Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Today being earth day I enjoyed a coincidental first (partial) commute to work.
I'd been a good long while since I've commuted on account of the distances and locations of my client locations. typically between 65-84km from home, if not in entirely different cities (but I think I've closed that chapter of my life).

As background I'm a contract designer, draftsman for food industry, so being a 'non-employee' I get to enjoy some freedoms but these freedoms go hand in hand with some restrictions also. Notably supplying my own workstations, measurement tools and other awkward heavy shit. I'm also sometimes required to travel to other client facilities during the day (with all the awkward shit) so commuting hasn't always been possible. However, I've been pretty stable working with one client for a while now, have my own office on site, a change room and a locker so I really have no excuse other than I'm expected to be on site by 8am, and like to be on site by 7:15-7:30 which makes for early mornings if yer gonna jam in a ride on the way.

Anyway, enough about me, what do you think about me?? ha.

so, given the distance, timing and route (half of which is 400 series highway) I'm forced into doing a hybrid commute. I drive the first 40km and park in a (extremely convenient) 'park n ride' car park and ride the remaining 43km from there on classic eastern Ontario roads. which is to say flat flat flat, mostly straight and windy. Eastern Ontario is flatter than a heroin chic runway model and mostly open farm fields so if theres any wind in this hemisphere your gonna feel it full on. Further, theres a curious pattern to the Eastern Ontario wind. Its always a headwind. Seriously, maybe not 100% of the time but easily 99%. It's only redeeming feature is that it's better than a friggen compass. (which are riddled with error given the magnetic pole axis' are out of line with the rotational axis' pole) but no fear! just raise a dampened finger to guage the wind direction and head into it. Doesn't matter where you're going, it's virtually guaranteed to be into the wind so you know if you've got a tailwind yer only screwing yourself for later on. So wheel around until you hear that familiar roar in your ear that's coupled with crawling along in your granny and be content in knowing that you're headed safely toward your destination.

o.k. it's not that bad and today was pretty tame but it's pretty freaky that I've been on the receiving end of tailwinds about 3-5 times in the last several years of riding and on at least two of those occasions I was lost heading the wrong way so.. today was a headwind. Not a frightfull bastard of a headwind but headwind nonetheless. oh well.. sounds like complaining I know but its really more of a curiosity now as I've given in accepting that I'm just going to have to work a little harder for my speed.
..that I'm only curious until the wind goes up over 25km/h in my face and then I'm bitching & cursing with my head down, burning legs, heart rate stratospheric as the ground crawls by..

but! Today was not that day. Today was a bit of this;

with a lot of this;

which is a pretty awesome way to start a day, headwind included. Even the chicken farm I have to pass each day didn't reek up the joint as much as usual which was a major blessing cause when that place is ripe it's bad. Like, unspeakable bad. Like, how could anything considered "food" in any form come from a place that smells bad like a-cholera-victim-getting-a-perm-in-the-basment-of-an-abattoir-bad. ..but there I go again, getting away from the point. (guess I'm not a linear thinker) which is that commuting rocks and today rocked better than lots.


Peter M said...

You've convinced me to go off chicken. In fact, not only am I not eating it again, I'm making this decision retroactive 18 years. Today was my first commute on the bike paths since this post:
It was divine.

the original big ring said...

mmmmmmm . . . . chicken

King said...

Funny part is that they use the smelly stuff from the chicken farm to fertilizer veggies......

Golonghardman said...

Thats the way it is out here. Headwind when you leave headwind when you come back. Cross wind if your lucky. Go backwards and you'll have a tailwind but you'll still have to turn soon.

I like the legs when there crispy just out of the oven. MmmMmm