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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 09-27-13, 08:15 AM   #26
CommuteCommando
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I don't see why some people need to make commuting a race.
This is why I got Strava. Since I am the only one I am really racing with, I need to have a way to know if I'm winning.
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Old 09-27-13, 09:31 AM   #27
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.. if I get there and back, safely, I feel good about that .
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Old 09-27-13, 10:54 AM   #28
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Yesterday, I rode to my mother in law's place in White Plains, about 32 miles away. All but about 7 miles of my route were on bike trails, so there were lots of cyclists. Time was short, so I really hauled butt. Only two people passed me the entire time.
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Old 09-27-13, 08:14 PM   #29
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I'm in no shape to be passing roadies, and I ride my MTB with knobby tires and pull two kids in a trailer, but the other day I was going faster than normal, maintaining 15-16mph or so and saw two recumbent trikes on the trail ahead of me, tracked them down and passed when I could. Payed for it later though when I hit the hilly portion of the ride a 70 year old guy passed me no sweat. Kudos to him, I think he's passed me before too.

I don't see any problem with someone using passing someone as some motivation to kick it up a gear as long as they're staying safe. Some of the unsafe stuff people here have seen is just stupid. I like the other stories here though.
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Old 09-27-13, 10:04 PM   #30
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I know people always brag on this forum about how they passed a guy on a $10,000 carbon fiber bike wear a full kit, aero helmet, shoe covers, shaved legs, going up a hill on their 45 pound extracycle carrying a trailer without sweating or losing their breath and how good they feel and what not.

I had a funny incident yesterday where I was the roadie! I generally feel like I cross the line between many types of cyclist. I commute to work on a cyclocross bike with rack, lights, panniers, etc. I have a relatively nice road bike and a really enjoy riding road. I also do triathlon, cyclocross, and am starting to get into mountain biking.

Yesterday I rode a bike for the first time in over a week because I've been home sick with the flu. I just got my caad-10 road frame warrantied because it cracked and I really wanted to try out my new bike! Early in the ride I passed a dude on an old 10 speed in baggy pants and a hoodie with no helmet. I said hi, and passed him going approx 16mph up a slight but long grade. For the next 5-10 minutes I could tell he was trying to re-pass me (and of course it made me think of this forum). Eventually we came to a stop light and I slowed to a stop just as the light turned green. The timing was perfect for him to catch up and zoom past me (without saying hi!), ha ha. Right after the light was a long downhill and he was pedaling like crazy. I caught up to him at the next traffic light and we had a nice conversation riding side by side for the next few miles before our routes went different ways.

Roadies and Commuties can be Friendsies guys!!
I got passed by a couple of roadies on the way to work a few days ago. They were in full kit, carbon road bikes, whole nine yards. I was wearing walking shorts and walking shoes, on platform pedals, riding my LHT with panniers. They were friendly as they passed me, and I didn't feel any urge to catch up with them; I was going to work, not racing, and it's not like I could have kept up anyway. Even so, one of the roadies kept looking back at me, just to be sure. This left me wondering: is every bike ride a race for some people?

I personally do not harbor any ill-will towards roadies. I'll never be a roadie myself, but many of them are pretty impressive athletes, and I respect that. In addition, the more cyclists there are, the safer all of us are. I don't care if you're Tyler Farrar or my coworker who commutes on a Breezer Uptown. I won't give you any kind of sh*t if you're on a bicycle, no matter what kind; I will welcome your presence as I tool along at 15-17 mph on my touring bike with well-worn panniers.
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Old 09-27-13, 11:06 PM   #31
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Nice stories!

My route is generally a lot of odd driveways, parks, and ally shortcuts, so I don't usually run into people until I get to the base of campus. Since I'm in a college town, I pass most people though, especially in the hills
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Old 09-28-13, 06:59 AM   #32
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I personally do not harbor any ill-will towards roadies. I'll never be a roadie myself, but many of them are pretty impressive athletes, and I respect that. In addition, the more cyclists there are, the safer all of us are. I don't care if you're Tyler Farrar or my coworker who commutes on a Breezer Uptown. I won't give you any kind of sh*t if you're on a bicycle, no matter what kind; I will welcome your presence as I tool along at 15-17 mph on my touring bike with well-worn panniers.
I love this sentiment. I also love how different our definitions of "tool along" are. When I'm tooling along it's at about 10-12 mph. 15-17 is hauling butt for me!
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Old 09-28-13, 07:01 AM   #33
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I love this sentiment. I also love how different our definitions of "tool along" are. When I'm tooling along it's at about 10-12 mph. 15-17 is hauling butt for me!
In fact, from now on I'm going to consider my morning commute a public service for other commuters' egos!

