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 06-28-09, 02:59 PM   #1
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just about ready to start commuting

I should have my bike all set up for commuting this week. I have spent a great deal of time preparing for how I was going to do this. I am in the unique position of being the Operation manager at my facility in New England. What I wanted to do was eliminate anything that I normally take with me to work, Laptop,camera,lunch, etcetera. I have moved all my work to my terminal server and scan all my documents I use at home to my Email so I can print them, This eliminates my need to keep my laptop with me. I have stocked my lunchroom with food and keep my work cloths in my office. I have also rearranged my personal to give me the available hours I want to commute in. I should be able to commute without the need to load my bike up anything other than the basics. I will be on the road at 5:30 am in and 5:30 PM home. the commute is 11 miles each way to the park and ride where I will leave my pickup. I plan to evolve into the 17 mile ride each way in the future.
Chuck
Timber_8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 03:12 PM   #2
supramax
Temporary Earthling
 
supramax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Earth
Bikes: Raliegh 'Grande Prix', Fiori 'Modena', Cannondale 'Something or other' and a Specialized 'Globe Sport'.
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
I should have my bike all set up for commuting this week. I have spent a great deal of time preparing for how I was going to do this. I am in the unique position of being the Operation manager at my facility in New England. What I wanted to do was eliminate anything that I normally take with me to work, Laptop,camera,lunch, etcetera. I have moved all my work to my terminal server and scan all my documents I use at home to my Email so I can print them, This eliminates my need to keep my laptop with me. I have stocked my lunchroom with food and keep my work cloths in my office. I have also rearranged my personal to give me the available hours I want to commute in. I should be able to commute without the need to load my bike up anything other than the basics. I will be on the road at 5:30 am in and 5:30 PM home. the commute is 11 miles each way to the park and ride where I will leave my pickup. I plan to evolve into the 17 mile ride each way in the future.
Chuck
Sounds good as long as the "basics" include not only tools, patch kit, inner tube etc. and water, but also a little bit of food, a small first aid kit and perhaps some paper towels in a baggy and some moist towelettes in another baggy.
supramax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 03:23 PM   #3
dwr1961
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW Idaho
Bikes:
Posts: 643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good for you, Timber,

Pay attention to Max's suggestions (and those of others to come in this thread) and I'm sure you'll have about every base covered. A couple days of commuting might also point up some things we miss.

Your first few days may be "heart-pounders" for a variety of reasons if you haven't ridden much or spent time in rush-hour traffic. Don't get discouraged, keep going through the early weeks and soon it will all seem normal...

Good luck and welcome to the club!
dwr1961 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 03:24 PM   #4
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by supramax View Post
Sounds good as long as the "basics" include not only tools, patch kit, inner tube etc. and water, but also a little bit of food, a small first aid kit and perhaps some paper towels in a baggy and some moist towelettes in another baggy.

Well everything except food. I workout in my gym at home 1st thing in the morning. I will have my protein shake and then head out. I'll eat when I get to work. I could make another shake for the ride might not be a bad idea! I did put a rack on the back of my bike just in case I had days I needed to occasionaly carry something extra but that is just a backup, **** happens
Timber_8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 03:35 PM   #5
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwr1961 View Post
Good for you, Timber,

Pay attention to Max's suggestions (and those of others to come in this thread) and I'm sure you'll have about every base covered. A couple days of commuting might also point up some things we miss.

Your first few days may be "heart-pounders" for a variety of reasons if you haven't ridden much or spent time in rush-hour traffic. Don't get discouraged, keep going through the early weeks and soon it will all seem normal...

