Guest Article: Eric Smith-First Bike Commute of 2008

Eric Smith answered our altar call and sent us his article…

I work as an IT manager. That means I sit in front of a computer all day. I talk on the phone, and occasionally I get up to get coffee, or attend a meeting, where once again, I sit. Needless to say, this does wonders for my metabolism. Now, keep in mind, my body chemistry craves potato-chiptides, Godiva-flavins, and a good dose of Donutium to feel good – and from time to time I give in. All the more reason why, after a couple months without riding in the bitter cold and snow, I am desperate to start riding again. It helps offset the effect of the Big-Mactates in my body, or rather on my body.

So, after getting my new Giant OCR-1 road bike this past Friday, and knowing the afternoon temps would be around 48°F I decided to brave the 28°F morning temperature this morning. After about 20 minutes of riding my hands and fingers warmed up a bit, but it took about 30 minutes after the ride for me to feel my toes again.

This is also my first time riding with clipless pedals. I have about 10 intersections or so that I need to stop at, and several areas where drivers wait at the red light so close the the curb that I have to do the one-foot-pushoff thing to get by them. So, all in all I have quickly learned to get in and out of them – and it’s not really much harder than the Power-Grips I had used on my Gary Fisher Tiburon last year.

Going from a Hybrid to a good road bike is incredible! Even though I was fairly loaded down this morning with a big heavy chain and other things I needed to bring to work, I was amazed at how much easier it was to climb the hills – and that’s on my first commute of the year – completely out of shape! I can only imagine how much more enjoyable the commute is going to be in the spring and summer months! For casual riding, the Tiburon is very comfortable, but for 30+ mile round-trip commuting, it was getting pretty hard to carry all the extra weight…

So, once again, I am very glad to be commuting by bike, saving on gas and auto expenses, getting in better shape, going green, and doing my part to ease congestion for my fellow man. Now all I have to do is lay off the Pop-Tartomins and I’ll be all set!

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  1. Ghost Rider

    Eric, that cracked me up…especially “Godiva-flavins” !!!

    It’s amazing the difference in speed a road bike will give you if you’re used to a more upright bike. I commute to work on a variety of bikes, but I always really look forward to riding on my road bike.

  2. Paul

    About 8 months ago I switched from a Giant Cypress to an OCR1 and pretty much experienced the same shock as you. Holy molly, this is what cycling is supposed to feel like! Fast, maneuverable and comfy (and I ride in the drop position).

    One note about the OCRs: at least with the 2007s you can, indeed, put full fenders on them. I just installed Planet Bike Hardcore Road fenders on mine with 28c tires. This was after having two different local shops tell me that full fenders were either impossible or would require different brakes.

    A rather nice addition, as I live in Seattle.

  3. Lance

    Congrats on the new ride Eric! Geared road bikes just ache to go fast. Enjoy!

  4. texastwister

    welcome back to the darkside! or should i say to the green side!..liked the write-up, Good Luck in your commuting adventures of 2008.

  5. Dan

    Another IT guy! Welcome to the club.

  6. Moe

    I owned an OCR-3, a TCR Alloy and a TCR Limited, they are all superb bicycles. I rode these bikes mostly on 50,60 and 100 mile rides, but whenever I wanted to ride a fast commute, the TCR was my weapon of choice.

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