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How was the commute today?

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How was the commute today?

Old 08-14-02, 09:20 PM
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Inkwolf, sounds like you're lit up like a Christmas tree !!

LBM, right on about worrying about what's in front. Absolutely.

cyclezealot, the reflective stuff in the rims actually does work in my experience. Rarely is our straight line perfectly straight; cars can pick up the wheel movement from behind quite well.

As for my commutes today, back and forth, with no major news to report. Chilly in the morning. It's been chilly all summer long. Must be Global Cooling, wouldn't you say LBM? (Ha ha. Just kidding.)

Kids were lined up at their bus stops, which was cool to see. I always get a kick out of their collective heads tracking me as I zoom across their field of vision. Maybe one of them will be an eventual bike-commuter?

I never quite seem to have the stories like Inkwolf tells. But then again, dodging buses, trucks and potholes while roaring through San Jose doesn't quite have the mystique of the Wisconsin countryside.
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Old 08-14-02, 09:26 PM
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[QUOTELBM[/b
Kids were lined up at their bus stops, which was cool to see. I always get a kick out of their collective heads tracking me as I zoom across their field of vision. Maybe one of them will be an eventual bike-commuter?
[/QUOTE]

Yes I like watching them track me also, I hope that someone there is looking to cycling. I also try to clown with kids in cars, hopefully to show them I am not that f%^&ing a$$hole that there parents might of just called me. (poor kids in your neck of the woods or students here have another 3 weeks before they have to line up.)
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Old 08-15-02, 08:30 PM
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Today I had a nasty headwind--it was like going uphill the entire way. I got to see a new and exotic bit of roadkill, though. On the street beside the church in Seymour, there was a dead bat on the road. Pity I was running late, I'd have liked to have time for a better look. I have seen extremely few bats in my life. (One, in fact, and for some reason I was scared of it.)
It looked like I might get rained on on the way home, but the clouds scattered just as I left work, and I had a nice ride home.
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Old 08-15-02, 09:50 PM
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Seattle has been having some pretty awesome weather this summer I work on the north end of Lake Union which is just north of downtown Seattle. Today they had 21 or so Tall ships come in from Elliott Bay through the locks into Lake Union what a spectacular site! Watched about four or 5 of them go floating by before I had to return to work (bleat). The weather was so nice that I decided to get off the bus about 12 miles from home and pedaled the rest of the way. We actually still have pockets of some real rural kind of areas between Seattle and Everett. only had a problem with one speed racer ( you know the guys that have to floor it when the pass you just tyo hit the brakes so they don't hit the car you are following). Did the first 5 miles on rural roads then jumped on to the Interurban trail up here. It paralells I-5 for about 3 miles ( Most fridays if I am on it during rush hour I am moving faster than the traffic got to love it ) it is starting to get dark sooner time to break out the light, charge it up and make sure everthing is working. I am truly fortunate to be able to ride cycle in this area. Washington has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country! Everett sits on a bluff over looking the Snohomish River Delta. there are about three valleys that converge into one and as I come down the hill into Everett I get pretty much 180 view of the Cascade mountains and the river delta. I still have to slow down everytime I see it to take it all in. That is what makes all the darn city driving I have to do!(I hate cars, no apololgy... oops thats another thread) Well time to reload on some of my favorite carbs have an awesome Friday
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Old 08-16-02, 10:02 AM
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Rode all the way to work and home yesterday. The home part was necessitated by a bus driver deciding he wasn't going to let me take my bike on the bus (rack was fully loaded) like other drivers do when the bus is at low volume. So I had to pedal. Luckily I at least had my tailLight. That being said, having no headlight I was amazed at the number of Police Officers(6 vehicles as opposed to 0 in the mornings) I saw, and the number of people not using any lights at all riding bikes (although most of these were also riding on the sidewalk so I suppose one piece of ignorance likely begets another)! I was amazed none of the officers pulled me over for missing a front light. Anyway, it was interesting going the other way at night. It's also interesting to see how many Dark places there are on a fairly busy street going right through town (when in a car you swear the thing has streetlights all the way). By the time I got home I was a little shaky on the legs. I rode a total of 36 miles (there and back) with a 12 hour work day thrown in to boot (I probably would have been in better shape if I had changed into my cycling clothes at some point on the way home as it was between 90 and 100 at 8:00 PM). Well, that was my first commute in the dark, wish I would have been more prepared for it. I kept expecting drivers to turn in front of me because they couldn't see me. None did though Thankfully.
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Old 08-16-02, 10:15 AM
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All this week I've been getting up early and riding miles in the wrong direction before turning and heading to the office. This morning, I decided to sleep in and ride casually to work on the most direct route. It's been nice and cool in the mornings here so I just dressed for work at home and figured I'd be relatively dry and cool when I got to the office.

