Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-04-08, 07:18 AM   #1
nmanhipot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
nmanhipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Woodstock, GA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Langster Comp (Track racer), 2005 Schwinn DBX Super Sport (commuter), 2004 Trek 5900 Superlight (Lance Armstrong special)
Posts: 459
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Very Long Commute Club - Week of 8/4/08 - "Call the SAG"

Back by popular demand, we now bring you your regularly scheduled thread - The Very Long Commute Club. Mars has been away for a while so with all credit and respect given, we're going to defrost this thread and get it started again. I've volunteered to kick us off for the month of August and after that, we'll take volunteers.

This week's topic is about learning from adversity. We all give it our best shot to get back and forth to work via our bikes, but let's face it, even the best laid plans can end up in complete frustration. Most of us who are dedicated to cyclocommuting are dependent on many things going right to be consistent. Personally, I'm thankful for every ride that I don't flat or break a spoke. There are plenty of times where we've been tempted to throw in the towel and soldiered on and other times where the last straw broke and we had to call it a day - when we had to call the dreaded "SAG wagon". Share with us what happened and how you got to your destination and since it's been a while, give a brief introduction, if you like.

nmanhipot
19.9 miles home to gym, 1.4 miles gym to office. 160-200 miles/week commuting, 20-60 miles/week recreational.

I keep a lot of junk in my flat kit, enough to get over most mechanical and flat issues. Fortunately, I've only had to call the SAG wagon once in the last couple of years. I was using halogen headlights and because of the amount of rain I'd ridden through, the circuitry of the lights got damp, corroded and malfunctioned. These were reputable, high dollar lights and I had both my bar-mounted and my helmet-mounted lights fail in the same night. It was after 8 at night in the fall and I had to pull the plug when the last light failed. Obviously the spouse wasn't too pleased about it.

When I got home, I disasembled the light heads, cleaned the circuit boards with nail polish remover and a tooth brush and then blew them dry with a hair dryer. It was mission accomplished and I was back on the road the next morning. I had the same difficulty with an HID system, but I was able to get it working using the same technique. Long term, I'm phasing these lights out am replacing them with LED systems. At this point, I think I've spent as much on lighting as I have on my commute bike.

How about you? Ever had to call for the SAG?
nmanhipot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 07:25 AM   #2
huhenio
Barbieri Telefonico
 
huhenio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bikes: Crappy but operational secondhand Motobecane Messenger
Posts: 3,522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
What constitutes the very long commute distance?
__________________
Giving Haircuts Over The Phone
huhenio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 07:32 AM   #3
lmxloco
Vine, vi, monte bicicleta
 
lmxloco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Greensboro, NC
Bikes: 2005 Tomasso Imola Road bike, 2001 Ironhorse Outlaw hard tail, 2008 Motobecane Fantom Trail DS FS, 2009 GT Agressor with upgraded BB, brakes and F/R deraileurs.
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm obviously still not up on all the bike-only acronyms...but SAG?

I'm not sure why a bunch of uppity actors could help you when you break a spoke.
lmxloco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 07:41 AM   #4
nmanhipot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
nmanhipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Woodstock, GA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Langster Comp (Track racer), 2005 Schwinn DBX Super Sport (commuter), 2004 Trek 5900 Superlight (Lance Armstrong special)
Posts: 459
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by huhenio View Post
What constitutes the very long commute distance?
If it's long to you - you're in. We don't check ID at the door. Even if you don't have what you'd consider a long commute, you're welcome to join in the fun.
nmanhipot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 07:43 AM   #5
nmanhipot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
nmanhipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Woodstock, GA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Langster Comp (Track racer), 2005 Schwinn DBX Super Sport (commuter), 2004 Trek 5900 Superlight (Lance Armstrong special)
Posts: 459
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmxloco View Post
I'm obviously still not up on all the bike-only acronyms...but SAG?

