On monday, I took the bike out for a trial run from the new house to campus. One of our neighbors (Fran) mentioned that it’s a 10-minute ride there and a 15-minute ride back. I managed to get there in about 20, with a 25-minute return trip. Here are some tips for next time to help shave that time down a little:
- inflate the tires to something more than 20psi
- Switch the knobby offroad tires to street slicks
- Write down the directions or take a map
- Check the brakes… back AND front
- The bike goes faster when the chain stays on the chainring
For you former Bursley-ites reading this, it turns out that my ride to/from campus involves almost the same elevation changes as the ride from north campus to central campus… approximately 200 feet. However, my ride now has definite bonus of taking me right through Little Italy.
Fortunately, most of the streets I got lost on were pretty nice areas of town, but I did see some areas a few blocks away from our neighborhood that I’m really glad we didn’t buy into (Derbyshire between Lamberton and Cottage Grove). The last time I rode a bike to work or school was about 10 years ago, so it also took me about five minutes to remember how to use a U-lock to property secure a bike to a rack.
Having finally made it to campus, I had a great discussion with Dr. Hauck, my advisor. It looks like I’m going to start my research by learning the finite element analysis software MARC and using it to study the lifecycles of lunar craters. While not quite as exciting as the other option (analysis of IR, visible, and topographic data from the next Mercury Messenger pass) it gets me going on a project quickly.