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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 05-16-11, 08:43 AM   #1
Doohickie 
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The little stuff you love...

...about bike commuting.

Today for me, it's the morning headwind that will be a tailwind for the ride home.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-16-11, 08:56 AM   #2
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Yes, +1 on the morning headwind!! I've had weeks of morning tailwinds, today was an awesome break.

I love hearing woodpeckers in the trees as I ride past.

I love light misting drizzle. You still get credit for being hardcore, without getting soaked to the bone.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:58 AM   #3
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Knowing that no matter how tough of a day I have I still have my ride home to look forward to!
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Old 05-16-11, 09:12 AM   #4
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The smells of the morning trail just after the night's rain stops
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Old 05-16-11, 09:16 AM   #5
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Going down the other side of the freeway overpass.
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Old 05-16-11, 09:23 AM   #6
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Seconded. (Arlington, TX , assuming the wind doesn't change direction)
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Old 05-16-11, 09:27 AM   #7
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going down the MUP late and stopping to watch the kits play by the railroad track. and most of the smells.
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Old 05-16-11, 09:57 AM   #8
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Seconded. (Arlington, TX , assuming the wind doesn't change direction)
You're good if you're heading south this afternoon.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-16-11, 10:02 AM   #9
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Riding by the river at night on a full moon. So peaceful.
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Old 05-16-11, 10:09 AM   #10
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This time of year, the smells of the spring tree flowers.

Yesterday I saw a bob cat. I was riding into the wind so it didn't smell me, and it was looking the other way. I didn't want to startle it so I yelled "Hey!" to startle it off of the road. I wish I could make friends with it.
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Old 05-16-11, 10:13 AM   #11
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Absolutely nothing. People talk to me; I can't hide away in my car, isolated from the world. It's hard work, I'm exhausted, sometimes I'm in pain, my heart nearly explodes, it's hard to carry very large things, I'm not skilled yet (barely ride one hand, no-hands for less than a second), and I don't have cleats on my combat boots (Belleville 770 ... thinking on getting a second pair half a size down for a better fit, and routing around on those to install SPDs with a waterproof seal via some Tool Dip). I have the commute from Hell: it's 7-9 miles long (depending on route--longer to avoid traffic in annoying places), I'm about 30% faster in my car, it's constant up and down hill, the roads haven't been maintained since they've been paved, and the drivers are all insane enough that I've developed racecar-driver-like reflexes when I'm driving my car just to survive (not to mention the ninja cyclists appearing directly in front of me at night time--you know I can stop faster without ABS than most people can stop with ABS?).

But why the hell would I let the little things stop me?
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Old 05-16-11, 10:42 AM   #12
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Today was my first commute in ages but so far:

Conspicuously thumping my chest with a fist as I cross an overpass with an endless stretch of commuter cars stuck helplessly on the freeway below me.
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Old 05-16-11, 10:53 AM   #13
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When II'm up and ready to go early. That didn't happen this morning, when I ended up unpacking, changing clothes and driving to work after that one last unexpected thing made me too late to ride.
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Old 05-16-11, 11:02 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Today for me, it's the morning headwind that will be a tailwind for the ride home.
After yesterday's 200k, riding against this morning's headwind wasn't all that much fun...


Still, I love pedaling at dark-thirty in the morning, with very little traffic on the streets.
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Old 05-16-11, 11:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
Absolutely nothing. People talk to me; I can't hide away in my car, isolated from the world. It's hard work, I'm exhausted, sometimes I'm in pain, my heart nearly explodes, it's hard to carry very large things, I'm not skilled yet (barely ride one hand, no-hands for less than a second), and I don't have cleats on my combat boots (Belleville 770 ... thinking on getting a second pair half a size down for a better fit, and routing around on those to install SPDs with a waterproof seal via some Tool Dip). I have the commute from Hell: it's 7-9 miles long (depending on route--longer to avoid traffic in annoying places), I'm about 30% faster in my car, it's constant up and down hill, the roads haven't been maintained since they've been paved, and the drivers are all insane enough that I've developed racecar-driver-like reflexes when I'm driving my car just to survive (not to mention the ninja cyclists appearing directly in front of me at night time--you know I can stop faster without ABS than most people can stop with ABS?).

