bike commute

Sunshine for Bike to PSU Challenge Kick Off

bike rack Last May Day it was pouring as the Bike to PSU Challenge kicked off. This was disappointing since I was committed to Biking Rain or Shine. Others weren't so brave and my bike was the only one in the racks for a good portion of the morning. This year the challenge started out with glorious weather and I had trouble finding a bike parking spot.

During the month of May I'll be logging my miles on Portland State University's snazzy Bike to PSU Challenge website. Last year I was on a team of 10 and we helped hold each other accountable to riding every day at least one way. Unfortunately, it was a drizzly spring so I didn't stick to my 14-mile round trip commute consistently. I took transit on 4 super soggy days. Nevertheless, as I described in my post 1 Tiny House & 4 Bicycles, I did manage to commute nearly 300 miles by bike in May 2012!

bikes galore

This year my commute is much shorter. I'm only 2.5 miles from campus instead of 7. But I'm also much more likely to ride consistently because the distance is shorter and because in the past year I've upgraded my tires and added fenders and better lights to my commuter bike. This past week I also replaced my old U-lock which drove me crazy with a new one which uses a combination lock instead of a key. One less thing to keep track of! (But it doesn't count as one less thing for My 200 Things Challenge since I actually consider my bike lock as well as it's key part of my bike. If that doesn't make sense to you, check out my logic in My Things Challenge: Who's Counting Anyway?)

This year there are 271 riders on 79 teams logging their mileage. So this month stay tuned for photos of Portland by bike. Cheers to bike rides and sunny days!

Biking Rain or Shine

biking rain or shine It's a unfortunate that we had such downpours today since we're kicking off the Bike to PSU Challenge. They have an awesome interactive website that's shiny and easy to use. I'm on a team of 10 and we're competing with other teams on total mileage and commute rate throughout the month of May. Our team challenge this week is to ride every day, at least one way. Day 1: so far, so good. I rode to campus in the morning and stopped into the Bike Hub to get my bike tuned up. The folks there are super friendly and helpful. I like that I can work on my bike myself there with assistance since it's educational and empowering. It was a good lunch break activity before getting back to my studies. When I finished up with a project in the computer lab at 8pm I put my bike on the bus and then rode it home instead of transferring to the second bus.

I'm a fair weather biker so I usually just take transit on the rainy days, but this challenge will help hold me accountable to cycling even in the rain. (That and the fact that I decided not to buy a transit pass this term!) I have a great pair of rain pants, but I really should put fenders on my bike, too. I've been told they're mandatory here and I can see why. I haven't gotten any yet because I plan to swap out my wheels for new ones which will probably need different fenders. My spokes are pretty rusted and the rims are steel instead of aluminum so the brakes don't always catch right away in the rain. I've been meaning to get around to it, but my wheels are an unusual size so I've been putting off doing the research. It may be that riding this month for the Bike to PSU Challenge will convince me the time is now!