Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ride your bike to work!

It’s National Ride Your Bike to Work week, and I was determined - or maybe I should say hoping (due to the crazy wet weather we've been having) - to ride my bike to work at least one day this week.

The last time I managed a ride to work during National Ride Your Bike to Work week was my fateful ride two years ago. And no, I absolutely do not want to repeat that ride. Last year the weather prevented me from riding. This year I thought the weather was again going to get the upper hand. But it didn’t.

Wednesday morning... Alarm going off. Oh, I’d like to sleep some more! Instead I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window. It was just before sunrise, still dark but with a lightening sky. It was light enough for me to see that while the ground was still wet, it was starting to dry. And there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It’s a riding day. Happy.

Temperature-wise, it was still a little cool. But that was easily solved with knee warmers and a windbreaker. And it’s supposed to be in the 70s by the time I ride home. Wet roads... dirt kicking up off of the road and sticking to my bike. And yes, I did do a quick cleaning job at the end of my ride. I just couldn’t leave the bike sporting that layer of mud!

It was a good early morning ride. At work, I just needed to hope that the 20% chance of rain for the late afternoon didn’t turn into a wet reality. And I needed to hope that the predicted wind would be helpful rather than a hindrance. The forecast was calling for a west wind between 10 and 14 mph with gusts as high as 26 mph. Since my ride home is to the north and east, the wind definitely didn't get in my way!

The nice blue sky started to be obscured by clouds around noon. And by 1 o'clock, everyone was telling me it was going to rain. Tell me it isn't so! The gray lifted by later in the afternoon, and while the clouds remained it didn't look as threatening. I headed for home without my extra layers, but I made sure that my jacket was easily accessible.

Dry, dry, wet! It started sprinkling when I was about six miles from home. Just sprinkles, no need to stop. Oh, the rain is starting to increase. OK, time for my jacket. Wait - now it's raining steadily... And that steady rain kept up for quite a while. It stopped about a mile from the end of my ride. Ah, home! My first task was to clean and re-lube my bike (she would have complained loudly if she wasn't taken care of as soon as we arrived home). Then it was time for my own shower. My nice yellow jacket had a muddy stripe down the back from the road dirt kicked up by my tires, so a load of laundry was in order too.

Yes, it was a messy ride home - but I'm glad I was able to ride my bike to work today!

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