Back on the Bike

No more cancer means I can go ride my bike again. I used to ride my road bike upwards of 60+ miles a week (not a lot in road biking terms, but for me, 8~15 miles per day was a good averate), so when I stopped riding, there was a significant hole in my life.  I’m really not a good runner (I can only run on a treadmill), and the gym gets tedious after awhile. So, cycling was my ‘escape’ I suppose. Also, Oregon is gorgeous, and I loved being able to ride on rolling hills through farmland and forests.

I went to sleep last night around 8 pm, and woke up at 2 or so. Not my idea of a good rest, but it did allow me to go cycling at 5:30 this morning as the sun was peeking over the Cascades.  I had been talking to my brother on Skype until about 3:30, when I tried to go to sleep again.  I think I did for awhile, actually.  I have a queen sized bed, and I share it with 3 kitties… so I get a corner of the bed while they stretch out and get comfortable.  Sleeping with them is sometimes a chore, but they’re cute and it’s hard to say no to them.  Around 5:15, I shimmied out of bed with the crazy idea that I’d go cycling before I had to be in the lab around 8:15, so I got my old cycling clothes on, found some socks, and pulled my bike out of the garage.  Man did I have a good time.  I forgot what it was like to have the wind whistle past your ears, stinging your cheeks.  I also forgot to wear my ear covers, which was bad. It was really cold!  When it’s too cold and I cycle, my inner ears really hurt, and it makes the rest of the ride very uncomfortable. (Maybe it was a mixture of the cold and uncomfortable earbuds… who knows?).  My point is that I had an awesome time.

I’m so glad I decided to go out this morning, even if I only rode 3 miles or so.  Hey, I have to take it slow!  I can’t just jump on my bike and ride 20 miles in the first go-around. I don’t even have any muscles right now (well, if I do, they’re very small).  It’s going to take weeks/months to get me back to where I was before I got sick.  Stupid Cancer, ruining everything for me. *grumbles*


Portland Bike Lanes

I’m a cyclist.  I’ve ridden my bike since I was five years old (actually learned during the super bowl since mum didn’t want to watch).  I also cycle on the OSU Cycling team, but I’m rubbish.  I also enjoy riding in town. I’m not one of those zen cyclists that ride through hilly country lanes.  Well… in Oregon, that’s pretty much all we have, but I like to stick to the flats. I’ve nearly been hit by a car four or five times – once by a logging truck, and it’s because our bike lanes in certain areas are rubbish and they don’t see us, despite me wearing ORANGE.

So, Portland has a problem – everyone loves to ride their bike, but it’s a hazard to your health. Every time I ride there, I feel like I’m going to die.  Cars swerve in front of you, or there’s the deadly right turn on red (with a truck or something) that doesn’t see you coming, and then you get caught underneath the truck and you die.  California has that same problem, but that’s because the bike lanes become dotted about 15-20 feet before the corner, and cars merge into the bike lane to turn on a red.  Portland has some corners that do that, but mostly not.

This article explains what Portland wants to do.  They really do want people to ride their bikes, and feel safe about it.  They’re talking about colouring the pavement blue at the intersections where bikes can go (ahead of cars, mind… like a little staging area).  They’re also talking about just colouring the bike lanes and disallowing right turns on red.

All in all, I like the idea of going to bike lanes like in Denmark and Amsterdam and such.  They sure do ride bikes, and they’re safe while doing it.  Now, if only we were as safe as them…

Portland bike safety improvements