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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 01-04-17, 05:26 PM   #51
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My headlight gave out on my ride home tonight! This is an LED light wired in to an old Sanyo dynamo. A homebrew system I put together several years ago, it has served me well. So its failure tonight was unexpected and most unwelcome. The tail light kept working, which is a bit more important.

Edit, 8:50 pm, took that light apart and put it back together... Never did figure out what was wrong, but now it's working again. Eh. Well I guess we're good to go for tomorrow.

Last edited by rhm; 01-04-17 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 01-04-17, 05:42 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by gailyyours View Post
Today was my first time commuting to work as part of my commitment to go without a car for a year.
A friend of mine did that except he went a step further and committed to not even ride in an automobile for a year. He lives in a remote location outside the nearest rural town, so I was skeptical but he did it. He said he got a lot out of it. The thing that stuck in my mind was that he said he developed a much clearer understanding of the differences between things he wanted and things he needed when either one involved a 20 mile round trip bike ride to the nearest store.
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Old 01-04-17, 07:49 PM   #53
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A friend of mine did that except he went a step further and committed to not even ride in an automobile for a year. He lives in a remote location outside the nearest rural town, so I was skeptical but he did it. He said he got a lot out of it. The thing that stuck in my mind was that he said he developed a much clearer understanding of the differences between things he wanted and things he needed when either one involved a 20 mile round trip bike ride to the nearest store.
That's my thought too, but I know on occasion I would have to commute over 60 miles, so I don't know that is completely possible. I guess I should say that I am 99.99% car free? I will be going on vacation and traveling about 100 miles by bike to get there though so I'm excited about that.
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Old 01-05-17, 06:27 AM   #54
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New Glove Combination

For this morning's mid-20s commute, I planned for an extra glove liner to keep my fingers from tingling by the end of the ride in. I added a thin synthetic jogging type glove liner as the innermost layer. Then, I put on my normal Army-surplus wool finger gloves with a windproof ski mitten over top. This three layer combination seemed to do the trick, as I had been getting chilly fingers with just the outer 2.


Hooray!


Today's commute was otherwise unexceptional. Tuesday, I had a stopped motorist comment on my bright lights. Him, seated in his warm SUV while I slouched, dripping from cool rain. Heh.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 01-05-17 at 06:28 AM. Reason: getting the day right
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Old 01-05-17, 06:45 AM   #55
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Cold. Bright stars. Same old, same old.
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Old 01-05-17, 07:07 AM   #56
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Snow and more snow! I'll admit it was hard work. Passed a couple cars going up hills.
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Old 01-05-17, 07:19 AM   #57
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Commute was about 14F this morning with a nice wind that helped me get to work. Today was my first time commuting to work as part of my commitment to go without a car for a year. The ride home; while warmer (21F), was rough. I had to ride into that 18 mph headwind. Ugh. That was awful, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.
You picked a rough time to become a bike commuter. Good luck and I hope the car free commitment works.

This morning's 28F was a big change from yesterday's 50F (for both commutes). I dressed for it though and felt alright. For whatever reason my speed coming in was a bit faster than normal with an average of 16.8mph.
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Old 01-05-17, 08:07 AM   #58
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Nice ride this morning with clear skies and dry roads, but temps were about 25 degrees colder than yesterday, hovering at the freezing mark. I overdressed a bit and got a bit more sweaty than I like, but I was comfortable.

I hope that I can ride tomorrow because it's looking more and more likely that we will be hit by a winter storm Friday night and into Saturday. We don't get much snow in this part of NC, but some of the models are saying we could get 8" or more, depending on the storm track. Based on previous experiences, that would probably keep me off my bike for about a week. Due to our usual lack of snow, our city does not have an abundance of plows and other equipment for clearing the streets. Although snow usually melts pretty quickly here, it also tends to refreeze during the night, creating treacherous driving conditions in the mornings for quite a few days.
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Old 01-05-17, 08:08 AM   #59
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17F this morning with snow, less than an inch so far, but the wind is down by half so not bad. I rolled the dice and rode the regular commuter rather than studded tire bike hoping the roads don't become icy before tomorrow morning. Could be an interesting ride home!
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Old 01-05-17, 08:29 AM   #60
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Consecutive commute count extends to 208.

