Cycling in Seattle, training for Brazil
This morning I rode my bike to downtown Seattle so that I could accompany my friend on his commute to work. It was a casual and chatty ride, and I was amazed that the drivers near downtown Seattle seem to be a lot nicer than the riders in the rural areas I normally ride. Yes, there’s way more traffic, stop lights, and opportunities for being “doored” by a parked car, but the people on the road seemed to be aware of how much space to give a cyclist, and I was never told to “get off the road,” “ride on the sidewalk,” or (my favorite) “get a car." All this was surprising to me because I’m not normally commuting by bike during rush hour, so I just assumed traffic would be a dangerous nightmare. Once I dropped off my friend, I headed back to north Seattle, where I live. Suddenly it became obvious why downtown drivers are better at dealing with cyclists on the road than rural drivers: there were hundreds of bikes headed toward downtown! When you’re riding in the same direction as the other cyclists you don’t really notice how many there are, but once I was riding the reverse commute, I could see everyone descending on downtown. There were all kinds of bikes, all sizes of people, plenty of yellow rain jackets; I saw hundreds of cyclists riding in the opposite direction, within four miles of downtown. It was great to see that kind of dedication to health and to the environment. It was cold and dark, but Seattle’s cyclists are committed!
I was riding with my Garmin Edge 705 and my Quarq Cinqo Powermeter. It was impossible to ride steadily in traffic and I logged 15 minutes of pause time in a 2-hour ride, which is really high for a focused training session. I wouldn’t recommend trying to do your interval training on the way to work, but it’s certainly a great way to log extra miles and get in recovery rides. If you’re training and have the opportunity to commute, I say join the crowd. The more people that ride, the safer it will be for everyone, and the ride is certainly better training than sitting in your car watching brake lights.
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