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The 2022 How Was Your Commute? Thread

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The 2022 How Was Your Commute? Thread

Old 11-28-22, 08:09 AM
  #276  
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Originally Posted by essiemyra View Post
I rode my bike to work at the assisted living I work at part-time on the weekends now that I retired from my full-time job. Since I do not have to be to work until 8:30am and it is a 6 mile ride I can leave the house at about 7 am and make the ride a little longer and arrive in time with time to clean up and change into appropriate attire for receptionist work. I leave at 2pm so the ride home is still during daylight hours and can be as long as I want with whatever stops I want to add in.
Very nice! Sounds like the daffynition of work: The hours that interrupt a good bike ride.

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Old 11-29-22, 08:47 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1549:

Over the weekend I went through my bikes and caught up on some maintenance. On my fat bike I serviced the chain and re-sealed the tubeless tires. I'm glad I got that done, because I needed the fat bike today.

Woke up to 2" of snow on the ground, and snow still falling. Temperature wasn't bad at 24F. There was a stout headwind, which made my already slow fat bike even slower. It took me nearly an hour to ride the 4.5 miles to the client location.

Snow is supposed to continue to fall through the morning until we get somewhere in the 3"-5" range. I am scheduled to ride to our company location 9 miles away over lunch for an afternoon meeting. I may just hang out at the client and join the meeting via Zoom. It's not that conditions will be so bad that I couldn't make it to the office, it's just that I'm not sure I want to take two hours out of the day to make the journey. Winter riding is annoyingly slow. It's tough to dedicate the time to log 20+ mile days when you can only average about 5 mph. On the other hand, I'm a little behind on my mileage goals for the year, and could use the extra riding. Maybe I'll suck it up and ride anyway. We'll see how buried in work I am when it comes time to leave.

One of my favorite parts about riding my bicycle to work on days like this is listening to people who drove talk about how bad the roads were.
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Old 11-29-22, 03:35 PM
  #278  
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Frost on the grasses and the bridge this morning


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Old 11-29-22, 04:33 PM
  #279  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1549 - Part B:

We wound up getting around 4" of snow before it stopped falling mid-morning.

I decided to go ahead and ride to our company headquarters for the afternoon meetings. When I left the client I got on the MUP and was happy to discover it had already been plowed. Between that and a tailwind I made pretty decent time (for a fat bike) for the first four miles.

Then I hit the part of the trail that had not yet been plowed, and where the MUP makes a turn which eliminated my tail wind and gave me a cross wind. The remaining 5.25 miles were painfully slow.

When I finally arrived at the office it took me 1 hour 45 minutes to ride the 9.25 miles. I wound up being late for my first meeting. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have made the trip across town. I'm pretty tired and I have another 8 mile ride home waiting for me at the end of the day.
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Old 11-30-22, 06:53 PM
  #280  
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Unplanned double round trip. Rode home about 1:30 to pick up truck to ferry 8yo to his afternoon program. Could not find truck key! Called program and told them he wasn't coming, called school and told them to put him on the bus which puts him home at nearly 4. Went back to office and did not find key... got back to neighborhood school at 2:40 just in time to get kindergartners and walk back to the house.

It's 4:50 and I just found the key. In the wrong junk drawer where I never would have put it.
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Old 12-01-22, 10:22 AM
  #281  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1551:

19F and super windy this morning. The city didn't bother plowing anything but the major streets after Tuesday's 4" of snow, so all of the side streets are in rough shape with rutted ice and mashed potato snow. Oddly enough, the Parks Department plowed the MUP within hours after the snow stopped falling, so for the most part the trail is in pretty good shape. There are still lots of icy spots, but compared to the roads it's a much better option as long as it takes me somewhat in the direction I need to go.

I opted to take my mountain bike with studded tires versus the fat bike. The fat bike would have done much better in the mashed potato snow, but given the huge amount of ice on the pavement I decided I'd rather have the studs.

