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Is there a cut off time where you won't bike home?

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Is there a cut off time where you won't bike home?

Old 12-16-20, 10:52 AM
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burritos
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Is there a cut off time where you won't bike home?

Shift usually ends at 5 for me. Still biking home, but it's dark when I get home nowadays so I guess I'm not afraid of the dark. Once a week, my shift ends at 8 pm. I drive cause I'd like to get home a little bit sooner to spend with family. If I drive, it takes me 20 min, but 45 min if I bike. But now I'm thinking, what's 25 minutes? They're on the computer with their friends anyways. I'm sure there are many who would bike home even if it's 2 AM. But I am curious to see what this bike commuting cohort does.
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Old 12-16-20, 10:56 AM
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Nope. 8PM is safer than rush hour, around here its dark for both in the winter and I would pick the later time if I had the choice.

I do understand the family time issue though. And I adjust my rides for that as well.
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Old 12-16-20, 11:23 AM
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Nope. I havenít done shift work more than a few times in my career but I have done it a few times. I rode in for a midnight to 8 shift and rode home from a 4 to midnight shift. Both were really cool rides.

Not related to work but Iíve even done half-centuries in the dark as well as a now defunct Moonlight Classic ride here in Denver. My very favorite ride was when they started the Moonlight Classic at 2 a.m. I hated it when they started at midnight and particularly hated it when it started at 10 p.m. Riding towards the dawn is very cool.
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Old 12-16-20, 11:37 AM
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I have quality lights and it takes me about the same amount of time whether I drive or ride.
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Old 12-16-20, 11:48 AM
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I've been riding in the dark for so long, it's practically second nature. I have two headlights on the recumbent. Most times I run just one, and the other is a backup, but sometimes I run one at a slightly higher angle than the other. They can't be adjusted without stoppping and getting off, so they are set until I get home. One solid, two blinky tail lights.

The velo doesn't have blinky rear lights, but I'm thinking of adding on. I do have a headlight, highbeam, turn signals and a really good electric horn on it, too. Also, it's got a separate brake light.

On my older bike, I used to run both a generator light that didn't stay on when stopped, and a battery powered light. Those were the days.
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Old 12-16-20, 11:51 AM
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If I have good lights and appropriate clothing, then it wouldn't make any difference. In fact, I'd feel better about 8pm than 5pm: rush hour is over and the sky is totally dark (northern hemisphere, obvi) so it's safer.
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Old 12-16-20, 12:00 PM
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I've done a 24 hr. solo ride (325 miles) on a road bike in New England a few years ago, in late October, so it was ~12+ hours of darkness, and on a secluded MUP trail system, that had no path-specific lighting. Lighting was key. 2 bar lights (one ON, and one reserve light OFF, or recharging off a battery pack in the saddle bag), and another smaller rechargeable light on top of the helmet for directional lighting.

Since I don't mind dark riding in general, on the commuter I have a dynamo to power the front/rear lights, just to guarantee that I always have lights, in case I'm held late at work unexpectedly, and didn't top off the recharge of the lights.

Night riding (or early morning twilight riding during a commute) definitely has less human traffic, but has an increase of wildlife activity (particularly the bunnies in the morning here) that are often much sketchier and twitchier than any human toddler, where they'll run next to you and then suddenly make a 90 degree turn and cross the trail right in front of your wheel, and I'm just waiting for the day when one jumps into my front wheel and takes me down at speed. For that reason, I try not to ride TO work in the dark, and shift my work hours throughout the year to accommodate daylight on both ends, but especially the mornings, and then deal with the dark on the night commute.
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Old 12-16-20, 12:10 PM
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I knew this query was going to change my cognitive bias. I have an ev where I'm able to leach off the charge from my work. It's about $4 of electricity, but hey it's free. Also, nearby my work there are free woodchips. When I do drive, I stop by and shovel up a box of 40lbs per trip that I bring back to my garden. Debating whether it's worth giving up these two perks for the extra day of biking. Honestly it's a close call that I'm going to have to dwell on.
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Old 12-16-20, 12:11 PM
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No, but if it were after prime time I'd take the street and not the MUP.
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Old 12-16-20, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by burritos View Post
I knew this query was going to change my cognitive bias. I have an ev where I'm able to leach off the charge from my work. It's about $4 of electricity, but hey it's free. Also, nearby my work there are free woodchips. When I do drive, I stop by and shovel up a box of 40lbs per trip that I bring back to my garden. Debating whether it's worth giving up these two perks for the extra day of biking. Honestly it's a close call that I'm going to have to dwell on.
I just stopped a couple tree guys and asked if they could dump some chips at the house. Now when I run out more chips show up. lol
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Old 12-16-20, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
I just stopped a couple tree guys and asked if they could dump some chips at the house. Now when I run out more chips show up. lol
I would love to do that. It would block my garage and we have an uppity HOA that wouldn't allow it to be dumped in my street.
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Old 12-16-20, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by burritos View Post
I knew this query was going to change my cognitive bias. I have an ev where I'm able to leach off the charge from my work. It's about $4 of electricity, but hey it's free. Also, nearby my work there are free woodchips. When I do drive, I stop by and shovel up a box of 40lbs per trip that I bring back to my garden. Debating whether it's worth giving up these two perks for the extra day of biking. Honestly it's a close call that I'm going to have to dwell on.
Get some front and rear panniers and fill those puppies up with wood chips. Problem solved.
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Old 12-16-20, 12:59 PM
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As long as you have lights, you're good.

