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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 02-21-05, 12:08 AM   #1
geeklpc1985
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Commuting 30-40miles one way, what to bring?

I am go to do a summer internship about 30 to 40 miles away, it depends on witch one I get. What should I bring with me? I use Mr. Tuffys, with my tires, and I should have 2 panniers by then, hopefully, if not I will have a Burly Nomad. I am use to a 5 miles ride to school one way, and a 10 miles ride to my girl friends one way. I use a Night Rider Digital Evolution, and the Night Rider taillight if it every gets here. At the most, it will be a 4 hr. ride one way.
Thanks,
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Old 02-21-05, 12:22 AM   #2
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Get a tire repair kit put together, with a spare tube or two, levers, pump and patch kit, and know how to change a tire, so that even in the most adverse conditions you can do it relatively quickly. And have a back up plan (bus, cell phone, etc.) in case something more major happens. And have some kind of foul weather gear with you, or some preparation for bad weather.

Figure out what you will need during the day: food, clothing, work materials, etc. And figure out where to park, change clothes, whether or not you will shower , etc. Do some preparation so that you only need to think about the cycling.

Four hours seems like a pretty conservative estimate; 10 mph would be pretty slow. I would guess that you would be doing somewhere in the area of 15 mph if you are already somewhat comfortable on the bike, so maybe two or two-and-a-half. And for a thirty mile one-way ride, be prepared to be sore and tired for awhile. You might look into doing it parttime to start, or doing it one way at time at first (bike to work, get a ride home, get a ride to work, bike home). Burn out on a commute like this would seem likely if you weren't ready for it.
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Old 02-21-05, 01:03 AM   #3
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Good advice jnbacon. I think you really nailed with your closer.


Quote:
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Burn out on a commute like this would seem likely.
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Old 02-21-05, 01:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
I am go to do a summer internship about 30 to 40 miles away, it depends on witch one I get. What should I bring with me? I use Mr. Tuffys, with my tires, and I should have 2 panniers by then, hopefully, if not I will have a Burly Nomad. I am use to a 5 miles ride to school one way, and a 10 miles ride to my girl friends one way. I use a Night Rider Digital Evolution, and the Night Rider taillight if it every gets here. At the most, it will be a 4 hr. ride one way.
Thanks,
Geek

Keep a sleeping bag at work.
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Old 02-21-05, 01:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnbacon
Burn out on a commute like this would seem likely if you weren't ready for it.
No, I am not worried about that, I would tour but I am still in college.

Thanks for the tips all I need is the tires stuff. Only thing I have to worried about is getting in fights with the driver on the road. I don't have very get luck when I go tour around Wisconsin.

Thanks for the tips I will use them!
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Old 02-21-05, 02:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
No, I am not worried about that, I would tour but I am still in college.

Thanks for the tips all I need is the tires stuff. Only thing I have to worried about is getting in fights with the driver on the road. I don't have very get luck when I go tour around Wisconsin.

Thanks for the tips I will use them!
Geek

This is going to be different from a tour. Ride 8 hours a day. Work 8 hours a day. Change cloths and shower. You are going to be eating 4-5 meals a day. You will only be able to get 5 hours of sleep a night. That will wear you down after a while even if you are young.

Or is this not a full time thing?
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Old 02-21-05, 08:08 AM   #7
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Or is this not a full time thing?
No, It's 10 hours a week, so it shoudn't be that bad.
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Old 02-21-05, 09:24 AM   #8
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Lunch ?
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Old 02-21-05, 10:45 AM   #9
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You might want to get a second battery for your light. You don't want it to go out an hour into your ride. At a minimum, get a front LED and a rear blinkie with extra batteries to use as backup to your Niterider system. I also wear a reflective vest I picked up at Performance.

Get a good multi-tool. When you replace your chain, save the extra links from the new chain and take them with you. You should be able to replace a tube, tighten any bolt, adjust your brakes, replace a broken chain link, and tighten a spoke.

