Changes, So many Changes

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It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since I last rode a bicycle to work. For those readers who haven’t followed my previous blogs, I was known as the guy that would ride his bike to work every single day of the year no matter what the weather. From -32 degrees Fahrenheit to 101 degrees, from rain, to snow, to blizzard conditions to sideways sleet. I didn’t own a car from July of 2002 to March 2017. Bikes were my main mode of transportation.

Why did I stop riding bikes to work? That’s a long conversation. I’ll say this, it came down to changes in jobs and aging/health issues. Nothing serious. Back in 2014/2015 I hit a point I couldn’t recover well from five days in a row of bike commuting. I decided to save my limited energy for the recreational/adventure rides I love so much. Then in March 2017 I got hired at my present employer. I needed a car some days for the work I was going to be doing. So I bought a car. It’s the first car I’ve bought since 1995.

Recently I realized how much I was missing my bike commutes. I also realized I only need a car available to me at work 2-3 times a month. This past month I didn’t use it once during the work day. I decided it was time to get back into some limited bike commuting. This week I rode a bicycle to work and home both Monday and Tuesday.

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I can’t tell you how fantastic it was to be riding a bike to work again. I was reminded of how alert I feel by the time I arrive to work. I’m more productive and just feel better emotionally and physically.

From 2001 to 2015 I worked for one employer. I had a secure place to park my bicycles. Thinking I may work there forever, every successive bike I bought got more and more expensive. This caused a dilemma for me at me current employer. There is no secure place to park a bike at this building. Or I should say, no place I felt was secure enough to leave my bike locked up all day. I thought if I could bring my bike in the building I have plenty of room in my office. But, my office is a long walk from the front door and requires me to go up one floor, navigate that floor before going back down one floor to where my office is located. I figured it best if I asked permission. I finally had the opportunity to broach the subject with our company CEO. She was completely on board with my request. IMG_5716

I didn’t have my Brompton in mind when I made the request. Once I thought about it, the Brompton is the perfect bike for this mission.

Once again, I am a bicycle commuter. It has made me very happy. I will be a part-time bike commuter, but I’ll take it.

What else is new? I purchased a couple of Revelate Designs bags for my Pugsley. Currently I use my Pugsley as my all-road/trail bike. A friend and I are planning a bikepacking overnighter before Fall. Even though I have front and rear racks and an assortment of panniers to choose from for the Pugsley, I thought I’d invest in some of the fancy dancy bikepacking gear.

I haven’t test loaded them yet. I’m looking forward to using them. Stayed tuned for a trip report once this trip happens (might be mid September).

 

Northern Spring arrives.

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Photo. Finish.

Finally a weeks worth of warm weather forecasts. We were supposed to hit a high of 62degF. We hit 70F degrees in my neighborhood. I point out “neighborhood” because depending on your location in respect to Lake Superior there can be a 15 degree difference in different parts of town. It was one of those days where the grass is starting to green, the sun feels hot, and people are in shorts and t-shirts. And you finally get the feeling it just might stick this time. It really does happen late here.

I rode past the local high school on the way home from work today. A big multi-school track meet was happening. I stopped to watch a few minutes. They were running heats of the 100 yard dash. I can remember just three years ago the track you see in the picture still had several inches of ice and snow on it only a week earlier.

Welcome Spring!

Avoiding Traffic

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I’ve learned a few things filming the rides I do with the Cycliq Fly6 taillight/camera. One of the purposes, I believe, of the camera is to capture video proof of dangerous road users. Mainly vehicles that may endanger you or harass you while you are out using the roadways legally.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is, I’m really good at taking low traffic roads most of the time. I don’t get passed by a whole lot of vehicles. I don’t think I do this consciously. I just take routes that are lesser traveled.

I’ll even take the alleyways through business districts or residential neighborhoods.

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I know a handful of alleys in my town I can go for 10 or 15 blocks and avoid a lot of traffic congestion. I usually have the alleys all to myself. Any vehicles I meet in an alley are typically traveling at a very slow rate of speed.

Need to bypass some traffic. Check out the alleys.

Happy Riding.