Commuting by Bike

Back to Biking

I tried to remember the last time I was on my bike (for real) . And it was when I was pregnant with Logan. I think I was in the middle of my second trimester. I was starting to feel vulnerable on the bike commuting to work and so I stopped. And then I never got back to it. It got complicated–home with a newborn, sleep deprived, then when I went back to work I was pumping and had to haul a ginormous hospital grade pump and supplies to work with me and it wasn’t feasible to bike.

As Logan got older I thought I would pick it back up but I just never did. Our life got busy and taking Logan to daycare and picking him up complicated things and took up time, time I didn’t have to bike to work.

I’d go for bike rides in the neighborhood periodically but it wasn’t the same.

Being at home, the gym closed, I had to get creative with my workouts. Thankfully, the weather has been getting better here in Oregon so I was able to dust off my bike. I pumped the tires, they weren’t completely dead! And have gone for a bike ride once a week since this started.

Getting back to “biking shape” takes time. Trust me. Your butt and parts will be SORE (even with padded bike shorts). Your shoulders and neck will be sore from the positioning of a cycling bike. But each times gets easier and you are less sore. So I am taking it easy and only doing about 7 or 8 miles at a time, just to get used to sitting on the bike again.

So far, Fridays have been my biking days. I still work out 5 days a week (run one day, weights a few days, walking a lot, bike one day, etc). I miss swimming SO MUCH. Like so much. πŸ™

I take an early lunch break from work (teleworking) to avoid the crowds outside and go for a bike ride.

It’s so great! It feels great to be back on the bike again. I am definitely going to figure out how to do it once a week when we go back to work…eventually…I need a bike rack for my car. Then I figure I can drop Logan off at daycare, park at the park and ride nearby and then bike to downtown from there. I just need to get used to doing 20 miles again. So this is good practice.

Friday was a perfect, gorgeous day in Portland! 75 degrees and sunny! I wore a tank top and shorts. <3

Biking is great. I love it. It’s good exercise. It’s fun. I feel good. I love getting outside. I can listen to my podcasts while I do it. It’s “me time” when I don’t have any “me time” right now (I know you all feel me on this right now). Part of me misses the days when it was just Michael and me and we used to 40 miles in a day around the city and then go out for a giant Mexican food dinner with our favorite beer (that restaurant has now closed, which SUCKS). Of course our life has changed in so many ways, so many GOOD ways. Logan is amazing and he goes on “Bike rides” with Michael every day (on his balance bike). I’m really looking forward to the days when Logan is on a REAL bike and as a family we can bike to downtown Oregon City and have dinner outside at the pub and eat bratwurst in the sun and then bike home.

For now, Michael and I take turns on our bike rides so the other one can watch the little gremlin (who misses his friends and teachers at preschool something FIERCE) and Friday night we had brisket that Michael smoked outside on the Traeger. Despite the horror of our current situation and Michael being laid off, life is good.

Life is good…

<3

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. πŸ™

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.