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How was the commute today?

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How was the commute today?

Old 10-16-02, 10:44 AM
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Was charging a new bike light for the ride home so I got off late. Beautiful ride in, perfect temperature, maybe a touch on the warm side. Took a new route and had a mountain biker ask me if I wanted to draft him. Glad I declined (was having a great ride without all the worries of drafting) as he turned just down the road (headed for the university). Didn't feel slighted as I know he hadn't just ridden 16 miles . Anyway, managed to get a really nice 20 mile ride in. Found an intersection where every metal piece of refuse that had fallen there had been pressed down into the road (probably during the summer) and then polished smooth by tires, I saw a cool curly cue spring (pressed in sideways) that looked like a spinning wheel, several tire weights, and some bolts. Looked like a a public art project in the pavement kinda. Do our tax dollars actually pay for streetsweepers or has that department been cut out of the budget for awhile? Hmmm. I wonder who one could pester about get a streets shoulders swept? The city bicycle coordinator?
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Old 10-16-02, 11:42 AM
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Do our tax dollars actually pay for streetsweepers or has that department been cut out of the budget for awhile?
As a former associate of a municipal roads maintenance section, I may have some insight for you on this topic. The "hack and slash" budgetting of the mid 90's resulting in greatly reduced levels of service for "soft" maintenance activities like street sweeping, grass cutting, etc. Instead of being done every couple of weeks, they're done every couple of months if at all. After a while, people start to realize that the old levels of service were usually justified (i.e. - don't sweep the streets and junk gets imbedded in the asphalt)
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Old 10-17-02, 05:09 AM
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This morning I got up, got dressed and loaded the bike, I weighed it before I left, panniers loaded, trunk bag loaded, light set installed and water in the bottle the bike weighed 76 pounds when I left the house. The road was wet from the rains during the night, the sky clear and the no wind, as I rode along I noticed the traffic was really light, lighter then usual, about half way to work while climbing one of the four steep long hills on the way to work, the biggest brown dog with a black face chased accross the yard and out in the road, I was traveling at 6 mph, the hill was steep and there was no way I was going to out run him with my loaded bike. He wasn't barking which means he probably meant business. I kicked it on the side of the face with my SPD, it flipped over and I rode on. That woke me up but good. The rest of the ride was as normal. I stopped at the police dept. file a complaint, the officer at the desk appeared to be freshly woke up, He took my statement and didn't seam to be very interested so I doubt anything will be done about enforcing the leash law. I think I'll ride one of the other routes for a couple of days.
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Old 10-17-02, 05:25 AM
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Hi Folks,

Beautiful ride today, it was bright, sunny, still and cold. Not quite frosty in the morning, but they are promising that for tomorrow
. I managed a really good hard ride too, which felt great.

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 10-17-02, 11:18 AM
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Last night's ride home in cold showers (+8C) was a character builder. This morning was colder, +2C, I rode 20 minutes in the opposite direction of work to a Doctor's appointment downtown for 9:00am (I usually leave for work at 6:00am - nice to ride in the daylight for a change), then rode 45 minutes to work. Had a bit of a tailwind for parrt of the ride,so it wasn't too bad. Nice ride along 3km of the Lake Ontario shore bike trail, the ride was a little slower than usual, there's lots to look at in the daylight!!
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Old 10-17-02, 11:35 AM
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It is very windy here in Maine. Rode with a head wind and high gusts all the way to work. Now have to ride with same head wind to a doctors appointment, then back to work with tail wind, then home. Should be a fast ride home.
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Old 10-17-02, 12:40 PM
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I had a pretty good ride today. I thought I was going to have a problem with a semi that was taking up to much road ahead of me. He stopped at a signal and I stopped behind him (not to found of being next to huge trucks). The light turned green and I rode a bit behind him in the bike lane. Then I realized we were going around the same speed (around a corner). I pulled out behind him and let his motor do most of the work. I was running out of gear when he hit traffic (lucky for me). He saved me a good 5 minutes off my commute by leading for 5-7 miles.
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Old 10-17-02, 10:09 PM
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Pretty cold here in Colorado last night. Made for a brisk ride this morning! Only uncomfortable for the first mile or so. I decided to take the long way since I like to ride in cooler temperatures. Ride home was excellent! It is amazing how many parts of a city I grew up in that I had never seen before. This is why I try to pick a different way home every night.
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Old 10-18-02, 03:06 AM
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Brrr! Cold showers were the order of the day on the way in this morning. It was a great pity that my shoe covers lay forgotten under the desk at work - my feet were pretty numb on arrival Lucky that I work in a lab, so my cycling shoes are now in the glassware drying cabinet, and should be dry and warm for the journey home.

