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How was the commute today?

Old 11-28-06, 05:10 AM
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crazy here today. 8-10 inches of snow, -5c after a night below zero, and more snow falling. of my 9k ride, i rode for the flat 2.5k on the far side. the rest were either walking, or ride-2-feet-hit-clump-of-solider-slush-skid/wobble-step-off-walk-2-feet-try-again. or ride-10-feet-see-car-get-out-of-the-way-till-they-pass-try-again. or find-a-good-tire-rut-to-follow-ride-12-feet-and-be-led-into-the-kerb. and/or find another slush clump. a stronger rider than me might have managed a little better, but i just couldn't get up enough momentum to carry me consistently on such uneven ground. as for the cars, this was no day for assertiveness. i hadn't a clue what the drivers would try or what their cars could do, and not much more of a clue wrt myself and my bike. the first few k were just six inches deep in grainy slush with the texture of sand. the bridge was 8 inches of snow, made impossible by the potholes of people's feet. the main roads on my side were cleared to the slushy-sand-soup stage, but i had no interest in riding on them since the kerb lanes were full of the cleared snow. on the far side it was more of that slushy-soup stuff and i did ride, but even then i kept hitting divots of hidden solider ice and catching a swerve or a wobble. not worrying in itself, but it was pretty clear from the way drivers followed and passed that they just didn't know that the 'clear' road might hold hazards like that for cyclists. i took a lot of lane today i stopped to let one huge truck i'd been holding up on the 2-lane road get past me, and discovered that he'd been following 3 feet behind.

even so, i got to work with a wraparound grin. it was cold for here - about -5 - but it didn't feel like it to me. the road situation was so clearly extreme that i just didn't see the day as a regular working day. as it turned out, barely half the company made it to work, so i didn't feel at all bad about showering, changing, eating somethign, printing a few documents and turning right around to come home before it got really cold and the windchill picked up.

apparently my ride home was about -12 when you count the windchill, but it was easier. i took a different road, which had been driven over so much that most of it was full solid ice - the kind that shines with the streetlights on it. my schwalbes and i had a blast, and my only regret is that the drivers who were all so careful in the morning had reverted to type by the evening and are all acting too crazily for me to go to work at all tomorrow.

i saw one other cyclist - just playing around in the snow, by the looks of him. tracks of two or three other bikes over the bridge. passed someone waiting at a bus-stop who gave me a huge grin and called out 'you're tougher than me!' as i went by, so i guess another bike commuter. lots of waves and cheers and thumbs-ups from drivers as i went in; nothing at all on my way home. my favourite was the older dude who ran me off the bike path by starting down an ice-hill as i was on my way up, and gave me the lordly 'thanks for making room' wave. and a stern reprimand from a 4-year-old playing in his front yard: 'hey! you're Not Supposed to ride in the snow!'

last i heard, it was a region-wide travel advisory for the evening rush hour due to icy roads, and a windchill of -19 forecast for tomorrow, so i'm staying here. i hope jarery made it home safely.
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Old 11-28-06, 06:16 AM
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Glad to be back on the bike after almost a week off. Warm this morning! (48F and into the 50F's; same for the rest of the week) Supposed to rain a little bit later today.

Nice ride; average times but felt very relaxed. I've been bike commuting for almost three months now. Looking forward to December....

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Old 11-28-06, 07:27 AM
  #16503  
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A bit below the freezing point (of water) but the ground isn't frozen so there wasn't any ice from the rain last night. Just damp pavement. I passed another commuter heading in the opposite direction.

Still nursing a head cold. Better than yesterday. Riding seems to clear me up for a while.
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Old 11-28-06, 07:38 AM
  #16504  
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This morning's commute was....annoying.
It was overcast, a little soggy (lots of rain last night, no snow yet), and dark.
And then one mile into my ride, the front part of my front fender broke. Easy repair when I get home, but dang, that's just downright annoying.

On a bright note!
I started commuting in May, I started keeping track of my mileage at the beginning of August. Today I'll hit 1000 recorded miles on my way home
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Old 11-28-06, 08:16 AM
  #16505  
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First time I got beeped at on my morning commute (the morning car commuters are generally very respectful), but it turned out that I had dropped something and the car was trying to tell me I had dropped something at the intersection. Too cold for shorts, almost too warm for tights. Nice ride.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:29 AM
  #16506  
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Warm this morning 7C, though it felt cool from damp and cool winds.
Great ride in, must've had a partial tailwind, felt fast and I felt really high up on the bike for the first few minutes - an odd feeling. I haven't commuted since last Wednesday, but rode on the weekend so I don't know where that came from.
Had a nice cager let me go through a stop (he was stopped anyway, I was approaching) in front of him, which was a thoughtful gesture, saved me from stopping/starting.
32mins, 14.8mph avg. - felt fast, was pretty quick - loved the ride today.

