Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Wake up and smell the...

Chicken? Turkey?

I rode my bike to work today.

I started out my morning at Bothell Landing, a little park in downtown Bothell. I decided to ride my bike to work today. I decided to start out at the point I've been too tired to start out at in previous years.

There is a nice bike trail going from nearly 8/10ths of the way to my house, all the way to work. In the past I've driven down to a nice little park almost 2/3 of the way to work, and biked from there. But today I started out at a nice little park nearly the whole 8/10ths of the way home.

I can't actually ride in from the full 8/10ths, because there isn't anyplace to park that close to my home.

So, what's the problem? Well, the problem is I'm still a kid. I ride a bike like a kid rides a bike. I probably always will. Everybody else zips past me doing 25, 30 mph, and I think I'm doing about 10 mph max. Maybe only 5.

I think partially the problem is I have a crummy bike: it's meant to be a dirt bike, so it has big fat tires with mud-treads on them. It makes so much noice from the treads that it sounds like it is motorized, but it isn't (unfortunately).

Another part of the problem is that I don't know how to use the !#@$@#$ gears. There's a set of four buttons I'm supposed to push to change gears, but none of the four buttons seem to do anything consistent. At one point I think I figured out that the buttons on the right shifted into lower gears. The big fat one seems to do the majors, and the little tiny one seems to do the minors. So, I tested out the assumption that the buttons on the left would therefore shift into higher gears. Well, it only works about 50 percent of the time. Sometimes the left buttons DO seem to shift me into a higher gear, and sometimes they seem to shift me into a lower gear. Sometimes the left buttons don't do anything at all.

I think what it is, is that I really need a new bike. I bought this one used, and it was good to get me started biking once again, but it really doesn't cut the mustard.

But there's one more thing. I'm just not in a big freaking hurry like everybody else. I mean, what's the point in riding your bike if you are going to go zipping down the bike trail at 30 mph? Maybe there is a certain irony it all: these folks are trying to proove a point: they can get to work faster riding a bike than they can driving their cars, because of all the traffic we have here.

My point is not their point. I have a different idea in mind altogether, namely:
(a) do something different
(b) see some places I just don't get to see when I'm commuting in my car
(c) get a little exercise too

But, still, even if I'm not on a professional workout schedule, or trying to get ready for a big cycle race, I probably do need a better bike if I'm going to do this more often.


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