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  • Riding on my bicycle
  • Shifting gears

Riding on my bicycle

- Friday –

I rode the subway instead of bicycling to work. It took me the same amount of time, which I used to draft some blog posts and respond to mail. I thought I’d take the subway so that I could bring my rolling case and take my work laptop home.

I missed the exercise already, missed the steady progression of streets, missed the strange combination of relaxation and tension (mm, trees; are there any car doors about to kill me?).

The weather’s getting cooler. It’s officially autumn now. Aside from gloves, what else do people use to make their cool-weather bike rides better?

I’m a little worried about handling snow and ice on my Manhattan Smoothie. I wonder if I’ll have to learn how to ride a real bike, and whether I’m up to that just yet. Maybe someday…

– Sunday –

W- helped me install a bicycle computer, which tracks total distance, trip time (only the time spent cycling), and a bunch of other useful things. I’m pleased to report that we biked 34km today, for a total trip time of two and a half hours. That involved some errands and a wonderful excursion to the Don Valley trails. The leafy canopy let filtered sunlight through, and it was beautiful.

I think I kinda like this biking thing.

Shifting gears

I woke up with a terrible cough–the same one from last week, but worse–and decided not to inflict it on my office-mates, so I worked from home. After a few hiccups regarding network access, I finally got things sorted out.

I thought about staying indoors all day. I didn’t feel particularly social and the cough made it more comfortable to stay silent. But my manager had organized a meeting for our extended group, and I wanted to go. So I grabbed a bag of cough lozenges and I rode my bicycle (in office clothes!) all the way to the office. I wasn’t running a fever anyway, so my cough was probably not infectious.

Results: I enjoyed a few hours of great conversation, learning a lot about IBM and my coworkers’ lives. I helped another new hire figure something out. I consumed seven cough lozenges, which was probably above the recommended dosage. I had a good bike ride: 8.4 km one way, around 40 minutes because I was taking it really easy so that I wouldn’t have to change my shirt on arrival. It was also a good opportunity to test my commute route, which turned out to be okay. Davenport has bicycle lanes pretty much all the way I needed to go.

I really appreciated how my manager and service delivery manager shared the big picture with us. It was interesting to see the numbers they were measured against, and to hear about the trends in the workplace. I also appreciated getting to know the other team members over dinner, and I look forward to learning more about them as I get the hang of inviting people out for a coffee or lunch break.

I’m back at home now, still nursing the cough, still going through my stash of lozenges. I’m glad I went to that, even though I didn’t feel particularly social when I headed out the door. I figured that opportunities like that shouldn’t be passed up, and the bike ride helped me shift gears and get ready to interact.

So that’s the fifth straight day I’ve found an excuse to ride my bicycle, and life is good. I’m looking forward to biking to work tomorrow. Musn’t forget my sewing kit for classes in the afternoon! I’m temporarily swapping my writing-in-the-subway time for exercising-for-half-an-hour-each-way time, but there are other times to write, and exercise is good.

Also, I like the people I get to work with. They’re awesome, and I’m glad to be part of this team.