Riding my Bike to Work

I rode my bike to and from work last Wednesday, and I did not die. I figured since I dropped over $150 on a brand new bike last weekend, I might as well get some use out of it. And, traffic on Tuesday morning was particularly awful and left me with a bad taste in my mouth after spending nearly an hour getting into the office (usually takes me 30 minutes or less). So on Tuesday morning, I only got halfway as ready as I normally do, threw all my stuff and a change of clothes into my backpack, strapped on my helmet, and hit the road…blind. Oops, I forgot my contacts. I didn’t feel like going back up three flights of stairs into my apartment and also did not trust the neighbors not to steal my bike in the 90 seconds I’d be gone, so I wore my glasses instead (they were in my bag). It wasn’t so bad except it was REALLY sunny and I was heading east.

The ride was completely uneventful. I was the only bicyclist who stopped at red lights. There were times I could’ve safely gone, but this was my first time riding in the city and I wanted to be extra cautious. It took me 30 minutes because I did adhere to red lights, but I was moving a lot more than I would’ve been in a car. I took a longer route because it allowed me to avoid Comm Ave, which is super hilly between Brighton and BU, and also scary because of all the delivery trucks taking up the bike lane during the rush hour.

I arrived to work plenty early and went into the brand new locker room to change and freshen up. There was just one problem. I needed more than a “freshening up.” I was disgusting. Soaked. Hot. Dirty ankles. I considered taking a shower just to cool off but how would I dry off? A roll of paper towels? Another bicyclist came in right after me and told me the showers take a long time to heat up. I think she could tell I was a newbie. I tried to cool down by splashing myself with cold water and running the blow dryer on cool, but it wasn’t doing much. I ended up taking almost 25 minutes just trying to stop sweating enough to put on makeup and head upstairs to my office. Note to self: always plan to shower after biking in 70+ degree weather, and bring a towel!

I was hot and felt tired and ravenous for the rest of the day, but actually did look forward to riding home. Except, I made another big mistake—I left my workout clothes (capris, sports bra, sport undies, and a t-shirt) rolled up in a ball in my desk drawer. They were still SOAKED at 6:30pm when I finally got the client email I had been waiting for and could head home. Oops.

Regardless, it was another uneventful ride. I was REALLY tired by the time I got home and wished a few times on the ride that I could stop, but instead I kept up with a few seemingly more serious/regular bike commuters. MapMyRun says it took me 37 minutes to get home, and I forgot to record my ride on the way into work, so I’m not sure how accurate that is.

My office parking garage has a nice little bike parking area that’s relatively hidden, and I use a Kryptonite U-lock and cable, but I am still worried about my brand new investment being stolen. Bike thefts in big cities are unfortunately common, so I went ahead and registered my bike with the National Bike Registry for a mere $10 for 10 years—it’ll last longer than the bike does! I’m PRETTY sure I got the serial number right. It’s underneath the bar between the pedals so I was actually using my phone to take photos so I could decipher it.

Anyway, I’m never going to become a daily bike commuter but I would like to try and do it at least once a week during nice weather. My plan was Wednesdays, but it looks like it’s going to be a washout this Tuesday and Wednesday, so maybe it’ll have to be Friday this week.

bike

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