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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 01-24-05, 09:36 AM   #1
elbows
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I love New England!

I hopped on my bike this morning, foolishly assuming that the main roads would be clear. Sure, we got a lot of snow, but the storm ended like 18 hours ago, and it's not like we never see snow in Boston...

Well, the first road was covered in a thin layer of snow/slush. No big deal. And besides, I'm sure it will be better once I get to Mount Auburn...
In fact it got worse -- a thin layer of hard-packed snow, topped with occassional slush.
Ok, I can deal with this. And Mass Ave must be clear!
Wrong again -- now I'm riding on several inches of packed snow, with some slush on top, and lots of ruts/bumps. I held on for dear life and made it through, but I definitely have a lot to learn about riding in snow (lesson one is probably "don't run 25c slicks!")

20 minutes and one fall (but no major injuries) later, I made it to marginally better roads. My 45-minute commute took about 90 minutes, but I made it to work -- and it's the most fun I've had commuting in months!

Any other crazy New Englanders riding today?
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Old 01-24-05, 10:02 AM   #2
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I rode yesterday afternoon for fun and today to get to work (of course, there's nobody at work except me, but whatever). It was slow but steady going from Somerville into Downtown Boston, but at least there was hardly any traffic. My usual 20 minute commute took about 40, but that also included five minutes to deal with a thrown chain and make sure the tension was good. It's nice to get a ride in in the morning, but I wish I would have known no one else in my whole office is as tough as me - I would still be sleeping!
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Old 01-24-05, 10:18 AM   #3
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I went out with some folks yesterday afternoon and we got a little live coverage on the news. Some of the kids I work with saw us on TV!

And of course I came in today. It's actually really annoying, my coworkers keeping making comments about how crazy I am just before or after telling me about how everyone was slipping and sliding around in their cars.

Whatever.
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Old 01-24-05, 10:44 AM   #4
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Ya Tu Sabes, what route do you take from Sommerville to Boston? And how were the roads this morning?

I took Mass Ave from Harvard Square to the river this morning and it was pretty scary, so I'm looking for a better way back through Cambridge tonight (going from South Station to Belmont)
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Old 01-24-05, 10:44 AM   #5
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I didn't bother, with all the super high snow banks I wouldn't be able to see cars crossing my path. Plus I've got regular city slicks and it's only a couple of degrees out.
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Old 01-24-05, 10:48 AM   #6
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25c slicks in a Boston winter is suicide by bus
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Old 01-24-05, 10:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by late
25c slicks in a Boston winter is suicide by bus
Lucky for me, the busses hardly seem to be running with all the snow
And in general, traffic was moving almost as slow as I was, so it wasn't too bad.

I've been riding my 25c slicks all winter, and this is the first day I've had a problem. Tomorrow I may use my hybrid though -- it's not much fun to ride, but it has knobbies at least.

[Edit]
Actually, it's kind of strange, but it seemed like drivers were a lot more polite this morning than usual. At one point I had a line of 3-4 cars behind me as I went up a hill at like 10 mph, and nobody so much as honked (eventually I found a driveway to pull into and let them by).
And in general, drivers seemed to give me plenty of space even when the roads were narrow from all the snowbanks.

Last edited by elbows; 01-24-05 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 01-24-05, 03:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by elbows
Ya Tu Sabes, what route do you take from Sommerville to Boston? And how were the roads this morning?

I took Mass Ave from Harvard Square to the river this morning and it was pretty scary, so I'm looking for a better way back through Cambridge tonight (going from South Station to Belmont)
I live just into Somerville, behind Inmand Square, so after slogging through the narrow, poorly plowed side streets of my neighborhood, I take Hampshire Street all the way to where it runs into Broadway (by Kendall), then take Broadway to the Longfellow Bridge (then over the bridge, straight up Cambridge street, and stop at the fancy, newly renovated courthouse at Pemberton Square, 'cause that's where I work).

The roads were so-so. There was a lot of hard-packed snow, periodically interrupted by slushy tire treads and piles of dug out snow from parking spaces. It was slow going but not terrible. I guess to Belmont you could take my route, then turn from Hampshire onto Kirkland, take Kirkland to Oxford, and get on Mass Ave farther up, but that might be a little out of the way; or you could take Hampshire/Beacon all the way to Porter and get Mass Ave there. I don't know that it really matters - everything's messy.
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Old 01-24-05, 06:41 PM   #9
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Sounds like it was about the same as Mass Ave. I often cut over to Broadway since traffic tends to be better there.
I ended up taking Mass Ave home and it was a lot better at the end of the day. But thanks for the road report
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