Apr 022019
#30DaysOfBiking, Day 2: My Version of a Triathlon

If the search term “triathlon” led you here in hopes of some secret sauce for training to complete an Ironman, so sorry. My idea of a triathlon is a day in which I manage to work in a bike ride, walk at least 5,000 steps as counted by the tracker on my phone, and do some yoga. Bicycling, while it’s a great way to work exercise into my day, doesn’t provide everything a body needs to stay healthy, especially the weight-bearing exercise my osteoporosis-prone ancestry tells me is important.

The yoga came at the end of the day after the drive back to Seattle from Olympia. It nicely (ha) revealed the ways that Sunday’s big gardening effort stayed around in my hamstrings, neck, and some other places. I use the Down Dog Yoga app that lets me choose the length, focus for the practice on something like core or restorative postures, level from beginner to advanced, and other options to customize to what I feel like doing that day.

Strange but true — even on a day that starts with riding my bike to work, I can end up sitting much of the day if I’m not careful. Days I work in Olympia tend to be more active in that regard simply because the WSDOT headquarters is a really big building and getting anywhere requires walking, but then I’m often there because I’m attending meetings and they can be long ones.

I have a standing desk so that means I’m a bit more active beyond just sitting if I’m in my workspace, but I may still essentially freeze in one place while I dig into something and stare at the screen. I work in some active movement during the day by turning phone calls into walking meetings. (Sometimes the person on the other end of the line knows we’re going for a walk, sometimes they don’t. If you need to call me, we can go for a walk “together”.)

Outfit hanging on a white door: Light gray fitted jacket with one button, straight slit pockets, Mandarin collar, over a scarlet silky wrap dress.
My idea of bike clothes. This is the same dress that got caught in my brake calipers as I rode to catch Amtrak in Portland, so today I tied the front panels of the wrap overlap into a big square knot so they wouldn’t dangle while I rode. No, you don’t get a picture of this oh-so-elegant solution. This is why my closet is full of fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily.

Olympia weather started off overcast but we didn’t get any actual rain so the ride to the office was cool and comfortable. I did have my rain skirt handy just in case, but a dress with a light jacket was just fine.

One of the things I enjoy about riding my bike is that the route to a place is quite often not exactly the same as the route from a place. This isn’t just a function of one-way streets. Google Maps, while not perfect, does typically pick routes that avoid some of the steeper climbs or put you on a quieter street so I get to see different parts of any town I bike in as long as I don’t think like a driver in my route planning.

Today was no exception, with a slightly different route back to the capital campus from my hosts’ home. I appreciated that for the entire route I was either on a quiet residential street, or in a bike lane if the street is one that carries more driver volume like State Street. Thanks, city of Olympia, for the infrastructure investments and the progress toward your goal of a complete, connected low-stress bike network.

In 23 minutes I was parking my bike in my cubicle and booting up to work on the first project of the day: reviewing a draft of the chapter in the Washington state Target Zero strategic highway safety plan update that focuses on safety issues for people who walk or roll. I pretty much live my job.

Another nice thing about a morning ride: knowing that you’ve checked the box for 30 Days of Biking on yet another day.

Mileage: 4.16

Location: Olympia

Bike: Sweetie, the Specialized Dolce

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