When something goes wrong, buy the tools and parts to fix it, then do it yourself. If you buy these at a good LBS, they will give you some advice on how to do the repair. Get a quality bike repair manual--I like "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance." (Zinn gives a very good list of tools to bring with you, and tools you should have at home depending on your degree of repair abilities.) You should also build up a home supply of common repair parts--cables and chains at a minimum. You don't want to have to depend on the LBS being open when you get home from work.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 02-21-05 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 02-21-05, 02:24 PM   #10
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Put fenders on your bike and extra waterbottles on the back of your seat. Make arrangements for keeping clothes, shoes, towel, shampoo and lock etc at work so you carry the absolute minimum.
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Old 02-21-05, 03:12 PM   #11
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I'd opt not to go with a trailer for any kind of commuting. I assume since you're going to have panniers that you'll have a rear rack. Before the panniers arrive, try to see if you can find a large trunk bag on sale, or used. Do they have "craigslist" in your area?
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Old 02-21-05, 04:51 PM   #12
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Do they have "craigslist" in your area?
A what?
Also what is a trunk bag? I haven't bought them yet, but I have the painner rack, I was going to get some German made was about $130 for the pair, they also make one's for a laptop, I don't know the brand name.

I have fenders and I use a camlebak for something to drink.

I'm getting a second battery for the NR. Also I have a front LED and a rear blinkie with extra batteries.

Reflective vest, would that work with a camlebak?

I have most of the tools for the bike, but what do you need to tighten a spoke?
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Old 02-21-05, 05:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
A what?
Also what is a trunk bag? I haven't bought them yet, but I have the painner rack, I was going to get some German made was about $130 for the pair, they also make one's for a laptop, I don't know the brand name.

I have fenders and I use a camlebak for something to drink.

I'm getting a second battery for the NR. Also I have a front LED and a rear blinkie with extra batteries.

Reflective vest, would that work with a camlebak?

I have most of the tools for the bike, but what do you need to tighten a spoke?
A spoke wrench. A multi-tool would work, but with panniers you could get one with three sizes on it. Get the triangle looking one, it works well, and fits three sizes of spokes.http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4221

Craigslist is an online selling site, like e-bay, but local. I looked and there isn't one near you. I sold a spare tire bike rack with all accessories on there for $20 once. Good deals.

Trunk bag?http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=2312 It sits on top of your rear rack. Your panniers should work much better when they arrive.
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Old 02-21-05, 05:59 PM   #14
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Is this working ten hours one day per week or 2 hours 5 days? I'm impressed either way. I'm sure you'll get some real crazy looks from people at work when they find out.
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Old 02-21-05, 07:59 PM   #15
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Some great advice and ideas. Strongly second the suggestion to see what you can leave at the office and not have to carry each day - I leave my lock on the rack in the parking garage, and shoes, toiletries, and a towel (swapped on days I have to drive) in my desk. This gets a lot of weight and bulk off the bike. I try to pack my stuff the night before so I don't forget anything, as well as check tire pressure, lube the chain, and check batteries for the lights. Makes rolling out in the morning a lot easier. Hopefully your office will be casual or business casual, if not, see if you can leave a tie and blazer at work as well. Oh, roll clothes instead of folding - better at preventing wrinkles.
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Old 02-21-05, 08:25 PM   #16
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The NR Digital Evolution is a solid light. However, In cold weather it does not run long at all. No where near the stated run time on high or medium. If you need to run on high, both batteries will not get you four hours anyway. In the cold it may switch to low way too soon. On low you get good burn time but it's not very bright. Also the battery does not store on the shelf well. It looses run time as it sits unused in the house. You pretty much want to start out with a fresh charge when you leave the house. In the heat of the summer it's better.

Follow Daily commute's advice ~ DO get some backup lights front and rear.

If you do have a good strong lock, and you can leave it at your primary destination, you might want to get a lighter cable lock to carry. If you need to stop it may just prevent a "grab and run" type of theft.
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Old 02-21-05, 08:41 PM   #17
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Old 02-21-05, 10:17 PM   #18
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You dont want to rush to work, so find a nice cafe half way to work where you can take a break.
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Old 02-21-05, 11:48 PM   #19
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Just to tack on my own wish list, if I were commuting 40 miles each way, I'd want to bring along enough stuff so that I can do most repairs on the road along with some backups.
Probably a trunk on your rack with a large solid light like the cateye ld1000 or the nightrider then another one on blink like the vistalite 7-led light. That way you have a backup in case one of em dies.
Take along a multi-tool, two spare tubes, a spare tire, tire wrenches, patch kit, co2 with 2-3 cartridges, a hand pump, chain breaker, couple of spare links of chain, a pair of pliers, a spare cable (in case you break a cable), zip-tie 2 or 3 spokes on your frame, a bunch of extra zip ties, duct tape, a flash light, two water bottle cages oughta do.
Depending on how fast you're going, the NR only stretches 4+ hours on low, so you might want to a) get an extra battery or b) if you've got money coming out the wazoo, get a light&motion or NR HID. Either way, bring one of those halogen lamps that runs on 4AA's as a spare along with a spare blinker too.
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Old 02-22-05, 04:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
. . . A Reflective vest, would that work with a camlebak? . . .
It depends on how big you and your camelback are. I put the Nathan Reflective Vest I got from Performance over a nearly empty backpack once, and it fit--barely. If a reflective vest won't work, look for other reflective stuff--leg and arm bands, reflective stickers, etc. There are a gazzilion reflective doodads out there. Look around and see what would work for you.

