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How was the commute today?

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How was the commute today?

Old 08-08-02, 09:01 AM
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Nice cool morning. On road just after sunrise. An out of service streetsweeper buzzed me (crossed the white shoulder line, think I'll start carrying a notepad). I also got stopped by a train but didn't mind and enjoyed the rest and opportunity to load up on gatorade. I was surprised to find that although I felt a lot more tired this morning and it seemed like I hit more lights red I ended up getting in in the same time! Lots of joggers out.
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Old 08-08-02, 07:32 PM
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I didn't feel very good this afternoon but I still took the long way home as opposed to taking the train most of the way. I always feel better after riding a little ways. I just took it easy on low traffic streets. Tried a new route since I'm trying to avoid a poorly paved street that is uphill. It really does a number on my butt. Found out that Mapquest is a little dated on some streets that have been closed or turned into dead ends.
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Old 08-08-02, 11:36 PM
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It was a beautiful, sunny day in Beaverton, Oregon today, and I rode out early on my newly reconditioned Trek 1420. I put it back together for commuting last evening, and have semi-retired the LeTour. Both bike and rider functioned well, the rode was great, and this was probably because I went to work early. I thought I had a phone conference at 7:00 :AM, and it turned out to be next Wednesday. But I was able to get some things done because I was early. Rode at noon to get stamps, then rode home the long route. Found a group of bicyclists converging at a convenient point on my route home, and it turns out they ride out from there either 24 or 40 miles at 6:00 PM. I may join them next week on my way home. But this was one of my best commutes of the year.

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Old 08-09-02, 01:14 AM
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This morning I commuted for the first time this week. I broke a spoke last Sunday and did not have the time to fix it until yesterday evening. Mind you, I've never done that before, so it took me some consideration and effort and a couple of new toys in my toolbox. But I fixed it!!

Took it easy this morning, "listening" to my rear wheel to find out how it's holding up. It seems and feels true enough, we'll see how long it lasts. The weather was spectacular, a beautiful late summer morning, warm and very calm. I took the "scenic" route by the sea and enjoyed every meter of it.

I feel so good about being able to fix that spoke. Yes, I know it's just one spoke, no big deal to most of you guys, but this is - no, this WAS one of the mechanical tasks I have not dared to tackle. MichaelW and Calvin Jones, thanks for answering my "Spokes"-question in Bicycle Mechanics. Ride on!



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Old 08-09-02, 05:29 AM
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It's a great day, I was on the road at 5:30 and at work at 6:25, the bike was loaded and I weighed it in at 63 pounds before I left the garage. The air was a little on the cool side but there was no wind, the traffic seemed really loud though, there seemed to be more large trucks than ususal. It looks like the rest of the day is going to be a nice one, I'm looking forward to the ride home.
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Old 08-09-02, 09:33 PM
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Well, today was my day off, so it wasn't EXACTLY a commute, but...

My mother wanted me to come see a movie with her today, and what with only having about $8 for gas for my guzzling dinosaur for the week, I decided to finally take the big challenge and BIKE TO GREEN BAY!

Started out on the shortest route I could find on the map to get to the Mountain Bay trail....unfortunately forgetting that the Wisconsin Bicycle Maps haven't been updated since '86. Had a bit of unexpected detour, therefore, and rode on the shoulder of Interstate 29 longer than I had expected, before reaching the organic produce stand which conveniently has a driveway that stretches from the highway to the road behind it (which USED to be I-29 when the map was made!) Caught the trail where it crosses Quarry Road.

The MB trail from there to Howard had some lovely scenery, though it did lack the rest areas I've seen in other sections of the trail. I reached Cardinal Avenue in Howard, and was surprised to see the trail was closed ahead, and there was a detour. The detour ran by JB's cycle shop, so I stopped to ask whether it was worth the trouble to get back to the trail....it wasn't--the trail ended shortly anyway--so I continued down Cardinal, took Velp (busy street!), and then a side road to get to Dousman. I was worried about crossing the river, but pleasantly surprised to find that there was an actual bike lane on the bridge! (Green Bay is slowly adding them, but there are usually cars parked over the ones I've seen so far.) My mother's place is on Monroe. All together it took me 2 and a half hours to get there.

I want to thank you all for your descriptions on city driving, by the way! Thanks to you guys, I knew not to get too close to the curb...to stay out of the right turn lane...to assume people pulling out from driveways didn't see me...in fact, I think you all saved me some bad times. There was too much glass broken on the road (surprised I didn't get a puncture) the exhaust fumes stunk, a moron in a truck yelled at me that I was riding on the wrong side of the road (ha!) and, on the lighter side, a motorcycle rider revved his engine and asked if I wanted to race.

