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The 2023 How Was Your Commute? Thread

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The 2023 How Was Your Commute? Thread

Old 01-18-23, 09:09 AM
  #26  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1578:

Another unseasonably warm morning at 24F. I'm not going to complain one bit even if the wind was blowing 15 mph in my face.

Weather forecast has us getting up to 8" of snow today, but it's not supposed to start until late afternoon. I decided to ride the winter bike with studded tires as the side streets are pretty treacherous with rutted ice from Monday's rain, combined with yesterday's snow and temps below freezing.

Had to make a detour on the way to work to stop at the hospital for my blood coagulation check. Failed. Bummer. Blood was too thin, which means I need to increase my vitamin K intake and then get rechecked in two weeks.

Stopped to push a stuck truck out of an icy patch. 2wd trucks don't get much traction, and I was barely any help as I couldn't get much traction myself. But after a minute we got his truck moved far enough forward that the tires hit a dry spot and he could then take off. I savored the irony as I hopped back on my bike and traversed the ice without any issues.

Posted my latest bicycle commuting video:
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Old 01-18-23, 05:39 PM
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Another lap today. Tree crews out on the trails. A lot of wood down along my part of the lake loop. No idea how they are choosing which thngs to grind up. Probably whatever seems the most likely to fall on someone's head. This is sort of the second round of destruction. We had years of drought up to 2018-19 and then soaks and storms knocked down a lot of deadwood. This is just the same thing happening again, maybe more so. All of the stuff that fell down was not in good shape. I saw one redwood but most of the victims are foothill pines, which are not skilled at finding vertical to begin with and sometimes grow in bunches that eventually crack in the middle
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Old 01-19-23, 08:59 AM
  #28  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1579:

At least 5" more snow fell last night. I'm not sure of the exact total, but I'm pretty sure we're north of 40" of snow already this winter, and our three snowiest months are yet to come. The news this morning said that with last night's snowfall that now puts us at the 7th snowiest winter on record. If February, March and April follow tradition we may hit the #1 spot.

Eastern South Dakota where I live isn't known for a ton of snow. We certainly receive plenty of snow most winters, but extremely heavy snowfall is usually more of a western South Dakota thing. The east side SD winters are known for their relentless winds and bitter sub-zero temps. While we've had about five sub-zero days so far this winter and plenty of wind, overall this has been more of a west river SD kind of winter for us.

Once again when I woke up the temp was 24F. I'll take these warm winter temps without complaint. I moved snow off my driveway, and then loaded up the fat bike and hit the road. For some reason before I left I was a little apprehensive about riding through the unplowed snow. I'm not sure why I felt that way. I was really hoping that those feelings weren't a harbinger, and thankfully they were not.

Knowing the MUP wasn't going to be plowed yet, I didn't even try to go that direction. Instead I took a mostly back-street route. Schools were on a two-hour late start this morning due to the weather, so that made traffic a bit lighter which was nice. I took the fat bike and focused on trying to stay in the tire tracks left by other vehicles. Getting into virgin snow really slowed me down, and hopping from rut to rut between tire tracks tended to make the front tire slip out from under me. I never hit the ground, but I did have about a half dozen times where my front tire lost traction and brought me to a stop as I quickly put my feet down.

The headwind was about 20 mph, which really wasn't a big factor at the super low speeds I was riding through the snow. I purposefully stopped thinking about how fast I was riding, and instead just rode low gears and focused on keeping a steady momentum through the snow. When I arrived at the client's office I was surprised to learn that I rode the 4.6 miles in 50 minutes, which is about 15 minutes faster than my normal time for the same route through unplowed snow. I really don't know how or why I rode so much faster. It didn't seem like I was pushing myself any harder than normal. Although once I calculate it out, that's only about 1 mph faster on average, so maybe my increased speed just wasn't noticeable as I rode.

I really like that this client has bike parking in an underground heated area, and that they have a hose hooked up where I can spray the snow off the bike before moving to the rack. That's not the reason they have a hose hooked up, but nobody seems to care if I use it.
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Old 01-22-23, 09:27 AM
  #29  
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Tundra_Man I can certainly sympathize about the winters in the Dakotas. I can't imagine riding much up there this time of year. I saw -67 F with the wind chill, when I worked in the Bakken up in ND. Anything below 20 F with wind just makes riding pretty miserable in my opinion. I've never ridden with studded tires or tried a fat bike, but I'm sure that would be ok if the wind wasn't crazy.
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Old 01-23-23, 04:40 PM
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Nice late lap today. The dangerous deadfall has been cleared but theres still impressive sights to see. This was a Ponderosa. It took out a lot of smaller trees to the left



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Old 01-27-23, 03:50 PM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1585:

Woke up to the sound of the wind howling. That's never a good sign. 30 mph headwinds with gusts of 50 mph. We received 1/2" of fresh snow last night, which the wind was blowing all over the place. Because there was still lots of ice hiding under the new snow I took the bike with studded tires.

