Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Bike Riding Goals

It's generally quite hot in St. Louis in the summer! I have pretty modest goals as a result, but this makes for a nice and easy time to transition back into biking without trying to do too much all at once. Here's where things stand and what I'm currently working on

Goals and current status:

  1. Ride to church for meetings and worship
    So far, so good! I have attended worship three times since I started riding* and have had one meeting schedule at the church, and I'm 3 for 4 so far! The day I drove was only because I was playing in our volunteer orchestra and have a rather large and unwieldy instrument case. I might figure out how to bike with it at some point, but I don't want to do too much too soon in terms of testing my balance or tethering skills. 
  2. Ride to work when the weather permits
    So far, I've ridden to work twice - once on a test run on a Saturday morning (June 15) and once for real (July 1). The remaining days have had heavy rain or storms in the forecast (I don't mess with lightning) or have been hot and quite sticky (again, sometime I'm game to navigate as my comfort level increases, but when it's as muggy as it gets in St. Louis, figuring out how to dress** and how early to leave the house are things I'm still figuring out). Last Monday, it was 63F when I rode to work and 78F when I rode home! Unheard of for July in St. Louis. 
  3. Get a bike basket...or baskets
    Part of my hesitation to ride to work was having the right places to store stuff while I'm riding. I have been riding with a diaper bag*** which works better than expected, but still leaves much to be desired. For example, it's soft-sided, and sometimes little bits would knock against the spokes (never loose enough to catch, but the sound is distracting), and it was the only place for a drink on my bike, so I had to come to a full stop to get water. Not the end of the world, especially since I'd probably stop to drink even with easier access (still getting comfortable on the bike - I'm just not at a place where I feel stable with my right turn signals). But hardly ideal. I received a front basket for my birthday last week and installed it myself the same day! Next step will be to get two rear, folding Wald baskets for the back.
*I sing in the choir at my church from August or September to May or June, and am very active in leadership, and so when things slow down for the summer, so do I. It's a chance to keep my batteries charged so that it's good for me and I'm good for it! I attend about every other week in the summer, unless I'm traveling, which I also do extensively during summer weekends, since I'm not missing choir as a result.

**I participate in a limited wardrobe project called Project 333 (I do a modified 2-month project) and so swapping out what I picked for May and June on a whim was not practical. However, incorporating biking into my life definitely informed my choices for July and August!

***I read several years ago that diaper bags make great camera bags because the bottle slots are great for camera lenses. So that is why I have a diaper bag. The stroller straps clip right on to my rear rack, which is awesome, though I had to play with placement, since I was kicking the front side of the bag when it was hooked all the way forward on the rack. 

Here's the new front basket! I am looking forward to sharing more bike adventures with you. If I can get into a rhythm, I might try to update every Friday (Fiets Fridays or something).


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