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How was the commute today?

Old 09-26-02, 02:09 AM
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Hey!

Good to see you are still with us Inkwolf

My commutes have been a bit mixed. Last evening a car, impatient to pass another who was turning right (we drive on the left, mostly) tried to squeeze by on the left, but simply got stuck, blocking my path on the bike lane. Then 50 yards down the road the same car signalled to turn right, but looped out to the left and stopped, mostly blocking the bike lane again. At this point I'd had enough, so I rapped on the door as I passed, and said "thank you very much". I got a honk for my trouble

This morning, the level (railroad) crossing on the last stretch of road from my workplace was closed (I was within a 1/2 mile). The detour took another 15 mins, and there was a strong headwind blowing most of the way. Lucky I was early, and I got some more riding in!
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Old 09-26-02, 05:43 AM
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Heavy overcast, still, cool, somewhat dry air and light traffic. A great day to ride a bike to work. I wore a light jacket and long fingered gloves and just rode a a slow easy pace all the way in. The highlight of my trip was a field mouse running in circles in the break down lane of a secondary road I use. He or she seemed to be quite confused, as I rode past it just kept going in circles. I hope he or she figures out where to go.
Good to hear you're back Inkwolf, stick with it. Remember; Nothing's easy!
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Old 09-26-02, 05:51 AM
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I figured out why my light fell off my bike yesterday morning. I had it on backwards! And no, the light wasn't pointing at me; I'm not that stupid! The mount was on backwards.

Anyway, last night's commute was interesting. I decided to ride directly to the bike shop to drop off my bike for its 30-day tune up. It's in a heavily commercial area dotted with office parks. Everyone was just leaving work, so cars were crossing the road all over the place, and I had to navigate left-turn only lanes across two lanes of heavy traffic, etc. Probably nothing for those of you used to riding in the city, but it sure made me nervous! I told the guy at the bike shop which way I'd ridden in, and he said, "Man, that's intense! You've gotta have 4 eyes all around your head to ride that way."

Tim
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Old 09-26-02, 10:31 AM
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Well, it was pretty chilly today but nice, with a marine layer . It's the first time I b-c'd since Monday but, oh, how my legs felt refreshed -- even after a mean game of basketball last night.

The ride in was therapeutic in a way. An odd thing I saw: my b-c path takes me very close to the approach at San Jose Int'l Airport. The marine layer (basically thick fog starting at about 500 feet) makes it appear that planes fall out of the sky. You hear it, then -- POOF -- you see it. Anyway, I saw a plane at a different angle than I expected, "gunning" the engines, which I didn't expect. I believe it was "waved off" on the approach ... something you don't often see. My theory was confirmed when -- POOF -- another plane appeared a moment later on a more expected angle and speed.

Kind of wierd. Not something you see every day.
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Old 09-26-02, 08:42 PM
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Today was cold and gray. The cornfields are starting to lose their green color. There was a nice tailwind, so I took the long way in, and made some very nice speeds.

The dogs seemed to be out today! At the farm where I witnessed the goat-chasing incident, three farm dogs gave tongue and lit out after me! Fortunately, they became more interested in chasing each other. A few miles further on, a stocky dog with a Boxer's coloring and a pit bull's build exploded out from under my feet barking and snarling. My yells drove him off to stand, barking, in the middle of the yard. Further on yet, a flop-eared white German Shepherd set out after me, but seemed content to stand at the side of the road barking.

When it was time to go home (in the dark, as usual) the wind hadn't died, so I fought a very cold headwind all the way. Now I'm home, and thawing out with a big cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and mint extract. Mmmmm!

I gotta start wearing a jacket.
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Old 09-26-02, 08:54 PM
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The final confirmation that fall is here was evident today: I had a headwind coming home. From about April or May until about now (apparently!) there is a "sea breeze" in the bay area that kicks up around 1pm and comes from the north. It's so consistent you could consider it a trade wind. Since I work 20 miles north of where I live, this tailwind pushes me home and makes the 20 miles bearable (and fast!!! ) . Usually in the morning there's no wind though there were a few good tailwinds this summer (south-to-north) as well on the way in to work.

Well, the tide has turned, so to speak. Now there will be lots of headwinds on the way home. For this, I'll need to cut back to the "fall schedule" full time now ... 13 miles each way, with rides for the remainder.

