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How was the commute today?

Old 08-26-02, 09:51 AM
  #476  
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Nice cool morning when I started but Mr. Sun got to work before I did and had the heat going before I got in. I passed the bus up take when not on the bike (Woo Hoo!). I find in the morning the buses can't keep up with me but in the afternoon we play tag for a few miles and then they dust me when we hit the slight uphill sections. Traffic is a lot worse just leaving half an hour late I have discovered. The nice side of it is I think I go faster as the Cars break up the wind. I actually notice a 2 -3 mph increase in speed when a large truck or bus goes by me. As for the sweat in my eyes, I broke down and ditched my Walmart helmet and bought a Giro from the LBS. Man is there a difference in ventilation! If I squeeze the sweat out of the pads periodically while I am riding I don't have as much of a problem (head tilted sideways of course). Anyway, my commute this morning starting out as a drudgery but ended up being very enjoyable. I saw about six or seven other bike commuters out. Must be the cooler mornings (or the fact that I was out later).
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Old 08-26-02, 11:28 AM
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Tired tired - took the road bike to work this morning. I had another record-breaking day yesterday and with all the other weekend activities I think I've about pooped out. But I had a junk food fest this weekend and had to try to burn it off.
People on the streets were nutty this morning. I hope the wackiness wears off before the trip home....!
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Old 08-26-02, 12:19 PM
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On the buses thing, I believe the bus drivers are generally nasty and are not to be trusted.

However, in the afternoons I'll play tag with a bus for close to 10 miles. This is on a straight-as-an-arrow portion of my commute home, immediately south of San Jose. We'll start our little race -- and pass each other probably 10 times before it's over. I can keep up because I have a solid tail wind normally, and am able to crank 25 MPH as an average speed through this section (stop lights permitting, of course). After a while I think I've gotten to know this driver, and he me, and we have no problem. It's fun because it breaks the monotony of the long stretch and keeps my pace higher than it would be.
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Old 08-26-02, 03:17 PM
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We had some heavy rain (finally!) Saturday night, so Sunday was gorgeous, the air was scrubbed, the breeze was brisk, the humidity was low. I went for a road ride, about 60 miles, and hammered way too hard. I could feel it in my quads as soon as I got home.

Commuted today anyway, because it looks like the weather may deteriorate as the week wears on, but it was another beauty today. Can't waste 'em.

Had a doctor's appointment first thing (followup to the food poisoning episode), but didn't realize it was at the office 5 miles from home instead of the one two miles from home, until it was almost too late. So I had to really mash to get there on time, arrived dripping sweat, but my doctor's very cool, and completely supportive.

And I got to add 10 miles to my morning commute on one of the nices days of the year... and then do the rest of it in midmorning, when traffic is lighter. So it was a fine start to the day.

Rain coming again Tuesday through Thursday, they say. It'll be a nice change.

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Old 08-26-02, 07:48 PM
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This morning my officemate was complaining about the distracted/clueless/stupid drivers dropping their kids off for the first day of school. She was driving past the high school in her Honda when an Excursion pulled out from the right shoulder and flipped a U-turn right in front of her. Didn't even look! Cindy said she had to pull out into the oncoming lane to avoid the Excursion and would have been killed had there been a car coming then.

I said, "You've just described my everyday commute." And this is why I always avoid the streets with schools coming in to work.

A lot of times, I'm forced to stay really late and I ride home at midnight. Someone always tries to be nice and offer me a ride home. I tell them I feel 100% safer riding home at midnight than riding into work at 7:30am.

(Actually, my ride in today wasn't bad at all. Made it in without a fuss or muss. And all in one piece.)
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Old 08-26-02, 07:50 PM
  #481  
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Originally posted by naisme
It's almost enough for me to consider riding the bus.
Got bike racks on those buses?

Do a "Jerry Lewis." Start to load your bike at the bus stop and keep fumbling with it all day.

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Old 08-27-02, 05:36 AM
  #482  
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Beautiful clear, cool morning this morning, not much wildlife and the traffic was a bit on the heavy side. I rode in darkness the whole trip, it was extremely peaceful, I enjoy riding in the darkness. The truck traffic in new england seems to be getting heavier for some reason, most are courtious and give me plenty of room. It's going to be a nice day, warm this afternoon, the ride home should be nice, I think I'll take the back country roads, the ride will be a little longer with more hills but much more scenic with less traffic.
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Old 08-27-02, 06:22 AM
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Originally posted by mrfix
I rode in darkness the whole trip, it was extremely peaceful, I enjoy riding in the darkness.
Me too! But when you say "in the darkness" do you mean you don't use any headlight? That's a scary thought.

