Tag Archives: bike commute

Figuring It Out!

4 Apr

Well I survived my first 5 day work week! (Just a tid-bit: I have not worked a 5 day work week since 2002! Welcome to the life of a dental hygienist!) It was good and terrifying all at the same time!!

First off: I accepted a job as a dental customer service rep at Moda Health last week and started Monday. I am not sure this is the job of my dreams but I am excited for a new challenge and an awesome company to work for! We have 8 weeks of training. There are 3 of us in “our class” with 2 trainers. I think we have really good odds of having a lot of one-on-one time. I am the only one with dental experience. The other 2 (Leslie (yes there are 2 of us) & Krystal) have worked banking and retail!

Second off: The biggest problem I had going to work for a company is the dress attire. It is business casual. Now most of you who have read my blog for a while know that I pretty much wear scrubs and work out clothes. Not much more than that!! That being said my mom and I went shopping the last time she was here and I bought a bunch of dresses. (That is the only reason I had something to wear to the interview) 🙂

Third off: We had to go shopping. I hate shopping unless it is for work out clothes! Dan and I ventured down to the outlet mall. I was not excited. We spent 4 hours shopping. I got some clothes at Banana Republic. The majority of the stuff I got was from Columbia (which I felt was more sporty business casual than business casual but Dan said it was good) and Loft. I got a lot of stuff! I was pumped that I got as much as I got cause I didn’t think we would have a successful trip!

I was really pumped for Monday because we were going to get our badge. Hello I have never had a badge before!! #smallthingsinlife

The night before I would try on my outfit for the next day. I can tell you my figure looks so much better in business attire than scrubs!! I have that going for me!

Here is the next problem: It is a much further bike commute than my last job. I am talking 7.5 miles vs 3 miles EACH WAY! My plan was to drive to work on Monday and Friday. Bike on Tues-Thurs. I ended up riding Tues-Fri. It was good and bad but I have realized a few things.
—>It is a bitch to pack every.single.night. I literally need a check list so I don’t forget anything. I have to pack breakfast, snacks, and lunch. My work clothes. (within: top, bottom, undies, bra, shoes) My work-out stuff. (mainly swim stuff: cap, goggles, buoy/paddles/fins (depending on what my work out is), toiletries, towel, plastic bag to put wet stuff in). My badge, phone, gum, chapstick, toothbrush/toothpaste, water bottle. This got easier as the week went on. I can’t quickly do it or I will forget something!
—>The weather has been great but since I now to go to work the forecast was shit!
IMG_3897 I was lucky cause I just missed the downpour Tuesday morning. I got sprinkled on a bit but nothing crazy like I thought!
—>On Wednesday I came to the realization that I have zero desire to do anything after work. Which includes working out. The last thing I want to do is get back on my bike!
—>I had to give myself a reality check or maybe an attitude adjustment on Wednesday/Thursday. If I am going to train for Victoria, train hard, and have a good race…I am going to have to get up every.single.morning and work out! I will bike to work every.single.day and not complain about it!
—>I am going to re-vamp my schedule just a bit this weekend to reflect the 75 miles of commuting I will be doing and Saturday will become my NEW work-out day off.

Here was Tuesday mornings “things”

So much stuff!!

So much stuff!!

I was paranoid about getting to work on time every morning but since Tuesday was the first morning of a bike commute + swim beforehand I was on my way extra early. I took a snap shot of the early morning!

Thursdays outfit:
I also realized I am NEVER going to be able to wear a sleeveless/short sleeve because it is freezing! 😦

Another good thing/bad thing is I have never had 2 15 minute breaks EVER!! It is good because it is a break and a chance to have a snack but bad cause I would rather work through the 15 minutes and get done a half hour early. I also have an hour lunch. WTF am I going to do for an hour? The wi-fi sucks! They do have a computer in the lunch room so I used that twice to catch up on blogs! But for the most part I wish I could take a half-hour nap!! 😉

There you have it! My first week as a non-dental hygienist working for a company with an ID badge! Whoa!

Have you ever gone from one extreme to a new extreme working? Or changed careers?

Tales of my Commute #5

22 May

I did not think I would have a tales of my commute so soon after last weeks shenanigans!! I had quite a commute to and from work today!

It was raining, lightly, when I left this morning. I have been wearing running gloves instead of rain gloves because it hasn’t been that wet lately. Today I put them on not really thinking about it. I quickly thought a 1/2 mile into my commute that I was in trouble. These gloves were not going to be ok and hopefully my fingers will thaw out before I have to see my first patient.

I was cruising right along and what do I see in front of me but a guy holding an umbrella while riding his bike. (If you saw this already on Facebook…Sorry) As I passed him and I said “You must not be going that far.” He ended up catching up to me at a light. He said he was riding “7 miles.” WHAT? He proceeded to tell me he did not want to buy “rain” clothes. Oh GOTCHA…You are going to carry an umbrella while riding a bicycle. Sounds totally logically because he was almost as wet as I was! But I was only about 2.5 miles in (of 7). What did I know!? 🙂 I am so sad I didn’t get a picture of this!!

