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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 05-17-17, 09:17 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by tbo View Post
The "70% of Dutch bicycle commutes" mentioned relates to the people riding any bicycle for commuting in The Netherlands. My bad. Didn't make that clear. I have no breakout information on types of bikes being used for commuting in The Netherlands.
Sorry, I misread your earlier post regarding the 70%, as it was in reference to the distance. But it'd be interesting to know what types of bikes the Dutch do use for commuting.
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Old 05-17-17, 09:29 AM   #52
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I keep cool with a constant 16 mph breeze. Any sweat I generate gets evaporated and keeps me comfortable in 75+F. But if that stoplight or stop sign is longer than 3 seconds wait, I'm soaked. And as soon as I get to the office I start sweating.

For the OP's 15 mile commute, just try it a couple of times. My commute is 13 miles, but I often ride 14-16 on the way to work. I change clothes when I get there, dry off any sweaty parts, splash water on my face and arms, and apply deodorant as needed (often reapplying after walking a bit at lunch).
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Old 05-17-17, 09:34 AM   #53
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I agree with those who say: you're going to sweat sometimes. It's not avoidable. So it's a question of mitigation: ride slower to sweat less, change when you get to destination, and so on. I don't know which of these will prove to be the best, but I'm sure you'll try them all, and figure it out.

Did anyone suggest finding a gym where you can shower, rent a locker, change? I understand your new office facility doesn't have one; but there may be something within walking distance. I speculate; but it's worth looking into it.
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Old 05-17-17, 09:43 AM   #54
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I ride my Dutch-inspired upright riding e-bike 15 miles to work, and I STILL sweat, wearing only gym shorts and tech t-shirt. There's absolutely no way I could do this commute without the shower we have in the office.
I'd love to see the bike and learn about it. Have you posted it?


@mcours2006, there are lots of posts about the typical Dutch bike. Look up opafiets and omafiets. Those words mean Grampa bike and Gramma bike. I think it weighs over 40 lbs. I don't know what kinds of brakes are typical. I think they are drum brakes. It has rack, fenders, chaincase, and dynamo lights. I think the dynamo is usually the bottle type. The riding position is either a completely vertical back or very close to that.

I googled opafiets and got this image. Even though this is a male version, it has skirt guards. I wonder why.



Here is an informative page where the image comes from. My Dutch Bike
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Old 05-17-17, 09:56 AM   #55
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I googled opafiets and got this image. Even though this is a male version, it has skirt guards. I wonder why.



Here is an informative page where the image comes from. My Dutch Bike
Long coats and scarves, maybe? Plus, why not? Weight is not that much of a design criterium, is it? If someone wearing a skirt, suit coat, long coat or other non-spandex-y clothes prefers the top tube, they might still want that "skirt" protection.

It also creates less of a stigma for the step-through vs top tube because they are presented as much the same. That's a big problem here in the US.

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Old 05-17-17, 10:15 AM   #56
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I'd love to see the bike and learn about it. Have you posted it?
@noglider

My original build thread for the bike: http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...ike-build.html

Build thread for the e-bike conversion: http://www.bikeforums.net/electric-b...ty-e-bike.html



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Old 05-17-17, 12:29 PM   #57
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Thanks, @PatrickGSR94. Fun reading.
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Old 05-17-17, 01:14 PM   #58
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Multi Mode...folding bike you can bring on the train or bus, use the bike to get to the nearest stop, then at the other end from the nearest stop to the jobsite.

Chicago Does have Public Transport.
+1

I did a 31 mile commute like this for several years, with just over 4 miles from home to transit, about 2.5 miles from transit to work, and air conditioned light rail in-between.
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Old 05-17-17, 01:40 PM   #59
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I did a 31 mile commute like this for several years, with just over 4 miles from home to transit, about 2.5 miles from transit to work, and air conditioned light rail in-between.
In Dallas, as long as the trains were running when I needed them, I could easily shave 10-20 minutes off each end of a commute by biking to/from the nearest station rather than waiting for a bus.
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Old 05-17-17, 08:08 PM   #60
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I ride a Dutch bike for me 5mile round trip commute here in Michigan. I sweat a lot.
I also don't wear a suit.

Truth be told, I sweat on any bike so might as well make it more comfortable.

Hills suck on it. Really really bad, even if I just 'take my time.'
I wonder if the Workcycles FR8 or GR8 would have been a better choice with the 26" wheels - oh well.

