Monthly Archives: September 2014

Commuting Routes: So Many Choices!

With a new job comes a new commute.  This new commute is more than double my old one so we were happy that we never got around to selling our old Honda Civic that we bought the summer before we said “I do.”  I wanted to keep riding my bike, but realistically I won’t be able to ride daily.  The distance is the big factor, but really it is the time it takes to traverse that distance! It took me 3-4 weeks but I’ve figured out the fastest driving routes and have it down to between 15-20 minutes driving (which is about the time it took to bike commute to my old job)!  Biking takes much longer.  I was committed to trying and finally got around to it September 18th.  I had actually biked to work earlier, but that was from a car dealership that was about 4 miles away and almost exclusively on trail.

Locally we have a geowiki called Cyclopath that helps you find bike routes.  You can choose the fastest, shortest, or “friendliest.” Friendliest is supposed to be the easiest overall ride factoring in hills and bike lanes, etc.  As a geowiki users can login and update route info or tag sections as friendly or ones to avoid. All of that goes into the outputted route(s).  Google Maps now has a bike feature that can help you find a bike route.  Both are continually improving, with Cyclopath having the most updated info. I didn’t compare their routes turn for turn, but generally speaking they gave the same routes.

But I’m smarter than the computer!! So I didn’t actually follow either maps routes turn for turn and added some of my own flair which in at least one case probably didn’t work out for the best!  I’ve commuted twice now and took a little bit different route on the way home so I’ve got 4 routes to compare so far.  I think I have a winner that I’ll continue to use regularly.

The shortest route was 8.6 miles and the longest was 8.9. The shortest amount of moving time was 39:08 and longest was 40:20. Most importantly, the shortest elapsed or overall time was 39:55 compared to the longest at 45:36.

I’ve put them in reverse order below, so you’ll have to scroll down to see my favorite!
Route #1 was pretty much straight up urban without any scenery except buildings! Way too much stop and go and while it was mostly on bike lanes too much traffic (especially downtown).

Route #2 was still pretty urban with lots of stops. It was a little bit more scenic and this one I think I made some silly choices but that meant I went through the Sculpture Garden at least! This was also probably the hilliest with several rolling hills with too many stop signs at the bottom of a hill!!

Route #3 is mostly on the River Road, but once that ended I stayed on city streets.

Route #4 is pretty much the same as Route #3, except that it rejoined a trail network instead of taking the streets. This was the flattest ride of them all.

For now I’ll plan on using the route #4 knowing there are innumerable ways to extend the ride for a better workout if I want. If you are ever up for a longer ride come up and we can ride home together!

30 Days: August into September

August’s Challenge was to take a picture every day.  I wanted it to be something more artistic than just “oh crap I need a picture.” For the most part I feel that I did a pretty good job.  A few of them were definitely last minute, but I did get one every day.  I didn’t always post it on the day I took it, but that only messed me up once.  I like taking pictures, but with two kids it isn’t always easy to go somewhere and just take pictures.

It is a little embarrassing to post these mileage totals.  My biking was saved by Powderhorn 24 and I did run a half marathon!

Running: 18.8 miles – this means I only ran 6 miles outside of my race. Oops!

Biking: 135.2 miles – 85 of this was Powderhorn.  I didn’t work for the first half so I didn’t get many commuting miles in and I didn’t really get out for any longer rides since Powderhorn was looming!

Crossfit: It looks like I was able to go 9 times.  Most of my workouts were missed due to Christy’s work schedule, but we were also on vacation, and I missed a couple due to my half and Powderhorn.  My goal is 3x a week which for August meant I should have gone 13 times.  I have been going MWF, but I’ve thrown in a couple of T,R just to get the workouts in.  I even went in one day for an afternoon open gym since it worked with my schedule and I’d missed at least one workout that week.

I started a new job at the end of  August.  I had been looking for a School Social Work job all summer and had 6 interviews.  After I had started working my old job for 2 days, I got another interview and a job offer.  So now I’m a School Social Worker at Jenny Lind Elementary in Minneapolis.  Since I started about a week after everyone else I was a little behind and overwhelmed by so many new things all at once – new school, new job, new people, new building systems, etc.  It is slowly starting to feel like home and getting into a rhythm. I hope to still be able to bike commute, thought it will be at least twice as far as my previous commute.  As a result of this job change, I didn’t create any work related goals.  We also had already decided that we needed to stop our volunteer role as site coordinators for an Adult ESL program.  It was a hard decision but given the demands of our schedule we weren’t doing it justice and were neglecting our roles as parents and spouses!

My September 30 Day plan is:

Proverb a Day – With school in full swing it seems fitting to go back to the Book of Wisdom and read a chapter from the Book of Proverbs each day.

It is always good to spend more time in the Bible.  I don’t feel like adding any additional goals this month.  How was your August?