On-One Marys. I like them a lot for commuting; the sweep is comfy for my wrists.
'14 Motobecane Boris X7 - '11 On-One Inbred rigid 26er - '10 Redline Conquest
Forgot my bag of tools/tubes and got my first flat half way to work. Bad times... hoping walmart has a spare tube since it is close to work and I can fix it here and ride home.
Today could only be described as "insanely foggy".
Yesterday was MLK day and office was closed. Today I totally wimped out - it's 5°F (notice the degree symbol!) and not supposed to get any warmer. That's not a problem since I've ridden when it was this cold but we have a windchill warning, -10° to -20° all day which scared me off. Plus I had to wear big boy clothes to work today. And there's my rationalizing
I'm slow, go around
How was the commute today?
(yeah, I grew up in the eighties, what of it?)
Thanks to the Commuting Mileage Thread I've gotten a little more adventurous in my commutes. As 2012 drew to a close I was going to be about 50 miles shy of a nice 2,000 miles in the saddle total for last year. So for the month of December I started varying my commute, taking the longest of the several choices of routes I can take most days, and on some days either exploring new areas or swinging wide on my way home and putting in some extra miles.
This has translated into my taking some more interesting routes home at least one night a week. Every Monday I get off at 0330, and even though it is about 0400 before I'm finally on the road, this is an excellent time to ride. I usually only see about a half dozen cars, a bike or two, and maybe a jogger or a bum, but other than that I have the city to myself for my journey across 8 miles of it. I've taken to climbing over the backside of Capitol Hill (heading East instead of Northwest) to take a quiet boulevard to Interlaken Park. After cruising for a mile down the middle of a deserted, flat, road I get to have a twisty descent with switchbacks and some hill climbing for the next mile or so as I pass through the park and then shoot out onto another boulevard and rocket down the backside of the hill and over the University Bridge.
Tonight I finally got to enjoy so of the fog we've been having. I grew up in farmland in the central valley of California, and one of the only things I miss is the thick fog. My messed up sleep schedule and work has had me missing much of the very rare long spell of real fog we've had for the past week or so, but this morning it was true pea soup quality! When I reached the U-bridge and saw the fog shrouded lights of the I-5 bridge overhead, I impulsively swung right across all four lanes to pull over and take some pictures. Any other time of day and this would be suicide, but I didn't see or hear another soul for the several minutes I was shooting. In fact, it was so deserted and quiet I stayed on the wrong side of the road and rode the wrong way up the bike lane to the end of the bridge because I was so confidant I wouldn't see anyone and I was right.
I decided to take the Burke Gilman Trail over to Fremont instead of just climbing up through the U-district like I usually do. Since there was still no traffic, instead of negotiating the transition of the trail across 34th with the crosswalk lights as I'd be forced to during the day I hopped off the curb and into the middle of the street. When I passed Stone Way and saw it gently sloping above me, I impulsively decided to go that way, but I was nearly through the intersection, so my turn went wide into the far lane, but no matter, as still the streets were deserted! After crossing under highway 99 I was going to take my normal route home, but as I passed the zoo I couldn't resist taking the half mile of singletrack that runs behind the zoo. Normally this is noisy as it is also alongside and above highway 99, but only a few cars past as I bombed down the dark and foggy trail. With my front blinky on solid and my helmet light, I was just able to illuminate the path. Most of it is pretty straightforward, but there are a few roots, at least one stump and several areas where you have to squeeze between trees or between a tree and the chainlink fence that is the western edge of the whole trail. Just a couple of feet the east of the trail it drops off steeply down to the highway below. I'd be lucky to escape a fall here with just bruises and minor damage to my bike from the fall down the embankment to the highway below.
Between the solitude, being able to ride down the middle of the streets, the fog, the mountain-like park road, and the getting my converted mountain bike back to its roots on the little bit of high speed, exciting, singletrack in the dark and fog, I'd have to say that this was my best commute ever!
