Yesterday was my first real commute with the new panniers. My wife scheduled a massage for me since I have been having quite a bit of tension in my shoulders. Stress is the bastard child causing it all. Knowing you have a limited time at your current workplace is hard on you. Right now, it is not easy finding a job in a new field. Yes I have the chance to start something new, but at the same time, I lack the “experience” in that industry. I will keep trying though.
As for the commute, it was great. The temperature was around 70*F, a slight breeze and sunny. I just did not see the sense in driving my car to the place, when it only takes me about 10-minutes to ride there. I hopped on Google and it said it is a 5-minute drive. Honestly, it was nice knowing I was getting a little physical activity in instead of just sitting in a car. Besides, who could sit in a car on such a gorgeous day?
I showed up to my destination and unfortunately they do not have a bike rack anywhere. What a shame. I ended up finding a trash can to bolt up to. It had a nice thick metal frame and was located right by the door. People could keep an eye on it while I was inside. I have two U-locks and one cable. I just want to make my bike as unappealing as possible, reducing the chances for it to be stolen. So far, it has worked very well.
I must admit, when I first was checking out the “beta” version of the bicycle routes on Google maps, I felt like the time they listed to arrive at the destination was wrong. I calculated it to right around 11mph. I kept telling myself, but you ride over 20mph on your training rides, 11mph is nothing! This is true to an extent. Once I realized that sometimes you do not want to arrive somewhere sweaty, then 11mph is more realistic. I found myself cruising between 11mph and 14mph. Anything over 14 would make me start sweating some. I had about 2 minutes left in my ride when I slowed to 10-11mph. This allowed what little sweat that started a chance to evaporate off. It is like a “cool down” after a long ride. You do not just stop, you lower your power output and spin easy.
I arrived, locked up the bike, removed my panniers, got the massage, and put everything back on the bike. I did realize that I do not wish to wear a strap around my ankle anymore. The strap keeps my pants from hitting the chain and ring. If it does, then my pants get covered in grease. I think it may be time to get a cheap guard for the bike. That way I do not need to hook up the strap, just hop on and go.
I did get a bell for the handle bar. I felt that the sound would carry better than having to yell “on your left” to a person power walking and most likely wearing headphones. I honestly felt that is a good upgrade. The bell is sharp and clear and gets the attention of people. I hooked up my lights as well to test them out. They will work very well. I have one flasher, one constant on, both front and back. I plan on possibly riding to my Bible study class on Tuesday mornings. The lights will keep me visible in the early morning commute to the church and also allow me to see the road easily. We shall see. I want to time it one day just to get an idea of how long it takes. For now, I will just stick with the small trips.