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2021! The “How was your commute?” thread!

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2021! The “How was your commute?” thread!

Old 01-22-21, 08:27 AM
  #26  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1118:

It took 22 days, but January finally decided to show up. 9°F with a 10 mph headwind that made for a -5°F wind chill. The pavement is clear enough of snow that I'm back on my hybrid bike, so that's nice. Supposed to snow over the weekend so I'm guessing next week I will return to the winter bikes.

After arriving at the office I glanced at my rear wheel and thought to myself, "that valve stem looks unusually short." Upon closer inspection I can see that the screw top on the presta valve snapped off, and it's just air pressure holding the valve shut. I'll probably make it home OK, but it looks like there's a tube change in my future.

Was in the shower at the office when I heard my GoPro randomly power up as it was sitting on the counter by the sink. It does that sometimes. The picture quality on these cameras are great, but the firmware is quirky as heck.
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Old 01-22-21, 10:00 AM
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What a difference a year makes! Last year's thread rolled over to page 2 on January 7, 2020. I'm one of those who hasn't posted about his or her standard commute this year -- there's a lot of us!

Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
After arriving at the office I glanced at my rear wheel and thought to myself, "that valve stem looks unusually short." Upon closer inspection I can see that the screw top on the presta valve snapped off, and it's just air pressure holding the valve shut. I'll probably make it home OK, but it looks like there's a tube change in my future.
That's not one of the standard failures leading to "have to replace instead of repair the tube." Assuming you don't flat on the way home, how are you going to release the air so you can swap the tube out?
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Old 01-22-21, 10:45 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
That's not one of the standard failures leading to "have to replace instead of repair the tube." Assuming you don't flat on the way home, how are you going to release the air so you can swap the tube out?
I think I can poke something thin down into the valve to push the pin down and release the air. Something like a bent paper clip would probably do the trick.

If that doesn't work, I'll probably just take a dremel to the stem. Probably don't need to cut it all the way off, just get a hole in the stem and the air will release.
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Old 01-22-21, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
I think I can poke something thin down into the valve to push the pin down and release the air. Something like a bent paper clip would probably do the trick.

If that doesn't work, I'll probably just take a dremel to the stem. Probably don't need to cut it all the way off, just get a hole in the stem and the air will release.
Seems like you could push the stem down to get a gap, then puncture the tube.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:32 AM
  #30  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1120:

Temp was 13°F this morning, with about a 10 mph wind. It was blowing at my back on the way to the office, which means I'll have to fight it as I ride 8 miles across town at lunch time when I go to a client location for the afternoon.

Rode the fat bike as there's still plenty of snow on the pavement from the 2" we got on Saturday. The city decided it wasn't worth plowing so the cars have packed it down pretty good in places. They did plow the MUP though, and the riding surface there is in a lot better shape than the roads.

Been fighting a sore hamstring the last few weeks. On my ride home last night I noticed that my leg was still pretty bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I don't know if my seat post has slowly lowered itself, or if I just never had it set right from the get-go. In any event, before I left this morning I raised my seat about 1/4" and it allowed me to apply noticeably more power to the pedals. I think I could still raise it up another 1/8", but it's definitely an improvement. I doubt that the low seat is causing my hamstring issues, but it sure wasn't helping any.

Was the first in line at one intersection that I know from experience won't trigger for a bicycle. I sat through two light cycles hoping the car behind me had crept up close enough to get on the sensor. I finally just ran the red, which always makes me feel like a jerk, but I would have held us hostage all day had I not.
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Old 01-26-21, 04:28 PM
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I think an ice pick would do it for that tube. In the valve or right in the tire, your choice
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Old 01-29-21, 08:12 AM
  #32  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1123:

Dreary morning with the temp at a not bad 26F, but with high humidity and a strong wind to make it feel about 15 degrees colder than it really was. The wind was mostly a tail wind, which means I get to fight it on the way home.

Still riding the fat bike. Pavement is now clear enough that I would have been fine on my hybrid for 90% of the ride. Unfortunately the other 10% would have been about unridable with skinny tires, as it was mashed-potato snow that the fat bike easily floats over but immediately halts skinny tires. We're supposed to get another snow even over the weekend, so I'm guessing I'll be on the fat bike for a while. That's normal. I've actually ridden my hybrid more this January than any January in the past, so I have no reason to complain.

About a mile into my ride I saw my friend Scott (LabRat on this forum) pull onto the street about 1/2 block ahead of me. I thought maybe I could catch him, and tried to speed up. Within 1/2 mile he had increased the distance between us to more than two blocks, so I gave up. I'm a pathetically slow rider.

Speaking of unusual Januarys (and I was), with today's commute that puts me at 287 miles for the month. That's 34 miles more than my old January mileage record. My winter mileage usually drops off, so most years I'm well below 200 miles for January. This year's mild weather has really allowed me to ride a lot more than normal.
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Old 02-02-21, 09:10 AM
  #33  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1125:

20°F this morning, with a 11 mph cross/head wind. There was some frost on the pavement, but overall most of the ice and packed snow has cleared off so I took the hybrid. I had to ride around a few ice patches, but I made it with no problem. The hybrid is a lot faster than my fat bike, which is funny because in the summer I complain about how slow my hybrid is. It only took me 45 minutes to ride the 8 miles to the office, which considering the 20°F temp and the wind is pretty darn fast for me in the winter.

