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How was the commute today?

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How was the commute today?

Old 06-26-08, 09:27 PM
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Newbee learns his lesson

Tuesday, my wife and I made a special trip to the LBS to buy a good bike for me to commute to work in. My old bike was a lovely rusted x-mart speceimen. So, Wednesday morning I set off on my 4.5 mile journey to work. My ride to and from work went very well and I arrived safely at both destinations.

Thursday I got to work fine but wanted to try a different route on the way home. This new route would avoid 4 two way stop signs which were not in my favor. I made it through the detour fine but ran into an obstacle crossing the main street through my little town. The alternate route was on had some sort of pavilion set up on it. I could have cut through the empty tent but decided to be civil and take some back streets. This dropped me off on a street without a stop light where I needed to cross the state highway. I waited and waited. As soon as a line of 30 cars would pass in one direction, another thirty would pass in the other. This happened three times and I saw my tiny opening. My left foot was ready to go so I took off. I put my right foot on the pedal and attempted to accelerate across the street. SNAP. My foot contacted the outside edge of the pedal and slipped off. Meanwhile, cars are still coming in both directions so I quickly readjusted and got across the street. Once back on side streets I took stock. When I put my right foot on the pedal I missed the main sections that are designed to support weight and, instead, put my full force on a thin piece of plastic on the outside edge. That plastic broke. But the pedal still operated it just had a slightly loose feel to it. I pedaled home without further incident.

At home I attempted to replace the pedals with old ones from my xmart bike. But I did not have the appropriate tools and the replacement pedals were not in good shape. So I forgoed the repair and figured I would be fine for one more commute. I then had all weekend to get the bike repaired.

So Friday comes and I get to work just fine. I brag about how I have already broken my bike after two days of ownership. (I got the 5 year extended warranty. I am definitely going to be getting my moneys worth out of this one.) So I go to pedal home. The toughest part of my route is the first quarter mile. This is the busiest street with the most traffic and rail road tracks that cross the street at a 30 degree angle. I got across the tracks fine and was pedaling hard toward a left turn ahead. I got to the turn and realized that I was going too fast. I gently apply the rear brakes and the back wheel locks up and begins to skid out. I recovered but I was still going too fast and the curb was fast approaching. As I hit the curb I distinclty remember thinking "I need bike gloves." The next thing I knew I was in the grass. (By the way, I found out the reason bicycle helmets stick so far out the side of your head is to protect your ear. Who knew??) I got up took stock of myself and my bike and set out again. I was fine. Just a little dirt on my shirt and some grass in my helmet. My wrist didnt hurt too much and my knees felt fine. My front brakes were now out of alignment and there is a slight rattle in the steering column that there wasn't before. There were also a couple of scrapes on the bike, one on the right pedal arm and one on the rear derailleur.

When I got home my right knee was a little tender from a scrape. Otherwise I was fine. I havent lost hope yet. I took the bike in for repair at the LBS. They gave me all metal pedals and realligned my front wheel. Monday I was back at it but it was a more leasierly ride. No need to break any land speed records.
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Old 06-26-08, 09:39 PM
  #25377  
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Rain and hail during the night made for a wet sloppy (near construction/building sites) ride in. Mudded up the bike, shoes, socks, ankles and shins. Really need to get some tight fitting fenders, soon. Sunshine by noon dried the streets to 95% for the 5 o'clock ride home. Got a chance to use Bike Wash for the first time, works as advertised.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:49 PM
  #25378  
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My commute today was fair. Really hot! Humidity was killer and I had a car full of asian people yell at me as they drove by... nothing against asian people. Had a two hour break at work so I rode to the salvation army hunting for a vintage road bike and that tacked on an extra 10 miles for me today!
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Old 06-26-08, 11:51 PM
  #25379  
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The ride today was awesome...

I was riding the new longbike and found it to be uber smooth, it got faster when I put on the slicks at the shop, and the only issue was the folks who stopped me to ask questions about the bike.
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Old 06-27-08, 04:27 AM
  #25380  
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~72F/22C and muggy at 5:00AM--doesn't bode well for this afternoon.

Riding the tank all week (last time probably) has been a workout, and I made a leisurely ride in. A little bunny rabbit was hopping along beside me for a few seconds at one point, but I dialed it up and dropped 'im like a bad habit. Fuzzy little f*ck.

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Old 06-27-08, 05:57 AM
  #25381  
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After going through a rough beginning this week because of safety issues (harrasement). I decieded to ditch the intial drive to the Park and Ride and start out directly from my house this morning. I took rural routes into downtown Houston to avoid the bad neighborhoods that I was going through before.