Good luck and welcome to the club!
Thank you and I will. I have been planning this for several months now. I have given myself more than enough time to make the journey. I am sure that it will be difficult in the beginning. I have worked out my route pretty well and driven it many times by car. I have had plenty of negative people expressing there opinions on the subject but I have run into that on many subjects in my life. I am so looking forward to this as a way of life. 1 step at a time though & I will see what the cold weather will bring. I thank everyone here for creating such a great wealth of information. I have learned a great deal here
Timber_8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 03:57 PM   #6
RiverShark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Bikes:
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
All that's left to do is ride. Have at it and good luck!
RiverShark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 03:58 PM   #7
Shavit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Welcome to the club.

Quite a few folks on here will tell you to pack a bunch of stuff you'll get tired of carrying (spare tubes, first aid kits, etc.). Try it and see if you like it or need it (you do if it makes you feel better), but you may find (like i did) that there's not much point. Of course, that'll depend on you commute.

On mine, i pass two bike shops where i can stop to get a tube if i need it, but a patch kit hasn't failed me yet. I also pass by a handful of gas stations with free/50 cent air pumps so i often leave the pump at home. I've also never quite figured out what a small first aid kit is going to do for me if i take a spill. I keep one at work, school, and home that has some gauze, tape, alcohol, etc. If i get hurt bad enough to where i can't ride to one of those places, i hop on the bus or someone has already called the paramedics ... Point is, carrying around all that junk might be a waste.

In any case, i wish you the best of luck.
Shavit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 04:06 PM   #8
mr_antares
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boston
Bikes: Trek 2.3, Trek FX-7.3
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I started commuting this spring, and I went through many of the same planning stages you did.

I don't ride every day: my goal is to do 3 days per week, but this depends on my travel schedule, appointments, family obligations, etc. I plan to drive once per week to drop off fresh clothes and bring home the laundry.

I've arranged "remote access" to my work laptop from my home computer, and I don't normally bring it home except on weekends. When I bring the laptop, I use a backpack, but the other days, I use panniers on my rear rack.

I don't do any "working out" on days when I'm riding (I figure I get enough workout in 17 miles of commuting). At first I just "washed up" in the handicapped stall of our bathroom. While this works, a shower is MUCH nicer, and I've arranged with the property mgmt of our office park for access to a fitness center in a nearby building. This took some persistence, but eventually they agreed to let me use it "for showering purposes only" (as if I was going to use their treadmill after biking to work). Everybody wants to "go green", and you can use this to your advantage with the property managers. As a bio-fuel powered vehicle, you are cutting both air pollution and carbon emissions

One thing that nobody has mentioned so far: here in the Boston area, it is frequently much colder in the morning than it will be in the afternoon. As long as it's 60 or greater, this makes little difference in clothing, but below that you may need a jacket, long pants, etc. I've found that this fits nicely in one small pannier. I also carry a rain jacket. In the summer, rain pants are not worth it, but I'll use them when it gets colder.

I keep some tools (metric hex wrenches, etc) and a floor pump in my office. I also keep a spare tube (in addition to the one that rides in the seat bag on the bike) so that I never have to start a ride without a spare tube (I guess I'm a bit paranoid: I've only had one flat, and that happened at the office).

It's gotten to the point where when I do drive, I find sitting in traffic maddening. I'm much happier on the bike.

Good luck, and enjoy the ride.
mr_antares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 04:21 PM   #9
supramax
Temporary Earthling
 
supramax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Earth
Bikes: Raliegh 'Grande Prix', Fiori 'Modena', Cannondale 'Something or other' and a Specialized 'Globe Sport'.
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Shavit,


Are you familiar with the saying: "It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it." ???
supramax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 04:31 PM   #10
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you everyone for the support, I can't tell you how many hours I have spent on this sight reading. I have Kevlar tires on my bike but will still carry an extra tube as well as keep 1 at work. I have always been into bodybuilding and have a very nice gym in my home. It seems reasonable to carry bandaids & some gauze. Tire spoons will make fine finger splints if I take a spill. I want to keep as much crap off the bike a possible. I am on vacation this week and I am making my final plans to get it all together
Timber_8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:11 PM   #11
Shavit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Supramax - yeah, i've heard the saying. But what i said in my post is that my commute is conducive to not needing to carry it, so i don't. So for you to understand it: "it's okay if you need it and don't have it, because there's a bike shop/gas station/etc. a couple blocks away."

