Thursday, July 26, 2007

My new commute

Last night my new bike arrived. It's new and shiny and pretty and I'm afraid to get it dirty. I'm in that mode when you get something new and you vow to keep it perfect, forever. "I promise to wash it after every ride, and lube the chain regularly and tune it, and..." (I don't even know how to tune it to be honest) .

So in the past 4 agonizing days that I have been awaiting the arrival of my new bike I have come up with a commuting plan that will allow me to completely phase out my Jeep Wrangler (that I love and Brian hates) as far as getting to work is concerned. I realized that I live in a city that has the biggest interconnecting trail system in the country and that I need to start utilizing it. At the last client site I was working at I would commute by bike one or two days a week, and sometimes run, but I didn't really have a solid plan. Now that I'm working at my company's office, the commute is only about 3 miles. So here is my new plan...

The summer is easy. I will ride my bike to and from work every day, and keep a change of clothes in the office. Today it took me 20 minutes, but I was trying not to break a sweat. I'll continue to ride this bike throughout the fall, it should be okay even with a little snow on the ground. When the snow and ice starts piling up in November and December I'll need to revise this plan a bit.

I don't want to get my new bike all wet and rusty, so I plan on buying a cheap mountain bike for the winter, that I can put some studded tires on. I may even get two sets of wheels that i can switch out. One for ice and one for snow. The other part of my winter plan involves getting a pair of skate skis. Right now I have some classic cross country skis, but I find them slow and I don't really get a great workout. The skate skis will allow me to go fast and get my heart rate up. It's also a great substitution for running in the winter time.

The conditions on the trails change drastically from day to day in Anchorage. It snows, it warms up, the snow melts, it freezes, it snows some more, everything gets packed down. Brian figured out last season that when the trails are good for winter biking, they suck for skiing. And when the trails are good for skiing, new, fresh, fluffy snow, it makes for a tough bike ride. The plan is to let the weather dictate my mode of transportation each morning. Maybe I will even throw a run in there or two.

So that's the plan. The main reason I'm writing it on here is to make me accountable for this plan. If I don't do it now, I look like a big wimp. More on this subject as the plan unfolds...


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