My big plan to bike to work has been curtailed once again. Literally, "the will is there but the body is weak". I had no idea how hard it is to bike 14 miles to work!
It took me forever to plan the route and talk myself into riding to work. I got the bike ready, told co-workers and family and then had to face the inevitable ... and actually ride the bike.
The valiant effort
Now, I do know how to ride a bike. I used to ride my bike to school every day since second or third grade. But I haven't ridden in the street since 2000 when I fell off my bike when I hit the curb wrong, let go of the handle bars and landed on my face which broke my jaw in 3 places. I recovered fine from the spill, but I'm timid when riding on the street, which is the first and last part of my trek to work.
But I have a nice Trek comfort bike and the center of gravity is positioned more like a cruiser. The likely of a wipe-out on this bike is a lot less likely then on my previous road bike.
So, before actually hitting the route to work...yes I know I'm killing you! I decided to just ride around where I live. I wanted to get used to street riding again. One Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I did just that. And wow what an eye opener.
Still not there yet
First of all, it was a lot harder than I expected. I don't live in a flat area so the little hills were a challenge to go up, but fun to coast down.
Second, 14 miles is farther than I expected. I didn't even ride 14 miles that day and it took me 90 min because I was slow on the up hill and had to stop at the traffic lights. My ride to work takes me onto a path so I won't have as many stops but I will encounter as many hills. My test run was also about 10 miles, so I should estimate a 2 hour ride to be safe. Since I need to be at work by 6:30am I'll need to leave my house at least by 4:30am. At 4:30am I can barely find my bathroom from my bedroom let alone try to balance on a bicycle! So, I need to build up some speed to keep from having to get up so early before I make this ride to work.
So is there any benefit in this sad story? Yes, I learned I can run errands using my bike. The 2 paniers are the size of 2 large grocery bags. I have plenty of room to make a trip to the supermarket. I used my bike to drop of 2 bags of clothing at a collection site near where I live. So, yes I'm making progress and will continue to choose my bike over the car for those trips under 10 miles from my house. I still want to someday ride to work, but I will need to work on increasing my speed and shaking off the excuses!