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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 03-02-08, 11:01 AM   #1
goalieMN
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Year-round commuting (Minnesota) starts TOMORROW!!!!

Well, after a co-worker started bike commuting in the winter this year, I finally got off my ass and got myself set up to commute year-round. I just finished putting my lights, fenders and bike rack on my new Bianchi San Jose.

A special thanks to the people on this forum who motivated me, the people at the local bike store who gave me about twice what my old Specialized Crossroads was worth in trade-in, and everyone who was involved in creating the bike path that goes from my backyard in Minnetonka all the way into my workplace in Minneapolis.

10 flat miles of car-free commute each way, it's not just for summer anymore!!!!

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Old 03-02-08, 03:33 PM   #2
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Welcome and congrats goaliemn.

A heads up: Do you think you will need studded tires?

I have 10 miles each way and it is a good distance.

Any questions, you can pm me.

Good luck on your start!
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Old 03-02-08, 05:07 PM   #3
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Good luck! I just went out for a ride this morning, my first since late November, it felt great, and I got to ride on the river which takes me most of the way to work.
The river ride was on bare ice and traction was fine with no studded tires.
The purple section is on the river.
http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF...05785&t=p&z=14
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Old 03-02-08, 05:32 PM   #4
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Welcome and congrats goaliemn.

A heads up: Do you think you will need studded tires?

I have 10 miles each way and it is a good distance.

Any questions, you can pm me.

Good luck on your start!
I am planning on getting studded tires for next winter, but am going to try just the knobbies that came with the bike for now, then switch out to slicks for spring/summer/fall.

I have been doing the commute for a few years, but only during the warm months, and only in perfect weather. This should be a big time-saver, as I am getting my workout in during the time I would be in a car anyhow.

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Old 03-02-08, 06:18 PM   #5
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Good luck! I just went out for a ride this morning, my first since late November, it felt great, and I got to ride on the river which takes me most of the way to work.
The river ride was on bare ice and traction was fine with no studded tires.
The purple section is on the river.
http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF...05785&t=p&z=14
It was a beautiful day for a ride today hey?
I`ve been commuting all winter and today way a real treat as far a weather goes.

Good to see another Winnipeger on the site.

Good for you Goaliemn, commuting in the winter is so much fun!
Just wait till you get a day with a lot of fresh, dry (and light) snow to go booting around in!
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Old 03-02-08, 07:28 PM   #6
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Well, after a co-worker started bike commuting in the winter this year, I finally got off my ass and got myself set up to commute year-round. I just finished putting my lights, fenders and bike rack on my new Bianchi San Jose.

A special thanks to the people on this forum who motivated me, the people at the local bike store who gave me about twice what my old Specialized Crossroads was worth in trade-in, and everyone who was involved in creating the bike path that goes from my backyard in Minnetonka all the way into my workplace in Minneapolis.

10 flat miles of car-free commute each way, it's not just for summer anymore!!!!

your 20 flat rt miles beat my 10 hilly rt miles!

have fun, I'd just be worried about freezing but the summer spring fall should be good.
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Old 03-02-08, 07:39 PM   #7
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Good luck with your commute. (Should be in the 40's by next weekend)
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Old 03-02-08, 09:20 PM   #8
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Good luck and HAVE A BALL!If you find the conditions get a little too hairy with the knobbies,you can play with air pressure to gain traction.Just the front though.You don't want too much rolling resistance.Remember.....Rubber side down Or is that body parts up?
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Old 03-03-08, 08:10 AM   #9
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Well, it's official. I have been a complete wuss the last few years when I commuted only in good weather.

The ride in was great, my clothing choices worked perfect, and the new bike completely rocks. I don't even think I am going to have to change my gearing!!!!
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Old 03-03-08, 09:38 AM   #10
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Good for you! You're going to reap health and economic benefits. Your ROI won't take too long with the skyrocketing price of gasoline either. My estimated annual savings is about $1500 in just fuel expense. Of course I use that money to support my cycling habits.

I just made it through my second winter commuting. I commute from WBL to Shoreview and take the long route home in the PM. The first year was the toughest. I had to figure out what does and does not work based on what a MN winter can throw. You're starting out during a good time of the year and have lots of time to prepare for next winter.

After my first winter the feeling of spring was unbelievable. It's something more than just the relief of "surviving" winter. You'll know what I mean when you get there...
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Old 03-03-08, 02:23 PM   #11
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Old 03-03-08, 02:50 PM   #12
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This is the end of my first winter commuting. I learned A LOT quickly!