I had a dentist appointment this morning. I had gone to the same dentist for a few decades, but he retired. A different dentist bought his practice, so I continued to go there. He only lasted about two years when another dental company bought him out and moved their office. Today was the first time I rode to the new location. I had an 8 AM appointment and I discovered that the best route to get to the new office takes me right by a high school as the students and teachers were arriving for the day. Given the road conditions, that was kind of "exciting." Thankfully I made it through without any close calls. The dentist office parking lot was sheet ice and my front wheel slipped out from under me, but I managed to get my feet down before I hit the ground.

Yesterday afternoon a garbage truck hit some black ice and knocked over an electrical pole onto a house, which started the house on fire. The fire department arrived, and while they were parked on the street to fight the fire six cars hit the black ice and slammed into their truck. I rode by on the MUP about 50 yards away without any issue.
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Old 12-06-22, 10:19 AM
  #282  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1554:

For some reason it seemed extra dark this morning. I'm not sure why. I mean, any morning before the sun comes up should be as dark as any other morning, right? I'm guessing it's just a perception thing.

14F with a very light wind. 90% of the pavement is now clear, but there's still some stretches of rutted ice so I'm still on the winter bike with studded tires.

Was about 1/4 mile from home when I thought, "Something feels funny." Reached up to feel nothing on my head but the neoprene of my balaclava and realized I'd forgotten to put my helmet on. So I turned around and rode home to get it. Despite the extra 1/2 mile of riding I still made it to work four minutes faster than I did yesterday. I have no good explanation for this, as it didn't feel like I was riding any quicker than usual.
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Old 12-06-22, 10:40 AM
  #283  
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Well, this happened


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Old 12-07-22, 08:25 PM
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Chilly one this morning. Rode in with windproof snowboard gear

Not chilly on the downwind leg. Jacket open, pit vents too, gloves tucked in ski helmet hanging on handlebars
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Old 12-08-22, 08:06 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1556:

I have a dentist appointment later this morning. Turns out that I've now lived long enough that my 30+ year old fillings have joined the opposing team, so I need to have a couple of them replaced. Yuck.

They're predicting about 4" of snow later today. Some sources say it won't start until evening, other sources say we'll first get a layer of freezing rain before the snow starts in the middle of the day. I originally was going to risk riding my hybrid, but at the last second grabbed my winter bike with studded tires. If we do get the layer of freezing rain I'll be glad I have the studs for the ride home. If not, well, I guess I wasted some effort riding this heavy bike.

Because of the dentist appointment and the need to make up the billable time, I got up and rode to work early. Got to the office about an hour sooner than usual. To my surprise, traffic didn't seem any lighter than normal.

12F this morning with a moderate wind. I usually set 10F as the threshold to add long underwear to my layers. For some reason I felt compelled to add the layer even though the temps were a couple degrees warmer than that. I'm glad I did. The extra layer put me about right as far as warmth.

Had a real problem with my goggles icing over. Usually that doesn't become a big issue until the temps drop below zero. This morning it was bad enough that for the final mile I pulled them down and rode without eye protection. I decided the cold stinging my eyes was better than riding square into a parked car, as I could no longer see anything through the goggles.

Got to work to discover there was no heat in the shower room. The room is along an exterior wall, so the temp in there had to be in the low 50s if not colder. They remodeled the office last spring, and relocated the shower room to the new addition. When the temps dropped this fall we learned there are issues with the HVAC system in the new part of the building, so they're constantly having to have repair people come out. I walked into the shower room and decided I wasn't motivated enough to take my clothes off in those temps. I grabbed the things I keep in my locker and went over to the "visitor's bathroom" on the other side of the building where I gave myself a bird bath in the sink. This early in the morning there weren't any visitors that I would be preventing from using the facilities.
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Old 12-08-22, 04:18 PM
  #286  
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Today I found a dent on my bike. This bike is only about two years old. It’s structurally insignificant, but it’s right on the tight radius of the Pepto-Bismol cross section tube, So, it’s almost always interrupting the reflection of the horizon. I’m bummed. I have no idea how this happened. The other day there were movers moving filing cabinets around my bike and I guess they might’ve knocked it over. It’s just as likely I did it myself somehow.


