Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Biking Viking

I biked to work for the first time (in London) today!  Things I learned/thought along the way:
  • I didn't get squarshed!
  • Even during rush hour, many back roads have very little traffic
  • To those who say London is flat, I say, "as flat as Pamela Anderson!"
  • It took me almost exactly as much time to ride here as it does to walk to the bus, take the bus to the train, take the train to the station, and walk from the station to school
  • I live five miles away, not the four that I thought (which is something I actually learned Monday when I walked my path in advance)
  • My tire (tyre) has a slight issue which means I will be carrying a pump with me until I can fix it.  Bummer.
  • Our bike racks here are really funky but make me feel all futuristic when I use them (I'll try to get a pic for you tomorrow)
  • Biking in London in January is waaaaaayyyyyy better than biking in SLC in January both in terms of cold and inversion/toxic-air issues
  • I haven't ridden in FIVE freakin' months!  In SLC I trained for months to do a Century ride and rode to work most days as well as around the city for errands.  I brought my helmet with me during my move and got biking maps the first week I was here, and yet it took me this long to a) find a bike I liked and b) work up the nerve to get on the streets.  The wrong left side of the road thing made me nervous, not because I didn't think I could stay on the right side while riding, but because I worry that if something dramatic happens I will react naturally and swerve to the right and into an oncoming car.  A legitimate concern I think.  I conquered the challenge though by finding a good path through less-used streets and I felt totally safe 99% of the time.  Only one busy spot made me a little anxious but it was brief.
  • If I hadn't had to pump up my tire at the last minute and had gone out the door at a better time I would have had even fewer cars to deal with and would probably have had an even shorter commute time.  Noted for tomorrow. 
  • I don't know if it is road grit or just my eyes being annoying but they have been bugging me all day.  I'm not a nighttime sunglasses-rocker (like Walt) and my real glasses are too sissy to stand up to the task of protecting anything.  Maybe I will just wrap some saran wrap around my head next time?  It's see-through and conforms well to irregular surfaces.
  • I had to wait at one point for a long line of horses to cross before I could get into the park.  That was interesting.  I wonder if I will see that every day?
  • WOOT!!!