After dealing with a nasty wind the day before, what would I do the next day with an outdoor temp of 73 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 40 mile per hour winds? That’s right: ride again.
I contacted my friend Josh and agreed to ride with him to a little town south of us called Paoli. Paoli is about 10 miles south of where we started, but getting there involves traveling down one road, looping around, and heading back; in reality, the ride is over 30 miles.
Now here’s a neat concept for bicycle commuting. The City of Portland (Oregon) installed a bicycle signal at one of its dangerous intersections. The purpose is to help bicyclists cross, especially inexperienced riders who are still uncomfortable in traffic. In a way, it also helps drivers to remember to share the road.
The setup includes a sensor and a dedicated traffic light tied into the rest of the traffic lights at the intersection. The traffic light is activated when a bicyclist rides over a marking on the trail to trigger the light. The bike traffic light then turns green; the regular traffic lights in all directions turn red, stopping all motor vehicle traffic and allowing the bicyclist to go through.
I finally took my Pilot out for its first real ride yesterday. The weather was warm (low 60’s Fahrenheit), sunny, and very windy. It was so windy that I felt like I could get knocked over a couple of times.
I didn’t get a start until 6:00, so I was afraid that I would be riding out in the dark by the time I got home. Why didn’t I get out sooner? Well, I had to eat dinner, swap out the trainer tire on the back with a road tire, fill both tires with the appropriate amount of air, attach my portable pump (which requires completely removing a water cage), attach my lights, and change. However, the headlamp bracket doesn’t fit on the oversized handlebars. Since I had already put on about 575 miles before my first outdoor ride, I had already decided to stop at the local Trek Bicycle shop to get an adjustment. So it made sense to also shop for a new light (they don’t seem to sell just the brackets). With my bike ready, my bicycling clothes on, and a destination in mind, I was ready to venture out into traffic for the first time in six months.