Onto the bigger and better story of this post. I have decided that Barbur is such a better way home since last weeks tales of the commute. I left work late again tonight. Kind of on purpose. I did not want to sit in downtown traffic like last week especially in the pouring rain.

I headed down Barbur. Pretty much from the beginning I thought this was a bad idea. There was so much standing water I was soaked within minutes. It was raining a lot harder than it was this morning that is a fact!! I put the pedal to the metal and went for it!

Not a lot of cars but maybe more than last night. Cause all of the cyclists were in their cars. Suckas!

There is always at least one other cyclist at this intersection with me....NOT TONIGHT!

There is always at least one other cyclist at this intersection with me….NOT TONIGHT!

My LEAST FAVORITE things about tonight’s commute:

1: Riding down Natio at 30mph and rain pelting down on my face.
2: Riding in a north bound lane and getting splashed by the south bound cars.
3: My favorite trick in riding in the rain: wear latex gloves under your rain gloves and in my case: running gloves.
4: I did not get to see the umbrella guy again!
5: I was literally laughing the entire ride because it was so funny. I.WAS.SOAKED!

My hog got me home safe and sound!

My hog got me home safe and sound!

Can you tell that I am totally water-logged?!

This was one of my TOP 5 wettest commutes in the last 5 years. Maybe even TOP 3! Do I dare say it? It was almost FUN! It would not have been as fun in the dark!

Happy Hump Day!! Who is ready for summer?

Tales of My Commute #3 AND #4

15 May

I saw this post going in a total different direction but here it is anyway!!

I got out of work late per usual last night! I decided to take the “easy” way home. I took Barbur instead of Terwilliger. Let me tell you a few things about both streets.

Barbur is a huge thoroughfare through Southwest Portland. 4-6 lanes across at any point. There is a bike lane for most of it BUT there are many “difficult connections.” I do not like to ride on Barbur in high traffic times, in the dark and/or the rain!!

Terwilliger is my choice for my commute about 96% of the time. It has a bike lane. It only has one “difficult connection” but really is not that difficult! I know every single curve, pothole, and bump on the street.

I have talked about this before. My commute through downtown is not exactly easy. It is stop and go for maybe 1-2 miles. Going up Broadway is a pain because it is uphill but there is a bike lane. Going home is nice because it is downhill. The downfall being: What would take 3 minutes to get through if there were no lights, cars, or stopping takes at least 15 to get through! 😦

Back to yesterday. I decided that it was late enough, light enough, and dry that I would take a different way home! I took Barbur. It was awesome. Hardly any cars and I hit most of the lights! Instead of going through downtown I decided to take the waterfront. (I do not like to take the waterfront on nice days because it is murder suicide…too many dogs, strollers, kids, runners, other bikes….a total shitshow!) Last minute I decided to just take Natio (with a bike lane…many difficult connections) but it was late and not many cars!

It took about 34 minutes. I think that must be an all-time quick commute home. I might just have to do that every Tuesday! 🙂

Northeast Bike Boulevard craziness!

Northeast Bike Boulevard craziness!

This evenings commute was a little different story. I left work right at 5 which was the problem. I either leave before 5 or 5:20-5:30.

I got down Terwilliger in record time. I got to the light before heading into downtown. It is a big intersection. People are so stupid. They are in such a hurry they stop in the middle of the intersection and the light turns red! Totally unfair to everyone that is going my direction because all the stupid people are blocking the intersection. Since I am on a bike I have the advantage of moving through the cars. I stare the people down and they act like they have done nothing wrong! UNBELIEVEABLE!

I get into the thick of downtown. It is a total shitshow! I should not complain because I follow the rules. I stay in the line with the cars while all the other cyclists choose to ride between the parked and driving cars. I guess they are the smart ones. I could be in my car listening to music but I choose to sit on my bike instead! Dang it! At least it was not RAINING!

4th Ave 5pm Traffic!

4th Ave 5pm Traffic!

Soooo Sloooowwwww! I finally get to the bridge with the masses!

People kill me. This girl passes me on the uphill to the bridge. Cool. Go for it! Then when it comes time to make the short downhill through the light(that is not very long) to go back uphill she slows down. What are you doing??!!!! I did make the light but barely! What is wrong with people!

One more thing: These are painted on the road:

To signal the light to turn for the cycles. Am I the only one that uses these? People will literally be sitting right next to it. Do they not know that sitting on top of them will make the light turn faster?!!! I.JUST.DO.NOT.UNDERSTAND!!!!

54 minutes later…I finally parked my bike in the garage. I was home! I guess it could be worse. I could be driving north on I-5! HA!

How long was your commute??

Tales of my Commute #2

3 Apr

Is it just me or am I the only blogger that tells stories?! Well here is another one. I promise it will be quick because I have to pack for San Fran and finish making a Holy Cow Cake. (I am going to do a How-to-Make-A-Holy-Cow-Cake soon, you are going to die, or maybe just like it!!)