Oh well.

Also, it was quite dark when I got home.

Time to start looking for fenders.
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Old 09-26-02, 11:35 PM
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Great day for riding--the sun is coming up later, and the traffic (what I now see of it) seemed friendlier. Maybe that's because I saw three police cars patroling today. At one point, I came off a bike path near my home onto a sidewalk near the road. I need to ride the side walk to the nearest drive way to get onto the road. But before going onto the road, I noted a car near me on the road, so I elected to stay on the sidewalk. It was a black and white police car, but I didn't know it until it went past me and turned around on the road. Those helmet mirrors work pretty well, and in this case kept me from entering a road right in front of the (police) car--really didn't matter what kind of car, since any one of them can get you.

Down the road a bit, I was going downhill in a light-traffic area when a car approached from the left on a different road. Most cars turn onto my road, and go up the hill. I was watching really closely, and this car didn't turn. This necessitated an emergency stop on my part. There were no stop signs around, but I stopped easily.

At noon, I rode home for lunch, and passed some school children on the bike path who were testing water the the nearby creek. After lunch, I again went by, and the kids were still at it. I stopped, and talked with them and the teacher for about ten minutes. They were learning ecology the easy way, by actually practicing the science and collecting the data. Our little creek was not as high in phosphates as the teachers had thought, but was pretty turbid. I asked the children some questions, about turbidity, the types of samples, where phosphates come from, etc. This stuff is important, as most of these pollutants come from our lawns in the encircling neighborhood.

Going back to work, I got close, and my left pedal seemed weird. I stopped peddaling hard, and it kept getting a vibration in it. Soon I found the answer--the nut holding the crankarm onto the axle had worked loose, and the crankarm was about to fall off. As I dismounted, it actually did fall off! My fault too, as I had recently replaced both crankarms, to replace the chain rings (they had thousands of miles on them, and the big one was really chewed up). I apparently had not tightened the nut when I assembled it. There was no big problem, as after work I simply went to the facilities area, borrowed a socket set, tightened it down, and rode home.

It was a fun day, and a good one to commute. This has been the nicest September in Western Oregon in a long while.

John
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Old 09-27-02, 02:19 AM
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Hi Folks,
Autumn is really here in the UK, leaves are starting to fall and the beautiful colours are starting to creep across the landscape. One of the most enjoyable things about bike commuting is all the time spent out of doors, watching the seasons change through the year.

Today I still had the extra detour as the road leading to work is closed, but the extra couple of miles felt good.

A good weekend to all,

Ed
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Old 09-27-02, 02:55 AM
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Yup, definitely a chill in the air, but crisp and clear.

A good commute. I saw the same Carpets International lorry 3 times as he overtook me, then I caught him, etc. and each time he was very good about waiting for a safe passing spot. I felt a bit sorry for him, actually, because I overtook him last!!

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Old 09-27-02, 05:00 AM
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I had a cold, wet ride home last night, It's still raining this morning and it's still cold. I drove to work, I'm not ready to deal with the winter feel, I was even cold in the truck, I need to move south. I did see a commuter this morning, one of the work boot and jean type, splashing through the puddles, I didn't feel sorry for him, I felt envious, wishing I were in his place. Oh well, Monday is the start of new commuting week. Have a great weekend.
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Old 09-27-02, 08:25 AM
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Last day of my standby stint, back on the bike again next week Kind of (??) wishing I could be riding in today's steady rainfall, but 1 more drive home in the company truck. Picked up a pair of Rhodes Gear fenders yesterday, I'll install them on the weekend and be ready for the next rainy ride in!!
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Old 09-27-02, 09:02 AM
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OK I had a great commute this morning, except for..... A guy in a fairly new black Audi with a bike rack on top passes me and then at the end of the traffic line for the next light he pulls way over to the curb (left about 3 inches for me, he had plentyl of room, he was almost off the road as is) and sits there until I am stopped and the traffic starts to move. Then he pulls out into the next lane over and makes the light. I would have made the light too if it hadn't of been for him. If it weren't for the lane change I would just assume stupid driver (albeit a biker because of the rack). Anyway, what's up with this guy? Mtn biker that hates roadies? Roadie that doesn't know rules of road? Guy who just bought a car with a bike rack on it? Prosyliting roadie who doesn't believe in lane sharing with cars (even though they share with you)? Hmmm. I name him Orc because he is someone who goes out of his way to inconvenience someone else. Anyway I fought the temptation to jump onto the sidewalk and spite him just shook my head at him. I still got one of my best averages for my ride in spite of this guy. It was my first average in the 19 + mph range with stop lights. I think it was due to the cooler temperatures. Oh well, thanks for letting me vent here.
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Old 09-27-02, 10:06 AM
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Well I made my goal of riding in to work every day this week! I wasn't very motivated today but by the time I got on the road I was happy. The weather was great..not as cold as yeseterday. I left early for work so there were hardly any cards. The headlamp seems to be getting a little dim and the bike is starting to creak but other than that, the commute has been great this week.

