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2019! The “How was your commute?” thread!

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2019! The “How was your commute?” thread!

Old 04-12-19, 07:28 AM
  #751  
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Wind, snow, ice, thunder, lightning, rain, hail: we've had it all in the last 24 hours. This morning we even got a layer of the dust blown up from Texas turning the snow brown. Thankfully (for me, but not for others) the heaviest snow passed just to the north of the city. I haven't seen an official amount, but my eye tells me we've gotten in the 5"-6" range. The snow that has fallen is extremely wet and heavy. Last night I ran the snowblower and at times it looked like I was spraying water. Yesterday was the first time I ever rode through falling snow and have it hail at the same time. Glad I wear a helmet.

The main streets that had been salted and plowed weren't in too bad of shape. Mostly just wet with a bit of slush at the intersections. The side streets, however, were in terrible shape. A thick layer of ice covered by wet snow that has been driven on and compressed into a slick mess. The main streets are pretty busy so I prefer to ride side streets. When the side streets get in this condition, I opt to hop on the bus heading downtown about a mile from my house and then finish the half mile ride to work from there. So that's what I did.

As I was riding to the bus stop, an older gentleman was scooping out his driveway on the other side of the street. He saw me and waved, and then hollered, "No more snow!" I smiled, raised my hand in solidarity and hollered back, "I'm with you!" I love how friendly people are in this city.
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Old 04-12-19, 07:42 AM
  #752  
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Last night the forecast tailwind (25, gusts to 35 mph) was a steady breeze, and it was a crosswind. Oh, well.

Today I beat the front to work, although I'd hoped to beat the rain to work. One big black cloud, occasionally dropping very large drops of rain, was overhead for about four miles. Then it moved to the east, clear overhead but things got very dark as that cloud blocked the sun, then the sun popped over the cloud and it was bright. No snow, though.
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Old 04-12-19, 07:54 AM
  #753  
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46 degrees, unlimited sunshine, relatively dry air even though we had storms last night, and an 18mph SW wind (that's mostly a tailwind for me).

those SW winds are supposed to intensify as the day goes on and they're talking about gusts up to 45mph.

riding home this afternoon might be a little rough.
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Old 04-12-19, 08:21 AM
  #754  
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Ug, another flat yesterday this time on my road bike. The CO2 inflator wasn't sealing right on the Presta valve so I put the adapter on it, and when I tried to unscrew it the valve screwed out of the tube. I fortunately had a second CO2 cartridge to inflate it again, although the adapter is too tight to get off without the valve coming out so the valve remains open. So I've ordered another mini-pump for my saddle bag. Between banged up cartridge threads and wasting cartridges, and not being able to inflate the punctured tube to find the hole, the CO2 pump is just not reliable enough.
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Old 04-12-19, 09:55 AM
  #755  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Ug, another flat yesterday this time on my road bike. The CO2 inflator wasn't sealing right on the Presta valve so I put the adapter on it, and when I tried to unscrew it the valve screwed out of the tube. I fortunately had a second CO2 cartridge to inflate it again, although the adapter is too tight to get off without the valve coming out so the valve remains open. So I've ordered another mini-pump for my saddle bag. Between banged up cartridge threads and wasting cartridges, and not being able to inflate the punctured tube to find the hole, the CO2 pump is just not reliable enough.
I've never used CO2 but have considered it. It's good to hear some of the drawbacks. I carry a spare tube and mini pump with me. It takes approx 37 million pumps to get a 35mm tire to 75 psi. I'm not sure which would be more frustrating, physically exhausting myself using the mini pump or driving myself mad with CO2. I can see sometimes why some people go to such great lengths to avoid punctures (liners, slime, ultra heavy tires, etc).
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Old 04-12-19, 10:03 AM
  #756  
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Speaking on tires, last night I took the fenders off my daily commuter to test fit them on my potential new commuter project bike. On my daily bike since taking the fenders off opened up some space I put back on the 38mm tires that were on it when I bought it and rode them today. I remember thinking they were super heavy and had terrible rolling resistance but they didn't seem that bad on the way in to work this morning. Then again, I had a pretty good tailwind. I'll add a pic later, but it's amazing to me how much difference the fenders make in keeping everything clean. The roads were mostly dry by the time I left home and despite avoiding puddles my bike is dirtier now than it was all winter. And my shoes are dirty. That has never happened since I put fenders on. 38mm tires sure are cushy.
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Old 04-12-19, 10:07 AM
  #757  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
I've never used CO2 but have considered it. It's good to hear some of the drawbacks. I carry a spare tube and mini pump with me. It takes approx 37 million pumps to get a 35mm tire to 75 psi. I'm not sure which would be more frustrating, physically exhausting myself using the mini pump or driving myself mad with CO2. I can see sometimes why some people go to such great lengths to avoid punctures (liners, slime, ultra heavy tires, etc).
Carry both would be the most convenient. It's just frustrating when you waste the cartridges, and then you have to worry that you might not be able to even fix the flat. I keep a larger mini-pump on my commuter, and have been carrying the CO2 on the road bike. Mainly because it fits the saddle bag.

