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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 07-27-10, 05:05 AM   #1
snorkel
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I hate to be this way, but man that felt good...

So in my little town I'm one of only a small handful that rides a bicycle regularly. I work at one of the largest companies in town, and I'm the only one who rides a bike to work consistently. On my morning commute I have literally never came across another bicyclist. This morning I arrived at the bottom of my morning butt kicking, a large steep hill that is about midway through my commute. I looked up and about halfway up the hill were two road bikes.

I don't consider myself a competitive person, but when I go riding on the MUPs I have a weird urge to pass all other bicyclists I see. So when I saw the two bicyclists in front of me I told myself to just ride at my normal pace and not be a jerk.

Well about 3/4 of the way up I had caught up to them and was having to drop gears in order to slow down but maintain my cadence. I don't feel like I pushed myself any harder than normal up the hill. I stayed a safe distance behind them and turned off at the next opportunity to take a different route so as to go the speed I wanted.

Granted they may have been at mile 30 of their ride, but it did feel really good to catch up to two guys on brand new Cannondale road bikes carrying no gear and spandex'd to hades in back while I was hauling my Giant Seek 2 loaded down with racks, fenders, panniers, and emergency supplies while wearing a t-shirt and a pair of khaki shorts.

Last edited by snorkel; 07-27-10 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 07-27-10, 05:18 AM   #2
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Some morning rides are just fun!
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Old 07-27-10, 06:32 AM   #3
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I understand the feeling!
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Old 07-27-10, 06:44 AM   #4
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So you went three times their speed? (you did 3/4 while they did 1/4 by your estimates)

I also find it fun to catch other riders. Additional motivation!
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Old 07-27-10, 06:47 AM   #5
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... and then the alarm went off and you had to go to work...
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Old 07-27-10, 06:49 AM   #6
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... And then the alarm went off and you had to go to work...

Last edited by AdamDZ; 07-27-10 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Broken smiley
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Old 07-27-10, 06:56 AM   #7
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I have that strange urge as well! I always like to smoke 'em all!
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Old 07-27-10, 06:56 AM   #8
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"For you see, it is not WE who play The Game, but rather it is The Game that plays US..."
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Old 07-27-10, 06:56 AM   #9
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So you went three times their speed? (you did 3/4 while they did 1/4 by your estimates)

I also find it fun to catch other riders. Additional motivation!

They were not liking the hill at all.
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Old 07-27-10, 11:00 AM   #10
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Pfft. Racing other bikes is for wimps… real commuters race the cars.
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Old 07-27-10, 11:07 AM   #11
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Pfft. Racing other bikes is for wimps… real commuters race the cars.
I can beat them downtown, not so much in the rest of the city
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Old 07-27-10, 11:13 AM   #12
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Pfft. Racing other bikes is for wimps… real commuters race the cars.
Yeah, there've been a couple of times where I've been within range of passing a car, but....

And really, racing other bikes when the other bicyclists don't know that you're racing is really for wimps.
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Old 07-27-10, 11:15 AM   #13
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Pfft. Racing other bikes is for wimps… real commuters race the cars.
It takes a bit of a handicap for us to win - it's called massive cluster**** you gridlock - but there's nothing more rewarding than coming out ahead in that situation. A friend of mine likes to yell out "so long, suckers" as he races by a line of cars that were brought to their knees by stop-and-go traffic.
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Old 07-27-10, 01:31 PM   #14
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Yeah, there've been a couple of times where I've been within range of passing a car, but....

And really, racing other bikes when the other bicyclists don't know that you're racing is really for wimps.
You're on the same road, you're racing. No exceptions.
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Old 07-27-10, 01:32 PM   #15
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You're on the same road, you're racing. No exceptions.
.... Man I hope they're there tomorrow morning..
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Old 07-27-10, 02:55 PM   #16
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The great thing about commuting on a route with a hill is you get a lot of practice; weekend warrior types may have to go looking for hills, and may choose to avoid hills in favour of working on their speed on the flats. I live in a city with a valley, and my commute goes through said valley, giving me a good climb each way to get out. I worked pretty hard to get faster at the hills, and now I can rock them better than a lot of cyclists I encounter.

This past Sunday, I did a 185 km ride, starting with around 250 cyclists, through rural Alberta. It's pretty flat, but there are the occasional dips and rises. Most were on modern road bikes or TT bikes. I was on a road bike too, but an older one (early 80's steel bike) that I use for commuting. I was far from the fastest cyclist out there on the flats and descents, but whenever we got to an uphill section, I was pretty surprised to see how much everyone slowed down, whereas I had little trouble keeping a decent speed.

Near the end of the ride, riding into the wind for the last 40 km, I hooked up with a guy on a TT bike and we traded pulling and drafting. He was obviously faster than me, and even had to dial his speed back a bit so that I could keep up (for which I was very grateful!) but whenever we got to a hill, his speed dropped dramatically. We hit the biggest and last hill of the ride, and he looked at me and said, "go ahead, I'll see you at the top". I was at the top before he was halfway up, and I easily caught up to and passed a couple more that were already 1/3 of the way up before I started.

I'm not trying to brag; like I said, I'm easily beaten on the flats, but I think a lot of cyclists probably don't get as much hill practice as I do. Conversely, I don't get as much speed and distance training as others. Makes sense to me why hills come easier for me, but I'm still slower overall.
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Old 07-27-10, 04:17 PM   #17
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Yup, I love to hate hills My commute is pretty flat except for the bridge but I discovered that I had little problems with hills on my tour in Adirondacks, although the hills were smooth, long but even without sudden, crazy inclines. I have hard time with short, steep hills though.
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Old 07-27-10, 04:46 PM   #18
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It's not a hill unless there's snow at the top!
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Old 07-27-10, 06:53 PM   #19
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Pfft. Racing other bikes is for wimps… real commuters race the cars.
Yep. Passed two today, and one last week. I even do it correctly, on the left.
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Old 07-27-10, 07:03 PM   #20
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Seriously, OP did not even pass them, so he lost the race.

Besides these two guys are probably like me when on a road bike:

See someone with panniers trying to race, I hold speed and let them catch up. When they are ahead of me, they always slow down by 2 mph and I draft them. I watch as they try to increase their speed and drop me, but to no avail. Once they are dead tired, I pull around them and sprint off. The next day, I check the cycling forums for the rant about the guy that drafted them without permission.
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Old 07-27-10, 07:29 PM   #21
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... and then the alarm went off and you had to go to work...
Ah shucks! I was thinking the same. HA!
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Old 07-27-10, 10:01 PM   #22
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Seriously, OP did not even pass them, so he lost the race.

Besides these two guys are probably like me when on a road bike:

See someone with panniers trying to race, I hold speed and let them catch up. When they are ahead of me, they always slow down by 2 mph and I draft them. I watch as they try to increase their speed and drop me, but to no avail. Once they are dead tired, I pull around them and sprint off. The next day, I check the cycling forums for the rant about the guy that drafted them without permission.
That was you? Damn...
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