Friday, October 17, 2008

nine thousand miles

Yesterday I kicked over nine thousand miles on my bike while on my way home, probably somewhere on Mercer Street. It had about 2700 on it when I bought it in February, so that's just over six thousand that I've ridden this year. Double that to include the mileage that I put on the Vulcan, and I've ridden about twelve thousand miles in the past fifteen months, nearly all of it commuting. That is a lot of city riding, and thankfully I have had no accidents (knock on wood) and only a few truly close calls.

I would love to ride for fun on the weekends, but most of the time the thought of settling the dogs for the day, figuring out where to go, getting geared up, and actually heading out is just too much to overcome. I'd like to go ride on the peninsula by taking the ferry, especially with cheaper fares and preferential loading on bikes, but we just haven't gotten around to doing it. Add in that Chris has been working nights for several months now, and putting a fun ride in our schedule just isn't as easy as it could be. Last spring we did take the bike to go to the tulip festivals in the Skagit valley, and that was a good day. Maybe next year we can go to the lavendar festivals on the peninsula, or find some other destination that involves scenic riding. We both generally do better with a purpose to a trip, and not just riding for scenery.

I've been using earplugs since I got the BMW, as it is much louder than the Vulcan was due to the riding position and lower windshield. However, the earplugs I use have been hurting my ears after just the 30 minute commute, which was another mark against going for a longer ride. Yesterday the new earplugs I ordered online showed up, and so this morning I wore the first pair that I had the highest hopes for - the SilentEar reusable earplugs. They have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 32, higher than that of the ones I was using (24), and look way cooler and also came in a small size. After one trip with them I am pleased, as my ears did not hurt at all when I got to work, noises were quieter, and they were easier to insert properly than the old ones. Depending on how I like them after a few more days, I may not even try the others - but the others were all $2 per pair or so, thus I am not fussed about the cost. I can probably use at least one of them for flyball, at any rate.

Now, if I could just find a manufacturer who believes that women do in fact ride during the winter and need waterproof, armored, insulated gloves just like men do, I'd be all set. Men's XS is just not the same as a properly proportioned Women's S size.

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