Bike to Work – June 04

Bike to Work – June 04

Originally uploaded by plounsbury.

2nd day of the “Bike to Work” contest being held by Rock ‘n Road Cycle.

Today’s numbers:

  • 34.12 miles total
  • Average speed: 12.2 mph
  • Max speed today was 26 mph (pedaling downhill off the Consumers Energy bridge)

I was fully expecting rain on the way home today but didn’t get a drop. What I did get was tons of hard wind, and when you’re riding a bike, the wind really sucks. You pedal twice as hard and seem to go half as fast. For example; The hill I hit 26 mph on this morning, coasting down the same hill this afternoon I hit 9.6 mph. The wind is holding me down. Just like “The Man.”

Some other things I’ve learned so far:

  • Bike shorts. These are absolutely necessary. The first day I wore regular shorts and my ass was killing me. You don’t have to look like a complete tool in spandex either, I found a pair of shorts from a company called Hind that are a little roomier. They still look pretty dorky though. I guess that’s just the way it goes with bike shorts.
  • Eyewear. The wraparound Oakley’s that you see most people wearing aren’t just to make them feel cool, I’ve discovered. After riding in this morning it felt like my bottom eyelids were stuffed with pollen spores. Then, riding home in the wind there was all kinds of crap blowing around, almost all of it blowing directly into my eyes somehow. I need to get a pair of glasses or something.
  • Bike path vs. Shoulder of the road. Moving here from a place that didn’t even have sidewalks, I’d always loved how the county had taken the effort to build paths just for bikes. But, it always pissed me off to see cyclists still riding on the road in traffic, right next to a perfectly good bike path! Well, these last two days have shown me that there’s a reason or two that these people stick to the road. The biggest one being that cars at an intersection or in a driveway don’t stop at the bike path, they drive right through it and stop at the road. That means I have to slow down and keep my eyes peeled at pretty much every sidestreet and driveway from here to Holland. The other thing, the road is actually smoother, straighter and flatter, it’s easier to travel than the windy, bumpy, up-and-down terrain of the bike path.

Lastly, if you’re going to be riding your bike on the road, get a road bike. Don’t be stupid like me and buy a mountain bike just because they look cooler. One more reason that I need to win this bike.

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