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

Old 05-15-19, 08:21 AM
  #926  
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Welcome to this week's episode of the Tundra Man heart surgery newsletter. So here we are at three weeks after my open heart valve replacement surgery. It's crazy how fast it has gone. Between my therapy sessions and doctor visits most days fill up pretty quickly.

Pain is still there, but now I'm down to just a single Tylenol per day that I take right before bed. The pain now feels like a mild sunburn on my chest (versus a bad sunburn from last week.) Certain movements involving the chest muscles increase the pain while I'm moving, but it quickly dissipates once I come to my senses and stop doing something I probably shouldn't have been doing in the first place. The sneeze count since my surgery is now up to nine. Sneezes pretty much make me stop everything else I'm doing for about ten minutes to recover. The fact that I've easily kept count says something about the attention they grab. Thankfully I've only had single sneezes. I think a full-on sneezing fit might kill me.

Sleep has gotten better. I think I'm getting used to my Craigslist recliner. I haven't been waking up in the night sore the last few nights like I did the first week. I did try an experiment on Monday afternoon and tried to lie down in my bed. Laying on my right side was tolerable. Laying flat on my back was painful. Laying on my left side made me regret trying. One of the nurses in the hospital said that lying down places pressure on the sternum, and right now my sternum has some flex in it where they cut it in half and wired it back together. It may be a while before I'll be able to move back to a regular bed.

I'm still walking about three times per day. Since I came home from the hospital I've now logged about 59 miles. On Monday I walked more than seven miles. They told me in the hospital that the more I walk the better I'll feel. I might have taken their advice to an extreme level, but so far it's working out for me. It is getting tougher to add more miles to each day, simply because of the amount of time it takes. On Tuesday I only walked about 4.5 miles, but I really focused on upping my pace instead of my distance and averaged just a hair slower than 15 minutes per mile.

Cardiac rehab classes started yesterday. Rehab classes meet three times a week and last about an hour and a half. I was concerned that I was going to be stuck in a room with a bunch of elderly patients as we moved at a pace that barely requires any effort. Well, I was half right: I am in a room with a bunch of elderly patients, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The good news is the therapists quickly recognized that I had already rehabbed myself past the beginning levels, and they immediately moved me to the "advanced" track. They're going to let me control my pace and resistance on the equipment so that I can still challenge myself during the sessions. They also aren't making me meet with a dietician as I don't have heart disease like most other cardiac patients. As one of the nurses said regarding my bad valve, "You're not unhealthy, just unlucky." Normally people spend months in the rehab classes, but the nurse was pretty confident that I would be sprung within four weeks.

Speaking of my fancy new titanium and carbon fiber mechanical aortic valve, it's not unusual for patients to report they can occasionally hear it clicking shut. Well, mine goes beyond just me being able to hear it: several people have noted they can hear mine even up to about eight feet away. I was told at separate times by a nurse and a doctor that I now have the loudest heart they have ever heard. Apparently this is a good thing, as it indicates my heart is beating strong. The heart monitor and blood pressure has things looking about perfect.

Blood thinning is getting closer. The last three appointments with the coagulation clinic saw my blood (which had gotten too thin) slowly thicken. Yesterday's test showed my blood within ideal range. I have another check on Friday, and if that one is still in range then I can switch to once per week checks. Eventually they want to get me to just having to have it checked once per month (for the rest of my life - yay.) Diet plays an important role with keeping my blood in the thickness zone, so I have to carefully monitor the amount of vitamin K I ingest so that I eat the same amount every week as it counteracts the blood thinning medication.

I was still supposed to be on driving restriction until the 21st when I meet with the surgeon. This was starting to get a little inconvenient with the number of appointments I had and trying to arrange rides. Yesterday I contacted the surgeon and asked if the restriction could get lifted a little early. They agreed since I left the hospital without any pain medication. So I'm back to driving and being able to be a little independent when it comes to getting where I need to go.

