As requested, here’s an update on my progress with the bike. Since I bought it a month ago…
I added a front basket. It’s much easier (and less sweaty) than a bag over your shoulder. I even stopped at Whole Foods tonight and brought home groceries. Dave suggested that I get a cargo net for when I overfill it, and that’s been helpful—without it, my lunch jumps a foot in the air over speed bumps.
I got a bike pump. And I waited way too long to do it. My tire pressure should be between 50 and 70 psi—I’ve been inflating it to 60—and it had dropped to 30. I really noticed the difference. It was like I was riding through molasses.
I added lights. And rode at night! It wasn’t actually that scary, because there was less traffic than during the day. Now I think I’ll start riding the bike on the days that I tutor until dark, too.
I rode in the rain. Not intentionally, but it started raining on my ride home one day. I got soaked, but the tiny brim on my helmet kept the rain out of my eyes. (It also keeps the sun of of them. It’s awesome!) I won’t take my bike if it’s raining in the morning, but I don’t mind getting wet on the way home.
I’ve taken two left turns. Don’t laugh. I feel a little bit like Zoolander, because instead of actually crossing traffic to take a left turn I’ll stop at the crosswalk and wait for the light to change. Especially on Mass. Ave., where there’s four lanes. But one day there was no traffic in either direction, so it was easy. And yesterday Danielle passed me just as I came up on the turn and I followed her lead.
I’ve discovered third gear. I’ve only got three, but I started out in two most of the time. Now on long stretches, like across the bridge or on the bike path I’ll pop it up into three. I haven’t timed my ride to work lately, but I’m sure it’s faster than my original 23 minutes.
I haven’t really had any altercations with cars, but I’m still convinced that every one of them (as well as the bicyclists who whiz around me and the pedestrians who step out in front of me) is actually out to kill me. That makes for some very nervous but safe riding.
So what do you think? Have you been riding this spring? Any advice for me?