I packed superlight, only clothes & water, no panniers. It made a significant difference, my bike felt light and I made the 21 miles in 1:25 minutes. It's hard to imagine that only three weeks ago I told myself no way in hell I was going to be able do a 42 mile roundtrip. I'm glad I was wrong.

Last edited by theWolf; 06-27-08 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 06-27-08, 06:17 AM
  #25382  
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Originally Posted by theWolf
It's hard to imagane that only three weeks ago I told myself no way in hell I was going to be able do a 42 mile roundtrip. I'm glad I was wrong.


One of my faster rides this morning, even with a light headwind. Guess I just had lots of energy. Upper 60s and humid. Passed two riders going my way, and saw a couple riders going the other way. Also saw a squirrel practicing Squirrel Dance Moves for YouTube I guess. It launched off a tree trunk and did a flip in mid-air. Very cute.

Edit: Last night I realized, at $4/gallon, I'm saving about $15 a week by riding. Sweet.

Last edited by vtjim; 06-27-08 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 06-27-08, 06:37 AM
  #25383  
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Originally Posted by Cal_Jordan
my hillacious 9.4 mile ride home was long, agonizing, and lovely...I'm glad I decided against bringing the El Camino home one day early.

not a record time, but I made it home quicker than I thought I would...and using lower gears too!

ok, now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to find a not so lighted corner, roll up in to a ball, and wish for the Mountain Dew fairy to take me to a place where the Mountain Dew flows like wine...oh, and beautiful women too...always.


As for my commute, it was gorgeous. I went fast, I saw a bunch of cute little birdies, the weather was perfect, and the ride managed to both mellow me out and wake me up for work. If only all commutes could be this easy...
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Old 06-27-08, 06:53 AM
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Ride in really late for me (left a bit before 7:00AM), 69 and a bit humid, not bad though. Coming through downtown Hartford, the Central Connecticut Cycling Alliance was setup for the "last Friday of the month" Bike to Work breakfast. I'm usually way too early for them, so I stopped and registered. They had a line for "How can we improve Bike to Work?" I said "Setup at 5:30 ".
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Old 06-27-08, 06:56 AM
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nice ride yesterday afternoon (although very humid and hot!) and last night the ride was great too. However, my left knee started hurting pretty good about 10 minutes into the ride. Not sure what is going on. I know I need new cleat on my shoes and also new clipless pedals (I have the Forte Campus) - been thinking about getting something with more float - so maybe that is the issue. Pain seems to be at the front and was exacerbated when I was pushing it up the hill and didn't drop low enough in the gearing to account for it - so I did a lot of 'spinning' last night.

Given that, I took the day off - it still hurts just sitting at my desk.
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Old 06-27-08, 07:04 AM
  #25386  
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well, its Friday, and I get to drive the El Camino home...thats AFTER I ride my happy ace in on my bike...mid sixties, wonderfully cloudy, and I can't wait to get on the road!
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Old 06-27-08, 07:41 AM
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This morning's commute really kicked me in the hammock. I was 10% slower than normal (3 1/2 minutes), my legs felt dead, and it was warm and humid. In speaking with my buddy who bikes into the same office as me, I think my carb intake was way down this week, and I have what he calls 'dead battery syndrome'

Overall, a bad commute is still a good commute. After a month or so of riding, I am really starting to feel more attached to my bike than my car, and the only time I have driven all week was when I biked to the Toyota dealer to pick up my wife's Sienna amidst a thunder and lightning show w/ big @ss hailstones. That was fun!

On another sidenote, I realized (though I always knew in the back of my mind) that I bike right by the VW dealership where I used to have my Touareg serviced. I got rid of it last year because of maintenance issues and more importantly, fuel costs-it was a pig! Kinda gives a good feeling to know that I am not paying that stealer any more money, and I am not dumping cash into the tank of a 15 mpg SUV that required High Grade gas. My biking to work saves the wife and I $40 per week, since she can drive my car to work, as it gets over 30mpg, so we only use the van on weekends.
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Old 06-27-08, 08:05 AM
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What with 83% humidity this morning and a predicted feel-like 100F this afternoon I decided to take the subway...

