Biking to Synagogue

I woke up early this morning (as in 6:45 am, after having gone to bed at around 3:30 am) so I could get ready for morning prayers. We are now doing some extra prayers called selichot in preparation for Rosh Hashanah and those are done before regular morning prayers; for today, that meant being at synagogue at 7:15 am.

I had mentally planned last night to ride my bike over (also tied to the Go By Bike Challenge I posted about previously) but this morning, seeing how little sleep I’d gotten, I almost went back on that plan. Almost. After getting dressed I decided to ride the bike anyway; I have to start at some point to make the transition from using the car for short trips to using the bike and this was as good a start as any.

The trip itself is very short, about .75 of a mile each way, but the kicker is that right after leaving my house I have to cross the intercoastal waterway, meaning I have to cross a bridge, a pretty steep bridge, with very little momentum on the way up.

I’m actually pretty proud of myself. I was able to get a bit of speed on the way to the bridge (not a long way from my house, but still) and that helped some, but I went all the way up the bridge basically on pure leg power. I mean, my heart was racing when I got to the top, but still, I made it! After that it was all a joyride; you just coast your way down the bridge and pedal the flat streets of North Bay Village all the way to the synagogue.

On the way back my legs were still feeling the burn of the initial climb, but this time I was able to build enough speed to carry me without much effort about a third of the way up the bridge (I also discovered that the incline heading back into Miami Beach from North Bay Village is a bit less steep but longer and curves a bit). After that it was back to pure leg power, though I took it slowly so I wouldn’t hyperventilate.

Did I mention my cruiser bike has only one speed? Because that means a lot in a climbing situation like this.

I got home pumped and wide awake from the excercise, but very pleased with myself. The goal is to do that every morning to go to prayers, though I’ve allowed myself a one day leeway in case one morning I am running so late that I just need to use the car.

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