I accomplished the ride into work this morning in 1 hr 10 min. 20 minutes faster than Google maps said I could do it. I did it on the trusty old mountain bike. Not to sound like a Johnny-come-lately- but biking to work is so enjoyable. Yes you need to allot more time. Yes it requires physical activity on your part. But the enjoyment of leisurely going to work is unparalleled. I hate going to work. I'm sure there are a few of you that do to. Yet this made the normal dreaded drive in much more palatable. Also it doesn't have to be all or nothing. There is a metro line that I could bike to and then ride that in most of the way. Effectively cutting down the mileage I'm pedalling and the time my new commute takes. Life is about give and take.
The road bike is sidelined until I can fix the back tire. I refuse to drive to the bike shop to fix the tire so it may be a day or two. I've also done some research and apparently I should always carry the following:
cash/ID - presumably for a cab
This entire experience has demonstrated an interesting characteristic. One that I am sure I share with most people. When I first thought about biking to work my first reactions were to justify getting a road bike. I couldn't ride a mountain bike 12 miles to work. It doesn't matter that I've ridden it 20 miles in a day on dirt paths. It's a mountain bike - made for the mountains. Though there is some truth in that statement the real fact is that I could ride it to work. What I all ready had was good enough. Now I was fortunate to have received a road bike for FREE on freecycle.org. But now I have a tire to fix and other accessories to acquire so I am not stranded when I undoubtedly get another flat.
I had also set my mind to the thought that I needed a road bike to make the commute. It's so easy to confuse want and need. Yes a road bike will increase my efficiency as I pedal. It will make me go faster, eventually. I read that 17 mph is the plateau. As a beginner you build up your stamina and after awhile you'll start making 17 mph. At that point it all starts to come down to nuances - pedals, clothing, chains, gears, tires, etc. to go faster than that. I'm not shaving my legs just to get to work quicker.
My commute is only 12.4 miles. The majority of that is city with red lights stopping me. There is very few stretches were I could even build up 17 mph. Plus don't get me started on the quality of the Bike Lane. No wonder I got a flat yesterday. No wonder more people don't bike to work. That's a different rant. The point is that the coveted road bike will eventually make my commute faster and once tweaked probably more comfortable. But in the end what I wanted is more than what I needed. What I all ready had was good enough.