I left for work early today so I could stretch out my ride and use the bike path along the river instead of the street for a change. It was great. I rode about 13 km (8 miles) instead of my usual 6-7 km "late for work" route. It was dark and misty and peaceful. I arrived with time to spare, so I'm thinking about stretching it out some more tomorrow.
I've been riding Mutant Winter for about a month now, waiting for the snow and ice she is designed for. I have found that although she's heavy and has big knobby tires, I go almost as fast as I do on my light fixed gear commuter thanks to the presence of higher gears to pedal in.
When it comes to riding on the path, I have become accustomed to passing most other riders and being passed quite rarely. This morning, however, some dude on a road or cross bike passed me big time. He was wearing cycling gear and had his bike set up with commuter lights. I don't remember fenders or panniers, but my memory is sketchy on this one. He was not showing off or sprinting as far as I could tell, just riding at an impressive steady pace.
He politely rang his bell when he was ready to overtake, and for my part I got over a bit and gave him the "Keri wave", for which he thanked me as he passed. Often when somebody passes me I end up on their wheel for at least a little while. Not this time. This dude was going considerably faster than me, even though I felt like I was doing a good clip.
I comforted myself with the knowledge that given Mutant Winter's setup and big plastic tub, the other rider wouldn't have expected anything else. I know that commuting is not a race. I was just surprised at how slow I was. Many would say that comparing a heavy mountain bike and a lighter road bike is silly, but I'm pretty sure the bigger difference here was in the engine department. I've been eating way too much junk lately, and it is showing on the scale. I need to ride more and eat less crap. I already knew that, but I would like to thank this morning's passer for the reminder. Lots of cyclists always feel like they need a lighter bike. I feel like my bikes need a lighter rider.