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How was the commute today?

Old 11-11-04, 08:24 PM
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Summer is over...Here in California..The problem..Early morning is like mid/high 50's which is pretty chilly on descents to people who live with the sun...Upon leaving work at 6:30 am, it is weather where you need jackets/gloves and arm warmers, but before home you strip to basic shorts and jersey..Keeps your jersey's pockets full.Couple weeks ago it was just jersey's and shorts.
Soon will need a brighter light for commute in a sunset.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:01 PM
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Cold, cold, cold. Today, I learned: 1) I need new gloves to go over my glove liners. I've been getting by with glove liners and my normal cycling gloves (no fingers), but it's getting to the point where I want some wind-block on my fingers. 2) The proximity of my mouth and nose to my eyes, and thus my eyeglasses, is a problem. I've tried two different kinds of goggles and neither seem particularly useful. One set totally ruins my peripheral vision - I'd have to be Linda Blair to see behind me. The other set fogs up horribly no matter what I put on them. I'm going to try the Visorgog thing I've seen people talking about; hopefully that will do the trick. I really don't want to get contact lenses just so I can ride my bike. 3) Chicago in the winter is ... really quite windy.

Cold and windy as it was, though... I'm finding that the worse the conditions, the better I feel when I'm done. Not necessarily physically, though I always feel pretty good after a ride no matter how rough it is. But emotionally, I feel really good. I get to work in the morning after a ride through rain, or cold, or wind, or all three, and I've already done something harder than most of my coworkers will do all week. And then in the evening, I go out and do it again.

I'm really starting to feel like I'm riding against my own weaknesses -- the part of me that wants to stay in where it's warm, to be comfortable, to not risk anything, to always be in control, to stay well within the guidelines where everything is easy because nothing requires any effort. Every time I get on my bike I'm telling that part of me to go to hell, and it feels really good -- better, the colder and wetter and tireder I get.

Ahhh, bike-zen.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:07 PM
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Ahhh, harsh.

But no, I'm glad somebody had a great ride that day. I skipped it because my legs were feeling a bit noodly and I thought they needed a day to recoup, but my brain was in serious veto mode all day. From now on, I'm not skipping a day unless I'm falling over.

Were you out today? I nearly froze my cheeks off. I'm doing pretty well with the layering, but I'm definitely in need of face-gear. At least it wasn't raining!
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Old 11-11-04, 10:22 PM
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Chilly nor-easter shoved me along the lakefront this morning as I laughed at the brown waves crashing and sloshing over the edges of Chicago's concrete bathtub. But there will be hell to pay on the head-winded northbound commute tonight...good thing I have bar-ends to make me more aerodynamic.

No, wait, they were stolen off my bike while I was working today.

Bar ends? You've got to be ****ing kidding me. What are they...$10 a pop? Hey, next time just ask me for the money because I'd rather have the dirty, old, scratched-up bar ends, thanks.

But then later I am knifing through cold dark air and my LED is painting a blue oval on the lakefront path. I am deep in my pedaling rhythm and all thoughts have nearly ceased...when I am passed by an older gentleman on his recumbent who--for no good reason--nods and says "Good evening." This is the zen of bike commuting. It is a way of life for me.

Do you hear me world? YOU CAN'T TAKE CYCLING FROM ME. IT IS THE WAY OF MY LIFE.

P.S. Any thoughts on theft-resistent bar ends?
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Old 11-11-04, 10:31 PM
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had to work late tonight for some maintence, so I thought I wouldn't have time to take the long way home. Well, I finished my preperations early and had about 30mins to kill.....so I take the bike and do some laps around the site. I tell myself I'll do at least 2, I did 4. 11 miles. an extra plus is that it was dark, so I got to test out my new headlight....sweet.

After all the work was over, a coworker saw my bike and asked if I wanted a ride home. I said "Yes, actually I do want TO ride home." I think people are starting to understand that I ride because I want to, not because I have to.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Merryish
I'm really starting to feel like I'm riding against my own weaknesses -- the part of me that wants to stay in where it's warm, to be comfortable, to not risk anything, to always be in control, to stay well within the guidelines where everything is easy because nothing requires any effort. Every time I get on my bike I'm telling that part of me to go to hell, and it feels really good -- better, the colder and wetter and tireder I get.