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Old 12-09-22, 10:41 AM
  #287  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1557:

Once again the weather forecasts were a big swing and a miss. The predictions were we would get 2"-4" of snow. When I woke up this morning our "official" total was 6". When I went outside, there clearly was 8"+ on the ground, with snow still falling. Schools were doing a 2 hour late start, but everything else was open as normal.

Knowing I would have to shovel and would have a slow ride to work, I got up early this morning at 5 AM. Usually it takes me about 1/2 hour to clear snow from my driveway. Today it took me over an hour. Likewise, usually it takes me 1/2 hour to ride downtown, and today it took me over an hour.

The temp wasn't bad at all, being 30F with hardly any wind. The big challenge was just the depth of the unplowed snow. I was on the fat bike, and it did pretty well as long as I rode in the tracks already cut by cars.

I made a tactical error, however, when I got off the main roads and tried to take the MUP. At first I was able to follow a track cut by another bike. Once that track disappeared, then I was trying to propel 5" wide tires through deep virgin snow which quickly slowed me to a stop. I couldn't generate enough forward momentum to get the bike started again. So I wound up pushing/dragging/carrying my fat bike through snow deeper than the top of my boot. The bike was so full of snow that the wheels weren't wanting to roll. That wasn't much fun at all.

After about 1/2 mile of walking the bike and really questioning my life's decisions up to that point, I got to a part of the MUP that was about 50 yards from a main road. I cut through some ditches that were knee-deep, over railroad tracks, through some bushes and then got out onto the road. At this point I didn't care if it was a busy 4-lane; anything was better than carrying the fat bike any further.

I rode the main roads the final two miles of the commute. The plows had been diligent about keeping these main roads clear of snow, so other than a bit of traffic it wasn't too bad. When I arrived at the client's office I was about a half hour late, but found I still beat pretty much everyone else there. I grabbed a hose by the maintenance area and sprayed down my bike to try and remove the snow and salt that was packed into every nook and cranny. This client has a heated indoor bike parking area, so I didn't have to worry about my bike freezing up from the moisture.

After riding all of last winter without a crash, I did have my first wreck of 2022 this morning. I was coming down an unplowed hill, riding in the wheel track left by a car. Everything was going fine until there was a guy walking a dog, coming up the hill and using the same wheel track I was. I changed lanes to pass him, then when I was trying to change back into my original lane my front wheel hit a drift, stopped and I went over the handlebars. My face broke my fall in a big snow drift. My jaw is a little sore, but other than that I came through unscathed. My bike needed some attention: I had to re-affix my mud guard, re-align the handlebars with the front wheel, and the wire to my computer got snapped so I'll have to solder that back together this weekend. But at least I caught the incident on video:
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Old 12-09-22, 07:42 PM
  #288  
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The christmas lights at the start were kind of surreal and when the tail light is added after the crash the color change is a good counterpoint

I too crashed in the snow today but it's because I got a day off and went to Tahoe
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Old 12-13-22, 06:22 PM
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Echocardiogram this morning. I got home in time to take my late-shift kindergartners to school by bike. I went to the office long enough to do the required in-office things, before going back for them
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Old 12-15-22, 08:37 AM
  #290  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1561:

The wind today is what sadness feels like. The air temperature wasn't too bad this morning at 29F, but with the 25 mph wind with 40+ mph gusts and heavy snow falling, it made for a brisk ride. Took me an hour and 15 minutes to make it the 8 miles to the office.

