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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 05-14-08, 12:49 PM   #1
Ruckin
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Finally got off my fat tookus

After quite some time of making excuses and basically not really riding
since I was 20 I got up early this morning and drove 4 miles to the trail
and figured I would ride the remaining 16 miles to work. Well at mile 16
I still had quite a ways to go I forgot to take into account that
when I drive it is 16 miles, but since I can't bike on the freeway my
mileage will vary (duh) Turns out according to my cyclometer and google
it actually 19 miles using the route I took. I am slow (It took me 85 minutes)
but I hope to get faster in the future. My initial goal is to bike two days
a week, then modify my other commitments so I can take the bike more
than that.

What really surprised me was how much time was eaten up by traffic
lights/stop signs etc! The average speed and the speed I see when I
look down at the box on the bar are very different!

Next project is to figure out how to safely carry the monster big zillion
pound dell laptop. My current backpack is nice an comfy but does not
have room for my clothes and a computer... (I need to have both at
work )

signed
The newbie commuter
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Old 05-14-08, 01:12 PM   #2
harleyfrog
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Congrats! I'm in the process of conditioning my body for a 28 mile round trip commute after about 16 years out of the saddle. A few words of advice (don't worry, there will be more from some of the "veteran" commuters): try to keep a high cadence (about 90 rpm), that'll keep you legs fresh, even if it means shifting to a lower gear. Don't worry about speed: that will improve over time (riding into headwinds and intervals help increase speed, too, but they hurt. ) Allow a day between rides to let your body rest and get stronger. Stretch your legs before and after rides to keep them loose. (I also find messaging the legs after a ride helps, especially if you have a willing partner to do it for you. ) And don't give up; try and find inspiration to keep you going. For me, it's just seeing the price of gas.

Keep it up and let us know how you're doing.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:12 PM   #3
guitarguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruckin View Post
Turns out according to my cyclometer and google
it actually 19 miles using the route I took. I am slow (It took me 85 minutes)
but I hope to get faster in the future.
Dang, i better speed up, takes me 30 minutes to go 4 miles--of course im not in a race, i get there when i do
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Old 05-14-08, 08:52 PM   #4
crhilton
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Sounds fast enough. 19 miles is quite a commute! Kudos.

I bought a rack and panniers on Tuesday. They're wonderful! I can put so much crap in there and no back sweat!
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Old 05-14-08, 08:59 PM   #5
ok_commuter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruckin View Post
After quite some time of making excuses and basically not really riding
since I was 20 I got up early this morning and drove 4 miles to the trail
and figured I would ride the remaining 16 miles to work. Well at mile 16
I still had quite a ways to go I forgot to take into account that
when I drive it is 16 miles, but since I can't bike on the freeway my
mileage will vary (duh) Turns out according to my cyclometer and google
it actually 19 miles using the route I took. I am slow (It took me 85 minutes)
but I hope to get faster in the future. My initial goal is to bike two days
a week, then modify my other commitments so I can take the bike more
than that.

What really surprised me was how much time was eaten up by traffic
lights/stop signs etc! The average speed and the speed I see when I
look down at the box on the bar are very different!

Next project is to figure out how to safely carry the monster big zillion
pound dell laptop. My current backpack is nice an comfy but does not
have room for my clothes and a computer... (I need to have both at
work )

signed
The newbie commuter
Leave the laptop at work and tell your office to implement a VPN that you can connect thru from home to get to your exchange, network drives, etc. Then use a VPN client from home when you need to connect to work stuff.

I hope at my new job I can never bring a work machine out of the office. That will greatly simplify my loading choices.

My $.02
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Old 05-15-08, 09:38 AM   #6
nikirtehsuxlol
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I'm a newbie commuter too.
I am the queen of excuses and today there was a slight chance of rain and I dont have fenders on my bike so therefore ... yeah I drove.

But hearing other people going for the gusto and just doing it is really inspiring.
Keep us updated!
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Old 05-15-08, 11:54 AM   #7
Ruckin
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Update:
I found a way home that was slightly shorter (woots) only 18 miles. Unfortunately my tookus is not "hardened" to being able to do a 40 mile ride and went from slightly annoyed to "I hurt can I stop now" by the time I got to my truck. I also didn't eat enough at lunch and bonked with about 7 miles to go. I just kind of got slower and slower. I will now make sure that I always have something to munch on "just in case".

I wussed out today as I was too sore to try it all over again. I did take the motorcycle to work so at least I was on two wheels. I will be getting a rack that will work with my disc brakes and will start
searching for bags/panniers to attach to them.

Ruckin
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Old 05-15-08, 11:59 AM   #8
msullivan63
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Look into a pannier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruckin View Post
Next project is to figure out how to safely carry the monster big zillion
pound dell laptop. My current backpack is nice an comfy but does not
have room for my clothes and a computer... (I need to have both at
work )
I just started commuting and after a few days of my backpack switched over to the Arkel Commuter and I love it. I throw my laptop, clothes, a light jacket and some other odds and ends in there. The weight hasn't been an issue and I love not having a sweaty back.
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Old 05-15-08, 12:15 PM   #9
sj_roadie
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+1 on the rack. I'm using an Ortleib "office bag" as my pannier. The way it connects to the rack is awesome, it makes it a two second task to put the bag on/off the rack and it's very secure once it's on there. Best part is it's got room for a laptop, a change of clothes and my lunch.

http://www.rei.com/product/768571

(Disclaimer: I don't work for REI or Ortleib, just love this bag)
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