City & Commuting

Commuting: A single day of wins and losses

0 Comments 29 September 2010

Pedestrian walkway in Helsinki, you can almost see it from the cars.

Today was an interesting day of commuting. It started yesterday, when I got fed up with feeling too much effort from my cycling, and I decided to lift my saddle even more. 10mm higher, yet again and you wouldn’t believe the difference. It was like gliding on clouds. This was naturally also due to having some tail wind to help, but with the higher posture I’ll have to bend down more making me more aerodynamic.

It felt really good, natural and all the time I was wondering why on earth hadn’t I done it earlier. When we first set up the bike, the saddle was pretty high, but because I was a fat, inflexible bastard back then, I had to lower it. Now that I’m physically closer to a teenage vampire movie actor, I can bend like a yoga master and therefore actually ride in a more natural position.

After 20 kilometers, I was making good time and it felt better than in a long time when I met a fellow outdoors-type-of-person in the form of a jogger. I was riding through a rough spot while coming downhill, when the jogger ran in front of me. He had seen me before, I had seen him seeing me, I also was ringing my bell and in the last seconds I yelled out telling him to look out since it was pretty much impossible for me to do anything.

In the last second, he seemed to realize the 150 kilos aimed at him traveling at 35 kilometers per hour when he sidestepped and I managed to not hit him. I did however hit a nice bump and almost went out of the road, but luckily I didn’t – unluckily for me the event had forced my left arm to stiff a bit and when the bump hit the tire, it hit my arm and the only sound I heard was a popping, crunching noise in my shoulder. And the pain.

I continued on for a few hundred meters and had to stop because of the pain was paralyzing my right side, but luckily I managed to keep going and make it to the office. Most of the way I was thinking of going to the doctors, though. I decided it’s best I leave the bike to the office and take a bus home, hopefully it’ll be better tomorrow so I can ride back.

Still, the best part? Even with all this, I broke my record! The clock stopped at 49 minutes 5 seconds (previous was 51:10) and without the incident I can go under that easy. Even more so to the other direction, which has always been the faster way (record stands at 49:27).

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Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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