Well, today marked day 1 of Biking To Live. The alarm went off promptly at 5:00 AM. Man is that early. I’m glad I went to bed early the night before. I was surprised at how dark it was outside. Well, I proceeded to get dressed and downed a quick bottle of water before even leaving the bedroom. It was a little more brisk than I anticipated so I went back inside and threw on a long sleeve t-shirt.

The ride, for the most part, was uneventful. Because I wasn’t sure how the traffic was going to be I stayed to the sidewalk for the first part of the ride. The sidewalk in this area is frequently used by runners but there were no other dedicated “athletes” out at this time in the morning. Maybe they were smarter and still in bed. I eventually left the side walk and hit the bike path. Surprisingly, I fell into a good rhythm and everything seemed to be going good. About halfway through my route my hands started to cramp up some and I had to shake them out every so often to get the feeling back. It was at this point that I decided I needed new gloves. The ones I had were….I don’t know….at least ten years old. I’ve also decided by this point that I need to get a flashing red light for the rear. There wasn’t much traffic, and I had the bike path, but I just didn’t feel too comfortable riding with it still so dark. I guess I’ll be visiting Nashbar later in the day to order gloves and a light.

One thing I did notice about my route was how many streetlights were out. I work at the local utility company so I’ll have to make a list at some point and try to get them fixed. It’s amazing how dark it can get between lights when one is out.

As I headed back towards home I hit the sidewalk again as I approached a major intersection. There was a lady ahead of me walking her dog and I slowed so I could go around them when the sidewalk crossed an apartment complex entry point. I got a little too close though and spooked her dog which in turn made her turn around. I can only imagine the thoughts running through her head as she sees the behemoth bearing down on her on a bicycle. After her initial shock, I’m sure she was wondering what an elephant was doing riding around the local neighborhood on a bicycle at 6:00 AM. Luckily, I didn’t see any reports on the local news broadcast. I apologized to her as I went around her so maybe that’s what kept her from reporting it to the authorities. Whew!

My ride almost over I only had to cross one more street before I was in my neighborhood. As I approached the stoplight I decided to cut the corner across the grass to come to a stop at the crosswalk. Bear in mind that it’s still kind of dark so I had no idea that the area I was about to cross was SAND not grass. You can imagine my surprise as my front wheel digs into the sand and I scramble to get my right foot out of the clips. Luckily, I got my foot out just in time and managed to save myself a face plant into the dirt. Again, disaster was averted. Somebody must have been watching out for me.

Overall, the ride felt good. It was cool so the air was crisp and felt good. The bike computer says I rode 10.8 miles in 53 minutes. Definitely not a blistering pace but I want to ease into it. I need to remember to sip my water more often as I ride and practice getting my foot back in the clip after leaving a stop.