Well, I've decided to try and make my bicycle my main method of transportation to work. I've been riding a road bike for the past few years and decided to turn my old Gary Fisher hard tail mountain bike into a commuter.
I put a rack on yesterday and ordered panniers, multi-tool, spare tubs and a couple of other essentials to keep with me at all times.
My commute is about 4 miles each way and the first 3 miles on the way in is on quiet residential streets and a lightly traveled MUP. The last mile is on a busy streatch of road with endless driveways for businesses and a speed limit of 45MPH. The street portion is still a bit intimidating for me and I have been using the sidewalk most mornings and evenings. I'm comfortable on the street on my road bike, but not when commuting. I think the slower speeds and higher traffic volume are the main differences.
If I find that I enjoy the commuting and keep with it even in the rain and when it gets colder, I may eventually get a different bike for this. I'm not real comofortable on the mountain bike and I already have days where I would like to go for longer rides after work and right now if I want to do that I have to stop at the house and grab my road bike.
Thanks for all the great info in this section of the board!