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Posted by on May 14, 2008 in General | 3 comments

Commuter Log

What a morning to ride to work!! Cool, dry, light to no breeze. 23.6 miles in 1 hour 14 min. Second best time, but the judges have disallowed the 1 hour 11 minute ride as wind aided.

I was on time this morning, leaving the house right at 6:00 am. Unlike last week, I have two pairs of clean gloves (matching, which is a plus), clean socks (also matching). Stoked. Once I get my computer reset (in the dark I hit an odd combination of buttons which fouled me up for a couple of minutes) and I am off down Paletto Ave out of Sanford.

I am still using the backpack. Got lots of advice on it last week, but without the laptop, it is not bad. I can live with it. The bike feels good, so do my legs and breathing. I push it a little, knowing that Paolo Bettini, The Cricket, would be doing the same today in the Giro D’Italia. remember, though, I look more like the Big Swede Magnus Backstedt.

I also take note that today the cars are giving me more room as they pass. It is noticeable. Why? It is too early in the ride for me to smell too bad, and I don’t think I am swerving much. Could it be that they are beginning to get an idea that a bike is commuting along with them each morning? I would like to ask someone, but no one ever talks to me in the morning. They do in the afternoon, but never in the morning.

I get caught by the double light under 417. Is this my chance to ask someone? No, the light changes and I am off. I feel so good that I am in the big chainring little cassette; crosschaining and rolling along at 23+. Big Maggie would be proud, and the Cricket would be tucked in on my wheel.

Ronald Reagan Blvd is clean and clear, little traffic, I make every light before rolling into Longwood three minutes or more ahead of schedule. I cross 434 with the light (Paul Sherwood is screaming…”Unbelieveable”). Same with 436. Same again with Mailand Blvd. Why am I excited? Time. I can loose between 10-15 minutes each way waiting on lights. I hate lights. It’s hot, exhaust, I am not moving, and I always feel safer and better when I am rolling.

Flip over to Maitland Ave., then right on Oranole. Again with the cars giving me a lot of room today. I take a breath, slow down drop the chain down, bring my speed below 20, take a drink. I am not drinking enough. As I approach Wymore, there is a small line of traffic built up behind me. Last week I had some trouble waiting for cars to pass before I coulld get left to turn. Not today!! They must know I am riding like The Cricket! A real classy act from one car lets me in so I don’t miss a pedal stroke.

Back in the big ring, 24+ down Wymore, under Maitland Blvd., I see all the suckers on I-4 nearly stopped. “Hey, I could walk faster…” Woops, spoke too soon. Wymore is stopped way before Kennedy. This is where I do things I am not as proud of. As I “skate” the bike for a while down the right side of parked cars, I get to a point where there is no room. There is also no one coming North on the road. I flip over across the yellow line and race down the wrong side of the road. Sorry, gotta get to work. There are no cars coming, but as I get close to the light I get back over on my side.

Cross Kennedy. Pass Channel 2 (Wendy where are you?). Cross Lee Rd. Right on Fairbanks, through Biltmore shores drafting off an M-series BMW, we cross Edgewater together. I am early and beat the rush at Bishop Moore. Hey, here’s a thought for all you car-poolers, shouldn’t you be cutting off the engines on your SUVs while you wait in line?

Down Maury Rd to OBT. Pulling into the parking lot exactly at 1 hour 14 minutes 7 seconds.

3 Comments

  1. Whit, I know what you mean about the feeling of being on the bike. I get a client call scheduled and it’s going to make it a 32 mile round trip and I’m thinking that I’m going to be way too tired, but once I’m rolling on the road, all that feeling disappears. The breeze in my face and the sounds of the bike converting human energy to movement all make up for the negative thoughts of the day before.

    I’m hoping you’ll study up a good bit more on vehicular cycling. Your pass down the right side of traffic is really risky. The one collision I’ve had with a motor vehicle was doing just as you described. The motorist took objection to my travels and cut me off (my opinion) and he enjoyed the benefit of a traffic citation and an insurance claim. Prior to that incident, I didn’t feel comfortable riding to the right of stopped vehicles and I will not do it again.

    More disappointing is that you’ll ride on the wrong side of the road. Sure, it’s only for a moment or two, or a mile or two, but how long does it take to anger a motorist seeing the person on a bike riding in violation of Florida Statutes? “Sorry, gotta get to work.” I’d bet a lot of those people gotta get to work, and they make allowances for delays in traffic such as that.

    Congratulations on another successful commute. Perhaps you’ll become more skilled and less dangerous as you learn more of vehicular cycling and Florida Statutes.

  2. Anyone know when (or if) Mighk will be holding another Bike Ed I class?

    Even though I have been riding for years, I learned plenty there. Not just a chalk talk class, it has practical (as in riding drills) time as well.

  3. We don’t have one scheduled at the moment. But we need to get another one in before it gets too hot. I have a number of people who are interested.

    When we figure out a date, I’ll definitely post it here.