One of my favorite blogs, Lovely Bicycle, is giving away a road bike. I know, so exciting! She is accepting bike ride reports to enter the give-away through the end of the week, and I decided to join in on the fun. My husband has a road bike and enjoys long rides by himself, but my city commuter simply could not keep up so I have yet to join him on rides outside the city. A road/touring bike would be a fabulous addition to our one-car, multiple-bike family!
I have yet to post an update on Designing 4 Life about my new bike, Alice, and how we’ve been getting along. So, this give-away is the perfect reason to share with you a recent bike ride Alice and I shared.
Below is my “ride report” which is my first attempt, so bear with me folks! Enjoy…
My favorite bike ride is my commute to work and back home, so I will share with you what a typical commute looks like for me, documented through iPhone4 photos and my silly ramblings.
The ride begins on a warm summer morning. I dress for work in a sensible black dress with tights for comfort. Note that it is cotton and tends to fly up, so I use safety pins and make the dress pantaloons. I have a sweater in my purse for the office, as it gets quite chilly with the AC. If it’s really warm I won’t wear my helmet, but I will bring it with me for the ride home. Sometimes I’m at the office late (boo, I know) so I have my bike equipped with front and rear lights for the occasional night ride home, which is also why I always bring my helmet.
I work approximately 1.6 miles from my house, so the commute is minimal and I simply have no excuse not to ride due to the short distance. Even though the distance is short, there are many sights along the way. Sometimes my husband rides downtown with me and works at a local coffee shop, which is a nice time to chat in the morning during our ride.
I ride through my alma mater, Drury University, everyday. Riding through campus is calming, and gives me a healthy dose of nostalgia. Not to mention I avoid a doozy of a hill and two sets of railroad tracks with this route. It’s great to ride slowly by bustling students going go class, a sort of excitement in the air with hope and fresh ideas. I also get to admire some of the best works of architecture in this midwest town, and as an intern architect the buildings always keeps my design eye happy.
Along my route, I pass by the local high school girl’s drum line practicing in the parking lot before school. They are loud and sassy, part of the ride’s soundtrack (if there was one). Then, riding past the local dry cleaners, which hasn’t changed in decades (love the retro sign!), I remember there is drycleaning I need to drop off that is still hanging in my closet. There is also the cutest Subway next door, but I haven’t snapped a photo of that building on my ride yet.
At the stoplight of a major intersection, Alice takes a break and I look down at the flowers pinned to her handlebars. I double-check the security of my things, and take a quick snapshot of the moment. My large purse fits in the Wald wire basket perfectly!
After the stoplight changes and just after crossing the intersection, a wonderfully wide bike lane appears on the bridge. Also on the bridge is one of the best views of downtown, but I’m always too afraid to stop and take a photo as it is a fast road here with no sidewalk. Then we reach an old-fashioned burger joint named “Taylor’s” and the bike lane ends. I continue on the same road, though, with traffic that is courteous enough as we have reached downtown with more pedestrian and bike traffic. A few more blocks and I’ve made it to the office, where I proceed to haul my bike up one flight of stairs to park it in the safety of the office (we work in a turn-of-the-century brick building with no elevators).
Arriving to work a bit early, I freshen up by using some wet paper towels. Breakfast after the ride includes some fresh fruit and always coffee. Then it’s time to boot up the computer and get to work!
After work, my favorite part of the day is riding home in the hot afternoon. Sometimes I stop by the gym on my way home to get a more rigorous workout, and park Alice by the creek (below).
I love slowly pedaling home on the quiet streets, having the road without cars. By the time I open the front door of our Midtown house, all of the stress of the day has lifted.
Thanks for reading my first ever bike ride report. I hope to share many more ride reports with you here in the near future!