Strong. Fast. Ready.

I did not sleep well Sunday evening. I was filled with anticipation, anxiety, and excitement about biking into work for the first time in 2012. It was the normal jitters about a first ride, but it was also the anxiety of taking a new route. Michael recently discovered a quicker, easier, more direct way to go from our house that avoided a major intersection on the Highway. Sounds great, right? That one intersection I used to take was terrifying.

The day was supposed to get up to 80 degrees, but early in the morning it was 48 degrees and a bit chilly. I started out, feeling really good, and took the new route. So far so good. The new route had bike lanes, but it also had major construction going on too. Part of the road was closed off with cones and there was a CAT machine parked in the bike lane. Luckily, the road was nearly empty that early in the morning so I zipped on through without issues.

The new route also went by a bunch of schools, so the cars that were around were going slowly.

My body was feeling good so far. It was my first official commute of the season. Last year, my first commute was on May 4, 2011–so I wasn’t too late starting (like I thought I was) and those first few times I didn’t do the full route. I’m happy that I started the season STRONG!

I liked the new route, despite the construction. I also found that there were quite a few detours on my commute since the last time I did it (last October). I biked through Sellwood and picked up the Springwater Corridor to downtown.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. It was quiet out and there weren’t a lot of other cyclists. The Springwater trail is usually where I can speed up and make up some ground but it was just a wall of wind that I was trying to bike into.

I got to downtown and nearly got run over by a big moving van that decided to change lanes across the bike lane that’s in the middle and did not see me, or did not care. Luckily I saw what he was doing and pulled back. Still, it did not make me happy!

I got to work with plenty of time to spare, feeling really great about my first ride. I’m using a new cycling app, which I will write more about later. I am doubtful that my speed was actually 5 mph. Hmmm. I like the cool stats it gives:

Looks like I got up to nearly 25mph in a few spots. And the elevation map is cool, too. The hills at the beginning are my neighborhood and the super flat ending is the Springwater and downtown.

Morning Stats:
Time:  58 minutes
Calories Burned: 555
Distance Biked: 11.78 miles 


Afternoon Commute

The day warmed up nicely. I left all my cold weather gear in the office to lighten my load home, bought a water bottle because I forgot mine at home, and got ready to go. I ate well during the day, but still suffered from insatiable hunger that was gnawing at my stomach. Nothing seemed to satisfy it.

The Morrison Bridge opened recently — it was closed for most of last year’s cycling season — and taking the Morrison gets me out of downtown faster and easier than the route I used to take.

I crossed the bridge and got to the Springwater Trail in no time at all, my legs tackling hills with ease, and I didn’t have to stop to rest at my usual spots like I did last year. In fact, I only stopped about once during my commute home.

MIND THE SINKHOLE! Over the winter, part of the Springwater trail fell into the river. Clearly it has not been repaired yet. It was rather sketchy on the trail there.

Taking the new route home was much better, but uphill most of the way.  I was STRONG. I was FAST. I felt GOOD. Thank you spin class! The winter months paid off. I felt like a rockstar on my ride home. My body felt so good.

When I got home I wanted to do a happy dance because my ride was SO AWESOME! For the first ride of the season, I am 100% happy and the next day I was not sore at all. How cool is that?

Afternoon Stats:
Time:  52 minutes
Calories Burned: 480
Mileage: 10.4

Total Stats:
Mileage:  22.18
Average Speed: 13.54 mph
Fastest Speed: 33.04 mph
Total Calories Burned:  1034

A friend of Michael’s was over for dinner so the three of us sat outside in the warm, sunny evening and grilled burgers for dinner. I wanted to eat everything in sight.

It was a fantastic day all around.

QUESTION: Okay, who’s with me? Who wants to make a goal to commute to work by bike this summer?

12 Responses

  1. Woo Hoo! Awesome ride! I wish I could commute by bike 😀 I wouldn’t go very far LOL. We do love biking for breakfast on Wednesdays, though. I also like to get in a quick ride on non gym days with a 7 mile loop before breakfast, which should start happening as better (hopefully) weather moves in. We got rained on this morning on our way home from breakfast, which wasn’t in the forecast.
    Lori recently posted..Fit Female Stage 3A and challenging yourself

    1. That’s too bad about the rain. The weather is a little iffy still here–there’s some rain in the forecast later this week. My hope is that I can commute again next week. If not, back to spin class for a bit.

  2. I’ve thought about biking to work before but I’m a chicken about it. For some reason I have no problem running down the roads but put me on a bike and I feel like a total idiot. I think this stems from the fact that I’m really afraid of wiping out or getting hit. I may still be scarred from running into a peach tree on my bike when I was 8.

    I scoped out a bike route for me and it’s about 13 miles. I might have to put some more effort into researching it!
    Sarah recently posted..Chocolate-Gingerbread Icebox Cookies

    1. I TOTALLY get what you are saying, Sarah. I wrestled with that same fear about biking on the streets too. It was really, really hard for me to overcome. I have to make a conscious effort to not be scared and just do it. Part of it is that some drivers are really aggressive towards cyclists, or just don’t see them. It’s scary out there!

      I got used to riding on the streets while I was training for Reach the Beach but honestly, the bulk of the training was on bike paths. I think you just have to decide you’re going to do it, and do it. Eventually the fear lessens.

  3. That’s incredible! What an awesome way to start out your commuting season. You biked a lot of miles! I’m impressed. By the way, after my recent road trip to Oregon/California I am totally in love with your state. GORGEOUS!
    Becky recently posted..3 Miles Under 30 Minutes

    1. Thank you Becky! I was so happy that my first commute was the whole loop–22 miles is a good first step. I thank spin class for keeping me bike-ready all winter long.

      Come visit Oregon again and I’ll be your tour guide. 🙂

  4. Can I commit to getting a bike and riding it 3x a week to start? I want to build up my stamina and confidence first before tackling the 16km ride to work with a massive hill each way on the busy streets.

    Do you find spin classes in the off season help keep you going?

    I absolutely love that you bike to work and found this post super mtoviating and exciting!

    Keep up the biking 🙂
    Crystal recently posted..Conquering the Wednesday Hump

    1. Even once a week is a great committment. If 3x a week is hard, start small. Right now I am only going to commute once a week (weather permitting) and hopefully in June I can move it up to 2x a week.

      I think that spin class helped a lot during the off months. It kept me saddle ready. I had no saddle soreness from Monday’s commute, my body did not feel sore in anyway afterward either. I know that doing spin even just once a week made an amazing difference compared to last winter.

      I am so glad you found this post motivating!!!

  5. I think commuting by bike is an awesome idea! I wish I could, but since I am a teacher I have a tonne of stuff that needs to go too and from school. Most mornings I have my laptop, my book bag, gym bag, lunch bags and handbag. I sometimes have to make 2 trips to my car! I’d actually LOVE to run to work, but again, the luggage issue… and there is no shower at work and I sweat like a pig!

    BTW, I love that you reply to every comment! It makes your blog so personalised and accessible 🙂

    1. That does sound like a lot of stuff to transport and I’d probably skip biking to work too. Can you run or bike during the lunch hour?

      Thanks, Jess! I try my best to respond. I appreciate comments and readers and I remember being disappointed when other bloggers didn’t respond.

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