Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bike to Work and Back

Well, since this is bike to work week and I'm working--I did it! I took the long way around the hill through Silverlake to get from my home in West Hollywood to DreamWorks Animation. It went quiet smoothly, though I got a little lost around Los Feliz going to work and it seemed like every light turned red on me when I came back via Melrose. The best part is that I did it on my 10+ year old cheapie bicycle. It was in pretty good shape because it sat in the garage all these years. All I did was clean it up a bit before the ride.

I'm only working Monday for this week. Would I have tried biking to work the whole week? How about biking to work every day? That's something I'm going to have to consider once I get back to work! One thing that I'm thinking about is adding an electric assist to make going over that hill a little easier and not having to arrive at work all sweaty.

The ride to work took me 1 1/2 hours. That's a little longer than I anticipated but considering that I got lost and hit some unexpected hills it wasn't too bad. I don't have a way to measure speed or distance on the bike but according to the mapped route it should have been 14 miles.

On the return trip I decided to come back the same route that I usually drive. Over the weekend I bought a head and tail light for the ride home and I confess that the ride home had me a bit worried. I thought I would have to walk over the Cahuenga pass and when I got there I saw a couple of other cyclists walking their bikes but I dropped it down to the lowest gear and climbed the hill just fine. Coming down the other side was exhilarating to say the least. The trip took just over an hour--about the same as it usually takes to drive home!

One thing that I wasn't expecting was that it felt very cold riding the bicycle. I'm used to getting warmed up when running but I never got warmed up on the bike. Part of the reason was that it was an unseasonably cold day, I was taking it easy for the most part and the speed I was riding generated quite a bit of wind chill.

I wore the Polar running watch and although I didn't have the GPS to measure distance on the bike, once I entered the total distance on the ProTrainer 5 software, it gave me information about pace. The hill looks much more challenging on the graph--since it is measuring time and not distance, the trip home compressed the downhill to make it look like I was going down a ski jump!

In keeping with my exercise log-blog, here are the statistics:
                        HR               Pace              Distance
Home to DreamWorks   -   134    3:58 min/km  6:23 min/mi    22.5 km
DreamWorks to Home   -   120    3:24 min/km  5:28 min/mi    19.3 km

I guess that in bicycling you don't really measure pace in minutes per kilometer or mile but in kilometers or miles per hour. My average was about 10 miles per hour or 16 kilometers per hour.