I’m back in the saddle again

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for this blog. I was mostly feeling ashamed and/or sorry for myself that I’ve not been riding as much as I’d like. Today was only my second commute of 2012. I blame the weather mostly, but I think the main reason is because I’m lazy or not motivated to ride. I also moved further away from work in order to be able to live in a bigger house. We’ve got a baby on the way and the old place was getting really tight. 

My new commute to work is about 15-16 km on city roads with a medium amount of traffic and minimal cycling infrastructure. For those that live in/around KW, I start my ride on Zeller Drive, take Lackner/Shirley to Wellington to Park to Caroline, where I then ride through Waterloo park, UW, and into the technology park. It’s really not that bad of a ride, taking me about 45 minutes all together. I plan on riding a lot this summer, and maybe a bit into winter. I really don’t enjoy the cold weather, but I’ll make an effort this year.

I’ve made some modifications to my ride as well, which is why I’m pretty excited to get riding again. I replaced the Magtenlight setup with a dynamo hub wheel I found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Redline-XCE500-Front-Dynamo-Silver/dp/B004B6MYZI/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1335884431&sr=8-6. I kept the lights that came with the Magten and hooked them up to the hub. The hub is very “draggy” compared to the Magten, but the setup feels a lot more solid and well put together. The worst that could happen is that I’ll get bigger leg muscles. I also got myself a Take-a-Look mirror, which is fantastic for keeping an eye on the traffic behind me, especially now that I ride mostly roads. It’ll give me that extra few seconds warning if a car is headed in my direction. Hopefully, that won’t ever happen, but better to be prepared.

And with that, I’m signing out, until next time.

11 thoughts on “I’m back in the saddle again

  1. Great mods for a commuter. I have a crapola CT rearview mirror. It’s impossible to see behind me as far as I’d like unless I take my hand off the bars. Does your mirror get out of adjustment as you ride over rough terrain?

    1. The mirror attaches to my glasses. It doesn’t move at all. All I need to see behind me is just a slight move of my head, less than 1/4 inch to the left. If you don’t wear glasses you can rig it to your helmet visor as well.
      I tried mounting a mirror to my handlebars, but it kept moving around like yours.

  2. How about this? http://g.co/maps/zmkkc
    Residential the 1st half and then all Iron Horse/ Laurier Trail the second..

    As always, the biggest problem is crossing the Great wall of Conestoga Parkway, but with this route, your in traffic for only ~200 metres (Weber, Montgomery, Dixon) and it is only 15.5km.

    1. That’s an option. I’m not really opposed to riding in traffic. However, there are some stretches on my current route that I’d like to avoid.
      The Iron Horse is a PITA as well. There are too many bumps and lots of slow downs as it crosses roads. I’m looking into the following route to avoid Wellington (it’s undergoing construction right now): http://g.co/maps/358kt
      Once Wellington is re-paved, I’ll go back to it since it is the most direct way, with the least slow downs.

      1. Typically I’d rather take a little longer or go out of my way to take a trail or traffic calmed street … I just noticed that I relax a little more and am not trying to keep track of every little motion in my peripheral.

        The odd times when I’m in a rush, then I’ll take a direct route and lance it home.

  3. I went on my new route, linked in a reply above, and it was pretty good. It took me longer due to stop lights, but it felt a lot safer. All the roads I rode are secondary/tertiary, there was very little car traffic, and the roads were in fairly decent condition. There was one stretch on Allen that felt like I was mountain biking, but other than that, pretty decent overall. The cars that did pass me gave me ample space as well. Overall, it felt pretty good, and I think I’ll stick to this route for now, until Wellington is repaved. That one was a bit of a minefield too, between the parkway and Lancaster.

  4. There’s a foot bridge at the end of river road and victoria that could get you to Guelph st, and then over to wherever you wanted, it or Krug Street are the quietest options to cross the expressway in Kitchener. That dyno hub wheel seems like a good deal… they always seem really clicky when you spin them by hand but I don’t really notice mine when I ride. I bought the sturmey archer model that has a drum brake in it too so it weighs over a kilo I think, and I’m pretty slow already so yeah. Axiom makes a nice handlebar mirror that has a convex lens and a long adjustable arm too… might work for some folks.

    1. I tried biking on Guelph once, but it goes under the parkway and the hill that follows is a bit of a pain. If that hill wasn’t there, Guelph would be a good option.
      I drove by Wellington this weekend and noticed that they re-paved it already. I’ll be going back on that route next time.

  5. Congrats on getting back on the bike and also cracking open the blog and dusting off the cobwebs :)

    I too have been away from my bike and the blog, but it’s for the opposite reason. I now work less than 300 meters from my home and I just haven’t been on my bike that often.

    I guess I’m waiting to find a new voice, cause my old voice needed my 4k daily commute rain, snow or sunshine.

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