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How was the commute today?

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How was the commute today?

Old 10-16-03, 11:09 AM
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nice ride in - cold but not as windy as yesterday - in a few days I think it will be time for long fingered gloves

aside from the falling temps the weather has been unbelievably good lately - wonderful sunny autumn days
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Old 10-16-03, 03:51 PM
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Hi,
just finished my 4th week of commuting to work 4 days out of 5. I take Fridays off in the hope that thef weather will allow a long ride on Sat.
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Old 10-16-03, 05:12 PM
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"Tchazzard, great pics and awseome looking ride! What kind of reaction are you getting from drivers being in that? How well can you see around you in it?"

I get nothing but smiles, waves and friendly beeps. People love this thing. You can see very well. I have a rear view mirror and may add a second. My only other add on has been some extra LEDs for increasing my awareness at night and hope to pick up a portable motion detector for times when I park at the store.
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Old 10-16-03, 09:18 PM
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Light rain this morning. I decided to try out my spanky new Swiss-imported jacket I bought for Tasmania later this year (57 days to go!). After about 3km or so things got really hot! This is a good sign.
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Old 10-16-03, 09:22 PM
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Cold and rainy this morning in Spokane. They painted a new bike lane on my street this week, however it's still not ideal for biking. Hence, today I found a new route to bike to work, with much less traffic, and it increased my morning route from 5 miles to 7 miles. The longer commute will be more worthwhile.
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Old 10-17-03, 05:59 AM
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Beautiful, clear, still, 38 degree morning, I took a side trip through the country side this morning, total trip milage 27.4, I could have just kept on going, what a great day to ride a bike. I rode along in the dark, there were no cars on the road, I could hear dogs barking in the distance and saw a few small critters running about the side of the road. If every morning were like this morning things would be great, I guess it's just the calm before the storm here in new england, My studs are clean a ready to go on at the first freezing rain.
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Old 10-17-03, 06:01 AM
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Another windy ride on the way home yesterday. Not to bad but it made it tough at times.

Got caught in some light rain this morning. Besides that it was pretty good ride.
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Old 10-17-03, 07:09 AM
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Crisp clear 38f. Need a brighter light because I can hear the deer crossing the road in front of me, just can't see them.

On at least 5 occasions including this morning, this guy in an old pickup makes a point of driving real close. Sometimes he comes over the white line demarking the shoulder. I am well lit from behind with a large 5 led blinking cateye and a reflective vest. Thing is, I know where this guy lives, and I may have a talk with him tonight.
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Old 10-17-03, 07:43 AM
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Frost on the pumkin...

It was a little chipper out there this morning (33F/1C) but I had a great ride in. Of course it's dark when I leave but I saw a beautiful sunrise just before I got to work. The air is so fresh and clean this time of year.
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Old 10-17-03, 07:44 AM
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Strange ride home the other day. For some reason, the DOT put up two guardrails over the trail that I take home. I follow some buried water and sewar lines to get home and it has a bunch of street crossings. The path is wide enough for a car to go through and alot of dog walkers, dirtbikes use the trail as well as I do to commute. Technically, we're tresspassing, but nobody bothers us as far as I know. Anyway, one day after biking to work from a week off on vacation, I noticed a guardrail across the path where it crosses a road. It was buried in huge cinderblocks, large enough to make it impossible to remove except via a forklift or small crane. It was there for at least 4 days and I do not know if it was there when I was on vacation but yesterday afternoon, I noticed it was gone!!! Picked up and removed! Weird. I also noticed a tree that I noticed on thursday morning was gone by thursday evening commute home, now that is trail maintenance!!!!

The trail maintenance by the state water guys (I assume) is loads better than if this was an official railtrail or bike path. That's the sad truth in a way but I would still prefer it to be official as it's a great path to the local train station for people who commute to NYC.

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Old 10-17-03, 09:42 AM
  #3386  
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Terrible ride home last night - partly my fault - The rechargeable batteries in my headlamp ran out of juice on the (unlit) separated bike path that runs against the direction of busy traffic (great design guys). Loss of this combined with glare from traffic on the road made it impossible to see where I was going. Had to slow down to a snail's pace to avoid riding straight off the path. Scary. Even with a bright working lamp, it is very hard to see against the headlamps of 20 or so cars. I must write to the council instead of boring the good people of the forum with this...

Ride this morning was chilly, but pleasent,

Have a good weekend,

Ed
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Old 10-17-03, 11:27 AM
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Took a shorter route this a.m. (13 miles). I've been running and swimming and needed a break.

Mr Idiot was out again today. The idiot that rides in the left lane -- blind curve, too -- of monstrously busy and fast Lafayette. This guy's going to get creamed. I don't blame motorists if they're pissed off at this guy.