We have a number of 3 lane one-way streets running through Midtown and Downtown that are main arteries for car commuters. There's talk that the city will eliminate one of those lanes to slow traffic. Hope it actually happens.

So anyway, this morning I'm riding in the center of the right lane. It's on a slight downhill so I'm having no problem keeping up with traffic at about 24-25 mph. A guy in a pickup beeps at me several times and as he pulls even he raises his hands in a kind of "what the hell are you doing?" gesture.

I have no idea what that was about. I was doing my best to ride a straight line, keep with traffic, and signal my intentions. After reading through most of these posts, my guess is that Joe Pickup was just annoyed that there's a grown man on a toy in a traffic lane.

What do you guys think?
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Old 08-16-02, 11:21 AM
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Zoomed in to work today. San Jose is experiencing fall-like weather -- chilly in the mornings, morning cloud cover (basically fog but at a low ceiling). Even some trees were shedding their leaves, the first I've seen of this so far this year. I wore two shirts (one long sleeve) and my customary hideously yellow light jacket.

The cloud cover also made for a darker ride. My NiteRider rapid-flash front light and outrageously bright tail LEDs were even more potent than usual.

I was lucky with the traffic lights this morning and was about 4-5 miles into the commute before I drank (gobbled!!) some Gatorade. I was a little tired from some mountain bike riding yesterday afternoon but still managed a blistering pace overall.
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Old 08-16-02, 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by caloso

So anyway, this morning I'm riding in the center of the right lane. It's on a slight downhill so I'm having no problem keeping up with traffic at about 24-25 mph. A guy in a pickup beeps at me several times and as he pulls even he raises his hands in a kind of "what the hell are you doing?" gesture.
You know I used to get defensive with them. I have come to realize that they are just ignorant in the ways of the world and smile and wave at them
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Old 08-16-02, 11:27 AM
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Well, as a matter of fact, that's what I did. He may have taken that as sarcasm, but whatever....
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Old 08-16-02, 09:52 PM
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Zoom home was cool. Actually, a long sleeve shirt and the hideously yellow jacket were required to keep warm. And it's mid August in San Jose :confused:

Anyway, legs were surprisingly strong after a lot of activity recently.

Also, turned over 1000 miles on my commuting bike (since mid-May). Bit of a milestone.
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Old 08-17-02, 08:36 AM
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I haven't posted in several weeks. It's been a royally messed-up summer. After the two falls reported earlier, I lost a couple of weeks in July to a severe case of food poisoning (campybacteriosis). I lost 14 pounds and most of my strength. I got back on the bike and back to work, but have intentionally stayed away from the Internet so as to be able to catch up with my work (a major renovation to our museum's auditorium is in final bid stage) and my family obligations (getting my son ready to move to North Carolina, where he's starting a year with Habitat for Humanity).

But nevertheless I've been back in the groove for about three weeks now, doing the 26 mile RT 5 days a week. The first few days after the illness were rough, but not as rough as I feared.

Commuting in Philadelphia has been mostly very hot, almost entirely dry, air full of ozone and allergens, but strangely peaceful. Seems like everyone's on vacation or taking a nap; traffic's been light, drivers have been reasonably agreeable.

