Sunday, April 15, 2012

30 Days of Biking: Halfway

Still holding strong on the 30 Days of Biking challenge. Though the weather looks to become a bit more challenging for us in the Twin Cities, starting tomorrow. This past winter and spring have been some of the warmest on record, but since it's Minnesota we still have a chance of snow in tomorrow's forecast. I have managed to make every ride so far be what I call "productive". Productive doesn't always mean I'm riding to a specific place. Productive just means I got something out of the ride, rather than just taking the bike around the block so I can say I rode for the day. Over Easter weekend, my two rides were just simple loops around the Eagan area. But I consider this productive, as I've lived in the City of Eagan for almost 8 years but rarely bike here. 99% of my riding involves heading out of Eagan into Minneapolis or St Paul. I don't know my own back yard very well, and it's time that changed.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

30 days of biking: Day 7

One week in, I'm still on track with the 30 Days of Biking goal for April. I've been taking the short route to work this past week (bike 2 miles to the local park & ride, lock the bike up and bus in). One thing I've noticed as a result is that my biking shoes suck. I've known this intellectually for a while, but walking the 2 blocks from my workplace to the bus stop in the afternoon has rammed it home. To be fair, I bought these shoes almost 10 years ago, and they have thousands of miles on them. And they were the cheapest shoes available. I think I paid $35 from Performance on closeout. So it's not as if they owe me anything.

Rather than buying a new pair of shoes, this morning I swapped out the clipless pedals on my commuter to a pair of big platform pedals I had in the parts bin. This way, I can wear regular work shoes on my shorter commutes, and be able to walk like a normal person. As I finished the pedal swap, I gazed upon my vast fleet of cycles and realized that I now only have one bike with clipless pedals. And looking at the log, I haven't ridden that bike since 2009. My Raleigh 3 speed and my Schwinn Suburban have never had clipless, and never will. It would be too weird. And my mountain bike has always had flat pedals, mainly because I've been too lazy to put clipless on it and I don't ride it enough to make the swap worthwhile. The fixie has clipless, but as mentioned I haven't ridden it in nearly 3 years. My Jamis "go fast" bike used to have clipless, but I pulled them off 2 years ago for a Duathalon so I wouldn't have to change shoes between the running and biking portions (great transition times!).

I'm going to head out in a moment for today's ride, and if I like these platforms I may indeed buy a new pair of biking shoes. But they may never have cleats installed.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

30 Days of Biking: Day 1

Having been a bicycle slacker lo these many months, I decided to do something drastic. I'm going to attempt the 30 Days of Biking challenge. For most people that I know, the challenge isn't the motivation but rather just scheduling it out. Logistics. But for me, the motivation has been sorely lacking and I'm planning to use this month as a kick in the pants. And surprisingly, I've never tried the 30 days before. Should be interesting.

I started the month by escorting my daughters to a friend's house. They're spending the night, as it is officially Spring Break. I rode back home. 3.4 miles round trip. And a great way to start off. Tomorrow calls for a 50 percent chance of rain. So I got that going for me, which is nice.