Not that I haven't been riding. But somehow, riding to work was just not very appealing. There was more than enough apprehension about the whole thing to want to do it again.
First, I needed a bike. Husband suggested I repurpose Sweetpea. Daughter and I both gave him the Glare of Disbelief. Bad enough my Rivendell got whacked on a commute. Not to mention that bike parking at work is outside, and I don't get there early enough to score one of the few covered spaces.
I had retrieved the Gitane from Daughter, and thought I had it ready to go. Mike R. loaned me a 700c SON generator wheel; I swapped over lighting, pedals and adjusted my panniers to fit on the Gitane's venerable Blackburn rear rack. Rode it around the block for a quick test.
Six days later, I hopped on, ready to ride into work. Except I was pedaling, and nothing was happening. The vintage Maillard Helicomatic freewheel was not engaging. After a bit of searching around the Usual Suspects, looking for a replacement freewheel that did not cost a small fortune, I decided that I wasn't as invested in the vintage-ness of the Maillard Helicomatic components as I had been when I originally restored the bike. Velo Orange offered a nice 126mm freewheel-compatible hub rear wheel, and a 14-28 Shimano Hyperglide 6 speed freewheel, the same range as the Helicomatic, was found somewhere else. I couldn't get any fancier, because then I'd need a new derailleur and so on and so on.
It all arrived, did the installation... and the temperature plummeted. Freezing fog. Especially where I work. Waited that out. Finally, this past Tuesday night, got everything ready. Up at 6, on the road by 7:30.
And it was a completely uneventful commute, which was good, because Gitane and I had to get used to each other! Kept reaching for the bar end shifters. Not. The bike doesn't have the gravitas of the Riv (translate - weighs somewhat less :-) ). It can feel downright zippy.
Commute home had a few apprehensive moments in the dark along NW Evergreen before the shopping center. High speed limit, and the bike was twitchy. But I survived it.
Fast forward two days (today). Convinced Fitz to commute also (he turns off about 1.5 miles before I do). The bike felt much better. Rode over to Hawthorn Farms for an after lunch meeting (just under 2 miles) with a lunch date with the son, who works there. Discovered on the ride over (cutting through Orenco Station), that I can ride no-hands. I can shift with impunity. Today was a 24+ mile day.