The following article was posted on Twospoke.com by a member that had recently taken up bike commuting. I found it to be inspirational for anyone considering getting back on their bike again, and an appropriate way to kick off Bike to Work Week. This is the story of Pete’s first ride:
As many of you are aware, I recently came into the possession of an old Schwinn road bike. All the components are original OEM, with the exception of the pedals (which I replaced over the weekend) and a PlanetBike Blinky7 strobe. The original plan was to take my time getting used to riding a road bike and continuing my maintenance plan a little at a time. Late last night, I decided that I would ride to work today (What better day to start something new than on a Monday, right?) Well I woke up this morning to heavily overcast skies and a light rain. Nothing too bad. I had already decided on which route I would take, and with a bit of Carpe Diem gusto, threw on a light jacket and set out on my rusty old gal, the Blinky7 strobing away.
I knew the ride would basically be uphill through the first three quarters of the way, and thought I knew what to expect. DISCLAIMER: The definition of “uphill” is shockingly broad. I suddenly found myself halfway up Pike’s Peak, with nowhere to turn around and barely anywhere to stop (The route I had so cleverly decided upon was the most direct, with the most traffic and the least sidewalks).
Then the rain started (as in, REALLY started). It was pouring. I continued the long, slow climb. Another surprise is how quickly a rider can downshift through all 10 gears and be left with nothing, except when my bike would decide to shift into the big ring for me. Lungs sucking in wet air, legs burning, I could finally see the crest of the hill. Or so I thought. With all the sweat and rainwater blurring my eyes it was hard to tell
After dodging traffic and coasting a short ways downhill, I had finally made it. I was wet. I was cold. I was tired. I was hot. I was sore (let me reiterate the part about the original seat combined with riding on roads after a New England winter). And boy was I filthy.
I loved it.