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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 11-26-07, 09:10 AM   #1
Marylandnewbie
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Very Long Commute Club: Week 31, 2007

Sorry for getting a late start on this thread, but it was a hectic holiday weekend. I think maybe we'll start the Extreme Commuting Club threads next week. December seems like a reasonable kickoff point even if conditions aren't that extreme in many places.

This week I am doing the multi-modal commute. Riding a couple of miles with my son to school and then a couple of more miles to the Metro to train in. It makes getting back to his school in the evenng much easier and increases the chances I will be on time.

On these days I don't wear my typical cycling clothes. In fact, may son commented that I didn't seem ready to ride this morning. So I had to explain my multi-modal method. So on my short commute I am celebrating my Fred-ness riding in regular office clothes. Does anybody else feel out of place or "out-of-uniform" when they commute in street clothes?
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Old 11-26-07, 09:21 AM   #2
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Nice an cold this morning 35 when I left the house and windy. Had a flat about 6 miles from the house. I was afraid my patch wouldn't hild but I made it about 15 min late.

Kind of over dressed but glad I did when I had a flat. I was warm without being hot. Even a little sweat by the end.

Thin nylon socks with a pair of cotton socks over them, shoes covers
Tights and nylon warm-up pants
long sleeve under armor heavy PI long sleeve jersey, riding wind jacket.
Beanie, and ear warmers
long finger gloves, with jersey gloves over them
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Old 11-26-07, 09:26 AM   #3
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Now that I'm a full time student I'm riding in street clothes and to be honest I really don't mind it at all.

Speaking of riding with your kids to school, my 5 yo girl will be starting full time school next February. The school is about 8 miles from home and on my way. the challenge is that she doesn't ride on her own yet, she's on the trail-a-bike. I want to take her to/from school but I don't fancy dragging the trail-a-bike around 40+ miles a day. I'll have to figure something out.
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Old 11-26-07, 10:26 AM   #4
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Lock the trail a bike in her schools bike rack and pick it up on the way home
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Old 11-26-07, 10:31 AM   #5
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Lock the trail a bike in her schools bike rack and pick it up on the way home
BRILLIANT!

Honestly... I hadn't even thought of doing that. That's why I hang out here with you guys. You make me smarter!
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Old 11-26-07, 11:43 AM   #6
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It was a bit chilly this morning, about 34 when I left home. It's supposed to rain later today, which will warm things up. Rain pretty much the rest of the week.

These days I'm pretty much constantly in my rain gear, with my SmartWool undies beneath. I don't need any more than that to stay warm. When its warmer than 45 or so, and not raining, I'll switch to riding in my sweats with my bike underwear. I own a pair of biking pants, but don't really like them, so I usually just wear my bike underwear and whatever I want over them. I guess I'm a real Fred that way.

The ride in was good this morning. I think my legs kind of liked having 4 days off (well, except for the 20 miles I put in on Saturday).
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Old 11-26-07, 12:26 PM   #7
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I'm fairly new to the long commuters club. Mine is 55 miles round trip through the urban jungle, except I hit the beach for the last 8 miles. This morning was gorgeous at the beach; slight breeze, ocean perfectly glassy with waist to chest high surf, and dolphins moving North with me. I really wished I could have stoped to surf for an hour, it couldn't have been more perfect.
This is my third week of two commutes per week. In Jan, I will bump it up to 3 times and eventually to four. Still trying to get all the clothing issues worked out, but it is great to be putting in some decent miles again. Thanks to all the guys and gals in this forum for getting me motivated and keeping me excited about the ride.
Jim
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Old 11-26-07, 07:37 PM   #8
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Lock the trail a bike in her schools bike rack and pick it up on the way home
That should work on some days, other days my wife will pick her up in the car. I suppose I could go by the school and pick up the trail-a-bike even if its later in the evening on my way home. I'll go have a chat with the principal and see what we can do.
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Old 11-27-07, 08:24 AM   #9
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Back in the saddle after being off the bike for 6 days due to the holiday and an airport run with the relatives yesterday. Man oh man was it windy heading west this morning. I normally only use 2-3 gears on my ride to work, but today I looked down once or twice and found myself way up the cassette. Looked at my watch upon arrival and it took 47 minutes- about the same as most days, so I must have gotten a pretty good workout. At least it was warm, and I'm hoping the wind is blowing in the same direction tonight.
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Old 11-27-07, 08:40 AM   #10
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After a 6 day break for Tday weekend and before and after vacation days I had a really nice easy 22 mile ride in this morning.
I did have fun yesterday. I made quite the spectacle of my xtracycle for all the monday gawkers er shoppers to stare at. No accidents caused unless you count my wife who ride her bike off the road because she kept laughing at me She road off where the grass was flat luckily another few hundred feet and it would have been into the ditch!
My commuter in I bought too much at the store mode And I didn't weigh it darnit.


