Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Morning Bike Commute

Biking to Work on Econ Trail
It was a gorgeous morning for biking to work, and I had so much fun. The photo on the right is my scenery as I bike along the Econ Trail in Blanchard Park. Near here is were I often see bunnies, but I only spotted four today and they were scattered throughout the park.

I set out to take it easy and enjoy myself this morning, so I left a little earlier so I would not feel rushed, yet I still managed to average 12 mph. I know this is not that fast, but I really have to work at going much faster on my comfort bike with panniers. I wore my tri shorts with my running skirt over them, and that immediately added a bit of fun to the ride. I was cheerful and courteous, saying "Good Morning" to everyone I passed on the trail, and most returned the greeting. This made a world of difference.

Biking to Work on Econ Trail
The photo to the left is a lady I see on the trail on almost every ride to work. She has a 2-wheel recumbent bike with a seat on it and a canopy to keep her cool and shaded from the sun. Brilliant!

I made a few adjustments to my route based on Keri's suggestions at Monday's class, and it went great. Riding on Colonial, even for one block, still had my heart pounding and threatening to bust out of my chest, but the moron who honked at me may have had more to do with that.

I encountered very little traffic or resistance on Colonial. While I still have to wait at the light to turn left on Maguire, the nice thing is that almost everyone passes me on the left at the intersection itself and then I have the lane to myself most of the way. It gives me plenty of time to command the lane and by the time new cars enter the road they are far enough behind me to change lanes long before they reach me.

I am still not comfortable riding on Semoran or Hanging Moss Road, so I rode the sidewalk most of the way there. I know I shouldn't and the road is safer, but I take it nice and slow and I am very alert of all driveways. Maybe after I finish the Cycling Savvy course I'll give it a try again :) I did use the road and wait for the green light to turn right onto Forsyth. Cars patiently waited behind me for a chance to pass me and I was at Partridge Ln before I knew it. Rode down that road, instead of the zig zagging trail that jumps from one side of the road to the other, and that was awesome.

After that, is all trail riding on Econ through Blanchard Park until Alafaya, where I hop on the road at Science drive to make the left onto Alafaya and ride the bike lane to Research Parkway. This intersection is a bit tricky because there are always a ton of cars waiting to turn right. When the light turned green, I let them all pass me and turn first, then I turned just before the light turned red. This basically gave me the lane all to myself for a bit, and a lot less cars turn onto that road and see me with enough time to change lanes to pass me.

It is amazing how much more enjoyable riding your bike can be with a little patience and the right mindset. I wish my commute was shorter so I could rock the Cycle Chic. I need to get more casual cycling shoes, though this bike doesn't even have clips or cages so I can wear anything I want. I am just not sure how comfortable riding in sandals or other girly shoes would be for 15 miles.

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