Metal Bike Commuter


Is it Friday Already?

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on May 30, 2008

This is the completion of my third week of bike riding to work.  So far I am having a blast, and find myself in a better mood each morning.  Yesterday was an off day, as I had to drive to a client to fix some end user issues.  I totaled about 80 miles of driving.  80 miles of driving in NJ during work hours is never fun.  All was good though, because I geared up this morning.  While I’m huffing and puffing up and down the hills of Morris County, others are stuck in the rat race driving here and there to get to work.

My odometer turned over to 100 miles on the ride in.  I should have reset my odometer when I began my bicycle commuting, because it’s probably off by about 30 to 40 miles.  Because of the Holiday and the lousy weather, I’ve only ridden about 25 to 30 miles this week.  Maybe I’ll crunch some out over the weekend.

While riding home yesterday, my chain slipped off.  I noticed the chain is looking a little rusty and the bike frame could use a good cleaning.  This is all part of the learning process, I guess.  My bike spent a few weeks on my roof rack driving cross country and also stayed outdoors in the elements for a few months in sunny San Diego.  I figured wrong when I thought it wouldn’t rain that much.  The situation isn’t too bad, nothing a good scrubbing and greasing won’t fix.

I wish I knew some other bike commuters from Morris County.  I’m sure I’d only slow them down, but riding with others seems to raise the level a bit.

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Client Visits

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on May 28, 2008
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I was supposed to visit a client today but because of scheduling differences (I forgot), it has been rescheduled for tomorrow.  That means no bike ride tomorrow.

I was prepared to ride home last night when it started to pour.  Thunder was rumbling in the distance.  A co-worker was kind enough to spot me a ride home.  Murphy’s Law was in place, because as soon as I stepped out of the car in front of my house, the sun came back to tease me.  Darn sun!

I did drive in this morning, but went home for lunch to have my wife drop me off.  I am looking forward to saddling up in three hours.  I need the ride today.  Maybe it will help to clear these cobwebs out of my head.

Wet Morning

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on May 27, 2008
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The ride in was a wet ride.  Since my bike isn’t optimized for commuting, (no fenders) my bag and back got soaked from the splattering of the rear tire.  Maybe I’ll purchase a commuter-gear bicycle if this day-to-day bike commute becomes a habit.

I saw no one riding today, so either the normal commuters skipped a drizzly morning, or the bike commuters are seriously lacking in my area after National Bike to Work Week finished.  I hope it is the former and not the later.

The afternoon has turned into a hot and humid sunny day.  During lunch I took a 10 minute walk to Atlanta Bread, Co.  I was just a little sweaty while there, but cooled off real quick while eating my chicken cordon bleu panini with an iced sweet tea.  The walk back seemed a bit warmer.  Yuck.  Hot and muggy.  Hopefully I don’t smell too bad.

This is the official start of my 3rd week of bicycle commuting to work.  If I ride 5 days a week, that would equal to about 60 miles a week.  With the rising costs in fuel, this will begin to pay off soon.  So far I think I’ve ridden about 50 to 60 miles total the last two weeks.  That probably saves me two bucks right there.  Two less dollars saved along with an incalculable amount of stress.  Plus, I’m sure my blood pressure is starting to lower.

Have a Safe Memorial Weekend

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on May 25, 2008

I love the 3 day weekends.  This weekend I’m inspired to lay around doing a bunch of nothing while admiring the view of the ocean.

Friday’s ride home was ok.  I was a little tired going home, but as usual, I avoided the bumper-to-bumper traffic.

I’ve also decided to take the long way to work.  Crossing Route 10 is like crossing an alligator infested river with a flimsy rope bridge.  It is just not advisable.  Besides, I can use the extra .5 mile commute the safer route adds.

Bikes

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on May 23, 2008

I’ve had plenty of bikes throughout the years. First bike that I can remember was my Knight Rider Big Wheel. While not technically a bicycle, this three wheeler made me the king of burn outs and rampages throughout the neighborhood. Check it out:

That’s right, folks. I was the shiznit as a five year old. I learned to ride a bicycle at 6 years old. It was a Huffy BMX bike my father bought for me. He put me on the bike pushed me, yelled for me to “Pedal!” I pedaled right into the neighbor’s apartment glass window (nothing broken, including myself). There was an older deaf kid, David, whom I have fond memories of because he helped me to learn to steer, brake, etc. I remember he came home from school and saw me riding around and was yelling excitedly. What a cool kid. I wonder what he’s doing now.

