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2024 How Was Your Commute?

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2024 How Was Your Commute?

Old 03-12-24, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Big sardine?

Seriously, I'd guess a seagull or some other bird was getting harassed for the fish and dropped it.
Aha, mystery probably solved. We do have a lot of gulls along the river.

I love gulls. They're like the motorcycle gangsters of the bird world.

Still, in my many years of riding, I have never seen fish roadkill, and I may never again. I wish I had shot a picture.
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Old 03-13-24, 08:52 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1851:

The weather the last few days has been glorious. Highs in the upper 60s/lower 70s. Mostly sunny. Yesterday and today there was barely any wind. Made for some easy riding on the road bike.

The nicest day was Monday, but unfortunately I was sick over the weekend that carried into Monday, so I stayed home from work and didn't ride. Late afternoon I did walk a couple of laps on our cul-de-sac just to get out and enjoy the weather, but that was about all my body would let me do.

We're supposed to have some rainy days coming up late this week. I hadn't yet addressed the rear wheel I tacoed a couple weeks ago on my rain bike (hybrid with fenders), so last night I decided I should probably try and fix it. With the same couple of spokes coming loose multiple times, I decided probably the best approach would be to loosen them all and then completely retension the wheel.

I pulled the wheel off the bike, removed the cassette, then removed the tire so I could put it in my truing stand. Before I got to the stand, I happened to grab a spoke and noticed it was very loose. I started feeling around and realized all of the spokes were ridiculously loose. That's weird.

So I gave the wheel a closer inspection. That's when I noticed that the rim sidewall where the brakes rub had a crack all the way through it, about 8"-10" long. In fact, both sides of the rim had large splits like this. Apparently I had worn through the braking surfaces to the point where the rim no longer had any strength left, and finally broke. I have no idea how this tube was still holding air with giant splits on both sides of the rim. However, this definitely solves the mystery as to why the wheel kept going out of true as of late.

Well, I guess I'm not going to fix that wheel. I'm probably going to just buy components and build a replacement 36 spoke wheel from scratch. I've never built a whole wheel before, but it looks like it could be an interesting endeavor. Plus by doing it myself I can verify that the wheel is built, tensioned and stressed correctly. I figure it's a useful skill for me to add to my bicycle service abilities. I'm debating on whether or not to reuse the hub from the old wheel. It has about 10,000 miles on it, but still spins nice. It's a Shimano 105, so I would think it still has plenty of life left. At the same time, a new hub isn't that much money so I'm not sure.

In any event, I'm not going to have this completed before the rain hits. So it looks like I'll be riding the road bike and having to deal with the spray off the wheels.
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Old 03-15-24, 10:03 AM
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A buddy had a similar cascading failure as yours and so I expected the rim. But at the spoke holes, not the side wall.

I have built a few wheels and it was hobby-rewarding but not riding-essential.

Can you put the roadie wheel on the hybrid?
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Old 03-15-24, 01:06 PM
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Yesterday's ride home was a beaut -- upper 70s, sunny, and I planned it so I had a tailwind coming home. Even my ride in, into a headwind, I averaged 15 mph -- not bad for a half urban ride!

And it's late spring here (before it frosts later next week). Heard a meadowlark down in a field coming home.
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Old 03-16-24, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
A buddy had a similar cascading failure as yours and so I expected the rim. But at the spoke holes, not the side wall.

I have built a few wheels and it was hobby-rewarding but not riding-essential.

Can you put the roadie wheel on the hybrid?
Yeah, I had a similar failure just a couple of weeks ago. Was doing some maintenance and noticed my rear wheel was wobbling quite a bit. Closer inspection revealed that a couple of spokes had started pulling out of the rim, with large cracks around one spoke hole in particular.

Took the opportunity to replace the wheels (which had over 10000km on them) with a new set of higher spoke count (28 vs 24) wider gravel rims with no brake track. So far so good. New wheels were obtained for a good price, look great, and roll really smoothly. They also make a very nice sound, since they have more freehub pawls than the old set.

