Commuting To Work
Last week I told you how I got my hands on a touring bike for free and with a little elbow grease managed to get it running smoothly. Well this week I decided to do my bit for the health of the planet by biking into work. On Saturday I did a test run to make sure I could carry everything I needed each day. This went well so I felt I was ready for day one of going to work on my bike. Monday morning came and I opened the curtains to heavy rain. Oh well I thought I’ve got to start sometime so there’s no point in putting it off. I got on my rain proof gear and got my bike out. I am very fortunate where I live that I don’t have to go onto the roads to reach work as we have a fantastic network of cycle paths. It is also fortunate that I don’t have very far to go. This means that I can wear my regular work clothes and get there without breaking a sweat.
All went well on the first run despite the rain. I found that I enjoyed the ride; there is something great about not getting in the car, plus the bonuses of not having to sit in traffic jams etc. I know at this point that it is a novelty to do this but I have the feeling that I will keep it up even though I’ve only done it for a week.
I haven’t had the best year in terms of getting out on my bike so next spring I am determined to hit the ground running as it were by keeping myself riding every day through winter, if possible. For me the daily commute is going to be a great way of doing this. After just three days of cycling in I decided that although it’s only a relatively short distance, I should make it count, so I have been pushing a little harder each day. A bit like a short sprint to work, just enough to get the heart and legs going each morning and evening.
My plan is that this will carry me into the weekend where hopefully I will make the time to go for a longer ride and really make it all count.
Thursday and Friday it suddenly got cold which was a bit of an eye opener, luckily I am well prepared for it so I feel confident that I can carry on through the winter without to many problems. After just one week of commuting, my nice shiny bike was looking like it just been through a muddy field. I also plan every couple of weeks to give it a good wash down and going over with some water repellent spray. I have friends who also commute every day and some of their bikes are in a terrible state because of the lack of maintenance.
This weekend with luck I will get my (proper road bike) out for a nice long ride through the lanes around my area. I do have plans to take this apart over the winter months for a bit of a rebuild. The alloy drop outs are showing signs of corrosion so I plan to strip off the old lacquer and re finish them. It will give me a good opportunity to go through the whole bike and get it into top shape ready for spring. It is nearly ten years old now and still looking almost like new so with a bit of extra work it will give me many more years of service.