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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 09-25-07, 10:10 AM   #1
oboeguy
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Ahhhhhh this is what I like about commuting

The racing. Last night on my way home, as I cross West St. on my folder for the long haul up the Hudson Greenway up to the GW Bridge (live practically in its shadow), I pass a woman with a pretty serious messenger bag or maybe backpack on an MTB. Looked like a regular commuter is my point. Wanting to get home quickly I started riding a more than relaxed pace. Before long I realized MTB girl was on my wheel. Well, alright, another commuter to play with and eventually leaving gasping for air, a speck in my Take-a-Look mirror, bwuahaahaha!

Or so I thought. After about three miles of zipping briskly up the Greenway, with me directing traffic among the clueless peds, 'bladers, etc (and thanking the clued-in, of course), MTB girl, clearly amused by all this, calls out "ON YOUR LEFT!" and takes off like a rocket, dropping my sorry a55. Badly. Once I recover from the shock, and shocked I am, I bridge back up and sit on her wheel for a mile and a half. I pass her where the Greenway merges briefly with the main part of Riverside Park (W80s-W90s?) and say three words, "You ride well". She gives me a huge grin and "THANKS!", after which I crank it up another notch and she follows my wheel for the next mile and change before we part ways.

That was the most fun I've had during an evening commute in a long time. This morning wasn't as much fun but was much more intense. After a good warm up, I blow past a Brooklyn Velo Force racer who appears to be taking it easy. I guess he didn't like getting passed by a folder b/c he speeds-up, catches me, hangs on a while then drags me two or so miles down to my turn off (yes, I pulled up and thanked him for the pull -- he was very confused by this for some reason). What a nice couple of commutes. This is what I miss when I go to work early and leave late, eh?
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Old 09-25-07, 10:31 AM   #2
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Get her number the next time... awesome!
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Old 09-25-07, 10:35 AM   #3
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Wow, so it sounds like even with a folder you can ride hard... what folder is it?
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Old 09-25-07, 10:42 AM   #4
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The only thing I'm racing recently are the school buses...gosh are they a vicious lot
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Old 09-25-07, 10:43 AM   #5
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Get her number the next time... awesome!
I don't think my wife would like that.

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Wow, so it sounds like even with a folder you can ride hard... what folder is it?
The folder is a Dahon SpeedPro. It's flexy like a wet noodle compared to my carbon Scott CR1 and a bit upright but I can tuck in a little and kick it on that bike pretty well. It's even quicker with the stock Stelvio tires (I ride the folder w/ the more durable, but heavier and less supple Marathon tires 99% of the time).
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Old 09-25-07, 10:58 AM   #6
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I've been riding my folder for the past two weeks. I've been passing up 3-4 people a day on my folder. No one has caught up (yet).
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Old 09-25-07, 11:15 AM   #7
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Hell, I ride hard on my unimproved Raleigh 20! When I'm in London for work, my route usually takes me along the embankment, and there's nothing I like better than proving to the guy in lycra on the Cervelo that I can hang with him. Oh boy do they try to drop me, and boy do I ever try not to let it happen! They always get their way in the end, but I can keep up far longer than they expect. I wonder why I often get to work so sweaty?
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Old 09-25-07, 11:17 AM   #8
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Nice!
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Old 09-25-07, 11:35 AM   #9
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Sounds like fun. I never see any other cyclists on my bike commutes. No bike trails, paths or lanes along my route. One day, another cyclist did catch up and pass me, but I was carrying all sorts of gear and he just doing a training ride on his road bike. Not a fair contest. ... Oh yeah, that reminds me, I did pass an old woman who must have been in her 70s cycling down one of the neighborhood streets on my route one day. I was so impressed by her riding at that age that I hesitated passing her, but I gave her a nice "good afternoon" when I rode by.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:40 AM   #10
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OG, Was she cute?
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Old 09-25-07, 12:19 PM   #11
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I do recall one guy passing me; he was riding a fixie too!

There was one time were this girl and I were racing. In the end, I did end up with her number.

The competitiveness makes commuting so much more fun. It just gets you going.
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Old 09-25-07, 12:31 PM   #12
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I do recall one guy passing me; he was riding a fixie too!

There was one time were this girl and I were racing. In the end, I did end up with her number.

