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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 07-05-06, 10:54 AM   #1
Eggplant Jeff
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Rain, gotta love it.

It really started to pour about the time I hit 19th st. I was having an awesome time, blasting along, soaking wet, until I noticed the street sign... 11th st? Hey wait a minute, I work back there on 12th...

Had to turn around .
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Old 07-05-06, 11:00 AM   #2
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Don't lie, you did that on purpose. Rain is fun to ride in.
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Old 07-05-06, 11:08 AM   #3
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The rain has added benefits too:

1.Watching the water squirt out of your shoes w/ each down stroke!
2. Nobody else on Kelly Drive MUP ( kind of like when you going to the movies and are the only person there)
3. Dried/caked salt now washed from my cycling gloves!
4. Get to use the pannier cover I paid for but am generally to lazy to put on (It was really pouring today! )
5. Rain helps you wedding ring shine so a co-worker can find it on the sidewalk (where I dropped it getting my keys out) and post an e-mail about a lost wedding ring. Man am I LUCKY!
6.The mere threat of rain will limit the number of i-pod wearing recreationists on the MUP on the return trip home!
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Old 07-05-06, 11:51 AM   #4
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Rain riding is also pretty cool at night with your headlights and no one else around.
That effect of the light shining on the raindrops makes it appear like you're moving even faster than normal.
I kind of feel like one of those rescue choppers flying through a bad storm when I do this.
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Old 07-05-06, 01:48 PM   #5
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Fender, you were out on the Kelly MUP this AM too? What time? I only saw two other bicyclists, and I don't recall either of 'em having panniers. I was out there prolly 9 to 9:15ish. I come all the way down Forbidden Drive from the Valley Green Inn, then some unnamed path in the park (I think the "red" one on their map, but I don't recall for sure) to ridge, then hop on Kelly.

BTW if you don't have a mudflap, go get an empty milk jug right now and make one. WOW that made a difference keeping the mud (mostly from the unpaved trails in Fairmount Park) off my legs.
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Old 07-05-06, 02:18 PM   #6
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Yes, rain is fun. I had to make a mad dash off the town square last night as a thunderstorm rolled in. The festivities and fireworks were canceled, but luckily the bars were still open. Popped in to wait out the worst and have a beer, then rode home once the lightening had moved on.
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Old 07-05-06, 02:51 PM   #7
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Eggplant,

I come in from Glenside about 4 miles NE of the Valley green Inn and take forbidden drive all the way to kelly drive then to 19th & Arch (work). I am usually on the trail etc. 7am-8am so I would have missed you this morning. Also I found a web site about making your own mudflaps out of stair tread covers. You can get them at any hardware home center about $1.50 and get two flaps front & rear from one tread. IMHO they look better that the soda bottle and I was also able to attach 3m reflective tape to them. Say hello if you see me, I am riding a green 70's Trek w, moustache bars.
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Old 07-05-06, 05:47 PM   #8
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Wow, and I thought my commute was long. You go 4 miles to get to where I start!

Well, it isn't that it's long so much... It's just the end (coming back) where I have to climb 180 feet to get out of the creek bottom into chestnut hill. That kills me, right now anyway. Maybe after I do it a couple weeks it won't seem so bad.

I'm trying to get started earlier in the day too so I may run into you one of these days. I'm on a very commuterized orangish giant Cypress. I usually have a black rack trunk and a blue insulated lunch bag, and I'm wearing a neon yellow or orange alertshirt.

I'll probably make nicer mudflaps for a final version, but until I'm satisfied with the shape I'm going to stick to materials that are free .
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Old 07-05-06, 06:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
I'll probably make nicer mudflaps for a final version, but until I'm satisfied with the shape I'm going to stick to materials that are free .
Do you have pictures? I haven't heard of these home made mudflaps yet.

