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  1. #1
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    Extreme commuter club: week 17

    Got more snow today. The forecast is for more snow tomorrow, then another cold snap...

    Am I the only one sick of winter? Lake Champlain is now frozen over. It seems like some sort of an illusion that it was warm enough to swin in a few months ago. Remember when we rode our bikes with one layer of clothes on? And bare legs? Was that just a dream?
    "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
    Navy Recruiter
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    What qualifies me to be an extreme commuter? I just picked up my commuter bike yesterday and plan to commute for the first time this coming saturday (that way I can see how long it will take to get there AND shower)! It's about 18-21 miles, each way, and I want the first time to be on a saturday so that it's not a big deal if I'm late. I'm not sure of the elevation gain/loss, but I'm guessing it to be about 1000'. I can't wait to ride in...I'll try to post a pic of my bike here in a sec.

    -Barry-

  3. #3
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobi
    What qualifies me to be an extreme commuter? I just picked up my commuter bike yesterday and plan to commute for the first time this coming saturday (that way I can see how long it will take to get there AND shower)! It's about 18-21 miles, each way, and I want the first time to be on a saturday so that it's not a big deal if I'm late. I'm not sure of the elevation gain/loss, but I'm guessing it to be about 1000'. I can't wait to ride in...I'll try to post a pic of my bike here in a sec.

    -Barry-
    That's a nice long commute! Good luck with it and your new bike!
    "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?"

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I'm about to increase from an 18km commute to a 28km commute. Does that put me in the extreme commuter club- although I don't ride through snow.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars
    Am I the only one sick of winter?
    I'm getting there. After being spoiled with above seasonal temperatures for the last week, I walked out the door this morning without checking the weather. Temperature could have been worse (about -8F) but that 28km/hr wind was a tad sharp.

    Better than freezing while waiting for the car to warm up, though.

    Jalopy

  6. #6
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Nice too see all these new guy in the XXC.

    Today I have a 16 mph tailwind going to work at 63 deg. I think that's too cold. Going to make it a 25 mile ride to work this morning. I'm tring to do it in 75 min. That give me a 20 mph average speed.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  7. #7
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    CigTech - yeah, that sounds pretty cold to me. This morning was a very nice commute - probably 70 degrees, the dirt road just slightly damp so there was no dust. I had to work at keeping the speed down because I don't want to hit a big rock at 20 MPH.

    Jacobi - you belong if you ride is abnormal, abnormally long, abnormally weird (like mine) or whatever. We are part of the group because our needs are different than others.

    For example, I have to have my bike cleaned twice a week due to all the crud I pick up on the roads that are really more like single track than roads.

  8. #8
    Electro-Forged
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars
    Am I the only one sick of winter? Lake Champlain is now frozen over. It seems like some sort of an illusion that it was warm enough to swin in a few months ago. Remember when we rode our bikes with one layer of clothes on? And bare legs? Was that just a dream?
    No, yes, yes, no.

    Lake Michigan is so unbelievably beautiful in July and August. Nowadays, its cold, white, inhospitable. And I'm looking forward to a 15 mile ride home into a 15 mph, 18F headwind. Sure doesn't seem like March.

    02-17-07LM-ice2.jpg02-17-07LM-bike.jpg

  9. #9
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topher_Aus
    I'm about to increase from an 18km commute to a 28km commute. Does that put me in the extreme commuter club- although I don't ride through snow.
    Sure it does! The basic rule is: if you think the commute is extreme, then you should be in the XCC!
    "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?"

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars
    Sure it does! The basic rule is: if you think the commute is extreme, then you should be in the XCC!
    Cool. I think of the 60 or so bike commuters at work, my commute will be one of the longest.

    I think I might start doing it in just one direction at a time, and catch the train home the other way, at least for a couple of weeks.

  11. #11
    Xtreme Commuting London tonka.toy's Avatar
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    No snow over here but the winds getting so bad that it's setting of loads of car alarms. Such a shame as it was a shorts and jersey morning on the ride in...

    Daily Ride - Specialized HRXC
    Upgraded everything just the frame remains
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  12. #12
    On your left fatty Gusboh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topher_Aus
    Cool. I think of the 60 or so bike commuters at work, my commute will be one of the longest.

    I think I might start doing it in just one direction at a time, and catch the train home the other way, at least for a couple of weeks.
    Lemme guess, BOM?

    Is that 28km across Melbourne, or are you up in the hills?

  13. #13
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    This morning was a nice, although cold ride. Tonight sucked with a killer headwind. It was one of those winds that knocks you down a gear just to keep spinning. Of course the wind had dropped tons of little branches all over the MUP, just to make life interesting. You can tell the weather is getting better since there were all sorts of people on the trail. Time to start practicing pedestrian dodging.

    Its great to see all these new folks joining our weird but merry little band!
    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.

  14. #14
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    Wind . . . Wind and more wind this morning. Sometimes a tail wind, sometimes from the right, sometimes a headwind and sometimes it felt like it was coming from everywhere at once. I was actually passed by a robin today -- not flying, it wings were folded flat and it was just being pushed along by the wind.

    Snow tomorrow something between a flurry and 3" depending on which forecaster you listen to. I guess I'm glad I left the studs on, although I am anxious to shed them.
    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.

