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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 05-12-08, 02:26 PM   #1
T.Boyd
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Mixed Mode Q: for BTWD - SF Bay Area

I've been a weekend on/off casual, fair weather rider of a CERTAIN age (50+), but am going to do the 5/15 BTWD commute and, hopefully fall in love with the idea of commuting to work for one or two days/week when I get in condition. But, the one-way for Thursday is 16mi. I know I can't do that straight through (just yet) and I can't spend the WHOLE day on the bike by stopping to rest here and there. ;<)

My question is, until I can do the whole ride what do you think of the idea of driving the bike closer to work (~5mi), park on a residential street or shopping center parking lot and bike to/from work, gradually increasing the distance as my legs/lungs get up to speed? Would residents freak and call the cops or tow truck? I want to be a good bike citizen when getting into this. -- I live in Cupertino, CA and will bike through the Peninsula (e.g. Mt View, Palo Alto, Los Altos) section of the SF Bay area to Menlo Park near the bridge across the Bay.

I've looked though some mixed-mode public transportation (light rail, buses, caltrain) options but none seem close enough for me to use from home. I may have just not stumbled across the right Web page information though. -- Yes, I pulled the trigger on this just a week or so back.

Btw, my bike is all tuned up and I've been to two sessions run by the SVBC here at my job (Sun Microsystems) and been riding around my community a bit so I have a level of confidence on the equipment and road skills.

Thoughts? - Also, is this the best forum to interact with local Bay Area cyclists? Please offer links to others.

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 05-12-08, 02:41 PM   #2
richardmasoner
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Menlo Park near the Bridge means you might work where I do :-)

If you're at Sun look my name up in Namefinder and get in touch. I'm leading a bike convoy from Cupertino to the MPK campus on Thursdays and Fridays through the summer.

As for driving, a lot of bike commuters do that what you propose, and transit users park in shopping center parking lots all the time. About how far are you willing to cycle in? From Stanford Shopping Center to the Sun Campus is about 3 miles -- I can suggest some bike friendly routes so you can avoid Willow Rd over Hwy 101 if you want, though it adds distance.

You're correct that public transit options from Cuptertino to Palo Alto are limited. I'd avoid Caltrain on BTWD, but another option is riding your bike into Sunnyvale via De Anza / Sunnyvale Rd then catching the train to Menlo Park, from where you can catch a shuttle to work.

Richard Masoner
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Old 05-12-08, 02:55 PM   #3
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Ha! -- Hi Richard,

I'll do NameFinder shortly to connect. I'm in MPK18.

re: Willing? --- As much as I can! I was thinking about 4-5mi to start. I don't want to dial it down too much as I won't get a real workout. You know.

re: Route - Jeri-Ann helped me map out what seems to be a reasonable route. It comes up Foothill, through the veterans med center, down California and up Bryant to Willow. I think I'd be OK on Willow and some others seem fine with it if you keep your head in the game.

Interesting you mention a convoy from Cupertino. I won't be in shape for a bit, but would like to hear more. Riding with others is a great motivation!

Thanks for replying!
Tim
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Old 05-12-08, 03:43 PM   #4
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After they moved me from SCA to NWK and before I quit (all back in '05), I did the Cupertino-MPK thing. I used to live near Orange and Stevens Creek, so I would take McLellan to Foothill to San Antonio, then California to Wilkie in PA, then down Charleston to Bryant and Willow. I did ride it all the way to NWK once... muahahahahahaha!
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Old 05-12-08, 04:01 PM   #5
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That Dumbarton Bridge is awfully windy and dirty, isn't it? :-)
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Old 05-12-08, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardmasoner View Post
That Dumbarton Bridge is awfully windy and dirty, isn't it? :-)
Yes, and it was also a 50-mile round trip, so I don't recommend it. But I did it once before I quit.
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