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Old 08-27-02, 06:29 AM
  #484  
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No, I use a night rider classic with the LED tail light that's powered from the main battery, I also use a second tail light, a battery powered cateye as a back up should one of them fail. Be seen and live. I find the night rider to be very effective, I have great visibility up front with the headlight on the lowest setting and I can be seen from the rear with tail light. I also wear reflective clothing. The system is three years old and has held up well, the battery holds up through my entire commute, both ways 18.5 miles each way, with power to spare. I put the battery on the charger when I get home, it takes about 2 hours to top it off.
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Old 08-27-02, 08:24 AM
  #485  
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I brought my road bike to work today. A group of us are going to ride 17 miles after work on Wednesday morning.

I have a QR seatpost rack to carry stuff. Unfortunately, my LED headlight was on my MTN bike, so I went without. It was certainly bright enough this AM, and there was no traffic to speak of.

I push a lot harder on the road bike, so it was bound to be a faster ride. I friend of mind road my route, but took a couple of different detours that I had avoided due to hills. I decided I could take the hillier route today. It was faster with a 30 mph downhill stretch that really makes up time.

I also have been leaving 15 minutes later. I have commuted all summer and haven't had a problem. I usually arrive to work 45 minutes early in order to shower and just in case of a flat. I could have a flat with my truck just as easily, and would probably be later for work if that happened. So, I choose not to worry about a breakdown.

I ended up with a 15 mph average for the ride and arrived 10 minutes earlier than I had anticipated. That means 10 minutes more to sleep in before the next ride!!!
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Old 08-27-02, 08:46 AM
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Another pleasant commute this morning. I left 15 minutes early, and it seemed like there were no cars on the road! It's amazing the difference 15 minutes makes; I should do that more often.

Went to the LBS yesterday; thinking about making the jump from my hybrid to a "real" road bike. Tried out a 2001 LeMond Tourmalet, which seems like a great bike. I'll go back Wednesday when they can do a "fit kit" for me and try out a few others.

I'm wondering if I'll have problems on my commute with a road bike's tires. There are three roads I go on that are in terrible shape; it's almost like riding offroad on rocky trails. Also, there is one dirt path I ride on that's about 100 yards long. Any advice on how to handle these areas on a road bike?

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Old 08-27-02, 09:01 AM
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I ride a road bike on days when it doesn't rain and the roads are clean, I live in new england where the roads are in real bad shape. After a few years of fixing flats and replacing rims I built up a set of touring wheels for my bike, I used shimano ultegra hubs, mavic 519 (now 520) rims and wheelsmith DB 14/15 spokes, I run continental ultra 2000 700-28-C tires at 95 psi. When I go on a group ride I snap on the thin, light road wheels with the 700-23-C tires and go, When I get home I put the touring wheels on the bike and ride flat and problem free all week long. They ride much better on the poor roads also.
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Old 08-27-02, 09:05 AM
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I used a road bike for commuting and in May bought a Trek 520 Touring bike. I use the road bike for weekend/tour rides.

I commute on some pretty nasty streets and I'm 220 pounds, and I commute a whole bunch, so my experiences may not apply to you.

I found that I was beating up the road bike pretty substantially and wasn't able to maintain it frequently enough. It was starting to show some serious wear after 900 miles or so of use (which is about 3-4 months or so). As far as flats, I got them regularly -- and this was in the dry season (you tend to have more flats in rain). With my 520, I've had only one flat in 1100 miles and that was basically unavoidable since I ran over what I think was a tank trap.

Having said all this, I see people commuting by road bike regularly. It seems to be no problem with them.
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Old 08-27-02, 03:44 PM
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On my commute today ... there was none

I packed my bike for the ride home tonight and a ride in tomorrow a.m. but forgot to pack my helmet.

So I have my beloved bike with me all day and I can't ride the baby home.

And, no, there's no way I'll do the commute without a helmet because I just may
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Old 08-27-02, 04:04 PM
  #490  
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This morning I saw another bike commuter which is rare. I was cussing the light for keeping me there two cycles. I thought the car beside me got there in plenty of time to trip the sensor. I looked around and saw a wheel back and to the right of me which surprised me and made me a little embarrassed about cussing. I barely missed a huge storm that hit after I got to work so that was nice.