I have talked about my commute before. It is now over 7 miles. If it was 7 miles just riding it would take no time at all BUT I have to ride through downtown. I could go down and around by the waterfront but there are people, dogs, strollers, kids, skateboards, and all kinds of other shenanigans! I would rather just stay on the road even if I have to stop every block!!

I rode my road bike this morning to work so I could ride after work. It is always a treat to ride my road bike instead of my commuter because it is easier and faster! This mornings commute was awesome. I left a tad after I usually do and got there a tad before I usually do. SCORE!! I got ALL the lights going up BROADWAY!! DOUBLE SCORE!! Awesome commute this morning. Wish they all could be like that!

I leave work late. I go and do a short (shorter than I wanted) ride then I make my way home. It is all good. Then I hit downtown! 😦 So slow! I literally have to clip out at EVERY. SINGLE. LIGHT. I get stuck behind cars that are going way too slow. I get stuck behind bikes that are going too slow. I finally get through downtown. FINALLY. Then I get stuck behind a few others cyclists. I make my move going up to the bridge. Another relief.

I can not catch a break for anything. I get over the bridge and there is something going on at the Rose Garden. More cars and MORE bikes!! I get stuck again behind 4 bikes. Pass 1. Finally on to Williams and I pass the other 3. Either I was feeling really strong or they were weak. I am NOW home FREE! PYSCH! I get to my last light and there are 2 hipsters sitting there. One is complaining that his butt hurt. The light turns and I pass them. Because I am a chick there was no way they were going to let that happen! They proceed to get right in front of me, slow down, and pretend they did nothing wrong. I was so over it. I did stop and take a picture of this:

Cori over at Olive To Run has a challenge. To take a picture of something CRAZY while out on a run. Anytime I see something crazy I do not have my camera. 😦 I did see this heart on a run the other day and did not have a camera/phone so I just stopped tonight. Took a pic to submit for the challenge. It is not crazy but cute!

I made it home!! I am off to finish the cake! Stand-by you are going to love that post!!

How is your commute? Do you want to slit your wrists? Or is it reasonable? Anyone baking anything good?

Tales of my NEW Commute

12 Feb

I have only lived in my new house for less than 2 weeks. In those 2 weeks all of my commutes have been broken up. I either ride to the pool then to work. –OR– I ride all the way to or from work –OR– I stop at the gym on the way home. I think MOST days I will have at least 1 way broken up.
Yesterday I locked my back door at 6:52 and clocked in at 7:31…Literally walked into work…right to the time clock. I am still deciding on the BEST ROUTE to take. The Tillamook “bike boulevard” is one block from our house. Which is AWESOME!! It is flat until the Broadway bridge. “Down” the bridge. Then I cruise “up” Broadway until I hit 6th to Terwilliger and work here I come. I was cruising Broadway about 7:05ish. I got a peace sign and a smile from what looked like a homeless person. I go through some yellow-red(ish) lights just to make it to the next yellow-redish light. I finally come to a stop when I need a break and a breath! It is hard to stop at red lights in the zero-dark-early morning commute!! 39 mins to work! NOT BAD! I am pretty sure that number is never going to change. I can try to get through lights all I want but I am never going to make it through all of them!

Today I rode home from work. Clocked out at 7:17…and walked in the back door at 7:53. The trip down Terwilliger is fast. It is down hill with only one light that I usually hit when red. I thank my lucky stars when I catch a green! Once I hit downtown it is (I think) always going to be a hit or miss. I cruise down 6th. I get the first 3 red lights out of 3 red lights. Wow it is going to be a long way “DOWN” 6TH! Then it happened. The MAX was cruising with me and when you cruise with the MAX: You get all green lights….UNTIL it has to make a stop! I did pretty good for a few more blocks then got stuck behind a truck going maybe 4 mph. Are you kidding me? All I want to do it get home and eat dinner! He turns! YES!!! I get to Burnside. I pretty good size thoroughfare. The lights are out. 4 way stop. HOPE everyone can see ME! As I pass through by myself…I made it through to tell the story. Then up the bridge was pretty uneventful. I start to sweat. All of a sudden I was back to the Tillamook bike boulevard. Home Sweet Home!! 36 mins home! NOT TOO BAD!
I go through 2 of these bike traffic lights. Makes me feel bad-ass! YEAH!

I guess it is all relative. The commute to work is more uphill but it does not take that much longer to get there then to get home! I do like the broken up factor because my saddle is not the best so it makes a difference. 🙂

What I think of the commute right now: Is it going to make me a better cyclist? Maybe. Is it going to make me more tired? Probably. Am I going to be sweaty both ways to and from work? Definitely.

In SWEETER news: I made some Chocolate Oatmeal Squares for a co-workers birthday. I adapted the recipe from How Sweet It Is. Another one of my go-to dessert blogs.

These were SUPER EASY to make. They CAN be Vegan if you sub Agave for the honey and use Earth Balance for the butter.

Does this make you want to commute by bike? How far is your commute?