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Commute Loop – 2023.11.02

Today was just not the best for commuting. It certainly could have been better; however, it most certainly could have been worse.

One thing I hate about taking time off from my morning commute is that once it’s time to get back at it it’s a struggle. This morning was certainly no exception. The combination of time off and cooler temperatures had my motivation at a low. I was really close to calling it in and just driving in and saving my legs for the weekend. I reminded myself that I’ve never regretted riding it and started getting ready.

The ride in went well all things considered.

My front tire picked something up along Southern Highlands causing a flat. I’m pretty sure I picked up something in the debris pile that’s been at the corner of Valley View and Southern Highlands for the past month. As I approached Starr Hills I had to slow for traffic to move into the left turn lane and the front end suddenly felt really weird and difficult to turn. The tire wasn’t flat yet and for a minute I was worried something was wrong with the fork or in the steerer tube. As I approached Evelyn Stuckey Elementary School it got even worse and when I pushed on the front I could really feel the front tire flexing. I decided to pull into Olympia Sports Park to take a look, and by the time I stopped at a picnic table the front was clearly flat. It took me about 20 minutes to get a new tube installed and take a bathroom break before continuing on. Inspecting the inside of the tire I hit something sharp with my fingers, but it came loose and I never found it again so I’ll never know for certain what it was.

I’m back to picking up some Wandrer miles when I can and today I opted to ride Jones north to Hacienda. Along the way just north of Windmill I wanted to take a quick left into a small neighborhood to check it off the list. As I waited sitting perpendicular to traffic in what is stripped as a shoulder (solid white line), this lady comes driving right up like it’s nothing. I’m waving at her and thinking, “What are you doing?”. Thankfully nothing terrible happened, but upon further inspection of the area I don’t think she’s totally at fault. The lane she was in is a travel lane one minute and a shoulder the next. No warning sign, no “Right Lane Must Turn Right”, nothing. It’s really bizarre. You can check out the Google Street View of the section Jones I’m talking about HERE. Thankfully after that the rest of the ride to the office was uneventful.

At lunch I took the opportunity to patch the tube I pulled out of the front tire on the ride in. I swear the puncture was the smallest little thing. I’m surprised it made it through the tire to be honest. Thankfully I have a patch kit and floor pump at the office for just such an occasion. Once that tube was patched it went back on the bike and the ‘new’ tube went back into the toolkit. I also had a CO2 in an office drawer to replace the spent one used earlier. This would leave me good to go for the ride home at the end of the day.

The ride home was a special adventure in and of itself.

Right out of campus I was rolling through the intersection of Flamingo and Claymont when I spotted some silver on the road. I pulled over to the gutter to check for traffic before doubling back. As I’m starting to look back, someone flies past me in a gray Jeep SUV just FLYING down the shared bike/bus lane. I don’t know how long they were in ‘my’ lane. Perhaps they moved into it after seeing me pull over and stop, but it was certainly enough to get my attention and blood flowing. Thankfully pulling over and doubling back yielded an additional $0.75 to the new bike fund.

For the most part the ride after that was uneventful until I tried to make the left onto Belclaire from Sunridge Heights to take the trail down to Sunridge Park. I was able to get into the left turn lane without issue. I looked ahead and saw the headlights of a vehicle just passing the rise but far enough back that I could make the turn before they got to me. I started executing my turn and was in the middle of the first lane of oncoming traffic when I spotted the mid-90s 2-door Honda Accord about half the distance between me and the other vehicle I’d seen. Thankfully I had momentum on my side and was able to clear out of their way without issue but damn if it wasn’t a little too close for comfort. Not sure what rattled me more; how close they were, or the fact that I hadn’t seen them without their headlights. Certainly pretty high up there on the sketchiness scale.

That just about wraps up today’s fun and excitement. Overall, I felt pretty good today. Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow at Scrambled and then the gym after work. Then it’s back-to-back group rides on Saturday (RMT Anniversary) and Sunday (Adobo Velo Birthday Ride). I can’t wait.

New bike fund: $31.51 (+$1.35)
10.03 new miles — From
516 vehicles @ 9.4 per mile, 2.5 per minute, Speeds: 34.9 mph (avg), 63.6 mph (max) —
Clear-Clear, 49°F-68°F, Feels like 51°F-67°F, Humidity 20%-11%, Wind SW 2mph-NE 2mph — by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 1.2%
Headwind: 46% @ 2.5-7.6mph
Longest Headwind: 08h 43m 15s
Air Speed: 16.3mph
Temp: 46.6-66.9°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 54.73 mi
Max elevation: 3060 ft
Min elevation: 1774 ft
Total climbing: 2314 ft
Total descent: -2322 ft
Total time: 12:44:56
Published inCommuteCycling

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