Sunday, March 9, 2014

SOLSC 10 of 31 - First Bike Ride of the Year

Join me this month as I write a slice of my life each day this March and join many others sharing slices at  My students will also be slicing this month and you can find links to their daily blogs HERE.  

Today's slice is pretty stream of consciousness. Hope it works for you.

 Today is my first bike ride of the year! Last night, when I looked at the weather and my responsibilities for the day, I realized I could bike the six miles to work and then back!  The last month-and-a-half of last school year, my car broke and I biked to work pretty much every day in May and June. The great plan of biking much more this school year has not worked out so well with added childcare responsibilities on my end as my wife does more tutoring.  But today I ride!

Getting ready for the first biking of the year is a bit of a process.  Here's a rough outline of my thoughts and actions as I tried to prepare last night, because my brain is pretty foggy in the morning. 

"Hey! I could ride my bike tomorrow! It will be a chilly ride in (about forty degrees) but it will be sixty-eight for the ride home!"

Walk to the garage and squeeze the bike tires. "Yup. Those will need filling." Scan the bike equipment hanging from my bike. "That stuff sack has the spare tubes, little pump, pressure gauge, and tube repair kit."  Open the bag and make sure. "And there's the multi-Allen wrench tool...where is my Leatherman? Must be on that shelf inside. Oh. and there's my helmet and the little mirror that sticks to it."

Walk inside. Plan clothes for tomorrow.  
Ride in: Long underwear (top and bottom), athletic-type underwear (which will be good for Ultimate practice too after school), athletic socks and shorts (see underwear note), Windstopper fleece (Also good for a light rain).
At School: Nice pants, navy socks, nice collared golf shirt (short sleeves since it should be really nice but I may be a little chilled), belt (I actually just remembered it as I wrote it and had to go get it), shoes...I'll wear the same shoes for biking in, school and Ultimate. They will work "fine."
Ultimate practice and ride home (should be the same for both): shorts, short sleeve "performance shirt" (I like the blue one best).  Will all the extra clothes fit in my backpack? Probably. Oh yeah! The backpack! The Leatherman too.  Grab it. First try! Right where I thought it was. Didn't even have to ask my wife!

Go to garage and get backpack. Take out "Survival Kit" bag since I shouldn't need to rescue myself/survive in the woods or make a fire on short notice without a lighter. Take out a few other things I needed from the snowshoe trip with my class two weeks ago. Leave in First-Aid kit since I want it for Ultimate practice or unintended handlebar vaulting. 

Next, turn to the bike, hanging upside-down form hooks in the garage. First, put tire repair sack and combo lock into the backpack. Remember Leatherman in pocket and take sack back out, include it in the sack and put it back into the backpack. Carefully take down bike so as not to drop it on my wife's car. Lean it against the wall and take down the big, T-handled bike pump. "Why is this valve cap on the front tire Blue?" Shrug and fill tire with air to 90psi, "I think that's the right psi for these hybrids."  Fill back tire too, noticing that the valve cap is black.  Put back air pump.  Notice the hose is very warm from all the high pressure air and have a science teacher moment and think of Boyle's Law.

Check the brakes...Seem ok.  Spin the wheels to make sure they are not dragging on the brakes.  Uh oh.  Back wheel needs a little adjusting. Get the Allen wrench tool and play with the brake wires until it seems to spin freely and still allow the brake to function.  Wonder if there is an easier way by messing with the spokes? Decide not to mess with them tonight. Rub shin from when the pedal whacked it while the back tire spun the wrong direction.

Grab backpack and go inside. Put in clothes and homework, from normal work bag, that I will need tomorrow. Figure there is enough room for lunch, laptop and Ultimate book/practice plan folder.  

WATER! I just realized as I type this I don't have any.  Go to fill up bottle and put it on the bike. While out there, remember that keys and sunglasses are good things for the day and they are in my car.  Grab 'em. Keys on hand key snap thingy in the backpack. Sunglasses on my helmet so I put them when I'm ready.

I think that's it.  What did I forget? What time does the sunrise after Daylight Savings? I want to leave at 7:15.  And my wife checks and it's 7:19.  Light enough, although I will check the headlight and taillight to make sure they are functioning. Yup. 

I'm sure I forgot something else vital since it's the first time in months, but that's part of re-learning each year. Kind of like the first big hike of the season. Hopefully it's not a big deal, but deal with it whatever it is.  Happy Monday!


  1. Wow, lucky you got prepared the night before. If had to do all of that I probably would have been late for school. I hope you enjoy your ride. There is nothing better than exercise in the morning. Have fun and thanks for the play by play. I enjoyed it.

  2. Fun to read all this prep. I must admit I'm ready to purchase a bike now, but I'll need to learn how to fix tires, etc. It was a wonderful day, wasn't it? Happy you got some outside time!

  3. So much prep! But, I'll bet it's worth it all, once you get out there in the great Colorado outdoors!

  4. That's a lot of work to get to work. :-) I read another slicer's post about Colorado and the way of life involving the great outdoors. I'm envious of that. Oh, and the stream was pretty focused and flowed beautifully!

  5. What a perfect day it was yesterday to bike to school! How did it go? : )