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Tag: Bicycle Commuting

First Ride of the Season

First Ride of the Season

March 13 was marked twice on my calendar – the first was a reminder to change my clocks and the second was to take out my bike. I am, I confess, a fair weather cyclist. I know this may seem terribly wimpy to those of you in Canada and other snowy climates, but I do not like riding my bike in the winter in Seattle. Riding in the dark and rain, in traffic, is not my idea of fun, so I take the bus, walk or drive, depending. However, once we “spring ahead”, the day lit hours stretch long enough that I can comfortably get to work and back before it gets dark. I pulled out my road bike, checked the tires, cleaned and oiled the chain, and searched for my gear. A quick check of the weather forecast (fair weather, remember?), and I picked Thursday for my first ride.

Wednesday evening, I packed up my backpack with Thursday’s clothes, toiletries, etc. It’s hard enough to get ready in the morning – if I’m changing my routine, I’d better get things prepared the night before. Thursday morning was overcast, but chilly (yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh at me, Edmonton) when I set off. The neighbourhood streets were quiet, as the morning commute was just beginning. I crossed Salmon Bay at the Ballard Locks. It slows down my commute, because I have to dismount and walk my bike, but it’s pretty and I love seeing the water and the boats. That day, however, as the locks were closed and empty for their annual maintenance. It’s a fascinating chance to see the mechanisms that are normally underwater.

I got to work without too much effort, which is only a modest accomplishment, as my route is two-thirds downhill. I entered the parkade and was about to lock up my bike, when I realized that I didn’t have my bike lock. Doh! It must not have gotten unpacked after our move last fall. Right – time for plan B – storing it in my cubicle. It’s hard to be inconspicuous, wheeling a bike into the elevator in tights and a bright yellow jacket. Back down to the locker room to shower and change. That’s when I found the second mistake – no shampoo! Well, I could make do with soap from the wall dispenser, at least once. I had a quick shower, got dressed, went to put on my shoes…and realized that my spare shoes were upstairs, under my desk. At least I had a pair and didn’t have to wear sneakers all day. Besides, walking around in sock feet isn’t THAT eccentric, when you work with a bunch of scientists, right?

All in all, it was a relatively successful first day for bicycle commuting.

Friday’s forecast predicted a high probability for rain and for beer. I took the bus. But I did promise to be back at it the next week.