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I fail to see the point in packing all that junk when I'm riding a few miles through the city, while passing a couple of bike stores, to a place where i can store supplies, all the while having the last ditch option of just hopping on the bus that shadows my route. But hey, to each his own, right?

OP, i'm glad you have it figured out. Enjoy the ride.
Shavit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:22 PM   #12
supramax
Temporary Earthling
 
supramax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Earth
Bikes: Raliegh 'Grande Prix', Fiori 'Modena', Cannondale 'Something or other' and a Specialized 'Globe Sport'.
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Shavit,

Yes, I understood what you said, but Timber_8 will eventually be riding 34 miles each work day. One man's junk is another man's treasure.
supramax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:25 PM   #13
Shavit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
it's amazing to me that i keep coming back to this site.
Shavit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:32 PM   #14
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That is true. even the 22 miles I am starting out at I need to be able to make repairs and adjustments. I think I have eliminated everything I don't need without eliminating the essentials. I also have those rain ponchos that fold up as small as a wallet. I put fenders on the bike also to keep the spray down
Timber_8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:35 PM   #15
barturtle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes: Jamis Coda
Posts: 798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
Well everything except food. I workout in my gym at home 1st thing in the morning. I will have my protein shake and then head out. I'll eat when I get to work. I could make another shake for the ride might not be a bad idea! I did put a rack on the back of my bike just in case I had days I needed to occasionaly carry something extra but that is just a backup, **** happens
Since you already added a rack, might I suggest adding a fold-up grocery pannier to it. On my old bike I had zip-tied a el cheapo Nashbar Townie Basket to one side of my rack, it lived there folded up until needed. It would catch the occasional overflow from my Arkel Utility Basket that served as my school/grocery/everything bag. I only needed the Townie Basket about once a month or so, but when I needed it, it was there.

Also the pocket in the bottom of mine was big enough to contain a small tool kit in addition to the rain cover that it was intended for.

Last edited by barturtle; 06-28-09 at 05:39 PM.
barturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:44 PM   #16
supramax
Temporary Earthling
 
supramax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Earth
Bikes: Raliegh 'Grande Prix', Fiori 'Modena', Cannondale 'Something or other' and a Specialized 'Globe Sport'.
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
... I also have those rain ponchos that fold up as small as a wallet...
I carry a packsack in my rackbag (when I'm not wearing a hydration bag), that compresses to about that size. It gives extra carrying ability if you should pass a fruit stand and an aroma entices you to stock up on fresh strawberries.
supramax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:46 PM   #17
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by barturtle View Post
Since you already added a rack, might I suggest adding a fold-up grocery pannier to it. On my old bike I had zip-tied a el cheap Nash bar Townie Basket to one side of my rack, it lived there folded up until needed. It would catch the occasional overflow from my Rakel Utility Basket that served as my school/grocery/everything bag. I only needed the Townie Basket about once a month or so, but when I needed it, it was there.

Also the pocket in the bottom of mine was big enough to contain a small tool kit in addition to the rain cover that it was intended for.
Well I figured I can always put something in a small trash bag under the cargo net or bungee a crate onto it. I like the look of a rack on a bike more than anything and it makes a place mount your rear lights on. my bike is a Trek 7.2 Hybrid. I have a few more things to do and I will post some pics of it
Timber_8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:53 PM   #18
making
Super Moderator
 
making's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Augusta GA
Bikes: Road bike
Posts: 2,698
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 364 Post(s)
Sounds like you have planned it out very well. I dunno, it is kinda special when you learn stuff the hard way. My first flat I had to call my wife to come get me, did not have a tube. I learn stuff the hard way sometimes. I think I read something about tire tools being finger splints. Stop it. Just ride.
__________________
Good Night Chesty, Wherever You Are
making is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 06:06 PM   #19
supramax
Temporary Earthling
 
