I rode my bike to work Monday. I plan to ride again Wednesday and again to a meet-up event on Saturday. Each round trip to and from work is about 13 miles and the Saturday round trip will be closer to eleven.
Riding to work isn't new, but Monday was the first time this year for a few reasons. One, the weather for much of the bike season had been too un-predictable. Two, to be perfectly frank I was scared off the road. Riding a bike in city traffic is not for the faint-hearted. And while I've been riding Chicago neighborhoods since I was seven years old, and don't consider myself faint-hearted, last year I encountered some situations that proved a little stressful.
Third, Bella is ill. I've tinkered and tweaked, but what is ailing Bella will require more than I can manage right now. Luckily there was a long neglected bicycle in the storage area. I asked around and no one knew anything about the bike or owner. It appears she was left behind by a previous condo owner. Beyond some flattened tires and a broken rack she seemed in pretty good shape. I pumped some air in the tires, removed the broken rack and made a few other adjustments. I did some test runs around the neighborhood before venturing further out.
She did well on Monday, well enough that I'm confident she'll hold up for the subsequent rides. She's smaller than Bella and thus, just this side of being too small for me. As a result, rides longer than a six or seven mile stretch probably wouldn't be comfortable. The jaunts to work and back, and similar distance trips will be ok through the end of the season, I think.
I'm back out on the (city)road. Though still a little scared it felt good and I am determined. I need the work-out and I need to take back my streets. Careful, yes. I am. Very. Still, I made pretty good time (in) on Monday. Not shocked but a wee bit surprised. The ride home was longer only because there was more traffic and I wasn't as lucky with lights. I hope the pleasant weather we've been having decides to hang around a good while longer as it would be nice to get in three 10-13 mile rides a week through the end of October. In fact, it would be better than nice.
An aside to the woman with the short blue dress and fierce high heels, thank you, your legs are quite beautiful and double thanks for buying that ice cream cone. Yum.