Wednesday, May 17, 2006

On The Road Again


I have been anticipating the return of commuting to work via my bike. It's been a long winter and the weather has been teasing me with the possibility of a ride to and from work. Every time it has looked do-able, I have had a meeting, a trip, or something to carry that prevented a ride to work. Note to partners and would be thieves: I don't bike with my laptop.

Monday and Tuesday, I was ready to go but made the serious mistake of listening to the weather forecasts. Both days were supposed to end in rain but turned out just fine. This morning looked very nice but, again, showers were predicted for the afternoon.

I gave up listening to the forecast and headed out on my bike at 7:00 this morning. The ride was surprisingly easy for the first of the year. I averaged 15 miles per hour on busy streets. I did not switch gears much; staying manly in the middle cog and big chain ring. I'd shift to the small chain ring at intersections and to get started from a stop. Incidentally, I had the granny ring removed.

Certainly, this was much better than the first commute of last year. The highlight was when I was almost squashed by a woman in a beat up Corolla pulling away from the curb without checking her blindspot and a Lexus backing 50 yards at 25 MPH to get to the not-yet-vacant space. I would have been the only thing between them and totaling their vehicles. Luckily, the Corolla finally saw me when I was swerving toward the middle of the street and the Lexus stopped. Of course, based on what I could see riding past, it appeared that all involved blamed me for my near fatality.

The weather was perfect. It was a bit cool on leaving but by the time I was 20 minutes into the ride, I was glad I was in shorts. The bike felt great. Props again to the guys at Turin that tuned it up. At some point, they will notice my shameless plugging and throw me a free pair of shoes or something.

Fast forward through most of a day of work.

Around 3:00, it is clouding up. By 4:00, it is dark. At 4:30, there is serious rain followed by a 10 minute hail shower. Damn! The weather guy got it right.

I got to work today without a briefcase. That means no umbrella. Also, no raincoat or coat of any kind. I snagged an umbrella from the closet (the nearly last one in the office gets to do that) and headed out. Not a cab to be seen. After waiting about 10 minutes, I started to walk to the train station is a downpour. By the time I got there, about a mile later, I had missed my train. At least the rain let up. And really, it was not that bad.

On the up side, I had McDonald's in the station and get to ride home tomorrow.

Cue Willie Nelson . . . or Roger Miller . . . .

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