I rode to work (partial ride with seabus) again this morning. It was quite nice, I really do enjoy the biking. I’m starting to work out the kinks in my route, too, which helps. It looks like I’m going to be able to leave a bit later than I would if I were taking the bus in the morning.
I worked all day, had lunch with one of my co-workers at the local greek place (mmmm spinach cheese pie!) and packed it in for the week. I had to decide at that point if I was going to ride down to the seabus and come home that way, or ride all the way home on my own steam.
I looked outside where the weather was pleasant and the light was strong, and decided to take the long way home.
The route I take goes slightly downhill to the bridge, then up and over the bridge, along the waterfront to Stanley Park, up the causeway and then up the Lion’s Gate Bridge then down the other side. Next I go across the lower part of North Vancouver (mostly a flat stretch) until I reach Larson/16th, then head on up the beginning of the mountain. The rest is all uphill pretty much to the apartment.
The whole ride was around 15km (which is maybe 9 or 10 miles I guess?) predominantly uphill. somewhere in the last twenty minutes my left shoulder started killing me (riding a mountain bike for road biking isn’t necessarily the best geometry for longer rides like that) but I pushed through it and made it all the way home.
Strangely, it took me an hour and ten minutes to ride the whole way home. Once I’m more used to it and in better shape, that time will get shorter and shorter. I seriously thought it was going to take me longer to get home than that.
It takes me up to an hour and a half to get home by transit alone.
Here’s the thing, though. I have a very bad habit of getting annoyed with myself when other cyclists pass me. I look at them and compare myself to them, feeling all inferior and weak. Tonight I was doing exactly that, riding up the causeway to the Lion’s Gate and getting passed by all these other cyclists on road bikes decked out in their tights and clipped into their pedals, when I stopped myself and thought about the other side of things. I was riding my bike with them. I am riding a mountain bike with slicks, which is by no means a skinny-tired efficient road bike. I haven’t been a serious cycle commuter in a very long time, and have lost what conditioning I had from my short ride to and from my last job. Lots of valid reasons why they’re passing me, really. But what it comes down to in the end is the fact that I was out there riding home, from Kitsilano to Central Lonsdale across two bridges. Chances are pretty good that they weren’t secretly making fun of me for being slow when they passed me.
If I keep it up, then I will get better. And maybe someday I’ll think about getting a commuter with skinny tires. I definitely want some tights first, though.