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How was the commute today?

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How was the commute today?

Old 01-17-07, 10:17 AM
  #17326  
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21/14 ('real feel') this AM. Wore a base layer, shorts, tights, LS jersey and a wind proof shell. My core was warm enough, although it felt cool in the wind. Wore a balaclava for the first time - it's prety light weight, and could have been warmer, but my ears/chin were warm enough. I had it over my mouth to start, but that was too bothersome. I just put on more Chapstick and pushed on.

I don't have my Answer Kashmirs yet, so I wore SmartWool socks, sealskins under my MTB shoes and Gator neoprene shells on top. Feet were a little cool, but not uncomfortable.

I can't figure out the glove situation to save my life. The PI shells/polypro liners were too cold, so I got a pair of PI lobster gloves......and couldn't find one of them this morning. Damn! I needed to leave (or bail and drive), so I grabbed a pair of sealskinz gloves and put them in my PI shells....it was painful. I even had to stop at a gas station to warm my hands about 45 minutes into the ride. Since it'll be warmer on the ride home, I'll be OK, but I've GOT to fix the glove situation......
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Old 01-17-07, 11:19 AM
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Ice everywhere this morning, but I'm 100% commute by bike so far this year.

Usually I have to run a gauntlet of middleschoolers on the trail I use. Usually they act like it's a huge inconvenience to move out of the way or occupy less than 150% of the width. Usually the skateboarders try one last trick before they allow bike passage.

Today there was a small group that watched me approach, I cautiously eyed them expecting a smartass remark or stupid move. They just smiled and one of them said "Have a nice day". I was flummoxed.

Then as I hopped the curb to continue on the street, a pair of girls shouted out "Good job riding your bike to work!" and "Thanks for sparing the air!".

What is WITH these kids today?
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Old 01-17-07, 11:23 AM
  #17328  
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imagine kids being aware of environmental issues. My kids are pretty in tune with it too. Hope for the future? Now if only they knew what a belt was, or a sizing chart.
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Old 01-17-07, 01:03 PM
  #17329  
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Originally Posted by chephy
Hey! Welcome back!!
Thanks!

I didn't ride yesterday, only because I doubted my road tyres performance on the layers of snow, frozen snow, ice, frozen rain and hail. I went and collected my knobbies and switched them out ready for today, and rode in this morning.

Firstly, man what a difference I notice in the amount of work I had to do to maintain the same speeds. I was keeping a 22/23mph (maybe 35-37km/h?) pace nicely going south on Spadina but it sure felt like a LOT of work. Of course, I went and swapped my tyres around and the roads are mostly clear today - but I hear more snow is on it's way, so I'll stick with the knobbies (Kenda something or other, they came with the bike).

I ride up to my nightclass tonight, too, which I did a test run of on Monday night and seemed very easy going, had a driver beeping me going north on Spadina, I was taking the lane (favouring the cleaner road vs. the door/icepack zone) and I looked back a couple times, shrugged my shoulders and said "What do you want me to do? What?" and carried on. Nothing was ever said, but it made me wonder what the person was trying to achieve. In this case I was riding a LOT slower than the traffic due to the conditions, but hell, I feel I have as much right to be there as they do.

I was almost being backed into by one of those lovely HUGE BMWs who apparently doesn't know how to check their mirrors. I was getting my bike ready to roll having just been into a store and then onto the road surface, trying not to slip/fall, in between two parked cars and the BMW was idling outside of the store waiting for whoever inside. Once the girl coming back to the car had decided how to get into the car, they proceeded to back up toward me. I had to pick my bike up off the road (it was perpendicular to traffic, too - so wasn't like I was wasting space) and I yelled "WHOA holy efff what the hell?!" but to no avail. This all happened within a couple minutes, and it was like anything else - just brush it off.