Had a beautiful spring commute yesterday. Made great time. Commuter is in great shape these days.
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Old 03-17-24, 06:17 AM
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My beloved spouse and I had a singing ensemble rehearsal to go to on Saturday morning. She dusted off her bike which she hadn't ridden in a long time and inflated the tires. I made sure it was otherwise sound. We rode along the Hudson River in Manhattan 5 miles each way. It's a segment of my normal commute. It was a big undertaking for her. I'm glad we did it. The weather was ideal.
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Old 03-19-24, 09:33 AM
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Spring in the south (sigh). A couple days ago it was warm and there were meadowlarks singing in the fields. Frost this morning, and the meadowlarks were either shivering too hard to sing or and gone south to visit friends at the beach. Right at 30F, right between light tights and gloves and medium weight. I went with the lighter weight (for the ride home), and I was limited by how chilled I was as to how fast was comfortable to ride.

OTOH, it's sunny, and this afternoon may be a lot more fun!
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Old 03-21-24, 04:58 PM
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Yesterday's commute home was a bit too adventurous, as a driver definitely tried to run me off the road. My commute home involves a a nice, winding descent (along The Arlington in Kensington/Berkeley, for those who know the East Bay area near San Francisco). More background: the previous day, I had to swap my rear 27" wheel on my commuter with a 700c wheel while I await a new tire on order. In the meantime, I had loosened my rear brake since the pads are slightly off the rim and I was in too much of a rush, plus I have a good front, I thought. So, the following happened with reduced braking ability, too

Anyway, going about 30+ mph, I approach a car from behind while in the bike lane, maybe getting about even with the rear bumper but never passing the car. Suddenly, the driver decided to brake and veer hard right, pushing me a good 8-10 feet toward the curb, through the bike lane, and toward the back of a parked car. I consider myself a good bike handler, and that was definitely very dangerous situation and a near miss.

A few minutes later, I caught up to him at a light and yelled through his rolled up window, using my best WTF hand gestures. His response was to give me the "too close" hands together gesture. Apparently, in this driver's mind, running a cyclist off the road and potentially causing serious injury or worse was justified? What would you do? Is it worth filing a report? In any case avoid this a**hole driver.


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Old 03-21-24, 05:52 PM
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gaucho777 I've had a few close calls over the last couple of decades riding in the greater bay area. Usually, I just keep going and shrug it off. However, my usual cool demeanor has been bested a handful of times by the desire to exact revenge or make a point. Those instances result in yelling, gesturing or, a couple of times, hard hand slamming somewhere on the car, usually the trunk. Did that once, slammed the trunk of a car, for blocking the bike lane (and sidewalk) trying to get out of a parking lot into stopped traffic in Santa Rosa. They followed me down a side street and called the cops. That resulted in an irritating waste of time. Short story short, the cops don't give a hoot.
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Old 03-21-24, 05:54 PM
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Finally had the perfect commute where I hit the two lighted intersections at the exact right time and both were green and the half dozen stop signs had no cars so I was able to breeze through those. I was feeling good too so I was seriously moving, made excellent time.
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Old 03-21-24, 06:36 PM
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File the police report, gaucho777. The cops probably won't do anything about it, as noted, but they'll have the a$$ in the computer if he ever gets caught (or even suspected) for something similar. You're protecting yourself and your heirs (worst case) as well as the rest of the cycling community.
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Old 03-24-24, 06:56 AM
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I bike-commuted twice this week. I'm really happy with that. It's not as hard as it was a few years ago, and I'm not sure why.

I noticed that doing some exercises like dead lifts and pushups before I head out helps a lot. I'm not sure, but I suspect it's because I take it to a point of high intensity, even just momentarily. On Tuesday, I had a crosswind that felt like a headwind going in both directions. It was cold, too, but my clothing choices made that a non-problem.

I've had a lot of flat tires! I was out on the river path, putting in a new tube, and the valve core kept coming out. I was not in a position to patch the punctured tube. Oh no! I flagged down a road cyclist and borrowed his pump. Thank you very much! But I didn't get enough pressure, and from there, my tire kept bottoming out. I rode really carefully to the bike shop which is right on my route. I bought a new rim strip, because my rim strip caused this latest puncture. It shifted to the side, exposing the sharp edge of the spoke hole. I bought another tube and pumped up the tire. Back at home I replaced that rim strip. I still haven't found a better rim strip than the Zefal, formerly known as Velox. Totally worth the $5. I ended up being an hour late to work!
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Old 03-25-24, 08:26 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1859:

All weekend they had been predicting doom and gloom with the weather forecast. I had heard predictions of up to 19" of snow. Yesterday morning instead of snowing, it started raining. It rained all day, night and until about 8 AM this morning. Had it been snow instead of rain, we would have gotten walloped pretty hard.