Well, if you're still reading this that pretty much sums things up as of day 21.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:06 AM
  #927  
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50F, gray. Rain for foreseeable future so back to tights, raincoat, rainbike for foreeeable future after a couple weeks of nice spring weather.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:37 AM
  #928  
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I stopped on the way home and had dinner with my wife, and then rode home as the sun went down. I have to say, while riding in the dark is fun early in the winter, I don't miss it in late spring.

Still in the 40s this morning (almost cold down here!), but clear so far today. Rode the rain bike for the 50% chance it rains this afternoon.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:42 AM
  #929  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
@noglider @robertorolfo, do you guys ever see bike messengers?
There are probably others here from NYC but I only know of yous twos guys for certain.
As Tom mentioned, there are guys all over the place using their bikes to move items to a fro. That said, the large majority of them don't look like Kevin Bacon or Laurence Fishburne in "Quicksilver." They are usually carrying some sort of food items, and the majority that I see are either hispanic (about 50/50 on mountain bikes or e-bikes), or Asian (about 90% on e-bikes). Neither group, in my opinion, rides their e-bikes particularly responsibly.

As for old school messengers, the lines are also getting blurred as there are some regular riders that pretty much emulate that look, with "messenger bags" being so popular and whatnot.


@Tundra_Man thanks for the update. Glad to hear you are doing well.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:34 AM
  #930  
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@noglider @robertorolfo

Thanks for the replies! I think it's an interesting job that my body wouldn't tolerate. Re emulating the look, I wonder how many elements of the typical messenger "kit" are functional and time-tested, in other words is there anything they're doing as bike commuters that is an improvement on what I'm doing. I spend a lot of time on my bike, and they spend much much more on theirs. Fascinating, to me anyway. I've never heard of any messengers on the forums here, but I've never asked or looked around either.
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Old 05-15-19, 03:19 PM
  #931  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Thanks for the replies! I think it's an interesting job that my body wouldn't tolerate. Re emulating the look, I wonder how many elements of the typical messenger "kit" are functional and time-tested, in other words is there anything they're doing as bike commuters that is an improvement on what I'm doing. I spend a lot of time on my bike, and they spend much much more on theirs. Fascinating, to me anyway. I've never heard of any messengers on the forums here, but I've never asked or looked around either.
As far as I can tell, unless they wear something technical, it's just some casual streetwear. I don't think they have some sort of secret that others are missing out on.

As for what they make, I have no idea either, but I can't imagine it would be sustainable considering the rents here. Back in the days of Quicksilver, you could still find some cheaper spots, but these days not so much...
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Old 05-16-19, 07:44 AM
  #932  
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Lingering clouds from the storm yesterday kept the temperature up overnight before it cleared out, so it was a nice riding day this morning. Clear, mid-60s, and so much traffic I couldn't make the left onto the MUP where the bluebird chicks are fledging.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:55 AM
  #933  
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@Tundra_Man - still improving it sounds like - awesome! Glad you got back some driving privileges and independence.

Another nice, spring morning here with morning temps in the low to mid 50s. My back brake has something going on I need to look into. It is not smooth but a bit jerky as it slows. I tried to take a quick look when I got to work, but am not sure what the problem is yet.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:40 AM
  #934  
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Great week of commuting even if it was a bit chillier than it should be for May. I have been wearing my bib tights and jacket with a wool cap in the mornings.

Yesterday was the ride of silence so I hung around downtown for dinner at Jimmy Johns.

made me nervous to leave my bike outside the building


my bike outside while I ate dinner.




Photo from the Ride of Silence. A few more people in front of me and the police escort


I then rode home and realized that I had left my keys in the lock I leave at work. Luckily my wife got into the parking deck and found my keys.

This is my last day of commuting, off tomorrow. I am then riding 74 miles in the piedmont of Virginia.
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Old 05-16-19, 10:21 AM
  #935  
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I rode to the blood center yesterday to donate platelets. After my donation, I was planning on taking a ride in Central Park, but unlocking my bike, I noticed the wheel had a big wobble. I thought, hmm, I must have broken a spoke. But no, I broke my rim. Well, I put that wheel on thinking I'll use it until it fails, and the time has come. Commuting on a 24-spoke rear wheel isn't a long term bet.

