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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, 01:08 PM   #1
poprad
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First week commuting

So this is my 1st post on Commuting. I have been riding in this week after watching the other cyclists in the morning and wishing I was riding instead of driving. I only live about 10 miles from work, so no big deal of a ride, although on the way in I have a good warmup 500 ft climb, but on the way home I'm coimng from downtown PDX, and have almost 1000ft to elevate up. Only had to bail into the little ring once so far though, and with about 18 lbs in the backpack I'm OK with that.

I'll post pics of the Surly CX frame I built up as a CX/commuter as soon as I have time. In the meanwhile, it sure feels good to be "one of those guys on a bike" and passing the long line of cars stuck at the lights in town.

The only downside so far is that I'm too sore to run at lunch, and I usually alternate running with biking. I'm hoping once I adapt that I can get back to running a few times during the week as well as commuting. Boy, the backpack sure makes riding a different experience from a nice weekend training ride. Especially on that climb!
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Old 02-28-08, 02:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poprad View Post
Boy, the backpack sure makes riding a different experience from a nice weekend training ride. Especially on that climb!
Congrats on making the leap..

Personally I like being loaded down when I ride; I could make it easier on myself but I think that unless you're in a competition it's probably a better form of exercise.
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Old 02-28-08, 02:31 PM   #3
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Heh, I don't run ever unless life or limb depends on it. I walk during my lunch and other breaks. I too, ride a cyclocross bike to work. Get a rack and some panniers. My only hills are a steady headwind, of course going to work. I found that with panniers loaded up, the bike is pure delight to stand up and mash. Without the panniers, the bike is a squirrelly animal while standing. Maybe its me.

I have found the backpack to be more aerodynamic and the panniers more practical. Choose poison drink, repeat. I still use either and or both depending on the need.
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Old 02-28-08, 10:01 PM   #4
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Going retro tomorrow and trying out my newly rebuilt '79 Raleigh Competition GS (see my post over on C&V for pics). Should make for an interesting ride in.
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Old 02-28-08, 10:37 PM   #5
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Congrats on the bike commuting. Chances are it will get in your blood.

You might try the rack/panniers route. I started with the messenger bag and went to rack/pannier and am hooked. Ditching the backpack in the summer is nice to avoid the extra back sweat. To each their own, though.
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Old 02-28-08, 11:44 PM   #6
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It makes you want to get up in the morning. I like my job, but I like sleep. I love cycling.
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Old 02-29-08, 12:28 AM   #7
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Welcome to the dark side...2nds at the buffet table w/o a shread of guilt, people want to know what do you do when it?...fill in the blanks. Watchout for ragin' cagers and big, no-nonsense dogs. Have a handy supply of 'Halt' w/t safety off for either of these snarling animals. PS: Go airless it'll save you tons of aggravation, but will slow you down a little. Well worth it...no flats. Good in wet weather. 6000 miles last year on them. Eat plenty of good carbs...brown rice, oatmeal, etc. and drink plenty o' water. much more than you think you'll need.
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Old 02-29-08, 12:34 AM   #8
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Great! (makes my 2.75 mile jaunt through ugly city traffic seem puny though .... traffic sucks). And I have a small incline alllllll the way in (big whoop, except I have a nice headwind most of the time). You will surely be in top shape when the main bicycling season hits.

I ride with a backpack versus pannier/trunk (have them but they are not meant for my mtb and don't want them on the mtb as I'm more off road with it) - and have had some serious rides with the heavy thing on my back. Got back from the public market one day and couldn't wait to dump that darn thing off me - didn't care what got mashed - GET OFF. Weighed out at 35 lbs. OK so I got a little carried away with the veggies. Ugh.

But 18 lbs here is a little on the heavy side. Anything you can keep at work? Work I take home (mostly piles of paper) is a killer and please oh please not be in a binder!
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Old 02-29-08, 11:38 AM   #9
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Congrats! I'm on my third week commuting and each week only gets better!

As for loading your back with a dead weight for +20 minutes while you move up and down vs. unloading your back and saving it for until you're old I think you know what I prefer: panniers!

I've been in school for 3 years now riding my bike between classes with my backpack full of books, notes, lunch, karate gear. My lower back hasn't said "thanks for that!" yet.
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