Today I completed my first to and from work bike ride, so bike the biking season has officially begun, at least for me. Before Sarah and I even moved to Washington I thought it would be really nice if I could bike to work. I'm not a gym membership kind of guy so I needed to do something that would help me to keep up my fine figure. Since I was about 12 I have really enjoyed biking and rollerblading. Rollerblading isn't the most practical means of transportation, so I bike. Shortly after we moved up here I bought a nice mountain bike. I figured that I should get a mountain bike since I might take it off road someday. At first biking was pretty easy. We lived 3 miles from work, 2 of which were up one of the steep hills in Redmond. It would take me anywhere from 18 - 30 minutes to get to work and 12 to get home. Going home it was all down hill. Then we decided that we needed to move into our very own condo, yes the same condo that we are now trying to sell. Well, that added about 12 1/2 miles each way to my commute. Going from 3 miles each way to 15 1/2 miles each way takes a bit of getting used to. It took me the rest of 2006, and then all of the season in 2007 to get used to that distance. But, now, it is March 6th and I have already biked home several times and today I biked both ways. (I ride in a vanpool to work. The van has a bike rack, so I can bring my bike in the morning and ride home at night.)
I pretty excited about biking this year. I guess that's really no different from any other year, but this year I think I am going to start really training to be good at biking. For the most part biking is just a hobby. I bike to work. I bike home, but that's about it. This year though i would like to to the STP (Seattle-to-Portland). I'm not sure if I will be able to do it this year, I but I am going to try to work up to and hopefully I will feel confident enough, as well as be in shape enough to ride 200 miles in one day. It takes place on a Saturday and Sunday, but I don't want to ride on Sunday, so I'm going to try to do it all in one day.
The STP will certainly be the hardest bike ride I've ever done. When I was 15 I went with the 2 other members of scout group on a 50 mile bike ride. Our leader drove a support van which was nice because then we didn't have to carry supplies. That was a long ride. 4 hours. That's 12 1/2 mph. It would take a long time to get to Portland at that rate. I think I can go a bit faster now, but I not for that many miles.
So, today I rode 36 miles. It took me just over 2 hours, but I had 8 hours in between 16 mile rides. I'm going to try a 25 miler on Saturday to see how that goes, and then hopefully every Saturday after that I can increase the distance a bit. The problem in all this comes from time constraints. I think I will have to start getting up pretty early in the morning so that I don't blow my whole Saturday on a bike ride.
But that's my biking in a nutshell. I bike from and sometimes to work. It's a 16 mile ride with a huge uphill at the end of going to work and a huge downhill at the beginning of going home. I ride a mountain bike, so I can only average about 16 mph right now. Through the summer that should go up. Since I bought my bike in 2005 I've ridden about 3000 miles. Not much for diehard bike commuters, but not too bad. And I really enjoy biking.
I'll probably take some pictures of my bike at another time so you can all see what I ride, and maybe where I ride.