Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Riding to Work in The Desert


Looking east, Technology Drive... 5:45 AM
Hi all,
Now that spring is here, and now that the weather is a bit more palatable, I am able to ride to work a few times a week. We have had some consistent rain the last month or two, and although I will ride in heat, wind, and cold, I am pretty much against intentionally riding in the rain. Now, in the past I have gotten caught out on the bike in unexpected rain (or snow), but if it is rainy, I usually park the bike. But for now, as you enjoy this post, at least photographically, come along for the ride! Enjoy a few pictures from Tuesday’s bike commute in lovely Palmdale.

Gloves and a hat for the chilly morning, and a jersey for the afternoon...

Other 'sundry items that ride in the handlebar bag...
Why do I ride to work? Well, to be honest it’s purely for selfish reasons. Riding twice a week to work gets me 35 consistent miles a week; I get a bit of stress relief from muttering at UNIX at the office; some fresh air (those desert winds, actually); I save a few dollar in gasoline; and most importantly, I get some training miles for the Santa Barbara Triathlon.

At 15th East, I can look across the desert, and see the ARTCC (microwave towers in front of the large hangars...
Wait, did he just say Triathlon? Yes, I did. On August 28th, I hope to enter my first sprint triathlon. My sister, Sue has completed 3 sprint triathlons, and in her own gentle way left the gauntlet at my feet. Of course, I picked it up. It is a great motivator, signing up for an event. Once you put some bucks down, and circle the date, everything changes. And in my case, by purchasing a Synergy Wetsuit, I have committed myself to the event. Also, by purchasing a wetsuit that’s a tad small, I am even more motivated!

North on 25th East, a mile to go, I always sprint hard on this straightaway. The water sitting atop the hardpan after a recent rain...
The Sprint Triathlon will consist of a 500 meter ocean swim, a 6-mile sprint on the bike, and a 2-mile run. With my background in distance freestyle swimming, and 8000 miles in the last 6 years of riding, I feel like I can be successful in at least two of the three disciplines. Oh, but, that running portion…

And I am here! Always a relief when I don't "flat" on the way...

Learning how to run again has been an adventure. And I think I’ll save that horror story for another post. For now, I am learning to do two disciplines as I train. When I ride home from work, I park the bike, change shoes, and either hit the road, or hit the treadmill for two miles of “running”. And as the year progresses, I alternate my workouts by riding two miles to the pool, swim my yardage, and ride home.

Private parking, too!
It’s part of my training plan. You have to have a plan! How to train, when to train, and what goals do I set for the event. I’ll keep you posted as the year progresses, the miles ridden, the yards swam, and hopefully, the pounds shed!

My fancy bike-commuter digs in a portable trailer...
See you next week,
Jim

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