A bunch of my miles over the years (though not so much during the pandemic) have come with the Night Riders, a group that does Sunday and Wednesday night rides. They often don't end until 10 or 11 at night, and if I have a beer before riding home I might return well after midnight.

When it starts getting dark early in the autumn I don't like riding as late. It's one thing for it to get dark during the, but it takes some getting used to starting in the dark. I'm pretty much past that now for this year. If I ride during the week at all it's going to be dark.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
Get some front and rear panniers and fill those puppies up with wood chips. Problem solved.
I've seen some fellow woodchip collectors get down on their knees and scoop it up with their hands. I use a shovel. Will that go in the panniers? My back back is already full and I don't want to mix it with shovel particles.

Last edited by burritos; 12-16-20 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by burritos View Post
I've seen some fellow woodchip collectors get down on their knees and scoop it up with their hands. I use a shovel. Will that go in the panniers? My back back already carries my dirty work clothes.
a trench shovel will fit in there. lol
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Old 12-16-20, 02:06 PM
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With proper lights, I enjoy later (8 pm) commutes more than the usual 5-6:00 rides. Quieter roads, more relaxed environment in general.

Now I will note that I avoid certain areas after about 7:00. No need tempting fate with idle youfs.
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Old 12-16-20, 02:11 PM
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back when my commute was not 5 steps down the hallway...... It always went from darkish to DARK, after the fall back time shift, and much of my go home commute is a MUP trail, that is super dark. No problem.....I have a pair of 1100 lumen lights, but even with those I have to be a little more careful of the people out there running in all black with no reflective pieces at all
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Old 12-16-20, 04:27 PM
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My regular work hours have me riding in darkness on the way in, not on the ride home. But I've covered 2nd shift many times, which has me pedaling home after 11pm. I've often rode across the infamous Munger road haunted rail road tracks at this time too!

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Old 12-16-20, 07:57 PM
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I used work at a place where I generally started my day between 2 and 3 am, IT, so not uncommon. I would start my commute 1 hr after the bars closed and the traffic from those people making their way home was next to nil. I also used to just ride at night after the wife and kids went to bed, so I was used to riding at night. I did not like riding between 4 and 6 pm though...
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Old 12-17-20, 07:02 AM
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I worked 3:30pm-12:00am for a little over one year at my current job and only drove maybe 3 times (20 miles round trip). I really liked riding home when the streets were deserted (Las Vegas). I'm now on graveyard and have not been bike commuting much at all. I have a good route but 8am traffic is not the wind-down that the midnight ride provided.
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Old 12-17-20, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
If I have good lights and appropriate clothing, then it wouldn't make any difference. In fact, I'd feel better about 8pm than 5pm: rush hour is over and the sky is totally dark (northern hemisphere, obvi) so it's safer.
Agreed.

I have to stay later at work a once a very few months, like till 8-9 pm, and I used to drive on these days thinking that it's less safe to ride. I decided to ride on one of these days, and actually surprised how good it was. There are way fewer cars on the road than at 4 pm. In fact, roads I take, which are through mostly industrial and commercial areas, are practically empty. Everyone's gone home already! But like OP says, it's an extra 25 minutes for me too, and I could be home 25 minutes earlier to spend with family. You have to weigh that against your desire to ride.
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Old 12-17-20, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by burritos View Post
I knew this query was going to change my cognitive bias. I have an ev where I'm able to leach off the charge from my work. It's about $4 of electricity, but hey it's free. Also, nearby my work there are free woodchips. When I do drive, I stop by and shovel up a box of 40lbs per trip that I bring back to my garden. Debating whether it's worth giving up these two perks for the extra day of biking. Honestly it's a close call that I'm going to have to dwell on.
I have carried 40lbs of snow melt on my bike, riding on snow and ice with studded snow tires at 12F.
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Old 12-17-20, 05:49 PM
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I hate riding home right at rush hour, much better to be later when traffic lightens up.

The Boston Midnight Marathon in April is a blast in the dark, but coming down Heartbreak Hill I outrun the range of my lights and have to check my speed a bit to be able to see where I'll be.
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Old 12-18-20, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by burritos View Post
Shift usually ends at 5 for me. Still biking home, but it's dark when I get home nowadays so I guess I'm not afraid of the dark. Once a week, my shift ends at 8 pm. I drive cause I'd like to get home a little bit sooner to spend with family. If I drive, it takes me 20 min, but 45 min if I bike. But now I'm thinking, what's 25 minutes? They're on the computer with their friends anyways. I'm sure there are many who would bike home even if it's 2 AM. But I am curious to see what this bike commuting cohort does.
I don't have a cut off time, but a cutoff temperature. My cut off temperature is 32 F if its a few degress colder I will ride. It's safer during not commute hours.
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Old 12-23-20, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
I don't have a cut off time, but a cutoff temperature. My cut off temperature is 32 F if its a few degress colder I will ride. It's safer during not commute hours.
I used to have a cutoff temp of 40F.

Now I have three wheels. Coldest I've ridden in the velo so far is ~9F.

Headlight with highbeam, turn signals, tail/brake light, so I never ride without lights.
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