Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Bike-to-Work Day

You're going to hate me.

I'm serious. You're going to read my bike-to-work story for Bike-to-Work Day this year, and you're going to hate me. It's inevitable. You're going to hate me because you will envy my ride to work. And you may envy my work situation.

You see, I work from home here. I've got a little desk set up just off the kitchen, next to the double doors leading to the pool. Behind my computer monitor is a window, and I can open the shutters on those windows and look at at the pool, and my orange trees beyond.

See? Feel the hate?

Anyway, I've done Bike-to-Work Day for the past five years, and wanted to do it again this year. But, of course, my office is at home, which left me with a quandary. Fortunately, the universe solved my quandary.

It had rained every other day this week, and part of my training for my big trip in September is to do at least one ride every week of five hours duration or more. Friday, the weather was going to be great, so I decided to bike to work via Ave Maria, and thus get in my five-hour ride with a solo century.

Ouch. Now I'm feeling the hate. Or maybe it's just sore legs.

I left the house about 6:30, but stopped for breakfast at Panera. It was just after 7, when I was sitting at the light to turn on Golden Gate Boulevard when I saw this.

If you'll look just a little more closely, you'll see the rainbow. It made the early morning car traffic seem almost irrelevant.

Winds were light and the temperatures fairly comfortable as I cruised west on various roads through Golden Gate and on to DeSoto Boulevard. The construction on Oil Well Road is still in progress, but they have finished enough of the shoulder there to make biking a breeze. I got to Ave Maria about 9 am, with almost 40 miles in.

Since the only food option that was open then was Publix, I explored Ave Maria a bit. I rode down to the Water Park, which was empty. It was next to a playground at North Park.

There is, of course, no South Park at Ave Maria. You'd have to go there to understand why.

Shopping at Publix was, as always, a pleasure. I put ice and Gatorade in my bottles, ate a candy bar, and headed back east. I stayed on Oil Well Road all the way to Immokalee Road, and can tell you that the shoulder there, too, is now good.

I zipped down Immokalee Road, then up Livingston to Coconut Point. It was lunch time, so I stopped at the Panera up there.

Yeah, I likes me some Panera.

From there, it was just 20 miles to home ... er, work. I stopped just before the end at Fresh Market and got a gallon of Chocolate Almond Breeze and a package of yogurt-covered raisins. I was in my "office" -- showered and dressed and eating sugar while beginning to answer e-mails -- just after 1 pm, and put in a good four hours of work.

Wow. I almost hate myself now.

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