It sure looks nice and goes great on flats and down-hill, don't have to cuff my jeans, don't worry about bringing lights, don't maintain a damn thing on it. The rack is sturdy and works well for groceries.

IMG_20170513_120323 by belopolsky.igor, on Flickr
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Old 05-18-17, 07:58 AM   #61
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So, my previous commute, that I did about 3 times a week, was ~11.5 miles each way. I'm getting transferred, and commute is going up to just under 15 miles if I take what I think is the smartest route. I could get it down to maybe 13 miles...but it would mean riding on some nasty busy streets. The 15 mile route is on a bike path almost door to door.

No showers at this facility...and I'm going back to wearing a suit now, rather than dress pants, shirt, maybe a tie if I felt like getting crazy. Any suggestions on keeping relatively fresh, IE not sweaty/nasty, after 15 miles? I'm sure this has been asked a million times...but oh well
13 miles is ideal but 15 is awesome, especially on a bike trail? are you kidding me? you lucky so-and-so ...!

stock up on clothes & food at work. politely push for some storage area for your stuff. your gonna sweat, so shower before leaving home, try to arrive before anyone else, you'll beat most of the traffic too. try to find a private bathroom. strip everything off & use diluted body wash & wash cloth. use diluted shampoo in a plastic cup for your hair. use 2 small hand towels to dry off. wear as little as possible so you have less to bag up & bring home

good luck!
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Old 05-19-17, 09:39 AM   #62
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Wed evening we rode 9.2 miles from Rosemary Beach FL to Seaside Fl for dinner and then 9.2 miles back. We were all riding Gazelle Omafiets and all were on bikeway or MUP the entire way. When we left it was 86f, 87% R humidity. We averaged 11 MPH including stops but there were only 2 stops. None of us were sweating during the ride or after we arrived. I was wearing long linen pants and a long sleeve white linen shirt with sleeves down.

My wife and the couple with us (her cousin and husband) are Swedish but I'm American of Scottish descent so that rules that out.

To @noglider 's point, we weren't as dry as if we'd been sitting in a 75f air conditioned room but we also were not sweating. No sweat running down our faces or wet spots on our clothes. No need for toweling off or baby wipes.

I was thinking about this while we were riding. Some things that would have likely caused me to sweat on this ride:
- Leaning forward at all with any weight on my hands
- Bike with bad geometry (E.G., not Dutch or English)
- Helmet
- Gloves
- Riding too fast
- Shirt or pants that don't breath
- Shoes that don't breath
- Sleeves rolled up (white breathable long sleeves can be cooler than short sleeves).
- Anti-perpirant
- Higher temp or humidity
- Mountains (there were some hills but no mountains)
- Not riding quite slow for the last 1/4 mile or so to cool down before stopping for dinner.

The bike rental place there has Jamis Taxi bikes. These are quite uncomfortable and inefficient, I'd not have been able to ride a mile on one without sweating. I think the same would apply to any cruiser, 'lifestyle' bike, or most Dutch imitations like Electra that do not have proper geometry.

I think leaning forward at all, with any weight on my hands, would have caused me to sweat. Three reasons; less surface area for cooling, skin folds that create heat, much more effort required to support some body weight with my hands and arms rather than it resting on my rump.

At some point temp/humidity would reach a point that would have caused me to sweat. We were all OK @ 86f/87% though.
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Old 05-19-17, 09:45 AM   #63
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Good story, @CrankyOne.

It's an interesting point about how being upright reduces sweating. I hadn't thought of that.

I have noticed how cooling linen trousers can be. I ought to get a pair or two this summer. I used to wear them, but they don't last long.

I disagree about rolled up sleeves. I've paid attention, and they are cooler than sleeves that are down.

Now you got me interested in trying upright riding again. I have a Raleigh Twenty that needs some work before I can ride it again.
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Old 05-19-17, 03:15 PM   #64
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I have my doubts about body position causing more or less sweating; I would be more inclined to believe that it allows for better evaporation. Since the end effect would be much the same, it might seem like nit-picking, but better understanding what's going on makes it easier to apply knowledge to different scenarios.