Other than that, had a great ride home, played chase to a car on a small side street - gave me a chance to feel the bike out with higher speeds in the weather, the driver, who was dutifully slowing for the stop signs seemed to be getting irritated that I kept behind him, each subsequent stop sign would be more engine revving and aggressive starts, heh. I was behind him, just using him as a chase-goal Thanks, buddy!

Edit: New temp. commute is ~3 miles, this morning took 13 mins ride time. Easily a ~10 min. ride in more favourable conditions. I'm now starting to look at how to increase that to around a 10 mile trip.

Last edited by Flimflam; 01-17-07 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 01-17-07, 01:35 PM
  #17330  
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Originally Posted by kokomo61
I can't figure out the glove situation to save my life. The PI shells/polypro liners were too cold, so I got a pair of PI lobster gloves......and couldn't find one of them this morning. Damn! I needed to leave (or bail and drive), so I grabbed a pair of sealskinz gloves and put them in my PI shells....it was painful. I even had to stop at a gas station to warm my hands about 45 minutes into the ride. Since it'll be warmer on the ride home, I'll be OK, but I've GOT to fix the glove situation......
I can only get warm hands if my body is not enough to sweat a little. So for me, cold hands = another body layer. But I agree with you. Cold hands can be downright painful. It's like "Get out of my way, I'll run over you before I squeeze a brake with these brittle and cold fingers."
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Old 01-17-07, 01:37 PM
  #17331  
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No commute today. My turn to take the kids and wife downtown in the minivan.
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Old 01-17-07, 01:43 PM
  #17332  
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Another commute lost due to another cold my 4 year old brought home from somewhere. The rest of the week is up in the air at this point.
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Old 01-17-07, 02:20 PM
  #17333  
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Originally Posted by Flimflam
Firstly, man what a difference I notice in the amount of work I had to do to maintain the same speeds. I was keeping a 22/23mph (maybe 35-37km/h?) pace nicely going south on Spadina but it sure felt like a LOT of work.
Cool! I keep getting impressed by your numbers. And to ride at this speed on the streets we have now, you gotta be pretty brave! I am simply afraid to go over 25 km/h at any point, knowing that my brakes can freeze at any time or that I could hit a patch of black ice... Chicken, I know.

Of course, I went and swapped my tyres around and the roads are mostly clear today - but I hear more snow is on it's way, so I'll stick with the knobbies (Kenda something or other, they came with the bike).
Wise move. I should take out my "winter bike" for a test spin (I bought it used, fixed it up and have only ridden about 5 km total on it - not enough to have confidence in its mechanical reliability). I'm just so lazy... I think I should take this bike down to a nearby gravel snowy bike path, and if it can be ridden there, it can handle the roads.

I ride up to my nightclass tonight, too, which I did a test run of on Monday night and seemed very easy going, had a driver beeping me going north on Spadina, I was taking the lane (favouring the cleaner road vs. the door/icepack zone) and I looked back a couple times, shrugged my shoulders and said "What do you want me to do? What?" and carried on. Nothing was ever said, but it made me wonder what the person was trying to achieve.
Morons. I wish I somehow could figure out a way not to get too mad about honks like that. Most people who issue them are probably not even bad people, just ignorant, but hell, they've no excuse to be ignorant, they've got a license, so they're supposed to know stuff about driving and rights of other road users. And given that in winter I wear those weird lobster-claw mitts, I can't even give them the bird!

I was almost being backed into by one of those lovely HUGE BMWs who apparently doesn't know how to check their mirrors.
Uh-oh. I was in a similar situation in a car - and it is scarier in a car. I was basically stuck between this backing truck on the driveway in front of me and a busy road behind me. Can't grab the car and duck onto the sidewalk they way you can with a bike... Fortunately a honk did attract the truck driver's attention. (Once again I recommend AirZound - except it doesn't work so well at low temps).

