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How was the commute today?

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How was the commute today?

Old 12-14-04, 09:26 AM
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Beautiful, bright and clear this morning. It was -5 C with a north wind of 28 km/h, so it felt colder. A few icy patches here and there.
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Old 12-14-04, 09:48 AM
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Temp around 28 F today but clear and very little wind. Nice ride in, especially since I got to see some actual sun light. Only two gallons of gas in the old van and my weekend road buddies are trash talking me (they're scared and afraid I am going to tear their legs off next season) -- I'm motivated!!!
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Old 12-14-04, 10:13 AM
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You guys who ride in the cold are awe inspiring!

This morning it was 47 F when I left the house, so I can't complain (but sometimes I stil do!). Had a little tailwind part of the way, and a beautiful yellow sunrise.

Tom
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Old 12-14-04, 10:54 AM
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Foggy and (dare I say it?) a little too warm for my taste. I wore a longsleeve jersey and was uncomfortably warm by the time I got to the office. Probably could have gotten away with armwarmers and a S/S jersey.
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Old 12-14-04, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JavaMan
You guys who ride in the cold are awe inspiring!
It's really not bad. 15F degrees, silk & fleece on the legs, silk, fleece, and a windbreaker on top, plus gloves, balaclava, and ski goggles. I got hot!
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Old 12-14-04, 12:58 PM
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No commute this morning, had to cage to a doctor's office for a routine visit. But last night's commute was kind of an adventure.

I hadn't planned on riding home - had some shopping to do - but when I got outside it was cold but beautiful, around 25F I think, not terribly windy, so I figured I'd go for it.

Out on the bike path everything went great until I got down to the lake proper. Waves were coming up over the path now and then, but nothing too bad and they looked pretty easy to outrun. Would have been, too, if the nice dry concrete between me and the end of the breaking wave pattern hadn't been nice dry concrete covered by a 30-yard sheet of invisible ice.

So, I swerve a bit to avoid a rock and my bike goes out from under me. Got a foot down, but that was absolutely no help - utterly frictionless surface. Took most of the gravity on my hip, with the bike on top of me, which was better than the other way around - I was more concerned about what damage I might do to the bike than vice versa.

I had time to think, "Hey, my first fall!" And then "well, that wasn't so bad!" and finally, "Huh. Why am I still moving?" And then about 10 feet from the actual lake I stopped. A jogger (nutbar!) stopped and asked if I was okay, and I was, so I edged to the far side of the path, planning to walk the bike around the big curve to the end of the ice sheet, then stop and check the bike over for damage.

That was when the lake leapt up out of its bed and crashed over the path. I got soaked to the knees, barely kept my feet. Walked as fast as I could manage to avoid another wetting, but the damage was already done. When I got to dry ground I stripped off my boots, socks, and outer layer of pants, then put the boots back on over bare feet and stuffed everything else into my pannier.

The bike looked okay; seat was flipped around to the side, but I adjusted it and it held. Hopped on and rode and it seemed okay, all was in order. Then I realized the brakes weren't working. The front were, sorta, but the back, almost not at all. I rode anyway, as by this time brakes were a liability anyway and I was six miles from home and did I mention it was <i>cold</i> out?

My feet were like blocks of ice, but I figured that as long as I could move my toes I was fine, and kept going. About three miles from home my gears stopped shifting, so I was pretty much stuck on a big ring for most of the rest of the commute - things loosened up and I could shift again by the time I got home.

I think everything was just frozen. I spent the evening doing Merry-maintenance, involving a hot shower that lasted almost an hour and then bundling up and sitting for a long time in front of my Vornado, so the bike-maintenance will happen tonight. The bike lives inside at night, in my living room, so everything should be nice and toasty and ready for me when I get home tonight.

