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Monday is the day!!!

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Monday is the day!!!

Old 01-06-12, 07:17 PM
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Tractortom
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Monday is the day!!!

Everything is in place. The bike is clean and ready to ride, the new rack and bags are installed, I left work boots and a jacket at my radio shop when I left for the day today. Monday is the first day that I commute to work on my Baccheatta Strada Recumbent here in Okeechobee, FL. All the folks at work think I'm crazy, and the ladies are really looking forward to me arriving in my "stretchy drawers" (cycling shorts). Like anyone wants to see a 264 lb, 6'-4", 57 year old man in cycling shorts (not pretty I assure you!).

But it finally begins. Tractor Tom is riding a bike to work from now on. 60-80 miles a week to start, working to 100 miles a week as I get into better shape and it becomes more routine.

I want to thank the folks here for their support and tips and help. I read the forum nearly every day, and there is always something new to learn. This is a great resource!!!

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
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Old 01-06-12, 07:24 PM
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Happy cycling!
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Old 01-06-12, 07:28 PM
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Enjoy the rides!
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Old 01-06-12, 07:29 PM
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If you haven't already done it, ride the route this weekend, it will give you an idea of how long it will take, and if there are any obstacles / shortcuts you can use, even if you have driven the route many times, it may be different on the bike.

Good luck with Monday
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Old 01-06-12, 07:39 PM
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Don't forget to pack your underwear on Monday morning. I keep spares in my desk drawer just in case I forget (which has happened more than a few times).
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Old 01-06-12, 07:46 PM
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Good luck! You'll love it.
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Old 01-06-12, 08:21 PM
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DJ Shaun
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Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
Don't forget to pack your underwear on Monday morning. I keep spares in my desk drawer just in case I forget (which has happened more than a few times).
That's happened to me too.
Once I forgot my towel, belt and socks all on the same day... Spent all day hiking up my dress pants to reveal smelly athletic socks...
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Old 01-07-12, 02:26 AM
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Congrats Tractor Tom! 60-80 miles a week is a lot depending on whether you have been riding at all or not. Take a day off it you need it. I love working where there are lots of people who commute to work regularly. I really look forward to my ride home. I don't look pretty in spandex either, so you're in good company.
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Old 01-07-12, 02:31 AM
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Kudos Tom ! Enjoy !
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Old 01-07-12, 03:44 AM
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i am all gitty like a school girl with you. You will do great my friend.

make sure you have great lights and a high vis vest. Please give us a detailed report (you can make it a long one... we all love to read) on Monday.

Good luck my friend!
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Old 01-07-12, 07:27 AM
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Ain't nothing to it, but to do it. Rock on man!
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Old 01-07-12, 08:31 AM
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3, 2, 1, go!
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Old 01-09-12, 05:41 AM
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Bike is all packed with today's clothes, lunch, bag with wallet, phone, keys and such. The water bottle is full of half gatorade/half water. I have on my tights, shorts, a long sleeve tee and a dayglow jersey. Jacket and full finger gloves, along with helmet and glasses are laying on the seat. Once I get my coffee down, and 7am gets here, I'm on my way to work for the first time. About 49 degrees in Okeechobee this morning, cool but not too cold. I'll warm quickly once I get on the road and moving... I'm a little worried about the route, but nothing I can do about that this morning... So, OFF I GO!!!! I'll post about the commute when I get home tonight.

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
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Old 01-09-12, 07:23 AM
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Now you will find out that going to work becomes an adventure as opposed to a chore
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Old 01-09-12, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by velocycling View Post
Now you will find out that going to work becomes an adventure as opposed to a chore
And what an adventure it was!!! This is just about the first half of the commute, I'm still at work. I left the house an hour early, on purpose in case I ran into a delay. About a mile from my house, I have to make a left hand turn and I was setting up my corner, was in the center of the lane, and signaled I was going left. An old man in a little blue car pulled up to the intersection. He SHOULD have yielded to me, so I could turn left around the front of his car. HE DID NOT! Looked right at me, and never saw me, turned right in front of me, and as I grabbed brakes and swerved, I went down in the intersection as I could not get a foot loose. I was screaming at him the entire time, he never looked, never blinked, never slowed down and I layed there in the intersection trying to unclip. After that, I got back on, went up through the shopping/main street area, no problems, and was on the highway headed for the shop when my rear tire went flat! DAMMIT!!! I got out my CO2 inflator and gave it a shot, and rode another 20 yards before it went flat again! So I stopped in front of the hospital, changed the tube, and realized that I only had the one CO2 cartridge for the inflator. So I called the wife, and waited 20+ minutes while she got dressed and drove the six miles to hand me a box of CO2 cartridges that I had set aside (but not put in my brainbox on the back of the seat). Tire was all mounted, I simply filled the tube and got on and rode the last two miles to work. It was an ADVENTURE!!! I got to work about 10 minutes late, but would not have been late if I had prepared properly. Tomorrow will be better!!!!

