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!!

Ghost Town Ride

The warm weather streak is continuing in Portland and I got another opportunity to ride my bike to work. I prepared a little bit better this time. It had also been warm for about a week so I figured that arm warmers were all I needed instead of my cycling jacket. It was 52 degrees Tuesday morning, last week my morning commute was 48 degrees.

Michael kindly helped me with breakfast and pumped my tires for me! Queen treatment! It was really helpful because I was running a little late that morning. I set out a few minutes later than I wanted and for the first 1/2 mile regretted not wearing my jacket.

Luckily I warmed up as soon as I hit the first few hills of my commute. This particular commute I got stuck at two lights because there wasn’t enough traffic and the sensors couldn’t detect me on the bike. This is one of my pet peeves about commuting by bike.

I enjoyed my morning commute a great deal. Traffic was light. The weather was warm. My body was feeling really good. I just enjoyed it. I made my way through Sellwood and then picked up the Springwater. Unlike last time, the Springwater was enjoyable. I wasn’t biking into a wall of wind resistance.

The city seemed to be a ghost town. There was hardly any other cyclists out for some reason. The Springwater was nearly empty. The Esplanade loop downtown was eerily quiet. I made it downtown and headed to work.

Despite getting stuck at a few lights, I made it to work pretty quickly. Check out my stats for the morning:

Pretty good if you ask me! I’m happy with my time and average speed. I have a lot of stops before I get to the Springwater trail so I doubt I will ever be any faster than that.

Morning Stats:
Time: 53 minutes
Calories Burned: 540
Mileage: 11.71

You know what else? I’m already itching to start commuting twice a week. Unfortunately the weather forecast for next week looks like rain again so back to Spin I think.

Afternoon Commute

Another warm one! But it was a pleasant ride home. I’m really glad that the Morrison Bridge is open again because that’s how I prefer to go home. It’s a quicker route out of downtown and there’s barely anyone on the bridge but me. Shooosh, don’t tell any other cyclists out there.

Once I’m on the other side of the river, it’s easy sailing for the most part. The route I take to the Springwater is not the best one because the roads are just AWFUL. It’s a very bumpy ride.

The sun felt nice and there was a comfortable breeze on the way home. I made it to Sellwood in no time at all and headed home. My new route is pretty scenic; I pass by a few farms on the way home.

It’s funny because my route home is just a tad shorter than the morning. I guess going over the Steel Bridge in the morning adds more distance than I thought. I also burn less calories on the way home (which is also weird because I feel like it’s uphill on the way home). Here’s the afternoon graph:

Afternoon Stats:
Time: 46 minutes
Calories Burned: 479
Distance: 10.49 
Average Speed: 13.46 mph
Fastest Speed: 25.15 mph

Total Mileage for the Day: 22.2

I’m so happy that my first few commutes have been so great (knock on wood). I am considering adding a second day a week already. I don’t need time to recover and have felt great the day after.

Another bonus to commuting to work on my bike: it frees up my evenings for fun things. It’s amazing just how much time going to the gym takes and I just want to enjoy my free evenings.

QUESTION: How is your fitness changing with the season changes?