Posted by: dolan | May 14, 2003

Bike to Work Week

Today I biked in. It took a while. Like twice as long as by car. Caltrain wasn’t bad — nicer than it used to be — but is still pretty slow. Until the grading project is done, it probably will be. Plus it costs $9 roundtrip from SF, which is a fair bit more money than the Civic uses in gas each day.

The ride down to the Caltrain station was quite nice, and the ride in the Silly Valley was.. well, ok. At least there are bikelanes along Central Expressway and Montague Expressway, which turns them into very fast routes, if you don’t mind the noise and pollution of cars passing you at 50mph. I did the Mtn View – Cisco commute by bike in about the same time as it would take by light rail (and again, about twice as long as a car). Mind you, I was in my 48-13 gear most of the way, going quite quickly, so it’s not for lack of trying that it took 40 minutes.

What is really frustrating is that I’d love to commute by bike, but it just doesn’t make sense for every situation, especially not this one. It takes twice as long and costs twice as much, even with subsidies. If we lived within 20 miles of Cisco, i’d probably just ride it, but 50+ miles is too far. Not exactly ready to ride a semi-hilly century with a laptop every day. Oh well, maybe eventually I’ll either change where I live or where I work, but for right now, the car is still king. At least when I stop to consider the fact that I carpool, I feel a bit better.

BTW, tomorrow is officially Bike to Work day. However, Renee has a very early Final exam tomorrow morning, and this is Bike to Work week.

Conclusion

I got home quite late yesterday, after missing the CalTrain in Mtn View by about 5 minutes. I watched it go by as I pedaled along. What I had miscalculated (and why I literally flew on the way in, was the Eastern-facing wind. Even though my route back was a bit more direct (This time I didn’t miss the Montague exit), the wind coupled with the wind resistance of the panniers slowed me down significantly.

When I got to SF, the wind was even stronger, to the point where one would call it gusty. That, combined with a climb up the Hayes St. hill (actually, Post St.), made for a tough trip back. This guy on a converted MTB kept trying to race me. Whatever. The humorous thing is that we were both dusted by some girl on a road bike that had a “Huffy” sticker — I asked if it was really a Huffy and she said it was her “anti-theft mechanism”. Mind you, she didn’t have 20 lbs of laptop, so I didn’t feel so bad about getting dusted.

The upshot of all this is that doing this commute, even once a week, will make me (and Renee, who is considering doing a similar commute to SJSU twice a week) very strong riders. It should allow us to get a fair bit of mileage in before our SF-Ojai tour in August.

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Responses

  1. Bike to work week… I wish i knew sooner. I would have biked to work yesterday. I have a chance tomorrow but i think the ride from Ojai to LA is a bit much.


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