Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Newbie commuting for New Year's Resolution

    I have decided I wanted to try and commute to work as much as I can (at least 4 days a week). I never have rode before except learning how to ride a bike as a kid, the last 10 years I probably only have gone a 500 yards. I just started working out for the first time in my life, primarily running and have dropped over 35 pounds in 9 months. Since then I have been hooked on fitness for the first time ever in my life.

    Route:
    The direct route is 12.5 miles one way, but 14.6 the preferred route (less cars/bike path). I am going to start on 1/2 and will be updating this daily, while still trying to run a ton and do the LA marathon in March.

    I will be using this as a blog to record my experiences with it, hoping to get over 6,000 miles for the year, and hoping to not die by careless drivers. Feel free to comment or ask questions if it is only me posting that is fine too. I am hoping this may inspire others like me who never thought of cycling as a mode of transportation to at least go out and try it. Anyone can do it!!!

    1. 12/21 - Found my bike

    Purchased a Cannondale with some small issues off Craigslist. The tires are bad, the front derailleur doesn't work when shifting, oxidation/surface rust on small pieces, scratches, bad tape, etc. I brought it home, cleaned it up... The bike was originally 3,500 dollars retail, I got it for 500 dollars since it is 11 years old. The good thing about the bike is aluminum frame, carbon fork, and all shimano dura-ace components. Top of the line (11 years ago )

    2. 12/22 - First ride - 5.83 (clings and clanks)
    http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/214504590
    The bike needs a tune up, I took it home, bought a pump and some chain oil. Took some of it apart and cleaned and lubed some parts.

    3. 12/23 - Second ride - 4.86 miles (seat sucks)
    http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/214731738
    Had to stop because the 11 year old seat seriously hurts. I purchased a new gel seat, it is on the way.

    4. 12/24 - Bought a ton of stuff online

    5. 12/27 - Helmet, tape, tires, gloves, & cell phone visible holder all arrived (I took some pictures below).

    New tires (Continental Gatorskin):


    New tape & holder:

    I replaced one of the water bottle holders with a portable pump, replaced my old look pedals with some crank brothers, cleaned up the crank/arms, and installed a new seat (highly recommend it for the price) and some lights. Got a quick 5 mile ride on some hills. I can't wait for Monday morning to start commuting.
    Last edited by electricalbox; 01-02-13 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some more pictures.
    12/28

    I have worked on cars / refinishing wheels as a hobby, so I am hoping to keep maintenance costs down and do most the work myself. I was able to clean some more stuff up, see below for some pictures.


    Crank before/after some wire wheel/polishing:



    New pedal with refinished arm:


    New seat:
    Last edited by electricalbox; 01-02-13 at 08:58 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Day 1 on the way to work.
    14.77 miles, 53:22 total time, 16.6 MPH average pace


    Going the proper direction and shifting properly (my shifter got stuck on the 3rd smallest ring around mile 7) I could easily do it under 50 minutes with training.
    All of the pain I was experiencing before was indeed from my seat, and my shorts had no padding. My new seat and cycling pants changed the whole experience, I have absolutely no pain!

    I absolutely loved it, and honestly this is just slightly longer then my commute sitting in traffic on the freeway. I just need some warmer gloves since the temps got below 40* this morning (not used to this as I am a socal pansy), but other then that it was amazing. Riding next to a farm in so cal hearing roosters cock-a-doodle-doo as the sun is starting to rise, its surreal. I highly recommend others try some cycling, I will be doing this consistently from now on.
    Last edited by electricalbox; 01-02-13 at 09:00 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    982
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    good for you to pick December as the month to start. Ride on!
    65% of all statistics are made up on the spot. - DD

  5. #5
    Junior Member paths dc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Great to see a new bike commuter! All the work setting up your bike will pay off. Enjoy the ride, and ride often.

  6. #6
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    New Orleans, LA USA
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    4,562
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "Godspeed John Glenn!" (Do a YouTube search if you are too young to know this offering of best wishes).

    A whole new world has just been opened for you. Very exciting. Looking forward to your posts and photos in 2013.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by theEconomist View Post
    good for you to pick December as the month to start. Ride on!
    Thanks, it is cold, but it is so refreshing!

    Quote Originally Posted by paths dc View Post
    Great to see a new bike commuter! All the work setting up your bike will pay off. Enjoy the ride, and ride often.
    Thank you, and I am hoping to ride at least 75-80% of the time to and from work and possibly some fun rides locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    "Godspeed John Glenn!" (Do a YouTube search if you are too young to know this offering of best wishes).

    A whole new world has just been opened for you. Very exciting. Looking forward to your posts and photos in 2013.
    I actually got that reference!