I'm not sure why a bunch of uppity actors could help you when you break a spoke.


http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_sa-o.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycling_terminology
nmanhipot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 07:55 AM   #6
huhenio
Barbieri Telefonico
 
huhenio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bikes: Crappy but operational secondhand Motobecane Messenger
Posts: 3,522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmanhipot View Post
If it's long to you - you're in. We don't check ID at the door. Even if you don't have what you'd consider a long commute, you're welcome to join in the fun.
I live in a warped world

7 miles in

30 miles out

but as soon as i run out of daylight, and the temps start going below 10 it will become the "very short commute; my balls are freezing" club
__________________
Giving Haircuts Over The Phone
huhenio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 08:53 AM   #7
lmxloco
Vine, vi, monte bicicleta
 
lmxloco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Greensboro, NC
Bikes: 2005 Tomasso Imola Road bike, 2001 Ironhorse Outlaw hard tail, 2008 Motobecane Fantom Trail DS FS, 2009 GT Agressor with upgraded BB, brakes and F/R deraileurs.
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks. I actually did do a quick search too, but of course the only results that I saw were for the screen actors guild.
lmxloco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 09:17 AM   #8
kbblodorn
Senior Member
 
kbblodorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Bikes: '06 Specialized Roubaix; ~'93 Specialized Rockhopper
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So far, I've only had to call my wife one time, when I broke the small cog on my rear cassette on the way to work. Made it in, but decided not to try riding home on a wobbly cassette. The replacement broke after two weeks, on my ride home, but I made it ok.

My first attempt to commute this year was foiled by a bad light battery. I had left it plugged in and charging for many months without use. Woke up in the morning of my first commute, no light. My second attempt of the first commute this year was abandonded at the one mile mark, because my fingers were on the brink of frostbite and would have fallen off before I got to work. Now I have better gloves and lights.
kbblodorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 09:29 AM   #9
walterk46
Electro-Forged
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicagoland
Bikes:
Posts: 171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi, I'm a part-time vlcc'er. I ride 2-3 times a week, 32 miles RT from the north 'burbs to the west loop in Chicago. The last time I had to call for a lift was when I popped the seat tube out of the bottom bracket. See Really, I was just riding along . . . I was bombing along the North Shore Channel Trail on the way home and hit a street crossing a little hard, I guess. One of the benefits of having a cell phone in your jersey pocket is that you can make your problem someone else's problem. I called home.

As an epilogue to the linked thread, rather than leaving the frame out for the scrap collectors, I had the frame repaired at a nearby shop known for its frame building (RRB Cycles--don't bother searching for a web page, they don't have one). It is back in service now.
walterk46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 10:20 AM   #10
imartin26
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mesa,AZ
Bikes:
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For the summer here in Phoenix all I can muster is 26 miles round trip 5 days a week, when it gets cooler then I bump it up to 40 miles round trip. I am hoping to get in my full commute at least twice a week of 60 miles round trip.
imartin26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 12:34 PM   #11
mallfellow
Fitness Rider/Commuter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Bikes:
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been averaging about 40 miles round trip for the last four months but my straight shot commute runs me right around 32 miles round trip. As my commuting is my only riding currently (a 10-month old and building a house eats up time like crazy) I extend my morning ride by about 8 miles when I can get out of the house early enough.

I occassionally call in a SAG favor when there's nasty T-Storms (being struck by lightning once is plenty in my book) in the afternoon or when there's frozen precipitation (folks in my area just don't know how to drive in snow/ice and I worry about them loosing control and running into me).

So far (knock wood), I've managed to avoid calling in a SAG favor on the road. The closest I've come is when my BB spindle broke about 3-4 miles from the office. I ended up walking about half way before another cyclist (driving fortunately) offered me a ride.
mallfellow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 06:50 PM   #12
knucklesandwich
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Somewhere
Bikes: Kona Jake (2006)
Posts: 909
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
23mi roundtrip, 4-5 days a week.

SAG'd it home last week. Got a flat due to a shard of metal that ripped right thru the tire and tube. Since this happened about a block from the Metro, I walked it over there and rode the 3-4 stops home.

