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Friday, February 18, 2011

And the Bike Commuting Starts

This week I started my new job in Madison.  One block from the capital square.  Where there isn't parking anywhere.  Unless you pay.  Out the nose.

So I started the week parking about a mile away and walking.  Felt great!  But it was a little slow.  (I was acutally 30 min late my first day - mostly from trying to figure where I could even find a spot to park.)

On Wednesday, I loaded up the road bike and took it with.  I parked in the same area and zipped in to the office.  On a bicylce 1 mile is nothing.  So Thursday I parked a little further away - 3.4 mi and rode from there.  The weather was great - got up into the 50s.  The snow was melting.  And there was plenty of road spray.  I was wearing my work pants (dockers).  They were soaked for three hours.  While I was sitting in my desk chair in my cubicle.  That was *sooo* comfy! (Ha!)

Lesson #1 - ride prepared.  Either have extra clothes with you or ride in riding gear.  So you can change.

Finally, on Friday, I was running behind and had to park closer - 1.7 mi away.  I had on the right gear and packed my work pants.  I didn't need to today.  Roads were dry.  And so was I when I arrived at the office. 

So that was my first week - about 12 miles total.  I will park further away as I get my lungs back in shape.  I need to get a fender and a lock for my Parkway.  They don't want me keeping the bike in my work space.  And I'm not leaving the Synapse outside.  It's not a spectacular bike, but I like it and it did cost a few Benjamins.

Probably the biggest challenge to riding - other than getting out the door on time so I can be at the office on time - is my lungs.  Being asthmatic (and having not worked them for too long), they burn in the cold fresh air as I pump away.  Like my atrophied leg muscles, they'll get stronger too.

Soon, I'll be riding all the way in (only 10 miles) from home.  Looking forward to more time on the bike.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the new job! Bike commuting is AWESOME. My commute is about 8.5 miles each way, and as soon as it gets warm enough (or the roads are clear), I'll be riding in, too.

    It might be worth checking around to see if there are any garages with secure bike parking in your area. There are a few here near MIT with bike cages. You pay a nominal monthly fee to have a keycard. IMHO, that's worth it.