supramax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Earth
Bikes: Raliegh 'Grande Prix', Fiori 'Modena', Cannondale 'Something or other' and a Specialized 'Globe Sport'.
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Like the saying goes: "The difference between life and school is that in life you get the test first and then the lesson."
supramax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 06:09 PM   #20
trekker pete
pedalphile
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: ellington, ct
Bikes: trek 1200, 520, Giant ATX 970, Raleigh Talon
Posts: 1,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think packing food for an 11 mile run is unnecessary unless maybe it is a very brutal hilly 11 miles. But then, I carry sufficient fat stores.

At what mileage is carrying food generally a good idea? I did a 30 mile ride yesterday with just 2 water bottles. The last 8 or 9 miles I was feeling kinda burnt out. I was thinking a nice peanutbutter, banana and honey sandwich about half way through might have made those last few miles a bit more enjoyable.
trekker pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 06:10 PM   #21
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
LOL I thought that was kinda funny using tire spoons as finger splints. You can only prepare for so much. I am sure that my seat bag and my fanny pack will hold what I need in the warm weather. as it gets colder and I become more experienced with what I might need I will adapt my bike. I really like those single wheel trailers with the nice waterproof bag. I have my eye on that idea to be honest. I would rather carry cargo on that rather than over the rear wheel. Maybe not for commuting but certainly for other adventures, but then who knows
Timber_8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 06:19 PM   #22
supramax
Temporary Earthling
 
supramax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Earth
Bikes: Raliegh 'Grande Prix', Fiori 'Modena', Cannondale 'Something or other' and a Specialized 'Globe Sport'.
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekker pete View Post
I think packing food for an 11 mile run is unnecessary unless maybe it is a very brutal hilly 11 miles. But then, I carry sufficient fat stores.

At what mileage is carrying food generally a good idea? I did a 30 mile ride yesterday with just 2 water bottles. The last 8 or 9 miles I was feeling kinda burnt out. I was thinking a nice peanutbutter, banana and honey sandwich about half way through might have made those last few miles a bit more enjoyable.
Whenever I run out of bananas or Nature Valley 'sweet and salties' in the house, I check my handlebar bag.
supramax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 07:14 PM   #23
lil brown bat
Senior Member
 
lil brown bat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Boston (sort of)
Bikes: 1 road, 1 Urban Assault Vehicle
Posts: 3,878
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
Well everything except food. I workout in my gym at home 1st thing in the morning. I will have my protein shake and then head out. I'll eat when I get to work. I could make another shake for the ride might not be a bad idea!
Two "protein shakes" plus breakfast, just to start the day? It's probably more calories than you need -- an 11 mile commute doesn't take that much out of you.
lil brown bat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-09, 02:38 AM   #24
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Two "protein shakes" plus breakfast, just to start the day? It's probably more calories than you need -- an 11 mile commute doesn't take that much out of you.
Probably not really, I will be up at 3:30 am to workout, have my 1st protein drink at 5 on my bike at 5:30 and maybe a 2nd protein drink on the way in. at work around 6:30 - 7:00. probably a bowl of post raisin bran or a few eggs by 8 am. Im a wt lifter so that will work out just fine for getting in my 7 meals a day
Timber_8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-09, 05:38 AM   #25
exile
Senior Member
 
exile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Binghamton, NY
Bikes: 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker, 1999 Jamis Exile
Posts: 2,861
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It sounds like you have a lot of things planned out pretty well Timber_8. Have you ridden to work yet on a day off or something to gauge how much time your commute will be? It is one thing to drive a route, but quite another to actually ride it. I would also suggest changing your bike tire at the house once or twice so you know what you are doing. Other than that, good luck.
exile 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 03:11 PM.