Archive for February, 2011
I was hoping to get out for a long ride this weekend, but I have multiple large projects going on simultaneously for school, so I almost didn’t get to ride at all.
I was in a rotten mood earlier today. After spending some time with my wife, while simultaneously working on a photography project, I started feeling a bit better. Then, I managed to sneak out for maybe 30-45 minutes on the singlespeed. It wasn’t a long ride, but it helped clear the mind and I felt ready to focus on my next project afterwards. Sometimes, it’s surprising how much even a little ride helps.
I’ve made some changes to the singlespeed. The Brooks B17 wasn’t working for me, so I took the saddle off my 29er and put it on the singlespeed. It’s a lot better, although this saddle isn’t great if I’m not wearing biking shorts. So, I still need to figure out the best course of action. The saddle change also forced a saddle bag change. This saddle will need to go back on the 29er, so I’ll have to buy a saddle for the singlespeed; now I’m leaning toward a WTB like I have on the Trucker.
I also put clipless pedals on it. They’re OK, but my foot placement feels a little awkward. I feel like I’m sitting too far back, maybe, even though the saddle is as far forward on its rails as it will go. This problem might actually be related to the stem, which I haven’t been able to change yet — it’s too long.
Those issues are noticeable, but I really wasn’t bothered by them, or even thinking about them, during my ride. I “just rode” for probably eight miles or so. I didn’t even bring the GPS, which is unusual for me, even on a short ride. Here are a couple of photos from the ride. I was in the 50s today so it killed me that I couldn’t ride longer, but I made the most of the time I had.
I’ve discovered that I really, really dislike bike commuting in the rain, especially when it comes to school. When I was working full-time, I still didn’t like it, but it was more manageable to bring a change of clothes with me, and let my wet clothes dry throughout the day. Now that I’m moving around campus all day, that’s not a viable option. Sarah and I share one car, and our schedules are different enough that it would be difficult to make that work. Plus, parking is a nightmare on campus, unless you’re willing to pay for a parking garage.
On Monday, it was just pouring all day. I opted to take the Bloomington Transit bus to campus. It was the first time I’ve ridden a bus in a long time. I thought that the bus route/schedule wasn’t going to work for me, but Sarah pointed out that I was misreading the bus schedule. (Note to Bloomington Transit folks: if a GIS student can’t read your bus schedules, maybe you’re doing something wrong.)
I have to say, riding the bus worked quite well. As a student, I get to ride the bus for free. And it’s a lot more tolerable — even enjoyable, I found — walking in the rain, versus riding. And I still got some exercise in the form of 2.5 miles of walking throughout the day. Another bonus: listening to music and reading a book on the bus.
The buses here do have bike racks on the front, so if I can figure out how they work, I could try a multi-mode commute.
Today I went by the forecast and rode the bus again, given that we had a 70% chance of rain. It didn’t start raining until 5:30 pm, a while after my last class. Oh well.
I don’t intend to take the bus often, but it’s good to have alternatives.