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Old 05-16-19, 02:14 PM
  #936  
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Rainy day after a rainy night, but clear for my ride in. Fingers crossed it will clear again for the ride home. My trike is sitting out under its cover and the cover has formed a pool in the seat.

At the exit from the one block I take of artery to bike trail, this was the scene. It must have happened in the night. Hope everyone was ok. I saw on Facebook someone wrote, “The weather went from 85 to 55 like it saw a CHP.” It hasn’t rained in a while and people get complacent fast.

No sign of the tent.

Good to hear from you Tundra Man.




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Old 05-17-19, 06:26 AM
  #937  
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@Darth Lefty - at least they missed that pole.

A pleasant ride this morning. One neighborhood I ride through has a golf course occasionally used in smaller tournaments. Right now it is the Symetra Tour with a tag line of "The Road to the LPGA". So some sort of minor league for women looking to go pro I guess. It hasn't been a traffic issue at all, but I've seen a lot more folks on the course and some crew and supporters walking through.

Happy Friday! And Happy Bike to Work Day!

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Old 05-17-19, 07:21 AM
  #938  
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Happy Bike to Work Day, or for us happy Friday! Big news for me was yesterday's ride home - epic scary, rode right into a major storm. In about 10 minutes it went from a nice tailwind to 60mph headwinds, sideways rain, and hail. Visibility was 0 but I could hear trees falling behind me. There was nowhere to pull over so I just gutted it out. By the time I pulled into my neighborhood it had subsided and I breathed a sigh of relief... and then pulled into my driveway to see this. My poor truck is toast
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Old 05-17-19, 07:28 AM
  #939  
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@arsprod, being the optimist I am, I'm glad that tree hit your truck instead of blowing down over your roof! The truck is an easy replacement by comparison.

I forgot it was Bike to Work Day, so I just rode my bike to work. Passed one lonely cyclist waiting for company, and I didn't see anybody at the other advertised meeting place. Nice day, if it's getting a bit warm -- 70 degrees when I left, compared to upper 40s two days ago, bright and calm.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:32 AM
  #940  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
@arsprod, being the optimist I am, I'm glad that tree hit your truck instead of blowing down over your roof! The truck is an easy replacement by comparison.
Totally agree! My neighbor wasn't so lucky
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Old 05-17-19, 07:35 AM
  #941  
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Bike to work day? I didn't see anyone else on a bike today. Of course I never do anyway.

Also I wrecked. Hit a road rut at a bad angle...went down hard.

Took some gnarly road rash up my left side. So that's fun.

But I saved the bike! Made sure I stayed under it as I slid. Bike ended up with just a minor scrap on the left pedal (Chester Racefaces take a hit very well) and knocked my fender out of alignment but it's fixable.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:42 AM
  #942  
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Yikes! That sucks. Hopefully insurance covers your losses.

Haven't been able to ride all week so it was nice to get back on the bike this morning. Forecast called for a low of 40. Was excited to ride without a jacket and maybe skip the knee warmers and over the knee knickers for regular shorts. That dream was dashed when I got up a checked to see it was 31 degrees. Clear skies for the sunrise was nice. Yesterday they graded the gravel road so it was soft and slower but still a pleasant stretch. Calm winds changed when and picked up speed the closer I got to Lake Superior. Could be a nice little tailwind for the ride home. Not as much wildlife today, one skunk crossing the road on a run.
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Old 05-17-19, 09:00 AM
  #943  
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52F, gray. Rode over my wife's objection as MRI yesterday confirmed torn rotator cuff and other shoulder damage from February. But I get up to an even 200 miles for the month today! There are only 2 days next week I can ride so have to see how much domestic discussion I am up to and after that will have finally spoken live to a medical professional and will have had additional input.
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Old 05-17-19, 09:20 AM
  #944  
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@arsprod I rode into that same storm last night. I got the alert on my phone and looked at the radar and thought I had plenty of time to get home, about 5 minutes into my ride the rain was on me. Riding on the Monon trail I was somewhat protected. The heavy stuff really hit when I was less than a mile to go and the wind started to really whip up fast. With the thunder and lightning I took shelter at one of the neighborhood community pools, they had a covered porch to their clubhouse so even though it was locked up I could at least get some shelter, just wasn't safe to try and continue. Had several bolts of lightning hit pretty close to me.

