A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, July 18, 2008

First Commute

A big orange moon hung in the black sky as I left my front porch. It was 0525. I took the commuter bike to work for the first time today. I had installed a Planet Bike Beamer 3 headlight on the handlebars and two Planet Bike Super Plus 2 Extreme Blinkies on the rear basket. Super Blinkies I had purchased them from Amazon.com for $16.45 and $17.80, respectively. That was a hell of a deal. Check my Amazon widget in the sidebar of this blog for them.

The Beamer 3 headlight cast a white beam of light in front of me that was enough to make sure I saw the road ahead, and that oncoming traffic could see me. To the rear, I was lit up like an ambulance headed for a trauma center. The Super Blinky Extremes are retina burning bright. There is simply no way a motorist can claim to have not seen them. None. Alley cats flew into epileptic fits as I passed.

My commute is not that long, nothing to brag about, and not really notable except it was my first time commuting by bike since 1985. I locked up the bike, removed the lights, and easily made it through the ER doors in time to change into my scrubs. I was checking the case log well before 0600.

One of my younger scrubs was amazed that an old man would pedal to work. "Totally awesome!" was his response. My partner wondered which bike I rode, he knows I have several. I told him it was an old converted pawn shop bike that I didn't have to worry about being stolen. A thirty dollar bike with a seventy dollar lock. When we were done with cases, I changed back into my biking togs, and we walked out into the parking garage where the rusty black beater was still locked up to the staircase. "Cool!" he said. He understood.

As I reattached the front wheel to the fork, my partner mentioned that he had a couple of old Murray mountain bikes that I could have if I wanted them. "Parts is parts," I replied. "I'll take them."

The Louisiana sun was beating down and bouncing off the blacktop as I pedaled back home. I needed a shower when I got home, but then, I shower off anyway after work. A lot of cyclists rhapsodize about how invigorating it is to ride to work, and how the ride back home cleanses the soul. I won't go that far.

I'm not biking the commute to save save the planet, or even save gas. I'm biking for myself. Several nights ago, I weighed myself for the first time in over a year. I found that I had somehow lost twelve pounds. The only reason that I could find for that loss was my return to bicycling. By biking to work, I hope to get in enough pedal time to lose some more.

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Blogger dropdownstairs said...

since you like to hack your ride...
found some links for you.

tinyurl.com/6k5o8j in plastik
tinyurl.com/ekwhk in steampunk metal
the recc MR16 Bulb 20 watt can give you 400, 800 or 1250 lumins...wow
chart at

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

Miles? I thinking about it...riding, that is.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Turk Turon said...

Ah that takes me back! About 10-15 years ago.
I used to commute on a bike, nine miles each way. The company had a shower! So I would hop out of bed and onto my bike, shave and shower at work and put on nice clothes. The company had a secure storage room just off the loading dock, so safe storage was a snap. When I got moved to the night shift it created a new challenge of biking home at 2-3 AM, through empty city streets (Washington, DC) and miles of inky-black park trails (George Washington Parkway Trail) with no overhead street lamps. So I got a rechargeable camping spotlight and bungee-corded it to the handlebars. This thing had self contained nicad batteries and would run 50 minutes at 250,000 candlepower. It was brighter than most car headlights, seemed to me. It was heavy and unwieldy but it did the job. It took a full eight hours to recharge it. Cost was under $30 if memory serves.
I like your picture ... it looks very Steampunk.

8:08 AM  
Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

You (and others) inspired me. I'm working on a blog post, which should be up shortly.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Lunatic Biker said...

Well lit is good. I ain't out to save the planet either. I just happen to hate driving a car.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Edwardo said...

I love Planet Bike. Some time back they had a flood sale. Their warehouse got flooded and stock sitting on the floor was greatly reduced. I got a great fully functional floor pump at a fraction of the original cost. Good job on the commuter bike. I'm so jealous!

9:14 AM  

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