Looks like I'm going to spend some time getting to know my brakes and my chain. =)

The good news is, I was fine until I got wet - nice and toasty. If I'd taken the streets instead of the bike path, I wouldn't have had any problems. Instead, I was stupid, and my best friend has spent the better part of today saying "Merry drove her bike into Lake Michigan!" to anybody who'll listen.
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Old 12-14-04, 02:32 PM
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Wow, Merry. I'm staying out of the jaws of the Potomac! Good thinking to take your socks off.

35F this morning. Cold, but not too cold. Dressed mostly appropriately. Wool socks over coolmax socks worked until about 10 minutes from the office, and then my toes got cold. AmFib gloves kept my hands toasty. I could have used one more arm layer because of the wind. The skullcap underneath the helmet was a really good idea. All in all, a darn good job of dressing myself!

I hit one patch of black ice, but I did not go down. Still really like my new folding bike. I'll take it on the Metro tonight to go home.
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Old 12-14-04, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by velogirl
Wow, Merry. I'm staying out of the jaws of the Potomac! Good thinking to take your socks off.

35F this morning. Cold, but not too cold. Dressed mostly appropriately. Wool socks over coolmax socks worked until about 10 minutes from the office, and then my toes got cold. AmFib gloves kept my hands toasty. I could have used one more arm layer because of the wind. The skullcap underneath the helmet was a really good idea. All in all, a darn good job of dressing myself!
Thanks!

And isn't it great how as grown-ups we're now learning to dress ourselves all over again? I was really impressed with myself last night until I was taught how totally not water proof my boots were.

Actually, the coolest thing about all the drama last night was that every single person who passed me while I was stripping down and re-suiting, and there were about six of them, stopped and asked me if I were okay, and if I needed a hand, or to call someone.

You don't get to see the kindness of strangers like that on a bus, I can promise you. It was a really, really good feeling.

Cool, re: the folding bike, too! I've been looking at some, and I'm kind of working up my nerve.
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Old 12-14-04, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Merryish
Cool, re: the folding bike, too! I've been looking at some, and I'm kind of working up my nerve.
Mine doesn't really look like a folding bike, but rather a funky mountain bike. It's a Dahon Matrix. See Folding Bike discussion under 26" wheel folding bike topic for some pictures (not mine, but of someone else's)
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Old 12-14-04, 07:43 PM
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50F at 6AM today, I rode in between showers & managed to dress lightly enough to keep from getting overheated. Had a very busy, high stress day at work so I really appreciated the restorative effects of the bicycle commute .
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Old 12-14-04, 08:57 PM
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29 degrees this evening, feels like 19. This morning it was 28, feeling like 18. The first really cold ("cold" if you're from up north) day we've had. With the 2 ls poly shirts and nylon running jacket with gloves and a headband, I was fine even with the mountain bike style shorts I wear. Beautiful clear weather.
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Old 12-14-04, 11:25 PM
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Rode to work and home. But onthe way home hit some ice and fell . I am ok ,but tore my riding pants . I am thing about puting on my studded tires . I just hope this is will fix it . I just do not like the feel of the studded tires on the rode . have a good nite .
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Old 12-15-04, 05:22 AM
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Mild and fast, on the fixie, playing posenger with a bag full of backup tapes between our sites. Fun. Bike felt ever so sketchy though - turns out the tyres were half-soft. D'oh!
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Old 12-15-04, 05:57 AM
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Good ride home last night. Cold with tempature around 29F and a windchill making it feel like it is the low 20s. Traffic was light and courtious.

Ride in this morning was cold, tempature around 20F and windchill making it feel like its 13F. Nice and toasty under all my layers of clothes!
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Old 12-15-04, 07:44 AM
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Pre-dawn

19F

No wind

Delayed by train

Cold toes
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Old 12-15-04, 08:00 AM
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Sunny, 20F, and 15mph wind behind my right shoulder. All of the winter gear I've been picking up through the years is coming in very handy. Perfectly comfortable after the initial cold shock wore off (yeah, I know, 20F is nothing for you all in the more northern climes). I think I've finally dialed in the perfect gear combo for just about every climate condition possible. It took a while of trial & error, but now I pretty much instinctively grab appropriate items after listening to the weather radio.

