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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 10-10-13, 12:43 PM   #1
AlmostGreenGuy
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Commuting in Upstate New York

So that time of year has come to the Northeast. Some call it autumn. Some call it Fall.

My morning commutes are 36 degrees, yet the afternoon trips are 70 degrees, necessitating the carrying of extra clothing to handle the greatly differing temperatures. My back thanks me for the extra attention.

Every morning carries a head wind on the way into work, and a wicked headwind on the way home as well. My legs ache every day.

Every afternoon is one giant bug hatch, leaving me plastered with tiny insects by the time I get home. I get an entire extra meal of protein every day, but it doesn't taste like steak.

My eyes water in the morning, and my glasses fog up in the cold. I have no idea how I ride for 15 miles while completely blind.

The shoulder of the road is filled with wet leaves, acorns, apples, and black walnuts, trying to throw from my bike.

The animals do a lot of moving this time of year, creating road kill every couple hundred feet. I have to hold my breath most of the way home, due to the lemming-like mortality rate of stinky skunks, possums, and raccoons.

My coffee thermos in my bike cage is luke warm by the time I get to work. I miss hot beverages.

The shadows get very long on October afternoons. Itís not dark enough for reflective tape to make any difference, Iím never sure whether to bother using my tiny blinky lights or not, and my bright dayglo jersey disappears in the bright autumn colored canopy. I might as well be wearing camouflage for the drivers.

I have to battle farm vehicles on the shoulder of the road every day, trying to pass them as they plod along at 12mph. They of course speed up an extra 5mph as soon as I feverishly try to pedal past them, just to piss me off.

Iíll have to put the bike up on the trainer soon, and start taking the bus. And as I ride in my cold damp basement each evening, in a vain attempt to keep my legs in shape for spring, all Iíll be able to think of is how much I miss my bike commute to work.
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Old 10-10-13, 07:05 PM   #2
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I’ll have to put the bike up on the trainer soon, and start taking the bus. And as I ride in my cold damp basement each evening, in a vain attempt to keep my legs in shape for spring, all I’ll be able to think of is how much I miss my bike commute to work.
Bah! Just get some studded snow tires for the Vaya. Works just fine for me in Rochester. I haven't missed a single workday commute since July 2006. 1,564 consecutive workdays as of today, and counting.

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Old 10-11-13, 07:41 AM   #3
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Actually it will only get better when it gets a colder. There won't be any road kill, no bugs, the temps will remain fairly steady and the roads will be nice clean ice or frozen pavement and occasional wet slush but that shouldn't be a problem with studded tires. Get ready, the best is yet to come. That's what we enjoy here in the Northeast for the entire winter.
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Old 10-11-13, 07:57 AM   #4
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In another few weeks there will be no bugs, the leaves will have all fallen off the trees, and your reflective tape will be visible. Just hang in there!
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Old 10-11-13, 08:35 AM   #5
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I'm from Syracuse (Liverpool, actually). Where are you? Where are you commuting to/from? Just morbid curiosity.
Moved away 6 years ago to DC, then Knoxville, now Houston. So I just kept getting further and further away from the snow. Thank god.
Personally, I hate the cold and can't imagine commuting in the snow or the bitter cold and wind. But, more power to you!

LET'S GO ORANGE!
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Old 10-11-13, 08:42 AM   #6
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Glad to know I'm not the only person who rides in their basement.
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Old 10-11-13, 12:17 PM   #7
AlmostGreenGuy
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I'm from Syracuse (Liverpool, actually). Where are you? Where are you commuting to/from? Just morbid curiosity.
Hi. I'm in Columbia County, south of Albany now. I lived in the Syracuse area for years, in Liverpool for awhile, and then on the north side of Syracuse. Great college city. Always something to do.
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Old 10-13-13, 05:24 PM   #8
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I was a year round commuter in Binghamton for 2 years (although I know it is not as bad as tsl's location). However I relocated and can't find a decent route to commute. I kind of miss the weather (but I grew up in Ithaca).
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Old 10-15-13, 09:05 PM   #9
JoeyBike
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Probably should keep my mouth shut but down here in New Orleans buuut...

No Fall or Autumn. Come February the new bright green leaves will push the old dark green ones off the trees.

No road kill. Just truckloads of broken glass.

Days get a little shorter but very few normal working folks commute in the dark both ways. I work 9-5 and never see total darkness on my commute.

Winter LOW temps never much lower than 40įF, never much hotter than 80įF. Fog and rain can be issues but never ice or snow. We get one rainy day for every six beautiful days.

BASEMENT!!?? What's that??? Water table is about 6 inches below the topsoil. Basements are not possible so we just ride outside in shorts all winter.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 10-15-13 at 09:09 PM.
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