And as a final back up light, think about a helmet mounted LED. I use the PlanetBike Sport Spot (URL=http://www****anetbike.com/frontlights.html). It's most important use is to light up repairs after dark. It keeps your hands free to work on whatever went wrong.

Edit: For some reason, the automatic censor does not like "www" "." "planetbike". So you'll have to type in the URL yourself.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 02-22-05 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 02-22-05, 04:48 AM   #21
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I do 30 miles (15 eachway) and have evolved to taking the following kit:

* Good solid lights and a backup light for front and rear. Headtorch and tiny LEDs haven't really impressed me; I use twin rear TL-600 LEDs and a CatEye HL-EL400 front to back up my big lamp.
* Rack pack (aka trunk bag) which takes my work clothes, phone, wallet, lock etc all nice and tidy. Easy to take off and stash at work, too, and less wind drag than a pannier. On my ride, panniers add about 10 minutes, so I prefer the rack pack.
* Reflective - pedal reflectors, reflective bits on jacket and gloves. It seems to be enough. The bike is well reflectorised too and I'm pretty unmissable.
* Fenders. 'Nuff said.
* Tools - spare tube, mini-pump, tyre levers, patch kit (for fixing the flat at work), multi-tool, etc. Basically your light-touring, day ride toolkit. Okay, I haven't needed the spoke key yet... I stick a small roll of black tape in there too, you never know.
* Fuel - One bottle of water, one bottle of granola and dried fruit/chocolate. A munch halfway home usually keeps me smiling.
* My office shoes stay under my desk at work - they're too bulky to carry every day.
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Old 02-22-05, 07:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute
Edit: For some reason, the automatic censor does not like "www" "." "planetbike".
dot-pl is the suffix for a perl script. It is likely a security measure against someone running a
malicious perl script, or getting a user to run one.
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Old 02-22-05, 11:18 AM   #23
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I say all he needs to bring is his big pair of cajones for making such a trek. Ride on, brotha!
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Old 02-22-05, 12:43 PM   #24
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I run 30 miles one way to work. I've got a little bit of climbing along the way, so it takes me two hours. I get a ride home from my wife in the evening. Then I ride the bike home the next day... if not the day after.

Anyway, I take the same stuff I'd take on a 5 mile ride. You need to be able to change a flat, and maybe have a spoke wrench so you can straighten your wheel enough to make it the rest of the way should a spoke break. Of course you should have a good multi-tool for other emergency repairs. But ideally, you should be maintaining the bike on the weekends - not by the side of the road and making yourself late.

I choose to pack my change of clothes. Some folks find a place and stash a weeks worth at the job so they don't have to cart 'em around. This can really lighten the load. But I find I can get away with a trunk on most occasions. I also have panniers for when I need extra space. If you have to choose between the two, buy panniers. There's no law says you can't mount just one when that's all you need. And sooner or later the other one's gonna come in handy.

Two bottles of water is a must for a ride that long. Sometimes I don't eat until I arrive. If I do eat before I leave I make it something really light.

When I'm riding home at night I make do with two Cateye EL500 LED lights. They're really great for being seen. And I also find them to be an acceptable compromise for riding the few roads which aren't lit with streetlights. I used to have a rechargable halogen. I loved the light... hated the heavy, rechargable battery. I'd rather slow down just a bit than hassle with the recharging issues. I run three LED flashers on the rear. I've had motor cops pull up along side and compliment me on my visibility. At least if someone does run me down you can call homicide... 'cause they meant it!

That's about it, except for just get out and do it. Try a test run on the weekend.

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Old 02-22-05, 01:00 PM   #25
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A motor.
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