Someone asked me this morning what I was going to do when it iced. For now my plan is to just stay home. I wouldn't drive it was ICY so well I won't ride either. Drivers weren't great up in Connecticut in the ice but at least they got alot more practice then the once or twice a year they get in Texas.
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Old 11-27-07, 06:44 PM   #11
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I think I looked just about as funny on Saturday. I didn't want to deal with the cars surrounding the mall, but I needed to go to a couple of stores to pick up some stuff for projects I was working on. I ride home with a backpack full of building materials and, hanging from my back rack, a 6-foot and a 4-foot section of quarter-round, a 4-foot long roll of window screen, and 8 4-foot long shelf supports. I wish I'd thought to get a picture. I know that the cars were giving me more room than usual

Last night was a really rough ride home. Cold front was passing through with low (for us) temps (about 37 when I left work), wind (sustained 8-10 MPH, with gusts to 20), and rain. Lots of rain. I had to go around a number of large puddles in the road. Oh, and I also had to wait for a *very long* Burlington Northern train to go forward, back up, go forward, back up, and so on for a while.

This morning was really good, though. The front passed through so the air was cold, but calm. Right now I'm looking at a ride home in the mid-40s with a 3 MPH tail wind.
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Old 11-27-07, 06:49 PM   #12
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Sooooo tired. My daughter brought me a cold from the airport a week and a half ago and I can't seem to kick it. But, I keep riding. 4 days off for Turkey day didn't help, as my legs feel like lead again.

Didn't post last week because it was so nuts, but I broke a wheel (yes, I broke it) on my commute home. Old rims, I hit an unsealed crack in the pavement and it tore the spokes through the rim. No fixing that, so I bought some Mavic Open Pro/Ultegra wheels to replace them. Heck, I deserved it and dang are they nice! Nothing like a silent clutch, eh?

Tomorrow I drive as my wife works in the eve and I have to get back right quick. Let's hope that gives me some recovery time for this cold!

Forgot to add that it's been in the low to mid 20's so far this week. Definitely keeps things interesting!
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Old 11-27-07, 07:16 PM   #13
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Still hanging in with my multi-modal commute. Not as satisfying as the full ride, but better than nothing. It should stay in the 50s this week, so nothing extreme. Next week the weather should resemble winter a little bit more.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:20 AM   #14
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This is my first day in the office since last Wednesday and it is chilly this morning. Upper 20s and windy. The weather prognosticators are telling me that I'm going to have a headwind with 30mph gusts on the way home. Oh fun. I switched over to ski gloves this morning and should have brought my balaclava too. We're slowly migrating into a more extreme mode.

I really never ride with my work clothes. Rarely I might wear a pair of jeans if circumstances necessitate it, but I definitely prefer more cycling specific clothes.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:07 AM   #15
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Well I'm finally back on the long commute today. It was a bit chilly, but nice to be riding again. I was happy to have my balaclava to break the wind. I was actually surprised at how many riders I saw this morning. At one point there were six of us in sight at one time.

And best of all, after 4 days they were finally working to cut up a tree that had fallen across the trail on Sunday. I think there may have been a dispute over whose tree it was and who was supposed to remove it. Ride safe over the weekend everyone.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:17 AM   #16
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Another 4 bike-commute week almost done. A coupla windy days, very warm and nice last night, relatively few idiots in cars doing dumb things around me. Can't complain.
Last night was the first of the dreaded Xmas shopping commutes. Traffic in Tysons Corner gets unbelievable for the month of December. Short tempers, rent-a-cops directing traffic on every corner, etc. Not fun.
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