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  1. #1
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    Wish me luck on my first commute!

    I been cycling for a year now and decided to take it to the next level and start commuting to work by bicycle stating tomorrow morning. My commute is only 5 miles one way and I should have no problem with the ride since I am used to riding in traffic. I built my commuter bike over the winter months and it's ready to go.......



    My commute will be 1/2 city and 1/2 rural with a 4-lane road with moderate traffic and if there was alternative route I would take it, but there is not. I got reflectors all over the bike, front and rear blinking lights, a bright headlight, and hi-visibility reflective vest to wear. I also got this cool lunch cooler at Walmart that has 2 compartments and room for my lunch, a few Ciff bars, and a small tool/tire kit...........



    The weather should be nice enough to commute all week
    My Touring Bike - 1989 Reflex ALX Carbon mountain bike
    My Commuter - 1995 Huffy Thunder Ridge drop bar/700c conversion

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Good luck! Sounds like you have prepared pretty well. Welcome to the addiction.

  3. #3
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    Awesome! Sounds like you're set! You may want to look into storing some stuff at work so you don't have to worry about "stuff" and enjoy the ride a bit more. A few words of wisdom for you, if you don't mind:

    1. ALWAYS pump up your tire in the morning before your ride. It takes all but about 5 minutes and will save you some tubes. For added measure, I use a rag to run along both tires before heading out to remove debris or find "snags" or wear in the tires.
    2. Think about switching up your route even if it means going a mile or 2 out of the way. It'll keep it fresh and is a great way to learn more about the area in which you live.
    3. If you're worried people may think you stink, shower in the morning before your commute and possibly leave some deodorant at work.
    4. I've been commuting for over 4 years and pretty much the only things I carry are spare batteries, a pump, a multi tool, tubes, sunscreen (FL), and MAYBE a rain coat. These may change based on how far I'm going.
    5. At 5 miles one way, you're pretty golden as far as convenience. I would leave about 15-30 minutes earlier for a week to really get a feel for how long it will take you and the what you can expect.

    Lastly, don't forget your helmet! You didn't mention it. But most of all, have a blast!

  4. #4
    Some Guy on the Road Wittyname's Avatar
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    Enjoy your commute, and be safe!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Looks like a solid setup to get started with. I'm sure you'll be sitting around two weeks from now wondering why you didn't start this sooner

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Is this your homemade rack? I like it a lot.

  7. #7
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    If you plan to carry heavy stuff, you may want to position your rack stays on the eyelets down by the drop outs so the struts are more vertical. I had a seatpost mounted rack, so it had even less support than yours, that eventually broke. If you ever switch to panniers, the vertical struts also help keep the load away from the wheel.

  8. #8
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    I don't plan on carrying much except my lunch and a small tool kit. I know the bike is set to go since I already taken it on a few 20+ mile rides after building it...............



    It's actually 21 miles one way to work, so I will be taking the bike in the car and start off at 5 miles one way and gradually extend the route and maybe one day out of the week I can ditch the car entirely. I have actually ridden to work and back on my days off a few times just to see if I could do it. It was one of the early goals I set last year when I started cycling.
    My Touring Bike - 1989 Reflex ALX Carbon mountain bike
    My Commuter - 1995 Huffy Thunder Ridge drop bar/700c conversion

  9. #9
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    Pretty good idea! I'm sure you're a pretty strong minded individual but I'll say it anyway - don't let anyone deter you from achieving the goal. Congrats and enjoy the ride!

  10. #10
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Have fun storming the castle!
    Genesis 49:17

  11. #11
    Senior Member SouthFLpix's Avatar
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    Looks like you're pretty well set up. The first commute is the hardest. Once that's out of the way, it just gets easier and more fun.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I'm on my 4th commute to work. It is 25 miles round trip and am currently building up my strength in order to commute more often. My goal is 3 days out of the week. I guess some would consider me lazy.

    It sounds like you have a good plan to build up your strength. How far do you plan to extend your ride too?

    Good luck with your commute!
    Last edited by Bikerdave222; 04-13-15 at 08:01 PM.

  13. #13
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    Lookin' good. Have fun!

  14. #14
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Good luck! It's not the roads and cars that are the problem, it's the driveways and business and intersections that make roads more dangerous for cyclists. Drivers have too many things to pay attention to. If you have an adequate, roomy bike lane, your roadway commute shouldn't be too stressful.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  15. #15
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    I'm sure your commute went much better than you expected today. I remember how stressed I was many years ago anticipating my first commute. It soon got to the point where I was disappointed on the days I couldn't commute for what ever reason. Twenty one miles is a long way for a commute and driving part way is a great option. Mine was a 30 mile drive followed by a 10 mile bike. In winter I would drive to within 5 miles and bike the rest.

    Enjoy your commutes and I know you will find that the commute home is the best part of your day.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    terrific story. can't wait to hear how it goes. thanks for sharing with us!

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikerdave222 View Post
    I'm on my 4th commute to work. It is 25 miles round trip and am currently building up my strength in order to commute more often. My goal is 3 days out of the week. I guess some would consider me lazy.

    It sounds like you have a good plan to build up your strength. How far do you plan to extend your ride too?

    Good luck with your commute!
    Good luck with yours too! My commute is about 25 miles RT also. Pretty soon 3 days a week will feel pretty easy. It really comes down to just getting up early enough to leave on time.

    Welcome to all of this year's new commuters!

  18. #18
    Senior Member 50voltphantom's Avatar
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    Good luck!

    I am thoroughly impressed at how road-worthy that Huffy appears to be. Nice work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Huffandstuff View Post
    Freds gonna fred.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    good luck & how did it go?

    btw, my opinion of an ideal commute is 13 miles, or since you have options, 45 minutes ea. way
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  20. #20
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    I made it to work just fine. I will update this later tonight
    My Touring Bike - 1989 Reflex ALX Carbon mountain bike
    My Commuter - 1995 Huffy Thunder Ridge drop bar/700c conversion

  21. #21
    Another MN Bike Commuter icyj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
    I made it to work just fine. I will update this later tonight
    Congrats! Welcome to the wonderfully rewarding and addictive world of bike commuting!

  22. #22
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    This morning on the way in I was racing traffic, riding in the drops, and trying to keep speed since I ride on the road with traffic and by time I got out of town at the halfway point I was already tired. I made the whole 5 miles without stopping and did the trip in 22 minutes. I felt great when I got to work. I had a clif bar around 9:00 AM and lunch at noon.

    On the way back, I tried something different. I TOOK MY TIME the whole way back. This was much more enjoyable and I had no issues with traffic on the road. Looking forward to tomorrow's commute and every one after!
    My Touring Bike - 1989 Reflex ALX Carbon mountain bike
    My Commuter - 1995 Huffy Thunder Ridge drop bar/700c conversion

  23. #23
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    that's kinda how my commutes were, burned it up on the way in and cruised home. some mornings I was surprised my tires didn't burst into flames. of course it was mostly downhill 13 miles and uphill home, but still there's something about getting all fired up in the morning. and yeah traffic, you gotta hold your own. timing nutrition is important. you might also benefit from a protein snack an hour before departure home. I also always added a small box of raisins and a bit of b6 & b12 right before leaving. be safe, sleep well
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  24. #24
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    Congrats!

    Hey, how does that mirror work? Last time i tried mounting one on my bike it shook so bad i couldn't see jack. It was quite a bit smaller than that one though.

  25. #25
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    go, Go, GO!

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