Today was -3F with an -18F wind chill. High for the day is supposed to get all the way up to 2F. However today is actually warmer than yesterday so I'm not complaining.

Next week we're supposed to see our highs reach into the teens, but unfortunately that comes with a forecast of snow. I find deep snow more likely to keep me off the bike than cold temps. I'm trying to keep my commuting streak going until at least Feb 10th which will be the one year mark since the last time I drove to work.
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Old 01-05-17, 10:30 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
For this morning's mid-20s commute, I planned for an extra glove liner to keep my fingers from tingling by the end of the ride in. I added a thin synthetic jogging type glove liner as the innermost layer. Then, I put on my normal Army-surplus wool finger gloves with a windproof ski mitten over top. This three layer combination seemed to do the trick, as I had been getting chilly fingers with just the outer 2.


Hooray!


Today's commute was otherwise unexceptional. Tuesday, I had a stopped motorist comment on my bright lights. Him, seated in his warm SUV while I slouched, dripping from cool rain. Heh.
You need some of these ski gloves I have. Individual fingers, yet they're so warm that my hands are sweaty and the whole inside of the glove is wet if it's anything above the 20's.
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Old 01-05-17, 10:38 AM   #62
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12F, clear, no wind. Gotta say 12 and still was much better than yesterday's headwind. Could definitely feel a chill through the pitzips, should have closed them. Otherwise 2 shirts underneath seemed to do fine.
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Old 01-05-17, 10:48 AM   #63
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You need some of these ski gloves I have. Individual fingers, yet they're so warm that my hands are sweaty and the whole inside of the glove is wet if it's anything above the 20's.
On a related note regarding winter gloves and hand sweat:

I've found that my hands will sweat even when they're feeling incredibly cold. Being heavily insulated, my winter gloves then don't dry out after I've soaked them and they're still wet the next time I put them on. After a few weeks they develop an intense funk that even the washing machine won't remove. Had an embarrassing day at work a few years ago where people in the office were trying to figure out what was causing a strange smell, only to discover it was my gloves.

I've taken to wearing some disposable vinyl gloves I buy at Harbor Freight under my winter gloves. They don't keep my hands any warmer, but they certainly keep the gloves drier on the inside and thus prolongs the life of my gloves. Even this morning in sub-zero temps I was able to pour sweat out of the vinyl gloves after I arrived at work, even though my hands felt pretty cold while riding.
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Old 01-05-17, 10:52 AM   #64
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I've taken to wearing some disposable vinyl gloves I buy at Harbor Freight under my winter gloves. They don't keep my hands any warmer, but they certainly keep the gloves drier on the inside and thus prolongs the life of my gloves. Even this morning in sub-zero temps I was able to pour sweat out of the vinyl gloves after I arrived at work, even though my hands felt pretty cold while riding.
Have you done that regularly? I did it once and it made my hands sooooooooooooooo much colder that I didn't try it again. I can't remember if I tried the latex gloves under liner gloves under the outer gloves, or if the latex were the only liner I used. Either way, it was a real bust for my setup.
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Old 01-05-17, 11:12 AM   #65
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Have you done that regularly? I did it once and it made my hands sooooooooooooooo much colder that I didn't try it again. I can't remember if I tried the latex gloves under liner gloves under the outer gloves, or if the latex were the only liner I used. Either way, it was a real bust for my setup.
I've been doing it for about three years now. I only wear them as a base layer under my winter gloves. My regular un-insulated cycling gloves dry out on their own and don't develop the smell problem.