Riding in this morning, the section of the Monon trail I take had at least 4 big trees that had fallen across the trail (cleaned up some as the trail was open but the freshly cut tree trunk was on the side). There was a lot more damage then I realized, had I not left as early as I did i wouldn't have been able to get through last night. That storm came in a lot faster than the weather app and reports were saying. I sheltered at community pool for about 45 minutes waiting for the lightning to clear so I could get the last mile home.
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Old 05-17-19, 09:40 AM
  #945  
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Originally Posted by beachball42 View Post
@arsprod I rode into that same storm last night. I got the alert on my phone and looked at the radar and thought I had plenty of time to get home, about 5 minutes into my ride the rain was on me. Riding on the Monon trail I was somewhat protected. The heavy stuff really hit when I was less than a mile to go and the wind started to really whip up fast. With the thunder and lightning I took shelter at one of the neighborhood community pools, they had a covered porch to their clubhouse so even though it was locked up I could at least get some shelter, just wasn't safe to try and continue. Had several bolts of lightning hit pretty close to me.

Riding in this morning, the section of the Monon trail I take had at least 4 big trees that had fallen across the trail (cleaned up some as the trail was open but the freshly cut tree trunk was on the side). There was a lot more damage then I realized, had I not left as early as I did i wouldn't have been able to get through last night. That storm came in a lot faster than the weather app and reports were saying. I sheltered at community pool for about 45 minutes waiting for the lightning to clear so I could get the last mile home.
You were sooooo much smarter than me! By the time I hit the worst of it I was north of Broad Ripple and no where to shelter except in the trees so gutted it out
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Old 05-17-19, 09:46 AM
  #946  
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@arsprod @Skipjacks yikes, you guys!
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Old 05-17-19, 09:50 AM
  #947  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
@arsprod @Skipjacks yikes, you guys!
It's alright. The biggest injury I sustained is a compound fracture to my pride.

A few minor scrapes and bruises is a cheap price to pay for the valuable reminded that I'm not invincible and need to be more careful.
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Old 05-17-19, 02:14 PM
  #948  
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Hope everyone had a great commute today!

I'm still a novice here, but knowing today was going to be raining, I did my "Bike To Work Day" on Wednesday. In the past, I would just bike to a bus stop and load the bike on the front bike rack (total of about 2 miles on bike) But I wanted to to the full commute this year. And success. 8 miles; nearly all downhill on the way to work. I saw only one other cyclist in the morning (along with 4 white tail deer on the multi-use trail portion). Then I counted about 10 bikes on the way home. Probably only one of them was commuting, the rest were out for recreation.

My goal is to commute once per week the rest of the year until temperatures and/or road conditions cause me to wimp out.
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Old 05-17-19, 04:49 PM
  #949  
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
It's alright. The biggest injury I sustained is a compound fracture to my pride.
Those tend to heal more quickly with over-the-counter liquid pain medication......

Yesterday it was coming down hard in the morning, so I put my bike on the bus. I was able to bike home. Today will probably be the reverse; no rain this morning, but it's threatening to bust loose any minute now.

Bike to Work DAY?!? We've been doing Bike to Work WEEK here for at least 20 years. It used to be around this time of year, but I think it's been moved to early June.
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Old 05-20-19, 07:09 AM
  #950  
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Yesterday was an all day snow storm leaving behind a load of slushy wet snow. 32 degrees, clear and calm with a beautiful sunrise. Rode in tire tracks through the snow until I came off the ridge and the snow disappeared and turned to wet, muddy gravel. The pavement in town was wet but no ice. Weather terrorists are forecasting 60 and sunshine for the ride home this afternoon.
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