Tag Archives: bike

100 Miles

Just over two years after buying my Trek, i have finally crossed the 100 mile mark. Yeah, I know. Pathetic. Right after I bought it, I rode it everywhere. To the grocery store. To the movie rental place. Never to work, thought, because after buying it I decided it was just too dangerous riding down Harrodsburg road.

So, today I rode to work the second time, and just before I got here the odometer turned 100 miles. Finally.

I’m really determined to get to the point where I’m biking to work 2 or 3 times every week.

On a related note, it appears that the Trek site has rearranged their URL schema, and my link to the information about the 7.3FX from my earlier posting is now broken. But I don’t dare update the link, or Habari will mark the article as new again in the RSS feed. Grr. I sure hope someone fixed that bug soon.

bike to work day

Finally biked to work on my 7.3FX that I bought 2 years ago for the specific purpose of biking to work. I never did before, because Harrodsburg Road is a good place to get killed. But now I have a sidewalk (almost) all the way to work, although the last 2 years of construction on Clays Mill have left the sidewalk a rather pathetic shadow of its former self, with breaks every dozen yards.

Took 20 minutes, and I wasn’t above 7mph more than 2 or 3 times. But once I get past the rubber-legs phase, I figure I can do 15mph the whole way and get here in half that time. Really looking forward to not being out of breath after walking up the stairs. Perhaps biking to work isn’t enough to get me back in shape, but it’s a start.

Stolen bike locks

Matsu posted about locks, indirectly, in reference to folks getting sued for exposing vulnerabilities. Fortunately, my bike lock isn’t susceptible to this vulnerability.

The lock on my bike is a chain with a combination lock that I’ve had for 23 years. It was the lock that was on my locker at Florida High School, in Tallahassee, and apparently I stole it from my locker when I left there. For years, it sat in various crates and boxes as I moved around, and I rediscovered it last month when I was looking for my other bike lock.

I remember coming across it at various times over the years, and feeling vaguely uneasy about it. I don’t remember the exact incident, but I *seem* to remember that I swapped it for another lock, because I thought it likely that whoever had the locker the previous year might remember the combination, as I remembered my combination from the previous year’s locker. Whatever the real story is, I still have this lock, and, through some bizarre trick of memory, my fingers remembered the combination, although I couldn’t think of it when I stared at it at first.

Pedal straps

I went one more step and got some toe straps. The way that these seemingly simple things work is that rather than just pushing the pedals, now you’re pulling too, so every stroke is twice as strong. I just rode down to Great Harvest for breakfast, and the difference was immediate. Now I’m going 10 and 11 mph on the uphills, rather then 5 or 6, and going 22 on the flats, rather than 13. Of course, now my legs hurt in all new places, too.

So, a couple more days of practice, and I might be ready to make my friends, family and coworkers more nervous by biking all the way to work.

Getting there …

Signs are good that I’ll be back in shape fairly quickly, if the first two days can really be anything to judge by. Yesterday I rode 4 miles, with a significant rest at the 2 mile mark, and ended up feeling like rubber. Today I rode just over 6 – out to SFOJ and back – and felt tired but not utterly wiped out at the end of it. On Saturday afternoon, I’m going to try biking all the way out to Wilmore – or perhaps I’ll do it on Sunday. It depends on … stuff. But I think there’s a reasonable chance that I’ll make it Hopefully I won’t have to bum a ride back. šŸ˜‰

And the winner is …

After much deliberation, I finally settled on the Trek 7.3 FX. I don’t know if this actually is in line with anyone’s recommendations, but I found your recommendations helpful anyways. I took it out for a short spin today, reinforcing what I already knew – I’m in terrible shape. I rode just over 4 miles – down to the Walmart and back – and had a peak speed of about 21mph. When I got back home, my legs felt like rubber. So I’m clearly going to have to work up to this. But I’ve determined to do this thing, and by Yuri I’m going to.

Oh, and at 12mpg, and $3 per gallon, I saved $1 on my trip down to Walmart.

Bike to work

Long ago, I determined that I would bike to work every day – or at least when it’s not raining.

I did this a total of twice before wimping out. The main reason I wimped out was that I had a cheap bike that didn’t gear properly, and made it extremely hard to bike efficiently.

Fast-forward about 6 or 7 years, and I’m considering it again. As I likely mentioned before, I’m looking for fuel-saving alternatives, without actually having to get rid of my gas-guzzling Jeep, which Sarah and I both love, but which we can’t afford to drive at $3 per gallon. And, since it’s paid for, it would be an enormous financial strain to trade it in and pick up a car payment.

I briefly considered a motorcycle, but the more I think about it, the more it frightens me. Yes, I expect it would be a lot of fun. But it would only take one careless move to break bone and bank.

So I’m considering investing in a real quality bike that I can ride to work 2-3 days a week. This will save $100+ a month in gas, and get me in much better shape into the bargain. It’s only 12 miles one way, so presumably I can do it in 30 minutes or less once I get in shape.

I’ve looked at several different bikes, all of which are considerably more expensive than I expected. But if it really saves me that much in gas, and if I can really discipline myself to do this 2-3 days a week, then it would more than pay for itself in savings and health benefits.

Any bikers out there willing to recommend a particular model for a 12-mile each way jaunt to work? I guess I was willing to spend about $2k on a motorcycle, so I’m willing to spend perhaps half that on a bike if it’s good enough to actually help me stay disciplined to do this thing.

Addendum:

My brother-in-law recommended the Koga-Miyata company as a good one to look at, and the Randonneur looked VERY sweet, if rather pricey. Don’t know if they are available in the US.