The competitiveness makes commuting so much more fun. It just gets you going.
I'm going to drop you next time i see you.
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Old 09-25-07, 12:35 PM   #13
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I'm going to drop you next time i see you.
Hey, I dropped you on Sunday when I saw you [when we were both driving]. And my cruise control was set.
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Old 09-25-07, 01:20 PM   #14
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I joined a tiny peloton of fast commuters yesterday, and we raced through a maze of residential streets in the Moore Park neighbourhood. At some point in the heat of the moment I missed my usual turn-off and ended up heading the wrong way. Recovered direction fast though, because I missed that turn-off before...
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Old 09-25-07, 01:23 PM   #15
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Sounds like a fun commute, I'm lucky to see another commuter.....ever.
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Old 09-25-07, 01:25 PM   #16
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OG, Was she cute?
That's for me to know and for you to fantasize.
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Old 09-25-07, 01:42 PM   #17
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I saw this roadie once on my commute. I ride a wannabe road bike so i hauled ***** to catch up with him. Caught him at a light and looked over, dude must've been 70 i swear. So when the light turned green i stood on the pedals and made him disappear in my mirror. I kept up what i thought was demanding pace. Checked my mirror alittle later and there he was catching up. By the end of a 10km stretch he was probably only 10m (30') behind me. Funny thing is, he probably didn't know it was a race man i got schooled that day.
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Old 09-25-07, 01:58 PM   #18
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I had one of those moments last night on my commute home. I was supposed to be on a recovery ride, was wearing street clothes, and had a 20 pound backpack on. Then this roadie in full kit with a yellow jersey rides past me and says on your left. I don't see many riders and don't get passed so my roadie instincts kicked in and I really really wanted to race him. At first I tried to let him get some distance hoping the urge would pass and I'd stick to my recovery plan. Then I saw him roll through a stop light, try to talk up a cute runner, and stand up on a hill all while I was sitting at the light. I decided I couldn't take it any more and when that light turned I would have to ride all out to see if I could catch him.

Well when the light did turn he already had a couple hundred yards on me and was standing on a hill. I put the hammer down and raced as hard as I could to catch him. After about a mile I was closing on him fast until we hit another major intersection. I was about 50 feet from him when he decided to weave through stopped cars and roll another light. I've been trying really hard to follow traffic laws lately so I decided to stop for the light again. I lost sight of him. When the light turned green once again I took off in a sprint. I caught sight of him again after another half mile but I just kept missing lights.

Finally, as I was sitting at yet another light with my chest heaving and I decided that I was being completely stupid considering I've got a race on Saturday. It was time to accept the fact that I probably wasn't going to be able to catch him without running lights given my load. I limped home nice and slow. My pride was a little hurt but man it was a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll catch that guy again some day without my street clothes and backpack on a day that I'm ready to ride.
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Old 09-25-07, 02:33 PM   #19
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Immagine if she was riding a fast road-style bike! Was she pretty? I wish I had pretty ladies to ride with.
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Old 09-25-07, 02:46 PM   #20
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THIS is exactly what makes the commute worthwhile!

Okay, there's plenty of other good stuff about commuting, but this is what keeps a fire going under yer a55, trying to keep up with others, pass 'em, get passed, duke it out, it's all good. Especially fun when you're the one with a goofy backpack on, etc.
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Old 09-25-07, 08:11 PM   #21
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Had a guy pass me once on my old commute. Roadie, full kit, etc. I was on my old mtb commuter, bags, rack...the complete fredmobile. He didn't SAY anything, but just had this air of smugness. Was going to let him go, but felt this 'hot surge' I hadn't felt in a while and made up my mind to pass him. Well, I did and up shifted while going by(so he could hear it). After pulling in front I stood up looked back and went up another gear. There was NO mistaking the challenge. When we got to the top of the hill I had about 100 yards on him. He got caught by the light and I didn't. My chest was heaving and I was ready to throw up. Kept mashing for about another 2 miles. Finally, stopped at a light w/this big grin...like I'd dropped Lance or something. Looked around and he was gone. Was it worth it? Heck yeah!

Then on a Saturday ride I was unmercifully dropped by an Athena of Rubenesque proportions...
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Old 09-25-07, 08:54 PM   #22
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I had a guy pass me today on my commute to work. I was on a clunky trek hybrid. He was in his full kit. For the next 20 minutes it was a full on race. We only hit one red light where we both looked at each other and politely nodded. The light turned green and the sprint began again. It was back and forth and great fun. But reallly I don't like to sweat so much before work.
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Old 09-26-07, 05:01 AM   #23
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I put the hammer down....

No no no. It goes like **** "So I droped the hammer". Gotta get your internatz speak right.
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Old 09-26-07, 05:20 AM   #24
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Had a guy pass me once on my old commute. Roadie, full kit, etc. I was on my old mtb commuter, bags, rack...the complete fredmobile. He didn't SAY anything, but just had this air of smugness. Was going to let him go, but felt this 'hot surge' I hadn't felt in a while and made up my mind to pass him. Well, I did and up shifted while going by(so he could hear it). After pulling in front I stood up looked back and went up another gear. There was NO mistaking the challenge. When we got to the top of the hill I had about 100 yards on him. He got caught by the light and I didn't. My chest was heaving and I was ready to throw up. Kept mashing for about another 2 miles. Finally, stopped at a light w/this big grin...like I'd dropped Lance or something. Looked around and he was gone. Was it worth it? Heck yeah!
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Old 09-26-07, 05:24 AM   #25
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I got passed by a 50-year-old woman on a shopping bike the other day.

I'm such a loser.
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