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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 02-27-11, 02:15 PM   #1
gjosuem
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Fair weather commuters?

Anyone else here a fair weather commuter? I been on hiatus since late December and about to get back on the bike to commute again. I been on a few lunch rides after I got my tonsils out and when the roads have been clean, but dreading the 18 mile ride. I almost feel like waiting for the Spring.
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Old 02-27-11, 03:10 PM   #2
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I commute through the winter. If I take even a few days off, I'm like you... I'm dreading the ride. But if I suck it up, get dressed appropriately and head out, I usually have a great time.
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Old 02-27-11, 03:13 PM   #3
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I find that I dread bad weather commuting more if I'm not doing it regularly. It was 33F and raining on Friday -- pretty much the worst possible conditions except 31F with an ice/rain mix. I wasn't going to skip it because I traveled earlier in the week and didn't get to ride at all.
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Old 02-27-11, 03:22 PM   #4
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it just occurs to me that i'm a fair-weather commuter, but not a fair-weather rider. i haven't commuted on the bicycle for months, but i'll ride after i get home. i commute on my motorcycle, instead. but it's not just the weather, it's the extra 15 minutes of sleep. i can push back that departure quite a bit if i ride the motor.
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Old 02-27-11, 03:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gjosuem View Post
Anyone else here a fair weather commuter?...
I used to be a fair weather commuter up until about two years ago for my 14 mile commute. Even though I had a beater bike for wet roads, I avoided active precipitation with the excuse I hated to get the bike grimy. I read a thread on BF from one subscriber who posted that he just wiped the chain and put some lube on, and I decided that wasn't too hard, and now I'm a virtually year round rider (I did always ride in cold).

I have some pretty good wet weather gear, but I have come to the conclusion that no matter how good the wet weather or cold weather gear, I will be comfortable for about ten miles, then I endure the rest. Just this morning I was chatting about wet riding with a fellow BF subscriber I know personally, and we agreed on that premise--try to stay dry but you will get wet. I'm further fortunate to have a place at work to hang out my wet clothes, and even have a floor fan to blow them dry.

June of 2009 in Boston had a memorable amount of precipitation, and I would have lost important training time for a July Century had I not started riding in the rain.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-27-11 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-27-11, 04:15 PM   #6
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3-season commuter = fair weather commuter
Spring through Fall, generally. And I look for fair weather during the 3 seasons. If it's raining in the morning or stands a good chance to rain in the PM, then I'll drive.
Haven't been a 4-season, all weather commuter since I lived in Atlanta 25 years ago.
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Old 02-27-11, 05:54 PM   #7
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Keep in mind that fair-weather commuters are the majority. Unless you include drivers, then all cyclists are the minority.

I used to be pretty cocky about being a four-season commuter. I see it a lot. I suppose it's a phase we go through.

Anyway, your 18-miler is nothing to sneeze at and I certainly wouldn't want to do that every day through the winter.

Even so, I sometimes feel sorry for those who miss out on that twice-a-day, great, just-got-off-the-bike feeling. That's what keeps me going. I don't want to go back to feeling how I used to before cycling.

If you ever think you need extra incentive, join us on BikeJournal.com in the Commuter Cycling Century Challenge. The goal is to commute to and from work 100 days in the year. For three-season cyclists, that's just three days a week once the season starts. The three-season riders are just beginning to join us for the season. Tracking your days and weeks against the other riders gives that little extra you sometimes need to get out of the car and on to the bike.
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Old 02-27-11, 07:01 PM   #8
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I have had a bad year so far because of the snow; about 50-50 biking or getting a ride with my spouse. I do notice some reluctance to get going again on the bike. The higher gasoline prices will help, along with the fact that both our cars just recently went out of warranty.
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Old 02-27-11, 07:07 PM   #9
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I am a fair weather commuter and since I live in San Diego, that is really slacking! I did a few commutes in the rain. Been thinking I should get some rain gear, but not sure what would work best. If someone has some rain gear they like, please let me know.
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Old 02-27-11, 07:43 PM   #10
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i used to be an all-weather commuter, but I've had it with the winter grind despite having all the gear you could wish for. It just takes too long, is too dangerous, and leaves me exhausted and sick. pray for spring
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Old 02-27-11, 08:21 PM   #11
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I'm a fair weather commuter. I have a 30 mile round trip. At that distance, I don't do winter bike commutes or fair weather rainy day commutes. For bad weather, I'm willing to spend the $2.00 for the bus.
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Old 02-27-11, 08:31 PM   #12
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I guess I'm a fair weather commuter.
I don't like to ride in the morning if it's much below 25F, or if it's rainy or snowy/icy.
I got a new job last Nov, 4.5 miles away. I work a 4 day week (32hrs) right now, going to 5 days/40hrs eventually. I ride 3-4 days a week nowadays.
I missed riding 3 weeks this winter because of cold or bad weather.
Our weather here is generally mild and dry so I'll ride most of the year.
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Old 02-28-11, 07:24 AM   #13
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3 season commuter here. It's been too icy and snowy for me to ride this winter. Eventually it's going to warm up enough to not worry about falling on the ice or not being able to see the path due to the snow.
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Old 02-28-11, 09:21 AM   #14
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If my commute were 18 miles I wouldn't ride during the winter either. In fact, we've contemplated moving closer to our kids' school. Even though it's about the same distance from work as where we live now, it would mean a lot more of my ride would be on streets vs trails. Wouldn't bother me for the summer, but for the winter it would suck.
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Old 02-28-11, 09:40 AM   #15
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I used to be a fair weather commuter. I stopped in November and start back after Daylight saving time. That was until last year when my car was having issue and driving the gas guzzler at 11 mpg was not an option.

