Cycle Commute Update
When biking it, I leave home about a quarter hour earlier, not because it takes more time to get to work, but because I do not want any complaints if I am late. I lock my commuter bike up in the stairwell of the parking garage while it is still dark outside, and cross the skywalk into the hospital. My bike gives me one of the best parking places there. I shower off the sweat and road grime in the locker room prior to donning my scrubs.
Pedaling home through some of the congested downtown area, it is difficult to avoid riding on the sidewalk against traffic. The streets are no longer clear in the afternoon. Automobiles are parked on both sides ready to door me unexpectedly, squeeze me in between each other, or turn in front of me without warning. On some of these old narrow streets, taking a lane is simply not an option. Automobiles have problems getting through. Mixing with traffic where the other guys are already having fender benders is a recipe for disaster. I go slow when I ride the sidewalk, no faster than a pedestrian, but I still feel like I need a bell on my handlebars, and I still feel guilty for doing it.
Louisiana is in the middle of Summer and approaching huricaine season, so the humidity and heat is a challenge. I refuse to buy biker shorts, let alone a jersey, prefering a pair of cotton gym shorts and a T-shirt. Thus far, this choice has worked well. As it gets colder, I will switch to sweats.
I stuck a Copenhagnen Cycle Chic "Style Over Speed" sticker on my top tube. It makes me smile. This bike and my riding it to work is the antithesis of style. It's an out of date, discarded and rebuilt mountain bike, about as stylish as Smith & Wesson Model 10 at a Heckler & Koch Convention. Still, I guess it has a style in it's own way, like an upraised finger towards the attempts by the bike industry to cash in on the increase in bike commuting.
Which brings up another issue........ It's strange that not one bicyle manufacturer has marketed a bike specifically for the US commuter. It makes me wonder just what that bike would look like if it appeared on the market. Would it be a bomb proof single speed? Geared? Similar to a road bike, or more like a mountain bike? Personally, I think that the commuter bike I built is about perfect for my needs.
Labels: Bike Journal