I haven't noticed any difference in how cold my hands get. Perhaps my hands are sweating so bad all the time that for me there's no perceptible change?
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Old 01-05-17, 11:43 AM   #66
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Dang that's crazy. I've heard of some people spraying their hands with aerosol anti-antiperspirant before putting them into gloves. Maybe I should try that.
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Old 01-05-17, 02:02 PM   #67
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Riding home last night was absolutely insane. I had a crosswind which felt like a headwind for much of the time. I've heard that crosswinds are as bad. I think they're worse. I eventually left the river with the hope that the wind direction would be different. It was, and it was mostly better, but it was much shiftier, and it shifted so quickly. There were two or three times when I was absolutely sure I was about to be knocked over on my side, but I saved myself at the last moment.
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Old 01-05-17, 03:20 PM   #68
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Cool and clear this morning. Roads were still wet, wished a few times I had fenders. (I don't wish this often enough to actually install them.) I rode slowly through a couple of deep puddles on the mile of fire road.

This might be my only commute for a few weeks. Next week's forecast is all rain. Potentially the last one for a few months... As my wife's due date approaches I'll want the flexibility of driving and then there will be no commuting for a little while after that, of course!
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Old 01-05-17, 03:25 PM   #69
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12F, clear, no wind. Gotta say 12 and still was much better than yesterday's headwind. Could definitely feel a chill through the pitzips, should have closed them. Otherwise 2 shirts underneath seemed to do fine.
Great shot! Is that Mount Ranier?
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Old 01-05-17, 05:41 PM   #70
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Great shot! Is that Mount Ranier?
It is. Thanks!
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Old 01-05-17, 07:21 PM   #71
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You picked a rough time to become a bike commuter. Good luck and I hope the car free commitment works.

This morning's 28F was a big change from yesterday's 50F (for both commutes). I dressed for it though and felt alright. For whatever reason my speed coming in was a bit faster than normal with an average of 16.8mph.
So this morning Indiana dumped about two inches of snow. :/ being all I have is my road bike with slicks, I didn't make the commute; however as soon as I got in from work (I hitched a ride, so still I haven't driven) I jumped on the bike and rode to the LBS and got two used road tires that had some tread. Every time I start to feel worn out, I remember how good it feels to coast up to your destination. Bike commute in the morning! (Unless Indiana has another trick I'm not orepared to deal with.) I'm at 42 miles so far this year.
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Old 01-05-17, 08:13 PM   #72
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A very unfortunate commute.
On my way back home, at 02:00 AM, I met five idiots. In a row.

One of them openly tried to kill me, deliberately invading my lane and trying to smash me head-on. Which is completely unacceptable, even by disrespectful (towards cyclists) Italian driving standards.

It is very saddening to think about the fact that there are such worthless sub-human beings allowed to live and to drive, and that your entire world could be suddenly wiped out by an idiot like this one, just for fun.



Stats2017
-------------------

Commute ratio (January): [5/31]

Near Misses: 1

Idiots met: 5



SCR FCN: 16

SCR score for today's commute:
- AM: 16+0-0 = 16
- PM: 16+0-0 = 16

SCR total score for 2017:
0

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Old 01-06-17, 05:44 AM   #73
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I, too, saw a startling number of idiots on my ride to the station this morning. We got an inch or two of light snow overnight, the first snow this winter, and it brought out the snow plow guys in force. I realize they make a living from this, but there was no need for them today. The snow didn't stick to the bigger roads at all, and where it turned the pavement white it wasn't enough to cause anyone to slip. So the snow plow guys were in a big hurry to plow it at before it melted. Result: the streets that are usually quiet and deserted at 5AM were full of speeding pickup trucks mounted with snow plows driving erratically. Oy.

Other than that, a nice ride.
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Old 01-06-17, 06:00 AM   #74
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The commute was very nice this morning with the temp at 26f degrees and a very light snow fall. We are only expecting a dusting which is why I rode. Usually I will not ride in any type of weather that can cause ice on the roads. I got a little nervous when I started seeing shiny black road about half way through the ride, then along came the sander. When I got to the last 3 miles of my ride the roads where back dry. Later today it is supposed to be in the 30's and sunny so I expect a nice ride home also. Yay for Friday!
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Old 01-06-17, 07:14 AM   #75
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Broke the negative virginity this morning. -1 but wasn't bad as got my layers right. Even did my pull ups etc when I got to work, all of the machines are outside. Roads were clearer than I expected. Hoping the ride home won't be as tough as yesterday's with the headwind.
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