The morning temp was a very reasonable 30F. This morning at 6 AM was the day's high, and the temp was supposed to keep dropping all day. Next week is expected to mostly be below 0F. Negative temps every single morning, and no daily highs above single digits.
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Old 01-28-23, 02:44 PM
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I had two laps last week and three laps this week. All on the MTB since I've got a torn calf muscle and wanted to have a shifter. Also was able to take the twins to kindergarten on their bikes three days, and got the older kid to ride with me for one of those. Good bike week in spite of none of it being remarkable
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Old 01-30-23, 08:31 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1586:

-11F air temperature this morning. Thankfully the wind was light so the windchill was only about -20F.

Because it was below -5F, I did the split-commute thing where I rode 1.25 miles to the bus stop, caught the bus downtown, then rode the remaining .5 miles. This makes these frigid temps pretty do-able. The coldest part of the whole endeavor was standing motionless at the bus stop waiting for it to arrive.

I decided to leap into the 20th century, and downloaded the transit app onto my phone. This lets me pay my bus fares electronically. Also, if I buy a 10 ride pass I save 30%. While the savings are nice, I really like not having to scrounge through the house the night before trying to put together exact change for the bus. Just show the driver my phone and get on. Pretty slick.

The high today is supposed to be 1F, so I'm planning on riding the whole way home.
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Old 01-31-23, 12:14 PM
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My short term goal is to commute on bike once a week and then increase it. I didn’t get a chance to do my regular 26-mile round trip last week except I had a one-day assignment which was two miles away. I did that on Citi Bike.

Today I rode to work. I stepped outside expecting mild weather. It was raining, and that was a surprise. I didn’t change my mind. A few minutes in, I thought I might regret this. It was about 37F (3C) which can be nasty when mixed with rain. I wore long baselayers under my clothes, and that proved fortuitous. I didn’t get cold. The rain even turned to light snow for a while. I was fine. When I got inside, I realized I was clothes were slightly saturated. I didn’t feel cold. I stuffed some paper towels into my shoes to dry my toes off.

Still no bike parking at work. I parked the bike across the street from the school in front of a synagogue. My impression is that Jews have left this neighborhood (Kingsbridge, Bronx), and I wonder if the synagogue is in use at all.This picture is shot from my classroom window.


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Old 02-01-23, 09:59 AM
  #35  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1588:

This morning the air temperature was -7F. This was 2 below my wife's threshold for allowing me to ride the entire way, which means on a normal day I would do a split-commute and take the bus for a portion of the trip.

However, on this particular morning I had a blood coagulation check appointment (yay mechanical heart valves) scheduled before work. The good news was there was a bus stop right there at the hospital. The bad news was, the stop was on a different bus route than the one that is closest to my house. The worse news was, in order to try and ride the bus(es) to the hospital, I would have to get up several hours early, catch a 1st bus downtown, wait in the cold 1/2 hour for the next bus to arrive, then take that 2nd bus to the hospital where I would get there 45 minutes prior to my appointment. More or less, it wasn't a better option than just riding the entire trip.

So that's what I opted to do. My wife was still in bed so she wouldn't know, and it was one of those "easier to ask forgiveness than permission" situations. I first rode the 4.25 miles to the hospital. On the way, I found myself about 200 yards behind my friend Scott (@Labrat here on the forum). I'm not a fast rider in normal temps, let alone below zero, so there was no chance of me catching him. I did wave to him as he was going over a bridge after a pigtail turn, and I was just going under the bridge. He stayed in view ahead of me most of the way to the hospital (where coincidentally he works) until about the last 1/2 mile when I lost him at a stoplight.

Thankfully the wind was extremely light, so the -7F temp wasn't bad at all. My only issue was the normal fight I have with my goggles icing over. I arrived at the hospital good and sweaty. After my appointment I had to put my soaking wet gear back on for the next 2 mile ride to work. Yuck.

