Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why I want a cross bike

So many things to write about and so little time!

Two of Lance Armstrong's former teammates have admitted
to doping
in 1999. One only made the admission anonymously, but the other is well-known Frankie Andreu, who has since been a commentator on OLN.
Good for them. I'm starting to think that the only solution to all the doping is for the anti-doping agencies to continue to nail people like Floyd and Tyler, to investigate Ullrich and Basso etc, and to just scare all the up and coming kids in the sport to death so that the incentive to dope just dies away.

The price of oil is the lowest it has been in ages. Hell, gas in Toronto was down around .75 recently! I know why this happens - I know that gas ping pongs from .75 to 1.10 mainly because of market panic and speculation, but holy cow, that is crazy.

AND - I was contemplating writing a post yesterday saying how I thought the great commute might be coming to an end. I never really planned to do this ride after the end of September, but even this month I've been too burnt out by work to do the full ride (it's even been a stretch to do the "bike to Danforth - train to Whitby - bike to UOIT" version), and so I was going to write and say that the bike was about to be hung up and I was going to become a full time public transit user.

I left the office around 6:05pm last night, waited in the rain with dozens of students for a Durham bus to show up half an hour late, took the bus down to the Pickering GO station, took the train into Danforth where I got picked up by my girlfriend in her car (yes, her car, sorry), and walked in the door at about 8:45 or so. That's about two hours and 40 minutes - almost two hours of which was just going from the university down to the Go station on Durham transit.

SO - I really don't think I can deal with Durham transit all winter. I need a full on cross bike with fender mounts so that I can get to and from the train station on my own all winter.

P.S. (this coming after having given my 8:00a.m. library literacy presentation).
I think I have a new secret weapon for doing presentation - not wearing socks.

It's been cold, WET and yucky here in southern Ontario the last couple days. I had to be at school to give an 8:00a.m. presentation today, and didn't want to do the full ride in the rain, which means I did the bike and GO Train version of the ride, on my Kona Hahanna mountain bike.
Not only am I alive, I just set new highs for library literacy presentations - did my 8:00a.m. without my socks on!

Train arrives in Whitby at 7:06a.m.
Tuco zooms (on the Kona) through Whitby/Oshawa arriving at UOIT at 7:46.
Tuco heads straight to the gym - showers etc and heads to the library, arriving at roughly 7:56.
Tuco changes again (my clothes change is a two part procedure, too complicated to go into right now) and doesn't have time for the socks, plus his feet are still wet, so he just sticks his feet into his shoes and goes to start setting up the classroom etc! : )


cyclingdave said...

i'm still revelling in these late summer, autumn and had'nt really thought of the winter. yikes! at least it is a 'dry cold' here in winnipeg.

the hahanna must be a great commuter. maybe swithching it to single speed - saving weight, dispensing with slushy/frozen gears, and saving the drive train from grit and salt may be an alternative to going with a cyclocross.

have a great weekend tuco.

Timon said...

I think it's wonderful that you're allowed to take the bike on the Go train on weekdays. Is there any limit to the times you can take it? (like on the TTC)

How long does it take you to get to work by bike. I'll bet it's less time than 2 hours and 40 mins. That's the thing I dislike about public transit: it's unpredictable. I have a 10km commute to work. I could take the street car, but it's never reliable how long it takes. By bike, I can get to work in 30 mins (worst case). I hate waiting for streetcars, subways etc. I always think of my bike and the absolute freedom it affords me.

Tuco said...

The only limit to having a bike on the Go Train is that you can't bring it into Union Station during the morning or afternoon rush hour - otherwise you're good to go.

I haven't actually done the full ride for a little while - the weather and my job conspiring against me. But it's basically 2hrs 5 minutes, though the wind can alter that 20 minutes in either direction.

Bikes do equal freedom. I suppose cars do as well, except for the parking and the expense and the environmental concerns.

Timon said...

true about cars...

I was recently riding on Kingston road and thinking of your commute. It's quite challenging with its climb out of the lakeshore and the Rouge valley.

Tuco said...

Kingston Road is okay. Somewhere in outer scarburbia I dive down into a valley (maybe the rouge valley, not sure) and when I'm climbing out of it I'm entering Pickering. That dive is usually pretty scary as of late because I'm doing it in darkness more or less.
Rossland Street, the east-west street I take into Whitby/Oshawa is updown updown updown updown, so it's actually worse than Kingston Road.
the KICKER though was the climb I used to do on my northerly route, and which I wrote about somewhere in an early post. Thank God I'm not doing that anymore.