I don't usually get flats very often, so I think I'm willing to do the 37 million pumps if it keeps my mind peaceful. Maybe more with the tiny pump that I ordered.
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Old 04-12-19, 10:11 AM
  #758  
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48F gray clammy

Went first to physical therapy; chose route from p/t to office based solely on the pattern it will leave on the GPS trace. Little OCD there I guess.
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Old 04-12-19, 10:48 AM
  #759  
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@Phamilton, before there were mini pumps, we carried full length frame pumps. They're not as easy as floor pumps but they're easier than mini pumps. And when you're fixing a flat on the road, you can get away with a lot less pressure than that unless you're carrying a lot of luggage.
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Old 04-12-19, 10:56 AM
  #760  
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Seasons are going backward this week. Monday was 60sF, clear and bright. I had to go out to a park on the north side to install a bar code scanner, perfect excuse for a ride. The park has a "wild" section, and the bird song action was intense, Gazillions of woodpeckers. Duck nearly walked into me on one of the MUPs; I had to use the horn. All around, it just felt things were finally breaking loose. It didn't last....

By Wednesday, it was 30s, wet and windy. Barely managed to dodge the raindrops for the morning rides in. Been like that up until today. Wind is so strong, I've been taking the bike elevator that takes you from lake level up to downtown, rather than climb Capitol Hill. This takes me past Lake Monona, usually placid, but looking like Lake Superior the past three days. Steady rain in the evenings, so I've been putting the bike on the bus.
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Old 04-12-19, 11:42 AM
  #761  
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I had enough flats last year that I started counting pump strokes. About 100 strokes on a Road Morph to get 700Cx32 tires to 75 psi, which is as low as I care to go. Somewhere around 125-140 to get close to 90 psi. Sure makes you appreciate a good floor pump.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
And when you're fixing a flat on the road, you can get away with a lot less pressure than that unless you're carrying a lot of luggage.
Sorta kinda right, though it depends on the situation. 5 miles from home? Good enough. 30 miles from home with a front blowing in? Quicker to get inside, and easier, if you keep pumping.
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Old 04-15-19, 03:58 AM
  #762  
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Spring is finally paying off for the hard training of winter commuting with studded tires and heavy clothes... I'm being able to pass most of (non tweaked) el-bikes on the way =)
I commute with a cyclocross, and last week I've passed 2 colleagues commuting with their el-bikes, awesome!
All in all the time it takes to have a shower still makes my commute last longer than theirs, but hei, I don't spend time going to a gym...
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Old 04-15-19, 07:48 AM
  #763  
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I rode on the sidewalk today! Never do that, except the police were blocking the road because a power line was down. Rode up the handicapping ramp, past the blockage, and hit the Long Light while it was green. Yee-haw!

Other than that, chilly (20 degrees colder than last week), clear, sunny, and blessedly calm after the front finally came through and blew itself out.
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Old 04-15-19, 09:06 AM
  #764  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Speaking on tires, last night I took the fenders off my daily commuter to test fit them on my potential new commuter project bike. On my daily bike since taking the fenders off opened up some space I put back on the 38mm tires that were on it when I bought it and rode them today. I remember thinking they were super heavy and had terrible rolling resistance but they didn't seem that bad on the way in to work this morning. Then again, I had a pretty good tailwind. I'll add a pic later, but it's amazing to me how much difference the fenders make in keeping everything clean. The roads were mostly dry by the time I left home and despite avoiding puddles my bike is dirtier now than it was all winter. And my shoes are dirty. That has never happened since I put fenders on. 38mm tires sure are cushy.
I recently switched from 32s to 38s and I can't say I've noticed much difference, but I'm not riding with a power meter or anything so it's all subjective. I'm considering one of those suspension stems next because the roads suuuuuuuuck in a few spots on my commute and it rattles my brains (and hurts my wrist).

