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On becoming a Portlander
June 14, 2008

I sold my car just over 2 months ago, and haven't looked back. Now I've sold (Hello) Kitty Cruisermy (now nearly useless) Kitty Cruiser (to a very deserving and extremely nice new mommy) and purchased a proper street/commuter bike. I'm planning on starting to commute to work by bike whenever possible. This morning I did a test run of the paths I had chosen, got a little lost, but all in all ended up at my destination downtown exactly 30 minutes from the time I left my living room. 5.5 miles separates me and my workplace, and without the lost-ness and stopping to afix my lock into a better position on my bike, I can probably get there in 25 (also with a bit less traffic at 6.30 in the morning). This is actually less time than it takes for me to get to work via MAX or by bus. The MAX is starting to get really packed in the morning, and though it gives me my most quiet time for reading (on the way to work, at least), biking to and from work pretty much negates the need for me to do the cardio stuff at the gym which I had been not doing anyhow. Thus, 3 birds with one stone shall be killed: faster commute to work, workout built-in (especially on the 70% uphill ride home), and better mobility for running errands. Oh yeah, and there's the no gas thing, too.

So today after the time trial, I took a trip up the Eastside esplanade Today's Rideand, following the bike paths, ended up in the Lloyd District, then Hollywood, and eventually home. The total round-trip was about 12 miles with a few pauses for sweat-mopping after some tough hillclimbs (hey, I haven't ridden like this in years). It was incredibly fun and I'm very much looking forward to the ride (back, mostly) getting easier before the weather turns too warm. I'm going to try to keep track of the different paths I take too and from work (along with any side trips) so I can track my progress. Many thanks go to Citybikes Workers' Cooperative for giving me an awesome deal on a bike and doing all the adjustments and the like.