Friday, January 17, 2014

Polar What?

Being on the other side of the polar vortex feels like a tropical vacation.  I never knew I could appreciate 20 degree temperatures, but I can honestly say that I am finding comfort in the warm blanket of Michigan winter.

While car pooling with co workers to a work function, I pointed out my tracks on the nearby embankment.

The snow makes it very easy to identify the amount of foot traffic that passes through Clinton Township and normally it's fairly impressive.  During the storm, it was pretty limited and for at least two days, that shoulder was my private lane.

My captive audience wasn't really sure how to take my proud ownership of this real estate, but it made me feel slightly sad to be stuck inside the car.  Almost like i was cheating on my bike by not riding to the meeting.

This past week on Wednesday morning I encountered a bear of a head wind coming in to the office.  It took me three hours upon arrival to connect the dots that the reason my eyes felt so tired was because of my commute.

At some point commuting crossed the border into being something that "I do" and not something that I think about.

Arrival times are planned and calculated based on weather predictions and Google maps (bike map option).  I pack an extra layer of clothing and emergency fish for each journey without hesitation.

When i leave work at night, no matter how crazy or frustrating the day was for me emotionally, by the time I roll into the driveway...the stress is gone.

There's an unpredictability to the future and I don't know how many days I'll be blessed with this opportunity to ride to work.  I try not to let the fear of it being taken away suffocate what it is for me right now. I get to look back on the great polar vortex of 2014 and reminisce about my epic ride through -13 degree temps and climbing 8 foot snow banks to make it home.  Legend....wait for it....dary!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pack and Pedal Part I

Since I started commuting by bike, one item that I've had to sort out is how to carry my essential "stuff" to and fro.

When able, I arrange to have a bag transported to my destination (thank you husband!), but for the day to day commute this isn't feasible.

I've been sporting a back pack for most of the year (husband calls it my black turtleshell) and this is okay, but not great when carrying heavy items.

It's also a big pet peeve of husband and he's been petitioning daily for me to try some sort of rack system.

Enter the "pack and pedal" by Thule (!

I've started using the handy bike wallet on the handlebar of the Farley.  Not only is it lightweight and barely noticeable when mounted, but it doubles as an air bag when crashing into snow banks :-)!

I was able to pack a spare tube, co2 cartridge, extra chemical warmers, emergency fish, tire lever and a multi tool.

There's a convenient pocket in the front for your cell phone, but because I have the world's largest phone (Galaxy Note 2) I'm using this as a place to stash an emergency blanket and chap stick.

Once we stop having epic snow days and I stop falling all of the time, we're going to mount the panniers to the rack so I can try them out...stay tuned!!!

Make sure to check out the Thule website to learn more about their line up for the Pack and Pedal group and if you're looking to pick up these items you can find them at my favorite bike shop, American Cycle & Fitness Royal Oak!