These Weeks in Commuting 2.11-2.12

Total days cycled – 5/10

Total KMs – 160

Total KMs commuted so far: 1189/3443

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 766/2142

Everyone in my house has been sick, including me. The seasons are changing and work is slamming busy. I ride, I hitch rides, I drove once to drop my little Bean off at school. I need to change the handlebar wrap that is disappearing and have bought a Specialized wrap with “Bar Phat” to help ease the pressure on my wrist that still hurts from a mountain bike crash in Davos this summer. The bike needs love, in general. With all my free time, I should be able to lube the chain before Christmas. Probably.

This Week in Commuting 2.10

Total days cycled – 3/5

Total KMs – 96

Total KMs commuted so far: 1029/3283

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 666/2042

How my week began.

It has become cold, for real. However, the week was beautiful for riding except for one afternoon of frigid downpours, which I skipped due to being unprepared for the cold. Winter is here, though, so I got all the proper cool weather out today and am ready to roll. I still need a rear wheel. The Phil Wood beckons. I just hope I don’t wait mired in velleity until the thing collapses.

The end of the week


This Week In Commuting 2.9

Total days cycled – 1/5

Total KMs – 32

Total KMs commuted so far: 943/3190

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 586/1982

This week I had a weird flare-up of swelling in my left ankle, apropos of almost nothing, during the beginning of the week. I rode on Monday anyway and it didn’t help, so I caught a ride on Tuesday and Wednesday, then was flying to Berlin on Thursday for a conference, so carpooled again. Thank heavens for my carpool partner! Anyway, looking forward to riding this week after a week’s vacation in northern Italy with my family.

This Week In Commuting 2.8

Total days cycled – 5/5

Total KMs – 160

Total KMs commuted so far: 911/3158

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 566/1962

I had a great week of riding. Perhaps the best moment came on Friday, when I needed to transport a few cases of delicious malty beverage to the workplace to celebrate a successful end to the month of Septembeard. Rather than carpool, I harnessed up the trailer and loaded it down for the early morning run. When I mentioned the idea over dinner, Bean said “Beer doesn’t go in the trailer, I go in the trailer.” I loved that. It reminded me that we need to get out and ride during this gorgeous, sunny autumn that is settling in over Switzerland. On the last day of the week, I found myself in the granny gear for the first time all year, cranking up the Zimmerberg with a loaded trailer in tow. I also realized that my rear wheel is going to collapse sooner rather than later, so I need to suck it up and buy one. If only, if only I were a wealthy man.

While I’m a few months behind, this is awesome. I’m sure this is fake, because the Benzo is parked going the wrong way on the street and I’d bet the front end is destroyed. Also, because Lithuanian mafiosos don’t shake your hand after your flatten their whip. Still, it made me happy, so enjoy.

This Week In Commuting 2.7

Total days cycled – 3/5

Total KMs – 90

Total KMs commuted so far: 751/2988

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 465/1856

Busy, busy. Sometimes, I thank the heavens above for my carpool partner when it’s late and I haven’t held my baby daughter in two days. The weather has been gorgeous, but it’s starting to get dark earlier and earlier. This evening was the first that I could see my headlight on the ride home. Sigh. Anyway, that means the snow will be falling and we’ll be skiing soon, so it’s not all bad.

This Week In Commuting 2.6

Total days cycled – 3.5/5

Total KMs – 106

Total KMs commuted so far: 661/2898

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 409/1800

Beautiful, sunny week of Indian summer-style heat. I am writing with a sweater on. This week will be different!

This Week in Commuting 2.5

Total days cycled – 2.5/5

Total KMs – 75

Total KMs commuted so far: 555/2792

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 343/1734

This was a crazy week. Lots going on at home, at school, and some nights as late as 9 pm. I love bike commuting, but sometimes I just want to be home, to see my daughters before they are asleep, and an angel descends, offering me a carpool home. Sometimes, I jump – usually once a week. But this week, it was 50/50. I have yet to drive to work, but tomorrow I have to because Bean is staying home from school, I have a high chair to bring home, and an x-ray to deliver to a friend/colleague/bike accident victim (I gave her a ride home from the hospital Saturday evening and left the x-ray in my car). The drag is that I then can’t get my bike home for the Tuesday ride, so I need a carpool on Tuesday morning. Good thing there are so many angels about!

This Week in Commuting 2.4

Total days cycled – 4/5

Total rainstorms endured – 2, again

Total KMs – 120

Total KMs commuted so far: 480/2717

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 297/1688

As fall approaches slowly, the mornings are a bit darker. Kal is asking me about reflective vests. The days are still often warm and a little humid, but after one month of work, I suppose I could be anticipating the cool snap of autumn a bit. My rear wheel is growing wiggly again and there is a pronounced squish when I hit a speed bump or curb, enough to be a little disconcerting. I have to decide whether to just snap in another XT hub/Alex rim wheel for the next year and a half at a cost of two hundred bucks or so, or to go whole hog on a five hundred dollar wheel with a White Industries or Phil Wood hub. With the costs of family rearing, cheap now, expensive later is probably my choice. And so, the human condition goes on! If only, if only it was just a little easier to make the best decision every time. Imagine the world we would live in – less waste, less disposable culture. That’s correct – the right wheel would bring about a utopian transformation of the world economy. It’s all about keeping things in perspective, really.

The mornings are growing perceptibly shorter...

This Week in Commuting 2.3

Total days cycled – 4/5

Total rainstorms endured – 2

Total KMs – 120

Total KMs commuted so far: 360/2597

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 222/1613

It was another hot week, ending in blessed, cooling rain. I’m trying out Android apps to track my rides occasionally, and found Google’s My Tracks to be great, sending a detailed spreadsheet to my Google Docs account and creating a Google Map, which I have linked here. You can see my not terribly impressive speed and time stats in the left hand column. Next time I look to publish such stats, I’ll do it on a Monday for the fresh legs instead of a Thursday. The only annoying feature of My Tracks is that a voice spoke to me in robot-ese, reporting my distance and speed for the first two kilometers as I was trying to listen to a podcast. However, the voice stopped after two kilometers and all was well. I am going to try out Map My Ride’s app this week and compare the results.

This Week In Commuting 2.2

Total days cycled – 4/5

Average weekly temperature – 28 C/82 F

Total number shirts sweated through – 5

Total KMs – 120

Total KMs commuted so far: 240/2477

Total miles, for our more discerning American readers  - 148/1538

It’s hot. In the morning, it’s hot. It’s hot all day. In the evening, it’s hot. And humid. But, it feels like summer and the sky is clear and blue. We’ve had rain during some of the days and at night a few times, but all of my rides have been gorgeous. I got one ride this week since our wee baby was sick, but otherwise rode. Today I rode my bike on gravel and trails back from Adliswil – sort of a delayed commute. It was gorgeous, lots of green grass and shady lanes, but I took it easy on the roots and rocks to avoid a flat.

At work, bike commuting is on the rise. One of my friends and colleagues has pitched a rewards system, similar to a frequent flyer program, for cyclists riding to and from work. My employer is very progressive, especially in terms of sustainability and eco-conscious decision making, so I’m interested to see what the result is. This is an economics teacher trying to incentivize cycling. For me, the cycling is sort of a sunk cost, in economics terms. I don’t need much incentive beyond transportation, but it might help on rainy days. I’m interested to see if it works.