First, I want to give mad props to my little brother. He lives in Philly and bikes to work and school year-round. Rain or shine, whether it’s 20 degrees out or 100, he’s on the bike. I am such a wuss when it comes to inclement weather.
My bike commute on Tuesday was a COLD one. Thankfully I put on my cold weather gloves at the last minute before leaving the house. It was 51 degrees and cold. My car was frosted over and I could see my breath in the air!
I headed out and tried to ignore the brisk morning air. I was feeling pretty good, despite the mild sore muscles from Saturday’s workout. For two days my hamstrings were sore but I was able to bike just find on Tuesday.
I took my normal route and then came up to a dilemma. I sat at a light at an intersection for about 5 minutes. There weren’t any cars behind me and the cyclist next to me so I don’t think the light was going to change for us. There wasn’t a crosswalk either. Frustrated, I had to take a detour. I turned down another street and headed toward the Park n’ Ride I used to park at. I took the wrong street and had to cut through a bush and some grass to get to the right street. It added about a mile and 8 minutes to my commute. I biked toward the Springwater Trail instead and took that into Sellwood.
The detour made me a little late on my preferred schedule. I’d prefer to get to work a few minutes early to change but that wasn’t in the cards. I crossed the Steel Bridge and made it to work in the nick of time.
It was a drastic change in weather for my afternoon commute. It was hot! Like 80 degrees. I left my cold weather gear at work and set out. I wasn’t going home though. Some last minute plans came up and I was meeting Michael and some friends at a new bar near downtown. I had about 45 minutes to kill so I decided to bike for awhile since I wouldn’t be biking home.
I would bike on this trail but I would never walk or run alone on this trail. Unfortunately this part of the Springwater trail is pretty remote and there have been assaults on women there. It makes me uncomfortable.
I turned around and headed back to the Springwater Trail toward downtown. I took a detour around OMSI and headed to the bar to meet everyone. I got a little turned around trying to find the place. All the industrial streets in that area look the same.
I was in the bike lane and cross MLK and Grand Streets (main streets here) when a woman in a car came within inches of hitting me. She decided at the last minute–no turn signal or anything–to turn right into a parking lot right in front of me. I am not exaggerating when I say she almost hit me. I had to swerve into the parking lot and come to a bumpy stop in order to avoid being run over. I was so mad. I got off my bike and walked it half way up the block. I looked back and saw her walking up the street. I shouted, “Thanks for almost hitting me!” She seemed unbothered. SIGH. People are jerks. She shouldn’t have a license.
I got to the restaurant, frustrated, shaky from adrenaline and told Michael what happened. He commented that he wouldn’t cycle in that area and I agree with him. Even with a bike lane that part of town is not bike-friendly and there’s tons of traffic.
Total mileage for the day: 21.67. Not quite what my normal commute was but it was better than nothing. Stay tuned for my follow-up post entitled “The Food Guilt.”
QUESTION: Are you dealing with drastic weather changes in your area?