My ride in to work wasn't too shabby either! I tried a new route, and lucked out on the timing of the lights and got to roll continuously for 3 miles! I never dreamed that was even possible on my commute. Normally I have to stop every few blocks for a stop sign or stop light or something else, but of the nearly ten stop lights on this route, I barely I had to trackstand at the second one for a few moments. Which is good, because I can't trackstand for more than a few seconds anyway! All the rest of the lights were either green or turned green as I rolled up to them.
I doubt I'll ever have as good a commuting day as I did today while I live in this city.
I'll upload a few pictures I took into this post in a few minutes if they turned out at all.
Last edited by Medic Zero; 01-22-13 at 08:15 AM.
Everyone hates your lights. Throw them away & buy something civilized.
It was a real nightmare, very very terrible: I took the minivan...
Seriously I had to, my freehub is freezing below -20 celcius so yesterday's ride was not my best.
My commute was actually rather fun. We had the coldest night on record in years here in central Indiana (+4F). All I did was use a fleece under my Gore-Tex jacket and some cycling tights under my work slacks and i was fine for the 4 mile commute. The way home should be fun as well, 8 miles and temp in the teens.
Today was my first real bike commute in this town. It's 12 miles over rolling and extremely varied terrain, from semi-desert to swampland, about half on park roads and MUPs and the other half on streets.
I did a dry run on Saturday and tacked another 6 miles or so onto the end of it. Found that my heavy old 3-speed was sensational except for one hilly stretch that made me want to die. Also, I imagine that I really am feeling the difference in efficiency between an IGH and a derailleur system when in low gear. On the plus side, the weight and upright posture made things smooth and comfy.
Today I'm riding a Bianchi Volpe (steel CX bike) borrowed from a friend who is trying to sell it. The gearing and weight make an enormous difference. I'm practically flying compared to how I drag ass on my clunker. Sadly, the Volpe at 58 cm is too big for me (I'm 5'10" in shoes), and the long reach is hitting me wrong in several places, some of them highly personal. Verdict: I still like a drop-bar bike, just like I had in college, but it HAS to fit, or it's a torture device.
Thinking I might take the clunker tomorrow. Maybe those hills won't suck so bad as I get stronger.
Temp was 53-59F over the hour. I sweated gallons. Wore some performance garbage t-shirt and changed to a nice button-up at work. The rest was regular jeans and shoes.
Arrived to work late and spewing brine from every pore. Felt good actually.
A few observations.
San Antonio park roads be on some BS. Stupid speed bumps every couple hundred feet. Some of them are harsh, like they cut a 4" pipe in half lengthwise and bolted it to the pavement. Thanks a ton, JERKS.
MUPs be on some BS in their own right. Too narrow and full of people lollygagging two abreast with doublewide Stroller Utility Vehicles. The looks on their faces when they realize OMG bicycles exist!
Still, both of those roadways are better than a two-lane blacktop in a light-industry zone where motorists feel the need to exceed the posted speed limit by Warp 10.
It is really nice to ride through the galactically-rich neighborhood full of mansions. I hope they don't think I'm some kind of criminal.
OK, so that's my commute. I think I can make it work. I have a new bike in the mail. Any advice or observations are welcome.
1970s AMF Roadmaster 3-speed
2012 GT Zum City
It was simply terrible today. -4degF and 10-15 mph wind made the wind chill more than -20degF, and riding at 12-15mph it was so cold my eyes froze after about 5 mins. It actually scared me as I have never experienced that even in my snowmobiling days of yesteryear when I rode in worse conditions. I would have needed full goggles or a full face helmet with shield as my safety glassed were not adequate and I decided to abort and go home to start the car. Will not attempt this again until next week when the temperatures are expected to rebound some.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
For my head, I use a synthetic balaclava with a beanie hat and ski goggles. The balaclava I can pull up over my nose if it's really bad. You might borrow a pair of ski goggles, as they help a lot.
(I think I figured out the glove situation this morning. Wool liners under neoprene gloves under windproof ski gloves. I do have a pair of Bar Mitts ordered as well.)
