Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back On Two Wheels

During the school year, I need a car. I eat lunch with my grandkids two days out of the week, and pick them up after school. But towards the end of May, with gas prices climbing, I started thinking about cycling to work. I have an extensive background in cycling including racing road and mountain bikes, and serving for two years as the president of the San Angelo Bicycling Association. I cycled a lot when I first moved to Corpus Christi including a 22 mile one-way work commute. But unlike San Angelo, where I always felt comfortable on the road, I always felt like I was living dangerously riding in Corpus. After picking myself up after being forced into a roadside ditch for the second time, I gave up my work commute, and pretty much gave up cycling altogether shortly thereafter.

One problem I was facing with returning to two-wheeled commuting was that my good bike had been stolen, and all I had left was an old Schwinn city-bike that was missing a rear brake and had a broken rear shifter. This is the bike I described in my earlier post on doing cycle sprints around my house. So towards the end of May I ordered a $1.99 friction thumb shifter and a rear brake set from Bike Nashbar. But that stuff sat on the bench for a few weeks because I didn't feel motivated to start the commute. Riding into work is fine but the return trip was not something I looked forward to. That's because at this time of year, the ride home is hot, humid, and normally into a 15mph (or greater) headwind. Plus the roadway is very busy and not very bike friendly. So I just wasn't motivated enough to get started. That all changed yesterday when I got close to the gate of the Naval Air Station and found traffic backed up to the highway. Normally there are three lanes of traffic coming in that narrows to two after getting past the guards. Well for the next month it's going to be two lanes narrowing to one! That's all the incentive I needed. I went home last night and installed the shifter and the rear brake, and this morning I rode to work. The gym is only a couple blocks from my office so I stashed my clothes and work-out gear in my wife's car (she comes in a 3 a.m. to work out and opens the gym at 5), so it really works out well. I got in early enough to get in a quick workout (pull ups and push ups) before showering and heading to the office. It's a great way to start the day!! I'm not particularly looking forward to the ride home, but I don't mind when I consider all the benefits that come with riding


Marc said...

Awesome!!!! Just like a good little Dutch boy ;-)

Dave Clary said...

But it was with a Schwinn instead of a Gazelle! :-) And riding in Corpus Christi doesn't compare to riding the the sand dunes around Zandvoort and stopping for a cappuccino!