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Man in the Arena

January 13, 2009

Cross Chain Traffic

Posted by ManintheArena Jan 13, 2009

Turns out I made a New Year's resolution but didn't realize it until today. After learning that train fares were being increased to $5.50 each way starting on Jan. 1, I decided to commute by bike more. Though I'm a big supporter of public transportation, I'm also a big supporter of going out to dinner more than once a month. Additionally, I also have some bike races I'd like to do, and this would be good training for them.


So last week I rode to work twice. This week, I'm determined to ride in Monday through Thursday. Two days down, two to go. It's still too dark to ride home, though. The trip is about 18 miles on city streets, bike paths, highway and sometimes a dirt service road.


Yes, highway. It must have been a proud day in the San Diego transportation authority's office when they realized there weren't any feasible bike routes connecting Sorrento Valley with the rest of the city and that they'd have to open up the freeway (as they call it here in Cali...take that Fast Lane owners!) to bicycle traffic.


Actually, it's one of the safer sections of my ride. The shoulder is wide enough to give me ample room away from the 70+ mph traffic. This is in stark contrast to some of the other roads I ride on, where cars go the same speed, but there is barely a shoulder to cry on (I'm talking to you, people who work at the Anheuser-Busch Distributor on Santa Fe St. One might think your job was to taste the different batches of beer all day; in which case I'd drive 70 mph to work, too).


One benefit to riding on the freeway allows me to see how fast I can go. With my new Treck ACH bike computer now finally installed, I try to hit 40 coming off the Genesee exit. It's a slight downhill, but I've got to get into the big ring and peddle as hard as I can to reach it.



My bike computer is definitely an upgrade from my old one. In addition to an odometer, speed reading and trip time, I've now got cadence, heart rate (which I have yet to use), temperature, altitude (which I can't quite figure out what it's telling me) and percent grade. It took me over an hour to figure out how to set everything, even though there were directions in about a dozen languages. It had me wondering if, at that same moment, there was a confused Dutch cyclist doing the exact same thing.


Speaking of temperature, my ride started at 6:50 a.m. with a temp of 48 at my house. In Rose Canyon, the temp read 42 degrees, though I imagine the wind chill of going 17 mph made it slightly colder. By the time I hit the office around 8ish, my bike was telling me it was 60 degrees out. (Sorry mom, but today is supposed to hit 82. How's Connecticut?)

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