Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Commuting fun!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Today’s commute was particularly fun. The past few commutes had been a little routine and not boring exactly, but a bit less invigorating. But something happened this morning that made things fun — there was more traffic. Yes, incredibly, having more traffic improved my ride this morning.

For one thing, I figured out a really cool trick that I’ve been working on perfecting, but sometimes it’s hard to find the right opportunity to practice it. The trick I figured out is a way to accelerate much faster from a stop. Yesterday, I my rides to work and home were almost nonstop. I had to stop a few times this morning and got to practice the trick.

Maybe it seems obvious, but it wasn’t to me — here’s the trick. You need clipless pedals. When you stop, keep one foot clipped in (I use my left). When you are ready to go, start pedaling and clip in with your right foot as quickly as possible. When your right foot reaches the bottom of the pedal stroke, stand up, lean forward, and pull your right foot up and forward very quickly. If you’re in the right gear (use a higher one than you normally would when stopping), you’ll shoot forward — I can reach 10 mph almost immediately. You should be pedaling on the upstroke in general anyway, but I’ve found that I can get a lot more acceleration by doing the whole leaning forward and pulling, than by pushing down on the pedals. Does anyone else do this?

I saw a lot of cyclists this morning, and blew right by all of them. I was going to say hi, but I realized that they had headphones on (but no helmets, of course), so I just flew by. This is sort of a pet peeve of mine — if you’re riding, you need to be in touch with the world around you, not engrossed in music and off in another world.

Anyway, I rode harder than usual this morning, but it was just so much fun! I got to work in only 12 minutes. I was going to go slow and try not to sweat too much, but instead I had a few extra minutes to cool down, and I arrived at work with a goofy grin on my face. That’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make.

3 Responses to “Commuting fun!”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Awesome. I’m glad you had a good ride. And you look great with a goofy grin.

  2. furiousball Says:

    Always go for the goofy grin, you could be president one day.

  3. John Says:

    Ha! to furiousball’s comment. We have a whole new meaning to “anyone can become president” now.

    I’ll have to focus on the accelerating thing you said. I don’t know if I do it or not. I can get out of the gate quickly when necessary, but never paid much attention to the technique.

    p.s. I have read a few of Sarah’s comments. I think she has the hots for you.

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