Have a good weekend,

Ed
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Old 10-18-02, 04:22 AM
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So how was the commute today? Hah! Need you even ask?
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Old 10-18-02, 04:30 AM
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...And while I'm nicking photos of that part of my commute from www.coolangatta.net, here's another... I think that pretty much covers it.
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Old 10-18-02, 04:49 AM
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Man Chris, you sure know how to hurt a guy. I left the house just after the night rain stopped, the roads were wet and the air was cold, traffic was normal and I didn't meet up with big dog. I took the long way in pushing a slight head wind. It was very dark from door to door. All in all the ride was very enjoyable and no matter how you look at, it just wasn't long enough. Have a great day.
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Old 10-18-02, 05:35 AM
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Chris, wish I were there But I had a great commute this morning anyway! 50 degrees and calm. Left at 5:45 so it was dark most of the way in. I thought I was going to be really hurting because I worked out at the gym the past two days. But instead I completely blew away my personal record for the ride in. 18.1 mph for 22.3 miles today compared with my previous high of 17.4 mph. Looking back in my log, I see that the first time I did this commute in July, I averaged 14.9 mph and weighed 35 pounds more!

Mrfix, good job reporting that dog. I've had one crash caused by an unleashed dog (in an area with a leash law), so I hope they do something about the one you encountered.

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Old 10-18-02, 06:31 AM
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Chris, nice pics - I guess I'll have to take some pix of the lovely Lake Ontario beach I ride by, can't find any on websites.
This morning's ride was chilly (-1C), dark and exciting - I had a "stare down" (I attempted a Ratso Rizzo-ish look that said "Hey, I'm RIDING here!!!) with a mini-van merging into my lane- I guess it worked, he braked before I had to.
Also a brief dog encounter on the dark bike trial along the beach - Didn't see it, but it sounded like a small yapper, very close - I yelled at it and it stopped barking - I guess I won that encounter as well.
The ears were a little chilly this morning, guess I'll have to look for a headband to wear under my helmet.
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Old 10-18-02, 06:32 AM
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There was a little bit of a head wind this morning, but temps were in the 40's F, which is pretty warm for this time of year. And the best part is that the leaves are in full bloom. Quite a nice ride.

Now if I had only remembered to bring my camera.
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Old 10-18-02, 08:07 PM
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tnorman, great times!! Very fast pace. How many traffic lights, I wonder? They kill my times.

ChrisL, you are very lucky to have such a beautiful ride.

Me? I had a nutty week and was only able to bike-commute about half what I normally do ... if that. I'll be back at it soon enough, though !!
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Old 10-18-02, 08:45 PM
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Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
tnorman, great times!! Very fast pace. How many traffic lights, I wonder? They kill my times.
Thanks, Andy! Slowly getting faster. My commute is mostly country back roads: 10 stop signs and 6 lights. My bike computer turns off after a few seconds of non-movement, so those times don't count waiting at the stops, but slowing down and getting back up to speed still hurt. I got lucky with lights/stops this morning, which certainly helped!

Hope you're able to put in some more bike-commutes soon. It makes the day go by so much nicer!

Tim
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Old 10-18-02, 09:49 PM
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Yeah, tnorman, what bothers me is that I'll do 20-25MPH on most of the ride (it seems), but end up with a lousy 15 MPH or so avg. Frankly I don't clock my times or averages closely, as bike-commuting is primarily a means of transport for me. But I think I counted 50 or so stop lights and signs on my route recently. Man, what I'd do for 10 !!!!
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Old 10-18-02, 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
But I think I counted 50 or so stop lights and signs on my route recently. Man, what I'd do for 10 !!!!
Man, you're gonna really envy me now!



