Monday, June 12, 2006

My Bicycle Diaries - Day Five

Today was my first day riding to work. I just realized that I’ll need to add a bicycle pump onto my list of purchases. The back tire was riding a little low, I suspect that the house monkeys may have had something to do with it. The only gas station on my route is at 45th & Baltimore. Unfortunately I didn’t have any quarters, so I headed off to work and hoped for the best.

One of challenges I have been facing is trying to find the best route – and everyone has an opinion. For the morning commute I rode up 45th Street, hung a left on Chestnut and rode until I reached 9th Street. I don’t think this route is going to work for me. Not only was the traffic heavy, but I didn’t catch a single green light and had to stop at every other block.

Going down Chestnut also places me right in the carpool lane, supposedly sharing it only with the buses, hah. I got honked at several times. I noticed that the taxi drivers steered clear of me, and that the people who whizzed by the fastest were the divers from Joizy. I’m trying to enjoy the view as I cycle, but am concerned that while sight seeing I’m going to be taken out by one of the drivers. I did see my friends Carmen and Jon walking to work this morning (I think they have a mile-long stroll.

Outside my building, someone from the bike shop that built my bike called out, “Hey Biketown!” He then told me that my back tire was flat. :- When I got to my office, I was told by the guards that I had to take the bike down to the rack in the basement. There is a building policy that forbids us bringing the bikes up to our office, but since the only elevator to the basement was out of order, I had to ride around to the side of the building and be escorted by the building manager down the service elevator.

It took me thirty minutes to ride to work d2d, and ten minutes to secure the bike in the building. The heat wasn’t too bad today; I wonder what the ride will be like during the heat of the summer.

On the way back home I rode up Spruce Street, over the South Street Bridge. When I got to 38th, I cut south and went west on Chester. I avoided the killer hill at 43rd. Maybe because I wasn’t overloaded, but there were no stops today to catch my breath (I forgot to mention that last Thursday I was praying for stop lights on the last third of my trip).

This morning, I place my bike outside our door while my wife was in the shower. She didn't realize I was biking to work - and is still afraid that I’m going to get myself killed on the Streets of Philadelphia. She looked genuinely relieved to see me get home in one piece.
Total Estimated Mileage: 7 miles

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