Commuting by Bike

Biking Legs

Friday Friday Friday!

Usually I run at lunch on Fridays but this Friday I decided to bike in to work. It was going to be such a nice day and I hadn’t been able to bike in earlier in the week so I switched my workouts.

It might be hard to see but there were people swimming in the Willamette (Gross)! There was a spotter in a kayak with them. I wonder what they were training for?

I was running late and had to really book it. I decided to take the Hawthorne Bridge even though I hate that bridge (it’s crowded, bikers are super aggressive, it’s hard, it sucks). It wasn’t too bad this particular morning, though.

Since I went over the Hawthorne Bridge, I got to check out the “Better Naito” bike path. They closed down one lane on Naito and made it open to just bikers (going both directions, which was slightly weird and unnerving) and walkers/runners). It’s awesome! You feel very safe in the new bike lanes and it’s a lot faster than trying to navigate the waterfront (which is currently closed anyways for the Blues Festival).

This post has better information and photos, if you want to check it out. The ride in was pretty easy and quick.

Lately I’ve been trying to bike into work once a week. I’ve noticed that I do not have my “cycling” legs back yet. It’s a struggle. I’m in ok shape right now–I work out a lot, but cycling fitness is very specific and I am so out of practice, it’s definitely harder this year. My legs just feel REALLY fatigued when I ride. 🙁

My calories were pretty low for the morning, which was weird.

Afternoon Ride

My decision to bike to work instead of drive was a good one. A few years ago I remember getting stuck in holiday traffic trying to leave work before the 4th and it took almost 2 hours to get home. It was such a nightmare!

Biking home from work was a new challenge this week. First, the Morrison bridge is closed (all summer!). So I can’t use that one. Second, the Blues Festival was going on so the Hawthorne was crazy, the waterfront was crazy, and I considered trying out the new Tillicum Bridge but I’d have to go through the chaos of the Blues Festival to get to it, so that was out. I decided to go a different route and take the Steel Bridge to the east side.

It was a hot day, too. 85 degrees!

Soooo going over the Steel Bridge was annoying in the afternoon! It was SO CROWDED!!! Like obnoxiously crowded. It took forever to get around other cyclists, runners, people walking 4 people wide, those stupid NikeTown bikes that people can rent were all over the waterfront but it was people who had clearly never been on a bike and didn’t know the rules of the road…god. It was a nightmare. I already miss the Morrison Bridge!

Once I got to OMSI it was fine. But dang, I need to find another route home!

It was a nice ride from there. I felt okay. I had leftover pizza for lunch and a protein shake for snack at work and I am kinda thinking the carbs had something to do with my better ride. My legs didn’t feel like lead or like the muscles didn’t work. It was just…better.

I got to Sellwood and back to the car and then picked up Logan. It was a good ride home despite the rocky start.

Total miles for the day: 12.75.

It was a good bike in and I missed all the bad holiday traffic, which was nice. I’m a bit frustrated that it’s taking so long for me to get back into “cycling shape” this year. I know I took almost 2 years off from biking but, still… in the past it only took a few weeks or a month or so of biking half way before I was ready to commit and bike from home and back. It could be anything…lack of desire this year (biking isn’t really the priority like running is this year), getting older, recovering from pregnancy and birth, doing a low carb diet…I don’t know. It’s hard to figure out. But I’m going to keep going! I’d like to be able to bike from home soon.

 

First Bike Ride of the Year!

I’m trying to think back to the last time I biked to work. I am pretty sure it’s been almost 2 years. I was biking to work during my first trimester but then morning sickness hit and I wasn’t feeling well enough to do it. I did not bike to work last summer at all because I was hauling a giant breast pump to work every day.

I’ve been thinking about getting back into it lately, but was struggling with how to figure out the logistics of dropping off Logan at daycare, trying to bike to work, picking him up, etc. We only have one bike rack (on Michael’s car) so I was trying to figure out the easiest way to do everything.

Tuesday morning Michael took Logan to daycare and I took his car to Sellwood and biked from there.

It was a really nice ride! The weather was the right temperature, the sun was out. The Springwater trail wasn’t crowded. I realized I forgot my bike gloves at home, but of all the things you can forget that’s a minor one. The bike shoes (since I clip in) are the worst thing to forget!

I decided to skip the Hawthorne Bridge. I thought I was running late but I had enough time so I took the Eastside esplanade to the Steel Bridge and then crossed the river there.

It was nice and pretty easy. There were only a few times on the ride that my legs felt fatigued and the small hills were a little hard. But for a first ride after so long off? Not bad!

This was the first time I used my new Garmin on a bike ride. I wore my Polar to compare the calorie burn and it was really accurate!

I biked 6.09 miles and burned 284 calories.

It’s kind of cool seeing the break down of the stats in the Garmin Connect app:

Here’s my speed and heart rate:

I felt pretty good after the ride. My goal for June, weather permitting, is to bike to work once a week. I’m hoping by the end of June I will be physically ready to bike from home. We’ll see.

I felt good all day at work. I packed enough food to keep me going. For a snack I had Fage Total Greek Yogurt with strawberries. For lunch I added a Flat-Out Low Carb Wrap to my usual turkey and cheese wrap thing (I figured adding a little bit of carbs to my day would help) with a hardboiled egg and some pickles. My afternoon snack was a 100 calorie, low carb protein shake and some watermelon.

Then I got ready to bike home!

Afternoon Ride

It was a hot day! It got up to almost 85 degrees.

I got stuck in 5 o’clock traffic downtown so I ended up getting off the bike and walking three blocks on the sidewalk to get down to the Morrison Bridge. It was definitely faster! Then I biked across the bridge. The Rose Festival rides were set up on the waterfront.

Taking the Morrison out of downtown is definitely the quickest and easiest way to bike–especially if you hate taking the Hawthorne Bridge like I do! The only downside is that the Morrison is steep and hard so your heart is pounding immediately!

I was coasting down the other side of the Morrison Bridge when I heard a weird sound on my bike. I stopped to check and didn’t see anything obvious so I kept going. (Still not sure what happened–Michael is going to look at it this weekend.)

I biked by OMSI and then picked up the Springwater Trail back to Sellwood. And it was H.A.R.D. UGH! I was biking into a hot head-wind the ENTIRE ride back. I honestly felt like I was biking in slow-motion.

The ride home was shorter but harder — 4.78 miles with 290 calories burned. I compared it to my Polar and it was very close, again. Here’s the Polar:

I picked up Logan and when we got home Michael and I took Bella and Logan for a 1 mile walk in the neighborhood. Then it was bath time for the baby and bedtime. Michael and I had dinner outside on the deck and I hit the wall hard. Seriously. Like 7:45pm came around and I felt like I was melting into my patio chair and getting up to clean the dishes and get ready for bed sounded like a monumental task.

That biking was hard today!!

Totals:

Mileage: 10.87

Calories Burned: 584 (plus extra for the walks I did too)

No shame here, I was in bed and ready to pass out at 8:30!!