Friday, July 22, 2005

Bike to Work Recap

The second week of June was "Bike to Work" week. I had pledged to myself that I would ride my bike the whole distance from my home to work, which is about 5 1/2 miles. Since February, I had been driving my daughter to her school, and then I would park near Halsted and Roosevelt and ride my bike the rest of the way to the office in the Loop. The distance was only about 2 miles and took about 15-20 minutes, but at least it was some exercise. At the end of March, or maybe the beginning of April, the bike I had been riding, which I've owned since I was in college, broke down. One of the joints broke. So, I bought a new bike, and I rode that regularly after dropping my daughter off at school.

On Monday, June 13th, I rode in to work, and then at the end of the day, rode home. I repeated the ride the next day, but by the time I got home, the back wheel of my bike was a little out of whack. I took the bike to the shop where I bought it, and they "trued up" the wheel. The bike stayed in the shop over night since I dropped it off near closing, which cost me Wednesday. I needed the break, though. My legs probably couldn't have survived the entire week. For the rest of the week, I just rode in during the morning, and my wife picked me (and the bike) up in the evening.

The following week, I did the round-trip twice and rode one-way trips two or three times. Unfortunately, I had to take the bike back to the shop since the back wheel got out of whack again. Over the course of the past six weeks, I've had to take the bike in five times. The last time, they completely rebuilt the back wheel with new spokes. After a round-trip, when I got it back the last time, the wheel is starting to get out of whack again. I'm getting really annoyed with this, but I'm thinking that my weight is a contributing factor, but I'm not sure how to proceed. I'm considereing a call to the manufacturer to get another opinion.

Overall, I've realy enjoyed riding in to work in the mornings. Even during some of the hotter mornings, the ride is very pleasant. I'd like to build up my stamina to be able to join my brother for some of his 20-40 mile rides. In a year or two, if I can keep it up, we might be able to plan a biking trip around Lake Michigan. We'll see.

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