I'd suggest checking out some back streets. I know for a fact that a little local knowledge has literally halved the number of traffic lights I have to contend with.
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Old 10-18-02, 10:55 PM
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I've noticed my average commute times getting shorter. I think I might be getting faster...

This week I rode 4 out of 7 days, for a total of about 107 miles. I was fighting a bit of sickness, at that! What can I say, I try to rest, but sometimes, if I'm up to it, I end up feeling better after riding!

Today, I passed a long line of cars backed up because of a squeeze: a lane blocked off by a police car. I didn't slow down to observe (unlike most car-drivers) and made great time!

My 7 year-old daughter is loving her old-new Mongoose (pre-Wal-Mart-days)--$25 at a Goodwill thrift shop. She learned hand-brakes and shifting (7 speeds) in a snap!

Danged if I won't be riding with her in the near future!

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Old 10-19-02, 04:02 AM
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The commutes this week have slowly been getting colder and colder, the commute home last night was freezing, literally.

The frost was on the ground but the air was wonderful, I'm still wearing shorts but if it gets much colder I'll have to start wearing tights.

Yesterday being friday was my dreaded ride home, coming home at 11pm on a friday night is shout at the cyclist night(some of it friendly), and yes I did get the expected yelling at me but not as much as I expected.

Though I did get P1$$ed off by the drunk who thought it was funny to hide behind a bus stop and jump out just as I passed, still his mates thought it was funny so he got the desired effect.
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Old 10-19-02, 10:02 AM
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Last night's ride home (in the dark) was an eye opener for me. Steady rain, +7C, weather I usually think of as very miserable. But I was comfortable, and enjoyed the ride. My windbreaker (old hockey jacket) was more waterproof than I thought, my water resitant track pants ($10AM on sale at Target) gave up their resistancy after about 20 minutes, but overall, it was a great ride. I'll be spending the bucks soon for Gore-Tex or similar jacket and pants, but the cheap stuff worked ok for last night!
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Old 10-19-02, 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by Chris L
I'd suggest checking out some back streets. I know for a fact that a little local knowledge has literally halved the number of traffic lights I have to contend with.
Yup. In a little under 6 years of commuting I've tested every angle. I found that side streets trade stop lights for stop signs. I'd rather go for a possible green light than be forced to stop at a stop sign.

The bottom line is that there are only so many ways to go north-south through San Jose, and every way involves intersections and crummy roads with less than ideal views. Oh well, such is a semi-urban/urban commute. (At least I can enjoy the CA roads on the weekends.)

So, I remain envious of your ride and others' I hear about on this board.
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Old 10-19-02, 05:47 PM
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Apart from Tuesday, I've been off the bike due to a combination of cold weather, leaf mold sinus attack, darkness, and rain.

Today I was able to dispense with the darkness and rode in again. 39 degrees when I started, I wore sweat pants, two t-shirts, and my rain jacket. It was sprinkling slightly, just enough to make things damp, but not wet.

The sun was out by the time I headed for home. Had to rush home to drive into Green Bay to meet Mike for some bike parts. (He's cute, BTW. )

Interestingly, I came home to find someone had mailed me an angry letter about the letter I sent to the Press Gazette a couple months ago, re bike lanes and inconsiderate drivers and cyclists who didn't obey the laws. The guy was a cyclist who apparently just wanted someone to rant to about the lousy drivers in Green Bay. No return address, so I can't respond. Wonder how he got my mailing address?
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Old 10-19-02, 08:23 PM
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My friday commute was great. I got kind of a late start, but since I knew the boss was off, I rode the long way anyway. I've been trying to increase my riding distance to twenty miles at least three days per week while riding twelve on the other two days. I live in Colorado so there is allways at least a couple of good hills no matter which way I go. Maybe I'm wierd, but I would gladly climb a series of very steep but short hills instead of the long, seemingly unending, gradual climbs which the bike routes around here seem to follow. Having a great time though! Another benefit of the commute is the stress reduction factor. I've been having trouble with one of the guys at work and since I can't take him out back to work out the problem with our fists, I find that a couple of long, steep hills are an excellent substitute.
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