I woke up this morning having to face my first day back at work after almost 2 weeks off, and since that's a pretty sucky thing to have to do, I decided I should at least try to make it bearable by taking the bike!
If you read my previous entry, you'll know that riding into work (Croydon South to Melbourne CBD) is something that scares the pants off me and is something I've been putting off for a long time. It's also something that I really need to sort out because really, who would spend two hours and a ton of money a day on public transport when they have a perfectly good bike sitting idle in the driveway at home? Not this guy.
Well, today everything seemed to be right to give it a crack. Decent weather, light traffic (lots of people still on holidays) and I was feeling pretty clear in the head, so what the hell, right?
First challenge for me is the fact that I work in an office with a semi-strict dress code. Not quite suit-and-tie, but no denim, collared shirt and shiny shoes. Normally when I ride, it's kevlar jeans, t-shirt under textile jacket, boots, gloves and helmet, so I had to find a way to pack my work clothes so I can change on arrival.
My bike has almost zero storage capacity for now (I can't afford it yet) but I rummaged around the house and found a backpack that I picked up at a training course. Dimension Data if you must know. Yeah, I've totally got that biker image going, baby LOL. It's not massive but it fits what I need and it's comfy enough. Job done.
Route planning time. I work right in the CBD, so the simplest route is straight up the Eastern Freeway, so my route for the day is Canterbury Rd to Eastlink, Eastlink/Eastern Fwy to Alexandra Parade, Nicholson St, Spring St, Little Collins St. As a quick aside here, I've just remembered there are tolls on Eastlink, and that's irritating. I'm not sure if the time saving is worth the $1.47 cost. Will have to experiment and see how I go in future.
I had to fill the tank after almost running it dry on Monday (that's another story), and then the trip itself was pretty much a non-event. There was stuff-all traffic around, more like a quiet Sunday morning than peak hour, so what would normally have been an hour on PT ended up taking about 35 minutes, including time to gear up, warm the bike and get petrol.
Parking was another thing that had worried me (turning off Little Collins, riding slowly up the footpath, finding an appropriate spot etc.) but it was pretty bloody simple in the end so I don't know what I was fretting over.
All said and done, that was a good decision and now I can start working towards doing it in heavier traffic as people start coming back to work over the next few days/weeks. Now I've just got to kill 8 hours or so pretending to be busy (it's still VERY quiet here at work) before I can get back on the bike and go home. Fun times