April is #30daysofbiking. Get in on the spring fun! This month I’m going to show you all a typical month of bike commuting attire for me…. Which maybe isn’t very exciting since I just wear my regular clothes.
So there you have it: #30daysofbiking in regular clothes!
Welcome to spring. Here in the Emerald City its been more of an April showers situation. Not to fear, I’ve been packing my poncho to keep dry when caught in surprise showers. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t constantly rain in Seattle. Spring is especially confusing because we can begin the morning with sun only to find it pouring at lunch and then sunny again for your commute home.
Even on the rainiest of days, I still want to wear my regular clothes and a poncho is the perfect cover that allows me to stay dry and not get too warm. For the lower extremities, waterproof boots keep the feet dry and tights dry out quickly if any water happens to splash up.
And if it gets really bad, there’s always the option of throwing your bike on the bus!
I stopped on 10th Ave yesterday to take this pretty picture. As I was getting back on my I looked down the hill to make sure it was clear for me to go.
What I saw was a man on a mountain bike cruising up the hill faster than I had thought possible. I was quite impressed, until I realized he was using electric assist.
Now I’m jealous.
Or something like that.
Last January. We didn’t even have snow this winter!
I had a new bike built up (a Soma Buena Vista) back in August. I rode it most days through October. The holidays sort of start in October for us, and they really don’t calm down until after the new year. So I was lazy and/or had other things to do that somehow prevented me from getting on the bike daily. And the lack of daily riding had a strange effect on me…
I’ll call it nerves.
I was nervous to ride! And I can’t pinpoint why. I still feel it occasionally and somehow I find an excuse to get on the bus instead. So I’m riding two or three days a week and trying not to feel guilty about it. Once I do get on the bike I’m not nervous and I never regret it. It makes me happy.
So what’s the deal? Most people would think it’s the Seattle winter weather. Dark. Wet. Cold. But this week I rode on all of the rainy days and somehow decided to bus on the partially sunny and dry days. This has been a mild winter. And anyway I don’t get cold — I’m actually too warm when I ride. Maybe it’s the hills? There’s quite a bit of climbing for me on the way home and sometimes I just don’t have the energy.
But I want to get back in the saddle! I’ve got Streets + Beets coming up, and there are tons of fun training rides I’d like to participate in. Motivation!
I like this video because it’s in Seattle, I can recognize places I bike all the time, and the people in it don’t seem to be hardcore “cyclists”. However, I do wish that they were dressed more normally. But then again, this is an REI piece so I suppose it makes sense that they would be “geared up”. Not to mention, many people here dress like that daily… Whether they are engaged in athletic adventures or not.
My daily commute brings me to the Udistrict and back via Capitol Hill. Generally, everyone I see on the hills in between is decked out in full on cycling gear. It’s rare to see anyone tackling the climbs and enduring the occasional rain shower in regular clothing. Once you enter the actual neighborhoods, however, it’s a different story. The Udistrict is full of students wearing whatever, riding with coffee in hand, and generally no helmets. In Cap Hill you’ll find hipsters heading over to Cal Anderson for some hard court bike polo or perhaps some beers over on some bar’s patio.
While it’s always great to be riding, and to see people of all types riding, I wish Seattle’s topography and infrastructure were able to support easy and carefree cycling between neighborhoods.
Today’s mileage: 10 miles
April total: 86.5 miles
While I do sometimes enjoy working on my “thighs of iron” at the end of a long workday, being able to skip the hill and take the reliable Link (vs. unreliable bus which may not have room for bikes) is going to be quite amazing.
Already, you can get an intimation of how light rail can remap a cyclist’s idea of “accessible” Seattle; that “Link” appellation turns out to be functionally true. As each new section is added, anyone with a bike can make use of the transit backbone to move easily through Seattle from north to south, often from light rail to trail and back. You won’t need to have thighs of iron to conquer hills, or be kitted out in full bad-weather gear “in case” a squall blows in. All you’ll need is flat-tire fixin’s and an ORCA card.
The SunBreak via Seattle Bike Blog
I biked to work. I worked. I biked home and met the hubs for dinner along the way.
The evening featured nice shots of the church near home and a pretty moonlit evening. I went home over the Montlake Bridge, riding past the new stadium/light rail construction. The mountains were almost visible beneath the clouds.
On the way in this morning, I was passed on the University Bridge by the nice reflective gentlemen pictured above. Rather than just blowing past without warning (as most do), he called out a cheery “Good Morning!”. Must not be a native Seattleite.
Daily mileage: 8 miles
Challenge total: 19 miles
Today my ambitions to ride both to and from work were foiled. I’m not fully recovered from the sickness of last week, so I’m waiting for my ride home as I write this. The morning ride, however, was spectacular due to the spring sun!
Also, the cherry trees are blooming in the quad!
Today’s mileage: 4 miles
Challenge mileage: 8 miles