He ran the red going left as I was going straight on the green so I didn't have a chance to tell him what an idiot he is. I will next time I see him.
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Old 10-17-03, 11:50 AM
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Great ride home last night. Brought the "A" bike to work just so I could take a long detour home. I left the Capitol, crossed over the Tower Bridge into W. Sac., and headed south along Jefferson Blvd. Heavy commute traffic to the new housing developments on that side of the river but they've recently repaved Jefferson so the road was smooth and the motorists were courteous.

A few miles south of town, I turned on to S. River Road. A bit of a headwind but my legs were pretty fresh and I was able to maintain a nice pace. Again, motorists were suprisingly courteous. I think they're used to slower moving vehicles like farm equipment.

Crossed back over the river at the Freeport drawbridge and headed north and back into town with the wind at my back and raced the setting sun. What a tremendous way to start the evening.
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Old 10-17-03, 11:15 PM
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Strange thing happened today on the way back -- I picked up a nail.

OK, not so strange ... yet.

The nail, as best as I can determine, became lodged in my rear tire and, with the tire revolving, stuck in the middle of my fender bracket located immediately under my seat. My fenders are not on now, so there was nothing preventing the head of the nail from becoming stuck in the two prongs facing rearward.

The nail was thus facing backwards ... and dug a groove in the middle of my rear tire. I smelled rubber burning and my rear brake didn't work (the nail interfered with my brake). All this, while navigating a tricky part of my commute with cars whizzing by.

It was unlike any other nail-flat scenario I've ever encountered. Very strange.

Funny thing was I removed the nail from its home in the fender bracket ... and there was no flat !!! The tire was fine.

However, two seconds afterward, I heard the -- whish, whish, whish -- of a seriously flat tire. Turns out the nail did puncture the tire while making its round trip to the fender bracket.
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Old 10-18-03, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy Dreisch
Funny thing was I removed the nail from its home in the fender bracket ... and there was no flat !!! The tire was fine.

However, two seconds afterward, I heard the -- whish, whish, whish -- of a seriously flat tire. Turns out the nail did puncture the tire while making its round trip to the fender bracket.
I had something similar happen with a nail in a tyre on a commute about four years ago. The difference was that I didn't hear the whish, whish, whish for another 8,000km after that moment. I still haven't figured that one out.
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Old 10-18-03, 07:48 AM
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tchazzard, nice pics... I love your bike/(trike). You must get some pretty interesting reactions to it.

I've been gone for the past 3 weeks, (Calif.) and hope to begin commuting again starting Tuesday. I love riding in the mornings, my only real problem with the cold weather is trying to keep my feet warm. I have tried the chem pads that are sold in HD, but 2 pair a day can get expensive.
I have the neoprene booties, they help but my feet still get cold. I have clipless peddels, so I guess boots are out of the question. Does anyone have any suggestions that may help?

Thanks in advance, and thanks for the great pics tchazzard.

Frankc
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Old 10-18-03, 02:43 PM
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I have gotten frost bite too many times over my 43 years from skiing here in Maine. My feet and hands get quick pretty darn quick. Up until now, I have commuted in the winter time on a mountain bike with Burley trailer in tow. I have a pair of LL Bean insulated hiking boots and Lake gloves. These worked very well for me, other than the wicked cold snap we had last January.

As for my Mango, I have only been wearing a tshirt and shorts so far. The coldest I have dressed this way was 38 F and I was still over heating. I have not worn any gloves and have standard biking sneakers with thin socks on my feet. It will be interesting to see how warm I stay in the next cold snap.

I will keep you all posted.
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Old 10-18-03, 03:59 PM
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Thursday and Friday must have been the wettest days I've cycled in. I used the bus part way in on Thursday AM. I cyled to the dentist for my dentist appointment then took the bus to the Skytrain station (Vancouver's version of rapid transit) and cycled the last 4km to the plant. Had a dumb idiot that had to, I mean had to, pass me on a downhill in the midst of a downpour and torrents of water down the street and beyond.

I took my usual route home instead of using the bus to take me home as the only road out to take me back to the Skytrain station was flooded in several places. But then part of a road I took on my route was flooded in a couple of places but not enough to prevent me from going through.

Friday morning on my way to work I came across another cycle commuter. He had run into a steel post at the end of a paved bike trail and I had found him on his hands and knees with his bike off to the side. He knows the route and is aware of the post but it was dark and he did a quick right shoulder check for cars on a road that he would be coming onto at the end of the trail and forgot about the post and then ping.... I stayed with him for several minutes in case he might need emergency assistance. He had the wind knocked out of him and his back was sore. But he only had a couple of more blocks to go and said he would be alright. He stayed a little longer and when he assured me again that he was okay I carried on to work.

