Posts Tagged biking

If you can't bike TO work, bike FROM work.

Since I moved in May, my bike riding has fallen drastically. Since moving in mid-May, I’ve taken exactly one trip to Diana’s office and back (~8 miles round trip) and another trip to Stanford and back (~8 miles round trip) about a month later. That’s it. Sure, my office is still only about 9 miles away from the house… but that would’ve been a stretch goal even when I was biking to work two or three times a week. I could bike to the train station (~2 miles) and then to work (~2 miles), but the trip spans two separate zones. Even though it’s only a 6 or 7 mile trip, that means it would be $4 each way, while driving their and back only takes a little over one gallon of gas. Not an ideal solution. I started tracking my mileage on Zealog to further motivate myself, but clearly that wasn’t doing much either.

Instead of biking TO work, then, today I tossed the bike in the back of my car and took it with me. There’s a Subway about a mile and a half away from the office that we go to at least twice a week, and sometimes three times a week. Why drive? Today, I biked to lunch instead of driving. It only takes about 10 minutes longer than driving, and while it’s not exactly a massive undertaking, any little bit helps. Three miles of exercise is certainly greater than the zero exercise I was averaging before.

Now the task shifts into finding restaurants that are the optimal distance away. Google doesn’t really have the capacity to give you search results for “restaurants at least three miles away from point XYZ,” so it took a bit of creative guesswork to find some likely candidates. Unless I remember to lug the bike home on Fridays, this means I won’t be able to do any recreational rides on the weekend–but considering I’ve only done two of those in the last 5 months, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

No Comments

Grill… check. Electric bicycle? Maybe

(Image lost in the Great Update of 2009)

In my mind, practically all the reasons you’d want to own a house instead of rent an apartment lie in the back yard: a grill, a small garden, and space for a dog to run around during the day. With it being Memorial Day weekend, I couldn’t wait any longer to knock item #1 off my list. I’m from Atlanta, birthplace of the Big Green Egg–and my dad has had one for probably 10 years now. They’re expensive, but they pretty much blow all the other grills I’ve seen out of the water. I was lucky to find a BGE store locally (the aptly named Eggs by the Bay). The BGE corporate website listed a few distributors that were closer to my new house in Redwood City, but for me it was worth it to drive a little further to give a sale to a small business. The extra driving was rewarded, incidentally. The owner had the large Egg I wanted, but but not the large-sized table for it. He was nice enough to loan me a nest (basically metal legs for the grill) until he could get the table in–plus a few days to allow me to paint and lacquer the new table. I sincerely doubt that any large specialty retailer would’ve been willing to do the same. The Eggs by the Bay store is actually having a sale later in the summer for gently used demo eggs (basically used for their one-day barbecue festival), but forgoing any grilling for an entire month+ just to save $100 or so wasn’t quite worth it for me. Besides, my economic stimulus check was burning a hole in my pocket (though that only covered about half of it…). Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

No Comments

BarCamp and Bike vs Car

My friend Annie and I went to a BarCamp over the weekend. I’d never heard of them before, but it wasn’t too hard to talk me into an all night programming event. A BarCamp is sort of like a grass-roots conference where the participants are also the ones who present little mini-modules. This one had an UX application design contest, some speakers from Facebook, and a guy from Amazon. The details on the wiki (and Facebook group, which is where Annie heard about it) were a little sparse,but we understood it to be an overnight programming contest–where you start an app at night and present your results the following afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

1 Comment

A little Friday exercise.

For the last two weeks, I’ve only biked to work once each week.  Apparently, winter in California means that it’s going to look like a thundering downpour is eminent every weekend… then clear up and look nice by lunchtime.  I may have to actually start checking the weather report before deciding whether to bike or not… or just suck it up and get some decent rain gear that wouldn’t completely immobilize me.  Today, though, it was just too nice out to not do something… so I ducked out of work at around 4:15, came home (~15 mins), loaded up the kayak (~30 mins), and went off to the little lake up by the Shoreline golf course (~15 mins).  The rental shop was closed already, but there was a guy still working.  He said not to bother with the $4 launch fee, which is always nice.  It was only about a mile around the border of the lake (thank you gmap pedometer), so I also went across and back (around another ~.38 miles each way).  Even around 2 miles isn’t exactly a lot, but I haven’t been paddling in a month or two–and I definitely felt the burn.  I only found out about this lake last weekend, and it’s actually close enough to make kayaking a viable exercise option (on days other than Saturday and Sunday).

I’ll make sure to bring my sunglasses next time, though.

,

No Comments

Not quite 5-a-week.

I drove in to work today, meaning that I won’t have biked in every day this week.  I did this for a few good reasons, though:

  1. I needed to drop my girlfriend off at the train station (at least one of us took eco-friendly transportation to work).
  2. My legs were pretty tired last night.
  3. I wanted to have enough energy to go rock climbing after work.

Even 3/5 (not sure what I’m going to be doing Friday) seems like an awfully good start, though.

No Comments

New Bike: Take 1

After having completely given up on the old Raleigh road bike which refused to cooperate on Friday, I ventured in to my local bike shop (the “Off Ramp” on El Camino) to look at new bikes on Sunday.  After reading for awhile on the various types of bikes, I was convinced that I needed either a hybrid or a comfort bike.  The comfort bikes didn’t seem as well-tuned towards long-distance rides, so I was leaning towards the hybrids.  After actually getting into the shop, though, I was pretty impressed by the ads for the Electra Townie 21–enough so to give it a test ride.  That was enough for me.  For a complete bike noob like myself, being able to sit upright (and look around at traffic) felt so much more natural that I won’t even try to put it into words.  The guy at the shop assured me that although they were a little heavier than a hybrid, the Townie was plenty fast and a good commuter bike.  The price tag was right around what I was expecting–$410 for the bike, plus $35 for a rear rack, $15 for a frame-mounted pump, and $40 for Uncle Sam. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

The Day I Almost Wore Real Shoes to Work

Today, for the first time since I moved to California, I put on socks.  And real shoes.  I was even going to wear them to work–for this was to be Bike to Work Day: Part Deux!  Why so long between attempts?  Well, I needed a couple of days to recover after the last one and then went to Greece for two weeks.  Now back in the US of A, it was time to try to bike to work again.  I made it about a mile and a half before I noticed that my tires seemed a little flat. Read the rest of this entry »

,

No Comments

The Stressful Commute

Usually, my commute takes me about 15 minutes each way. It’s only 3.6 miles, but there a bunch of red lights and stop signs. Today, it took around 50 minutes each way. A little over triple the usual. Why? Because I didn’t take my car. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Let the bike experiment begin!

Last week, I bought a bike off of craigslist. An old bike. Like, a really old bike. That’s okay, though, it was only $30. I had the guys at a bike shop check it out, and while they suggested around $150 worth of repairs if I wanted the thing to run like new for a couple of years, they said it would be fine as-is for a few months. I’m using the “first-car” principle for my first bike (okay, sure, I had one when I was a kid… but I haven’t ridden one in probably 15 years). Rather than go ahead and pony up a few hundred bucks for a new one (or $800 for an electric one that looks really sweet, I thought I’d get a cheapo bicycle to practice on. That way when I smash it into things or fall under a bus, I’ll only be crying about my wounds and not the money I just wasted on a new bicycle. Read the rest of this entry »

,

1 Comment