Thanks,
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Old 07-06-06, 05:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fender1
The rain has added benefits too:

2. Nobody else on Kelly Drive MUP ( kind of like when you going to the movies and are the only person there)
6.The mere threat of rain will limit the number of i-pod wearing recreationists on the MUP on the return trip home!
My own little heaven. For one day it is like it is Febuary all over again. If it rained in the morning and then the sky is cloudy in the afternoon I can count on the bikepath being empty except for the handful of commuters. Peaceful bliss!
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Old 07-06-06, 11:26 AM   #11
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I love riding in the rain also, except for when its a really bad storm. I commute to work around 1:30am, and i was watching a nasty lightning storm come closer and closer as I was peddling as hard as I could to get to work before it hit, but I didnt quite make it. Only a half mile to go, and lightning stuck about a quarter mile off to the right. Nearly jumped out of my skin and peddled harder, then lightning struck at the end of the street I work on. Ive never swore so loud in my life. Then the sky cut loose. It was like a dam broke in the clouds, and I couldnt see squat. Had to get off my bike and feel my way to the door.

I do love how in regular rain, those great empty sidewalks and the people driving cars seem to feel sorry for me getting rained on, and everyone lets me cross the street, or back up if they are blocking my way coming out of a driveway.
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Old 07-06-06, 03:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentstrider
Rain riding is also pretty cool at night with your headlights and no one else around.
That effect of the light shining on the raindrops makes it appear like you're moving even faster than normal.
I kind of feel like one of those rescue choppers flying through a bad storm when I do this.
So true. Riding in the rain at night on the Hudson Greenway is awesome.
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Old 07-06-06, 06:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcross
Do you have pictures? I haven't heard of these home made mudflaps yet.

Thanks,
I'll try to remember to take some pictures. I need to take some pics of that bike for someone else, I forget who now. I'm actually already working on version 2, the first one I made wasn't large enough. I mean, it made a huge difference, but I want to hit a mud puddle at 20 mph and not get a drop .

Basically you just cut a large vaguely triangular piece of plastic, and attach it somehow to the bottom of your fender. It has to be at least a little flexible so when you go over a curb or whatever it can bend, since the closer it is to the ground the better coverage you get. I used small stainless steel bolts, two of 'em, and attached my "real" mudflap to the rubber "fake" mudflaps that come on Freddy Fenders. The Freddy ones are like 2 inches long and serve virtually no purpose except to provide you an easy way to mount real mud flaps by bolting/taping/zip tieing/etc some real ones to the rubber without having to drill holes in the fenders themselves.
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Old 07-07-06, 01:11 AM   #14
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Are hybrid/commuter bicycle tires safe to ride during rain?
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Old 07-07-06, 01:55 AM   #15
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yeah, nearly any tire out there will perform well in rain, due to the low profile, to answer your question kwak.

Anyways, i love rain, since i rarely have the oppurtunity to ride in the rain, thus it's rarity alone makes it so enjoyable. Also it cleans up my orange tires, and makes em shiny too!
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Old 07-07-06, 08:17 AM   #16
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Jeesh, we must be having some kind of drought here. I have fenders on half my bikes. This morning, I was looking at the fenders on my SS road bike wondering, " what do I have those on there for"? They're starting to get kind of dusty.
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Old 07-07-06, 04:55 PM   #17
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Kwak yeah any tires are fine. "tread" on bicycle road tires is just there to sell tires, it really doesn't accomplish anything. Bicycle tires do not hydroplane the way car tires do.

Tread on off-road tires of course is there for digging through mud/sand/etc.
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Old 07-07-06, 05:47 PM   #18
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Having some tread is good if you ever encounter sand on your commute. Aside from that, it's not all that useful.

Oh, and for wet weather, definately use the front brake as well as the rear....rear end will slide way too much if you rely solely on your rear brake.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:27 AM   #19
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Yeah! It rained this morning. Finally got some use out of the fenders on my newly converted SS road bike. I had been worrying about the fenders being too narrow for the 27 x 1 1/4 tires, but they worked fine. They are the skinnier Freddy Fender Hardcores.

The rain really discouraged the commuters today. The rack at work has been overflowing lately, but only two bikes today including mine.
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