Headed home later than I wanted to but I got out of the city before the sun set. About two miles down the trail I seemed to be running low on energy--had a Java Avalanche Clif bar, and it certainly did the job--immediate energy boost that lasted me all the way home. I saw a possum and a skunk on the trails. I decided to take the trail all the way to Pulaski, because then I could take County S out of town, which has a paved shoulder and an underpass under I-29. Didn't want to risk crossing the Interstate in the dark! Got off the trails just in time before it got Ichabod-Crane dark in the woods. By the time I got home, the stars were out.

All in all, pretty good! I think I did around 50 miles, without any serious pain or exhaustion. I am coughing my lungs out now, though, either from the exhaust fumes, the cool night air, or the millions of gnats I inhaled on the way home.
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Old 08-10-02, 12:27 AM
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Ahhh Friday my favorite day of the week, took the bus from Everett to Northgate jumped on the cycle to do the 7 miles to work, did a half of lap around Green Lake The Olympics where beautiful. Stopped and grabbed a latte and a baked good from the organic bakery on the way (Essentials) and ate it at Gas Works park and watched the city wake up. On fridays I ride home north on the Burke Gillam trail (heavy traffic on the trail until I got north of the U District. north to Bothell then went north on the Bothell Everett Hwy (bike friendly, bike lanes or wide shoulders into Everett) to 134th then cut over to the Interurban trail, it runs through some wet lands that are next to I-5 saw 2 otters run across the trail and the Cascades and Mt baker shown in all there glory. Cut over to Mukleteo and stopped and had a brew and a pizza at the Diamond Knot and then the bike and I hoofed it over to the Park and watched the sunset behind Whidbey Island, The Puget Sound, and the Olympics no better scenery what a great cranium adjustment to start the weekend, off I pedled home total trip time 4 hours (2+ riding) gps said 41.56 miles I think I am ready for some more fun tomorrow
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Old 08-10-02, 12:36 AM
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I enjoyed the above post, Inkwolf. Glad you had a good ride.

I didn't ride today; Friday, and I decided to walk instead of ride the 3.8 miles to work. On the way, almost got hit twice in the crosswalks by cars not paying attention. Once, I was 2/3 the way across, and a woman insisted on making a right turn in front of me (like right in front of me) against a red light. She got honked at by a fast-moving car which had the green light--amazing.

Then, I was walking across a parking lot entrance and a pickup left-turned from the opposite lane into the parking lot without looking for me, a pedestrian. He spotted me and stopped, and I froze about a yard from his projected line of travel. I allowed him into the parking lot with a gesture.

Then, at noon, I was at a major intersection when I got a "Walk" sign and the cars got their green light. I looked, which is fortunate, as the 3 cars insisted on doing their right turn across the crosswalk before I could walk across.

My workmates now think I'm a car attractor. I won't ride my bicycle on a Friday for awhile--until I see driver behavior change on Friday from the preoccupied, hurried drivers to a more layed back, relaxed attitude. But I don't expect this anytime soon.

John

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Old 08-10-02, 01:24 AM
  #384  
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They are nuts. Do not expect them to change their attitudes any day of the week.. Don't like cyclists. Can we not walk on the sidewalks, either? Should this be under the thread, " I Hate Autos', No Apologies.".
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Old 08-11-02, 03:06 PM
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Yesterday I took a recovery day, and spent a few hours picking up rocks in a newly dug area of the back yard.

Today I discovered that you use the same muscles to squat and pick up rocks as you do for hill-climbing.

Thanks to the shortening days, I started out before sunrise today. t was very cool, with a bit of a headwind. My CatEye headlight is held together with electrical tape at the moment (knocked the bike over yesterday while pumping up the tires) but still works.

About halfway to work the sun came up, and I got to listen to the roosters crowing around me on both sides of the road.

