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  1. #1
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    Very long commute club: week 9

    This rain is really starting to get me down. It has been raiining here for weeks and weeks with only a day or two of sun.

    How about some haikus about the perils of spring/summer riding - weather, bugs, heat, girls in skimpy clothes?

    Also, let's follow up on our colleague's idea and list what towns you ride through on your VLC.

    Here are towns I ride through on my normal VLC: leave Burlington, VT; South Hero, VT; North Hero, VT; and Plattsbrugh NY.

    Alternative route: Burlington VT; Port Kent, NY; and Plattsburgh, NY.

    Now the haiku. Remember, it should have 17 syllables, 5 in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the last. A seasonal reference is thought to be good.

    Ride my bent through storms
    Spring lightning and wet bruised skies
    Grit spraying my neck.


    And another:

    Drizzle drizzle sniff
    Neither my nose nor the rain
    Will stop the dripping
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

  2. #2
    On your left fatty Gusboh's Avatar
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    I am no poet, more like a Vogon really, so i won't subject you all to the pain of reading my drivel.

    Anyway, i guess i am the youngest VLC'er at 23 years old.

    I'll be asking which famous person at work today.

    I ride inside Sydney - although, there are about 3 different gang areas i guess. Does that count?

  3. #3
    jur
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    46 here. I asked SWMBO about who I might resemble, blank stare, then "You're unique mate." I guess that makes it Jack Nicholson.

    The refs to Russell Crowe - he also has the heavy eyelids and potato nose that are in my avatar, so I guess that's could be why he comes to mind.

    Places I ride through - starting in Mt Evelyn, shire of Yarra Ranges, to Melbourne metro proper. I suppose strictly the places are Mt Evelyn, Montrose, Kilsyth, Melbourne, but over time all these places have grown together into one big one.

    I'm from the shire. Work in big smoke.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  4. #4
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    Well my wife thinks Dennis Miller fits best (although not physically). She could see some Capt. Kirk aspects and some Sam Neil (1st Officer in Hunt for Red October).

    Today I did my first metric century -- 62.75 miles. I was riding to train for a charity ride in July and then had to make a stop by the LBS to buy a new saddle since I broke a rail in the other. I never thought that I would ride that far and still have enough strength left to move. As it was I finished the ride, ate a 2nd lunch and then cut the grass and still was moving under my own power. It's a big improvement from where I was this time last year.

    On the ride to work I go through Silver Spring, North Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Washington DC. Of course of those places only DC has its own government, everything else is part of undifferentiated Montgomery County. They're just names to make real estate ads easier to understand and mail delivery simpler.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    I go through Largo, Clearwater, High Point, St. Petersburg, Rattlesnake, and Tampa Bay. I think that will cover it.

    I'm riding along this morning, and at about mile 16, my headlight bracket brakes. I can not fit it with out a new bracket so I just keep riding. Then I get out of work late so now I have to ride in the dark for about 3 miles to the house. I slowed down to about 14 mph because I figure no one can see me from the front. So now tomorrow I have to fix it. Man it seams like every day off I have I have to fix something on the bike.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  6. #6
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    Ok, this is my first post here. In keeping with the cities I ride through theme, here goes:

    Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and ending in Irvine (about 35 miles one way).

    I just started my bicycling commute last week. I actually did a short version of the commute (just under 25 miles) to get ready for the regular ride. I had to get my car worked on, so I threw the bike in the back and took off for work from the dealer. Round trip took me 3:26:26 for 49.94 miles. I guess all the extra running I do coaching youth baseball/soccer and working out at the gym helped, because I wasn't sore at all. Of couse I slept real well that night.

    I'm planning on carpooling with the wife 2 times a week, doing a one way ride to work twice a week (carpooling back home) and driving once a week. I figure I'm saving 6 bucks a day in gas cost alone everytime I ride to work.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    Wow, jkruezig - that's quite the commute! I did a 3.5hr ride the other day (altho it was only about 40 miles) and when I got home, I almost immediately fell asleep on the couch! Riding is great for keeping my sleep pattern regular!

    Mars - nothing but rain here too. It's pretty annoying and cold and it's only been a few days of it so far. I have zero desire to ride in the bitter cold rain though. I'm hoping it clears tomorrow as I want to commute home tomorrow and do both ways on Tues. Damn you mother nature!!!!!!!!!!

    btw - LOVE the rain haikus!!

    Let me try:

    The men in spandex
    Are o' so lovely to see
    When they ride by me


    I love my commute
    The job I could do without
    Slave to the money!!

  8. #8
    Specialized Crossroad XC xroader's Avatar
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    The job in the spring
    Rough but the rides are divine
    Wait in cube for sun

    Morning ride is long
    Spring day in cube longer still
    Ride home is too short

    Fenders, extra weight
    In sun seem to taunt the road
    Rain falls, I am dry

  9. #9
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    I hate to taunt those of you still living in rain, but this morning's ride was fabulous. A little cool, but bright and clear. I guess I'll have to work up some haikus, but so far my creative energies seem disappated.

