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Not yet commuting

Old 05-29-07, 03:31 PM
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Not yet commuting

Rode home from my carpool meeting place for the first time. I'd love to commute to work one day... when I live a little closer than 18 miles, and I'm a little faster. And maybe have a road bike, traffic and logn hills is no fun on my MTB.

But for only 4.34 miles, this isn't too terrible. (In 35 minutes! Wow, I'm out of shape. To be fair, my left knee was acting up, and I usually go about twice that fast if not more. But still... )

Route map for the curious/local folks. Anyone know if the board lets you do an embed?
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Old 05-29-07, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
Rode home from my carpool meeting place for the first time. I'd love to commute to work one day... when I live a little closer than 18 miles, and I'm a little faster. And maybe have a road bike, traffic and logn hills is no fun on my MTB.

But for only 4.34 miles, this isn't too terrible. (In 35 minutes! Wow, I'm out of shape. To be fair, my left knee was acting up, and I usually go about twice that fast if not more. But still... )

Route map for the curious/local folks. Anyone know if the board lets you do an embed?
Easy! Print screen, paste into Photoshop or GIMP, crop, save as jpeg, host on photobucket and paste in Forum Code!
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Old 05-29-07, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Easy! Print screen, paste into Photoshop or GIMP, crop, save as jpeg, host on photobucket and paste in Forum Code!
Uh, yeah.....
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Old 05-29-07, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rs hunter
Uh, yeah.....
By the way, GIMP is an open source photoshop alternative, if you have neither, and it's free at www.GIMP.org

Make sure you DL the windows version if you have a microtrasher puter.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:14 PM
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I've been using GIMP on my Mac for months now. It took me a while to get used to the interface, I quite like it.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:19 PM
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Could you just ride home one day a week? Think about what you can do.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Easy! Print screen, paste into Photoshop or GIMP, crop, save as jpeg, host on photobucket ...
Well, yeah, but that's kinda cheating.

Originally Posted by CastIron
Could you just ride home one day a week? Think about what you can do.
If I can get up to doing 18 miles reliably, and can figure out a way to get the bike to work... sure! For now I'll try to keep this up.

Gratuitous plug: More about the day and the ride is on my blog, now that blogger has deigned to publish again. Tom, nicked your screenshot (yes, I resized it with GIMP).
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Old 05-30-07, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
Well, yeah, but that's kinda cheating.



If I can get up to doing 18 miles reliably, and can figure out a way to get the bike to work... sure! For now I'll try to keep this up.

Gratuitous plug: More about the day and the ride is on my blog, now that blogger has deigned to publish again. Tom, nicked your screenshot (yes, I resized it with GIMP).
Actually, it's YOUR screenshot, just through the agency of my computer That's no problem.
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Old 05-30-07, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
I'd love to commute to work one day... when I live a little closer than 18 miles, and I'm a little faster. And maybe have a road bike, traffic and logn hills is no fun on my MTB.
Neils on wheels think alike. I also would like to bike commute to work, but riding 15 miles up and down hills is bad enough in the daytime. Add in the fact I work second shift.... Yes, there's little traffic at 10:30 PM, but the cagers are insane.
 
Old 05-30-07, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
Rode home from my carpool meeting place for the first time. I'd love to commute to work one day... when I live a little closer than 18 miles, and I'm a little faster. And maybe have a road bike, traffic and logn hills is no fun on my MTB.

But for only 4.34 miles, this isn't too terrible. (In 35 minutes! Wow, I'm out of shape. To be fair, my left knee was acting up, and I usually go about twice that fast if not more. But still... )

Route map for the curious/local folks. Anyone know if the board lets you do an embed?
A Journey of 1000 miles, starts with the first pedal.... To make an old Chinese proverb work for our purposes, okay so your going 7.4 MPH, slow, BUT there are things you can do to improve the situation...

Like tires, most MTBs come with fat knobby low pressure tires, if your riding on pavement, narrow, smooth high pressure tires, work a lot better, I have a set of Ritchey Tom Slicks, 1.4" wide, I run them around 82PSI, not 100% smooth, but close enough. If you check my blog there was a post from a couple of months ago, with the latest changes to this bike, that show the tires.

You will see these are not 100% smooth, hard to see in this photo, if you want me to, I can take a closeup of the tire, so you can see, basically smooth in the centre, with a little tread on the edges. Which reduces the chance of a washout on a corner with loose material on it. I wouldn't go on mud or snow with these, but I still have the knobby tires, in the garage for that

Oh well, I just worked all night, so I am going to bed now.....
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Old 05-30-07, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
Rode home from my carpool meeting place for the first time. I'd love to commute to work one day... when I live a little closer than 18 miles, and I'm a little faster. And maybe have a road bike, traffic and logn hills is no fun on my MTB.
Suggestion: drive part way and ride the rest. A lot of people get started that way. And get rid of the knobs, if you have them, and get some slicks. I commute on a hybrid, and yes, it's a lot less efficient than a road bike, but no, it's not completely unworkable.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca
... if your riding on pavement, narrow, smooth high pressure tires, work a lot better, I
I've considered that, but I do ride on gravel and dirt on the weekends. (I know, get a second bike. No money for that just now.) But it would help. I'd be fine with swapping out the wheels, if not the the back wheel being such a production to switch out.