Funny thing was a day or two prior I had looked at my tires and thought to myself they'd lasted a good long while given the crap they see every day. When I looked in my bike spreadsheet at home, I saw that they'd lasted roughly the same amount of miles as the previous pair.
knucklesandwich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-08, 06:52 PM   #13
nykoelle
Veg*n
 
nykoelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just curious, how long does it take you guys to get to work?
nykoelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 08:43 AM   #14
nmanhipot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
nmanhipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Woodstock, GA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Langster Comp (Track racer), 2005 Schwinn DBX Super Sport (commuter), 2004 Trek 5900 Superlight (Lance Armstrong special)
Posts: 459
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nykoelle View Post
Just curious, how long does it take you guys to get to work?
-24.5 mile one-way average was about 1:32. My fastest time was 1:14. For reference, I did a 25-mile time trial on a closed course in 1:02 that same year. That tells you how much starting and stopping at lights and in traffic has on rolling average speed.

-19.9 mile one-way average is about 1:18 but it's a slower route than the old one. I haven't done this commute on my road bike yet, but I'm going to try to beat one hour if I can get the lights timed correctly.
nmanhipot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 08:49 AM   #15
nmanhipot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
nmanhipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Woodstock, GA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Langster Comp (Track racer), 2005 Schwinn DBX Super Sport (commuter), 2004 Trek 5900 Superlight (Lance Armstrong special)
Posts: 459
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by knucklesandwich View Post
23mi roundtrip, 4-5 days a week.

SAG'd it home last week. Got a flat due to a shard of metal that ripped right thru the tire and tube. Since this happened about a block from the Metro, I walked it over there and rode the 3-4 stops home.

Funny thing was a day or two prior I had looked at my tires and thought to myself they'd lasted a good long while given the crap they see every day. When I looked in my bike spreadsheet at home, I saw that they'd lasted roughly the same amount of miles as the previous pair.
That's a tough one. I've put my spare tire back in the trunk bag. I'm just not going to take any chances any more. I've had a rash of flats lately and have even taken to gluing and booting my tires because I've gotten some pretty nasty punctures. I'm running Ultra Gatorskins but they're no good against steel FOD in the roadway. I've had some pretty good success using tube patches and duct tape as permanent boots, though. I know it's pretty MacGyver, but I've busted three tires about a half-a-dozen times since starting this new route and I can't stand to throw away an almost new expensive tire.
nmanhipot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 09:06 AM   #16
imartin26
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mesa,AZ
Bikes:
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The 13 mile one way takes me between 40 or 50 minutes depending on lights and weather. The 20 miles one way between 1:10 and 1:20 again depending on lights and weather. I havent done my long commute of 30 one way yet so I am not sure about that time.
imartin26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 10:57 AM   #17
nykoelle
Veg*n
 
nykoelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
those times sound doable, I'm trying to get in shape for a 21 mile ride. It's going to be hard, and I am trying to figure if I can even do it. this is much more promising than my fear that it would take me 2 hours minimum... well maybe in the beginning but optimism for lesser times is great
nykoelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 11:06 AM   #18
Marylandnewbie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Bikes: Fuji Supreme
Posts: 1,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Nice to see the retaurn of this thread.

My 12 mi trip takes me 50 min. in the morning and about 65 min. in the evening (its more uphill in the evening and heavier traffic).

I had to call the SAG on my very first commute after I broke a spoke. On another occasion I broke an axle and caught a ride home. Two winters ago I rode in when there was about 8 in. of snow on the ground. After that seemingly endless ride I caught a ride home with my wife. The dumbest experience was earlier this year. I left my office to get on my bike and when I reached my bike I realized I had locked all my keys in the office. Since I was the last one out of the office, the keys to my bike lock, house and everything else were safely locked away. I had to hike down to the Metro and take the train home.

It doesn't happen often, but if you ride enough miles mechanical issues and other things are bound to happen forcing you to use alternative transit.
Marylandnewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 12:35 PM   #19
walterk46
Electro-Forged
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicagoland
Bikes:
Posts: 171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nykoelle View Post
Just curious, how long does it take you guys to get to work?
On a good day, I can knock off the 16 miles in less than an hour total elapsed time. I stopped using a bike computer, so I don't know what my actual rolling time is.
walterk46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 12:53 PM   #20
Nozzle
What's a newbie?
 