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee
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Old 01-09-12, 09:23 AM
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Not a great way to start commuting but certainly memorable. You'll be laughing about it in a couple of years. Good on you for finishing the commute and not hopping into the sag wagon (wife's car). Call me a retrogrouch if you want but I use a frame pump (zefal hpx) instead of CO2. I've never run out of frame pump.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:28 AM
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Wow that stinks and sorry to hear about your fall. It can only get better from here.

I agree - carry a pump. Once on my road bike I went through 3 co2 canisters before realizing I had an additional puncture. If I had used a pump I would have noticed the additional leakage prior to using the co2.

Hope to hear a better report on your ride home!
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Old 01-09-12, 12:10 PM
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Hope the ride home is less eventful, we all have days like that .
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Old 01-09-12, 12:21 PM
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I love an adventure. Can't wait to read about the commute home! Great stuff!!
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Old 01-09-12, 02:10 PM
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I carry a pump and CO2. Recently got a slow leak flat with the Big Apple 26x2.35 tires (huge volume), and was still able to ride 2 miles to a more convenient place to fix it. After replacing the tube, partially pumping up the tire with the pump and topping it off with a 25g CO2 cartridge, it was only at 32 psi. Although this is plenty of air, it was a little surprising the pressure wasn't higher.

Couldn't find the culprit when I was changing the flat, but on closer inspection at home, found two shards of quartz embedded in the tire. At lower pressure, the tips of the shards probably did not protude into the innertube, because the replacement tube did not puncture.
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Old 01-09-12, 04:19 PM
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While not nearly as calamitous as your unfortunate experience, my first day commuting [~6 months ago] was a beautiful day...until it started pouring rain 10 minutes before I left to go home. While wet, it was 85 degrees and made for a beautiful, soaking commute home.

RE: flats, I carry a tube and two CO2. Haven't had to implement, but I figured if something goes flat I'll pull it and change it there then check the status of the flat tube when I have a pump around. More than one flat=walking for me!
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Old 01-09-12, 05:18 PM
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Well, for those of you that were wondering...the ride home was without mishap. A lot more traffic in the afternoon, but everyone behaved themselves. Stopped by at the diet clinic and I am down SEVEN POUNDS for the week. A GREAT DAY all together I'm looking forward to another 'adventure' tomorrow.

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee
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Old 01-09-12, 11:41 PM
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Congrats Tom! Glad you survived the first commute and hope the rest of the week is calmer! Perhaps in a busy intersection where you are turning you might not want to clip in until you are past all the traffic.
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Old 01-10-12, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
Congrats Tom! Glad you survived the first commute and hope the rest of the week is calmer! Perhaps in a busy intersection where you are turning you might not want to clip in until you are past all the traffic.
That was the interesting part...it ISN"T a busy intersection. There was no other traffic on the road, this is the edge of the residential area I live in. The fellow just NEVER LOOKED, and instead of expecting him to pull out and cutting across behind his car, I expected him to stay put so I could make a turn in front of his car. Today at the same intersection, there wasn't any traffic, or any issue. I blew right through and made it to work in about 30 minutes (8.26 miles this morning). I now carry a frame pump along with my CO2 inflator and make sure I have a couple of spare cylinders. I'm carrying three good spare tubes, and now I have a cheap "flashy" front light from Walmart on the handlebar.

Life is an adventure! To commute on a bicycle makes it more so!!!

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
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Old 01-11-12, 12:29 AM
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I have a Chinese Knog Frog light on my front fork. I've never used it and it's not at all bright. It's there for the day I have to ride in traffic and I want to blink in order to differentiate me from a car. While commuting I spent time figuring out where the danger spots are. For example, I feel relatively safe biking through off ramp areas. But on ramps are scary. People are coming down the on ramp and looking BEHIND them for cars. They are not looking ahead and may not see you. Also, they will not want to stop on an onramp and will slow down and move over to the right INTO THE BIKE LANE. I try to figure out how to get past those areas in the safest possible manner. And I speed up to minimize the time I spend in "blind" spots.

Rids safe, Tractor Tom.
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