I wish everyone I work with, the people that do not understand the pleasures of what we do, could read that. Most of the time, we do it, not because it's easy, but because it's hard.
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Old 11-11-04, 11:11 PM
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Had a good ride in & home .Nice and cool on the way home.
Had to be in low 30 tonite . But still a good ride .
Have a goog nite .
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Old 11-12-04, 01:26 AM
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Ride home was good - got progressively colder and foggier towards my house. Temp somewhere around 30. Started getting charley horses in my calves and toes when I stopped. I guess I need to start adding another layer...
The hills are starting to get easier, I'm thinking about changing my route to include more flats where I really push myself in my head and not so much beat my way up the hill and then fly down the other side, trying to keep from freezing.
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Old 11-12-04, 08:45 AM
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I felt strong on my ride home yesterday! It was a crisp, clean, and clear 35F with no wind… I hammered across the rolling hills standing on some climbs… It was my best ride in a month… Al for a meager 16.1mph! Man those Nokians and winter gear slow you down! I need to get up 10 minutes earlier as I have been running a little late ever since I put them on.

This morning my legs were tired from last nights ride. It was a head down churn all the way in.
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Old 11-12-04, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Merryish
Ahhh, harsh.

But no, I'm glad somebody had a great ride that day. ....
Were you out today? I nearly froze my cheeks off. I'm doing pretty well with the layering, but I'm definitely in need of face-gear. At least it wasn't raining!
Ahhhhhh, that "cold" felt wonderful. The ride home was great, wasn't it? No wind at all. I felt overdressed both in the morning and in the evening.

A pedestrian stopped in the crosswalk (not last night, but the other day) to let me pass through, saying "I don't want to stop your momentum..that's important!". Pretty cool that he thought of that. I appreciated it and let him know.
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Old 11-12-04, 09:43 AM
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Great! I came across a fellow commuter who knows another bike commuter I had come across in the past; they work together but he said our mutual friend got knocked down by a car a couple weeks past. I shared that I was dinged last year by a motorist who turned in to me and claimed she didn't see me "because my yellow jacket blended in with the fall colors on the trees", doh, I didn't know fall foliage was florescent yellow! Anyway, I guess that is what fellow comuters do when we meet, share our most recent war stories. Bill H.
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Old 11-12-04, 10:28 AM
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Heavy driving rain and a chilly temperature made for an interesting bike ride this morning. Wore my Gortex Ski shell along with my new illuminite booties which protected my feet from the rain adequately. I counted four other brave souls willing to challenge the elements - it was kind of funny as I entered the bike trail I take near my apartment I instinctively went to check both ways carefully thinking to myself, "Ha, no one will be crazy enough to be riding today" but sure enough there was another cyclist passing at that exact moment. We stayed sort of close on the ride and having some company made the trip a a little easier. I was very happy with the performance of my new Armadillo Hemisphere tires in the rain. It made me glad I didnt go with real slicks. All in all a glorious day for a bike ride!
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Old 11-12-04, 10:34 AM
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First truly cold morning of the season this morning. It was 29 deg F (-2 C) when I left home. Warmed to about 32 (0) by the time I got to work. Everything was pretty toasty, but it's getting close to time to change over to the warmer gloves - was just wearing the fleece gloves today. The cool weather seemed to slow me down a little bit, but it was still fantastic to be on the bike.

I'm really enjoying my new route to work. There's one intersection under police control while some roadworks are done, and every morning the cop there has been great. He always waves me through as soon as there's a decent gap rather than making me wait with all the cages, which gives me a good headstart up the hill through the roadworks. Works out great for me!
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Old 11-12-04, 11:27 AM
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The fog machine has started. We had a steady soaking rain for two days. The ground gets saturated, the sun comes out, pulls the moisture out, the sun goes down, the moisture condenses and hangs near the ground. This cycle can go on for weeks. I can hardly wait.

Lucky for me that I've invested in a good light, lots of blinkies, and a set of fenders. I think I need to swing by the LBS for shoe covers too.
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Old 11-12-04, 08:35 PM
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46 F / 8 C and rainy. I had to pick up my daughter from school today after work, so I towed the trailer. I brought it inside at both origin and destination so she did not have to be outside at all.

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Old 11-12-04, 10:00 PM
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Thursday was a holiday & the weather was cool & dry, I had just picked up my new Torelli Wed afternoon & I rode all over the place. Really a nice riding bike, better acceleration & braking than my older rides & has great handling. It was 36F with light fog at 6AM today & since the roads weren't very wet, I rode the new bike in to show her off to my fellow bicycle commuters. It was nice, 56F this afternoon but supposed to begin showers tonight & throughout the weekend so I hung the new bike in the boiler room where it can stay warm & dry until the next good weather. Don
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Old 11-13-04, 12:38 AM
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Headed out to the local coffee shop this morning before going to work. It was 15 minutes to the shop, 11 minutes back to the house. Either it is downhill coming back, or the caffeine had a miraculous effect.

