Vineyards and SprinklersSeptember 12, 2007
Guess what I did today?
I rode my bike to work! Dude!
Now, given that I live more than 30 miles from work, and given that my bike is a beach cruiser and we don't go up hills together, period, the whole ride would have taken me more than four hours, one way.
Obviously, I didn't ride the whole way. If I did that, I'd just be ready to turn around and take a $50 cab ride home.
Nope, last night when I got off work, I went to Target and bought many, many, many bike lights (it's DARK at 5am). I went home and attached them all (I felt very butch. I hate doing things like that with the screwdriver. Always makes me cranky). But now my bike lights up. I even put flashing things on the air-valve-stem thingies (that's the technical term). I think I could now land planes using my bike lights.
I borrowed a bike rack from a co-worker (but I think I'll buy one now, now that I know what it's like), and last night I attached it to the car. I wasn't really sure I'd done it right (although Lala says I did, and I trust her bike-judgment), so I used four hundred or so bungie cords to strap it down even more firmly. If I am a nervous bike-rider, I am an even more nervous driving-while-bike-is-hanging off-the-back-of-car kinda gal.
But I did it. Got up at 4:20am (no jokes), only twenty minutes earlier than I normally do, got ready, and drove to Livermore. I parked about two and a half miles away from work in front of someone's house who will surely get the cops out later to check on my extremely dirty vehicle ("Officer, it must be stolen. It looks like it's from Oakland" *gasp*).
I put my helmet on while sitting in the car which felt funny and probably looked even funnier, then I took the bike down, hopped on and rode away. I rode away!
It was so cool!
It was actually literally cool, too, but I was comfortable in my tee-shirt. I rode through the dark early morning, on broad, well-lit, bike-laned streets. I rode past sprinklers spraying, getting lightly misted as I passed. I rode past fields that smelled of fertilizer, boxes lying at the ends of the rows ready to be filled. Then the fields moved into vineyards, dark grapevines with heavy leaves, the smell of dust. Then onto the huge property where I work, past the badge gate (where I forgot, after getting out my badge, that you must put on BOTH backpack straps when you ride and not leave the backpack dangling, or you will come close to falling while the guards watch), and in to work.
I was so PLEASED with myself.
It's a little thing. A very little thing. Instead of 31 miles to work, I'm driving 26 miles. That's not really very environmental. It just kills me that there are no public transportation options available to get to my job (we work 6am to 6pm, and BART-bus connectors don't start until later -- we aren't allowed to adjust hours), but this feels like doing a good thing, albeit the smallest thing. Riding five miles. Plus, it's 40 minutes of motion, which I NEVER get on my work days -- by the time I get home at 7pm, I'm just too beat to go for a run, or even a walk.
This way, I start the day with a little ride. Boosts my energy, or at least it did today. And at the end of the day, I HAVE to ride the bike in order to get to the car to get home. No choice in the matter, no being lazy. Doesn't matter if I don't have the motivation, I'll HAVE the motivation, you know?
I am so excited. That was so fun. Oh! I've shown you before, but this is my bike (photo from Raleigh website):
There are some obvious differences. I took off that six-pack holder (with its built-in bottle opener) and put on a basket, and I added forty-two thousand watts to any place I could stick watts.
PS - I keep meaning to point you to my friend Rachel's new blog! Please go tell her hello, tell her she's sexy, and make sure you vote in her poll and make sure she knows her name is spelled wrong.