A hair under 60F and lightly breezy this morning. First ride with these new free-float Frog pedals. Those will definitely take a little getting used to, and it's interesting to see where my heel wants to go when it's not restricted in its movement. The clip-in is easy as pie, though, the power transfer seems good, and I only had one accidental unclip, so overall a pretty good ride. Plus, my knee isn't sore after riding this morning, so that's a positive sign. Only downside is they're not nearly as walkable as SPD pedals. Scrape, scrape, scrape, everywhere I go. I suspect the cleats will wear out quickly.
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Old 04-15-19, 12:20 PM
  #765  
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Originally Posted by OhLylo View Post
First ride with these new free-float Frog pedals. Those will definitely take a little getting used to, and it's interesting to see where my heel wants to go when it's not restricted in its movement. The clip-in is easy as pie, though, the power transfer seems good, and I only had one accidental unclip, so overall a pretty good ride. Plus, my knee isn't sore after riding this morning, so that's a positive sign. Only downside is they're not nearly as walkable as SPD pedals. Scrape, scrape, scrape, everywhere I go. I suspect the cleats will wear out quickly.
I kept a pair of shoes going with Frogs for about 4 years after this scraping started. Put some Shoe Goo on the shoes around the cleat. You'll have to clean the shoes off before applying the Goo, and let them dry the recommended 48 hours, and re-apply as needed (about every 3 months for me). OTOH, Shoe Goo is about $8 a tube, and new Sidis were $200, now $250 a pair.
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Old 04-15-19, 12:52 PM
  #766  
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I wonder sometimes why there's no mini pump with a crank instead. It would be a little more complicated sure but seems like it would be a lot more friendly to use.

Do Frogs have more float than SPD's? I haven't had a complaint about how much float SPD's have.
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Old 04-15-19, 02:39 PM
  #767  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I kept a pair of shoes going with Frogs for about 4 years after this scraping started. Put some Shoe Goo on the shoes around the cleat. You'll have to clean the shoes off before applying the Goo, and let them dry the recommended 48 hours, and re-apply as needed (about every 3 months for me). OTOH, Shoe Goo is about $8 a tube, and new Sidis were $200, now $250 a pair.
I actually have some Shoe Goo, but I'm not clear where you're putting it. Like, in the recessed area around the outside of the cleat? Does this stop the scraping?

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Do Frogs have more float than SPD's? I haven't had a complaint about how much float SPD's have.
They're free-floating. SPD have 6 degrees, typically. The Frogs don't have springs so there's no tension to overcome, you can move freely until you unclip. It feels weird, very loosey-goosey, but I've been having knee problems caused by my SPD setup so I decided to try something else alongside my PT.
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Old 04-15-19, 02:57 PM
  #768  
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Originally Posted by OhLylo View Post
I actually have some Shoe Goo, but I'm not clear where you're putting it. Like, in the recessed area around the outside of the cleat? Does this stop the scraping?
No, it goes on the sole lugs on either side of the cleat. Just a little bit (maybe 1/8" when it's dried) is enough to support you on the shoe sole without needing help from the pedal system cleat. It also helps once you've started wearing the lugs down around the heels, but that's another story.
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Old 04-16-19, 06:38 AM
  #769  
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Took off work Friday and Monday. Friday for removing wisdom teeth; Monday for 'recovery' and watching the Boston Marathon. I had several friends running it too.

Back at work today, but doc said not to do any heart rate increasing exercise for about 5 days, so I probably won't bike until Thursday this week. Bummer cause it's quite nice out. So easy walking it is!
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Old 04-16-19, 07:10 AM
  #770  
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A gaw-geous spring day, beautiful morning for a bike ride if a little on the cool side. Sunny, calm, traffic was generally light, the traffic lights pretty much lined up for me. Our dogwoods are leafing out, so they're almost gone, and the azaleas are perhaps a little past their peak. But on the other hand, most* of the trees have finished pollinating (at least my bike computer only had a thin dusting yesterday afternoon instead of a solid green coat!), so I can breathe again.

*"Most" trees excluding the pecans -- so my poor wife will be doped up on antihistamines for another week and sniffling anyways.
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Old 04-16-19, 07:13 AM
  #771  
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Yesterday I took the MUP for the first time in a month since the flood. The river is still above flood stage, but had finally lowered enough that over the weekend they opened up the parks along my route. There were still about a half dozen spots where the river was still coming up over the trail and I had to ride through water. There was one spot that was still way too deep to ride through, so I had to detour around that area.

On my way home, I noticed the river was higher than it was in the morning, and the areas where I rode through water were deeper. The snows from last week's blizzard are melting and they're expecting the river to crest again this coming weekend. The city had already started shutting the parks back down as it won't be long before they're back to being underwater.