But why the hell would I let the little things stop me?
Ah, well then. Perhaps I can interest you in another thread.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-16-11, 11:03 AM   #16
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When you hit your perfect pace and you can breathe hard indefinitely but never lose your wind.

That cold swig of water after a really intense part of a ride.

Doing little "drifts" with my back brake as I zoom down the Big Bertha hill at my local forest preserve

Passing cars on side streets and seeing the driver's face!

When a car blows past you only to get stuck at a string of stop signs, then waving as he gets blown past himself!
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Old 05-16-11, 11:04 AM   #17
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Still, I love pedaling at dark-thirty in the morning, with very little traffic on the streets.
I need to get out of house a little earlier and maybe I can catch you...
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-16-11, 11:27 AM   #18
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*The sound of my tires running on freshly wet pavement.
*Seeing the same black squirrel around the same spot on the MUP every morning. I've named him Chip and say hi as I pass.
*The smell of fresh cut grass.
*Watching air traffic at National Airport.
*Riding at speed past lines of traffic jammed cars along the GW Pkwy and 14th St Bridge. Suckers!

Those among many many others...
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Old 05-16-11, 11:48 AM   #19
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for me, the ever-changing colors and moods of lake michigan. it's a HUGE body of open water, but it's not like the ocean. at times it can be a violent, dark steely gray accented with white caps with giant waves crashing into the shore, at other times an endless deep sky blue mirror stretching to the horizon. in the summer with algal blooms, it can take on a carribean-esque iridescent aqua marine. on cool fall mornings it can be shrouded behind an ethereal fog. in winter it's iced over in a desert of infinite white. in spring the thaw cracks the ice into innumerable patterns and designs, while winds pile it up into all manner of textured surfaces. and some days it's just a regular old lake - royal blue water, small little 1 foot waves, and a gentle cooling lake breeze.

i feel blessed to get to spend so much time with my lake everyday; chicago would kinda suck without it.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 05-16-11 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 05-16-11, 11:57 AM   #20
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I posted this on my blog in April of 2009, when I had a much longer commute that included some rural areas:
The sun warming my face
The goofy grin that comes with simple pleasure
A strong tailwind for much of the ride, pushing me faster toward home
The smooth sound of tires running over wet pavement
The fierce headwind and smattering of rain as I neared home
A short break to consume the contents of a water bottle
Ominous storm clouds in the distance
Birds riding the air currents near the edges of the storm
A full rainbow from horizon to horizon as I finish my ride
from http://fatguy.org/2009/04/20/why-i-ride/
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Old 05-16-11, 12:01 PM   #21
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*Seeing the same black squirrel around the same spot on the MUP every morning. I've named him Chip and say hi as I pass.
I had a robin flying alongside me for about a quarter of a mile this morning. Just when I started wondering how far down the path this bird was going to go with me, he gunned it over to a little tree, perched and watched me go by.
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Old 05-16-11, 12:11 PM   #22
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Busy streets that I'm not stuck in.
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Old 05-16-11, 12:11 PM   #23
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- Just the simple pleasure of biking
- when other commuters smile back to me when there is an eye contact (I must admit that I tend to look at their bike first)
- The morning breeze
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Old 05-16-11, 12:30 PM   #24
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I love clear winter nights when I'm on the bike way before dawn, crest a little hill in the middle of nowhere, look up and see thousands of stars glittering in the sky. It's dizzying, and awesome. I usually pull over, so I can get a good look without falling. Winter evenings with a light snowfall are amazing too.

In the spring, I love riding through intensely green and yellow fields surrounded by mountains with fresh snow on top. I love peeling off the winter layers and feeling so light and fast again.

In the summer, I love spotting vivid rainbows after an evening thunderstorm. I love when I'm coming home at night so full of energy, I feel like I could just keep going on forever.

In the fall, I love clean cool mornings and *perfect* afternoons. My appreciation is heightened even more knowing these are the last perfect days before winter.
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Old 05-16-11, 12:30 PM   #25
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- when other commuters smile back to me when there is an eye contact (I must admit that I tend to look at their bike first)
I took a different route than normal today due to construction, and ran across a commuter going the other direction at the top of a hill (for both of us). We were both running a pretty good cadence to get to the top, knowing we had a nice coast coming up. He said hi, I rang my bell as we passed each other (flat bar hybrid with panniers).
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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