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How was the commute today?

Old 12-01-06, 10:33 PM
  #16626  
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it went awesome !!

while leaving on of my favorite bike shops in town I saw a bicycle tail light up ahead of me. I decided I was going to chase it down and pass it like I have done so many others lately. Unfortunately it wasn..t happening as I poured on the power the tail light up ahead of me seemed to continue getting smaller. Till it got to the point I was in a full on sprint. Finally on a down hill I managed to catch up with the rider. While trying to slow my breathing I huffed over to him. ..Man you are fast... He lazily looks over at me and mutters, ..huh, oh I was half sleep... So we talk for a bit, and decide to ride together since we were headed in a somewhat similar direction. We take off together and talk about our various injuries. Eventually we reach another incline and this time he stands up. I don..t know if at that point he began channeling the soul of Lance Armstrong or what, but he shot away for me like my feet were on the ground. So I down shift and pursue him. This was my fastest ascent ever of that particular hill, but I still didn..t catch him. Only when he looked back to see me lagging back and coasting while waiting for me was I able to close the gap that suddenly appeared.

But in the end it felt really good, that fleeting moment, that spirit of competition, and pushing myself till it hurt in an attempt to catch someone. Gives me a goal to shoot for. Average is no longer good enough.
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Old 12-01-06, 10:38 PM
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It was 30 degrees this morning. The coldest ride last year was 29 degrees. I'd say I'm headed for a personal record this year. I'm glad I've learned how to dress properly to not overheat or freeze in this weather. No one buzzed me, and everyone drove safely around me. It was unusual enough to mention. I had a nice relaxed ride both ways. I've given up trying to do a caloso nofooted commute. Crossing the highway at a 4 way light just about makes it impossible. I can't trackstand for 5 minutes. I still enjoy hearing what it was like though.
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Old 12-02-06, 12:49 AM
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It has been 5 hours now since I arrived at work and my legs are still sore from fighting the 40mph headwind for over 10 miles.
But the ride was great! Got to break in my studded tires and see the look of awe on my coworkers faces who now have an ongoing bet on when I will drive in instead of bike in.
time to prove them all wrong.
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Old 12-02-06, 02:09 AM
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blah. i doth not rock today. more stubborn than smart, i think would be the right term. we've still got about 5 inches of - heck, what do you call that stuff? we don't see enough of it to know the names. crusty, chunky, heavy, crumbly slush. it's snow that was powder to start with, got packed down hard by cars and rotted by salt into little round balls, froze together, got some more snow, started to melt so it settled and packed and got slippery, then got cold again. ball-bearings of ice, basically. there should be a dirty word to name it. breaks up and starts slithering as soon as you put any pressure on it, so the schwalbes didn't help as much as i'd hoped. i stumbled and slithered my way to work, still walking over the bridge and riding wherever it seemed possible. just weird. every city block has a different kind of snow. evening was the same thing, with a bit more water mixed in and/or black ice on all the bare surfaces. i'm drinking sprite with beer in it. tfif.
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Old 12-02-06, 08:16 AM
  #16630  
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Wow, some rough times had by all by the sounds of it!
When I wasn't bike commuting, I used to see an older guy who'd always be on his paper-run in the morning. He walked down the street instead of on the sidewalk, and one day I finally had chance to ask him why. He said that the road was softer than the sidewalk, easier on his legs/knees. So this isn't the first time I've heard of that.

My ride home was tough going. I had a decent enough ride, until around Adelaide/Jarvis, waiting for the lights I knew I had to giveit some effort off the line to try and keep in with the traffic and not to delay anyone - so off the line, I powered down.

The pedals went, I got going, but not nearly as quick as usual and I noticed distinctly something wasn't right. The pedals were going 'round but faster than they were pushing the wheel. I immediately figured my freewheel (not being super knowledgeable about bike mechanics) was buggered or something. By this time I was over the intersection, and had pulled to the left (I was in the left lane of a one-way street) and stopped once I reached the opposite sidewalk. I looked the bike over, turned the pedal cranks with my hand - everything looked OK, freewheel was working, gears/derailleur was working. Once I got back on the road, the problem was still there, but as I didn't know what it was and it was still OK to ride - I carried on, tested my gears up from 1st to 7th cog on the cassette, seemed just fine, etc.

I later discovered when this happened, it wasn't pushing the drivetrain, so the chain wasn't affected and thus the rear wheel/derailleur was fine. Not sure how/why yet, but the pedals and/or crank are slipping when I'm putting down power (think of it like a permanently, but only half-engaged clutch - some power gets through, but not much, and certainly not enough for my liking). I'll take some photos, I've definitely got some damage on the front derailleur (more than before) so I guess it'll need replacing.