I've been riding my steel touring bike (the Novara Randonee) almost exclusively because I haven't had time to service the Airborne. This weekend, for sure. But it's given me an opportunity to renew my appreciation for that basic, reliable, solid machine that may represent the best $500 I ever spent. For the last year I've only been riding it in adverse weather, giving all the nice-weather rides to the fancy $2k bike, and so I'd started to forget that once you get above a certain minimum level, it's all good. The ti bike is a dream, but the steel bike is really just the same dream without the violins.

Anyway, it's nice to be back and it's always great to be riding -- the cure for just about everything.

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Old 08-17-02, 10:47 AM
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Ouch, sounds like life's been rough, Rich. Glad you're coping! Good that you're managing to squeeze in some biking again, too.
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Old 08-17-02, 11:17 AM
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Rich, we've missed you. And now we know why. Glad to hear you're well. I want to lose 14 pounds but not that way !

Also, after a few injuries over the years I was concerned about resuming the commute as well. Funny how you get right back in to it, though.

While you've been gone Inkwolf has delighted us with her commuting escapades. She and a few others have really nice commute routes. As I recall you and I are the cityslickers here -- not much to talk about except how we narrowly avoid this bus or that tank trap (pothole).

Your comments about steel bikes is dead on. My Trek 520 rides like a tank; I can aim it at anything and confidently know it will emerge unscathed. I was always nervous on my Ti road bike. Of course, the Trek 520 is anything but light, but that's fine. It's good exercise.

Good to see you back.
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Old 08-17-02, 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
While you've been gone Inkwolf has delighted us with her commuting escapades.
Why, thank you, Andy, very sweet of you. Sure you're not just kissing up for driving me into a foaming rage in the Climate debate? (Don't worry, I can respect a skilled and intelligent debater, even when I occasionally want to kick him. )
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Old 08-17-02, 08:36 PM
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No problem Inkwolf, sweetie pie I really am a lovable guy, Climate thread notwithstanding.

We have our bikes, we have our bike-commuting, and this is a biking forum, God bless it. It never hurts to spice it up a little, huh?

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Old 08-17-02, 09:05 PM
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Speaking of commuting, I went on a nice 40 miler this afternoon. Lots of climbing and cool temps made for a good day. So far this is the farthest ride in my 2 month riding career. Feels good to break the barrier and move into uncharted territory. Well I just wanted to post a lil' something on this oh-so popular thread.
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Old 08-18-02, 08:45 PM
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All right, the Airborne is serviced, the RD is perfectly adjusted, the new chain is lubed, the new Pasela TG's are pumped up, the light's re-mounted, the rack trunk is strapped on, and it's ready for tomorrow morning.

How much ya wanna bet it'll rain tomorrow? I've been riding my rain bike for three totally rainless weeks waiting to have time to service the fender-less Airborne. It's ready to go, so it *must* rain. This is, after all my life.

We need the rain. Desperately. I'm only too glad to help out.

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Old 08-19-02, 05:27 AM
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Good morning everyone, This is my first day back from vacation. I took last week off and did some short touring in new england, total week was 526 miles, I saw a good bit of Vermont, New hampshire and maine. The weather was great, A bit on the humid side but really nice. The ride in this morning was great, the sky was clear and the air on the cool side. I took my time with no wind and checked out the road construction progress. I noticed that not much got done, no new black top and the sewer pipe ditches had large piles of black top in them that are intended to be patches. I'm looking forward to the end of the road construction this fall, the commute all summer was kind of like mountain biking.
have a great day.
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Old 08-19-02, 10:44 AM
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I switched routes today on the way in. My daughter's first day of her sophomore year was today, and my wife and I drive (that's right ... drive!!) her to school, and from there I go to work on the bike. And thus began my schooltime route.

The comparisons of this route to the standard summertime route into work are many:
  • 14 miles instead of 20
  • Generally nicer Santa Clara neighborhood route rather than industrial San Jose, though still on heavily-traveled roads
  • A relative lack of potholes compared with the summertime route
  • Spinning through beautiful Santa Clara University rather than blah San Jose State University
  • The addition of a fairly nasty highway interchange
(No offense to any SJSUers on the board, but SJSU is not exactly pretty.)

