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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 09-11-06, 08:05 PM   #1
Lionheart
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How far is too far?

Assume you are out on your morning ride to work. Suddenly you realize you forgot XX. How far is too far to go back home and get XX?

Let's assume that XX is of average importance, not critical to your job, but important. If it's something that's critical, the assumption is you'd go back for that no matter the distance.

...forgot my socks this morning, had to wear my white socks with my slacks, shirt and tie. Nice!

I had only gone one mile of 14. I didn't want to go back.
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Old 09-11-06, 08:46 PM   #2
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i forget my belt at least once a week. i never go back.

then again, i wear my cycling socks all day. with shorts sometimes even.

neither of these things fall into the "average importance" column for my job though.
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Old 09-11-06, 08:54 PM   #3
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I got to work the other day and realized I had forgotten my belt. Well, I've lost weight recently and there was no way to get through the day without one. Roundtrip is around an hour so that was out. I went down to see my friend who works in another department. He lives close to the hospital. I figured I'd get his keys, ride over to his house (6 minutes away), drive home, get the belt, drive back to his house, and ride back to the hospital. I did all this. Total time away 48 minutes. Over and over again I see that for short distances riding is almost as fast as driving.

I'm now in the process of assembling a kit for work with the small items (socks, belt, etc) that are most likely forgotten. I should just keep a complete outfit anyway for those days I forget something, or spill something or get bled, puked, or otherwise slimed on during the day.

If I'm more than a couple of blocks away, and I can get away without it, I'm not going back.
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Old 09-11-06, 08:57 PM   #4
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Socks!? I always keep a pair of dark socks in my luggage. I did get 1.6 miles down the road and realized I left my work ID door pass at home. It put me in a time crunch but I made to work on time. I was a little sweatier than normal when I hit the chair.
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Old 09-11-06, 10:59 PM   #5
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Never the belt. Ass crack is not a good look. I usually have spares at work. If you commute enough, you will always leave something at work. I have however forgotten pants. Unles you work at a bike shop, tights will not fly. So 5 miles is the distance for me.
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Old 09-11-06, 11:38 PM   #6
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I'm only 1.6 miles from work -- 2.4 if I take the hilly route, which I do on the way home. In a worst case scenario, there is a bike shop across the street, a department store a block further, a sporting goods store a block further, pawn shops, dive bars, a post office, a book store, numerous coffeee shops, a lumber yard, three grocery stores, two dozen restaurants, etc. all within a mile.

Holy crap do I live in a lucky location! Plus the drivers are all really respectful of cyclists. It's so weird.

Anyway, once I turned back a half mile because I forgot my helmet. For some reason, I obsess about wearing my helmet to work.
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Old 09-11-06, 11:47 PM   #7
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If it's something I have to have, I won't remember it until I get to my destination. Murphy's Law. If I can live without it, I won't turn around. My point of no return is the first intersection I come to .5 miles from the house. I realized I forgot my flashlight tonight on my way home. I was sure I'd get a flat.
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Old 09-12-06, 08:33 AM   #8
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I think I've gotten to the edge of my parking lot and realized that I'd left something non-essential (iPod, for rockin' out while writing technical reports, extra piece of fruit that I wanted for breakfast, etc.) back in my apartment, and I still won't go back the 100m for it. Once I'm out and rolling, that's it: Unless I need it to survive, I'm not going back.
The little things that most people talk about forgetting (socks, belt, shoes, etc.) aren't a concern for me because I keep a week's worth of clothes in my locker, and two pairs of shoes. I've also learned to keep some backup food (microwave soups and such) at my cube in case I forget my lunch.
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Old 09-12-06, 08:42 AM   #9
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I have spare clothes at work. If I forget my lunch, I can buy something.
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Old 09-12-06, 08:55 AM   #10
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i have spare clothes at work too. just no belt yet, and i have two of them. maybe i'll leave one here today.
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Old 09-12-06, 09:21 AM   #11
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I've gone back for the helmet, but it was only a couple blocks. I forgot it only because it was winter and I already had something on my head, so I didn't realize I had forgotten to put on the helmet until I was out and must have touched my head or something.

For the other stuff, I have a check list that I always recite aloud to myself before I walk out the door.