'14 Motobecane Boris X7 - '11 On-One Inbred rigid 26er - '10 Redline Conquest
I hope those arctic temperatures don't reach down this far! It was 28° here and I'm fine with that but I'd rather read about those cold commutes than ride them.
This table works for me tho.. http://www.asciitable.com/
Alt 248 is °. Don't understand why but it works for me. Not sure how to reconcile ansi and ascii.
ALT+167 gives you º
It's that time of the year again where the temps in Athens rise to the high teens, low 20's (Celsius) and the sunny weather's making you feel like it's spring! Usually this period starts after New Years and lasts for a few weeks with southerly winds blowing from North Africa and temps occasionally rising to the mid 20's.
My morning commute was very pleasant, even though there was A LOT of traffic due to public transportation strikes with everyone taking their cars to work and getting frustrated trying to find a parking space while circling the block. But the best time was the mid-day commute back home where traffic was light, and it was hot enough to ride only with a t-shirt on. The commute back was so relaxing that I literally cruised back at a third of the normal speed taking the scenic route and having a light lunch at a canteen located on the beach.
Unfortunately after this brief spring-like weather (named "Halcyon Days" by Aristotle and derived from Greek mythology) there's usually an abrupt change with low temps and sometimes even snowfall. I remember four years ago when the temperature rose to 25°C for a week and a half only to be followed by below 0 temperatures and nearly a foot of snow; all this within two to three days!
Last edited by Telly; 01-22-13 at 02:56 PM.
Broke a spoke on my way to work. Thankfully, there's a bike shop less than a mile from my office. Bike is there getting a new spoke.
4ºF this morning, nice ride in. On business travel tonight, so no return ride until tomorrow.
I'm looking forward to an 18 degree ride home. Tomorrow morning looks like it'll be about 15. Winter is finally here. Up until now, not so much. This is my first year bike commuting, so pretty much the coldest ever.
Great ride home today. The morning ride was a little sketchy because my rear derailleur/brake system was still frozen solid from the ice fog yesterday. I had to make do with a 2-speed and only a front brake. When I started out on the PM commute, it kept shifting back and forth between 2 gears like it was possessed until eventually it settled down and went back to normal.
How do you guys in cold places deal with this problem (aside from storing your bike indoors)?
been seriously out of the game since the new year. today was my first commute back and wow what a commute. 15 degree weather, coldest it's ever been for me on the bike. good thing i wore pretty much all the clothes i own.
Coldest commute of the winter so far with temps in the upper teens. My water bottle froze solid by the halfway point, in part because I got caught by every freaking red light. Red lights are always annoying but particularly when it's so cold outside. I would have made good time otherwise as I kept a decent pace for such cold weather, and I was dressed perfectly because I was warm enough but didn't sweat. The high is only supposed to reach the mid-30s today, so I'll have cold commutes this afternoon and tomorrow.
-18 nice and sunny.
Too cold for me to bike in this week (highest temperature since Saturday was Saturday at -25C, -13F) so I've been walking in. However, yesterday, I saw some bike tracks in the snow and this morning, despite being -35C (-31F) with a wind chill of -45C (-49F), a cyclist was coming down the road towards me (without a front light, idiot!). Let's see if he rides in tomorrow too: it is forecast to be 2-3C colder, also with a significant wind chill.
In a word? Cold. Not arctic cold like my northern neighbors, but below 20ºF is cold enough to make me consider what frostbite might be like. My toes are still warming up, and I still feel the cold across the bridge of my nose, but really the biggest problem was keeping my glasses from fogging. Apparently my balaclava channels my breath straight up onto the lenses, which meant ever stop or even slow point required me to wipe my glasses to see. My one big climb was an all-but-blind experience.
Add a short extra stop to re-secure my load (I was bringing in a Christmas present from my daughter...) and the commute just took a little longer, and was a little more inconvenient than I prefer.
But, it was just about all worth it for the sound of amazement from one of my co-workers when she realized I had ridden :-)
Met another bike commuter in the parking garage yesterday -- but failed to get his name. Hopefully I'll see him again.