Friday's commute home was more eventful. It was raining and I decided to ride home anyways. It was still bright enough being at 4:00 PM and I would have a nice bath to come home to. One would think that with the rain, being heavy at times, and with roads partially under water that drivers in their cars would take it a little easier. But, no, they have to drive even faster and with disregard for other people on the road especially cyclists. I was splashed constantly from passing cars going in both directions. When I was within 3 kms of home I had two cars cut right in front of me. Then (as I had posted in a separate thread) I had a vehicle run into me in a designated cycle lane and push me into the ditch. That's when I lost it. I was so disgusted that I let this driver have it. I even kicked his van. He had stopped and rolled down his window but didn't offer any assistance and then drove off. Stupid idiot. And then I didn't note his license plate. My glasses were too fogged up. I really felt lousy after that, wishing that I had handled it better. But I was so pissed about being run into within a designated cycling lane. Chris L. - how do you deal with this?

Most of my commutes to and from work are without mishap, but Friday was the worst commute I've had.
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Old 10-18-03, 04:18 PM
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Antonius, I think you handled it reasonably well. If we were all perfect he wouldn't have pushed you off the road so a less than perfect response (in the turn the other cheek sense) is OK. The only thing you could be faulted on is that he probably thinks you were kicking his van because he stopped to assist the poor cyclist that lost control of his bike. I'll bet he doesn't think he had a thing to do with it. Unfortunately, even if you hadn't kicked his van, I doubt if you could have made him see his role, so don't beat yourself up over it.
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Old 10-18-03, 04:23 PM
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Thanks, Jean.
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Old 10-18-03, 06:36 PM
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Wow! I have truely been blessed! I haven't had that happen yet. I have no bike lane on my commute. Most of my route doesn't even have a shoulder, just a concrete curb. I suppose the drivers on my route have just gotten used to the crazy cyclist. Great ride in today, a little chilly at 56F but I suppose I can cope! (I'm laughing!) Ahhhh Houston, aside from the total disrespect for all mankind (not just bike riders) and the traffic, and the humidity, and the polution ETC... This place is paradise!
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Old 10-18-03, 07:21 PM
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antonius, I have been caught in torrential downpours countless times. The rainy season can be ferocious in the Bay Area. My experience is that drivers will tend to splash you as there is, obviously, standing rain on the road. Many times, especially here in Silicon Valley they'll be nowhere for the rain to go, so I expect to get doused.

Given that visibility is reduced in such conditions, I also tend to be extra-alert to drivers who may not see me -- even though I have wildly visible gear, complete with annoying bright blinking lights.

To this day, after more than six straight years of bike-commuting, I have never experienced a situation like you descibe above.

I don't want to provoke an argument but I wonder if you gave the drivers enough of a chance. Were you truly visible? Were you riding safely, especially considering the conditions? Upon reflection, could you have done anything differently to reduce the likelihood of a situation?
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Old 10-19-03, 02:58 AM
  #3398  
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Originally Posted by antonius
Then (as I had posted in a separate thread) I had a vehicle run into me in a designated cycle lane and push me into the ditch. That's when I lost it. I was so disgusted that I let this driver have it. I even kicked his van. He had stopped and rolled down his window but didn't offer any assistance and then drove off. Stupid idiot. And then I didn't note his license plate. My glasses were too fogged up. I really felt lousy after that, wishing that I had handled it better. But I was so pissed about being run into within a designated cycling lane. Chris L. - how do you deal with this?
Fortunately there aren't too many designated cycle lanes on my current commute. I have no issue riding outside of the cycle lanes that do exist on my commute if I feel the need to give myself some space (which is what it's all about on the road). I believe giving myself that space allowed me to avoid a collision with that dropkick in Surfers last week. Just a question, how wide exactly was that cycle lane?

Unfortunately, kicking his van probably didn't help much, even if it was a perfectly natural reaction under the circumstances. He probably now thinks he got away with it so he can do it again. It's hard to stay calm the whole time, but that really is the only way to deal with it. Write down their number and pay a friendly visit to your local police officer. It helps if you ride a few km to calm down before you get there. The cops could probably inflict more damage than a kick to the van ever could.
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Old 10-20-03, 05:03 AM
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Nice cold morning, 29 degrees and no wind, I had a great ride to work, ya know winter is upon us when your water bottle has ice in it when you get to work.
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Old 10-20-03, 05:56 AM
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Nice ride in today. It's near freezing with some light ground frost, but my main problem is fallen leaves. They are really slippy.

With a thin fleece, jacket with all vents open, shorts and tights only my toes and the tips of my ears were slightly cold.

I love this time of year!
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