* Lunch
* Key to get into the office
* Clothes to put on when I get there
* Rain gear

I do that before I walk out the door and again before I ride out of the driveway. I'm paranoid about forgetting something. I went to school once in sixth grade without a shirt. I've never been the same since. (I had a white Tshirt--I didn't go bare-chested.)
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Old 09-12-06, 10:02 AM   #12
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Too far to go back is 3.25 miles. That's the top of Mount Morning as I call it. Once I've finished that climb, I'm committed. The only thing I can't manage without is the office key. Otherwise I could manage without whatever because I have a fully stocked office with food, clothing etc. One day I will forget the office key and I'll be sitting out front waiting for a co-worker to show up. It'll probabaly be cold and rainy and the person who arrives 2 hours after me will have the day off so i'll be out there for 3 - Geeze. I could ride back home get the key and ride back with an hour to spare ....
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Old 09-12-06, 10:23 AM   #13
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Once I'm on the bike I won't turn around, driveway included. I have extra shoes, belt, generic tie, socks, underwear etc. stored permanently at work. I occasionally forget my keys and have to wait around at the office until someone lets me in. As far as forgetting important documents....work stays at work too! I have the same complex even in a car, especially going on vacation. Once the car is moving I just can't turn around.
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Old 09-12-06, 10:23 AM   #14
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I usually never go back unless its my ID to clock in with. If its something of importance, I will clock-in, check the days schedule/work, and when I'm sure I have some time, I head to the "bathroom" with my helmet, gloves, water bottle, etc.

If it's a problem, I just wait till 10am and tell them I'm taking an early lunch and head out. Actually, most of the days, I'm glad I forgot something at the house.
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Old 09-12-06, 10:56 AM   #15
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If I am more than 20 minutes into my 20 mile commute, I will not turn around.
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Old 09-12-06, 11:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swwhite
For the other stuff, I have a check list that I always recite aloud to myself before I walk out the door.
I do that too, but I use the Austin Powers list. Specticles, testicles, wallet, watch.
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Old 09-12-06, 11:41 AM   #17
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I've forgotten things and realized it at the bottom of the stairs and still not felt like walking up one flight of stairs to get them.
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Old 09-12-06, 11:48 AM   #18
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Not many things are important enough to turn around for.
Underwear - go commando
Socks - wear your cycling socks or no socks

If you wear a uniform or dress clothes, you may want to leave important items at work for emergencies.
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Old 09-12-06, 11:53 AM   #19
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Once I'm down the street, I just keep going. I assemble my shirts, pants, and underwear for the week in advance. I leave my belt and nice shoes in the office.
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Old 09-12-06, 11:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notfred
I've forgotten things and realized it at the bottom of the stairs and still not felt like walking up one flight of stairs to get them.
+1, cept i got three flights back up to my apartment
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Old 09-12-06, 11:55 AM   #21
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I've gone back once - I forgot my helmet. Got about 100 yards down the road and realized that my hair was blowing in the wind.

I've forgotten things many other times - sunglasses very often, or clothing items, cellphone, etc - none of them seemed critical enough to go back, I guess.
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Old 09-12-06, 12:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Underwear - go commando
+ eleventy billion

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Socks - wear your cycling socks or no socks
-1 (for me at least) Nothing says "classy" like a button-down, tailored slacks, high-polish shoes, and bare hairy ankles.
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Old 09-12-06, 12:42 PM   #23
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end of my driveway. But then again, I never forget a critical piece of clothing. I have a hard-and-fast rule; do not take any piece of clothing home until its replacement is already in the drawer. Before that, yeah, I'd forget about everything.

Given that I won't forget clothing, I don't think there's anything I'd go back for, but honestly there's not much I could forget because all I carry is my lunch and a phone, which never leaves my bag. If I forget the phone, oh well, I never use it anyway, and if I forget my lunch, there's a spare $10 in my desk and a subway down the street.
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Old 09-12-06, 01:34 PM   #24
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I don't think I've ever gone back if I was more than a block from home. I did forget my belt one day...... Used one of the nylon straps with plastic buckles that I use to strap stuff onto my rack. Worked just fine.
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Old 09-12-06, 01:56 PM   #25
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I once forgot my seat bag with my phone, ID, and spare tube. I was a little over a mile out and went back ot get it. I'll also go back and have more than once for water bottles I forgot in the fridge. I cannot imagine my 20+ mile commute in 90+ degrees without water.

Rule # 1: You will NOT ride through the neighborhood I ride through on my commute without a spare tube. EVER!!!
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