emergency weblog; or: epersonae; or: elaine nelson

in which I write about stuff

bike commuting

Uphill both ways for the first time.

Categories: bicycling, General

So the thing I knew I was going to miss most, even before I left, was my commute. No offense intended to my coworkers or the credit union, but it was a pretty amazing bicycling commute. Five miles, which is a nice distance, long enough to be a workout, short enough to not be totally wiped out. And 95% of it through wooded bike trails. No traffic, great scenery, not a lot of hills.

The commute to Evergreen, on the other hand…seven miles, no trails, huge hills both directions. (Really, honestly: uphill both ways!) So for the first month I just took the bus, because it’s incredibly convenient and free. But I do miss cycling…a lot, and this is the time of year where normally I’d be riding 10 miles almost every day.

Last week I started doing a partial-bike commute: ride my beat-up old Townie to the transit station downtown, then catch the bus the rest of the way, then reverse to come home. Means that the morning ride is incredibly fast (I can top 20MPH pretty easily), and the sweaty uphill ride is on the way home.

Yesterday…I went a little crazy. I had PT in the morning, and decided to take the Xtracycle “just in case” I wanted to ride further towards work than usual. I rode ALL THE WAY in, 10 miles altogether from PT, with a stop at a grocery store for water & baby wipes. I was exhausted but euphoric. Riding home was somewhat more stressful. Google Maps recommended a different route coming home, and it looked feasible. However: the trail part was bumpy & buggy; I had to make a left turn across a five-lane, 45MPH road; a lot of it was bike lane on a fast busy road; I had to cross another major arterial at a crosswalk at a complicated intersection; and I hit a stretch so steep that I walked about 3 blocks. Coming up the hill the other side of downtown I was going so slow I realized I could walk faster than that. Sigh.

Still, I’m glad I did it. I know it can be done, and I know I’ll do it again. (Almost certainly NOT taking that route home again. C made a suggestion that sounded good that I’ll try next time.) Hopefully by the end of summer I’ll be riding more of the route more regularly.

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2 Responses to “bike commuting”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hey,

    I don’t know if C suggested this but you could take the bike trail from Downtown to where you use to get off. Yes you backtrack but then you would not have the hill at the end of the day to climb. It is not as direct as the hill but might be worth a try.

  2. Elaine says:

    He actually thought I was going to do that & tried to meet me at the Eastside trailhead! It’s just such a long way around, and still quite a bit of uphill….