When I arrived I noticed that whoever plowed the snow in the parking lot pushed a large portion of it right in front of the bike rack. Then I discovered my bike lock had frozen solid and wasn't going to move any time soon. So I just parked the fat bike on top of the drift and left it unlocked. I'm guessing there won't be too many people motivated to ride away on a bicycle today.

We're on day 3 of the current winter storm. It started with rain, which then switched to freezing rain and now has turned into snow. There's probably a couple fresh inches on the ground, with another couple predicted to fall before I head home tonight. Temp is supposed to drop throughout the day and the wind pick up even more, so it's going to be a chilly ride home.

I usually try to ride between 3,000 - 4,000 miles per year. After today's ride I've got 31 miles to go to hit the 3k mark, with six commuting days left to do it in. Normally this would be a slam dunk with six days left, but the temps next week are predicted to drop below zero. A few of the days are supposed to have daily highs in the -5F range, which mean the lows will be in the double-digits below zero. To keep my wife happy I agree to do split commutes (ride to the bus stop, take the bus, then ride to the client) when the air temps are below -5F. This means I'm likely going to be riding the bus some next week and as a result won't be logging as many miles. I think it's going to be really close, and if I hit my goal I'll do it by just squeaking over the line.
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Old 12-15-22, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
When I arrived I noticed that whoever plowed the snow in the parking lot pushed a large portion of it right in front of the bike rack.
Rude! Is it going to stay piled there til March?
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Old 12-15-22, 11:27 AM
  #292  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Rude! Is it going to stay piled there til March?
At this point, most likely. Once you pack snow in with a plow you have a few hours to move it. Once it turns to ice it's going to stay there until spring short of using a backhoe.

This is why I try to be so diligent in clearing the ridge of packed snow left by the plows at the end of my driveway as soon as possible. The longer I wait the harder it is to move, and at a certain point it becomes a small glacier that isn't going anywhere without heavy equipment.
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Old 12-15-22, 02:28 PM
  #293  
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An icy week in the UK and my commuting week got off to a bad start on Sunday when I cycled in OK but then came down with some instantaneous 24-hour bug so had to be driven home by a colleague which then left my bike in work. Anyway, for the remainder of my week the sub-zero temperatures were manageable on my short 3-mile each way commute. In the New Year I'll be working a split week from where I work now and also a second location that's just over 10-mile each way and plan to cycle commute on that once I'm settled in and happy about bike storage and changing, drying, etc.
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Old 12-16-22, 08:59 AM
  #294  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1562:

Wind howled all night, and the snow continued to fall. Woke up to 3" additional on the ground. Got up early this morning knowing I was going to have to clear my driveway. Thankfully it went quick and took me less than 1/2 hour.

They cancelled school today. Not sure what exactly their criteria is for making the decision. Last week when we got 9" of heavy snow they didn't cancel. Today with about 3" of light stuff they did cancel. I'm guessing today it's because of the extreme wind (25 mph minimum with gusts approaching 50 mph.) The snow is light enough that the wind is picking it up, making visibility and drifts an issue. My wife works for the school district so she was excited to have a surprise day off.

It was a slow ride to the client. I had to head straight into the wind. The fat bike is slow, but it's even slower pushing my fat body through the gale. Because of the snow blowing around, there were spots where the pavement was peeking through the snow, and other spots where the drifts were up to my knee. Had to carry the bike through a couple of the drifts, which never puts me in a good mood.

Took me 55 minutes to ride the 4.25 miles to the office. When I got there I discovered that almost everyone else stayed home due to the weather.
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Old 12-19-22, 09:07 AM
  #295  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1563:

It was 0F when I left the house. Does that mean there was no temperature?

The wind was blowing lightly, but enough to drop the wind chill to -14F. Today is supposed to be the warmest day we have this week. It's supposed to top out at 13F this afternoon, then temps are supposed to plummet and we won't see above zero air temperatures (including highs) for about a week. Brrrr.

I took the fat bike as I wasn't sure how well plowed the MUP was after Friday's snow. Turns out it was clear enough that I probably could have ridden the mountain bike with studs.