I also have my doubts about weight on hands causing more heat. "W=fd" (Work equals force times distance); while there's more force on the arms, it's a resting force, so nominally no energy is being expended. This is not an ideal model of course, as there is some up and down movement, and some work is done to stabilize side-to-side motion,

Proof of this is that it is much easier to hold a plank than to do pushups, but a person who has poor muscle tone is going to feel the strain more and may start sweating.

That said, there's quite a lot of variability in body types, physiology, etc, and there's something for me to learn from people who have different experiences.

"I am only an egg." (Stranger in a Strange Land, R. Heinlein)
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Old 05-20-17, 10:54 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
Wed evening we rode 9.2 miles from Rosemary Beach FL to Seaside Fl for dinner and then 9.2 miles back. We were all riding Gazelle Omafiets and all were on bikeway or MUP the entire way. When we left it was 86f, 87% R humidity. We averaged 11 MPH including stops but there were only 2 stops. None of us were sweating during the ride or after we arrived. I was wearing long linen pants and a long sleeve white linen shirt with sleeves down.

My wife and the couple with us (her cousin and husband) are Swedish but I'm American of Scottish descent so that rules that out.

To @noglider 's point, we weren't as dry as if we'd been sitting in a 75f air conditioned room but we also were not sweating. No sweat running down our faces or wet spots on our clothes. No need for toweling off or baby wipes.

I was thinking about this while we were riding. Some things that would have likely caused me to sweat on this ride:
- Leaning forward at all with any weight on my hands
- Bike with bad geometry (E.G., not Dutch or English)
- Helmet
- Gloves
- Riding too fast
- Shirt or pants that don't breath
- Shoes that don't breath
- Sleeves rolled up (white breathable long sleeves can be cooler than short sleeves).
- Anti-perpirant
- Higher temp or humidity
- Mountains (there were some hills but no mountains)
- Not riding quite slow for the last 1/4 mile or so to cool down before stopping for dinner.

The bike rental place there has Jamis Taxi bikes. These are quite uncomfortable and inefficient, I'd not have been able to ride a mile on one without sweating. I think the same would apply to any cruiser, 'lifestyle' bike, or most Dutch imitations like Electra that do not have proper geometry.

I think leaning forward at all, with any weight on my hands, would have caused me to sweat. Three reasons; less surface area for cooling, skin folds that create heat, much more effort required to support some body weight with my hands and arms rather than it resting on my rump.

At some point temp/humidity would reach a point that would have caused me to sweat. We were all OK @ 86f/87% though.
9.2 miles of bike riding in Florida, in 86įF temp with high humidity, and you averaged 12mph and by the sound of your story, you did not have a helmet on so your head was in the direct sunlight. You did not break a sweat? Do you realize how unrealistic this sounds? I don't care if you are riding a moped, being out in the sun exerting any type of physical activity and you are not sweating? Are you some sort of freak of nature?
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Old 05-22-17, 08:40 AM   #66
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Are you some sort of freak of nature?
Apparently so. As are Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Fins, and Norhoochans. :-)
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Old 05-22-17, 09:06 AM   #67
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Apparently so. As are Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Fins, and Norhoochans. :-)
Something tells me those locales do not have the same type of climate as Florida.
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Old 05-22-17, 11:09 AM   #68
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Is it possible to take your bike on the El? Maybe just ride home?
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Old 05-23-17, 02:09 AM   #69
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My commute is also about 15 miles each way and the route has some nasty bridges and tunnels so i try to take my time (roughly an hour) to avoid excessive sweat and just ride relaxed. I wouldn't even think of doing the commute in a suit though. Just change at the office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbo View Post
Re: The Magical Dutch Bike

When my wife started bike commuting, I did some research on the magical Dutch bike and their riders. Here are the basics:
  • 70% of Dutch bicycle commutes are less than 5 miles each way.
  • It's flat.
  • It's much cooler in the summer - average high in August is 20 Celsius (68 Farenheit).
  • The average Dutch commute speed is around 12 miles per hour.
  • The Dutch have put a lot of work in putting in bike infrastructure that limits bicycle stops. This increases overall speed average without having to sprint stoplight to stoplight.

Put all that together and you get the magical Dutch bicycle. We don't have that here in the US, so the bike type is not magical.

Sources:
http://www.fietsberaad.nl/library/re...rlands2009.pdf
https://weather-and-climate.com/aver...am,Netherlands
I live in the Netherlands and while we do have a very good bike infrastructure we do have a LOT of traffic lights on bike paths and even worse, more and more speedhumps on bike paths (to slow down mopeds but also slows down cyclists).
20 degrees celcius on average may be true but there are a lot of days where we reach 28-30 degrees celcius. Combine that with a high humidity and sweat is guaranteed.