Edit: Noticed a lot more bike commuters today, I left a little earlier than normal though so it must be my timing.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:29 AM
  #16507  
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A police car blocked 12th St. - my usual road. Distant blinking lights indicated some horrendous crash at the intersection a mile ahead. I considered going home and waiting it out, then diverted to US 77 one block over - a major arterial, two lanes in either direction, intermittent shoulders. My trepidation was premature. I staked out the right side of the right lane. Everyone passed with plenty of room. I regulated my speed so I'd arrive at intersections during lulls in the traffic. Visibility was good. Lights were sometimes confusing, but in a good way. Glare that looked like a bunch of cars often turned out to be loners - easy pass. I'd hate to take that route every day, but it's a viable alternate.

Weather was mild - upper 50's - and damp after last night's rain. Must enjoy it. Winter comes tomorrow.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:32 AM
  #16508  
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Nice ride in this morning, but had some ice on the roads and MUP. A little disconcerting making turns, but no crashes. 27F but I was toasty warm.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:40 AM
  #16509  
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Originally Posted by Two Buck Chuck
First time I got beeped at on my morning commute (the morning car commuters are generally very respectful), but it turned out that I had dropped something and the car was trying to tell me I had dropped something at the intersection. Too cold for shorts, almost too warm for tights. Nice ride.
I struggled with the temperature yesterday and this morning. Yesterday, I totally overdressed, and so was pretty warm when I got to work, but I was positively sickly riding home from wearing too much clothes. It was just in that in-between, mid-50s temperature zone and I couldn't figure out how to dress, so I sweated. This morning it was the same deal, so I wore less, and froze my patootie off. I just wish it would drop into the 30s once and for all. At least then there won't be any mystery about what to wear.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:48 AM
  #16510  
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Slow ride in this morning due to traffic congestion. Still passed a ton of cars on the way in so even at 10 mph, I still moved faster than traffic.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:51 AM
  #16511  
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Holy blinking goodness! 28+ km/h average! It never was over 26 in the city before, and usually closer to 19-22. But then of course the practically intersectionless Rosedale Valley Road and Bayview Extension are more like country roads. Why didn't I realize before that this fluid, smooth route takes me exactly where I want to go********** I'll be riding it some more... *grin*

The way back was fast too. More direct than my usual route (I like turns). Not bad time/average for all-uphill-after-hours-of-physical-exertion-and-not-enough-sleep-food-and-water. Blew right past traffic. A streetcar tried to slow me down by passing me, coming to a stop and opening doors to let passengers in/out (it's illegal to pass open streetcar doors and I usually don't) - but I passed it and totally dropped it at some point. Okay, okay, a streetcar isn't exactly a speed demon, but still, I could be a little proud of it, no?
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Old 11-28-06, 09:20 AM
  #16512  
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Believe it or not, but it was colder today than it was yesterday. The windchill got below -40C on the way in, and I was headed straight into it. The forecast high for tomorrow is -13C, so I'm pretty stoked about that. Oh, and my computer died last night.
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Old 11-28-06, 09:25 AM
  #16513  
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Originally Posted by chephy
Holy blinking goodness! 28+ km/h average! It never was over 26 in the city before, and usually closer to 19-22. But then of course the practically intersectionless Rosedale Valley Road and Bayview Extension are more like country roads. Why didn't I realize before that this fluid, smooth route takes me exactly where I want to go********** I'll be riding it some more... *grin*
...
Okay, okay, a streetcar isn't exactly a speed demon, but still, I could be a little proud of it, no?
Nice speed! I've only ever ridden UP the Bayview extension - I imagine heading down would kickass. Nice route, you'll have to send it sometime

And.. I'd say the streetcar is fair game - there are times where the buses get the better of me, it comes and goes for me.
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Old 11-28-06, 09:32 AM
  #16514  
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Apparently it will be getting cooler here, which means I'll need to break out the long tights.
Yesterday was 44F, coldest this year (still shorts weather, although I wore long sleeve under alert shirt and annoyingly overheated). Today was 50F. But tomorrow I expect 35F, so I need to dig thru closet and find tights, thicker wool socks, etc.