Originally Posted by DataJunkie
Nice commute this morning on my single speed. Trying to determine what is making an annoying noise. I think it is either the saddle or seatpost since it only occurs when I am sitting.
Loose spokes/spoke rub maybe?
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Old 06-27-08, 08:31 AM
  #25389  
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Nice morning. Went about five miles out of my way to pickup some stuff from the bakery for my office. Woman there seemed shocked that I didn't require a plastic bag for my items. Guess all the burbanites in N.Raleigh can't carry a loaf of bread 15 feet to their car without one.
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Old 06-27-08, 08:45 AM
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Had me a little run in with a road ragin' cager last night. Some chick (kinda hot too... a yummy mommy as they say) pulled up beside me and visibly mouthed "move over". Which totally threw me... the road was single lane, but wide enough for two, I was well out from the curb, but she had room to pass without altering her course whatsoever. So i waved. Then she had to stop for a left turner and i zoomed past on the right. I took the left lane (as i usually do) at a 4-way stop, through which i was going straight. Hmmm, i guess i might've emphasized the fact that i was ahead of her at this point... so i guess i don't get full points for being the calm collective one. Anyways, she pulls up beside me on the right and blasts off through the 4-way going straight through. That's where it ended, she just kept on peeling away.
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Old 06-27-08, 08:53 AM
  #25391  
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Slow..... can't tell if I was out of energy, or if I simply wanted to take my time.
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Old 06-27-08, 09:20 AM
  #25392  
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Hit a bad pothole at the bottom of a big hill and lost the screw that attaches the top of my rear fender to the bike frame, so the metal clip holding it was now getting caught in the back wheel. Looked for 10 minutes for the screw but no luck. Ended up bending out the 4 teeth of the metal clip with a long skinny rock, the clip is stuck in place now around the fender. Worked pretty well and the fender seems fine, now I just have to find a replacement screw and bend the clip teeth back. Just another adventure of commuting I guess!
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Old 06-27-08, 09:22 AM
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OMG
I should have taken up poker instead of cycling.

Bombing down a hill I ran into a puddle of water while turning. Trying to avoid crashing I went wide while turning left.... and hit a glancing blow to a curb. Flew over my handlebars head first into the dirt and grass next to the road at about 15 mph. Broke my helmet and was dazed for a bit of time. Showed up to work an hr late.
Anyhow, I am keeping an eye open for any concussion symptoms. I am guessing it was a mild one at least.

bleh
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Old 06-27-08, 09:43 AM
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Doood... welcome to the club! Good on ya for getting back on the horse...

I'm afraid that, at the rate you're going, we're going to have to read about you on the "wall of remembrance" thread in a matter of days. A bit of friendly advice (offered strictly out of concern for your wellbeing and your enjoyment of what has become one of my all-time favorite things to do): Riding in traffic is inherently more dangerous than driving a car, if only because you're now a midget in a land of giants, as opposed to being one more giant. I suggest you take some time to carefully plan your primary (and, apparently, a backup) route - map it out on the web, test drive it in the car to make sure it's going to work, test ride it on a weekend without traffic if necessary to make sure the roads and traffic control (stop lights, signs, turn lanes...) are sufficient.

And then ease into this - take things easy for a while to get yourself accustomed to your new bike (congrats - what is it, btw?) and riding in traffic. Riding a bit slower will also allow you to be more observant, which can improve your safety AND your enjoyment of the trip. Pay attention to where the cars are likely to cut you off or right hook you. Where do you need to be mindful of the "door zone?" When's the best time to move left to make that turn? Where should you really take the lane, and where is there room to safely share? Then, when you're used to the route, the bike, the traffic, go all out for the land speed record! After all, this is supposed to be FUN and FUNctional transportation which improves your quality of life. And finally, feel free to post your questions here - search first, of course (as was recently pointed out, there are approximately 9 unique topics on these forums!) Again, welcome!


Originally Posted by gnomekesse
Tuesday, my wife and I made a special trip to the LBS to buy a good bike for me to commute to work in. My old bike was a lovely rusted x-mart speceimen. So, Wednesday morning I set off on my 4.5 mile journey to work. My ride to and from work went very well and I arrived safely at both destinations.

Thursday I got to work fine but wanted to try a different route on the way home. This new route would avoid 4 two way stop signs which were not in my favor. I made it through the detour fine but ran into an obstacle crossing the main street through my little town. The alternate route was on had some sort of pavilion set up on it. I could have cut through the empty tent but decided to be civil and take some back streets. This dropped me off on a street without a stop light where I needed to cross the state highway. I waited and waited. As soon as a line of 30 cars would pass in one direction, another thirty would pass in the other. This happened three times and I saw my tiny opening. My left foot was ready to go so I took off. I put my right foot on the pedal and attempted to accelerate across the street. SNAP. My foot contacted the outside edge of the pedal and slipped off. Meanwhile, cars are still coming in both directions so I quickly readjusted and got across the street. Once back on side streets I took stock. When I put my right foot on the pedal I missed the main sections that are designed to support weight and, instead, put my full force on a thin piece of plastic on the outside edge. That plastic broke. But the pedal still operated it just had a slightly loose feel to it. I pedaled home without further incident.