After that, the ride to work was most pleasant. A little misty but not too chilly. Ride back from work at 11:30 p.m. was accompanied by fewer cars than usual, always a good thing.
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Old 11-13-04, 12:43 AM
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Don, did you get the Brianza, or Gran Sasso Torelli? Nice looking bikes.
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Old 11-13-04, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso
The fog machine has started. . This cycle can go on for weeks. I can hardly wait.

Lucky for me that I've invested in a good light, lots of blinkies, and a set of fenders. I think I need to swing by the LBS for shoe covers too.
Caloso..In southern California, the fog machine usually only lasts until mid morning, during the winter..
From what I heard you say about your commute, you are on bike paths often , so not out there dodging traffic..Good for you...
I have to overcome a fear, blinkies/reflective tape are not enough..How can lights, etc. be seen when the visibility is only 20 feet..
I have overcome my dislike for fog's obstacles and discomfort; but so far it has not stopped me...Think you are bright enough for 20 ft. viz's...?My commute is like 7 am, so the burn off is marginal.
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Old 11-13-04, 01:17 PM
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Last night was an interesting commute home, with our first significant snowfall starting. I was a little worried because I was still riding my hybrid with slick tires & had forgotten my cell phone. It was exactly freezing temp when I left, but the roads seemed fine with no black ice. Since the snow was predicted until later, there was no salt or sand. This was the first time in 4 winters that I have had a significant problem with ice forming on my pedals and cogs. By the time I was halfway home I was tired of stopping and knocking the accumulated crud off the cog set and just stayed on a middle cog and chain ring. When I got home that was the only cog that was visible, everything else was encased in white. Fortunately I can bring my bike into the basement to thaw. The 3 to 4 inches of snow this morning mark the earliest we have had that amount of snow in the 29 years we've lived here. I guess I will be moving onto the snow bike early this year.
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Old 11-13-04, 06:23 PM
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I had to work late, so I started for home in twilight. My wife offered to come and get me, but I turned her down. It quickly turned dark and my headlight battery didn’t hold out! I had to call for a ride.
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Old 11-13-04, 08:18 PM
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Great experience three days ago despite the brisk temperature 24 degrees F (-5 degrees C).

There is one street that narrows for a few blocks to two lanes with just enough room for a bike. I could see cars on both sides of the street stopped at the narrowest part of the road. As I got closer I could see a large brown object twirling or spinning in the road. Closer still one impatient person started to honk. It wasn't until I got close that a smile broke out across the front of my face.

In the middle of the road were 4 wild turkeys, two toms and two hens. The toms' tail feathers were fully splayed while they danced around in circles trying to impress the girls. Each blocked a lane of traffic. Being the only bike on the road I squeezed by the cars, gawked for a few moments, then went on my way. A mile down the road I could still hear horns honking. Needless to say, no more cars came up behind me before I finally turned onto a side street.
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Old 11-13-04, 08:24 PM
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Alphie:
I got the Gran Sasso, I'm not getting any younger & we have lots of hills in Washington. They had 3 discounted to $1250 & one of them had the Daytona/Centaur upgrade. Unfortunately it was a 44cm. Had to wait a while but the shop swapped all the components & wheels over to a 54cm. They also threw in a stainless steel bottle holder and gave me 1/2 off on a Torelli jersey. That made it easy to spring for a second SS bottle holder. I also picked up a green Brooks B17 Champion Special saddle on e-Bay, although on the 2 days I rode with the stock saddle, it was pretty comfortable. I'll probably use the original saddle off the Torelli on a Cyclocross bike I'm building up. I put pictures up in the "what road bike do you have" thread.
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Old 11-13-04, 08:32 PM
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I am lucky! I get to cross Sydney Harbour ( the most beutiful harbour in the world ) 6 times a day. Anzac bridge - Old Pyrmont bridge - Sydney Harbour Bridge (and back again). Takes 30 mins (25 with a following wind) and is mostly off the road. I try to ride every day, even rain, because our public transport system is a joke and car takes too long and expensive.
Anyone else do the trip?
cheers,
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Old 11-13-04, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
Alphie:
I got the Gran Sasso, I'm not getting any younger & we have lots of hills in Washington. They had 3 discounted to $1250 & one of them had the Daytona/Centaur upgrade.
Beautiful bike, Don. Sounds like a good value too. I can relate to the "not getting any younger" aspect. That's why I had to have a triple CR when I bought my bike last June. Your new ride is so...ugh.. *clean*. (Gotta wash my bike). The green Brooks saddle is a nice touch. I would need to have one if I did not like my standard B-17 so much.

I did not bike today, after working 'til 12 last night I wanted to sleep as much as possible before working today. Got the next 2 days off though, so I plan to put in some good miles unemcumbered by hauling the handlebar bag/lights/battery.
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