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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 02-28-08, 08:53 AM   #1
Tyrell
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First day to bike commute

I just wanted to share that today is my first day of bike commuting. What a great feeling!! My commute is 9.5 miles on 2-lane farm roads North of Austin, TX with moderate traffic. Cars were pretty tolerable of me this morning so that was nice. 41F just before sunrise and it felt great!

I'm still working on getting my rear rack set up so I stuffed everything in a backpack and hit the road. I'm also still getting up-to-speed on other commuter things but I've got a rear blinkie, a headlamp (mostly so others can see me - doesn't do too well for me seeing the road), MP3 player with one earbud (mini speakers are on the way), and that rear rack which I haven't quite set up set.

I don't plan to bike commute every day but I do want to do it a few days a week. I appreciate everyone's knowledge and insight that I have been reading/studying in preparation to begin my bike commuting adventures. Y'all ride safe!
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Old 02-28-08, 09:07 AM   #2
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Be forewarned -- it's addicting.
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Old 02-28-08, 09:18 AM   #3
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Good job and have fun. I have a similar ride here in Michigan; 11 miles on 2 lane farm roads, through one small town. I also use an MP3 player with one earbud. I'm not interested in speakers, they'd be too distracting. I find that a closed earbud is best; with speakers or an open earbud, the wind noise is such that I have to crank the volume up really high to understand what's on, and I can actually hear LESS well than if I use an earbud that completely closes out outside noise in my right ear, and am able to run the volume a lot lower.

Using that method, I have done actual tests and I can hear cars exactly as well as with no ear bud; probably 20 to 30 seconds before they get to me (on 50 MPH roads, so back 1/2 mile or so).
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Old 02-28-08, 09:32 AM   #4
Tyrell
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Good job and have fun. I have a similar ride here in Michigan; 11 miles on 2 lane farm roads, through one small town. I also use an MP3 player with one earbud. I'm not interested in speakers, they'd be too distracting. I find that a closed earbud is best; with speakers or an open earbud, the wind noise is such that I have to crank the volume up really high to understand what's on, and I can actually hear LESS well than if I use an earbud that completely closes out outside noise in my right ear, and am able to run the volume a lot lower.

Using that method, I have done actual tests and I can hear cars exactly as well as with no ear bud; probably 20 to 30 seconds before they get to me (on 50 MPH roads, so back 1/2 mile or so).
Yeah, I plan to try both the speakers and the earbud (separately of course!) to see which I like best. The speakers were cheap and I can use them for other applications if it doesn't work out for the bike. Thank you for sharing your findings - I'll see how it goes for me...
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Old 02-28-08, 09:52 AM   #5
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Tyrell - welcome to the club. As tarwheel said, it is addicting; however, there are such things as "good" addictions!

Enjoy.
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Old 02-28-08, 10:05 AM   #6
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Good job, and welcome to the community of outcasts !!!
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Old 02-28-08, 10:08 AM   #7
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If this means you're also new to longish time spent on a bike. It is perfectly normal for your rear to hurt for the first few days/week.
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Old 02-28-08, 10:08 AM   #8
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Congratulations! It IS addicting and fun. There's a guy who'll post there standard paragraph about how you're part of club superior to other mere humans...as you can eat donuts guilt free, etc. It's very funny and all in good fun. Wish I could remember his avatar, but no worries, he'll be along in a while. I was thinking of getting some of those speakers myself as my commute is 40mi rt. Nashbar has a set for 30.00 or so. Post back and let us know how you like them. Have fun...even when the cagers are ill-behaved.
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Old 02-28-08, 10:14 AM   #9
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I too just started commuting by bike. I have a Kona Jake the Snake I am riding, but I have a Surly Cross check frame on the way. My commute is on 9.5 miles of 50MPH country roads. I have to agree about the earbuds.
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Old 02-28-08, 10:21 AM   #10
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...There's a guy who'll post there standard paragraph about how you're part of club superior to other mere humans...as you can eat donuts guilt free, etc. It's very funny and all in good fun. Wish I could remember his avatar, but no worries, he'll be along in a while...
I'm not him, but welcome aboard! I sometimes feel that I've become some kind of dred "other," to most people; then I realize I've always been one! (but no more than anyone else)

Anyway, if you like it right off you're golden, because it can definitely grow on you.
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Old 02-28-08, 10:46 PM   #11
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I too just started commuting by bike. I have a Kona Jake the Snake I am riding, but I have a Surly Cross check frame on the way. My commute is on 9.5 miles of 50MPH country roads. I have to agree about the earbuds.
Those are both sweet bikes. I love my X-check (doesn't everyone who owns one?) but the JTS is a great-looking ride. It would've been my other choice.
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Old 03-01-08, 04:46 AM   #12
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enjoy it! it's gonna get hot soon.
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