At home I attempted to replace the pedals with old ones from my xmart bike. But I did not have the appropriate tools and the replacement pedals were not in good shape. So I forgoed the repair and figured I would be fine for one more commute. I then had all weekend to get the bike repaired.

So Friday comes and I get to work just fine. I brag about how I have already broken my bike after two days of ownership. (I got the 5 year extended warranty. I am definitely going to be getting my moneys worth out of this one.) So I go to pedal home. The toughest part of my route is the first quarter mile. This is the busiest street with the most traffic and rail road tracks that cross the street at a 30 degree angle. I got across the tracks fine and was pedaling hard toward a left turn ahead. I got to the turn and realized that I was going too fast. I gently apply the rear brakes and the back wheel locks up and begins to skid out. I recovered but I was still going too fast and the curb was fast approaching. As I hit the curb I distinclty remember thinking "I need bike gloves." The next thing I knew I was in the grass. (By the way, I found out the reason bicycle helmets stick so far out the side of your head is to protect your ear. Who knew??) I got up took stock of myself and my bike and set out again. I was fine. Just a little dirt on my shirt and some grass in my helmet. My wrist didnt hurt too much and my knees felt fine. My front brakes were now out of alignment and there is a slight rattle in the steering column that there wasn't before. There were also a couple of scrapes on the bike, one on the right pedal arm and one on the rear derailleur.

When I got home my right knee was a little tender from a scrape. Otherwise I was fine. I havent lost hope yet. I took the bike in for repair at the LBS. They gave me all metal pedals and realligned my front wheel. Monday I was back at it but it was a more leasierly ride. No need to break any land speed records.

Last edited by ctoddrun; 06-27-08 at 10:23 AM. Reason: format
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Old 06-27-08, 09:58 AM
  #25395  
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Decided to see if I could ride no handed all the way to 21st St., the main arterial that takes me into Midtown. Didn't make it all the way, but it's still a fun thing to do on quiet streets. Reminds you of riding when you were a kid. Very light traffic today. Not sure why.

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Old 06-27-08, 10:28 AM
  #25396  
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
OMG
I should have taken up poker instead of cycling.

Bombing down a hill I ran into a puddle of water while turning. Trying to avoid crashing I went wide while turning left.... and hit a glancing blow to a curb. Flew over my handlebars head first into the dirt and grass next to the road at about 15 mph. Broke my helmet and was dazed for a bit of time. Showed up to work an hr late.
Anyhow, I am keeping an eye open for any concussion symptoms. I am guessing it was a mild one at least.

bleh
Damn! I hate the unexpected puddle of water mid-turn, especially mid-turn. Anything reinjured from your cager altercation? Bike okay? (Which bike, btw?)

Hope you come through this with nothing more than dazed for a few minutes and a broken helmet...
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Old 06-27-08, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ctoddrun
Damn! I hate the unexpected puddle of water mid-turn, especially mid-turn. Anything reinjured from your cager altercation? Bike okay? (Which bike, btw?)

Hope you come through this with nothing more than dazed for a few minutes and a broken helmet...


It was my tarmac but it looks fine. The front wheel took a glancing blow and no damage to speak of. I must have hit with the tire since the rim looks fine. Tough little bike.

I was dazed for an hr and now have a headache even after taking 4 ibuprofen. Not quite all here.
I am guessing that I suffered a low grade concussion.
Just to be safe I am taking time off from the bike and having my wife pick me up later. Apparently concussions can worsen later. My goodness I have the worst luck.

Just a bit of road rash on my elbow but my car injuries still appear to have healed.
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Old 06-27-08, 10:49 AM
  #25398  
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Dang DJ! Sorry to hear this! Hope you are going to be ok!
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Old 06-27-08, 10:53 AM
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Damn, someone out there must have a DJ-shaped voodoo doll! Hope you're OK - you may want to get yourself to a doc and get checked out. We expect you back on the bike ASAP, you know!
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Old 06-27-08, 10:57 AM
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Repeat after me
MUST STOP CRASHING

I might as well take up mountain biking with how much I tumble.

It does appear that my front wheel has a slight hop in it. Guess I will visit my LBS to have it trued.

Maybe this commuting stuff isn't for me. My accident rate on commutes is horrible. Recreational and utility rides are much better.
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