    For those of you folks who commute on the Mt. Vernon trail in N. Virginia I have new sympathy for you. I rode the trail yesterday and it was very interesting and pretty, but full of tight turns, blind turns and morons. I'm used to people doing dumb things on MUPs in Maryland, but the Mt Vernon Trail took it to a whole new level. For most pedestrians and even a healthy portion of joggers and rollerbladers anything more subtle than yelling "I'm passing on your left! Move out of the way or I'll run your a$$ over!" was just a waste of time. I have never seen so many people who believe that somebody died and left them God! Anyway, you have my sympathy for facing that challenge on a daily basis.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    I started commuting on January 16 of this year. It only has rain when I was at work or on my days off, about 5 times. Sometimes I wished in would rain a little just to cool me off.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  11. #11
    Specialized Crossroad XC xroader's Avatar
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    M. Newbie - echo the sentiments on the rain - I have only had to ride in the rain twice in the past month.

    re: the MT Vernon Trail - it is much worse on the weekends, full of tourists, uncontrolled kids and side-by-side strollers - I try to stay off it then. During commute hours (esp) morning, there is a lot less traffic and those on the trail are regulars - some are so regular that I can tell how late I am by where I pass them. that is until you hit gravelly point up by the airport - that is always a mess.

    Not commuting again this week (still home with the kids while my wife travels) but I have been able to get in a couple of good rides.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    I had planned to do about 15 miles this morning. But I got to bed 2 hours late (1am) last night. Woke up an hour late. Left 45 minutes late. So I took the short route to work, about 6 miles. Still got to work early. I found a backpack on the side of the road. I'm going to try to track down the owner (looks to be a high school skater kid) otherwise I get to keep a really nice backpack I guess. Should be able to track him down though, he had his name tag to his employer (a grocery store) in it.

    Tomorrow I will get more miles in, promise! My only struggle today was a train bridge that is huge. At 74 gear inches on a fixed gear, it was quite a chore to get up it. I used to climb it in granny gear (when I had one). I was really huffing by the time I got to the top!

  13. #13
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Update on the backpack I found. There are 3 or 4 of the grocery stores around that he could have worked at, so I looked up the store website and it gave me a directory of all their local stores. I called the closest one, and lo and behold, the owner of the backpack actually answered the phone! He described the pack and its contents perfectly and is coming by my office to pick it up. I love it when a plan comes together!

  14. #14
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Nice save Rykoala.

    Well one of the kids down from me brought his bike over. He is about 6 or 7. The paddle was off and the other one was just about to fall off. I fixed them and off he went. About 20 min later here he comes again pushing the bike. The chain had come off. So back to fixing it. I took the training wheels off and he said that he did not want to put them back on. So I fixed the chain and gave him his bike back. The seat was too low for him and he could not get started. So I called him back and fix it. Them he, with his brother help, was trying learn how to ride it. It took him about 5 tries and off he went. He has been all over on his bike now. Makes me remember the first time I rode my first real bike.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  15. #15
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    Good job on finding the backpack's owner rykoala!

    Nice of ya to help out the local kids with bike issues CigTech. I need a CigTech in my neighborhood!

    I was very proud of my anti-morning self this morning. I got up an extra hour earlier to catch a ride in with a friend. On the 4-mile ride to her place, I had an AWESOME tailwind and I just wanted to keep riding and riding. But that would have made me wayyyy late for work.

    I NEVER have a tailwind on the way in!!!! THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE!!! Now, can you please flip the wind direction the other way for my ride home? Thanks.

  16. #16
    On your left fatty Gusboh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
    "I'm passing on your left! Move out of the way or I'll run your a$$ over!"
    I know the pain Newbie, at least twice a week i get a group of 50 somethings on the path more interested in whinging about their daughter's teachers or the price of petrol than the 6'1" 100kg guy on a bike doing 35km/h going straight for them.

    Real quote

    Them - '**** you lunatic - get off the ****ing path arsehole'

    Me - 'You mean get off the BIKE path?'

    Them - '. . . **** you'

    Me -

  17. #17
    jur
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    I' ve been including a big hill in my commute, shown in the distance vs elevation graph, in meters. Both traces show the same start point (home) and the same end point (3.5km in my normal commute). The hill route is about 3km longer and a great blooming hill more.

    So here is a accompanying haiku:

    crank crank puff puff puff
    crank crank puff swallow-PUFF-PUFF
    bloody idiot
    Attached Images Attached Images
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Man Jur, yo got one big hill there. Here is my elevation graph. But it is in feet not miles high.