For some reason the city was unusually pungent this morning. Maybe it was due to there hardly being any wind? Various scents greeted me throughout the commute. The area around the hospital had the distinct smell of weed. When I got downtown I thought it smelled like a cat box. I wrote it off as just a figment of my mind until a coworker mentioned that "it smelled weird outside today."
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Old 02-01-23, 06:00 PM
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I hope you are doing ok with your heart thing. I got taken off my miracle drug because I showed too much improvement and now I'm miserable again
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Old 02-02-23, 06:44 AM
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Tundraman inspired me to ride today, though 23 F is a bit cold for me! I was rushing this morning and a few things didn't go as planned. Forgot my gloves and found my tail light dead (it's the cheap battery type) but wore a reflective vest, used my headlight and stayed in the bike lane mostly. I'll get the hang of this soon, I'm sure, but today was a big rush to get to the train station...I made it on time!! Did have to get help loading the bike onto the train (steep steps). Still a beautiful morning to ride.
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Old 02-02-23, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
I hope you are doing ok with your heart thing. I got taken off my miracle drug because I showed too much improvement and now I'm miserable again
Yes, so far so good. I'm coming up on 4 years since my open heart surgery. The aorta above my valve got stretched out prior to the surgery, and for some reason the surgeon opted not to fix it while he was in there. Now it's starting to slowly enlarge even more. I'm still below the threshold for them to need to go back in and fix it, but they're monitoring it closely. Once it hits a certain point the odds of a sudden rupture (and not coincidentally sudden death) go up exponentially. At that point there's no putting off another OHS. In the meantime, the doctor has me on two different blood pressure meds to try to keep my BP as low as my body will allow to try and slow the enlargement.

I'm also on blood thinners for the rest of my life in order to prevent clots around mechanical valve from my body trying to reject it. Because of this I have to go in for regular blood tests to make sure my warfarin dosage is keeping my blood thin enough to not clot, but not so thin that I bleed out from a minor injury. I've been on the exact same warfarin dosage for 3.5 years, which amazes everyone at the coagulation management office. Apparently most people aren't near as stable as I am and require frequent tweaks to their dosage amounts to keep them in the acceptable range. So I have to say that aspect of it is going extremely well.

Now if I could just drop about 50 pounds I would be in like Flynn. I'm a stress eater and our family has been buried in it the last five years. I need to figure out a less self-destructive way of dealing with stress other than filling my stomach.

Sorry they took your drugs away from you. Kind of a tough place to be in when you feel better when you're actually doing worse, and vice-versa.
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Old 02-02-23, 09:06 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1589:

Today was a blip in the temps, where we were going to be above zero for a day until we return to negative temps tomorrow. When I went to bed last night the forecast was 10F this morning.

When I got up, I was confused. Google told me it was 9F. My phone told me it was 13F. My kitchen thermometer told me it was 17F. I wasn't sure what to believe, and subsequently how to dress.

I decided to dress for the colder temps, reasoning that I'd rather be a little warm than a little cold. Due to an all-company meeting happening today, I needed to be on-site instead of working at a client location. So this morning's ride was 8 miles to our office. I'm not sure what the "real" temp was, as it felt closer to the 9F that Google reported, but a bank sign I passed said 18F. I think the high humidity and the 15 mph cross wind really threw a wrench into how cold things were feeling.

For the ride home at 5 PM it's supposed to be 0F and falling, with an even stronger wind. Not really looking forward to that.
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Old 02-03-23, 09:03 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1590:

It was a good news/bad news kind of morning.

Good news: I arose to discover the temp was -2F. This was five degrees warmer than what they predicted, and meant that I could ride the entire way to work and not have to hassle with catching the bus for a portion.
Bad news: Halfway to work I got a flat tire. I was still 2 miles from the office. I don't try to repair flats out on the road in these temps as that's a recipe for frostbitten hands.
Good news: It appeared to be a slow leak, so I thought maybe I could pump the tire up a few times and make it the rest of the way without having to push the bike.
Bad news: I discovered that my frame pump had frozen to its holder, and that my valve stem cap had frozen to the stem.
Good news: After a bunch of pulling, twisting and emitting many caveman-esque sounds, I was able to get them loose and pump up the tire. It actually stayed inflated enough to get me the rest of the way to work, but was pretty flat again as I arrived.
Bad news: Thinking I could fix the flat later in the day during a break, I pulled my repair kit out of my bag. Then I discovered that I never swapped tubes for the season. There were two new tubes in the kit, neither one of which was for a 26" wheel, and neither one was a Schrader valve.

Hopefully I can make it home by pumping up the tire a few times along the way. Next week is my seven year anniversary since the last time I drove a car to work, so there's no way I'm going to call the wife for a rescue. I'll walk home the whole way first.
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Old 02-03-23, 09:25 AM
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What are the chances of same day delivery to your office? There's a gig app where you can get someone to buy you something and bring it but I can't remember the name of it. Like Door Dash but with shopping

or would that score as a defeat for car light
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Old 02-03-23, 09:41 AM
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I moved to Seattle last August and live only 1.8miles away from work. Waited until December to start commuting by bike to work. Sometimes I would do the 33-36min walk 1.8miles which was pleasant.