BTW for those following the saga, last night I finally got around to replacing the tube with the broken presta valve on this bike. I pulled an awl out of my tool box and stuck it in the end of the valve, which released the air in about 5 seconds. It was a piece of cake, and I didn't have to resort to any unusual methods.

Next week the temps are projected to drop below zero. I can't complain, as the first five weeks of January have been unseasonably warm. It would have been unrealistic to expect it to last all winter.

Posted my latest bicycle commuting video:
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Old 02-04-21, 09:00 AM
  #34  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1127:

If you like predictable weather, then South Dakota isn't for you. Up until yesterday afternoon there was zero percent chance of precipitation. Then they said we might see some flurries in the evening. I woke up this morning to 4" on the ground. I guess I'm back on the fat bike.

Decided to take an extra 1/2 hour before I left the house and blow the snow off the driveway before the cars rolled over it and turned it into a frozen icy mess.

Temp was 16F and the headwind was whipping hard at 27 mph. It was a slow ride to work. Thankfully I only had to go 4 miles to a client location. 2.5 miles I rode on the MUP were mostly through virgin powdery snow. Today I noticed the fat bike really performed better than my old winter mountain bike. The wide tires allowed me to maintain traction on the mashed potato snow where cars had driven over it, whereas my other bike would have just slipped and slid around unable to get any traction. The fat bike did a pretty good job floating over the unplowed powder on the MUP where the other bike would have sunk all the way to the pavement.

I made it almost all the way to work before a big drift brought me to a halt and I had to walk about 50 yards to get on the other side of it. But I made it. Turns out I was 1/2 hour late which meant I'd had been right on time had I not cleared my driveway before leaving the house.
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Old 02-04-21, 09:13 AM
  #35  
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70% of a full (round trip) commute this morning before a day-long telecon. I don't know if it's because of schools being mostly virtual, but I was surprised how empty the roads were. Maybe it was because I was riding earlier than usual.

Calm winds, which was a blessing. Overcast -- no sun in my eyes, but also no warmth to help with the right-at-freezing temperatures. I've said it before, but being able to ride at lunch has turned me into a wuss for warmer temperatures!
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Old 02-08-21, 08:35 AM
  #36  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1129:

Crazy to think that it took until February to have my first sub-zero bicycle commute. Overall this has been a pretty warm winter, although not this week.

-9°F this morning, but no wind so the temp wasn't bad at all. Only had to ride a little over 4 miles to the client location. Goggles icing up was a bit of an issue that I've decided is pretty much inevitable below zero. I arrived at the building rather sweaty. The body definitely isn't very efficient at these temps, as I averaged about 7 mph but felt like I was putting in a good moderate effort to maintain that pace.

I notice my GoPro's battery life is substantially shorter when the temps drop below about 15 degrees. During the summer I can easily get 1.5 hours of footage on a charge, which means I can charge it at work then ride home and back to the office with plenty of battery to spare. The last few days with the cold temps I've been getting about an hour of run time on a charge. This morning the battery died about 1/2 way to the office.

Had a dusting of snow overnight. Not enough for the plows to bother with, and not enough to slow me down. The biggest thing it did was hide the icy patches so there was an occasional surprise. I didn't go down, and didn't even have any real close calls so it's all good.

I couldn't get my pump to work this morning. The presta valves would depress and release air without any resistance, but as soon as I hooked up the pump it wouldn't push air through them. I don't know if something froze up inside of it? I decided I didn't have time to monkey with it this morning and just rode to work on 6.5 lbs of pressure (fat bike) which felt fine up front but was a little squishy in the back. I'll have to try and get the pump going this evening.
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Old 02-09-21, 01:25 AM
  #37  
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Look out Tundra Man! California is getting sprinkles and apparently that means “brutally cold” in SD.

In cold temperatures batteries spend more power internally just getting themselves to work. The temperature relationship of the activation energy of the rate limiting step from physical chemistry. When I was a kid we used to freeze our r/c car batteries because they’d ring up a higher number on the peak charger but it was just bro science...

Your pump might have a rocker that’s sticking if it’s the type that has a hole for each valve. If it won’t pump the Presta side, stick the Presta valve cap in the schraeder side to release

Source: NWS Sacramento


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Old 02-09-21, 06:30 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Your pump might have a rocker that’s sticking if it’s the type that has a hole for each valve. If it won’t pump the Presta side, stick the Presta valve cap in the schraeder side to release
My rear tire was really, really spongy on the way home from work. When I got back to the garage I tried the pump again and it still wouldn't work. I tried it on multiple bikes (presta and schraeder) and nothing. Then I tried pumping it by itself (not connected to anything) and the handle wouldn't depress. It felt like I was compressing air, but no air was coming out of the end.

I've had this pump for 12 years and decided that maybe it finally bit the dust. I brought it inside and looked up hours on bike shops. There was one that open until 9 PM, so I decided after I ate supper and did a video conference with my son's teacher I would run and buy a new pump. My rear tire wasn't going to make another trip to work without some air.

