Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bike Commute Challenge - I'm In!

OK, I've been pouting for more than a year now over the fact that my company moved from an awesome location (Fremont, right next to the Burke-Gilman trail) to a horrible location (International District), bike-commuting-wise. (Not just bike-commuting-wise, either; Fremont is awesome, the International District is loud, dirty, crowded, and ugly. Not that I'm still pouting or anything...). My company used to field several gung-ho teams during Group Health's Bike Commute Challenge, but since the move we've been...not so gung-ho. But a new captain has arisen to lead the charge, and I've been sucked in.

The kicker was having it pointed out that biking to a bus stop or train terminal COUNTS. I can bike to the Edmonds train terminal on a reasonable route (I've done it many times during good weather), and my company provides an Orca card that covers everything from there, so I've really got no good excuse. So no more whining, I'm in! Rain or shine!

So that means I have to get my bike back into all-weather shape. I used to have an all-weather trunk attached to my rack, into which I could throw a backpack and a change of clothes. But last time I broke my rack, which happened with depressing regularity when I was a faithful bike commuter, I decided not to attach the trunk to the new rack. I had replaced the rack in kind, and I had come to believe that the reason the old one broke was because the way I had the trunk hanging off the back edge had put too much stress on the rails (see photo of the break below).

But if I'm going to commit to the 7-mile ride into Edmonds I need to be able to depend on having something dry to change into, so it's time to reattach it, mechanical deficiencies or no.

Last weekend I did just that, turning it around 180° so I could snug it up closer to the seat and not have so much of it hanging off the rear. The wraparound reflector now faces the wrong way, but maybe this configuration will be a little easier on the rack. Lube the chain, pump up the tires, and I'm ready to roll. Watch out, Seattle, the trunk guy is back!

Original orientation of the trunk
Consequence: a broken rack
Orientation of the trunk now (on a new rack)