You might be bike commuting in Nashville. In the spring and summer, I usually see a bike or two during my journey, but in winter? It’s just me. Or at least it was yesterday.
So, here’s me just before leaving for the office (and yes, that is my bathroom mirror). As you can see, I wear my work clothes, down to the coat (I especially like this one because it is the perfect length for biking and I think the red color makes me stand out).
So, cardigan, tank top, work pants and normal socks. I threw on gloves, boots and a scarf before actually going out the door, along with my helmet. And no, I’m not wearing hammer pants, even though they were all the rage in France last summer. These particular dress pants are wide-legged and I have to clip them tight so that they don’t catch on my water-bottle holder. I hear tell there is actually biking equipment that does this, but I usually use hair clips or rubber bands, proving once again that you can bike commute without all the gear.
And then I was off. It was a beautiful morning: sunny, and about 38 degrees. Not bad at all for biking. Most of my commute is through neighborhoods, with little traffic. I only have a bike lane for one stretch of it. Most Nashville drivers are clueless about what to do when they encounter a bike on the road. Usually this is a good thing that translates into them giving you wide berth, but not always. This morning, a bus driver whizzed past me and then pulled over for a stop almost immediately, cutting me off. Not cool.
That was right on the corner of 10th and Caruthers — the bus dropped off the man you see a sliver of there on the right, and we both turned right at about the same time. I stopped to take this photo.
This is the worst hill I encounter on my way to work. It isn’t the steepest, but it’s the longest, making it something of an endurance test. I’m proud to say I beat this guy to 12th Ave. without having to stand up on the bike….something that never would have been possible when I first started commuting. In fact, I’m pretty sure a grandmother passed me going up this hill the first time I tried it. Nashville is quite hilly, which can make riding something of a challenge.
My commute takes me past Belmont University, home of one of last year’s presidential debates. It also takes me past a Subway, and I end up with that “$5 footlong” jingle stuck in my head for the rest of my ride. For those of you wondering how cold it is commuting when it’s 38 degrees and sunny — at this point, I took off my coat. This is the only road I take that has a bike lane.
Here it is, the Village — when I reach this intersection, I only have about three blocks to go. But this morning, I had left the house without breakfast or coffee, so I paused for a Fido break.
Cake may be delicious, but it is no way to start the day (sorry Dot!). I got an everything bagel and a coffee to go, and 15 minutes later was headed back out to the bike.
This is one place where I do have to lock up my bike. You might notice the coffee nestled snugly in the water bottle holder — works great for a short ride. The bagel is in my basket.
Five minutes later, I was at the office. A nice morning’s ride!
Posting this has got me in the mood for today’s commute, so I’ll leave it at that and save my pics from the commute home for tonight. It’s 28 today but I think I can do it!