Hopefully the weather won't get too cold too soon. I'm going to try commuting in the winter but I'm not looking forward to the cold mornings.
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Old 09-27-02, 10:14 AM
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The commute in was interesting because of smoke. Actually, the commute home last night was, too, for the same reason. I just forgot to note it here.

A few miles south of San Jose there's been a fire burning for about 4 days now. It's in a remote area and difficult to get to but not far at all from the city. Because of the relative lack of winds (which is normally a good thing for a fire, right?) there hasn't been much of a chance to douse it with helicopters and cargo planes made for this purpose. This, because they couldn't see through the smoke.

The other night (Tuesday?) the authorities said it'd be only a matter of hours before it was under control. Uh huh.

Anyway, yesterday and today the sea breezes weren't around to push the smoke away from San Jose and, instead, an inversion layer set in. The smoke settled throughout SJ as a result. I live south of San Jose and about 5-6 miles from the fire and the smoke was pretty bad last night. They canceled my daughter's field hockey game as well.

Anyway, another interesting event in the chronicles of a bike-commuter. It wasn't so bad as to stop my commute but it was different.
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Old 09-27-02, 10:45 AM
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almost made my goal of riding in every day this week, 4 out of 5 isn't bad - it was raining fairly heavily as I was leaving work yesterday and my wife was trying to get me to take the metro to somewhere she could pick me up on her way home - luckily for me I decided to ride and got home in 50 minutes while my poor wife sat in traffic for almost 2 hours! I don't normally ride in the rain and apart from being completely soaked I actually found it exhilarating

now a mantenance question - I've been using a dry lube on my chain all summer but should I switch to a wet lube now? or does it matter?
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Old 09-27-02, 11:51 AM
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Rained this morning (remains of Isadore). Almost didn't bike, but I have to toughen up for the winter.

It was very pleasant ride, aside from getting soaked. I figure, we're born wet, how bad can it be?

The ride only took an extra 5 minutes, partly due to poor braking in wet weather.

Co-workers were astonished ("You'll get wet blah blah"). I laughed at them when they said their ususal 25 minute car ride turned into a 1 hour traffic jam.
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Old 09-27-02, 08:11 PM
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Mon-Wed were gorgeous. Indeed, Tuesday and Wednesday were incredibly fast and invigorating rides, with the wind seemingly always at my back. Cool enough for arm warmers in the AM, and just perfect in the PM.

Chickened out Thursday morning because of the threatened rain, and I'm glad I did; it was pouring all afternoon and evening, and the ride home would have been 13 miles into a stiff headwind and drenching rain.

Today was weird; cool and damp and drizzly in the morning; warm and muggy and quit windy coming home. Very unpleasant, but at least I got the ride in.

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Old 09-27-02, 09:05 PM
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Met my wife and youngest daughter for dinner so I had an abbreviated (8 mile) ride this p.m. Man, the headwinds are in full force!! No smoke though ... the fire is 60% contained and there is no inversion layer.
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Old 09-29-02, 02:16 AM
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First I want to give the props to all you meeting your goals this week I managed to ride on a fixie, all but one day, the guy who comes in after me let me use his car for the ride home, since I had to be back at 8am, he had his bike in the rack on the roof though(does that count?).

I am convinced there is nothing good about the wind. It is crafty and out to make me the strongest rider in the Twin Cities. I swear over the past two weeks(since my last post) I have ridden to work into the wind, and when I came out to go home it had shifted to face me on the way home. It's crafty though, not a headwind, but just enough off beam to be a menace, and still be out of the north.