Other than that, had a great ride home, played chase to a car on a small side street - gave me a chance to feel the bike out with higher speeds in the weather, the driver, who was dutifully slowing for the stop signs seemed to be getting irritated that I kept behind him, each subsequent stop sign would be more engine revving and aggressive starts, heh. I was behind him, just using him as a chase-goal Thanks, buddy!
LOL, those are funny. It's even funnier when you're in front of them - as I was on Shaw St. one day (it has lots of speed bumps). The driver just couldn't believe that he could not pass a cyclist! He kept revving up his engine and accelerating - only to brake sharply before a speed bump - and I just kept going. Almost fell off the bike laughing.

Edit: New temp. commute is ~3 miles, this morning took 13 mins ride time. Easily a ~10 min. ride in more favourable conditions. I'm now starting to look at how to increase that to around a 10 mile trip.
Considering moving or finding an alternative route?
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Old 01-17-07, 02:45 PM
  #17334  
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Originally Posted by Flimflam
I was keeping a 22/23mph (maybe 35-37km/h?) pace nicely going....
WOW. With knobbies, on snowy/slushy/icy roads, wearing winter gear???

What gears are you riding when you're doing that pace? What kind of bicycle and terrain?
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Old 01-17-07, 03:16 PM
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Cold ride this morning..29 F but very smooth...effortless almost. Last night riding home almost hit by a deer. It ran half way onto the road, then spun on a dime and whizzed out of sight. Fast and agile but not smart. Temp at 36 F as I prepare for ride home.
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Old 01-17-07, 03:41 PM
  #17336  
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Originally Posted by dalmore
I actually got hit by passing car's mirror today. Brushed me on the hip. No harm. I got a partial plate number. Gave chase to get a complete number - or better still confront him - but lost him climbing a hill. And the crazy thing is I still had a good time.
Where did this occur?
I think it may be time to start complaining to authorities. The drivers in the Alpharetta area are getting worse every day.
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Old 01-17-07, 04:11 PM
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Biked in w/ the 5 yr old today, lots of fun.

Coming home last night I made it half the way fine, but then had to stop every 1/4 mile or so to scrape slush out of cassette and derailers. Never really fully satisfactory solution. Was dreading 2" layer of ice this am, but by the time I got on the road, it was mostly back to slush again.
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Old 01-17-07, 04:36 PM
  #17338  
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Not a post about riding, but finally I cleaned up my bike, washing off all the slush and salt it has been ridden through the last couple of days, relubing and applying generous amounts of WD-40 here and there. I do keep wondering though what is the point of going to all this trouble of cleaning if the bike will get as dirty almost as soon as I take it out again (relubing I understand, at least)...
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Old 01-17-07, 04:42 PM
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Ride home was cooler and less sweaty than this morning despite it being slightly warmer (29F vs 19F). The difference was the balaclava. Got passed by a guy riding a white GT frame fixie w/ excellent taste in jackets (had the same jacket I have, but wasn't wearing mine).
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Old 01-17-07, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by chephy
Not a post about riding, but finally I cleaned up my bike, washing off all the slush and salt it has been ridden through the last couple of days, relubing and applying generous amounts of WD-40 here and there. I do keep wondering though what is the point of going to all this trouble of cleaning if the bike will get as dirty almost as soon as I take it out again (relubing I understand, at least)...
I actually went to hose mine off last night, when it was thoroughly slush-encrusted, which I've never ever done before, but the hose was frozen. At least the slush melted off in the garage over night.
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Old 01-17-07, 08:14 PM
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well, it's cold but for some reason it really doesn't feel all that cold to me- I hope I don't end up eating my words.

I'm perfectly dressed and layered and my latest glove, mitten, mitten cover combo for the super low temps is working really well.

Was very happy to have the studded snow tires with tons of ice on the bike path today on the ride. Hit one patch on a corner and did a little slide but caught myself and kept right on going.