I rode home all the way, and although it was tough up Sherbourne and with the wind, I had a wonderful ride - loved it and had some really great tailwinds to pick me up too Seeing as most of this mechanical issue affected me on start-offs, I just tried to time lights better and keep momentum.

The rain yesterday morning and water on the roads was heavy as heck, so I was wet getting in (well, shoes, pants and socks) - the brakes worked incredibly well, no problems. On the way home, there was no rain - just some water on the ground. The brakes didn't seem so hot. So I'll be replacing my rear pads again (fronts are still bike-original, and still work great) and also give the bike a washdown - I think the crap all over the rims could be hampering the brakes too.

I felt unsafe, because not being directly connected to the power train I felt disconnected from the bike a little, but I knew I was OK and the ride went well anyway. After some harsh buffeting around this morning, I had a great ride and some really helpful tailwinds
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Old 12-02-06, 10:58 AM
  #16631  
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My commute Friday was not as bad as I though it would be. I drove my daughter to work at about 8:00 am in blizzard like conditions and the roads were very slick. By the time I left home on my bike the snow had stopped, it was 30 degrees, the roads were just kind of slushy and the 20mph wind was mostly at my back. After work is was 23 degrees my derailleur were frozen in a low gear. With my normal cadence could only achieve about 8 mph but that was good as I had a 14 mph head wind. I kept warm though.
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Old 12-02-06, 11:50 AM
  #16632  
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Yesterday was long. Scheduling issue lead to all 4 of us taking the car, bike on rack on rear, drop 23 mo old at daycare, drop 5 yr old, me, bike, at my job, wife goes on to work. He watches Thomas DVD on my computer while I load up company car for trip I need to make, then drive 5 yr old back to K, continue off on my trip an hour NW, LONG, hard, physically demanding day, drive back home, say hi to everyone who's back from their day by then, drop some supplies, return to office, finish up there, bike home in the dark, after all traffic is pretty much done. So the bike was OK. I need to get those knobbies off, though. I never needed the clean clothes I packed in yesterday, so I left them in the office for Monday.

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Old 12-02-06, 05:39 PM
  #16633  
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No commute since Tuesday. Wed: snowstorm. Thurs: experimented with the light rail and a bus line that runs near my house. Friday: day off Sat: day off.

I have the strangest temptation related to making my commute easier. With the advent of our new light rail line and my discovery of a express bus route to that line on the main street, my primary temptation will no longer be my car but mass transit. How bizarre. Mass transit is now easier for me than driving a car. What is this world coming to?!
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Old 12-02-06, 10:03 PM
  #16634  
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Warmer today, 31 degrees this morning! My new alpaca balaclava sure is coming in handy. Great ride in, with some strange looks from my coworkers. I switched shifts so I have to get another group used to seeing me ride in I guess. Ride home was nice after a loooong 12 hour shift. Tomorrow's Sunday my favorite commute day. It's supposed to warm up about 8 degrees tomorrow, so I will be ridding above freezing. This is California, right?
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Old 12-03-06, 12:34 PM
  #16635  
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Today was my first "screw you" to winter, 18 degrees with a healthy 20 mph wind. It's been freakishly warm up (60) until three days ago, I haven't even needed a coat. Only problem was my goggles kept fogging up. Other than that, my pearlizumi balaclava, multiple layers of clothing, and Stormsox (neoprene fleece-lined socks) really did the job. In your face, space-coyote!
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Old 12-03-06, 03:44 PM
  #16636  
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No commute today but went on my first recreational ride since September. What was I thinking? It was 7F out and I made the mistake of wearing my normal shoes instead of my Goretex boots. I am lucky I still have my toes. Still was a generally good time... hoping the snow and ice melt soon!
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Old 12-03-06, 05:16 PM
  #16637  
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OK, I admit it..... I loaded my bike up in my car and drove it home so I could go cross country skiing instead. Fresh snowfall and temperatures in the mid 20's drove me to it Just as well, cross training is good for you and skiing was a good workout.
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Old 12-03-06, 10:37 PM
  #16638  
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Ride in was nice, except I've got to stop reading the wind chill on the Weather Channel. When I got ready to go home I found a rear flat and a goathead. I patched the tube and got about a mile before getting a second rear flat. Called for a lift home because it was easier than patching the tube again.The bead on these tires is really hard to mount.
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Old 12-04-06, 07:23 AM
  #16639  
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Low 20Fs this morning. Clear skies. Tailwind. Not too bad. I could have used my neck warmer but it wasn't cold enough to be uncomfortable.