The fat bike is always slow, but today it seemed unusually slow. At first I wrote it off to the cold temps. Then I decided that yesterday's binge eating was probably the cause. I was huffing and puffing and barely going 6 mph. And it kept getting slower the more I rode. About three miles into the journey I looked down and figured out my rear tire was flat. Well, that would explain it.

I managed to ride on the tire for another mile until I started to feel the rim hit when I went over big ice ruts. At that point I decided it was time to get off and push. Walked the bike the remaining 1/2 mile to the client's office. It wound up taking me an hour to make it the 4.5 miles to work.

When I bought the fat bike a little more than three years ago, I converted the tires to tubeless. One of the reasons was the supposed flat-resistance that going tubeless offers. I'm not sure I've bought into that, as I've had more flats on my fat bike than any other bike I've owned. I just topped off the tires with a fresh batch of sealant a few weeks ago hoping to prevent this very situation.

I have a frame pump on almost all of my bikes, but not this one (because the tubeless tires were supposed to be so much better at not going flat.) I put a call to my wife asking if she can drop off a bike pump on her way to work. The tire doesn't seem to be leaking super fast, so hopefully if I pump up the tire it will hold long enough to get me home without going completely flat again.
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Old 12-19-22, 09:59 AM
  #296  
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Man, I managed to ride through a serious freeze last week with a ton of black ice, all without falling.

And today, now that it's starting to thaw, I slid out and whacked my right knee and elbow hard.
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Old 12-19-22, 11:04 AM
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I will probably get three laps in this week. Four days of work but one day my wife is going out in the morning
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Old 12-19-22, 11:20 AM
  #298  
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Are you using the low-temperature sealant? It probably has more antifreeze. Might be better at staying liquid but worse at sealing holes. Did you refresh it for the season?

When you got the fatbike a couple years ago I was happy for you trying something new and fun but your reports often seem like it's causing you more work than it's solving

Tubeless hasn't stopped flats for me but it has definitely moved nearly all of them to the garage overnight and not out on the road/trail. If the bike goes flat in a day or three then it's time for more sauce. The holes also sometimes seem to weep more antifreeze but I haven't really tracked it well enough to say if that correlates to a change in sealant quality.
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Old 12-19-22, 02:17 PM
  #299  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Are you using the low-temperature sealant? It probably has more antifreeze. Might be better at staying liquid but worse at sealing holes. Did you refresh it for the season?

When you got the fatbike a couple years ago I was happy for you trying something new and fun but your reports often seem like it's causing you more work than it's solving

Tubeless hasn't stopped flats for me but it has definitely moved nearly all of them to the garage overnight and not out on the road/trail. If the bike goes flat in a day or three then it's time for more sauce. The holes also sometimes seem to weep more antifreeze but I haven't really tracked it well enough to say if that correlates to a change in sealant quality.
Yes, I'm using sealant that says it's good down to -25F. I just refreshed it the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

My flats have all happened out on the road. And the unfortunate part about going tubeless is there's not much you can do to fix it while out on the road.

The fat bike is a love/hate thing. It's a lot slower and more work to ride than what I had expected. I really try not to ride it unless I absolutely have to. However, in situations like mashed potato snow, it's the only bike that makes those conditions feasible to ride.

I really, really don't understand people I see riding fat bikes in the middle of the summer. "I'd like my bike to make me work really hard so I can only travel slightly faster than pedestrians." I don't see any enjoyment in that. I guess I'm just too lazy.
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Old 12-19-22, 03:25 PM
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My flat kit for tubeless is more sealant with a filler tube, a core remover, a pump, and plugs. It's been a few years and I've never had to use the plugs. (Admitting that you do a lot more mileage than me.)

I should, have not yet, put one of these core wrench caps on one valve and a Schrader adapter on the other on every bike. One of those things that I just never hit buy on the amazon cart



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