|I ride my bike
||[Mar. 13th, 2009|10:57 pm]
I got a new bike last weekend, a touring bicycle, a pretty olive green Cannondale named Olive Oyl. She's got a rack on the back for the cheapie panniers I already have and for the fancy ones I want to get.
The plan is for bike camping, so I am going to try to find waterproof, ginormous panniers that I can use to carry clothes and food and camping gear. Maybe May, possibly June. I want to go with mr_mking and drspooky and a couple of his friends, and we have to work out a route and schedules and plans and I don't even have a tent!
So I decided that in part of planning for that, I'm going to go on some longer rides more often. Weekends are fine; we went on a 12 mile ride last Saturday after I picked up my new bike. But the best way that I can find is to ride more often, during the week. How can I do that? I can commute!
Turns out there's a trail (the Capital Crescent trail) that goes from Georgetown to Bethesda, just a few blocks from my office. My office is cool with me bringing my bike inside and parking it in the empty cubicle next door. And it is relatively easy for me to get to Georgetown from my house.
I did this once before, on Inauguration Day (because I was not at all going to ride the Metro that day), and it was cold and miserable on my single speed. On my new bike, with gears, with my stuff in panniers instead of strapped to my back? Man, it was like butter. My bike is so smooth and so sweet and I love it. I got to work and even though I was 20 minutes late I was feeling good and feeling happy. I rode home from work and stopped in Dupont Circle to have some beers with some friends and then rode home from there.
I mean, it doesn't seem like a huge step, but I've been, well, not afraid really, but hesitant to ride my bike from DC out to my house because I was afraid of traffic or whatever, and tonight, I just did it.
25.4 miles total today. I'm tired, and I spent almost 3 hours of my day in the process of riding my bike, but I'm happy and I feel good and I'm exercising, and my goal is to do this AT LEAST once a week until I can do it faster door-to-door than the Metro takes (which is 1 hour). That means I'd have to be averaging at least 12mph. It's a good goal, but it may be a while.
Right now, though, I'm going to go stretch some more and sleep really well. Very soon.