Thursday, December 13, 2007


Well, I like commuting. I'm glad for the "excuse" to ride 16 rolling-t0 hilly miles 3 days a week, I'm gaining some fame for same at the daycare center "You ride 16 MILES to work??? I couldn't ride 16 FEET."

Some things have taken some practice to get the knack. Like getting from the right-lane bike lane across two right-turn lanes into a left-turn lane. Takes a couple over-shoulder glances, a rearview mirror, a good signal with my bright-red bike-gloved hand, and some quick pedaling. Then I wait right smack in the middle of the lane in line with the cars, to make sure they see me and don't try to squish past me. I try to remember to gear down before stopping at a light, to make acceleration faster when it turns green.

The one VERY BIG KILLER HILL in my last mile, well, it gets easier each time. Only on one day have I weenied out and walked it, and that was after having done a 4-mile tempo run before changing clothes and jumping on the bike. I thought as I approached the hill, gosh, I ran hard, I'm a little tired, maybe I'll walk some of the hill..... and I knew right there I was screwed. If I even let myself THINK I might walk.... I might as well just get off and walk, because it's over.

So now I don't think whether I might walk. Today I did a combo of 8 pedal strokes standing and 8 sitting. That made the hill go a little faster but also got me winded. I've got a cold, though, so maybe after it's gone the stand-and-pedal system won't whup me.

Fiberjoy made an interesting comment about my orange-hunting-vest-wrapped backpack -- but, hokey as it may look, I'm keeping it! I think I'm a lot more visible with a blaze-orange humpback than I would be with my plain maroon backpack on my maroon bike, even with a lime-green jersey, which isn't bright day-glo Safety Green, just humdrum lime green. If I look weird and someone takes a second look, that second look may be what keeps me from getting pushed into the ditch, or into the next traffic lane.

And Kent added a good comment, too. Gosh, two new visitors to one post, gotta love it!

1 comment:

Doug said...

Ellie, thanks for stopping by my hiking blog. I don't update that blog as often as I update my cycling blog. Since finishing our 2 year trail project in 2007, we are looking forward to getting back to more backpacking next year.

Back in 2001 we thru-hiked the AT ourselves. It was the best experience ever!! I can't recommend it enough.

Minnesota has quite a few marathons. The two best are the Twin Cities Marathon in October or Grandma's Marathon in Duluth in June. I ran the Twin Cities once way back in 1987. It's a beautiful urban course.