unpack my FedEx package I got from Performance Bike and went through my stuff.  It took some time to pack and separate, but it was probably 20 minutes total. In one pannier I had my bike stuff (locks, tool, tire lever, tube, pump) along with my lunch and water; on the other pannier I had my clothing. 

I have to say, these Banjo Brothers Panniers are the bomb, and highly recommend them (as it was on They’re like the black hole, I kept putting in stuff and it kept taking it. Although I have to see how much actual weight I have on the bike.  A couple things I forgot, my bananas and I have this strange feeling I left the garage door open (oops). I’m hoping I didn’t… and if I did, I hope my parents close it when they get there this afternoon. They watch the little guy tomorrow and Friday.

As I left, it took a little getting used to the clips (stock pedals) on the Sequoia and a few times on the ride I had to tighten/readjust the panniers as one side was a little heavier than the other. One of the clips came off from the bottom of the rack and I had stop momentarily, and I need to adjust later on the length of how far back I need them to go as my heels bumped the bags throughout the trip on several occasions. 

Overall the ride was pleasant. I took the easier/scenic route rather than my planned as it was easier to deal with traffic…and all my fears of taking the lane at some intersections were nothing as cars have been more than accommodating as well as cautious when I signaled and made appropriate eye contact. 

This bike rocks- it’s such a joy to ride and I’m so happy I got a road bike rather than a hybrid. The zertz inserts made the bumps nonexistent and I flew at certain sections. My legs are a little wobbly but that because I haven’t been riding in so long. It's great the Sequoia has the handlebars for a good upright position as well as the drop for more aero type of position. Also has the other brake levers on top for ease of braking. 

My helmet (Giro Transfer) was light and airy, which was great since I never wore a helmet at length before, so it was nice to ‘not feel’ it.

My CatEye wireless Microcomputer is awesome. Easily read and gave me the stats above. It’s actually better technology than I have in my car right now (my faded, but spunky1996 Subaru Impreza Wagon with 80K miles on the clunker).

As I got in, I scoped out a tree in the back of the parking lot (there are no bike racks) and double locked it. I have to say, the U-lock I got from Backcountry was difficult to lock and took some time to lock the key in just right.  I locked it to a tree I have clear view from my office.

Once I got in, I quickly changed in the wheelchair accessible-bathroom: used unscented baby-wipes (thanks to the ideas from several sites) to wipe off. My clothes aren’t that wrinkled as they were rolled up (it’s business Professional here so I leave a jacket and shoes at my desk) and I leave a Bounce dryersheet in the pannier with the clothes to give it some added fragrance. I have short hair so no worries about styling or helmet head. After about 5 minutes, I was at my desk, with 6 minutes to spare before 9am.  I wonder how sweaty I’ll become in the summer, so we’ll see what happens.  Otherwise, today was easy breezy louisey.

No one really noticed anything at work- one coworker saw me walk in with my helmet and panniers, but didn’t say anything. Best not to advertise just yet. I feel they see me a poseur or worse, Steve Carell from 40 Year-Old Virgin (Schwinn Armstrong).

UPDATE: The ride home.

It’s a bit longer and takes a few minutes more to get home- I assume because of the insane post 5pm rush hour traffic. There were a few times I had to take the lane when trucks were parked in the shoulder (ie. My Lane) so it was pretty sketchy a few times and I admit I had to bail on the sidewalk for fear of getting ridden off the road, so call me a wuss. The last stretch of the ride had some considerable hills on the service road (for you LI’ers, it’s the Eastbound service road of the LIE, near the So. Oyster Bay Road exit.)  I got home around 6:10 pm which is pretty late (I left late- around 5:18 pm) with my wife just shaking her head. I know what she’s thinking- who in their right mind would double their commuting time, esp. since I need an extra hand at home with these kids???!!

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