Headwinds and Taillights

I’ve had a much longer-than-expected absence from here. But I have been riding just about every day and logged a few hundred more miles. Biking is becoming less of a consideration each morning and afternoon because I take it for granted. In fact, it’s so engrained into my daily routine that when I attempted to reassemble my rear derailleur yesterday (based on YouTube videos, just to prove to myself that I could) I panicked briefly when I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it because it didn’t feel any different than having car problems the day before you need to get back to work.

I did get it fixed, although I’m not sure if the original objective of tuning up the gearing was actually achieved. More info on that next week, maybe. In the meantime, just to get back into this blog after a long hiatus, I’ll highlight the last month or so. I’ve logged about 480 miles since my last post over what has been an unseasonably mild February. In fact, for the past couple of days I have been wearing summer shirts, shorts, and socks. The wind, however, has been intense on several occasions – a couple Mondays ago I saw someone try to cut into a crosswind and get blown 25 feet right off the trail. He very nearly rode straight into the Potomac.

I also replaced my old commuter bike shoes with something a bit more traditional (pictured). At risk of demonstrating my novice, I learned that I had not actually been wearing road cleats this whole time, but instead have been using MTB cleats. I don’t care, and will continue using them, because of the advantage of having two-sided clipless pedals for my stop-and-go rides, which have only become more so since the nice weather has brought lots more traffic to the narrow Mount Vernon Trail.

Finally, I have to thank the bike gods because I recently left my very pricey Bontrager lights on my bike all day while it was locked up outside work (in downtown DC) and they were still there when I returned – very upset with myself and yet relieved upon that discovery. It wouldn’t have been so bad except that only a couple days later, the $5 carabiner I used to secure my saddle bag was stolen off my rack, after it having been dangling there every day for months. I guess given the circumstances, I should consider myself lucky. And now I leave the carabiner attached to the bag that comes inside with me (and take more care to remember the lights, too).

There is more I could get into about the past few weeks, but nothing worth taking up more precious time right now. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather (despite the traffic), and will try to take satisfaction in the fact that greenhouse gasses are making my environmentally-friendly mode of commuting slightly more enjoyable. Until next week.

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