This morning it was still raining, with a temp of 33°F. Probably the least fun type of weather to ride in. Knowing that there might be some slick spots with the temp this close to freezing, I rode the winter bicycle with studded tires. As a bonus, that bike has fenders to help tame the spray from the wet roads.

My commute was cold and slow, but mostly uneventful. I had a medium force headwind the whole way to work, which made my wet skin even colder. But I survived. There was another rider going the opposite direction on the MUP that didn't have any sort of head covering or gloves. He looked really cold. Usually people riding in conditions like these without proper gear are low income/homeless, or lost their license via DUI. I've seen this guy commuting fairly often, and don't get the impression he fits in those categories. So I'm not sure why he wasn't wearing warmer clothes.

Right after I got to the office the rain finally turned to snow. It's coming down pretty hard at the moment. Unless it switches back to rain and melts everything, I'm going to have a snowy ride home after work.
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Old 03-25-24, 05:04 PM
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I got completely rained on today. But I was prepared for it. I was thinking about how Tundra Man commutes in those freezing temps and thought that my rainstorm was no match to those conditions.

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Old 03-26-24, 05:25 AM
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Nice ride this morning but some drizzle. Talking to my cycling friends the other day and there is definately more rain in the last few (3-5) years. Ireland might be famous for rain but it is a lot more frequent nowadays.
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Old 03-26-24, 05:39 AM
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Hi SHORTWAVE,
How long is your commute? Are you on that path/track for most of it? It looks like a lovely commute (if it was a sunny day!)
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Old 03-26-24, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Rothaí
Hi SHORTWAVE,
How long is your commute? Are you on that path/track for most of it? It looks like a lovely commute (if it was a sunny day!)
Hello! My commute is about 8 miles each way. The path in the video about 25% of my commute. The other percentages are on road, and another, more open path that connects to the on in the video. I'm in Louisiana, USA, so there is a lot of woodland and very few (unmaintained) bike/running paths.
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Old 03-26-24, 09:19 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1860:

We wound up getting far less snow than the weathermen were predicting, with a bit less than 2" on the ground. Most of the moisture came in the form of rain. Once the snow stopped, the wind came up hard.

The wind howled all night. I listened to it as I tried to fall asleep, and dreaded what today's commute would be like because of it. Throughout the night I would awake and hear the wind. That's not a recipe for a restful night's sleep.

I debated on whether to ride the bike with studded tires, or the fat bike. I knew with the wind there would be drifting, and the fat bike would be better for those conditions. However, I also knew with the rain there would be a layer of rutted ice on a good chunk of the pavement, and hiding under the snow. I opted for the bike with studded tires. As it turned out, there wasn't a good/bad choice, as both bikes would have shown their strengths and weaknesses today.

When I left the house the air temperature was 23°F. Normally I don't add an additional sweatshirt and switch to goggles unless the temp is 20°F or lower, but hearing the wind outside just made me feel cold. I decided on a day like this I would rather be overdressed than underdressed, so I wore the sweatshirt and goggles. As it turned out, I should have also put on a layer of long underwear and worn my boots instead of just tennis shoes.

There is a rather large park where I have a choice to take the road on the north side of the park, or stay on the MUP along the river on the south side of the park. The two routes are roughly the same distance, so often I'll take one route on the way to work and the other on the way home just to mix it up. The road route is more in the open area, and I thought that might make fighting the wind more difficult, so I opted for the MUP route. That turned out to be a mistake. The rutted ice was bad on this section, but even worse was the severe drifting. I wound up walking a good portion of this section as the drifts were too deep to be ridable. About halfway through the park I decided that walking across a field wouldn't be any more difficult than fighting the drifts on the MUP, and that would get me to the road. Once I got to the road there was a lot less drifting and I was able to resume riding again.

The steady 25mph wind made the wind chill feel like 6°F, but it sure felt colder than that, especially when the gusts hit. My commute today took me to our company office 8 miles from home. The wind was mostly a crosswind, but there were times I had to ride straight into it. By the time I reached our office I was pretty frozen from the waist down. I probably should have just ridden directly to a client location that was closer. The temps and wind are supposed to stay pretty much the same all day, so I got a good taste of what the ride home will be like.