After a couple of hours I walked by the pump sitting there and on a whim gave it a push. I could hear air coming out again. I took it out to the garage and pumped up the tire just fine.

I'm thinking there was a little moisture inside the pump and in the extreme temps it froze and rendered the pump unusable until I brought it inside to thaw out? In any event, I'm going to test it when I go out to the garage this morning and see if it's stuck again. I may just have to start keeping it inside the house when the temps are below zero.
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Old 02-10-21, 08:28 AM
  #39  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1131:

Milestone day! Today marks the five year anniversary since the last time I drove a motorized vehicle to work. And the temp was above zero (1°F) to boot!


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Old 02-10-21, 10:41 AM
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Didn't commute in 2021. Because of distance learning. My campus is not open. I only ride for recreational purposes.
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Old 02-10-21, 01:38 PM
  #41  
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I think it was 12 when I left the house. iPhone shut off 3/4 of the way to work. Didn't do that yesterday at the same temp, I think the windchill is worse today. Battery showed 10% and shut right back off, after it warmed up was 96%, can't remember the last time that happened. Probably only going to ride one more day this week, between the wind and the studded tires out of energy!
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Old 02-23-21, 12:46 PM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1136:

Wow, this thread has been quiet lately.

Yesterday afternoon the temp rose into the 40s. It was the first "warm" day we've had in a while, which meant on my ride home the MUP was packed with walkers, joggers and other cyclists. In September, if the temp hits the 40 degree mark the trail is a ghost town. After being sequestered all winter, in February when it hits the 40 degree mark everyone goes nuts and heads outside in t-shirts.

This morning the temp was a balmy 27°F, with a light south wind. It even smelled like spring. Today it's supposed to get back up into the 40s. My work locations today had me riding about 20 miles, and I really didn't feel like fighting a winter bike for that distance so I took the hybrid.

There was a ton of glass-smooth ice on the way to the office as a result of yesterday's warm temp and the subsequent snow melt. Not having winter tires, I went super-slow. Kept it upright the whole way to work. When I got to the office I climbed off the bike and almost slipped and went down as I walked the bike down the sidewalk to the bike rack. Thankfully I didn't hit the ground then either.
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Old 02-24-21, 08:22 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1137:

A tremendous amount of ice again this morning. Yesterday I told someone, "I haven't hit the ground yet this year." I shouldn't have said anything, as that's the kiss of death.

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Old 02-25-21, 08:00 AM
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Ouch! Hope everything's OK.
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Old 02-28-21, 07:23 AM
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The full moon in Phoenix Park and Strawberry Beds in Dublin on the way to work this morning.

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Old 03-03-21, 07:14 AM
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It was a pleasant uneventful commute to work this am. Though due to not setting my alarm last night I was very late getting up. I left for work later than usual which gave me a ride that had natural light the whole ride, which was awesome. Hopefully this riding to work can continue and not get any more snow, ice or really frigid temps.
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Old 03-04-21, 05:21 AM
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Another very pleasant morning commute. It was a little chilly at 30f degrees but better than the 24 f degrees yesterday, plus today I gave myself plenty of time and added in a few extra miles.
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Old 03-07-21, 07:26 AM
  #48  
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I'm not dead yet... But I hurt... Today I found some pink construction foam that was being tossed out on my way home. I've been looking for this stuff for 5 years. (I challenge you to find the stuff when you can't speak much Mandarin, read even less, and there isn't a Home Depot, Lowes, or large DIY shop for thousands of miles. Sure they have the stuff here in China, but can't seem to express my needs for it clearly enough for someone to help me find it.) Of course with such a long wait to find it, I had to hall all the large pieces with me (one "piece" was 8' long, built into a ?cabinet?). It would have been awkward hauling on the bike under normal conditions, the 1C temps, and the wind didn't help... Going uphill made it even less pleasant. Two trips to get it all. As soon as I recover, I'll be able to try to convert it into the nosecone for the 4"(ish) diameter, 6'(ish) long pencil rocket I want to build for my school.
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Old 03-09-21, 05:49 AM
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A very pleasant ride in this am. The temp was 30 f degrees with partly cloudy skies. It will be about high 40's this afternoon. Nice riding home temp for a longer ride.
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Old 03-09-21, 08:13 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1146:

We've had a few days of reprieve from the winter weather. This morning the temp was 46°F. I wore a sweatshirt instead of a jacket. First time I haven't worn a jacket in the morning since probably early October. The temp is supposed to get into the 60s, so I brought shorts for the noon ride across town and home later this evening. I'm probably going to feel like a wild man.

There was a pretty good head wind on the way to the office this morning. With the nice weather and nearly all of the ice gone I took the road bike. It's amazing how much better that bike slices through the wind. I could hold 12-13 mph without a ton of effort, whereas on my winter bikes into the same wind I would be struggling to maintain about 8 mph.

Tomorrow winter is supposed to return, so I'm going to thoroughly enjoy today.

I posted my latest commuting video. It's been a while since the last one, as most of my winter riding was done in the dark and the camera doesn't pick up the sights as well.

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