Saturday, September 6, 2014

BTA - Bike Commute Challenge

Woot woot - does this girl like a challenge or what?! Not sure why it motivates me so much but I guess it's just the way I'm wired. That being said I've decided to take part in another adventure, trade in my company parking pass, get my butt up at the crack once again and starting hunting down some winter cycling gear. That's right folks, I am going to start commuting to work!

Every September Portland participates in Oregon's annual 'Bike Commute Challenge', put on by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance . In this competition, local companies have the opportunity to register their workplace and sign a team up in an effort log the most amount of commuter trips during the month. We have a decent amount of cyclists in our office who commute every day so I thought why not join myself? I've got to get my miles in anyway and this presents a great opportunity to get it done before my day really begins!

My route - about 20 miles one way, not bad!

Thursday was my first go around -  I left home around 5:55am, in the dark.....creepy but I had bought lights for both the front and back of my bike so being seen wasn't (hopefully) a problem. Thankfully the sun is still coming up early enough so I am only riding in the dark for about 20 minutes. My route is fairly safe as well with half of the distance being on a bike path separated from traffic.

Just a little dark!

I didn't get the best shot but I promise you the sunrise was ah-mazing!

My buddy, co-worker and true cycling genius Eric, met me about half way and basically escorted me through the downtown area to our office. Lots of one-way streets and unfamiliar territory. Portland is known for it's bike friendly ways but having done most of my riding on non-trafficked courses, someone with more commuting experience to show me the ropes was a HUGE help!

City of Bridges!

About 1 hour and 25 minutes later and we were locking up our bikes and heading to our respective locker rooms. So incredibly lucky that our company provides these facilities for us! Shower, dress, makeup and I was at my desk by 8:15. I'll definitely want to start leaving about 15-20 mins earlier in order to ensure that I have time to blow dry my hair (sported a damp top bun all day) and get into the office by 8am. Otherwise I think it was a total success!! Walking up 10 flights of stairs afterwards was another story. ;)

I'm going to plan on riding in at least 2 days a week (hopefully 3) and maybe even try to ride back home once in awhile. As the days get shorter and the sun rises later, I'll need to find ways of making Ben and I better illuminated and safe on the road. Thankfully P and I work in the same office so I am able to rack my bike and carpool home. Best of both worlds!

I'll keep you posted on my progress and our team's stats. Hopefully I can make a difference in how we are ranked this year! This contest it just what I needed to finally make the commuting plunge. What a great way to save money, help out the environment and burn 980 calories while I'm at it!

~ Cheers, Rebecca

Do you commute into work?
Tips on riding in the dark?

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