Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heigh Ho

For the past week the temperatures have been in the seventies. The days have been beautiful for riding. So, of course, I haven’t had much time to ride. Today my desires and my circumstances coincided – it would be helpful to others if I rode my bike to work and I had the time to do so. The temperature: 37 degrees. With the infamous wind chill factor the temperature was equivalent to 31 degrees. If you’re standing still, that is. I don’t know what the heck it was if you were riding into the wind, but it was cold. If Murphy didn’t write a bicycling specific law, he should have.

I headed out not quite prepared for the temperatures. I was wearing my work clothes – slacks and a shirt, a coat with a broken zipper (not the most effective outwear, I’ll admit), a winter walz cap with ear flaps (if you don’t have one, get one now) and full fingered gloves. And a helmet, of course. It didn’t take me long to regret the absence of a balaclava, but I wasn’t going to turn around and go get one. Why? I have no idea.

When I went to put the helmet on, I saw that it had been adjusted for a head smaller than my own, which should have been an important clue to me but, somehow, wasn’t. It meant, of course, that the last person to ride the hybrid was my lovely lovely. This is rather an important fact, because she four or five inches shorter than I am. Does anybody see where I’m going with this yet?

I hit the road and something felt strange, but it took me a moment to realize that my saddle was too low. It only took a couple of seconds longer to realize that I didn’t have any allen wrenches with me. The smart thing, of course, would have been to turn around, get the wrench, adjust the saddle, all of which would have taken five minutes or less. So, of course, I didn’t do it. Why not? I have no idea. AI have to put this all down to some effect of having a Y chromosome.
Did you know it’s harder to ride uphill when your saddle is too low?

Well, it’s really pretty simply biomechanics and quite obvious to anyone who’s actually thinking, which, as I believe I have already demonstrated, I wasn’t doing this morning.

I spotted a German Shepherd early on in the ride, but then I realized it was in a fence. Then I saw, tacked to a stop sign, a very tiny placard for a missing dog. It appeared to be a terrier of some kind named Toby, but the sign was waaaaaaay too small to read. I then passed the self storage place that used to have two chows in their yard. They now have about six or seven chows in their yard – two adults and several puppies. They were all huddled up together, and seeing them should probably have made me wish I was snugly tucked under the covers at home, but that thought didn’t occur to me at the time. At least I was getting a ride in.

I would like to say thank you to the driver of the SUV from Georgia that slowed down behind me and then waited until it was safe and passed me slowly and with clearance. I would also like to say quite the opposite to the tractor trailer driver who whooshed past me with less than a foot of clearance.

It occurred to me this morning that, if a student rides his or her bike to work, he or she is looked upon as either being

a) normal


b) an object of pity for being so poor as to have to resort to the bicycle

but if a teacher rides his or her bike to work, he or she is looked upon as being utterly strange and a bit amusing. Oh, well.

I got a rather pleasant little ride in this morning – my commute is just over six miles – and that puts me six miles to the good, and I have a six mile ride home in front of me. Mind you, I think I’m going to try to borrow an allen wrench before I make that trip home.

The world is good when you can ride your bike to work.

See you on the road.


  1. You might want to go ahead and get your lovely lovely a bike of her own... Then she could come out and ride with us!


  2. We're working on that! :-) If only she was a little taller she could ride the Trek 1000.