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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 08-26-10, 11:11 PM   #1
agarose2000
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Will be finishing up a full 5-day week of 18miles each way commuting

WIll be finishing up my first full 5-day week of bike commuting - 18 miles (flat) out and 18 miles back.

Takes me an hour each way, and that's hammering most of the way at 22-24mph whenever I'm moving. The inevitable lights and stop signs pretty much kill your average speed.

I'm doing it with a BanjoBros standard size backpack, which holds as much as a large grocery bag. I thought it would be too bulky but it's great. I loaded more and more into it until yesterday I had a pretty hefty bag and it still was no problem. I actually think it gives less wind resistance than dual panniers on a rack, just from my experience.

Fatigue definitely wasn't ever a problem, but I come from a triathlon and marathon background so 2 hrs a day of bike commuting, even at speed, is not difficult compared to running every day for about that much.

Keys to being happy at work - shower BEFORE getting on the bike, use clean cycling clothes, and have some cool-off time before changing into work clothes. I'm drenched in sweat by time I arrive at work, but I'm good to go with minimal fuss after I'm cooled off.

I still haven't had to deal with darkness yet, but I'll be getting a MS for that soon. Already running a Mars3.0 on back, which seems plenty bright.
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Old 08-27-10, 12:02 AM   #2
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I started commuting beginning of this summer. I have to admit, I'm not really looking forward to the shorter daylight hours. I have lights, and ride mostly well lit roads, but I just don't feel incredibly confident. Perhaps I'll invest in brighter/better lighting... this cycle commuting sure is expensive ;-)
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Old 08-27-10, 02:31 AM   #3
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I have been commuting for about 3 months now with one week of driving out of every three due to my scheudle. I work rotating hours so there are times I am going to work at around 10:00pm and times I am coming home at 11:00 pm. I love the night riding compared to riding during the day. My commute however, is nearly all on a paved bike trail and a section of road with a bike lane. There often is less wind at night which is a definite plus as well as benefits such as seeing fireflies lighting up an entire field when they are at their peak in the summmer.

Definitely invest in good (not necessarily expensive) lighting. I purchased a 2 watt Planet Bike Blaze off eBay for around $30 if I remember correctly.

Congratulations on your first week of commuting. 18 miles is a pretty nice ride and a great way to get your workout in.
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Old 08-27-10, 06:06 AM   #4
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That's a hefty commute, but being flat certainly makes it more doable. My route is very hilly, so 36 miles round trip would pretty much wear me out after a few days. Next year my commute will increase from 22 miles to 30 miles RT each day and I'm hoping to continue riding 3-4 days/week. I'll have to see how it works out though. The main issue for me will be time. If I can keep my commutes to 1 hour each way, I should be able to handle it fine, but the extra 4-5 miles each way might slow me down more than expected as I will be riding downtown with more traffic lights.
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Old 08-27-10, 06:27 AM   #5
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That's a good distance, congrats! One suggestion, get a "backup" rear light, in the event something happens to your first one, you'll at least have something back there (Odds are you won't notice till your ride is over, and by that time you'll have been dark from the back for however long).

Joe
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Old 08-27-10, 07:07 AM   #6
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My planned lighting setup:

- MagicShine as front
- Terralux 2 x AA on helmet as a spot and backup light if needed
(Backup AA rechargeables in the backpack)

- Mars 3.0 on backpack
- Mars 3.0 mounted on bike rear facing

And
- Reflective tires

And
- BanjoBros backpack. I love this pack because it has 2 ENORMOUS reflective stripes painted down the back. There is absolutely no way you can miss these stripes after dark - I suspect they'll be more effective than the Mars lights once cars are within headlamp range. Still, the MARS will be useful for those who forget to turn their lamps on.

Am still considering a reflective jacket or hi-viz neon yellow jacket, but I don't consider it essential with all this stuff.
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Old 08-27-10, 08:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
My planned lighting setup:

- MagicShine as front
- Terralux 2 x AA on helmet as a spot and backup light if needed
(Backup AA rechargeables in the backpack)

- Mars 3.0 on backpack
- Mars 3.0 mounted on bike rear facing

And
- Reflective tires

And
- BanjoBros backpack. I love this pack because it has 2 ENORMOUS reflective stripes painted down the back. There is absolutely no way you can miss these stripes after dark - I suspect they'll be more effective than the Mars lights once cars are within headlamp range. Still, the MARS will be useful for those who forget to turn their lamps on.

Am still considering a reflective jacket or hi-viz neon yellow jacket, but I don't consider it essential with all this stuff.
Sounds like you are all set!
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Old 08-28-10, 05:37 PM   #8
CCrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
Am still considering a reflective jacket or hi-viz neon yellow jacket, but I don't consider it essential with all this stuff.
Consider something reflective on your ankles, something like the RoadID bands with the scotchlite reflective band. I've found that since the legs are usually moving pedaling that motion caught by the lights helps to tune drivers to something there.

The RoadID ones are only like $3.99 without the ID tag, cheap and comfortable.
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