On the way home, it was very cool from it being overcast and rainy most of the day. It's amazing how much better time I made than yesterday when it was miserably hot and humid. Of course, Monday's are the slowest anyway.
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Old 08-27-02, 08:03 PM
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Woke up on time this AM no car in today. I always regret when I drive or even those rare occasions that I have to drive. I hate the commute, the cool thing about my AM commute is that I get to slowly come to life on the bus as it chugs from Everett to Northgate Mall. On good days I can see so much, Mt Rainer to my front The cascades off to my left, and the occasional glimpse of the Olympics on the right. It is during this time that I finish my breakfast usually a Banana and some sort of carb. Then I settle in either to nap or read, or both. Then after the stop before mine I begin to phsyce myself up for the ride and the day. We have been blessed with beautiful weather the last month or so and fall is begining to set in. The mornings have been cool makes for a good ride. I have a hill comming straight out of the gate. then with the exception of one little bump of a hill it is pretty much all down hill from there. I could ride in from Downtown which is more flat and closer, but then I don't get the work out. And almost no traffic where I ride, just a couple of spots and they are in bike friendly areas. I don't like riding in downtown Seattle, just way to many angry people down there in cars and yes on bike. The trip home is more of a workout pretty much up hill (I figure not quite half the trip is hill) and I am usually in a hurry to make the bus. The road bike is down while I do some work on the bottom bracket and hubs get it ready for the winter. So I was on the old specialized sequioa man is it slow compared to the Bianchi. The thing that has been happening lately is the good comments I have been receiving from people I meet (latte stand, grocery etc.) I here less gripes about bikers and more comments of how good it is. Is this the begining of a shift of thought for society or just a few isolated happenings? Be well, be safe! David
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Old 08-27-02, 08:23 PM
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Fun commute yesterday evening. Monday Night Football was in town for the Packers first home game. My commute takes me right through the stadium district. I my car I would detour around all that traffic, but on the bike I decided to ride right past the stadium and check out the scene. No problems, glided through at the peak of the rush. Actually seen a number of people riding their bikes to the game. Definitely the way to go. The smell of all those brats being grilled in the parking lot was a killer. I tried to find someone I knew on one of the grills so I could freeload one, but no luck. Rode on home hungry.
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Old 08-27-02, 08:49 PM
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OMG, blwyn, I hate to even get caught driving my car down Oneida on game days! But I guess you survived, eh?

Today was cool and cloudy, with a nice tailwind on the way in. (Or not so nice? The prevailing north wind the last week hints at winter to come...) A co-worker coming off her shift stopped the car and we had one of those nice middle-of-the-road chats you can have on country back roads.

It was completely dark when it was time to go home--not even the fading sunsets any more! The stars were out when I was halfway home. Didn;t see any wildlife, but there were several rustles in the cornfields as I rolled by. I'm feeling a bit more confident at night...I tried shining my car lights at the back of my bike and was impressed at the amount of glow from all my reflectors.

Thursday night I plan to head out for Perch Lake after work, driving half the night in hope of getting a weekend campsite before the rest of the Labor Day Weekend people grab 'em all. I'm taking my dog, so the back seat will be open, but I'm still hoping to manage to squeeze the bike into the car! It would be nice to be able to pedal into and around Florence.
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Old 08-28-02, 12:10 AM
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I was wrong in becoming complacent. This has been a terrible cycling day.

My friend and I went for a lunchtime ride from downtown over to West Seattle. There is a waterfront shared path over there, and just after we started riding on it, this City Light worker in his truck careened onto the path from the street to flip a U or something. There was really chunky gravel off the right edge of the path, and the guy looked like he was barely maintaining control even though he didn't even realize we were there. He had never looked.

My friend and I both jammed on our brakes, but he was in front and was too close to stop. Since there was gravel on the right, he had to make an evasive past the left side of the truck. But the truck was still moving, and he couldn't just dart out into the street without looking. We both yelled loud; he finally noticed us. Moron.

On the way back, there wasn't a dangerous situation, but one that was annoying and added to the lameness of the day that I thought I should mention. We were stopped waiting for a light at a nasty five or six way (haven't really counted) industrial intersection before we could get on the path to cross the bridge back to downtown. As the light turns green, this racer dude comes up on our tails, including a girl on a hardtail in front of us, really quickly. Due to the danger of the intersection (bikes have to cross an uncontrolled 'ramp' lane), we were taking it cautiously, but this guy was unpredictably zig-zagging between the three of us. Then while climbing the bridge incline, the guy is out of the saddle apparently trying to pound up the hill, but all three of us behind him are just cruising along at the same speed. Then, at the top of the hill, he gets in the middle of the path, slows down to far under 20mph, and takes both hands off his handlebars and starts fiddling with something. On a downhill! Selfish jerk.

My ride home was thankfully uneventful. Mostly because it is uphill all the way and my speed is lower than usual.

I headed to the coffee shop to study a little later, which is a mile downhill from my apartment. Right out of my front door while trying to enter the street, a cab comes quickly rolling through a right turn onto the same street without looking. I smartly yielded. He the proceeded to troll at about 5mph looking for a fare, and wouldn't even go when the light turned green. Arg, you can't pass a cab.

After he finally got out of the way and at the next significant intersection down the hill, a was shooting the hole between the stopped traffic and the parked cars. Since cars tend to keep their parking spots on this street, it is a little safer to do that than it is normally. While in the gap, my whole body catches a generous splattering of liquid from a not-traceable source. I stopped, got on the sidewalk and looked around trying to figure out where it came from. Could have been from a car window, or from the building above me; who knows? It's probably a good thing for everyone involved that I didn't know. The liquid was water as far as I could tell. It didn't smell, and it wasn't sticky.