On the ride home tonight the temperature was 11 F with a light northwest breeze in my face as I rode along the river, which is now getting a little bit of ice along the edges.
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Old 01-17-07, 08:42 PM
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cold, windy (pushed me home), uplifting!
passed one other commuter today, #1 in 2.5 month new route. short verbal exchange, he stated "best way to go" . this is a good method to maintain positive mental/physical health. all commuters, keep it up!
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Old 01-18-07, 12:47 AM
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snow pretty much all gone today, and what's left is just slush that makes that neat noise as you barrel through it. first ride all the way home in a while. temperatures are back up over freezing, with grey/drizzly skies. i can't find my goretex overmitts (again) so i compromised with double layers of mismatched gloves and was fine since it never actually rained. this winter i've discovered i'm so much happier about every part of the ride home when my face isn't cold. lost my balaclava in mec a month ago when i went to get the studded tires, so the new compromise is a sort of lone-ranger look, with a bandana looped through the helmet straps and pulled up over my nose when i want my face covered. mcgyver r me.

the ride home had a steady but mild headwind the whole way and a bit more rain. i didn't have nearly the energy i'd expected to have after eating more or less properly thoughout the day for a change, so my pride kind of hopes i'll discover my tires are too soft. today was a day spent dreaming about when i can put my slicks back.
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Old 01-18-07, 06:50 AM
  #17344  
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Today's ride featured the legendary wintery mix of sleet and rain. Actually it's kind of nice to ride in weather that you don't see very often. Now if we could just get some snow.
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Old 01-18-07, 07:18 AM
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Low teens and a howling headwind. (Wind chill near zero F without me riding into it.)

The MUP was mostly lousy. The northernmost quarter mile I had to walk because it was too thick and rough. Then another 2 miles were packed by peds but that means it was also rough. At least I could ride on it, slowly. Amazingly enough, the "demonstration plowing project", funded by a local bicycle advocacy group, has been started. The last 3 or so miles of the MUP were plowed. Not clear, but smooth, at least. That's all I ask. I saw lots of bicycle tracks on the plowed part.

I think I'll avoid the unplowed MUP as much as I can and take parallel roads for the ride home.
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Old 01-18-07, 07:34 AM
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32F, warmest it's been all week. Nice 25minute ride in.
riding with a hangover kinda sucks. But i deserved it, i was a bit intemperent with the whisky sours....
Disregarded the presence of a cop at a red-light intersection (no traffic), & went through it. Cop didn't mind.
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Old 01-18-07, 07:53 AM
  #17347  
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Originally Posted by bikebuddha
Actually it's kind of nice to ride in weather that you don't see very often.
That's a good way to say it. It definitely wasn't boring. Everyone was driving very cautiously. One guy who was turning left flashed his lights at me so I waved and he gave me a two-hands-up shrug. I couldn't tell what he was trying to say and it was cold so I just kept on moving.

It's nice to say that I rode in on the worst day of the year so far.
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Old 01-18-07, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by GTcommuter

It's nice to say that I rode in on the worst day of the year so far.
Can say the same here. Cold rain and a little sleet mixed in. Ice on road signs, but nothing on the ground. Overall...fun ride in.
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Old 01-18-07, 08:34 AM
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Cold this morning, about 25 degrees when I left at 5:50. It was a 4-layer morning with: undershirt, long sleeve riding jersey, fleece vest, and shell. In addition, I wore my wool socks, long pants, and broke out the balaclava for the first time this year. Fortunately there was no headwind like yesterday and breathing the warm air through the bala kept my throat from hurting and staying irritated through the day as it did yesterday. Otherwise, I made good time and legs felt terrific (I was able to find just the right gear to spin in for 90% of the ride). This afternoon should be interesting with the possibility of rain/sleet/snow-we'll see.
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Old 01-18-07, 09:08 AM
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Fast (for me) ride in b/c queerpunk caught up w/ me and we rode down together. We rode side by side talking and keeping up w/ traffic and before I knew it I was at work. He caught up to me so early I didn't have a chance to zip up my jacket or put on gloves and it was 30F. Somehow, my hands didn't feel cold. Must've been the extra exertion to keep up w/ him. That kid's quick and I know he was going slow for me. Thanks mattio!
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