Velo-city: April 2006 Archives

Commute (pt.6)

| | Crossposted

The commute hasn't been as nice to me this week. In general the bike cars have been full when they arrive at 22nd St. I also realized this week that the new style (which I thought were great) bike cars HALVE the space for bikes. When the weather was crappy they were running two bike cars on the baby bullets I was taking. Now that it's gotten nice and everybody & their brother is riding their bike (and the gas prices continue to to climb above $3/gal.) there is only one. I know this is a coincidence, but it's rather aggavating.

The culmination of this state of affairs was yesterday when I missed TWO back-to-back baby bullets! (8:04 & 8:16). The next train didn't stop at 22nd St., and the train following (which I got on) that didn't stop at either Mountain View or Sunnyvale! (I briefly contemplated riding in from Santa Clara, but I was already over an HOUR behind where I started)

After that fiasco, I have very begrudgingly decided to give up my ~3 minute, barrel-down-the-hill morning commute, and ride to 4th & King. (I'll still get off @ 22nd St. in the evening). That commute was one of the reasons I looked at living on Potrero Hill. But our house is still awesome, and the view is still crazy. I'm glad we didn't compromise. It's just annoying to get up earlier to ride longer for a train that leaves earlier. But it's much more likely to guarantee me a spot.

This morning I left at 7:30 to give me plenty of time to test ride my newly configured touring bike (another post coming later) and make the 7:59 departure early enough that wouldn't be blocked. I arrived at 7:40, and the doors weren't open yet for the 7:59. No other bikes around. Perfect. As they were closing the doors on the 7:43 (a limited local), I noticed it arrived at Mountain View a just few minutes earlier than the 7:59. I snuck on, and am now arriving California Avenue. I've debated getting off at San Antonio, to ride on the Baylands trails. (My old commute to work!)

Commute (pt.5)

| | Crossposted

A few days ago I noticed that my rear tire was flat as I left to catch the train home. As it turned out, it wasn't the kind of thing that a new tube or a patch would fix. I've had these tires for many years, I've repaired more minor issues, and I've probably put at least few hundred miles on them. It's time to retire them. I don't have spare tires, and for some reason I've put off ordering more since this happened.

So for the past few days I've been riding my mountain bike to work. There are definite advantages to doing that: my trip down to the train in the morning is even more of a joy, since I don't have to dodge the various cracks & small holes in the pavement, and can just bomb down the hill. AND I finally rode home to my door the day before yesterday. Lower gearing ratio was key there. Yes, I have a triple on my road (touring) bike. It's not low enough. I'm lame. This should not be news.

But on the far end, the ride to work is much more annoying. I'm constantly upshifting, or trying to. "What, that can't be it?!?" My cruising speed feels anemic and pushing to my top speed feels like a joke!

On the plus side, in the last day or so I think I finally broke through the next fitness plateau. It might be the mountain bike vs. the road bike, but I think the first day of riding the mountain bike was just as much of a struggle as the previous days on the road bike. Today and yesterday, it was much, MUCH easier.

Another bonus: with my new schedule, I just got home. But that's a post for another time.

Commute (pt.4)

| | Crossposted

Not so good this morning. I missed not one, but two trains looking for my %$#@%$ing shoes. This is why I hate cleaning up. The next train didn't stop at 22nd St, so I booked it to 4th & King. I made it with plenty of time, so at least that was good.

A bunch of bikes got on with me, carried by too-cool-for-it-all hipsters (Including one who could very well be Jen Besemer's doppelgänger except that she's, you know, outside). I asked them all where they were going. Need I say? Palo Alto. So it also goes without saying that they took up 4 different racks (half of the total), in spite of going less than half the distance this train is travelling. And the doppelgänger gave me the "oh, puhleeze" look when I suggested she double up with one of the other two.

Sure enough, the crowd that arrives just before the train leaves just got here, and they're forced to move bikes around in the back because the 4 up front are for Palo Alto. GRN. Situational awareness, people! It's NOT THAT HARD! (yes, yes, kettle, meet pot. So if I'm complaining about it, it has to be bad.)

And yes, for those who were about to ask, I HAVE had breakfast already.

Update: Doppelgänger is now having a very loud cellphone conversation. The voice is wrong. But maybe it'd get closer if I shoved that phone up her ASS!

Commute (pt.3)

| | Crossposted

I'm really enjoying my commute. Having a monthly pass makes things that much easier. But it's not without peril. A (two or more zone) monthly Caltrain pass is good for free VTA rides. This caused a moment of hesitation this morning when I looked out the train window and it was POURING! In the end, I made the right decision. I had my rain-gear on already, and it's faster for me to ride than take the light rail (!!)

I had a great ride in. Some of it was the pushing through the "inclement" weather, some of it was the exercise. I felt great when I got to work. Too bad I left my wallet & badge at home. :-/

A few weeks ago I broke down and downloaded an RSS reader. After poking around a bit, I settled on BlogBridge. It's OSS, cross-platform, and it seems to have most of the features I care about. One of the other readers I saw had the ability to use XSLT to transform it's look & feel, but I don't think it was OSS.

I played with it a bit. The UI is a bit odd. The keyboard controls aren't what I expected. But still, it was a novelty. I don't think it would have progressed beyond that if I hadn't had a flash of inspiration: since it caches the RSS feeds, It basically makes a a great offline news/blog/website reader!

I'm really enjoying using the time on the train to peruse the blogs (etc.) on which I used to waste my time at work. I've even found a few new blogs along the way. The one I've most enjoyed: The Traveler's Lunchbox. I'm really loving the way she writes, and the food porn & recipes are just icing. Go, check it out, see if she doesn't suck you in!

Update: Next step: hacking something so that I can get my $#%#@ing LJ Friends Page as an RSS feed!

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Velo-city category from April 2006.

Velo-city: May 2005 is the previous archive.

Velo-city: May 2006 is the next archive.

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