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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 12-21-12, 09:08 AM   #1
Steely Dan
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I cheated this morning........ feeling dirty



i just couldn't do it.

the storm has passed, leaving chicago without even a dusting of snow on the ground (all hype once again), but the marine forecast was still calling for 40 knot winds this morning along the lakefront, gusting to 50 knots (55 mph!), straight out of the NW (my 11 o'clock for the ride in). i can do the rain, the snow, the sleet, the ice, the what-have you, hell i can even appreciate and enjoy that stuff, but egregiously strong headwinds like that just sap all of my enthusiasm, to say nothing of making me really, really late for work. punctuality can be hard to maintain when you're struggling to chug along at 5 mph (i've got a ~15 mile one-way commute).


so, Metra commuter rail to the rescue for the chicken's way out....... I am not a man....... < head held properly in shame >.......


on the bright side, winds are forecast to stay steady and strong out of the NW, so it could be a really fast and fun ride home tonight!
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Old 12-21-12, 09:14 AM   #2
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You did the right thing, plenty of time ahead with better commuting weather. That is one slick looking cycle you've got there. I'd like to have fenders like yours but they get clogged with snow in the winter here.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:14 AM   #3
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on the bright side, winds are forecast to stay steady and strong out of the NW, so it could be a really fast and fun ride home tonight!
I'm directly on the other side of Lake Michigan from you. The winds are crazy for sure. Have fun on tonight's ride.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:16 AM   #4
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I cheat similarly almost everyday.

We had winds 25-30mph with gusts of 40+mph this morning.
I rode three miles to the MTA P&R, threw my bike and myself onto the bus and rode 10 miles into downtown. I then got off the bus to ride the rest of the way in (another mile).
The headwinds and crosswinds were brutal this morning. I expect that as the front moves through, I'll have headwinds and crosswinds from the opposite direction on the way home. Just once, I'd like to experience what a 40mph gust feels like as a tailwind.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:45 AM   #5
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i like the bike
what is it?

what kind of fenders does it have?

the picture looks like you are sitting away from it like you are ashamed to be with it. haha.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:55 AM   #6
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The trick would be to ride the train, and bring your bike along, so you could ride home with a 40mph tailwind!

... which you did. My brain did not process what I read. Sigh.

Last edited by David Bierbaum; 12-21-12 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 12-21-12, 10:12 AM   #7
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That is one slick looking cycle you've got there. I'd like to have fenders like yours but they get clogged with snow in the winter here.
thanks. deep snow isn't a huge issue in chicago because we have a super aggressive fleet of plows. we had a mayor in the late 70s who lost a re-election bid because he didn't get the streets plowed fast enough after a blizzard. all subsequent mayors have been hyper-vigilant on the snow removal front.





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Just once, I'd like to experience what a 40mph gust feels like as a tailwind.
it's fun, like a descent that never ends.

when the gusts get up into the 60+ mph range, even as a tailwind, it gets a little scary.





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i like the bike
what is it?

what kind of fenders does it have?
thanks. the bike is a 2011 Scott SUB 10. fenders are Planet Bike Cascadia's.

the wonky aerobars are my own addition. they look kinda stupid on a hybrid commuter bike, but if you had to battle lake michigan winds on a daily basis like i do, you'd understand.

here's a better shot of the bike with gatoroskins instead of the marathon winters.








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The trick would be to ride the train, and bring your bike along, so you could ride home with a 40mph tailwind!
that's exactly what i did. the picture in the first post is a pic of my bike on the train this morning.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 12-21-12 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 12-21-12, 11:21 AM   #8
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Steely Dan I like that bright orange bike. My road bike is a Scott S40 Speedster it is a fun bike.
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Old 12-21-12, 02:05 PM   #9
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Steely Dan I like that bright orange bike.
it certainly doesn't hurt from a visibility standpoint. it's such a deep and vivid orange. the paint job on the bike is a work of art by itself, but this is a transportation bike, so it has accumulated it's fair share of nicks and scratches.
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Old 12-21-12, 02:27 PM   #10
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I think you did the right thing. I think I'm done commuting, and wimped out of walking 4 blocks to the store at lunch due to the cold and wind.
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Old 12-21-12, 03:06 PM   #11
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that's exactly what i did. the picture in the first post is a pic of my bike on the train this morning.
My eyes and brain are turning into swiss cheese with age. Sorry about that! How was the tail wind? Did you hold open your coat with outstretched arms, for the full square-rigger sail effect, riding at 40mph without pedaling? Since you're not posting from the Hospital, my guess is "no."
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Old 12-21-12, 03:18 PM   #12
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I think I'm done commuting.
don't stop now, it's just starting to get interesting! (50 mph headwinds notwithstanding )





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How was the tail wind?
i'll tell you all about it as soon as i get home. it's only 3:15pm here in chicago, so i've got a couple more hours to go before i get my release.

according to the marine forecast, the wind is still supposed to be out of the NW with wind speeds of 30 knots, gusting to 40 knots! yee-haw!