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Old 09-28-13, 07:26 AM   #34
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bragi, I agree! NYC start its giant bike share program this year, and ridership has increased over the already-high rate. Now there are so many people on bikes who are not bike nuts, and this is so good for everyone. I'm seeing lots of very fat people riding bikes. My heart melts. I can't tell you how thrilling this is. I imagine many people are figuring their time has come to get on a bike and start moving on their own power.
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Old 09-28-13, 06:11 PM   #35
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Tom, I just saw a video about some of the biking improvements in NYC with the bike lane put in between the parked cars and the sidewalk by taking out a driving lane. That and the bikeshare program are awesome. I agree, the more bikers the safer we all are and the better for everyone.
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Old 09-28-13, 07:13 PM   #36
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A guy passing me today shouted Kudos to me as he passed. (It was a steep hill for this Clyde)

He was jogging.
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Old 09-28-13, 08:16 PM   #37
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Riding with my spouse many years ago she had a little dog carrier on her front bars for our longhair miniature dachshund. The dog loved to ride, would hang its head out the front in the wind, but would go nuts if someone passed us. The dog would be OK if you road up along side, but as soon as you got so much as a wheel in front the dog would go nuts and start barking, yipping and jumping around inside the carrier, and stay that way until lead bike was about a half a block distant.

That says it all.
I used to cross country ski with our recently deceased lab #cough # Pitbull #cough # mix. I ski on old time 3 pin wood skiis, so we'd get passed all the time by the racer/ski skaters, and my dog did NOT like that. He'd turn himself inside out trying to catch these folks. I loved it, since I had him attached at my waist for a DIY version of skijorring! If I had his motivation, I might have been a champion racer myself.
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Old 09-28-13, 08:37 PM   #38
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I don't see why some people need to make commuting a race.
My sentiments exactly. But then, after a few minutes of watching that roadie lollygagging in front of me, I have to ask myself "WWJD"? (That is, "What Would Jamie Do?". Jamie is my riding buddy.) And of course, the answer to that question is that Jamie would turn himself inside out to pass that guy; I feel obligated to try to live up to his example.

This week, it was an older guy on a Lemond road bike. And by "older guy", I mean somebody about my age, or maybe a couple years older. So, he was up ahead, pulled away a little, then I reeled him in again. Decided to pass him, and "put the hammer down". And he was right on my wheel. I gave it my best for about four miles, and he was on me like flypaper. Finally, I had to slow down because of MUP traffic(not to mention the fact that I was toasted!). When it cleared, I waved him by, and he thanked me for the pull. I told him I should have known better than to try to pass a roadie on my (slick tired) mountain bike! All in good fun. The silly commuter racing rules rock.

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Old 09-28-13, 08:47 PM   #39
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This is why I got Strava. Since I am the only one I am really racing with, I need to have a way to know if I'm winning.
I'm like that. I check my average time at each commute to break my own records. That's one way of checking my own improvement...
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Old 09-28-13, 09:03 PM   #40
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I always commute by stopwatch checkpoints(both to know if I'm going to be late or off-paced), so its kinda strava-ish low tech style Around here there don't seem to be many commuters at the times/routes I go but in my post college years in a different locale there were.

One hot summer day after work which was a solid 20 miles away, I took my newly rebuilt and overhauled Sedona out for the ride home in typical style. Felt solid, kept on driving. In the flatter straightaway I saw a pair of well dressed well paced roadies which took a while to catch(as they should). Eventually I caught them and drafted before they looked back a little closer to see me in a sleeveless and cut-offs on a very knobby mtb. Not sure if that was what killed it or me just wearing them down They didn't catch up for another 5 miles. Either way it was a good maiden run for a bike rebuild that took almost a full winter. Oddly, that tubeless mtb setup was faster on the total time than the Trek roadie that I had been riding. Go fig.
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Old 09-28-13, 10:27 PM   #41
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I get passed by all manner of riders, some pass respectfully and some pass like d-bags regardless of their bike/kit...but when I'm in "roadie" mode, the overwhelming majority of guys who seem to go out of their way to pass me and make a to-do of it by seemingly putting forth A LOT of effort into it (breathing hard, spinning like mad) are middle-aged guys on hybrids. I feel like this happens way more often when I'm in "roadie" mode, whether commuting or on a weekend ride, so I can't help but assume that there is a large contingent of dudes out there who get an ego boost from passing someone wearing Lycra.
Jeez, nobody knows how many miles the other person is doing/has done so it's a bit arbitrary aint it? Like bragging about being a high bidder in an ebay auction.......all that matters is the end. Time to put on a number folks!
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Old 09-29-13, 12:01 AM   #42
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In my experience, racers are far less likely to turn every commute into a race.
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Old 09-29-13, 05:11 PM   #43
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I commute on a BMX 24", so I realize I'm never going to be the fastest guy around and don't normally even try, except for one section of the commute that is over a bridge and represents the biggest/only hill on the trip. At the start of this hill I try and give it a good run and usually pass at least a few people during this stretch. Really I'm not doing it to be competitive, it's just if I don't get a good head of steam going I'm going to have trouble making it up and over at all. After the initial burst I'll just try and pick someone out in front of me and try to pace that person to the top, gives me the motivation to not give up and walk the rest of the way. Invariably one or two people that I passed at the beginning of the hill will repass me again before we reach the crest, and I always hope that they don't hold my burst of speed and subsequent slowing against me. I'm happy just to make it to the top.

