Drive My Bike


Spring Springeth!

Our Utah weather is always a bit crazy this time of year. We had a few days of warmth, and then we got almost record amounts of snow this April, and Spring seemed like it was never going to show up. Based on my ride home today I am thinking it might finally be here!

TrekSpring3 

It was 38 degrees (F) when I left this morning. But it was sunny, and I really wanted it to be warm. I had my shorts on, and I really didn’t want to add any extra layers. Alas, sanity finally took hold as I stepped out the door, and I decided that I really needed a bit more of the uniform. So I put my Novara rain pants on, and added a microfleece pullover under my windbreaker.

The ride in was nice, and before long things had warmed up to the mid 60’s. I made it outside several times during the day, and each time I was thinking that the ride home sure was going to be nice.

I was right.

It was about 67 degrees (F) when I left the office. For the first time in a long time there was no headwind going home, and I was loving it. I felt really strong and it was the best ride home I’ve had in a long time. The hardest part of the trip was packing all my morning cold weather gear into my pannier… squish! 🙂

A couple of months ago I picked up a small rectangular pouch that fits under the front of my seat, just the perfect size for my camera. It has a wide mouth and Velcro flap that I can easily get into and out of while I’m riding. It has been too cold to use the camera since I’ve had full finger gloves on, but today I figured I’d try to take some riding pictures. A few turned out alright, so I’ll share them with you…

TrekSpring2

In this picture you can see my clipless setup that I mentioned in my last post

TrekSpring1

Hmm… probably need to clean that fender off under there…

TrekSpring4

Doing the picture taking thing, whilst pedaling mightily in rush hour traffic, whilst not crashing, seems to be an art form. I’ve seen some great bike photo blogs out there, and I’ve got a ways to go, but I’ll get it figured out.

I hope your rides are getting warmer too. Stay safe. (Even if you are a bit crazy and decide to try to take pictures while you’re riding) 🙂



Friendly Guy – A Hard Core Veteran Commuter
September 29, 2008, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Inspired by folks like Tom, Kate, and Noah, I got a new pocket sized camera last week so that I could take pictures on my commutes. That made for a new adventure on my ride today, as I tried to juggle my new camera while I rode. Yeah, taking pictures while riding is probably a dumb idea, and I don’t recommend it, but here’s one from this morning’s ride…

FriendlyGuy

Now, don’t judge me too harshly by the quality of this picture. I was trying to capture a picture of a guy I met this morning, and he was rapidly pulling away as I was trying to get my camera out, powered on, zoomed, and focused, while not damaging the camera or myself. This guy was hands down the friendliest cyclist I’ve met in my bike commuting experiences! Here’s how the conversation went:

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Me: (hearing that familiar sound of someone on a bike coming up behind my left shoulder, I look over and begin to say “Hello”, but before I can get a word out…)

FriendlyGuy: “Good Morning!” (I’ve never had anyone else start the conversation first. FriendlyGuy looks to be a little older than me, and has a big smile on his face.)

Me: “Howdy! Nice day today!”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh yeah, beautiful day! Have a Good One!” (He smiles again, and passes me effortlessly. I notice that he’s got a nice road bike, but with fenders. He’s got a backpack on, a biking jersey, long fingered gloves, and long thermals on legs and arms. Clearly a serious commuter, not the normal road bike racer boy.)

Thinking that it would be great to commemorate this FriendlyGuy moment, I fumble to get out my camera and take a picture. This causes me to lose speed, and FriendlyGuy quickly pulls away, until I can just barely see him in the distance. I take the picture, stow the camera, and try to pick up my lost speed. After a mile or so, I’m coming up on a red light, and I notice a biker waiting at the light… and it’s FriendlyGuy!

I pull up behind him, stop, and this time he looks over his shoulder and smiles again…

FriendlyGuy: “Hey again. Looks like we’ve got the old Tortoise and Hare thing going on this morning” (This is said with a smile, and a friendly manner, so it’s not taken as any kind of competitive statement. He’s just making good conversation)

Me: “Yeah, well you’re geared a bit differently than me.”

FriendlyGuy: “Yes, I guess that’s true” (The light turns green, but instead of just pulling away, FriendlyGuy pulls out slowly and actually waits for me to come along side of him. Imagine that… a stranger that could easily leave me in the dust is waiting to have a conversation!)

FriendlyGuy: “How far you going?”

Me: “Oh, about five miles. Just into Murray by 215”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh, that’s great.”

Me: “You been doing this long?”

FriendlyGuy: “Yeah, a few years now”

Me: “How about you, how far are you going?”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh, into downtown Salt Lake” (Now, this is impressive, because we are a good ways from downtown)

Me: “Wow, so what is that, about ten miles or so?”

FriendlyGuy: “About 17. Yeah, it’s a great ride!” (Wow, 17 miles… very impressive)

Me: “WOW! That is really great! Good for you!” (I’m in complete amazement at this point, having never been face to face with someone so committed to Bike Commuting. My mind is racing as to how to respond… and the only thing I come up with is…)

Me: “Well you have a really good day!” (Wow… that was weak, but he’s really nice and the traffic is heavy, and I don’t want to cause problems with his commute today.)

FriendlyGuy: “You too!” (We are coming up to a stretch of road that can be a bit nasty due to some construction equipment in our lane, and there is lots of traffic. FriendlyGuy quickly pulls away, barely skirts a construction barrier, and then he’s off, and I’m not catching him this time.)

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FriendlyGuy, I’m guessing you probably talk to a lot of people as you ride, so if you read this, I was the guy on 7th East, in the bright yellow windbreaker, on the not so fast Schwinn hybrid. Thanks for making my commute better this morning, and I hope to see you again sometime.