So this morning I went back to the longer, hillier road route I've been taking instead of the MUP. Traffic seemed busier in some areas, but lighter in others so I guess it balanced out. Weather was beautiful at 40F, sunny and a light headwind.

Over the weekend I had noticed a little "thud" in my left foot as it came over the top of the pedal stroke. It started almost imperceptibly and slowly grew as I rode. I thought perhaps my pedal was loose or maybe the cleat in my shoe was starting to get too much play. When I got home I inspected things and found that the entire crank arm was loose and coming off the spindle. I grabbed an allen wrench and tightened it back down. I figured that would fix it.

Yesterday on the way home from work I felt it again, and by the time I got home the pedal end of the crank would move a good 1/2". The bolt had come loose again. I re-tightened it, but this time gave it everything I could muster. I also threw that big allen wrench in my bag in case it works loose again on the road. Not sure why this suddenly started happening? I don't think the bolt is stripped as the amount of force I used to tighten it surely would have revealed if that was a problem.
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Old 04-16-19, 07:22 AM
  #772  
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Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
Yesterday I took the MUP for the first time in a month since the flood. The river is still above flood stage, but had finally lowered enough that over the weekend they opened up the parks along my route. There were still about a half dozen spots where the river was still coming up over the trail and I had to ride through water. There was one spot that was still way too deep to ride through, so I had to detour around that area.

On my way home, I noticed the river was higher than it was in the morning, and the areas where I rode through water were deeper. The snows from last week's blizzard are melting and they're expecting the river to crest again this coming weekend. The city had already started shutting the parks back down as it won't be long before they're back to being underwater.

So this morning I went back to the longer, hillier road route I've been taking instead of the MUP. Traffic seemed busier in some areas, but lighter in others so I guess it balanced out. Weather was beautiful at 40F, sunny and a light headwind.

Over the weekend I had noticed a little "thud" in my left foot as it came over the top of the pedal stroke. It started almost imperceptibly and slowly grew as I rode. I thought perhaps my pedal was loose or maybe the cleat in my shoe was starting to get too much play. When I got home I inspected things and found that the entire crank arm was loose and coming off the spindle. I grabbed an allen wrench and tightened it back down. I figured that would fix it.

Yesterday on the way home from work I felt it again, and by the time I got home the pedal end of the crank would move a good 1/2". The bolt had come loose again. I re-tightened it, but this time gave it everything I could muster. I also threw that big allen wrench in my bag in case it works loose again on the road. Not sure why this suddenly started happening? I don't think the bolt is stripped as the amount of force I used to tighten it surely would have revealed if that was a problem.
I've never had one get loose but from what I've read from the mechanics, once the crank arm has gotten loose and ridden for a while like that it may be impossible to get it reliably tightened down again. I'm assuming square taper, if it's something else then maybe disregard. But I'd be pricing new cranks.
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Old 04-16-19, 07:25 AM
  #773  
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That's pretty weird, Tundra Man. Maybe try a little bit of the non-permanent threadlocker to hold it down in the meantime?

Mon PM: 75F and windy. Overall a nice ride. I figured out I can use my body as a sail in a headwind to help relieve pressure on my wrists, so that's good. My stem adjustment came a little loose though, which was a jarring surprise riding down the road.

Tue AM: 51F, still windy. Windy mornings here tend to be great because the prevailing wind direction here is West to East. Since my AM commute is largely east and a bit south, this meant I had a nice boost much of the way to work.

My knee still felt good today. I was able to elicit my usual irritation by pedaling standing, but I rarely ride standing so I'm not too stressed about it. It seems I'm on the right track there. I'm also 10 days into this keto business, and I'm ready for the adaptation to be over so my average HRs can come back down to earth, please and thank you to my liver.
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Old 04-16-19, 09:00 AM
  #774  
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Had to pull the winter gear back out yesterday, 34 in the morning. Today it's back to a normal 43, looking for mid 70's this afternoon. I left the winter gear tub out just in case!
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Old 04-16-19, 09:54 AM
  #775  
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Last night, I rode to the bike coop to put in some volunteer work. It was cold and furiously windy out. There was also a sunshower on the way out. The wind gusted and shifted directions constantly. I rode my track racing bike, so reacting to crosswinds required good reflexes. But it was exciting. I crossed the Williamsburg Bridge which is fun and a bit challenging. The bike has a high gear ratio, so I had to put in some effort for the climb portion. On the descent, I picked up quite a bit of speed, and I was able to maintain a very high cadence with a smooth stroke. It takes a lot of attention, too. Riding fixed is a good workout. When I arrived, ridewithgps congratulated me on my personal best on that segment. I'm in the top 30% of those who record that segment.
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Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

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