Friday, April 28, 2006

My commute

I rode my bike to work today.

Between wanting more time on the bike and not wanting to spend more $ on gas I converted my 'cross pit bike to a commuter.

I kept the set up pretty much the same with a 42 tooth chainring up front and a 12x27 cassette in the back. The top-mounted brake levers make it easy to ride on the tops and the 'cross geometry is comfortable for steady miles with a full messenger back slung on my back.

I only made a couple of changes. I mounted a flashing light on the seatpost and I put some beefy tires on the wheels. The tires are 700x32 Bontrager Hard Case monsters. They're heavy and thick...perfect for commuting through the glass strewn streets of Baltimore.

My route between home and work is about 15 miles so I'm in the saddle long enough to get a decent workout each way. Plus, there are a couple of decent hills that are made harder by the bag on my back. The extra weight is a reminder to lay off the pizza and ice cream!

Most of the roads are either low on traffic or have a very wide shoulder. There are a few spots in the city that are a little rough and run down, but not in a dangerous way.

Going into work I have a nice climb early and then the rest of the way is slightly downhill.
Coming home I'll have a slightly uphill grind which is usually into the prevailling wind (ouch!) and then I have a mean climb (18% grade) at the end...double ouch!

I'm not sure how often I'll commute by bike. I'm hoping to swing it once or twice a week depending on the logistics, weather, and other plans. Aside from the benefits of exercise the commute makes me feel all Euro. I can almost imagine riding by the canals and popping into the coffeeshop after work for happy hour, but that would kind of counteract the training.

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