Last edited by Steely Dan; 12-21-12 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 12-21-12, 05:46 PM   #13
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don't stop now, it's just starting to get interesting! (50 mph headwinds notwithstanding )
I'll be back as soon as I can. I'm getting a jacket made by Lou at Foxwear, and he's telling me he's got plenty of options to help keep me warm. but nothing that can turn off the headwind.
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Old 12-21-12, 06:46 PM   #14
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i'll tell you all about it as soon as i get home. it's only 3:15pm here in chicago, so i've got a couple more hours to go before i get my release.

according to the marine forecast, the wind is still supposed to be out of the NW with wind speeds of 30 knots, gusting to 40 knots! yee-haw!
you should be home about now!
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Old 12-21-12, 08:55 PM   #15
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Just once, I'd like to experience what a 40mph gust feels like as a tailwind.
sort of off topic, but I could not resist. I look for these winds where I live, strong NW winds in the afternoon. When we get them, I ride UPWIND and uphill for a few miles, then the fun starts. I turn onto HWY 154 here in Santa Barbara, and navigate the roughly 1 mile of downhill. On my previous bike, a Trek 7000 mountain bike, I once hit 52.8 mph at the end of the hill, and then applied brakes furiously. With a strong tail wind it is an eerie silence traveling at such a high speed. Nothing like it. Can't wait for the right conditions to try out on my Cross Check.
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Old 12-21-12, 10:08 PM   #16
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I woke up this morning to find 4" of fresh snow on the ground (with more still falling). I took the bus.
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Old 12-21-12, 10:10 PM   #17
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Sexy bike.

Nothing wrong with why you cheated. Only Rocky would ride in that amount of wind.
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Old 12-21-12, 10:52 PM   #18
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thanks. deep snow isn't a huge issue in chicago because we have a super aggressive fleet of plows. we had a mayor in the late 70s who lost a re-election bid because he didn't get the streets plowed fast enough after a blizzard. all subsequent mayors have been hyper-vigilant on the snow removal front.
I cheated this morning too. Barely made it to the bus stop there was so much snow on the sidewalk. 13 inches fell on Thursday. Streets were all cleared but a lot of lumpy hard pack. Haven't had conditions like this in several years.

I can see it's going to be interesting getting around.
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Old 12-22-12, 02:20 AM   #19
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I would rather ride in rain than in wind, especially if it's gusty. The last thing I need to worry about is being blown into traffic. The overpasses have pretty narrow bike lanes and the wind gusts come right down the train tracks. There's nothing wrong with taking a break or wimping out once in a while.
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Old 12-22-12, 02:48 AM   #20
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With winds about 20mph from the NNW (my 2 o'clock, roughly, for most of the ride?) with gusts of 30ish mph, I got blown about a bit heading to work today. My commute is hella short. I can't imagine choosing to fight a stronger wind on a much longer ride, especially in a place where it is actually cold.
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Old 12-22-12, 03:49 AM   #21
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Full frontal gale force winds are a perfectly adequate excuse to hop the Metro. No shame in that.

But a tailwind for the ride home? That's a "must do"!
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Old 12-22-12, 09:15 AM   #22
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you should be home about now!
Yeah, sorry about that, I had dinner plans last night, no time for internetting.

The ride home was pretty good, but the wind was a little more WNW than I was expecting, so some of the gusts were almost cross winds. Still better than a 30mph headwind though.
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Old 12-22-12, 09:20 AM   #23
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i just couldn't do it.

the storm has passed, leaving chicago without even a dusting of snow on the ground (all hype once again), but the marine forecast was still calling for 40 knot winds this morning along the lakefront, gusting to 50 knots (55 mph!), straight out of the NW (my 11 o'clock for the ride in). i can do the rain, the snow, the sleet, the ice, the what-have you, hell i can even appreciate and enjoy that stuff, but egregiously strong headwinds like that just sap all of my enthusiasm, to say nothing of making me really, really late for work. punctuality can be hard to maintain when you're struggling to chug along at 5 mph (i've got a ~15 mile one-way commute).


so, Metra commuter rail to the rescue for the chicken's way out....... I am not a man....... < head held properly in shame >.......


on the bright side, winds are forecast to stay steady and strong out of the NW, so it could be a really fast and fun ride home tonight!
Pansy.
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Old 12-22-12, 10:34 AM   #24
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i just couldn't do it.
...the marine forecast was still calling for 40 knot winds this morning along the lakefront, gusting to 50 knots (55 mph!), straight out of the NW (my 11 o'clock for the ride in)...
I'll wager there aren't many of us who would have tried; and then none who would have a second time.
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Old 12-22-12, 11:43 AM   #25
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I cheated this morning too. Barely made it to the bus stop there was so much snow on the sidewalk. 13 inches fell on Thursday. Streets were all cleared but a lot of lumpy hard pack. Haven't had conditions like this in several years.

I can see it's going to be interesting getting around.
Gerv... wasn't that something else? I didn't go to work Thursday because of the blizzard. I did ride into work yesterday though and it was a rough and slow ride but unlocking the fork on the MTB helped out a lot. Today looks to be a lot better so I can go to the mall for that last gift. Remember that black MTB I picked up late year? It is the new winter commuter. You can see it in the Winter forum.

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