Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No diggity, I got to bag it up.

I bought this very pricey bag from Freitag tonight, which completely eliminates any possible claims from me that I'm biking to save money. So much for that. Really though, I needed a completely waterproof backpack for my bike commutes. My work clothes and important work-related materials need to be kept dry, so this was the wisest purchase I could make. Unfortunately, this eliminates the likelihood that I will be able to afford a decent front bike light for several weeks.

Both were expensive items, but I figured that a sensible bag outweighed the need for a front light. The purchase has me both gritting my teeth from the price and flapping my wings in giddy anticipation.

- Made from recycled truck tarpulins. While trailers in North America are solid-walled, European trailers are made from heavy-duty plastic tarps. Although this is no good for the environment, it is especially advantageous to keep them from landfills, and to make use of these materials.
- The materials were meant to be durable, so they continue hold up well in the form of a backpack.
- Since each bag is made of a cut from a truck tarp, each design is unique. Yes, this is a luxury, not a necessity, but a perk.
- The bag is also made from recycled car safety belts, airbags, and bicycle inner-tubes. I wear what I ride and rode, eh?

Blame the exorbant price on all of the above. It'll surely last a lifetime though (or more).

I don't care if it has your name on it Emilie--it's mine!

Don't make me over...

So long.

Oh, but I did. I felt that I needed to pump new blood into a dying blog, repainting the interior walls with a fresh coat and renaming the joint. This all comes when I am faced with new challenges and I embrace new inspiration by which to thrive.

My unexpected undertaking, of a full-on bus/bike commute to my co-op job, changed many aspects of my life. First, it reminded me that I really need to get prepared for a 20-mile round-trip per day, so that means getting into shape. Fortunately that also means getting off my feet, putting less strain on my tendinitis problem. Second, it means being more disciplined in how I conduct my daily routines. My work ethic during the summer sessions was great training for this, even though I did not find out that my carpool option for fall co-op would no longer be an option until afterward. If I care more about the condition of my own living space, if I realize just how many hours in a day there are to get things accomplished...it all adds up. With a fresh start in a new place, I have most certainly taken a breath of fresh air to a fire inside.

Now, I won't be awake at 3am like this after tonight. It's going to be boring Christian for several weeks: sunrise at 5:30, bus ride at 6:30, homebound at 5:30 with arrival at around 7-7:30. Mom has been worried about my safety, and so has Emilie. I will be riding along US 127 en route to Hamilton, after riding the bus to its route terminus. After a 32-mile bike ride (below) on Sunday, I believe that I am finally prepared for the daily commute. What a fulfilling personal goal met. I just hope that I can clean up well, perform work tasks up to standard, and continue to meet my own expectations.

So that's 80 per week for the commute. (I plan to borrow my mom's car one day per week so that I can carry things to work that I can't manage on a bike.) I am even planning to run a 5K in mid-November. Staying off my feet for all that commute time, and little time for much else, should help me manage a steady training schedule. I've heard that runners are generally crazy. I've also heard that hardcore cyclists are crazy. We're all a little crazy when we push ourselves to limits we never thought existed. I don't believe there is any denying that I've hit that crazy...and I'm grateful for such an opportunity.

I still plan to ride for leisure as well, whenever possible. When that will be--you've got me.

Vanity rant over. Expect more soon.