Another block down and a car tries to pull out of the parking lane into me. I was even with them at this time, so I could escape. Another block and a car pulls right out in front of me from a sidestreet. Traffic usually goes down this hill at a minimum of 30mph, and I was gaining momentum towards that mark, so I laid on the brakes. He turned off at the next sidestreet.

I made it the rest of the way without incident.

It is now nighttime on my way home. Yes, I have lights. I make it to the top of the hill, via a different route, and am quite ready to get home. I pass a car, while staying to the right of the yellow line, that was stopped in the middle of the lane and get immediately back over to the right. However, I was almost hit head-on by a pig going about 90mph without his lights on doing a similar weave around a car stopped in his lane. I yelled (loudly!) some not-quite-nice things at him. I hope he heard me.

I turned off onto the street where my building is. Right as I'm about to pull off onto the sidewalk (my building is on a corner), a mercedes hangs a right turn right into the wrong side of the street that I am on. He was going fast enough, and the collision was about as close a call as the one with the cop. I yelled at him too, which was embarrassing because I was in front of my building and there were people outside.

Although there were many possibilities for collisions and injuries today, I feel very fortunate to have escaped them all. Still, the sheer quantity of them has left me angry and frustrated tonight. I have been finally having a generally positive feeling towards drivers lately, but it's probably a good thing that I have been scared back into vigilance. I hope tomorrow is better.
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Old 08-28-02, 05:37 AM
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Today had a great start, partly cloudy, cool and the air is still. Traffic was on the light side and most lawn sprinklers are spraying in the road. There was an unusual amount of bugs, I inhaled a half a dozen or so, I need to ride with my mouth shut. The road kill count is up, skunks mostly. I rode in at a crisp 18.4 mph the entire ride in the dark. It's suppose to rain tomarrow so I'll have to get my dirty commuter bike back out, I've been enjoying the efficiancy of my road bike this week, I try not to ride it in the rain. Have a great day all.
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Old 08-28-02, 07:21 AM
  #496  
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Wow, Morsen, ssounds like the commute from hell! Glad you got through it unscathed--your guardian angel must be pooped!

(BTW, having a head-on collision with a pig is a different matter for us country commuters, ours never have lights, but they don't go 90. And if they're upwind, you might be able to smell them. )
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Old 08-28-02, 09:02 AM
  #497  
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Woohoo! It's raining today. After reading so much about how fun it is to ride in the rain, I've been wanting to try it. Unfortunately, with the drought in Maryland, I haven't had the opportunity.

So it was sprinkling on my way in. I got dirty from the water on the street. It wasn't that much fun, but now I know that I can ride in the rain. Tonight it may rain harder, so I can experience that as well.

The trip reminded me that I need to buy lights soon. I have to buy them because eventually it will start getting dark when I go home, but I really ought to have lights when riding in the rain. Any excuse to buy something from my LBS!!!

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Old 08-28-02, 09:27 AM
  #498  
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It seems to me I usually don't have just one close call it's usually nothing for days and then a day of close calls. Not that I had one today I was just referring to Morsen's comments. I wonder if other people have days like that. Of course the day it happened to me I was wearing a new mirror and was tinkering with it. All in all I think right now it is more of a distraction than a help (for me anyway). The commute in this morning was a little warmer than monday's but I just got my new jersey in the mail and it felt a lot cooler than the old T-Shirt. I am sure visibility went up as well as it is bright yellow. I feel like a bee. Oh, well, I figure if the motorist's laugh at least that means they've seen me right? Managed to figure out how to get around a couple of really annoying lights that are on T intersections without losing a lot of time. It was a much better commute than yesterday (In my truck). I find I get almost depressed when I drive the car now. It's almost that I am missing an important piece of life for the day.
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Old 08-28-02, 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by Paul L.
It seems to me I usually don't have just one close call it's usually nothing for days and then a day of close calls.... All in all I think right now it [a mirror] is more of a distraction than a help (for me anyway).
I had a few pretty close calls today. Nothing dramatic. I think they come in waves. On the mirrors thing, I agree. To me mirrors don't really add anything. There are always cars behind me.

My ride in was excellent. I took the long way and took some hills. It has been several days for me since my last commute. Warmer today than it has been. The smell of Gilroy garlic was pronounced earlier this a.m. Kids are in school now and my little slice through San Jose State U is more populated nowadays. Fall's definitely coming soon.
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Old 08-28-02, 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by Teresa
[B]Woohoo! It's raining today. After reading so much about how fun it is to ride in the rain, I've been wanting to try it. B]
You should move here if you want to try out rain, we manufacture it here In the Great Pacific NW
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