  15. #15
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    This morning was one of the most brutal rides in my years of XCC. It was about -5 F with a very strong headwind of 20 mph, gusting to 40 mph. The wind chill was -38 F. My ride was straight into that wind, starting with a 1.5 mile gentle climb. At one point, I stopped because I thought my sunglasses were fogging/cruding up. It turned out to be icicles on my upper eyelashes! The wind felt really heavy, but at the same time, the very cold air seemed to contain no oxygen. It took me forever to get to work, and when I arrived, I couldn't think straight for about an hour...

    That was nuts!
    "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?"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars
    At one point, I stopped because I thought my sunglasses were fogging/cruding up. It turned out to be icicles on my upper eyelashes!
    Ah, yes... the winter commuter's bane... eye-cicles. The upside is that we will have really good stories to tell our great-grandkids...

    "When I was younger, we didn't have custom pre-heated hover cars to ride in, we rode our bicycles. The air was too cold to breathe and our eyelids froze shut but that's the way it was and we liked it!"

    Jalopy

  17. #17
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    Jalopy -- that's the spirit!! Of course you forgot that our rides used to be uphill -- both ways.
    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.

  18. #18
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    And our bike seats were made out of BARBED WIRE! And dinosaurs chased us, but we didn't care!

    Still well below zero F here in Vermont. Sheesh.
    "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?"

  19. #19
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Wow. THAT is dedication, Mars. I'd have stayed home or taken my Suburban to work.

  20. #20
    On your left fatty Gusboh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars
    And our bike seats were made out of BARBED WIRE! And dinosaurs chased us, but we didn't care!

    Still well below zero F here in Vermont. Sheesh.
    There is a position in the Psych department here. Maybe you should apply

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Gusboh -- but if you take Mars out of winter what will he have to boast about?

    Mars -- I agree with Rykoala, subzero temps are some serious dedication. My best this year was 8 degrees and that is pretty unusual around here.

    Nice snowfall this AM and even harder on the ride home. It was a fairly dry snow coming down in large flakes so it was kind of pretty. Even better -- it wasn't really accumulating on a lot of the trail, so it didn't complicate life unduly. The only weird problem I had was the inability to shift off of the large chainring on the inbound trip and then in the afternoon I couldn't shift the cassette. I guess the snow was freezing in the derailleurs, which seems weird since it was a fairly dry snow.

    After riding yesterday without a rear brake, I think I successfully fixed it. It was like the lever was jammed and wouldn't close the brake. So I took it all apart, cleaned the cable, lubed everything and retensioned the cable and now things seem to work.
    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.

  22. #22
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
    Gusboh -- but if you take Mars out of winter what will he have to boast about?

    Mars -- I agree with Rykoala, subzero temps are some serious dedication. My best this year was 8 degrees and that is pretty unusual around here.

    Nice snowfall this AM and even harder on the ride home. It was a fairly dry snow coming down in large flakes so it was kind of pretty. Even better -- it wasn't really accumulating on a lot of the trail, so it didn't complicate life unduly. The only weird problem I had was the inability to shift off of the large chainring on the inbound trip and then in the afternoon I couldn't shift the cassette. I guess the snow was freezing in the derailleurs, which seems weird since it was a fairly dry snow.

    After riding yesterday without a rear brake, I think I successfully fixed it. It was like the lever was jammed and wouldn't close the brake. So I took it all apart, cleaned the cable, lubed everything and retensioned the cable and now things seem to work.
    Boast!?!?! No, my friend, I'm not boasting, I'm COMPLAINING! I'm whining like a puppy who got spanked.

    It's supposed to go to -20 F tonight.
    "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?"

  23. #23
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    OK -20 might just be insane! "I'm Mars and my bike might be made of carbon but the cajones are stainless steel!"

    Turns out I rode a single speed to work this morning. Last night the down tube and cables froze solid in a coating of ice. It didn't melt overnight, and this morning I didn't check before I started out. The price was a ride in the only gear that wasn't frozen solid. Fortunately it was one I could ride kind of anywhere, but it was still annoying.
    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.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    My bike is a hurting puppy. On the way home a few blocks from the office suddenly the pedals seize up. I pull over and after a little investigating figure out that the lock ring on the casette has come loose. So I pull off the wheel and get the lockrinbg back at least hand tight. I put everything back together and rode off. About half way home as I'm climbing an overpass the pedals seize up again. Same problem, but this time I can neither tighten nor loosen the lock ring -- it is stuck about halfway out. So I start hoofing it home. Of course I have about 75 minutes to travel 4.5 miles to my son's debut band concert. (I made it for part of the concert but not all of it.)

    Once I got home I started to pull things apart and found out that I have a broken axle and that has apparently affected the freewheel so it no long freewheels smoothly. Because of that the locking ring came unscrewed. Sometimes this whole bike thing sucks. The only good news is that even though the repair will not be cheap it will be cheaper than an equivalent repair on a car. So tomorrow I am a public transit and foot guy. Hopefully my trusty LBS can fix me up with something over the weekend.

    Except for mechanical problems, tonight was great weather for riding. Ride safe everyone and have a great weekend.
    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.

  25. #25
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Today on the way to work this guy in a 06 mustang was doing about 30 mph comming out of this parking lot. Just as I'm going pass the driveway. He see me at the last min. and make a sharp right turn. Which puts him into a 5 foot deep bar ditch on his side. So I stop to see if the guys is ok. As he climes out the drivers windows. He keeps asking me if I am ok... WTF. I mean he did not even get that close to me. any ways the cops so up and it takes 2 hours to get the car out of the ditch. I was doing 22 mph past the drive way and would have been clear way before he even made it to where I was when he first saw me. Some people just freak out to much around here.

    Other then that it was a nice ride to work this morning.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

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