Not looking forward to the headwind on the ride home too much though.
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Old 12-15-04, 08:36 AM
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12F degrees at our house, but 9 at the airport. Light snow falling and dusting the trail. (Pavement was already covered with tracked powder.)

Last night I put studded tires on the MTB and this morning I couldn't wipe the grin off my face when I got to work. Ice? Snow? Packed snow? Don't care! Ride over it. Way more confidence. I whole-heartedly recommend studded tires if you ride on questionable surfaces!

Yesterday evening's commute was delightful as well. Dusk. Cold. Riding the trail through the woods. All alone. Quiet except for the tires crunching on the snow. Where has this winter riding thing been all my life? I figured it must be similar to nordic skiing. (I'm an alpine skier / snowboarder m'self.)
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Old 12-15-04, 08:46 AM
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Good commute. -1C slight head wind. I was a few minutes late this morning so I started to hammer and realized so what if I am late. So I eased off a little and enjoyed the ride through the park.

Great start to a great day!
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Old 12-15-04, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bradw
Pre-dawn

19F

No wind

Delayed by train

Cold toes
On my commute this morning I saw a train coming (they are really long and take for ever) on my route so I turned around and went a different (longer) route to avoid it. It proved to be a great commute and only added two miles. It was 26F, clear skys and a very pleasent ride, I stayed nice and toasty. It was beautiful as the skys started to lighten up.
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Old 12-15-04, 11:05 AM
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25F, sunny, and windy. Tried the plastic bags between 2 pairs of socks. My feet still got cold, and they were soaked when I got to the office. No more plastic bags. I'll have to bite the bullet and get some booties. Everything else was toasty, but I looked like the Michelin Man with all my layers. Eh, who cares?
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Old 12-15-04, 12:00 PM
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My ride was very nondescript so I guess I should be grateful. I've been riding the good bike to work but tonight I'll swing by the shop to pick up the rebuilt wheel for my commuter. It'll be hard to not pick up some goodies that Santa might miss.

Last night, Mrs. Caloso asked me "So, what do you really want for Christmas?" I started to answer "A full Dura Ace upgrade on the good bike so I can migrate the Ultegra group to the commute bike and migrate the RSX group on that bike to some steel frame that I haven't quite found yet so I can have a Really Great Bike, A Very Good Bike, and a Beater."

But instead, I just said, "Oh, you know. Some tubes and a new jersey would be nice."

Last edited by caloso; 12-15-04 at 01:12 PM. Reason: spelling corrected
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Old 12-15-04, 12:25 PM
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The moon was perfect on the commute home last night. I left while the evening was just at post dusk -- just a little pink left in the horizon. Beautiful. It caused all kinds of thoughts to come to me, so much that I almost forgot I was pedaling a bicycle.

It's cold but not bad yet. But it's cold enough that people think I'm nuts. My boss asked me why I was riding and I told him I only have two gallons of gas left in my van (i.e. better give me a raise).
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Old 12-15-04, 12:31 PM
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Nice morning (26 F/-3 C). I wore my hooded overcoat and Gortex pants over my suit, and put the Totes on over my shoes. Everything perfectly warm -- I even had to unzip toward the end. It at least feels like winter, eve if the snow is still lacking. Hoping for a white Christmas anyhow.

Paul
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Old 12-15-04, 01:09 PM
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Overslept this morning, resulting in a manic rush and requiring that I take the short route to work, which is disappointing. Weather was fairly grey and miserable too... not quite raining but damp.

Chers,

Ed
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Old 12-15-04, 01:45 PM
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41F with a light ssw breeze this morning. I too was running late so took the shorter, but steeper route. This lovely route includes a VERY narrow bridge on 40MPH roadway 1/2 way up the first hill. I hit this bridge at about 7:50 A.M. I was very happy with the motorists. I took the lane to cross the bridge. They respected my move. I like this detour because the hills are a bit steep. Really get the heart pumping.

Bob
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