Life Has a Way of Encouraging Compromise
One early spring morning I got up and loaded my Brodie Once with 110lbs of gear, which included clothing, a laptop computer, food, textbooks, a couple notebooks and a trailer containing cooler full of frozen krill and dry ice. Once I checked that everything was firmly attached, I slowly rolled out and tackled one on of the more challenging routes out to Horseshoe Bay aiming to catch the early morning ferry to Nanaimo. The krill was needed for a pilot study on sockeye smolt to be held in Nanaimo and I was embarking on this insane journey due to a promise I made to myself 6 months earlier to commute by bike whenever possible.
Life has a way of encouraging compromise. As you get older this only gets worse. When I started on my Post Doc (a research position you take after a PhD) I knew that if I started compromising now, things could only get worse. As part of my position I had two offices: one in Nanaimo, with an industry partner, and the other on the mainland, with an academic partner. Up until this point I had ridden between to the two locations, even during some of the nastier winter rain storms. I had a great routes worked out, where even during rush hour I would only see a handful of cars. I really had no real good excuse not to ride, with the only exception being severe snowstorms.
The krill however presented a potential turning point I hadn't anticipated. Most would have sensibly driven the krill to the ferry. However if I started compromising here, where would it stop? Also what about the previous promise I had made myself? In the end I decided to continue keeping that promise and decided embark on a crazy adventure. It turns out it was possible to drag all that gear out to the ferry and when it was all said and done I was pretty glad I had made that choice. It was one less excuse I had made in my life, one more piece of personal history where I was up for the challenge (pun intended).
The Brodie Once also held up like a champ under the weight. I was originally worried about the internally geared hub, but it gave me no trouble even as I dragged myself up 26% grade climbs. The Once also handled amazingly well with front and rear panniers. The wide handle bars provided a lot to control over the bike in sharp turns and the large hydraulic brakes were a real godsend when navigating some pretty steep descents. I was carrying a lot of weight and coming to a stop was almost a trivial exercise.
I arrived pretty exhausted, but with a smile on my face.
Thanks Brodie for making a stylish and kick-ass transportation machine.
Bicycling Stats: http://app.strava.com/rides/482356