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Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Long Way Home

When the weather's shit and people see a bike commuter, they tend to think, That poor son of a bitch, he can't afford a car. Or they think you've got DUI trouble or something like that. Sometimes, they'll offer you a ride in all friendliness. If I think I just broke my collarbone, I'll accept the ride, but basically I'm out there because I prefer being on my bike to locked in a car. If I'm tired or hungover or something, I don't so much wish I was driving as that I could somehow harness the power of the cars passing me so that I might stay on the bike and still get to work with less effort. I guess that means when I'm hungover I wish I had a motorcycle.

And when the weather's shit, I generally ride the bare minimum miles to get my transportation needs met. I'm sometimes found riding in a 19ºF snowstorm to get icecream for kicks, or on a 12ºF morning to climb hills in a race I know I can't be competitive in, but generally speaking, I ride my twelve and a half to or from work in winter and that's it.

Generally in bad weather I need at least an excuse like going to vote to get out in it.

This time of year, though, I start looking for excuses to extend the ride. I'll try sometimes to leave the house not by 6:00 a.m. so I can be on time for work but by 5:15 so I can meander through uncharted territory on the way there, randonneuring through unfamiliar parts of the city. It's roughly 12-1/2 miles to or from work, like I say, but Monday night I went and rode the Trek ride on the way home from work, stretching it out to 34 miles and a good hang with Jill and Roj.

Then Tuesday I started riding out into Johnson County and changed my mind, doubling back to go up Gillham and eventually the Paseo, Vine, Woodland, up into eastern Downtown, eventually out to the East Bottoms, Columbus Park and home to make 30 miles on a day when I used the bus for half my morning commute to make up lost time (got a late start and took the #51 from over by Boulevard Brewing to over by McGonigles).

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