our protagonist gets inducted into the club

So today I officially joined the legions of Twin Cities area bike commuters and rode to work. A gallon of gas now costs about what I make in an hour, so I had incentive.

And you know what? It wasn't fun. In fact, it sucked. It sucked for no reason other than my bag weighing approximately 37899565 pounds, which made me go slow. Verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slow. I believe I averaged 14.3 mph over the course of my 16-mile commute. I think most of that was because I was going about 0.0000000000001 mph up all the hills, and I discovered hills that I didn't even know existed. I've always been confused when people complain about going uphill and I can't figure out what hill they're talking about, but now I know. When you weigh 37899565+127 pounds, everything is a hill. If ever I needed an incentive not to gain weight, finding out how slow it makes me would do it. It's not very fun to go 0.0000000000001 mph up hills. It's fun to go 20mph up hills in the big ring and stomp the snot out of your friends.

Going home should be better. A lot of what was heavy was my lunch, which will be gone, and my 32-ounce nalgene bottle filled to the brim with coffee and milk, which I probably shouldn't be drinking anyway since nobody actually needs 32 ounces of coffee. Oh, and the big tub of lemon-scented baby wipes will be staying here, just in case I'm off my rocker enough to keep doing this.

On the bright side, it would give me an excuse to start building up some crazy singlespeed contraption with knobby tires, fenders, lights, the works. Maybe I could paint it camouflage or something. Or pink. Pink pinstripes. If it's going to be an ugly-ass bike anyway I might as well go whole hog. Wheeeee!


Blogger annie said...

Now that I think about it, I made that map wrong. The section where I go from Warner Rd through the grass (it's actually a bike path) and onto Burns Ave is completely wrong. If Google would put bike paths on its stupid maps, this wouldn't happen. Stupid Google. I could make another map, but why....

8/17/2005 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Dan I. said...

32 oz coffee?! LOL. Were you carrying clothes too (including shoes)? Yes, travel as light as possible. Leave stuff at work if you can, obviously.

I often take the "long" way home. It gets to be kind of a drag to wear the backpack, but if you go light it's OK. I did the messenger bag thing a few years ago, but stopped that because all the weight on one shoulder caused shoulder and neck soreness.

8/17/2005 2:09 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Yeah, I spent a lot of this morning's ride thinking how much better a backpack would be. That makes me hopelessly uncool, I'm sure, but my neck was pretty stiff by the time I got here. And yeah, the bag had my lunch (16-oz can of soup, yogurt, apple... none of which are light items...), aforementioned giant coffee (see "about me" - wasn't lying), clothes, shoes, bigass tub of baby wipes, deodorant, and purse.

The coffee issue is going to have to be dealt with. I just CAN'T drink the sludge here at work, though. It comes out of a can. *shudder* Maybe I'll just start eating No-Doz for breakfast.....

8/17/2005 2:18 PM  
Blogger Sascha said...

We need to find you a job downtown. That way, your commute is just over 3 miles and there's plenty of coffee all over.

If you can, pick out a pair of shoes and leave them at work. I can't do that but I would if I could. They're the biggest pain.

I prefer my backpack because it holds more stuff than the messenger bag. But I'd rather have a rack to be honest. But I'd also rather ride my road bike. It's a terrible conundrum-hence my desire to build out a single speed.

8/17/2005 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/18/2005 7:23 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

I have two pairs of shoes that live at work, a brown pair and a black pair. It takes a huge amount of weight out of the bag. I used a backpack for several years when I started commuting, but last summer I finally bought some panniers and I just love love love them. I guess I should refer to them in the singular now, since my wife ran over one with our van, rendering it mostly worthless.

But congrats on commuting!

8/22/2005 12:29 PM  

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