(for reference, one morning last winter I recorded 28F, but its rare for sub-freezing temps)

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Old 11-28-06, 09:34 AM
  #16515  
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Originally Posted by pinkrobe
Believe it or not, but it was colder today than it was yesterday. The windchill got below -40C on the way in, and I was headed straight into it. The forecast high for tomorrow is -13C, so I'm pretty stoked about that. Oh, and my computer died last night.
The temperature is STILL -29 out there. Switched wheels last night and no annoying freehub freeze ups today.
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Old 11-28-06, 09:47 AM
  #16516  
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First ride on the slicks in the rain. Laid her down in the mud at 25 MPH. Got really, really muddy, tweaked my knee. Let's just say I've had better commutes than this. I am definitely throwing the knobbies on when I get home. There's a chance of freezing and flurries tomorrow anyways, so it's probably for the best.
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Old 11-28-06, 10:10 AM
  #16517  
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I had a great little ride in today. Left home after lunch and realized I perhaps should've put the ligths on... It gets so depressingly dark here, so early... When I leave tonight it'll be pitch black, but that is expected.

Apropos nothing, is it bad for studded tires to be used too much before the snow hits? We had a few days of snow, but now it's all muddy, ruddy, grey again. No snow in sight unfortunately, and I'd hate to switch back and forth?
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Old 11-28-06, 10:21 AM
  #16518  
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I passed an (appearance excellent, functionality likely not) Hammond M3 that was placed on sidewalk/alley as trash. I would have picked it up if I was driving a car.
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Old 11-28-06, 10:25 AM
  #16519  
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Originally Posted by stockholm
I had a great little ride in today. Left home after lunch and realized I perhaps should've put the ligths on... It gets so depressingly dark here, so early... When I leave tonight it'll be pitch black, but that is expected.

Apropos nothing, is it bad for studded tires to be used too much before the snow hits? We had a few days of snow, but now it's all muddy, ruddy, grey again. No snow in sight unfortunately, and I'd hate to switch back and forth?
Increased possibility of flat tyres, increased wear on the studs. It's hard on them, but as long as you don't flat out I don't think it will ruin anything.
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Old 11-28-06, 10:39 AM
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I think I'm coming down with a cold. My head was stopped up and I was hocking up phlegm my whole ride. Besides that it was really nice, though I'm sick of the 80 degree texas November. I'm want some cold! I took the bus through campus as on my ride home I encountered some bottle chucking *******s in a gold Suburban. They wouldn't get off my ass and there is no shoulder and narrow lanes where I was (though 2 lanes in each direction) so they just kept riding behind me honking, and when they finally passed they chucked a bottle at me. I ended up having to deal with them for a few miles and had 3 more bottles chucked at me. After the first couple I did u-lock their mirror, though, so that probably escalated things. What can I say, people throwing stuff at me from vehicles they can easily kill me with is one of my hot buttons.

Needless to say I avoided campus this morning and my ride was much more pleasant.
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Old 11-28-06, 10:46 AM
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Left the house at 6:30 with the temps in the mid 40s. Usual ride in, little traffic and one other commuter on the ride.
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Old 11-28-06, 11:00 AM
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Great ride this morning and afternoon temps should be in the mid-60's. I would have had a similar commute yesterday had I actually gone to work (I called in "slick" and went mountain biking-gotta do that every once in a while). I may switch to knobbies soon, I think they're talking about flurries early next week.
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Old 11-28-06, 11:10 AM
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How was the commute today, you ask? Amazing, that's how it was. Truly a fine ride.

I left the house about 6:45 and it was pretty brisk for Sacramento: 36F/2C. I broke out the toewarmers and skullcap for the first time this season and I needed them both. I headed down to Freeport and said to myself that if I can make it to the drawbridge by 7:10, I'll head back up to downtown on the Yolo Co. side of the river. I made all the lights on Freeport Blvd. and was at the bridge by 7:06, so I had a Go for Yolo. By this time it was getting bright enough to turn off my light and I fell into a good rhythm. I was passed by maybe a half dozen cars on the River Road and every one left me more than enough room. I four turkeys standing in some weeds along the side of the road, Thanksgiving survivors.

Up into W. Sac. where the traffic and sprawl continues at ever increasing pace, but again, no troubles with the motoring commuters. I was feeling tired but still in my rhythm as passed a pair of fellow bike commuters.

Over the Tower Bridge and down Capitol Mall when I realized that I'd not put a foot down since closing the gate of my driveway. I had one trackstand go wobbly but was saved when the light went green at just the last second. Pulled into the garage at 7:50.

The numbers: 19.69 miles in 1:05:57 = 17.8 mph avg with a max of 23.5 mph. Not too shabby for this time of year and for riding the fixie.
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Old 11-28-06, 11:14 AM
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I love days that I don't touch down between home and work. I've only pulled off the whole distance once, but it was quite an accomplishment with the lights and hills I deal with.
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Old 11-28-06, 11:38 AM
  #16525  
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The commute was cancelled today because of the snow and ice on the roads. Most Seattle businesses are shut down.

I'm going out to ride my bike in the snow, and take pictures of cars all bunged up on the icy roads. I made new ice tires last night, and I'm gonna go have fun.

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