Not a whole lot of traffic today. I suppose that will change when the other schools open. It was chilly again this a.m., so chilly that I'm actually contemplating wearing knee warmers!! My knees were creaky this morning because of the chill.
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Old 08-19-02, 05:28 PM
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First commute in 2 weeks:

The Good: Rode the old Bianchi road bike, used pedal clips for first time, didn't fall off. Rode faster than cars on the QEW (the expressway that runs parallel to some of my commute) for a short while (unusually congested traffic on expressway). Fastest commute so far (no coasting today!)

The Bad: Weather forecast said clearing in afternoon, wet roads and drizzle/light rain said forecast was wrong. No fenders, no raincoat, heavy laptop in backpack. Buckles from laptop case digging into my back for last half of ride. (panniers and rack are on the other bike) :confused:

The Ugly: Me when I got home (complete with skunk stripes fore and aft).

I'll try and be a little better prepared for tomorrow's ride (12 km each way)
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Old 08-19-02, 06:08 PM
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Hey Pinerider, send some of that rain down here, we're getting desperate!

The promised rain here was first postponed until overnight, and now they're hedging their bets; it might rain, maybe, a little, in some parts of the area.

Hrmph.

So today's commute was as it has been all summer: hot and dry. Another record-hot day in a record-hot summer of drought.

But it was great to get back on the Airborne. Man, that sucker can climb, and it accelerates from stoplights like a sports car.

Tomorrow... I had to schedule an early meeting. Do I really want to leave an hour earlier and ride in if it's raining? Well, I don't believe it'll rain, and even if it does it will clear up by afternoon, and it should be cooler. I look forward to it, actually.

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Old 08-19-02, 07:53 PM
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The commute was good and bad.

Good - it's the first time I've done the commute in four weeks, after being knocked off in a hit-and-run (I posted about it at the time). The weather is brilliant for cycling in South-West Oz - cool mornings and mild afternoons. Whoever invented arm warmers meant them for here. (I still wonder how one guy I see most times on the bike path survives. No matter what the temperature, he's always in a sleeveless skinsuit!)

Bad - amazing how four weeks off the machine can make a difference. Had to work hard to complete the 22km distance. Think I'll wait another week before rejoining the Saturday group ride. The weather's a problem as we have a drought - quite the opposite to Europe, unfortunately.
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Old 08-20-02, 05:01 AM
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Well, I'm not a happy person this morning, Today is the second day this summer I drove to work, I got up, It was raining hard, I whimped out, didn't want to get the bike dirty after the fresh cleaning I gave her yesterday. I know it's a poor excuse, but that's the way it is, maybe I'm getting old but the rain just wasn't going to do it for me this morning. I feel all dragged out without my morning ride in here, I think this whole day is shot, It's still raining, I don't have my bike in my office to talk to, There is a pile of work on my desk, I think I should take the day off, get my bike and go for a long ride, that always brightens things up. Well you know what they say," attitude is everything", I guess my bike is my attitude.
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Old 08-20-02, 06:21 AM
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Mine was v good today. I had yesterday off as I did 40 miles in a Scottish monsoon on Sunday and my knees were still a bit sore. Also my gear hadn't dried out

So today's 13 miles was a breeze in mild temperature, no wind and no rain. 4 minutes faster than usual (no red lights)
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Old 08-20-02, 06:55 AM
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mr fix - I could have avoided the ride home in the rain yesterday, but I knew the guilt of not commuting would be worse than the inconvenience of getting wet and dirty!

This monrinig's ride in:
The Good - A beautiful sunrise over Lake Ontario " like a red rubber ball" , cloudless sky, back on the MTB with rack & bag.
The Bad - nothing bad today!!!
The Ugly - today's road kill count: 1 muskrat (I think), 1 possum (yes we have them in Canada - recent arrivals, though), and 1 seagull.
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