I've had a few discussions recently about safety and commuting by bike. I'm curious to see what the stats reveal about this, so I've been researching starting here which helpfully references the NHTSA and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Two moms recently told me that they quit commuting by bike after they had their kids; their take on it was that it wasn't worth it, too risky. And these are women who rode their bikes daily to work and back, I'd call them serious bikers. I was surprised to hear them say this. Still open for debate, and I'm still choosing to ride my bike when I can, but the worry still lingers. --Bee
I realize it’s been over three weeks since the STP was completed, so I’ve been remiss in adding a post-ride summary. But, there will be a fun and comprehensive recap posted soon, I promise! While we wait … oh goodness, the ride was hard; it was most similar to a roller coaster, one of physical exhaustion and exhilaration and emotional ups and downs. I was describing it to someone in this way: that minute-by-minute your mood or body would change a little, usually depending on if there was a hill, pit stop, food break, or other changing facet. The biggest surprise was that the dreaded hill at Puyallup HILL (yes there are actual google references to this), was not the hardest hill of the STP; it was in Napavine, where there were, it felt like, a thousand rolling hills, some of the inclines lasted for 20-30 minutes, which is a lot, uhmmmmm, when you are riding 204 miles! Even three weeks later, it feels great to have done this, and I'm definitely talking about riding it again next year, just faster, much faster. Stay tuned for a longer recap. --Bee
Well friends, this ride is happening whether we're ready or not. I picked up my ride packet today from REI, and here's the bib. GULP. Maybe I'll do a ride summary next week, but for now, send positive thoughts our way! 204 miles or bust (hopefully no bonk).
Well friends, it's now less than 30 days til the big ride, and our training group just passed a gigantic milestone, the century, completing 100 miles in one day and gulp, 13 hours. It's almost hard to believe if I hadn't participated in this myself.
24 hours later: my aches and pains were pretty minimal vs what I was expecting. I even felt well enough to play in our co-ed softball game. I did feel my sciatica (getting older sux!) on Friday evening but pushed through it during the ride, loading up on ibuprofin, and honestly, the body posture of being on a bike was actually a pretty comfortable spot and took some of the pressure off my spine, oddly enough.
During one of our bio breaks, a very kind fellow biker saw me doing some back stretches and suggested that I try the upward facing dog yoga move, especially for sciatic nerve pain. I did try it and so for so good, I haven't noticed a decrease in pain but neither have I seen an increase, so...
42 hours later: this is when the good stuff starts to hit. I didn't sleep from back pain, and then in the early morning, my entire body was in DOMS hell. Woah. I described it to B as "feels like I was weight training for two hours", everything hurts, ribs, triceps, quads, forearms, shoulders, you name it, it hurts. On the bright side: the bike shorts and coconut oil worked like a charm! So that's the glass half-full.
Here's our route. We live in a beautiful part of the world. It was so great to see it by bike. I'm writing down more impressions, but for now, this is enough, my finger's need to rest. Mileage: 100. #century! --Bee
I just found this 8-week schedule over at Shape magazine. Tailored for the ladies. Yay! --Bee
I can't believe I just typed that but there you go. It's time to start planning our route for our first century ride, that's 100 miles in bike speak. It's likely going to be a Mt. Rainier ride, so stay tuned. -Bee
This week marks the first time that I commuted to work every day by bike. In hindsight, and reading it here, it doesn’t seem like a big deal at all. It’s just a method by which one travels to and from work. But, allow me a but, what about appointments and the things we take for granted that occur during a normal week of to-and-fro’ing? Door-to-door, my 14-mle ride is very pleasant and mostly neighborhood streets and as V mentioned, you get used to knowing your primary path to work, the one you travel every day and don’t have to concentrate on which way to go.
This week introduced more traveling challenges and new paths. I had my bike fitting appointment and needed to get there by 6, the path took me through Fremont, up Stone Way, and partway around Greenlake, only adding .9 miles to my 7 mile ride. But, I was feeling the new terrain, and with the additional riding during the fit, I was definitely pretty tired that night. More about the fitting: What a great service! The things that were changed: hoods, handle bar, shorter stem (all to correct wrist/elbow/arm/shoulder alignment), cleat/pedal micro-tweaks (to adjust toes/ankles/knees), and seat height (knees). These are my unscientific summaries, but I’m glad I got that done by a professional, especially with longer rides looming. My common complaints have been numb toes due to cold/wet weather, sore kneecaps, and sore/uncomfortable shoulders/neck and wrists. My cute commuter helmet has to be traded for a sport version, they are lighter and therefore much better for your neck on the longer rides.
Also, I had two mid-day appointments to which I need to ride my bike. One of those was *only* 2.8 mls from work. I mapped it and jotted down some quick reference notes to stick in my pocket, and cycled away. I am still adjusting to bike vs car time, and thought I had plenty of time. However, 38 minutes later I was still chugging it out through Capitol Hill and the beginning of the International District arriving with about 5 minutes to spare and pretty sweaty. Huh. I don’t like city riding very much turns out. There’s tons of construction, lots of hill action, and the bike areas are fair, honestly. I can do it in a pinch, but it wasn’t an awesome experience, too much anxiety-producing adrenalin. Yes, Mom I was being very careful!
And lastly, I ended the week with an early morning appointment before work and found myself rushing in to make it to a meeting, with zero time to spare. I had time to change into street clothes, apply some fast mascara, and chug water walking up the steps and grabbing my laptop just as the meeting began. No one noticed the sweat on my t-shirt because I threw on a cardigan, and in fact a colleague complimented me on my “look” today. Ha! Weekly total: 76.5 --Bee