Back to the old commute
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  1. #1
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    Back to the old commute

    Gotta show up at the office 3x/week, which I'm not so thrilled about since the pandemic is still going strong, and can do most of what I need to do from home.

    On the bright side, the new office is down the block from the old one, and although there's no gym in the new building, I can bring the bike upstairs with me, and ride home.

    Another huge bonus is that all the trains are currently considered off-peak, all day. Bikes are allowed on off-peak trains, and that used to mean bringing it on the 5:29am train at the latest if I wanted to ride it home (because of the gym in the old building, I'd usually just ride in anyway.) It was such a treat bringing the bike on the train during rush hour, finally treated with some dignity!

    Rolled the bike into the corner office near my desk, future location of my boss, who's already given me the green light to bring the bike up and lock it in there. Another nice change from the old building, where it was either locked up outside or in the grungy parking garage with the douchey management. Even got to bring it on the normal elevator, again, felt like the bike was finally getting the treatment it deserves!

    Haven't done this commute in about four years, and haven't been riding much, so I was nervous. It was 88F last I checked, so I lathered on the sunblock and donned the mask. Dodged loads of runners in every bike lane, noticed a lot more electric vehicles than last time (even an electric unicycle!) and somehow made it up the climbs without a problem.

    Been running a couple of times/week, so I'm not desperately out-of-shape, but have put on a few pounds since lockdown. Riding with the thin fabric mask wasn't as traumatic as I expected, though I did take it off for the climbs.

    Got home in about the same time as always, which was a nice surprise- 1hr 35-ish min for 15 miles. Weighed the panniers- 9lbs, lock/chain is 8lbs, plus the extra 4lbs or so I've put on, so I'm not exactly racing for Strava records! I could probably ride a lot more if my lower back didn't hurt so damn much, so frustrating.

    The more I read about the pandemic and the state of the world, the more depressed I get. This ride was like a reboot of my sanity, however! Celebrated Bastille Day with some good Savoyard cheese with dinner.

  2. #2
    PCM
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Christine again.

    Cant' add to your reputation by clicking the star, so I'll do it this way. Thanks for the post... 4+ months since my last bike commute with no end in sight.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the attempt! Hope you get back in the saddle ASAP.

    I'm worried that riding around only defeats the purpose of lockdown. With running, it's easy enough to social-distance in the community, but the bike paths in the city are mobbed. Less car traffic though.

  4. #4
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    Another bike commute today, so fun! Only of course the "dignified" part couldn't last more than one day. I think the building super is onto me or something.

    Trip in was fine, even rode past a bunch of people on the train platform. Ye olde bike permit is still accepted, despite being faded. Good, I really don't want to spend another $5 or whatever it costs these days to replace it.

    Went down the regular elevator at the end of the day, walked past the super (?) who was sitting in the lobby, and he wouldn't let me exit out the back with the ADA doors (hit a button, which opens both doors x2. Sanitary AND convenient!)

    Instead, he sent me on the delivery detour, the hallway with the freight elevator and the garbage slime- a little disappointing for my bike to be taking the messengers' entrance instead of the human one. I have a feeling I'll keep getting rerouted from now on Reminded the guy that the building's pretty empty and the bike isn't bothering anybody, but he said something about "wanting to avoid accidents" yaddayadda.

    Ride home was problematic since my old panniers are starting to rip, and getting snagged in the wheel. The ripped part is plastic, and rubs the spokes like a baseball card. Managed to hold the rip in place with a mini bungee cord, otherwise I was getting snagged briefly whenever I hit a bump. Got some of the single-speed stealth back with the fix. Seat also has a small tear in it.

    More pedestrians, joggers and cyclists than ever, which has me aggravated constantly, traffic is getting a little nuttier, yet I still crave these rides. Guess it's the months of cabin fever.

  5. #5
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    I've been commuting pretty regularly (one week in office, one week remote) since March. I noticed an enormous traffic difference when our state went to stage 4... It was like everyone hadn't driven in months had forgotten how to drive entirely. "Its not like riding a bike" joke somewhere in there.

    Your post just reminds me how lucky I am to have a building super who supports me, a locker, and a shower. She even consulted me when the bike shelter got taken over by the smokers...
    The internet is a little like a bar, a wonderful place where we can bullsh(t our past, but it also, is full of reasonably reliable sources of information to be used as ammo to call "bullish)t."

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