Monday, October 6, 2008

Commuting: Swim, Bike, Run

Today I commuted by bike for the first time. A very busy and active day. 

Got up at 5:45 to go run an easy three miler in the neighborhood. I don't really like getting up this early and often have a hard time getting moving but that wasn't a problem as I was so excited for the day. The run went well and felt good. The pre-dawn calm was eerily quiet and the air felt soft. J had a blast. This was slow but at least my HR was lower than it has been.

Then at 7:30 I headed out on the bike for the Learning Factory. I had a pretty heavy backpack which slowed me down a bit. Dropped the hill from my house and then headed up a very windy Ravenna Blvd to get down to Green Lake. Around the south of the lake and then more climbing. The traffic as not as bad as I had imagined it would be, a pleasant surprise. It did start to mist on the trip up but not too badly either. The bike felt comfortable although I was still not able to shift into the big ring and the hoods began to feel very far out the longer that I rode (can this be adjusted easily?). Riding through Shoreline and into Lynnwood was also no problem and I rolled onto campus just before 9 after 1:18 riding. A little slower than a test ride I did on Sunday but not too bad. I fully expect this to improve as I get stronger or, as Puddlethumper puts it, as I get into "biking shape". 

Got to show my bike off a bit too—took some guff about the bike not being yellow (you know who you are Mr. Post-It Note)—and then had to figure out how to get cleaned up. Baby wipes work although I had to put my riding clothes outside on a balcony otherwise my office, indeed the entire area around my office, would become rather pungent. :-P

I had so much energy and was annoyingly bouncy. So bouncy that one of the staff told me to calm down. That Americano I had before class might have made things worse. Taught (had a great conversation with my students about basic concepts in Political Science), had a meeting, got changed (putting on damp riding clothes is such a joy), and around 2 headed out for home. It was dry and a little windy as I went. At Puddlethumper's suggestion I was decided to modify the return route to head around the north of Green Lake rather than the south, a decision that would cut at least a mile off the route. 

Here is where the swimming part comes into my day. 

It was dry as I took off from the campus. Within a few minutes of riding it started raining and by the time I got to Mountlake Terrace my supposed waterproof running jacket was letting water in. It was warm and windy though and I did not mind too much although I began thinking how nice it would be to have some foul weather gear. Too bad I already spent my birthday and Christmas and mad money. :-P

The rain and the wind got much heavier the closer I got to Seattle, seeping through my helmet and running down my scalp. I REALLY started thinking about foul weather gear and worrying about all the stuff in my pack that might be getting wet because I forgot to put them in the plastic bag. Some sort of waterproof carrying device is needed, yes? 

Then I hit the hills. That is, I started descending the hills. Wow! Those brakes, they work. But OH DO THEY SCREAM. These things were so loud that small animals and babies fled at my coming. Grown construction worker people cringed but at least held their ground. Drivers startled. It was bad (and embarrassing). Something must be done! But what?

I also started noticing this white soap-sudsy stuff on the streets (anybody know what this is) and more and more standing water around Green Lake that I had no choice but to ride through, soaking my feet even more. My legs were covered in road dirt which was going to require some real scrubbing (did I mention that I need fenders yet?).  The final climb up to my house is quite steep and it took a bit of doing on the slippery pavement but I did it and rolled into my garage after an 1:12 of riding.

Showered, went back out in the rain to walk the dog (I just wanted to be warm), went to the store for dinner stuff, and then to my stretchy bendy class. 

Though tiring, this was a lot of fun and I can't wait until Wednesday where there is only a 20% chance of rain.
Quite an adventure swimming, biking and running but nothing like what Les is going to be doing this weekend

Me? I'll be trail running in Saint Edwards Park on Saturday and running the Dawg Dash on Sunday (runner #2570 on the Dash page only marginally looks like GVB. :-P )

The adventure continues. 

1 comment:

GVB said...

Where to start...
1. nice ride. not yellow. but i won't hold that against you so long as the miles start adding up.
2. Dawg Dash is confirmed.
3. We do have showers at the Learning Factory.
4. St Edwards? That's in Shackville, baby. Look me up.