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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 07-26-10, 12:12 AM   #1
ptle
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Commuting nightmare in the fall.

So I've been commuting for almost two years now. I really like it. It's fun, faster, and saves me gas. Also, it keeps me in shape during the winter (along with mountain biking). None of my regular commutes are longer than 5 miles and usually have less than 125 feet in total elevation gain spread out through the entire commute.

In the fall, I'm moving to a new apartment that's on top of a hill. It's much better than the one I'm currently in. The only problem is that its on a hill. The road leading up is a third of a mile long with 175 feet in elevation gain. 10% average grade.

It'll be interesting this fall. I thought about parking the car somewhere, so I can drive up it, but there's nowhere to park.

Anyone else have any steep hills in their commute? Maybe I'm making it a bigger deal than it should be. I'm sure there's many other people that do harder sections on their commute.
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Old 07-26-10, 12:19 AM   #2
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you're making a bigger deal out of the situation
unless you can't climb 175ft.

I worked at a hospital for 14yrs, with over 700ft climb in 3 miles
rode to work 10 days in a row, with 4 days off
over and over and over...

just use gears
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Old 07-26-10, 12:22 AM   #3
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I used to live at the top of a steep hill. Actually more like up on a plateau, so I could ride up the hill past my house and do a little 4 block loop for cool down before stopping. If I just stopped directly after climbing the hill, I sometimes wouldn't feel so well after stopping. Looks like that Kuota of yours has low enough gearing for the task.

I'd be more worried about heading down the hill in the fall if there are deciduous trees in the neighborhood. I've gone down in leaves on a number of occasions.
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Old 07-26-10, 01:12 AM   #4
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175ft really isn't that much, its just a shame that its at the end of the commute, I would recommend having a cooldown loop to do after you climb the hill.
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Old 07-26-10, 01:13 AM   #5
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Well, I'd be doing it on my commuter bike (currently the Centurion).

Also, I can climb, I enjoy it more than flat rides on my road bike. 175 feet isn't bad, it's just that it's packed into the hill right before home.
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Old 07-26-10, 01:19 AM   #6
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I'd be wanting to get a 39T little ring on that Centurion for a third of a mile 10 percent grade, but I'm a lazy SOB at times.
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Old 07-26-10, 03:28 AM   #7
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I'd be wanting to get a 39T little ring on that Centurion for a third of a mile 10 percent grade, but I'm a lazy SOB at times.
I'm going to try and install a triple later today, if I've got the time. It'll give me a low gear of 30/28.
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Old 07-26-10, 06:06 AM   #8
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The only problem is that its on a hill. The road leading up is a third of a mile long with 175 feet in elevation gain. 10% average grade.

It'll be interesting this fall. I thought about parking the car somewhere, so I can drive up it, but there's nowhere to park.
Please tell me you are not seriously thinking about using a car for a 1/3 of a mile trip? That's, what, 500+ metres? Worst case scenario, get off your bike and push it up the hill. It wouldn't take 10 minutes.
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Old 07-26-10, 06:15 AM   #9
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You will be fine after a couple of weeks you won't even notice it!
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Old 07-26-10, 06:24 AM   #10
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You will be fine after a couple of weeks you won't even notice it!
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Old 07-26-10, 06:48 AM   #11
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My commute is 14 miles, and the last .9 miles to my house is a 7-8% grade. Not a big deal, and fun to leave the house in the morning on the way in!
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Old 07-26-10, 07:32 AM   #12
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Low gear and spin? My commute is 18 miles one way. Think about snow, ice, headwind, driving rain and bad Masshole drivers .Relish the challenge. Oh and pedaling low psi studded tires are like riding through wet tar.
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Old 07-26-10, 07:40 AM   #13
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I don't think it's going to be a problem.
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Old 07-26-10, 08:32 AM   #14
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I live at the top of a 625' hill and there's a number of ways I can get home. The longest and shallowest climb is 3 miles. Then there is a 2.25 mile hill, a 1.25 mile hill, a 0.8 mile hill, or the grand-daddy of them all... 14.7% grade for 0.5 miles.
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Old 07-26-10, 08:34 AM   #15
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Old 07-26-10, 08:34 AM   #16
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You're, umm, making a mountain out of a molehill (terrible, I know). Seriously, if you have the gearing and ride regularly, it's not a big deal. Those of us who live in upper Manhattan have a wicked climb from sea level up to (or near) the highest natural point in Manhattan (something like 250ft in half a mile, variations depending on where you measure). I see all sorts of people either riding up the hard parts or walking part of it as necessary.
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Old 07-26-10, 10:26 AM   #17
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Just HTFU and ride it. No big deal, or sissy out and walk up the hill. After a couple of weeks riding
you'll won't even notice the hill, just cool down before you stop..
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Old 07-26-10, 11:36 AM   #18
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I'm still waiting to find out what's the "commuting nightmare."
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Old 07-26-10, 03:55 PM   #19
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Lol, the worst thing I've heard in this scenario was someone who went through all the trouble and expense of buying a dynamo hub, light, etc - then found they couldn't pedal up the hill fast enough to keep the dynamo light on! (It was a *really* steep hill.) And since the hill was at the start of their commute, the light wouldn't even be charged enough to power the standlight.
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Old 07-26-10, 03:59 PM   #20
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Lol, the worst thing I've heard in this scenario was someone who went through all the trouble and expense of buying a dynamo hub, light, etc - then found they couldn't pedal up the hill fast enough to keep the dynamo light on! (It was a *really* steep hill.) And since the hill was at the start of their commute, the light wouldn't even be charged enough to power the standlight.
That's gotta be one bigass hill. My dyno lights flicker at 2.5mph and come up constant (but dim) at 4mph. I've only encountered 1 hill that put me below that speed, and luckily it was during the day.
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Old 07-26-10, 04:03 PM   #21
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Old 07-26-10, 04:08 PM   #22
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That's gotta be one bigass hill. My dyno lights flicker at 2.5mph and come up constant (but dim) at 4mph. I've only encountered 1 hill that put me below that speed, and luckily it was during the day.
Yeah, I hear you, mine are similar. My recollection is that it was a combination of a *really* steep hill, and someone on a heavy "commuter" bike (think old guy with a beard) who didn't like the pedal to fast.
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Old 07-26-10, 04:45 PM   #23
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You'll be fine. After the first couple of weeks, it will just be another piece of the ride.

My old commute had a total of 700-800 vertical feet, with 2-3 "stingers" along the way, depending on the route. These were 100-175 foot sections of 13%-18% grade. I chose the steeper, shorter ones on days I felt strong, but typically chose the longer, steadier grades wherever possible.

In my present location (Calgary), the downtown core is on an old lake/riverbed and the rest of the city is located on small but steep banks/hills. Most of the individual sections are no more than 125-200', and some are quite steep. I am presently riding a singlespeed bike with the equivalent of a 42x17 combo with 700cx23 wheels. I've had no trouble with any of the hills, though the steep bits require an aggressive attitude and some leg strength.

If you have gears, you should have nothing more than a little cardiovascular/muscular adjustment, and it will quickly become routine.
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Old 07-26-10, 04:48 PM   #24
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I'd love to have this problem. If I want to "climb" I choose the route that takes me on the overpass.
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Old 07-26-10, 04:56 PM   #25
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I'd love to have this problem. If I want to "climb" I choose the route that takes me on the overpass.
Yes...... but just to your east you have all the climbing one could ever hope for (or dread)!
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