    Day 1 coming home:
    14.62 miles, total time 58:01, average pace 15.1MPH


    a bit slower, lots of congestion on the streets/bike path compared to the morning, not to mention it is all up hill!


    I really got to appreciate all the nature surrounding the "river", lots of animals I never knew were even there along with tons of bums lol. I'll have to stop and take some pictures next time I am riding, tons of bike riders on the trail, along with some people fishing, people with their kids, etc. Overall I am loving this decision and cannot wait for Wednesday when I get to ride to work hopefully with some gloves on.
    Last edited by electricalbox; 01-02-13 at 09:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,736
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electricalbox View Post
    Day 1 on the way to work.
    http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/216403320

    14.77 miles (should be 14.4 but I made a wrong turn haha) in 53:22. Going the proper direction and shifting properly (my shifter got stuck on the 3rd smallest ring around mile 7) I could easily do it under 50 minutes. All of the pain I was experiencing before was indeed from my seat, and my shorts had no padding. My new seat and cycling pants changed the whole experience, I have absolutely no pain!

    I absolutely loved it, and honestly this is just slightly longer then my commute sitting in traffic on the freeway. I just need some warmer gloves since the temps got below 40* this morning (not used to this as I am a socal pansy), but other then that it was amazing. Riding next to a farm in so cal hearing roosters cock-a-doodle-doo as the sun is starting to rise, its surreal. I highly recommend others try some cycling, I will be doing this consistently from now on.
    While I applaud your decision, don't get squished. I see the hint of a blinky but no headlight. Get one. Get this one. For this price get 2 or even 3. Put 1 (or 2) on the bars and one on your head. Ride but ride smart.

    Get a couple more blinkies too.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    While I applaud your decision, don't get squished. I see the hint of a blinky but no headlight. Get one. Get this one. For this price get 2 or even 3. Put 1 (or 2) on the bars and one on your head. Ride but ride smart.

    Get a couple more blinkies too.
    I do have a headlight, sorry I don't think I posted it. I purchased this set, it is surprisingly bright for the size/cost.
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QSXMME

    But I do agree a few more blinkies would probably help out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    My Bikes
    2012 Trek 7.5 FX DISC, 2002 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp
    Posts
    2,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recommend getting two 2-watt rear blinkies. The Cygolite hotshot is USB rechargable, Planet Bike Superflash also has 2 watt offereing. I prefer rear lights that take standard AA/AAA batteries. The Blackburn Mars 4 is 1 watt and is getting some good reviews here because it has visibility from the side rather than just from the rear.

    I also recommend one light on helmet and one on bars. The helmet light is useful to be able to see around corners or looking for critters (eyes glow nicely) along the sides of a MUP. cyccommute offers good advice on the front light. It's not really 1200 lumens, but it's as bright as you are likely to find for that price and style.

    Congrats on the biking! You've done a great job cleaning up that bike. I still ride and like my 2003 road bike and other than being heavy, it rides as well as any new bike. Indeed I find commuting relaxing and I avoid having to deal with traffic.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,736
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electricalbox View Post
    I do have a headlight, sorry I don't think I posted it. I purchased this set, it is surprisingly bright for the size/cost.
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QSXMME

    But I do agree a few more blinkies would probably help out.
    I like to call those finder lights...as in it provides a way for the EMTs to find you under the car. As a light to see by...or even be seen by...it is lacking. The light I linked to gives you light you can see by and, more importantly, makes you visible. An additional benefit is that you can go really fast in the dark.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    My Bikes
    2011 Surly Cross Check
    Posts
    266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First, congratulations on discovering the awesome world of cycling. As another SoCql person, you certainly do need decent gloves to commute on cold mornings. We may not get much freezing weather, but once it gets below high 40's you need a second layer or good gloves. Glove liners under regular cycling gloves can keep you warm until it gets into the 30s, then you need something more substantial.

    As far as lights go, I third the Cree XML light suggestion. $30 may see like a lot for a light, but it will do two things for you. First, oncoming traffic and traffic from the side will see the light. It is incredibly bright, and runs for a long time. I use mine flashing during the day, and steady on at night. Second, you will be amazed at how much better you see, and can go correspondingly faster. I see you are in the greater LA area, so street lights may be sufficient for you to see, especially if you are young. But the first reason is still reason enough to get the light. You will use it daily for the next few months, and then maybe not as much if you decide to not run it during the day. Even at that, keeping you our of one accident is worth $30. Ok, sermon over.

