This has been a bit of a rough month for my bicycle commuting. I started out the month a long way from my bikes – in Portland, where I was staying with my brother in order to attend a graduate seminar in Newberg, Oregon. I kept track of the mileage – the trip to and from Portland, and commuting from Portland to Newberg every day for a week – and I managed to rack up 525 miles in one week. It was a necessary evil – I didn’t have a lot of other options available – but it was really discouraging for someone who prides herself on driving less than 1,500 miles per year. In one week, I managed to hit a third of that limit.
When I got home, I picked up my new bicycle wheels, which turned out to be $110, not $90. Still not so bad, but it discouraged me a bit, especially because I could not get a yellow wheel for Madeleine. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I feel genuinely sad not to have both her yellow wheels spinning around town.
Anyway, the other obstacle that plagued me was the weather. August is the hottest month in Central Oregon and this one was no exception, with temperatures hovering at or near 100 degrees F. Guess how much I wanted to go riding in that? (Honestly, I prefer winter temperatures and rain rather than blazing hot sun.)
There was something about that roadtrip that really knocked the activist wind out of me. Every time I needed to run errands and it was almost 100 degrees outside, I’d say to myself, “Well, I just blew through 525 miles of driving, so might as well add another 8 to the list.” I felt lazy and discouraged and opted to use the car 75% of the time – which is a lot for me.
But, on the bright side, we are entering the two best months for biking in Central Oregon – September and October. The weather is usually perfect, especially in the afternoons, for bicycle travel. In two days, I start up again at my other job and am ready to take Madeleine back out on the road for another year of commuting to work on two wheels! Tally ho!