It mostly the rain that used to bug me. That was until I found proper gear such as Shower Pass jacket, homade thigh chap rain cover and water resistant boots will keep me dry and comfy down to 35 degree while riding downhill.
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Old 02-28-11, 10:24 AM   #16
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I'm a year-round commuter. Plan on getting studded tires for next winter so that only the very worst conditions (for here) will keep me off the bike. That being said, my commute is only 7.5 miles and I live further south than you, which I'm sure makes a big difference.
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Old 02-28-11, 11:14 AM   #17
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I bike commute year-round, but draw the line at heavy rain, sleet, snow, severe thunderstorms. I just don't like riding in the rain, but will ride on wet roads or during light rain. Cold weather doesn't bother me, and I actually prefer it over high heat and humidity. I would much rather ride on a day with temps are in the 20s than the upper 90s, and I get my fair share of both kinds of days. The hardest part about cold-weather riding is affording all of the gear to make riding comfortable in below-freezing temps, but most cycling gear is well made and will last a long time once you acquire it.
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Old 02-28-11, 11:19 AM   #18
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I'd probably qualify as fair-weather. I do ride during the winter, but - barring unusual circumstances - only on nice days. Nice days being pretty much anything with morning temperatures in the single digits (celsius...so anything above 14F), when there's not fresh snow.

I only rode one day last week, and probably won't ride at all this week. I'm eager for spring to finally hit, I'm tired of winter. But there's probably at least another month before I can consistently ride every day, and another month after that before I can put my studs away.
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Old 02-28-11, 11:58 AM   #19
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guilty as charged.
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Old 02-28-11, 12:43 PM   #20
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I ride year round, but I don't ride in rain. Luckily, it doesn't get too cold or rain very often here, so I don't have to drive too often.
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Old 02-28-11, 12:47 PM   #21
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We don't have any weather to speak of. Our worst season is kind of like most folk's springtime (40-50F and rain), so I'm kind of a non-winter rider because of the non-winter weather here. We do get three or four days where there is ice on the roads. When that happens I don't ride. I live near a fire station (fire fighters run the ambulance here) and I can tell if there is ice on the roads when I wake up just by the increased frequency of sirens. I'm just not willing to share the road with people who can't even begin to keep the rubber side down.
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Old 02-28-11, 02:55 PM   #22
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I am. I'll bike down into the teens, but in rain/snow, I usually don't. I had an accident in the rain a while ago & it put the fear into me. I'm sure I'll get over it, but it took 2 months to heal & it wasn't worth the 2 mile ride I was taking home. I live in Maine, I was enjoying some rides the last couple of weeks, but we just got nailed again.

A lot of people ride through the bad weather though. More power to them.
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Old 02-28-11, 03:24 PM   #23
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Like Tarwheel, I hate the heat a lot more than the cold. In cold weather, I'm uncomfortable for five minutes until I warm up. In the heat, I'm comfortable for five minutes until I warm up. Heat also means that I have to commute in cycling clothing, which I hate doing. I'd rather just get to work in my shirt and tie (and pants).

I generally go all year round, unless there is a lot of rain. Because my commute includes commuter rail, I do not like to get on the train and sit down next to someone when totally soaked.
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Old 02-28-11, 03:37 PM   #24
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Like Tarwheel, I hate the heat a lot more than the cold. In cold weather, I'm uncomfortable for five minutes until I warm up. In the heat, I'm comfortable for five minutes until I warm up. Heat also means that I have to commute in cycling clothing, which I hate doing. I'd rather just get to work in my shirt and tie (and pants).
Exactly! In the summer, when you need to get somewhere (and don't you dare be late and try to rush) you always have to worry about stink/sweat. Especially after work.
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Old 02-28-11, 03:39 PM   #25
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I used to be a fair weather commuter. Then i realized how much fun I was missing out on.
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