Doing the math it takes 6-10min to drive to work and on bike it's 11-15min. Commuting by bike is a no brainer.

Also the bike parking situation is good (covered parking and well monitored/video cams). One thing I didn't expect was how hilly Seattle is! Its like San Francisco level steep and plentiful hills. 1.8miles should be a 10min bike ride on flat land but I'm in the granny gear going up the big two hills to and from work. Also the Seattle permanent mist/light rain/heavy rains over fall/winter are a downer when commuting on bike. Over the next weeks the commute/hills did become easier and now I have a built in 10-15min HIIT workout if I want lol.

I am super happy to have a co-worker suggest getting a Garmin Varia or any other radar/lane assist. It really is a game changer to know when vehicles are coming also when you need to take a left turn and have to go into the lane. I also tried the Cadence APP for iphone and realized that my bike rides are almost no different from driving now, I have a live map, speed sensor, and lane assist on my phone/handlebars while riding. I had to go to a nearby post office and I had turn by turn directions on map with lane assist on a bike friendly route (through residential streets closed to through car traffic).

Commuting for the last couple of months renewed my love for cycling. I ended up buying a road bike and now I'm going to buy another road with electronic shifting and get back into riding around the city for exercise and pleasure too.

My commuter bike is actually pretty old now but still clean and going strong!

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Old 02-03-23, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
What are the chances of same day delivery to your office? There's a gig app where you can get someone to buy you something and bring it but I can't remember the name of it. Like Door Dash but with shopping

or would that score as a defeat for car light
I don't know if I would count that against my commuting streak. More like count against my frugality streak when I know I already have a cabinet at home with the correct tubes in it. lol
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Old 02-04-23, 07:21 AM
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Three days out of a possible four this week with two of those days on my longer commute of 10-miles each way. I'll be working at two locations until the end of March and generally working 3 days at the farthest location and just 1 day at the nearby location (3-miles each way). After a full year of not puncturing on my short commute, puncture anxiety has crept back into my life simply due to the amount of glass seen on the bike paths on my longer commute so I'm allowing about 15 minutes spare time. We've got a great weather forecast for the week ahead so I'm looking to get all four days in.
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Old 02-06-23, 03:59 PM
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No tree crew in evidence today on my mile of bike trail. Seems like everything that fell over propped on another tree or hanging over the trail has been dealt with. That Ponderosa that I posted a week or two ago has had its upper half taken apart but the lower half still sits
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Old 02-07-23, 08:17 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1592:

Temps have been a little better the last couple days. We even saw them poke a little above the north side of freezing for a few hours the last couple days. The down side to that is ice. The temporary warmer temps cause snow melt, and softens the snow pack on the pavement causing wheel track and footprints. Then when the temp drops back below freezing the snow melt becomes sheet ice, and the wheel tracks and footprints become rough rutted ice. I definitely rode the studded tire bike this morning and took it easy on the more treacherous stretches.

Was 23F this morning with a 20 mph cross/headwind. But compared to last week it was a pretty easy ride to work. I rode out to our company office today, which is 8 miles from my house. Should get a good wind push home.

Found 50 on the ground, so I guess riding my bike paid for itself today!
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Old 02-07-23, 02:32 PM
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Tundras post made me think about how SF Bay Area weather is the same but different. Heres how our current cycle will likely go. Winter, esp Jan and Feb we get occasion heavy rains. Last years grass has died and gone away. The storms bring out the utility company and their trucks to fix up the wires. The truck tires create big ruts in the mud along side the path. As it gets a little warmer, like today the grass starts sprouting. Becomes like a lovely meadow. When it warms up those ruts turn into solid rock, actually adobe clay rocks. Once the path traffic increases there are more likely occasions where there are occasions where diving off the path into that soft green green seems better than running into the toddler/dog/family. Dont do it! Hidden under the grass is the hard ridges of the ruts waiting to grab your tire and throw you down. Thats what happened last year. This year I will stop with both feet down and make a little joke. Really.
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Old 02-08-23, 06:47 AM
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Beautiful morning, looking forward to getting a milk crate tied on my rack soon instead of this silly net/bungees!
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Old 02-08-23, 06:49 AM
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Looking forward to adding a milk crate to my rack soon, this bungee net is a PITA. Beautiful morning here in Delaware and will be unseasonably warm later on.
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Old 02-08-23, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxy357
Looking forward to adding a milk crate to my rack soon, this bungee net is a PITA.
Dont be so sure that a milk crate is a good idea. Its been my experience that if the crate is pushed right up to the seat that it interferes with your ability to sit properly. I mean it will knock against your back and be uncomfortable.
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