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Old 10-09-11, 07:44 PM   #1
Wheels2Lab
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Living in Chicago, commuting far away

Hi All,

I'm a female living in Chicago and I have been bike commuting for the past month and have really been enjoying it. I bought a commuter bike (Raleigh Detour 3.5) and am now using it as my primary means of transportation as my car is no longer reliable. This past week, I commuted ~100 miles to and from work. It is a little over 20 miles each way and I typically take the train to divide up my journey. Some days, I bike the entire 20 miles home. I have surprised myself and others at how far I can travel. In heavy traffic, it takes me 1 hr and 30 minutes to arrive home by car, but by bike, I can make it in 1 hr and 42 mins. I hope to continue as long as I can into the winter and have found this forum to be extremely helpful. Thanks!
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Old 10-09-11, 08:20 PM   #2
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Very impressive!
I occasionally do the reverse of this commute, 34 miles IN to the city. Only once have I made the return trip home biking on the same day. I will typically bike in, and take the train home. Ahhh, to have options.
BTW, please consider a look at the Winter Bikers area. It inspired me to bike year round last year, and I'm loving it so much I'm actually kind of looking forward to this winter.
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Old 10-11-11, 08:37 PM   #3
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Hey welcome, that's impressive! Your commute is like my "training" at the lake front bike path lol

And if I interpreted your username correctly, I also work in a lab
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Old 10-11-11, 08:51 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard, do you have your winter gear ready?
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Old 10-11-11, 08:53 PM   #5
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Welcome from another Chicagoan! This is indeed a great and helpful site. You might also find like-minded friends at thechainlink.org, a Chicago online cycling group.
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Old 10-12-11, 09:36 PM   #6
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Welcome from another Chicagoan! This is indeed a great and helpful site. You might also find like-minded friends at thechainlink.org, a Chicago online cycling group.
Hmm, thanks for that one I'll have to check it out myself!
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Old 10-16-11, 07:05 AM   #7
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Wow! Very impressive wheels2lab. I'm also in the Chicago area, let us know how the winter riding goes. According to the forecasts, we're in for another brutal winter
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Old 10-16-11, 07:37 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forums =], I'm new too lol hahas. I commute to school 4ks... lol...and soon less cause I'm moving houses lol. My tips for winter, buy good gloves.
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Old 10-17-11, 08:54 PM   #9
Wheels2Lab
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Hi all, thanks for the replies. I did another 20+ mile commute back home today and felt really good and not as sore. I think I fare better in the colder weather. I guess I will have to put away my shorts for the season and break out the track pants tomorrow when I ride. I do have thermal arm warmers and long finger gloves I purchased last week at REI. And yes, I ride to and from lab where I work. I used to rollerblade to lab when I was in grad school but now that is not feasible with the distance I have to cover. Riding really helps clear the mind and relieve some of the stress. I will see how I feel about winter tires, but I may skip riding in the really bad weather (snow, sleet, minus temps) since I am so new to the whole commuting thing. My coworkers think I am crazy and other people assume I live real close. When I tell them the distance I cover, they are shocked and don't know what to say. I am getting faster with every ride and hope to continue for as long as I can into the season. There are other bicyclists who take the train with me on the Metra and that helps keep me motivated.
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Old 10-18-11, 03:24 AM   #10
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In my case, the only problem with snow, sleet, etc. is my commuting time increases drastically if the MUPs are not cleared. Which is often the case after a heavy snowfall. Winter commuting is great fun with proper equipment, but it can take up a lot of time.

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Old 10-24-11, 06:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by trailz View Post
Very impressive!
I occasionally do the reverse of this commute, 34 miles IN to the city. Only once have I made the return trip home biking on the same day. I will typically bike in, and take the train home. Ahhh, to have options.
BTW, please consider a look at the Winter Bikers area. It inspired me to bike year round last year, and I'm loving it so much I'm actually kind of looking forward to this winter.
Old guy checking in on Winter biking. Cold isn't the enemy so much as precipitation. If you dress properly even in 20ish F. temps you'll need to crack open a zipper, take off gloves, etc. to prevent overheating! But snow, ice, etc. make an unfriendly surface for any two wheeled vehicle.
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