    Enjoy the ride, the roosters, the stars (not too much while you are moving), the sunrises and sunsets, and all the other adventures you experience while riding.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the advice fellas, I will definitely be looking into getting more lighting/reflectors. The light you guys are talking about, it looks great, I will probably buy it later this week.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    My Bikes
    2011 Surly Cross Check
    Posts
    266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electricalbox View Post
    Thanks for all the advice fellas, I will definitely be looking into getting more lighting/reflectors. The light you guys are talking about, it looks great, I will probably buy it later this week.
    If you do, be sure to search "CREE XML" on amazon and see where it is shipping from. I bought mine and it came from China, took maybe 2 weeks. For a couple dollars more you can get ones that ship from the US, likely to arrive much sooner if that matters to you.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sbslider View Post
    If you do, be sure to search "CREE XML" on amazon and see where it is shipping from. I bought mine and it came from China, took maybe 2 weeks. For a couple dollars more you can get ones that ship from the US, likely to arrive much sooner if that matters to you.
    Awesome thanks for the advice, I will definitely check that when I purchase. I am amazed how my legs aren't feeling any pain, definitely much different then running hard. I can't wait to get back on the bike in a few days. Where in so cal are you? Do you commute to work as well?

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    My Bikes
    2011 Surly Cross Check
    Posts
    266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electricalbox View Post
    Awesome thanks for the advice, I will definitely check that when I purchase. I am amazed how my legs aren't feeling any pain, definitely much different then running hard. I can't wait to get back on the bike in a few days. Where in so cal are you? Do you commute to work as well?
    I would say you are doing awesome if you are able to commute 14+ miles on city streets in less than an hour and not be sore, especially considering you just started riding. You are doing something right, that is for sure.

    I live in Santa Barbara, and have been commuting to work by bike for 25+ years. I had never been much of a "cyclist" until I recently got a road style bike. I had been commuting on mountain bikes previously. My commute has always been less than 6 miles one way by the most direct route, but I am finding I take routes up to 10 miles one way now just because I love riding.

    The right bike makes such a huge difference, seems like you have found a good one for you, congrats and keep with it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    North County San Diego
    Posts
    1,577
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electricalbox View Post
    Thanks for all the advice fellas, I will definitely be looking into getting more lighting/reflectors. The light you guys are talking about, it looks great, I will probably buy it later this week.
    I use the light cycommute pointed to on Amazon and it's excellent. It's seriously as bright as one of the headlights on a car.

  18. #18
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    CID
    My Bikes
    1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX
    Posts
    8,538
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ooh, a gas stove. I might be getting one this year. Electric ranges are easy to clean, but god do they suck for cooking.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas
    My Bikes
    Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think it is awesome youre joining the ranks of the bike commuters,the best thing to do is pace youreself and you will be surprised how far you can ride.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator tractorlegs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Locked by the Door
    My Bikes
    The Black Knight
    Posts
    2,489
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electricalbox View Post
    I have decided I wanted to try and commute to work as much as I can (at least 4 days a week). . . . .
    EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT!! I'll be reading in!
    Community Guidelines
    ****************************************
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyD
    Some people aren't cut out to be ruthless, sociopathic assassins like you and I.

  21. #21
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    My Bikes
    Nashbar Road
    Posts
    6,309
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Makes you wonder you'd put up with rush hour driving when you can actually enjoy it riding doesn't it? You've got a good head start, with a good bike and the ability to jump into a 14 mile route right away with no issue. Most people would have to work up to that. Being in great shape from running probably helps.

  22. #22
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NE OK
    My Bikes
    '06 Kona Smoke
    Posts
    7,972
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electricalbox View Post
    <snip>
    I will be using this as a blog to record my experiences with it, hoping to get over 6,000 miles for the year, and hoping to not die by careless drivers. Feel free to comment or ask questions if it is only me posting that is fine too. I am hoping this may inspire others like me who never thought of cycling as a mode of transportation to at least go out and try it. Anyone can do it!!!
    <snip>
    Since your intent of the thread is to act as a blog and BF has an area set aside for bloggers to use....

    Welcome to Bloggers Forum from Commuting

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Day 2 riding to work:
    14.61 miles, 49:14 total time, Average speed 17.8MPH


    I was able to break my 50 minute goal already lol...it was due to being able to time lights much better now and shift properly when yielding/coming to a stop. Also I am getting the feel for what is the correct gear I should be in when riding at various points on the commute. I am totally loving this, I wore a "ski mask" I have from snowboarding and bought some new biking gloves. It totally changed the experience, I was cool, but not cold for most of the ride.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you all for the kind words and advice on the subject!

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Day 2 riding home:
    14.69 miles, 55:45 total time, Average speed 15.8MPH


    Same as before, the uphill battle and stopping at nearly every light slowed me down. It is great to ride without a jacket on though, now I need to make sure I wear glasses/shades way to many bugs flying around especially by the river. Now time for a milkshake, I need the calories!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •