ZOMGWTFBBQ! I rode my bike to and from work today!
Realistically this was the only week that I could ride to work with any simplicity – loads of people are still on holidays and traffic is pretty light. I wanted my first attempt at this to be not too terrifying – and Sydney traffic can be pretty terrifying.
As I’m having an annual leave day tomorrow, it was pretty much today or never. So I sucked it, quelled the extreme nerves and just got out there. And by myself! I’m very accustomed to having Don along as a security blanket on most rides.
So many clothes, so much equipment and preparation required!
I guess though it is not dissimilar to carting a gym bag about, but that is something I haven’t done for a very long time!
Despite the prep, I forgot my cold and flu tablets and my riding gloves and only remembered to grab the bike lock at the last minute.
Geared up with my motivational shirt and ready to go!
The route to work. Turned out to be almost quicker than the usual drive / walk combination.
Since I decided to ride in, I’d been really nervous about how I would manage in the city and what route I’d take. Turns out I’d forgotten that there’s an excellent separated cycle path from Darling Harbour pretty much straight to SML. This was wonderful!
I felt very brave riding on a couple of usually very busy roads (including a brief stint on Parramatta Road). And by myself! Go me!
As soon as I left ThePalace(OfLove) it started drizzling, which pretty soon turned into very heavy rain. I was briefly tempted to turn around and ride in with Don in the toasty car, but I’d committed and really wanted to see this through.
that turquoise patch should totally be red
Riding in the rain was a bit of a challenge and it was very slippery, but I took it carefully and sensibly and all was okay. It was quite dark too and fortunately my front light was charged, but the back light wasn’t and I should have checked both before I set out (bad rider!).
Every single bit of me was saturated when I arrived at SML. I was very thankful that past me had stored my work clothes in a waterproof bag inside the backpack.
Bike cage at SML. This has been recently refurbished, previously it really was just a cage, a pretty badly secured cage.
Thankfully building management have refurbed the showers too! Previously there was a small shared ladies / gents shower room with bad lighting, chipped tiles, poor maintenance, badly functioning doors – all this completely open and unsecured in an underground car park, far, far away from anything.
The new showers are excellent – and there are separate rooms for ladies and gents which are accessed via our swipe cards. When I went down to check everything out yesterday, the changes really made the decision to ride a lot easier.
And I was REALLY REALLY thankful of the hot shower after the soaking.
My very soaked clothes and towel drying next to my desk. Unfortunately there was not a lot I could do with my very wet bra!
Clothes were dry by the end of the day – shoes (and bra) were still quite damp. This is the price you pay for improved health and fitness.
And home again! The weather was much better, though a little humid. I took a different route over ANZAC bridge and I probably shouldn’t have – that was a lot of hill that I didn’t really need and a little further too.
The route home is mostly uphill, so I was completely knackered when I got home. I don’t think it helped that it was a 2 day of 5:2, so I hadn’t really eaten and I am fighting that cold.
Would I do this again? YES! Totally I would. And I’m thinking about doing it once a week until daylight savings ends. That’s probably just residual endorphins talking.
But I’ll make sure I prep a little better and have a bag ready to go. I’ll also refine my route, I think it could be improved quite a bit.