I kept the BMX for a few years. In fourth grade I got a used Diamondback Silver Streak 2 for free. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Day, had been tutoring my mom in math in preparation for her upcoming nursing exams. Yeah, it was kind of weird having your teacher at your home a few days a week, but she was a sweet British lady who loved to teach. She seemed to favor me or something, because one day she pulled up with this kick-butt bicycle in her car. She asked me to help her take it out. I looked at the thing and practically drooled. What a cool looking bike. Anyway, she told me to take care of it. I was stumped, confused, and excited! Her son had join the military and no longer needed it.

I have plenty of great memories on that bike and used it for years. I gave it to one of my younger cousins when he came of age. I don’t think he had the same appreciation that I had for this cycle. This bike was groundbreaking to me and has plenty of historical relevance.

Anyway, when the neighborhood kids saw me riding it around, they were all jealous. They knew more about this bike than I did. I learned to wheelie on this bike, bunny hops, and took it over plenty of launch ramps.

In between my current bike, the Specialized Hardrock, I had a cheap 5 speed mountain bike bought from Sears. It served me well throughout my teenage years, and that too was given away to one of my younger unsuspecting cousins (who have taken my older aggressive inline skates, skateboards, and other junk).

So there you have it. The story of my bicycle life in a nutshell.

This morning’s commute was cold. I wore shorts and a muscle shirt thinking I’d warm up quickly. While uneventful, it was relaxing. Supposedly there is a bike trail somewhere along my commute. I kept an eye out for it but could not find it. It doesn’t show up on Google maps, and the parks and recreation map isn’t detailed enough to show me how to get there. If this phantom trail exists, I’ll find it. From the description, it looks like a single track dirt trail.

Yesterday and Today

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on May 22, 2008

I woke up feeling rather tired because I was up last night watching the flick, “Into The Wild”. Yeah, it was an ok movie, but I felt (and confirmed this morning) that there was some artistic stretching regarding this true story. Basically, rich upper-class boy is tired of modern society and goes into the wilderness to try and survive. While he had great intentions, it culminated in his death of starvation (or poison, depending on the expert). Unfortunately, had this dude been more prepared, he would have escaped his untimely death and lived to speak about his time spent in a busted bus in the middle of Alaska.

Anyway, I did ride home last night. My wife dropped me off at work, and picked me up for my MS exam I have been spending nights studying for. Remember, there are two ways to doing things:

1. The right way.
2. The Microsoft way.

In order to pass these exams, you need to learn the “Microsoft Way.” Sounds like a cult. I don’t hate MS, so I won’t spend too much time bashing on the s/w company. All I know is, you won’t find me dropping 600.00 for a phone that looks “sexy.”

The ride home was awesome. While the roads were wet, I escaped the few drops of rain that came later. About 4 out of the 6 miles was bumper-to-bumper traffic. I even had some energy and stepped it up a bit up the two large hills. I noticed there are more grills cooking steaks, hot dogs, and hamburgers lately. This is something I would not notice while trapped in my car.

Speaking of trapped, I began the morning ready to roll. Well, when I stepped out my back door it was pouring out. Darn. I changed into my work clothes and resigned to the fact that I’d be using a stick shift and steering wheel this morning instead of the bike. Hopefully I’ll end the week on a good note. I’m already getting addicted to this.

>note< I woke up really tired this morning. I had my usual lazy thoughts of wanting to stay in bed and leave at the last minute. Then a thought came to me. I wanted to ride. So I got out of bed, hit the showers, packed my backpack up, and clothed and ready to ride, stepped out into the pouring rain. Sorry, but I’m not that addicted to bicycling.

Cool Morning

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on May 20, 2008
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So today was a cool ride in. Literally. I wore shorts and a tee shirt and at 50 degrees this morning, that was just a little too cold. After the second mile my body was warmed up. At least I wasn’t sweaty this morning.

Right now it’s raining, so I guess I’m looking forward to a rather wet home commute.

I think I may have inspired the building manager. He came up to me asking a question on how to remove rust from his frame because he plans on riding from the train station to work.

New Bike Commuter

Posted in Uncategorized by metaljaybird on May 16, 2008
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Well, this is my blog for all things bike commuting.  I just started on Wednesday, rode on Thursday, and skipped Friday (torrential rain storm).

My other blog metaljaybird.wordpress.com has a few entries about my experiences thusfar, which I’ll place over here soon enough.

So far: I’m loving the ride!