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Bike to Work Day

July 15, 2014

In the beginning of June, Anchorage held it's annual Bike To Work Day which is a very fun day that encourages people to ride their bicycles to work by bribing them with donuts at strategic locations around town.

The rest of the country observes Bike To Work Day in the middle of May, but Anchorage pushed its date back two weeks because the last few years it snowed on Bike to Work Day and all of the donuts froze with no one to eat them. It was heart breaking. This year it was NOT snowing, and I participated in May even without the donuts.

I convinced a few of my coworkers to participate in the official city event, one of whom lives near me and we decided to ride together. I mapped out the most donut-beneficial route from my house to the office: we could hit FIVE donut stands and it would be amazing.

One of the stands had BACON on their donuts and I basically elbowed tall guys in spandex out of the way so I could get one.

The bacon donut was disappointing, but the ride was beautiful.

Here are some notes I jotted down after the event that I never got around to publishing:

  • My body is less efficient in the morning than in the afternoon. And by "less efficient" I mean "hates moving" and "much slower" which is not surprising.
  • Why don't we have any backpacks in the house? I ended up emptying my camera bag and cramming everything I needed into it, which didn't work very well.
  • In order to conserve space in my camera bag, I wore my work bra instead of packing it and wearing a sports bra. Would have been fine if I hadn't been wearing a backpack making me sweaty sweat sweat.
  • The standard keep-mascara-in-work-bag-for-application-at-a-red-light tactic is pretty terrible when I'm not taking my work bag. Also, cream eye liner is crap for faking mascara.
  • Google maps says my route was 8.9 miles, but my GPS tracker says it was 10.4. Which is right? I want to believe my GPS tracker because 10.4 sounds better. But I have no idea.

After the event, the city sent out a survey for participants to fill out. It was pretty basic stuff: what zip code do you live in? what zip code do you work in? how long did it take you on your bike? how long does it usually take you in a car? did you feel safe during your ride?

When I got back from our trip to Philadelphia, I had an email from someone at the city asking me to call her. Apparently there was a drawing associated with the survey that I had completely forgotten about: one participant would win a bicycle.

Probably halfway through the call I had to stop the lady and confirm: Wait, are you telling me that I just won a bicycle?

You guys.
I WON A BICYCLE.

I went to the local Trek bike store and had a small photo op and they ordered a Trek 7.1 FX bike in my frame size for me all for me for FREE.

Yesterday it arrived in the store and I picked it up last night. The employees were so great, even after I admitted that I've never owned a bicycle that properly fit me, and I've never owned a brand new bicycle - only used ones from garage sales and Craigslist and I never paid more than $70 for one.

And now I own a brand new awesome bicycle that's amazing and fits me properly and is way lighter than any bike I've ever ridden.

So I rode it to work today! Because it's mine and I can!

My initial thoughts:

  • Holy cow I can go fast on this thing. How did I average over 13mph at 6:30am when my body doesn't want to get out of bed, let alone do any physical activity? Lighter frame? The better fit? A better gear system... thing? I'm just really excited about the new bike?
  • Used my camera bag again, and oh man getting that lens divider back into it is a PAIN I need a saddlebag rack for this new bike.
  • Wore my sports bra to handle all of the sweat, and completely forgot to pack a regular bra so I had to wear my sweaty sports bra all day. Ugh.
  • Man this bike is so fun to ride, I don't have to keep readjusting my body to stay on the seat because the frame fits me.

I can't wait for many more miles on it.

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Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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