    Man I said I never get into the bike shorts. But after this last week I have broke down and order some from Nashbar.com. There are having a big sale right now. I order the Ascent Men's Shorthttp://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename= and the Nashbar Tranzwick® Sleeveless Jersey http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename= Now we'll see how fast I can go.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by CigTech; 06-05-06 at 10:35 PM.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  19. #19
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    I usually bike into work once a week right now but I only worked one day last week so I didnt ride then and this week I am not riding again. This morning I planned on riding in but when my alarm went off at 3:30 am something just didnt feel right. I said to heck with it I will just sleep another hour and a half. Well after 20 minutes laying in bed I said to myself if I dont go I will kick myself all day so I got up and started getting ready. I was real frustrated while I was getting ready to go and I was slighly clumsy too. I put on my new shorts and something was irritating me so I took them off and cut out what was scratching me but I was still being bothered. I eventually got everything together and started on my way. About 2 minutes into my ride I still didnt feel right so I turned around defeated. I just didnt feel like riding in the dark today.
    These 12 hour work days are a pain.

  20. #20
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    Riskus -- 12 hour days put a damper on everything. Hang in there and ride when you can. It's not like we're going to publicly shun you or stone you if you fail to live up to our mileage expectations! We'll just post snarky comments about you behind your back Good luck with the riding and the workload!

    I had a very nice ride this morning without wheel problems. A big improvement from last night's ride home. I got to my bike to find I had a flat -- but no broken or loose spokes so that's a plus. I replaced the tube and let another biker use my pump to try and pump up his flat for his short ride home. It didn't work, so I offered him a tube, but he had a pressing deadline to pick up his kid and opted for other transportation.

    Evidently this was not enough of a good karma gesture since about a mile into the ride things start to feel very weird so I stop and check out the rear wheel. Turns out the tire bead has popped out of the rim in one spot. So I deflate the tire, pop everything into place and reinflate. I happily ride along for another 8 miles or so and it happens again. This time the fix holds until I get home. So after dinner I pull it apart and finally decide that with the narrower rim I am running temporarily on the back I should use tubes for the 28-35 range instead of the wider 35-40 that I usually run. Anyway the skinnier tube seemed to do the trick.

    Finally, I must apologize in advance if the world spins off its axis and runs amok due to the inauspicious date. Some of the blame must rest firmly on my wife. You see for the past two days she has been up between 5:30 and 6 AM and done a 9 or 10 mile ride. In and of itself this is not such a big deal, but you have to understand that my wife views Rip Van Winkle as a good role model. She considers 9-10 hours of sleep an ideal minimum, so this is a huge departure from her normal routine. It may well be a sign of the end times. Hopefully we will all have a safe and happy ride home.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  21. #21
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    A wonder what a few days off the bike will do. I re-did my little time trial today, not pushing things, just to see what my normal speed is (still have not gotten a computer). I felt really strong--a No Chain day like George Hincapie says. So without pushing things, I made the same 3.5 mile route in 12:15 for a speed of 17.14 (is my algebra right?). I knew I felt tight and slow the last time I tried it.

    Oh, and I surpassed my year's goal of 1000 miles...I think I'll try for another 1000 by December 31.

    Going to the NC mountains to do some road biking on Thursday. That ought to help my climbing back here in the mid-Atlantic.

    Whoopee!

  22. #22
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Being sick today, I took the 6 mile route to work. Ugh. Can I go home now? Nice work everyone on keeping up with their routines. It can be tough! I'm just glad that on days like today I can bail out and take the 5.5 or 6 mile route instead of the 13.5 or 9.5 mile route.

  23. #23
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    Alternatives make cycling much more doable.
    I have routes ranging from 0 miles (work from home), 4 miles (bad weather. use bus), to 30 miles.

  24. #24
    Specialized Crossroad XC xroader's Avatar
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    I had the best "commute" ever today. I'm home with the kids while my wife is traveling, so I got them on the bus this morning, did some quick clock math and figured I had five hours with nothing to do. Every other day has been errand this, errand that (I don't know how my wife finds the time) But today, except for cleaning the house, I was caught up. I quickly decided that the house was just fine dirty and hid the road. I rode to my office, smiled and kept right on going. Hit the C&O Canal Trail, the Capital Crescent Trail, the Georgetown Branch Trail, then the Rock Creek Park Trail back down to the Mount Vernon Trail, past my office again with even a bigger smile and headed home. Did a metric century and rolled in back home about ten mintues before the first bus arrived.

    What a great day!

    One more for Haiku week:

    No work today, joy!
    The trail smooth, sky blue, bike fast
    Time to retire soon?

  25. #25
    Zinophile tibikefor2's Avatar
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    Rykoala, nice job on returning the back pack.

    Cig, now that you are wearing bike shorts, should I give you some pointers on the fine art of shaving one's legs?

    Rode my 42x17 fixed gear today and set a new record for coming home. Hitting some of the lights really helped out. I worked with another rider and did my 18.2 mile loop in 1 hour and 3 minutes for an average speed of 17.6 mph.

    I will work an a haiku tomorrow.
    Tibikefor2

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