On a brighter note, I stepped on the scale this morning and was 12 pounds lighter than I was about a month ago. I've been really clamping down on my eating habits lately, and it looks like I'm starting to see the results.
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Old 03-26-24, 02:18 PM
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@Tundra_Man, what (in your diet) have you cut out or cut back on?
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Old 03-27-24, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@Tundra_Man, what (in your diet) have you cut out or cut back on?
I've been doing my own flavor of intermittent fasting. Basically, three days a week I eat less than 500 calories (usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday.) Three days a week I try to eat sensibly and healthily (usually Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.) One day a week (usually Sunday) I relax and eat whatever I want, although I try to show a modicum of restraint and not turn it into "let's see how much food I can cram down my gullet in one day."

On my fasting days I usually don't eat much of anything until supper, when I'll have a really large spinach salad with low fat dressing and a little bit of meat like chicken breast in it. I'll let myself have a little cream in my coffee, and when I get home from work a couple of olives and a pickle as a snack.

Nine years ago I used this approach to drop 60 pounds. I kept it off for about three years, then my life fell apart due to health issues with family members. I'm a stress eater, so I kind of stopped caring and started gaining the weight back at a rate of about 10 pounds per year. Six years later I'm still dealing with the stress due to the family members, but now have the unhealthy weight on top of all that. I accepted that I have started down an unsustainable path of weight gain. It was time to at least try and fix the situation. Knowing that the above method of eating was effective for me in the past, I went back to it.

Fasting takes discipline, but I actually find the fast days easier than the "sensible" days. It's simpler to give myself a mandate of "no food" than it is to get myself to "only eat a healthy portion."
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Old 03-27-24, 10:06 AM
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Very cool @Tundra_Man. Maybe that would be good for me. My weight is fine, but I'm reading Outlive, a book about longevity, lifespan, and healthspan, written by a doctor. This might be good for me, too.

In 2017, for the first time in my life, I decided I had a few pounds to lose. I mostly ate only nutritious foods and cut way back on junk food. I didn't cut back on food, and in fact, I might have increased my calories. I wanted to lose 10 pounds. I lost 25 pounds! My family said I was too thin, so I slowly gained it back.

I rode to work today. This is the third time recently I took a significant ride and forgot to hit the record button on my app. My spouse suggested I keep a spreadsheet to log these rides, and I didn't like the idea, but now I just started the spreadsheet. It's OCD to want to record every silly ride, but hey, it's my thing. I wish I had one of those computers that know when to start, but I don't.
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Old 03-27-24, 10:06 PM
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I shot these this morning. A pair of mallard ducks. And the Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge.



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Old 04-01-24, 07:57 AM
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I woke up this morning to see it was 34°F, windy and raining hard. The rain was supposed to turn to snow later in the morning. I decided it was too much, so I drove the car to work and broke my commuting streak.





April fool about the driving part. Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1864.
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Old 04-01-24, 12:06 PM
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@Tundra_Man, you had me there for a second.
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Old 04-01-24, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Very cool @Tundra_Man
I rode to work today. This is the third time recently I took a significant ride and forgot to hit the record button on my app. My spouse suggested I keep a spreadsheet to log these rides, and I didn't like the idea, but now I just started the spreadsheet. It's OCD to want to record every silly ride, but hey, it's my thing. I wish I had one of those computers that know when to start, but I don't.
Despite my relatively young age (mid 30's), I'm rather old school when it comes to very specific technologies and I don't Strava or any other similar fitness trackers. Not because I don't know how to use it or don't have a smart phone, I just choose not to. For my rides, I have a basic non-gps cycling computer that tracks distance, speed, average, etc. Cateye is my brand of choice. For runs, I use google maps ahead of time to know the distance, or route it after the fact. I generally don't run with a phone and only ride with a phone in case of emergency way out in the middle of nowhere.
ANYWAYS, point I'm getting to is I'm tracking all of my riding and running miles as well as total elevation gain plus the days I commute. Doing it extra old school by writing it down on my calendar in the kitchen, though I might do an excel spreadsheet next year.
I don't find it OCD to track that stuff, just a fun way to see how consistent I am with my exercise. I can also look back and see clearly when I was struggling with an injury, out of town for a few days, or ramping up/ramping down leading up to a big race or ride.
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