Friday, September 16, 2011

The cool weather has arrived. It looks like it will be for a short amount of time, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. I wore a jacket on my bicycle commute to work in the mornings this week. It's no cycle-specific article of clothing, or anything. It's just a Docker's product. The cool weather invigorates me somehow and I seem to make slightly better time.

Last night I had to examine the battery situation in my front led flasher and headlight. The three AAA size batteries had begun to corrode slightly and affect its performance. I cleaned it up a little and installed two new batteries, different brands, and left the best looking one in there. It still helped. The light is brighter now and that was my goal.

A colleague of mine asked if I was still riding my bike. Indeed I am. For now. I have made no goal to ride it every day no matter what, this year. I decided my commuter was not well suited for ice and snow over 1/2", and if those conditions exist, I'll opt to drive our car. Forgive me. I made my goal last year and I choose to ride almost everyday.

This colleague of mine said he was getting ready to buy a brand new bike. At this point I am bursting to tell him my opinion and advice on what he should look for and consider. However, in my experience, when I get started, the listener kind of checks out and an imaginary wall is put up between us and the information I'd like for them to consider is dismissed almost immediately. So, I did tell him I rode a 80's model three speed, which seemed to surprise him. He, like a lot of people are under the impression they must spend upwards of $500-$800 for a brand new bike in order to go for a bike ride.

Commuting by bicycle to work each work day has educated me and left me with a unique perspective. As far as commuting by bicycle to work in the mid-west, on relatively flat paths, where the distance is under five miles, and the priorities are utility, reliability, and durability, I've found the three speed internally geared to be ideal for this situation. A chain-guard keeps the grease and grime from off my dress pants, because I ride in the clothes I work. Fenders keep the wet stuff off my back and legs, mostly. Metal wire baskets carry my stuff. The internal hub allows me to shift gears when I'm stopped at a traffic light or stop sign. Good quality tires give me confidence and many, many miles of flat free commuting. A steel butted frame gives a good ride is strong for a lifetime.

I wanted to tell him all this, but he checked out. Like many others, he won't be satisfied that he has a quality experience unless he spends much more than is necessary. I hope his new bike doesn't become garage decoration and that he has a good experience riding. I wish him well.

I wish all of you well, too. Keep on commuting by bike!


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