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  1. #1
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    Best and Worst commutes so far in one day

    The morning commute (15 miles) had a nice steady headwind the whole time. I looked it up when I got to work and the weather website said 8mph, but I could've sworn it felt like more. Anyways, I only got about 12 mph the whole time because of it.

    I got to work thinking that the wind wouldn't keep up for the ride home, but it did. The headwind from the morning ride become the tail wind on my afternoon ride and I was cruising at a nice 18 mph the whole time.

    Too bad the wind doesn't always go in the direction I want to go

  2. #2
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    Lucky you. Usually around here it flips directions between the morning and evening commute. Yet from time to time I get a 30 mph tailwind. There is nothing quite like effortlessly riding my road bike in the low 30 mph range.

  3. #3
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Lucky you. Usually around here it flips directions between the morning and evening commute. Yet from time to time I get a 30 mph tailwind. There is nothing quite like effortlessly riding my road bike in the low 30 mph range.
    Yeah, I've had days where my commute had headwinds all the way in both directions. Fortunately, it's rare.
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

  4. #4
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    We had a particularly windy day here a while back. When I got to work weather.com said it was a west wind of 30mph gusting into the mid 40s. About 3.5 miles of my commute that day was riding south, the other mile was directly into it. All the roads are flat but there's nothing to block the wind (strawberry, broccoli, lettuce fields for miles to the west). Going south I was constantly leaning to my right, then when a gust came up I had to lean more and steer a bit to the right. Going west I was in the small front chainring doing about 8mph...almost felt like giving up when those gusts hit me. It was an interesting experience and an excellent workout I'd rather not repeat.

    My ride to work is in the evening, and living fairly close to the ocean there's almost always a 10+mph wind coming out of the west at that time. I never really noticed the wind until I started riding.

  5. #5
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    All winter I have a stiff headwind both ways. It always flips in the middle of the day. Or at best, turns into a crosswind.
    In the summer the winds are MUCH more gentle, partially because the air's less dense and I'm wearing less clothes to catch them, and they're pretty much random.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  6. #6
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    If your worst commute was because of the wind, I would say you have a great commute. Just think of riding with a headwind as doing hills.
    "I'd rather go riding than not." Ron "Cyclenerd"

  7. #7
    This town needs an enema.
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    Kudos on taking on that headwind and showing it who's boss.

    I agree, headwinds are a lot like riding up hills.

    On my commute there are several of the road bike racer types that will time their rides so they are always riding with the wind to their back. Most of the groups ride south in the morning and then north in the afternoon and are the largest groups you would see. I have alway thought it was funny that these large groups are almost nonexistent if the wind and temp aren't on their side. I get headwind every morning coming off the ocean and sometimes it can be nearly intolerable.
    ^this may or may not be useful information <--this not so much.

  8. #8
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    Well I only have one day of commuting under my belt (30 mile RT) but it definately was a best and worst compared to practice runs of my commute. I had run the route three or four times in prep for the big first day. Everything went smoothly on the practice runs.

    I figured I need to leave the house around 7 am to give me plenty of time to shower and get ready for school when I reach my destination so I get everything ready the night before (thank the stickies for lots of good prep advice!).

    Somehow even with all this preparation I am leaving late. I get three blocks away and realize I left my riding gloves in my garage. I'm not dealing with sweaty hands the whole way so I go back and officially get away 15 minutes late. No big deal... I left some extra time in my planning, I'll just need to pedal faster now.

    My trip starts with two short really steep downhill runs. I'm carrying two locks, a U lock and a heavy duty cable to lock up my seat, rack, rear wheel..etc and my backpack with my books and clothes in my rear basket. I get to the bottom of the first hill flying pretty fast and hit a bump. I hear a loud crack and a funny sound of bushes moving on my right. I stop immediately only to find that the cable lock (wound in a tight circle and wedged in my basket) popped out of my basket and rolled into the thick brush on the side of the road. The brush is really thick, filled with blackberry bushes and thistles. I poke around with my foot for a good ten minutes before I find my black lock deep in the brush. I get it out...scratched up a bit but it is not too much worse for the wear. I jam it way down in my basket, run a bungee through it and start to pedal my rump off figuring I am now +25 minutes behind schedule.

    I get half way to school figuring I made up a little time but I know I am still behind schedule by a fair bit. I'm cutting through a side road to get to a MUP when the car in front of me stops at a stop sign. I stop behind her. She doesn't move. She starts waving her hands around and I'm trying to figure out whats up. Just as I am getting ready to go around her, she opens her car door and calls out "I need some directions, can you help?" and at the same time her black lab jumps out of her car and starts running around. We are on a real short road (maybe 1/3 of a block long) that connects two busy one way streets. She starts yelling at her dog to get in the car and of course the dog doesn't care and is running around pissing on everything as she is chasing it around. I'm thinking that I don't have time for this and like a mind reader, she knows what I am thinking and calls over "Please don't leave...I really need your help." So she gets her dog under control and I point her in the right direction and get back on my way. So much for my made up time...I have to be back to +25 minutes and I start thinking "why did you decide to do this?"

    But the rest of the trip goes well and as I come up over the bridge headed into downtown and I see the river, downtown, the early sun lighting everything up I think "man, what a beautiful morning...you never get this kind of a view on the bus or in my car" and it was all worth it. I even made it with just enough time to shower and get to class on time. Of course I didn't know what would happen on my ride home at this point.

    Day goes well and it is time for my trip home. The morning is behind me and I am now psyched about my choice to commute by bike. I hop on my bike, head out of downtown, ride the MUP that parallels the river and enjoy the afternoon sun. I hit the one section of my trip where I am on a fairly busy street, about halfway home and I hear a loud hissing sound. I haven't had to deal with a flat tire since I was a little kid and I think my dad fixed them then, but I know what the sound is before I even look at my tire. I pull over to take a look. The good news: I have an extra tube, a patch kit, tools, everything I need to change this tire. The bad news: I have never dropped a back tire before (well technically I havn't dropped a front either but the front I wouldn't be worried about. More bad news: I need to walk/carry my bike close to a mile to get off of this street so I can really take a look at my bike. I get to a place I can safely look at it and realize I am screwed. I know I am supposed to release the brake but don't see how to easily do that. I poke around with the quick release but can't seem to shake the back wheel out. Anyone who knows anything about bikes would have been laughing their ass off watching me. I call for the 'honey wagon' but there is no answer. I end up breaking down and catching a bus to get me to the bottom of my hill. I then have to carry the bike up the hill to my house. I'm tired and embarassed that I couldn't even figure out how to change a freaking tire. Talk about a day of mixed emotions.

    More hilarity ensued when I finally changed the back tire after looking up how to drop the back tire on the net. I couldn't have taken more time or looked more rediculous. But, now I know how to do it and I look forward to commuting for the summer. It certainly was a wild day though.

  9. #9
    This town needs an enema.
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    Don't feel bad about not knowing how to change a tire. I have helped more than a few people on the river trails near my house that were about ready to have LONG walk ahead of them because they didn't know how repair/change a tire. The only thing to be embarrased about would be to have it happen a second time and not know what to do. Learn how to do most minor repairs yourself and you are going to save yourself time and BIG $$$$ from not having to take your ride in to the LBS.

    Is there an REI store near you? Many of them will offer a basic bike maintenance class (usually free) that will go over things like changing tires and other minor adjustments on the bike. Just beware that many of REI's classes usually have a sales pitch in them somewhere. Also many local bicycling advocacy groups have similar classes. If you don't have the time for that you should be able to find video on You Tube or another video sight that covers most of what you'd want to know.
    ^this may or may not be useful information <--this not so much.

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