Back from a 4-day weekend in Washington, DC. Saw a lot more people with bicycles on the Metro than in previous years.
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Old 12-04-06, 07:48 AM
  #16640  
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25, light wind, some flurries. Great way to wake up in the morning and to top it off, no annoying drivers

I've got my camera in my bag, just waiting for the time when it snows heavily so I can get some snapshots
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Old 12-04-06, 08:04 AM
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Ahhh, finally we're in winter. 31 degrees this morning, with winds in the 20s-30s. NOW I know what to wear. Fun ride, and the # of commuters on the road is definitely falling. Nice to be the first (and only?) bike on the rack.
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Old 12-04-06, 08:33 AM
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Brrr...cold this morning. I had to carry a jacket to work so the messenger bag was bulging at the seams. Heard an odd clicking noise so I think it's time to do some overhaul maintenance.
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Old 12-04-06, 08:35 AM
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Egads! Left early and arrived late to the light rail.
15F and the trail I use was covered in hard packed snow and ice. I managed to only fall once.
It was taking such a large amount of effort and concentration that my stomach became upset. Had to hightail it to a port-a-potti. Nothing like using one of them at 15F. ugh The fastest restroom break ever!
Anyhow, I really wish there were actual street alternatives to that portion of my commute. A majority of the streets are clear. oh well....
It should warm up to the mid to upper 40s today. That should help the trails some.
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Old 12-04-06, 08:59 AM
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Christmas is here. I know because traffic sucked big time the whole way to work. Jam packed and barely moving. My avg. speed was in the single digits and I still beat traffic in. I hope the ride home is smoother.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:12 AM
  #16645  
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15F today and minimal wind. Nice weather for a ride, but my camelback hose froze, and I think I had some ice in the rear derailleur or something. It was ghost shifting like crazy just before I got to work. I stopped and adjusted it and bent it all over the place. Seemed to fix the problem. Don't replace shifters and cables the day before riding without testing and readjusting .
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Old 12-04-06, 09:19 AM
  #16646  
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Third commute in to work. The 20 miles was a bit easier this morning - still would have been glad to be done at around the 14 mile mark or so, but the subsequent 6 miles weren't too bad. Temperature was in the high 30s/low 40s. I Dug out the Wynnster fleece jacket I bought in England back in the last century (the time kind, not the distance kind) and had a much less sweaty ride in. Also made a new flash flag this weekend to replace the one that fell off on the way in on Friday. It's amazing how much difference one of those things makes! Stick a little orange flag on the bike's left flank and all of a sudden I'm getting 3 more feet of clearance from passing cars. Instead of the dowel I used on the first flag, I used some fiberglass spars from an old kite - they're much more fun because they flex a lot and make the flag wave up and down. Great attention getter. Now I just need to track down some SOLAS tape to make it reflective. I even have a spare flag again, since I found my original flash flag on my way in to work this morning, right where it fell off three days ago.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:41 AM
  #16647  
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Rode in today with the slippy pedal/crank issue, figured I'd nurse it enough to get it to the bike store. Ride was great, really slow (and somewhat careful) due to the problem and a nice dusting of snow we had. -4C when I left (finally, after The Big Glove Hunt(tm) )

Noticed a lot this morning. Firstly, I had to stop about 5 mins in to put my woolly hat (toque!) on over my skullcap, my head was starting to freeze. Also, because I wasn't able to go too fast (or put in a lot of effort starting off) - I wasn't nearly as sweaty, tired or anything. I was also riding a lot more WITH other cyclists, as they kept a lower riding speed generally.

It took me about 38 mins to get to the bikestore, which is around the same distance it is to work (according to routeslip), so that's not bad. (Modified route, took Church only to Carlton then across to Beverley and down there to Phoebe, then a little turn onto John where Urbane cyclist is).

Dude at the bikestore found the problem quickly, turns out my crank has a pin that the chainring connects to, this pin no longer exists on my bike (there was a specific type of crank he mentioned, but I don't remember). I cancelled the cassette and gear upgrades, as he convinced me that it really wouldn't make too much difference right now. Instead, got him to install new rear pads and get a couple of new cables installed on the brakes - the rear cable has been sticking for a while now, truthfully. Along with that and a 'space bar' (a handlebar extender mount thing) - my bike should be all ship-shop ready for 5 on the way home. I'm excited, it's the very first time I've ever had a bike repaired and worked on at a bike store, and I'm looking forward to it being ready to ride, and hopefully with a little more spring in its step

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Old 12-04-06, 09:54 AM
  #16648  
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Forgive me for I have sinned. I drove to work today even though weather was doable (mid-20s). Woke up late and pussed-out. I feel cheap
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Old 12-04-06, 10:21 AM
  #16649  
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Brrrrr. Temp was around 34F, but 25+ mph winds put the windchill at 21F. The ride over the Potomac was brutal for this South Carolina native! I rode in with a neighbor, who got bad info from the weatherman and was riding in shorts!
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Old 12-04-06, 10:27 AM
  #16650  
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Back on the 26x1.5s from the 2+ knobbies. I'm thinking more and more about those Big Apples.

Well, I biked in today, now to start my 8 hr roundtrip drive to a meeting.
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