Three weeks ago I finally began taking my bike to work again to cycle home after work. What finally got me going again was the situation with my partner's use of the car for her internship in Toronto. She drops me off at work with my bike in the morning and continues on to Toronto and I cycle home after work instead of waiting for her to battle traffic back to Aberfoyle to pick me up on the way home. It would get home around the same time I do now, but would have to stay at work much too late. Plus, as soon as I began cycling home again I felt so good about it.
Having gained a fair bit of weight back over the winter, the first day's 39K commute took me about 2.5 hrs. That's a ridiculously long time for that commute, even if there are two or three decent hills to climb. The second day I had cut that down to 1:58. The third day, 1:45. From then on it's been 1:35. Within two weeks I noticed my strength, recovery and stamina improve significantly.
I had purchased a cycling computer so I could more easily and accurately keep track of the distance I'd cycled and a rain jacket to stay a bit drier on rainy days home. The jacket is great, but the cycling computer not so much. While I'm quite happy with it's functions, I am unhappy about the fact that it resets so easily, causing me to lose all my data. Apparently just keeping it in my pocket when it isn't on the bike is able to reset the whole darn thing. It happened to me twice. The first time I remembered what my odometer had read, but not the second time. I am reasonably sure that I've accumulated well over 500K in the last 3 weeks (it was well over 400K the last time I remember seeing it), but I don't know the exact figure. This bothers me...
While I had found a nice short-cut from Waterdown towards York Blvd in Hamilton, using a largely downhill and very aptly named Snake Road, the new running shoes I'd been using, purchased in the Spring, are so soft that I ended up with rather sore feet after about an hour on the bike. I needed to get cycling shoes and had been eyeing a pair of Keen cycling sandals for some time.
I finally decided that I was barely able to afford the sandals, so I went to MEC in Toronto today and purchased the sandals, a set of half/half pedals by Wellgo (platform on one side and SPD on the other) and a pedal wrench so I could change the pedals myself rather than pay a shop to do it. The guy at MEC mentioned something about pedals sometimes being hard to remove or frozen if they'd been on the bicycle for a long time.
My pedals came off quite easily. Perhaps too easily. When I tried to install the new pedals, I could not get them in. (Yes, I did look at the 'L' and 'R' on the pedals and turn the correct pedal the right direction on the crank to screw it in.) It turns out the thread is damaged or stripped on the left crank arm. This puts me into quite the predicament: if I don't get a new crankset (the chainring has had a wobble for some time too) I am left with a bike that has no pedals, which means I have to stay at work every day 'til my partner can come and pick me up. This can sometimes get quite late. It's bad enough that I usually have to get up at 5:00 to get to work in time. I do not relish the idea of staying there 'til 6 or 7pm every day as well. Yet I cannot presently afford a new chainset, at least not 'til my next pay--chainsets are not cheap. If I were to return my sandals, pedals and pedal wrench to afford a new chainset, I'd end up having to cycle home in my soft running shoes and have sore feet every day again. Maybe, if possible, I'll have to just replace the cranks, even though the whole crankset needs replacing anyway.
Aargh! If I can't find a solution tomorrow, I may have to take a half day off work, when bike stores and the local bike co-ops are open, to get it done, then cycle all the way to work. That would mean cycling up the Niagara escarpment, getting completely sweaty, and having to shower at work before settling into my cubicle. I am very frustrated!