All that being said, there's one exception to not being competitive on the commute. At the beginning of the summer I was on my bike just tooling along and got passed on a gentle downhill by a guy on a skateboard. I figured I'd catch up to him pretty quickly, but he ran a couple of red lights and stayed just out of reach. But then I had mostly caught up to him at the bottom of the bridge. This is my spot, 1 and a half miles of no lights, half of it up a pretty good hill. I hit it all out, and this guy pulls away from me like it was nothing. I swear he was doing 15mph going uphill on a skateboard! Might as well had been Christian Slater in Gleaming the Cube.
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Old 09-29-13, 05:53 PM   #44
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I don't see why some people need to make commuting a race. I have had some people pass me dangerously just to be in front, and others who are going slower will often pass me at a stop light, forcing me to pass them again and again. It's stupid and dangerous.
So you don't see why people need to make commuting a race but are upset at being forced "to pass them again and again". Interesting.
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Old 09-30-13, 10:55 AM   #45
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So you don't see why people need to make commuting a race but are upset at being forced "to pass them again and again". Interesting.
I don't feel the need to race on my commute but I do like to maintain a steady pace and I can see lost architect's point. I will only pass someone if I feel they are going to slow me down. However, I try to make sure that if I pass someone, they stay passed. Of course, some people get sand in their vagina when you pass them and they take it personally. Usually, this means that will try to catch up and pass you because you hurt their fragile ego.

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Old 09-30-13, 02:15 PM   #46
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I will only pass someone if I feel they are going to slow me down.
Why are you in such a hurry, speed racer? Slow down and smell the roses!

.................................................................................................... ......

As caloso alluded to, 99% of cyclists accused of "racing" are just getting from point A to B (a bit faster). Also, when I give a cyclist an "on your left" and 3 feet of space it's a safe pass even if it felt dangerous.
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Old 09-30-13, 02:21 PM   #47
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It was rather fun to drop a guy who was being a total arse on the MUP. He passed, with inches to spare, an old guy using a motorized wheelchair (a WWII vet, I've seen him before) with his stupid road bike at a far too high rate of speed. My friend and I chased him down on our laden city bikes and bounced him when he turned on the next surface street. It was rather amusing to watch him flail trying to hunt for the correct gear as we blew by at well over 40 km/h. The only reason we did it was because he was a total jerk to the old guy in a wheelchair.
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Old 09-30-13, 05:45 PM   #48
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I was once going up a popular grade (Torrey Pines in San Diego). I am a bit Clyde, so am really used to getting passed by younger, lighter roadies up this hill. One day I hear this faint creaking behind me that started growing louder, then there he goes past me. The guy was a little younger than my fifty something, wearing cutoff jeans, flip flops, and nothing else, skin the tone of well cured leather, riding a single speed cruiser with a wobbly rear wheel, and baskets front and rear filled with bottles and cans. I never did catch up to him.
Love it! I've been up Torrey Pines a few times myself, it's a bear!
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Old 09-30-13, 07:38 PM   #49
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Why are you in such a hurry, speed racer? Slow down and smell the roses!

.................................................................................................... ......

As caloso alluded to, 99% of cyclists accused of "racing" are just getting from point A to B (a bit faster). Also, when I give a cyclist an "on your left" and 3 feet of space it's a safe pass even if it felt dangerous.
This is true but the point I was trying to make is that if a rider actually races -- has a USAC racing license, trains according to a plan, and pins on a number at an event where everyone agrees that it is a race and they post your results -- that rider is a lot less likely to take the bait and get drawn into a Cat 6 MUP race.

At least among the racers I know.
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Old 09-30-13, 08:28 PM   #50
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Why are you in such a hurry, speed racer? Slow down and smell the roses!

.................................................................................................... ......

As caloso alluded to, 99% of cyclists accused of "racing" are just getting from point A to B (a bit faster). Also, when I give a cyclist an "on your left" and 3 feet of space it's a safe pass even if it felt dangerous.
I gotta get to work!
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