Its flat in most of the country, however, in the flat areas there are a lot of bridges, tunnels viaducts and other 'hills' to climb. And in the provinces of Limburg for example there are hills all over the place.

Another problem is the extremely crowded bike paths which makes you slow down constantly because you cant overtake.

So while cycling in the Netherlands sure isn't bad, its not as magical as its made out to be.


Those typical 'dutch' bikes suck for longer distances. Great for around town but way too heavy and without gears so absolutely not suited for anything longer than 3 mile trips.

Last edited by metro2005; 05-23-17 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 05-23-17, 06:27 AM   #70
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Just standing outside for that long in Florida will leave your clothes drenched.
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Old 05-23-17, 09:29 AM   #71
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My commute is also about 15 miles each way and the route has some nasty bridges and tunnels so i try to take my time (roughly an hour) to avoid excessive sweat and just ride relaxed. I wouldn't even think of doing the commute in a suit though. Just change at the office.



I live in the Netherlands and while we do have a very good bike infrastructure we do have a LOT of traffic lights on bike paths and even worse, more and more speedhumps on bike paths (to slow down mopeds but also slows down cyclists).
20 degrees celcius on average may be true but there are a lot of days where we reach 28-30 degrees celcius. Combine that with a high humidity and sweat is guaranteed.

Its flat in most of the country, however, in the flat areas there are a lot of bridges, tunnels viaducts and other 'hills' to climb. And in the provinces of Limburg for example there are hills all over the place.

Another problem is the extremely crowded bike paths which makes you slow down constantly because you cant overtake.

So while cycling in the Netherlands sure isn't bad, its not as magical as its made out to be.


Those typical 'dutch' bikes suck for longer distances. Great for around town but way too heavy and without gears so absolutely not suited for anything longer than 3 mile trips.
I am very happy to read this, posted by someone with experience. It adds quite a bit of backstory to the magical Dutch bike, and how it isn't as perfect as some make it out to be. Thank you for contributing.
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Old 05-23-17, 10:35 AM   #72
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I also thank you for your perspective, @metro2005. It makes sense.

I rode in today wearing street clothes. It's only 62ļF (17ļC) today, so not hot at all. I wore corduroy pants which I rolled up to my knees, a wool t-shirt, and a dress shirt. I did sweat, but the wool shirt did a great job keeping me nearly dry. My shirt didn't get drenched. My route is about 13.5 miles (about 22km).
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Old 05-23-17, 11:43 AM   #73
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My commute is also about 15 miles each way and the route has some nasty bridges and tunnels so i try to take my time (roughly an hour) to avoid excessive sweat and just ride relaxed. I wouldn't even think of doing the commute in a suit though. Just change at the office.



I live in the Netherlands and while we do have a very good bike infrastructure we do have a LOT of traffic lights on bike paths and even worse, more and more speedhumps on bike paths (to slow down mopeds but also slows down cyclists).
20 degrees celcius on average may be true but there are a lot of days where we reach 28-30 degrees celcius. Combine that with a high humidity and sweat is guaranteed.

Its flat in most of the country, however, in the flat areas there are a lot of bridges, tunnels viaducts and other 'hills' to climb. And in the provinces of Limburg for example there are hills all over the place.

Another problem is the extremely crowded bike paths which makes you slow down constantly because you cant overtake.

So while cycling in the Netherlands sure isn't bad, its not as magical as its made out to be.


Those typical 'dutch' bikes suck for longer distances. Great for around town but way too heavy and without gears so absolutely not suited for anything longer than 3 mile trips.
Thanks for your post. It's nice to get some different perspectives from people who bike commute in Europe.
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Old 05-23-17, 09:29 PM   #74
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I am in heavily humid Florida and have found two things with no shower at the office.

Action Wipes and Suitsak. I shower before work, and after work but have to deal with whatever condition I am in when I get there. The commute is 24 miles RT.

T
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Old 05-29-17, 10:29 AM   #75
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Hmm, never heard of this "leaning forward causes sweating" theory, wow, amazing. Running and walking is upright, doesn't put weight on the hands, so no sweating during those activities, too? Recumbent bike riders must be bone dry no matter the effort?
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