Sunday, April 25, 2010

It Starts With a Hand

This is intended to be a blog with a broad view of a narrow focus--bicycle commuting on the North San Diego County coast, but it all starts with a hand...

I've considered inflicting my thoughts about this on the web for some time, and now misfortune has given me the opportunity. The day before the Super Bowl, I had a (non-cycling) accident, of which I'll spare all of us the details, but the result was a severe laceration of my left wrist. Now, after surgery, numerous doctor visits, and about 25 occupational therapy sessions I am just about ready to get back on my bike and return to commuting on it.

However, until then, a bit about me and my commute. I've been a cycle commuter since 1985. Some periods more intensely than others, but about half the time since then I've lived without a car, so the idea of driving to work seems a little odd to me now. Until 2000, I rode to work every day, but then I moved up here to extreme North County, and so I started using the Coaster train to help cover the distance. Currently, my one way commute is 30 miles by bicycle, and at my best I make six of the ten one-way commutes by bike each week. The other commutes are a complex combination of bicycles, bike lockers, and trains.

However, at this moment, I drive to my Coaster station, ride the train, then take a shuttle bus--one I often passed on my bike--to my final destination. From the train, I see my commute and all the other cyclists, so my determination to return to the status of rider is constantly fueled. When I return, I'll have to start small, but the final goal is the 60-mile round trip...a couple of times a week.

The route I take is roughly an inverted L-shape, and base of the L is the hilly one-third from the home to the coast. The other two-thirds is along the coast on old highway 101, which I think of as "the show". The terrain is undemanding, but the road is busy with cars, pedestrians, tourists, girls in bikinis, surfers and their surfboards, and 50-something cyclists trying to live up to the pedigree of the bicycles that they're riding--all of which are a challenge to the cyclist who strives for efficiency.

However, on my commute I've seen a lot of great sights, met a lot of great people, had some great conversations (with others or just with myself), and gotten a really good feel for the area where I live and work. I can't wait to get back to riding it, and I look forward to sharing my observations and memories with you. Until then, I'll be stretching tendons, training nerves, and practicing puncture repair in preparation. Happy Trails!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful piece of open road! What great inspiration to heal and get back in the saddle!