Nozzle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: CA Central Coast
Bikes:
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My commute is about to make a grand transformation...

My office is currently 1.25 mi from home so that's stupid easy. However, my office is going to move to a new location in maybe 6 months that will become a 15.5 mi ride. That will take me mostly through country twisting roads with some hills. I'd be stoked if I could knock that out in one hour.
Nozzle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 04:51 PM   #21
gholt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Layton, UT
Bikes: 2004 Giant OCR, 2002 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2008 Trek 6500 Disc
Posts: 686
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't remember the last time I had to call my wife (SAG) to pick up me up. I usually suffer through. Once, when a chain broke, my sister in law saw me and stopped, but told her I did not need any help.

The 17 - 20 mile one way takes going in from 50 - 55, and 1 - 1:15 going home.
gholt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 05:30 PM   #22
Godwin
Not an internet law-maker
 
Godwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Calgary
Bikes:
Posts: 611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to have a short enough commute that if anything went too wrong I could walk my bike home in a half hour or less.

I just moved in with my mother for the summer to save some money before moving out west for school and now my commute is about 115km (72mi) round trip which usually takes me less than two hours each way (but has taken me 2.5 hours on windy days).

I carry a cell phone and although I haven't had to use it yet, I have called a couple of times after work when I wasn't feeling up to par and asked for a ride home. The journey is about an hour by car so it doesn't really save me any time.
Godwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-08, 05:43 PM   #23
unixpro
Laid back bent rider
 
unixpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Burien, WA
Bikes: Bacchetta Giro 20
Posts: 1,134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My ride is 14 miles each way. Downhill on the way in takes just over an hour. Uphill on the way home takes around an hour and 20.

I've had to call SAG twice. The first time my BB literally disintegrated while I was riding. I was able to walk the bike into the office, but got the wife to give me a ride home. According to the guy at the LBS, getting the old BB out was a real pain

The other time was more embarrassing. I had a simple flat, but found out that I didn't have my repair kit with me. I'd taken it out when I was working on the bike the weekend before and forgot to put it back. What should have been a 10 min. delay turned into 30 min. for my wife to put dinner on hold, get into the van and come get me. Very embarrassing.
unixpro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-08, 03:15 AM   #24
hairytoes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nykoelle View Post
those times sound doable, I'm trying to get in shape for a 21 mile ride. It's going to be hard, and I am trying to figure if I can even do it. this is much more promising than my fear that it would take me 2 hours minimum... well maybe in the beginning but optimism for lesser times is great
You'll get in shape, don't worry. I'm no athlete, unlike some of the riders here. Just don't switch straight to 5-days a week, keep your speed down, and eat plenty of protein. Your muscles will need it.

Last year I managed 5-days a week of 25 miles each way for all the year. However, SWMBO has decreed that I have to cut that back, she was fed up of me being exhausted all the time. So now I ride 3-4 days a week. Oh, and it takes me 1hr 30-40 min. More in a strong headwind.
hairytoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-08, 08:42 AM   #25
nmanhipot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
nmanhipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Woodstock, GA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Langster Comp (Track racer), 2005 Schwinn DBX Super Sport (commuter), 2004 Trek 5900 Superlight (Lance Armstrong special)
Posts: 459
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gholt View Post
I can't remember the last time I had to call my wife (SAG) to pick up me up. I usually suffer through. Once, when a chain broke, my sister in law saw me and stopped, but told her I did not need any help.

The 17 - 20 mile one way takes going in from 50 - 55, and 1 - 1:15 going home.
Hard man!! I don't need no stinkin' chain! I love the spunk!

I've gotten offers for a ride by people who know me in inclement weather. I can't believe I've never thought of this line:

http://www.yehudamoon.com/index.php?date=2008-02-09
nmanhipot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:17 PM.