I woke up this morning exactly at 4 a.m.; however, I dawdled for about 10 minutes before getting up and committing myself to riding to work today. I also did something I normally do not do on a bicycle commute day. I showered before leaving. Although I have good shower facilities at work there's just something about cleaning up in one's own bathroom. Plus, a good shower is one fine way of waking up. Also, instead of launching from the garage as I normally do I brought my bike in and launched from the front room and went out the front door. I did so for two reasons For starters, I could keep better control of my dog and opening the front door does not cause my electric meter to go crazy from the garage door opener sucking a couple kilowatts.
At first, it looked like it was going to be one of those days as I was already 10 minutes late to start with; however, it really looked like it was going to be a bad day as I got outside and started turning on all my lights. A couple days ago I had discovered that I had an over sized Niterider headlight mount on the Monitor Pass which would've been a better fit on the Sirrus hybrid. so I decided to go ahead and pull off this oversized mount and replace it with an older one designed for standard diameter bars. What I didn't realize was that I had over tightened it which had caused a pin to dislodge. So when I began adjusting where the beam fell the mount came apart on me. On top of that, I discovered that both my lighting extension cables had become disconnected so the light was getting no power. So when all was said and done and I had everything repaired I wound up 15 minutes behind schedule; however, the first leg of the ride from my house to the other end of Westview went quite well. I was averaging somewhere around 13 to 14 miles an hour and I was actually starting to make up some of the lost time. I also had a bit of a surprise when I made it to Antoine. I had just made my right hand turn than just over my shoulder comes another commuter! It wasn't Brian horterculturalist, but somebody completely new and like me was riding a high quality mountain bike. His was newer and had suspension forks and he was riding with a messenger bag as opposed to panniers. As he passed by he asked me if I work downtown and I was able to reply no that I work at Texas Southern University. That was about the extent of the conversation as this guy could really move he was averaging somewhere between 15 and 17 miles an hour. He left me behind before I could really interview him. the remainder of the morning commute was fairly routine.
The real excitement came for the afternoon run as I did not get out of work on time. in fact, here's a shot of my cubicle as I was getting ready to leave.
This picture was taken right as I was starting to fold and roll my clothes. And yes, that is an army cot that I'm using for a clothes folding table. (Sometimes it's good to be me!)
so running through the park was rather exciting as the traffic was heavier than what I prefer or what I'm accustomed to, but luckily it was a Friday so it wasn't as bad as it would've been on say a Monday. I also changed my homeward route a little bit. Instead of taking Elgin/Westheimer down to Shepherd I went down Alabama/West Alabama at the suggestion of Peter Wang (Hat tip). Road conditions were little rougher and made me very glad that I was not riding a road bike or a hybrid, but the lack of traffic more than made up for it. It also was about is about two tenths of a mile shorter than my traditional route. It also gave me a realization of how hard-core a rider I really am that for nearly 2 years I've been running up and down Elgin/Westheimer without having the traffic bother me.
Anyhow, once I had gotten through Memorial Park the rest of the ride was downright delightful especially once I got onto Westview near the very end I just about had the entire road to myself.
About 3 miles away from home I even saw yet another commuter who was eastbound. She was on a road bike and what looked like a new rack and panniers Right about the time I saw her she was almost out of my field of view so I was unable to say anything to her, but when I did notice was she did a double take when she saw me. All I could manage to do though is nod at her as I passed by. When all was said and done I had shaved off five minutes off my best time for a work commute.