A Little Bike Commuting Math

Today, for the first time all week, I didn’t get soaked by rain on my commute home! I’m not complaining about the rain; not really. We’ve had an exceptionally dry November, with an unparalleled number of beautiful Saturdays that let us keep riding our fast bikes far later than usual. I expect to commute home in the rain most days between November and April, so I’ve just enjoyed all these bonus dry days.

Of course, that all changed this week, which we kicked off with 1.4 inches of rain on Monday. I had forgotten how difficult it is to see in the pitch dark in the rain, with raindrops on my glasses and car lights refracting and my glasses fogging up every time I stop. Continue Reading...

Poem to the Rain

I’ve been more wet —
showering.

I’ve cycled to the sun and under the harvest moon
The hum of tires, the shussssh of the wind 
singing counterpoint to my joyful heart-tune.

I’ve been more wet —
swimming.

I’ve fought, dug deep, eyes on a wheel
Discovering strength through pain, 
a core of ever-forging steel.

I’ve been more wet —
bubble-bathing.

I’ve ridden the miles that build
A firm friendship foundation,
reward of valuable time fulfilled.

I’ve been more wet —
But I’ve never been more happy.

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For the Children. Seriously.

On Thanksgiving, I woke up at 5:00 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Fortunately, there’s plenty to do on Thanksgiving, starting with baking pie! I have a deep-dish berry pie I love to make, but don’t have the time to bake as often as I’d like. I had the time on Thursday morning! So I got baking, and while I did, I listened to NPR.

They played a story about the war in Yemen, something I haven’t kept close track of. But this story said that since the war started, 85,000 — let me repeat that, EIGHTY-FIVE THOUSAND — infants and children under the age of five have starved to death because of the conflict. Let me reiterate, because this is stunning.
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Compliments?

Yesterday I received an amusing backhanded compliment while commuting home. I passed a guy on the way up Dexter. At the top he caught up with me again and said, “The way you passed me, I thought you were on an e-bike!”

Why, thank you.

E-bikes go sailing up Dexter, which has a small but steady incline for a good distance, and they pass all the regular cyclists constantly. I rarely have a conventional cyclist pass me on that road, but moms in jeans on cargo e-bikes do it all the time. I’ve gotten good at recognizing the unique way people pedal on e-bikes, an effortless and blithe steady spin. If that’s how I looked, I’m doing okay.

That reminded me of another backhanded compliment I received on the Levi’s Gran Fondo. At the 50-mile food stop, a guy came up and said, “You’re really pale. How are you so fast?”

Apparently in California, you can gauge fitness based on someone’s tan. If they spend a lot of time outside riding, they’re more tan.

Of course, even in summer, that’s not the case for us Washington cyclists. I told him where I came from, and it all made so much more sense to him.