Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Commute In Photos

I've been asked by many about bike commuting. Today, I brought the camera along for a typical commute to the office. You get to ride along without all that annoying sweat, increased heart rate and breathing, cold toes and fingers!

Like the title of this blog, I ride a Surly. It's a 2007 Surly Long Haul Trucker, outfitted with a regular rear rack and a pair of Ortlieb Backroller Plus panniers. The whole setup looks like this:

Pretty standard. The black case near the head tube is the battery pack for my light. Now, this bike isn't for the feint at heart. The way you see it in the picture above, it weighs in at 32 pounds. Not that I care necessarily, the bike is designed to carry a load and be comfortable about it. From time to time, I do see other bike commuters on time trial bikes, but they look so uncomfortable. All bent over with a backpack strapped on their backs. Maybe they don't have too far to commute, but I'm going 14 miles each way, 4 days a week.

Leaving the house I have to wind my way through the neighborhood, making my way to Westhills Parkway.

The photo is crossing the San Diego river. I actually cross the river 3 times during my commute. Crossing the bridge I got to the eastern edge of Mission Trails Park.

Once I get to Mission Gorge, I take a right and head towards Mission Trails.

It's a great park. I've spent many years running and hiking through it. I use the park to bypass the Mission Gorge hill on the way to work. I don't want to get all sweaty climbing the hill, where I work doesn't have any showers.

Most people don't know there's a lake in the park. It can't be seen from any roads, you have to hike in to find it. The early morning water vapor points out the location.

Entering the park...

There can be some great views...

Oops, speeding...

More great views...

I had a visitor on my commute! This is the first coyote I've seen since I started commuting Jan 2008. Little guy/gal didn't know where to go, so I gave it a wide berth not to freak it out.

I have to put the camera away for a couple of miles. This is at the top of a downhill. Just coasting, 40+ MPH is common, even with panniers. There's just too much traffic and I like to stay upright.

Ok, so I'm through the traffic and onto side roads making my way towards Mission Valley.

Long winter shadows...

At this point, my camera batteries have died! This is on Ward St going south. You'll have to wait until next week commute to see photos of the remainder of the ride...

I've added a slideshow of all the good, bad and even ugly photos I took during my commute.

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