Saturday, January 15

Results of the (Winter) Commuter Hardship Challenge 2011

Here it is short and sweet...

How I met (or not) my goals:

Showered at home every day. Wore works pants to ride and took shirt in backapck.

I stored the bike inside in the stairwell every day except Friday when I forgot my cable lock.

I didn't use any cycling specific clothing all week and only used my pannier on Friday.

I blew the goal of riding new routes. It's okay though, I guess the reasoning behind that was to simulate the learning curve of a new commuter and I've gone through that over the past three years anyway. I've had four different points of origin to reach the same destination and I guess I know the Denver Metro area as a recreational and commuting cyclist pretty good considering.

Because of the nasty road and path conditions I ended up riding the mountain bike Tuesday through Thursday, so I went pannierless three days (four if you count Monday's failed attempt) and I really didn't notice it too much at first because I think I was preoccupied with the weather and the ice and snow. But by Thursday I was ready to have my pannier back. I debated on riding the mountain bike one last day, but in the end I rode my commuter bike to take advantage of its fenders and cargo capabilities.

Despite "carpooling" on Monday I feel like I didn't really bust my last goal, which was not to use a car to transport anything to or from work. I carried everything in a pack that day and I didn't leave anything for the benefit of the next day. The underlying reason behind this particular goal was to prevent a lightweight commute, devoid of my daily necessities.

The weather started out Monday morning in the single digits with fresh snow on the ground. The week progressed up to Friday afternoon, thawing, freezing, warming and improving slowly each day to 50 degree temps on Friday afternoon.

Motivation was tough and the challenge itself provided just enough to keep me going. At first I thought the timing was disastrous for such a personal quest, but timing proved sublime.

It was good, and going beyond my original goal of some new fodder to blather on about, the Commuter Hardship Challenge gave me the opportunity for some new commuter knowledge and experiences I may not have had otherwise.

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