If I did get a second bike... It'd be a hybrid or a road bike. There's a one-in-a-million chance we might move to Chicago soon, in which case I'd just have to get a folding bike to take on the subways. Twist my arm...

Originally Posted by lil brown bat
Suggestion: drive part way and ride the rest.
We're a one-car family now, and I hope to keep it that way. (My Saturn got smashed up last summer and I haven't missed it.) My wife drops me off at and picks me up from the carpool, but it'd be nice to eliminate that. (The way I have it now at least minimizes it.)
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Old 05-30-07, 08:16 AM
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Hey, what do y'all think of this bike as a beater for street riding? Of course, a lot depends on the weight, condition, etc. Emailed the poster, need to hear more, including if he's near me. But for $40, it might be fun just to tinker with.

https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/339382081.html


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Old 05-30-07, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
Hey, what do y'all think of this bike as a beater for street riding? Of course, a lot depends on the weight, condition, etc. Emailed the poster, need to hear more, including if he's near me. But for $40, it might be fun just to tinker with.

https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/339382081.html


Looks like it'd be a good bike to hook the wife into riding as well if she hasn't got a bike.......
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Old 05-30-07, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Looks like it'd be a good bike to hook the wife into riding as well if she hasn't got a bike.......
She has a MTB, and it's pretty comfy, but we need to remove the seatpost shock, it's at its minimum height and still too high.
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Old 05-30-07, 08:37 PM
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Did better today on the way back form the carpool. 6.78 miles, averaging 9 mph. I gets better - I did another 3 and a half miles of small rides, and kept my average up to 8.9 for the day. Woot!

Hills were harder today, though. The Livingston campus at Rutgers is another good biking location, but too many of the roads that you need tyo go on to get there are high-traffic with no shoulders.
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Old 05-30-07, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
I've considered that, but I do ride on gravel and dirt on the weekends. (I know, get a second bike. No money for that just now.) But it would help. I'd be fine with swapping out the wheels, if not the the back wheel being such a production to switch out.

If I did get a second bike... It'd be a hybrid or a road bike. There's a one-in-a-million chance we might move to Chicago soon, in which case I'd just have to get a folding bike to take on the subways. Twist my arm...



We're a one-car family now, and I hope to keep it that way. (My Saturn got smashed up last summer and I haven't missed it.) My wife drops me off at and picks me up from the carpool, but it'd be nice to eliminate that. (The way I have it now at least minimizes it.)
If the back wheel is a big production to switch out, then you need to just do it more, the key though is to make sure the components match as much as possible, for example same rims, same hubs, most importantly same cassette. This way it's open the QR, pop out the wheel, pop in the other wheel, close QR. The chain makes it more complex, BUT if you do it a few times, it gets to be second nature. Which is actually handy, at some point late, on a dark, windy, rainy, cold, night, you will be riding along, and get what the British call, eloquently a puncture, you will be extra tired, just about dead on your feet, it will be at least 10 miles from home. It never fails.... Being able to easily change a tube, without needing to make sure brain is fully engaged, is a huge advantage.

From what I understand, Chicago, like New York, Boston, Montreal and my own Toronto, is a city that has a good transit system, if you live in an older neighbourhood, then often you will find shopping within walking or biking distance, and that makes it a lot less needful for a car. My wife and I have always shared a car, right now she works days, and I work nights, I'm off in a few minutes actually, so it's even easier to share a car.

Another speed improver, besides tires, is riding position, you should pedal with the ball of the foot, not the arch, clipless pedals or toe clips make this easier, in that they force the foot into the right place, you may find you need to raise your seat a little though. I will be installing toe clips soon....

Third, and this one doesn't seem to make sense, try a lower gear, then spin faster, a lot of riders try to push the highest gear possible, and mash the pedals, this actually causes two problems, they go a lot slower with the increased effort, and the chance of blowing a knee is higher.

More later.
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Old 05-31-07, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca
Another speed improver, besides tires, is riding position, you should pedal with the ball of the foot, not the arch, clipless pedals or toe clips make this easier, in that they force the foot into the right place, you may find you need to raise your seat a little though. I will be installing toe clips soon....
I've been trying to remember to pedal that way. I've been thinking about giving clips a whirl, although I hated them in the past.

Originally Posted by Wogsterca
Third, and this one doesn't seem to make sense, try a lower gear, then spin faster, a lot of riders try to push the highest gear possible, and mash the pedals, this actually causes two problems, they go a lot slower with the increased effort, and the chance of blowing a knee is higher.
Actually, it does make sense, it'd make for less force on the knee. I'll try that on the way home today and let you know.
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Old 05-31-07, 06:18 AM
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Neil, as your base increases, you'll notice distance less. I suspect that it won't be long until you consider a 30 mile round trip a short hop!
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