It's gotten cold here. Fun. I like cold weather riding. The briskness of the ride, the wind, the clear air, fogged glasses, it's cool. Can wait for the snow though. I need to save for a set of studs, just incase.

The past two days have been amazing! I have ridden hard, and the bike has been able to take it and ask for more. What has been a nice treat is two major streets on the commute have been resurfaced! It sucked until the new asphalt was down(hit a manhole dead on in the dark, without a bent rim or flat), now it is wonderful, I just keep repeating "the wind is making me stronger, the wind is making me stronger...

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Old 09-29-02, 05:58 PM
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Yesterday I overslept, and was almost too late to ride in! That would have been a shame, as Saturday is the one day I still (usually) have daylight both ways. I had a nice ride in, though. No wind, and sunshine on the way in. Due to the fact that I'm currently stressing out for various reasons, i didn't feel much like going home after work, and dawdled at the library, surfing the forums. I came home the long way, and was shocked when I had to turn my light on halfway. I got home at 7pm and it was dark! The clouds had something to do with it, but still--fall is here, eh?

Today I got up early and hit the road for my Sunday job. It had just rained, and the wet roads gave me the usual extra boost. I got to town just as the rain started again, which spared my bike but not me, as I had to walk back and forth a few times between the gas station and the library where I parked. (I had forgotten the locks were just changed at the gas station, and couldn't get in, and had to call around to find someone to open the door!) Again, I putzed around at the library after work. It's so nice having my own key! I wouldn't trade that job and its perks for almost anything! Anyway, the rain was over when I rode home, but there were bugs everywhere. Funny, I've hardly seen any all week, probably because it was cold. I had weird flies all over my shirt and pants, and had to keep brushing them off. Met a guy on one of those BikeE recumbents--that was an unusual sight on my route! Another unusual sight--I've never, EVER seen a snake anywhere near where I live, but I nearly roadkilled a tiny garter snale just a couple miles from home! In fact I thought I had run it over, but when I went back, it wasn't there, so I must have missed.
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Old 09-30-02, 02:24 AM
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A 30 mile fixie commute, followed a rainstorm, so the road was wet, but the ride invigorating. It was pretty cool ride, and I got in the ZONE, I love showing up high from riding to my job at the Treatment Center.
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Old 09-30-02, 05:33 AM
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Good mornin everyone, heavy overcast and cold air this morning, had to wear tights, hat under the helmet, and lobster gloves. I guess winter's here, I had a great ride in spite of the cold, the air was still, almost like before a storm although we aren't suppose to get one today. The traffic was on the light side and the streets were quiet. I didn't break any records today, just had a great smell the roses ride.
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Old 09-30-02, 07:41 AM
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Welcome back to work everyone

Nice morning today - bright sunshine and a little Autumn chill in the air. Decided to swap over to my "best" bike as we have not done many miles together in the last few weeks. The very slight difference in fit means that it takes a couple of days to get "in the groove" but I made good time and really enjoyed the ride, which is the most important thing!

Cheers,

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Old 09-30-02, 09:49 AM
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Almost cold this morning. Had a great ride lost in thought most of the way. A mountain biker decided to try and dust me on the frontage road. He cleared the last car barrier down the block (the frontage roads are broken up with barriers every so often so cars can't use them as a Thru way) and just as I was about to catch him something wierd happens to his front wheel and he endos! His bike flew up in the air, it was really surreal seeing this happen on a flat piece of pavement in the middle of the city and no apparent cause. He said he was OK. I told him his crash looked pretty impressive (he looked kind of like one of those "Do the Dew" guys so I guess that might help his ego a little) and rode on. I think he was an ASU student (maybe he'd been partying a little hard over the weekend), still if he had hit his head I might have been there awhile (no helmet). Anyway, wonderful commute.
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Old 09-30-02, 11:52 AM
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A bit nippy this a.m. I've been using knee warmers for a couple weeks now, including today. I've also switched to my wintertime jacket, which allows for more layers as the weather gets colder.

Slow ride in today. I did 5000+ feet elevation climb in 45 miles yesterday, so I needed a breather. Still felt great to work them thighs!!
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