It turned rather hot, so I was glad on the way home when one little lonely rain cloud in a blue sky started following me around, sprinkling on me. (Anyone else know who Joe Bfstplk is?) Anyway, now I'm home, and the rest of the rain clouds are up there thundering.
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Old 08-11-02, 03:45 PM
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Todays commute consisted of going to breakfast. I didn't have much in traffic problems or drivers, though I did get one of those "the road is for tax payers" comments. I am still looking for this tax exemption that I apparently get for riding bike I will keep you all posted . What I did notice was my neighbors were at the same restaraunt for breakfast. They left at the same time as I did and when we arrived home I was right behind them (2.893 miles acoarding to the GPS). They are pleasure riders, but he told me last year that bikes to belong on city streets. So he would rather clog up the streets with his brand new Ford Excursion (hmm it is only him and wife, no pets, kids or rerlatives living with them and they carry there bikes on the back) and pump all those toxins into the air. And the money it cost them and society for the privilage to waste gas and drive that over sized beast for no apparent reason. All of you that watched the superbowl last year remember the ad they ran about drugs and terrorism? They reminded people that if they bought drugs there is a chance that they are contributing to terrorism. Well I keep waiting for the ones on oil and gas, because there is a more than a chance there is a strong probability that the money you give to the oil companies do get into terrorist pockets!!!!!
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Old 08-11-02, 06:54 PM
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A trial commute today. Picked up a 1987 Bianchi Strada 12 speed road bike for $35 at a yard sale last week. Had to get new tubes, otherwise everything seems to work. It's about 10 pounds lighter than my Norco Katmandu mtn bike. In the 12 km commute, the road bike trip was about 3 minutes shorter, so that means a 10% improvement. More fun too!! It took a while to get used to the drop bars, haven't ridden a bike with them for about 10 years. I was impressed with the road bike in the rough going (rutted pavement, rough pavement, a short piece of gravel bike trail) - I thought it would be too skitterish with the 1 1/4 skinnies, but had no problems today. The only problem was the steel grate lift bridge - I'll walk the bike over next time!!!
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Old 08-12-02, 09:16 AM
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Today's commute was in the car. School started today in the Atlanta area.

I just couldn't face all those brand new bus drivers (I think the radio reported 5000 school buses would be on the roads) and high school kids drivng their "new transportation" to school (thanks to Mom and Dad) and all the Moms driving their kiddies to school "safely" in the family van or SUV.
Only a crazy person would face all of this along with the usual morning rush hour traffic.

I'll probably ride tomorrow.
Just gotta get my courage up.


<edit> Forgot to mention that my commute route takes me past 2 high schools, 1 elementary school, and 4 "major" school bus stops (30+ kids at each one).
Wow look at all those cars and school buses! </edit>
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Old 08-12-02, 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by RonH
Today's commute was in the car. School started today in the Atlanta area.

...Only a crazy person would face all of this along with the usual morning rush hour traffic.
Hey, I resemble that remark!

A young guy wearing a backwards baseball cap, a messenger bag and an extensive tattoo on his right calf passed me on his bike this morning. I followed him until he turned off at MLK station. By that time he had accrued about 100+ yards lead on me.

I told myself:

1) He's a young guy.
2) He lives nearby and was fresh when he joined me, though I had already covered over 10 hilly miles at that point.
3) He's a young guy.
4) I was toting my usual excessive baggage, about 15 pounds worth.
5) He's a young guy.
6) He's a bike messenger, what did I expect?
7) He's a young guy.
8) It doesn't matter anyway.
9) He's a young guy...

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Old 08-12-02, 09:27 PM
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First commute in 10 days. Back from vacation. Tonight was a nice little zoom through the heart of San Jose. Nothing new to report. Seemed easy to do because I was for the most part on fresh legs. The shadows were noticably longer when I got home ... won't be long before we'll be burning the ol' NiteRider on full beam.
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Old 08-13-02, 04:55 AM
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A victory! I finally totally dusted my first "serious" rider. A guy all done up in lycra on a super speedy bike was done in by Superfred. I had my Kmart shorts & t-shirt combo on. I even had a pocket radio bungeed to my bottle cage. I was nearly at one with totally Fredness. But I beat him! Obviously pissed, he tried to pass me and succeeded, but blew out all his energy on it and I overtook again and ditched him. OK, so this is a stupid thing...testosterone-packed nonsense, I know, but still an accomplishment of sorts for this tired old musician. I had to tell someone.
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Old 08-13-02, 06:53 AM
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Congrat, B&D! Sounds like your ego had a great commute!
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Old 08-13-02, 09:28 AM
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Hot commute. I was sweating into my eyes pretty good by the time I finally got in. I must have received inspiration from B & D as I blew away one of those guys on the Go-Peds going across ASU Campus. Now I'm going to work up to motorcycles! I made record time averaging 18 mph with stoplights and got to work in an hour and 5 minutes. My previous record was an hour and 8 minutes. I guess that makes up for the heat (90 + degrees at 7:00 AM).
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Old 08-13-02, 11:47 AM
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Commuting from afternoon to the following morning can be such a different experience. I wore my coolest jersey because going into work was near 95 degrees.This morning going home it was lite fog, chilly ane my glasses were fogging up from the humidity. My summer weight jersey with the side vents was a little uncomfortable, since I only brought arm warmers..
Only unique experience going home- I saw in my mirror what appeared a yonger person trying to pass me on my steepest hill. Somehow, the sight of a 'kid' on a mountain bike on asphalt gets your blood pumping in a spot 'reserved' for roadies.
Well, my eyes lied to me. It was not a kid. It was an off-duty marine trying to keep up with me... got to top of hill, the marine and I had a nice conversation. Wants to get into biking. Does so much running/basketball, wants to add something different to his regime.. So he congratulated me for getting his adrenelin up to keep up with me..Went up the hill about 10 mph, & me in my tired state...... First ride ever, that he had more than a couple blocks away from home. Said his wife likes bikes and wonders what equiptment he needs to really get into it. Wants to ride with our Tuesday/ Thursday group.. He loved the experience and the cycling world grew by one more this morning..