I go from New Brighton to downtown Minneapolis. The route is hilly here and there.

I can't sell my truck. It tows my work trailer (side business), pup camper, and my inlaws boat.

I am glad I went through the winter!
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Old 03-03-08, 03:37 PM   #13
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Experimenting with winter commuting this time of year was a great idea. You'll get a feel for what you have to deal with combined with the knowledge that anything you weren't quite prepared for will shortly become something you won't have to worry about again until next year.
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Old 03-03-08, 04:48 PM   #14
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Well, it went great. I even think that my Bianchi's stock gearing (I have a San Jose) is going to be fine, since the ride is all flat.

Riding home into the wind for 10 miles was a LOT tougher than riding with a 20mph tailwind this morning though.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:18 PM   #15
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I just started my MN commuting as well. I have a 26 mile round trip. It was nasty going into that wind (20 mph headwind) this morning! Way colder than I thought, too.

The way home was nice (9 mph tailwind). But then my Camelback starting to leak... which isn't good since I was wearing it under a layer of clothing. My coat froze solid, I couldn't even unzip it when I got home.
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Old 03-04-08, 09:38 AM   #16
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Congrats on communting in the winter. My ride around town(Hibbing) yesterday in that wind was fun but a little to cold.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:36 PM   #17
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What's your route?
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Old 03-04-08, 08:29 PM   #18
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You have pretty close to a perfect commute. Not unlike mine. Also like me you ride west on the way home. You'll get used to the headwind because it'll be there almost everyday. Some days it's brutal with the single speed. The way in to work is usually a cruise, the way home is usually the workout.

See you out there!
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Old 03-04-08, 08:48 PM   #19
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You have pretty close to a perfect commute. Not unlike mine. Also like me you ride west on the way home. You'll get used to the headwind because it'll be there almost everyday. Some days it's brutal with the single speed. The way in to work is usually a cruise, the way home is usually the workout.

See you out there!
Yeah, I got used to the headwind over the last few summers. I like getting my butt kicked on the way home better than on the way in though.

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Old 03-05-08, 12:21 AM   #20
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Cold, Cold, Cold.....

Former Minnesotan here.... Commuting by bike in the winter!! Man, I know how cold and miserable it can get in the late winter. I hope the bike path you mentioned is maintained. I've been living in the California sun for the past 15 years and I've got to tip my hat to you for biking to work in that cold.

(What I miss though is biking in the Fall up there. Absolutely beautiful time of the year for riding a bike.)


-3bikes .... Specialized Globe 6 IG8, 4 days per week commuter, Los Angeles
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Old 03-07-08, 03:08 PM   #21
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Well, my ride in today means I am no longer a sub-zero degree commuting virgin.

I was warm and toasty on my ride in to work despite the -5 temperature. I love Gore-tex, I love my Cabela's gloves, and I love SteepandCheap.com for having Oakly goggles on sale for 20 bucks delivered. They have not fogged all week.

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Old 03-07-08, 03:58 PM   #22
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You have pretty close to a perfect commute.
Riding MN in winter is "close to perfect?" Y'all are nuts.

Kudos though. I like riding year 'round, but I don't know if I could do it in MN.
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Old 03-07-08, 04:28 PM   #23
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Riding MN in winter is "close to perfect?" Y'all are nuts.
I'd much rather ride in a proper solidly frozen Minnesota winter than a freeze/thaw slush/ice Massachusetts winter. I miss those crispy winters a lot.
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Old 03-07-08, 04:34 PM   #24
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I was warm and toasty on my ride in to work despite the -5 temperature. I love Gore-tex, I love my Cabela's gloves,
You found GLOVES that work to -5? At that temperature, even in mittens my thumbs still get cold, and I have to wear mittens up into the 20's. I am looking for actual gloves that will get me down to a lower temperature.
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Old 03-07-08, 06:32 PM   #25
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You found GLOVES that work to -5? At that temperature, even in mittens my thumbs still get cold, and I have to wear mittens up into the 20's. I am looking for actual gloves that will get me down to a lower temperature.
Do a search in the cold weather forum for best gloves. I used some Cabela's points and got the pair mentioned. My hands (thumbs included) felt great on my ride to and from work today. Each way is about 50-55 minutes in this weather. They also were warm on Monday night going into the 20mph wind for the whole commute home.

Edit: these are the gloves:

Warmest gloves I've ever had:
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