My son and I have been making the shift away from cars since the first of the year, so yesterday's ride was not the first ride of our little experiment, but it was the first since launching this blog.
It started out one of those mornings where absolutely nothing goes right. In honor of "the first ride of the blog" I had originally hoped to try riding the full 7 miles from my home to Portland State, but my alarm didn't go off, there was no rice milk for the coffee, etc. etc. So I fell back on my version of a 'bike assist': someone who's route to work, in an otherwise empty car, mirrors the first half of my route to school. Not as convenient as a StokeMonkey, but more affordable on my current budget.
It is doubtless a blessing that I didn't have the opportunity to try the full 7 miles (complete with monster hill), I have been working up to it, but --sadley-- I don't think I'm really there yet. I figure theres no harm in riding along with someone who would be driving that route anyway, and the 3 miles I ride from where he drops me off is 3 miles that I'm not driving.
Heading over the Hawthorn Bridge, a mechanic from the collective that I bought my bike from pulled up alongside me "Hey, thats a City Bikes bike!" he greeted cheerfully. It was nice, especially since I have felt more than a little intimidated by the Lance Armstrong-esc cycle pro types that whiz past me , leaving me winded in their dust.
Emerging from my last class of the afternoon I was greeted by blue skies, a welcome surprise after months of monsoons. I couldn't miss the opportunity to hit the Springwater Corridor. I managed 8 miles round trip (it's quite flat along that stretch). Frog songs and hawk sightings on the way out, a beautiful sunset and a starry skyline of city lights on the way back. The "first ride of the blog" got off to a rocky start, but ended in bliss.
In the tradition of Bike Year, The Boy and I are logging our miles for our 'bike year' (beginning 2/06) We are also logging bike related expenses, if I were driving I would be spending money on gas, motor oil, insurance, maintenance, etc. to the tune of $200 each month. Just for fun, lets see how bike expenses compare!
Miles This Bike Year: 16
Bike Expences: $5