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Old 08-13-02, 08:50 PM
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Today it was cloudy and sprinkling slightly as I went in. (Went in the short way, both directions--my leg muscles still hurt from picking rocks.)

On the way home, between the clouds and dawdling, it was completely dark when I left work, as well as wet. FUNNY how you feel every dip, break, and uneven spot in the road when you can't see them coming. My glasses kept wanting to fog, as well. Not too bad, though, except for the moments of terror...when all the road signs ahead of me lit up and I knew I was going to be passed again. I kept watching my shadow to see if it was veering off to the right (or whether I would have to.) Blessings on the one driver who dimmed their lights as they approached, so that I was secure in the knowledge that I had been sighted. All in all a rather nerve-racking ride.
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Old 08-13-02, 09:56 PM
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Inkwolf, I sure hope you were properly outfitted with a highly reflective bike and gear, etc. You simply cannot be too bright. Reflective material that brightly and unmistakenly depicts a bicycle's motion to motorists from far away is the only way to go. (Reflective tape on cranks and rims and other moving parts works well, for instance.)

If I recall you're relatively new to this bike-commuting stuff. As told in earlier posts, we're approaching that time of year where you'll likely more and more to be riding in the dark. Welcome to riding in inclement (and dark) environments.

I hope you and others entering their first fall and winter season will stick with it. All it takes is preparedness. Unlike me, however, you have the cold to contend with as well. I think I'd much rather have a nasty El Nino in San Jose than a cold spell in Wisconsin but I honestly don't know since I've never slogged through a cold climate while bike-commuting. It may be that multiple layers of clothing is enough ... but I'll leave that to others who know better.

Anyway, glad you're safe and sound.
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Old 08-13-02, 11:54 PM
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Here in balmy California, mostly we have to content with is dark night commuting.. I wear those reflective leg bands and a reflective vest.. I have reflective tabs on my cycling shoes.. Problem, I commute with small panniers on the back. This detracts from the motion of the pedals, from behind- I would suspect..
Someone posted that they put reflective strips about the rims, as they travel. Think this can be clearly seen? Of course, many of us use blinker lights.
The thing about riding at night. All the reflective material in the world will not stop me from slowing down or giving up on my favorite training hills, since the curving roads act to bring about blind spots,that at night are threatening to us and reflective stips do little to counter act. So if you slow done, do we get a good work out? But I still can't stop myself from going out some..
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Old 08-14-02, 05:34 AM
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Thanks for the concern--I have a Cateye headlight and standard reflectors, a Vistalite LED blinkie, panniers with reflective strips on the back, reflective stickers on my rear bumper, and I wear a day-glo blaze-orange vest with some reflective stickers stuck on the back. Haven't been killed yet.
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Old 08-14-02, 08:33 PM
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It was a nice, clear day, not too hot. Strong crosswinds. I took the long way.

About half way I heard weird noises. Turned out to be a goat bleating--I passed a farmyard where a couple of dogs were chasing a pair of goats around. Not knowing if some farmer's livestock was being endangered, here, I turned back for another look. This time the picture was completely different. The dogs were lying in the shade with big grins on their faces, and the goats were by the roadside, bleating at me in a whiny sort of way. Meanwhile, a full pasture of cows across the road were watching intently with blank, "I know nothing!" expressions.

Danged if I didn't feel like a teacher who's walked into the classroom an instant too late to catch the class bullies in the act.

The rest of my commute was without incident. My ride home was a pleasant twilight run, with a bright moon.
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Old 08-14-02, 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by Inkwolf
I said to heck with cadence. ***** trying to get a good workout. No more rushing to be on time. I left home an hour early and went at a leisurely pace, enjoying the scenery. (Dandelions have appeared everywhere!) I got to work early enough to eat dinner and read a book out on the picnic table behind the library.
I had more energy on the ride home tonight than I have had since I started commuting, and more fun on the entire ride, too. Maybe I've been pushing myself too much.
Ahhh...if only I can learn this technique of enjoyment!

Way to go, Inkwolf. After all, if we were in a rush, we'd be driving a car.

As to your night commutes, the combination of front light(s), reflectors all around and blinkies should cover it. Don't worry about passers behind you, just keep your line and stay highly visible.

My concern about the dark is seeing what's ahead. Cars can bomb over sticks, stones and ruts but bikes can go down. If you are riding at night, you will need front lights bright enough to illuminate the road. Could you invest in something really bright?
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