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First Commute Today

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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.

First Commute Today

Old 05-25-12, 11:46 AM
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gpwrider
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First Commute Today

Hello everyone.

The schedule finally aligned for me to commute by bike today. It's about 15 miles each way. Only hitch was that I got a little turned around and spent about 15 minutes trying to find my way back to the right path this morning.

What a great way to start the day! Can't wait to ride home this afternoon.

I hope to be able to ride 2-3 days per week. There are days where I have to drive between work locations and a couple of evenings where I have to be home early for golf leagues, so the bike won't work on those days.

Carried my laptop in a backpack and learned I don't like backpacks. I have a large laptop (HP Pavilion with a 17.3" screen). Any suggestions for a pannier that'll handle it?

Thanks.

Greg
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Old 05-25-12, 12:40 PM
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alexaschwanden
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Good job on wanting to commute by bike, have fun and be safe.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:52 PM
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For me, the laptop options include

1) Use ssd hard drive and put it in panniers.
2) Leave it at work the night before
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Old 05-25-12, 01:13 PM
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amcelroy
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I cart around a 17" macbook pro on a 16 mile round trip commute in https://www.rei.com/product/780448/no...single-pannier.

Has ample pockets for spare tubes, repair kits, a small pump, a shammy, keys, etc. It might be a pretty tight fit to get a spare set of cloths in there, I don't have to change as my workplace is super casual.
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Old 05-25-12, 01:20 PM
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gpwrider
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Originally Posted by amcelroy View Post
I cart around a 17" macbook pro on a 16 mile round trip commute in https://www.rei.com/product/780448/no...single-pannier.

Has ample pockets for spare tubes, repair kits, a small pump, a shammy, keys, etc. It might be a pretty tight fit to get a spare set of cloths in there, I don't have to change as my workplace is super casual.
My workplace is pretty casual, too, but after my ride this morning I definitely needed a shower and a change of clothes.

I'll take a look at the pannier. Thanks for the tip. I wish that leaving the laptop at work was an option (along with leaving work at work).
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Old 05-25-12, 01:23 PM
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jcivic00
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I agree with hyegeek any amount of supplies that you can leave at your workplace safely is better. This way it limits what you have to carry, as well as anything that could possibly get ruined in the event that you take a spill, or get caught in inclement weather.
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Old 05-25-12, 05:39 PM
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Congratulations, gpwrider. Hope you can do some more commutes.

Let us know how the panniers work when you get them.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:31 PM
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We're glad you're here and we're glad you're commuting by bike. There's always room for one more.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:37 PM
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PatrickGSR94
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So how long did it take, OP? What sorts of roads did you ride on?
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Old 05-25-12, 09:03 PM
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Targus Backpack for the 17" laptop. Next one (dell precision workstation, or lenovo thinkpad) will have sshd. Bontrager rack bag for bike gear, lock, and panniers on monday and friday for weeks worth of work clothes. (I ride in bibs)
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Old 05-26-12, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
So how long did it take, OP? What sorts of roads did you ride on?
It took me an hour and nine minutes in the morning, but I got lost and spent some time looking for the path, which caused me to ride an extra 1.3 miles.

The ride home was a different story. Took one hour and seven minutes, but it was killer. Turns out that the last ten miles home are a pretty steady uphill. Not a huge gain in elevation, but it's constant.

Also realized that I forgot to bring a water bottle. It was in the high 80s yesterday and I got pretty dehydrated. Came home and had a bottle of Gatorade, several slices of watermelon and two glasses of water. Had various other drinks throughout the evening and never had to pee until about 6 hours later.

I was riding primarily on dirt paths (Paint Creek and Clinton River Trails, for those of you from the northern Detroit suburbs). Very dusty, but reasonably smooth.

Learned a lot yesterday. I'll be ready next time.
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Old 05-26-12, 10:35 AM
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pkulak
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Yeah, panniers are the way to go. You can get backpacks that feel pretty good (airflow to your back so you don't sweat and all that), but I find that even with that carrying a bunch of weight on my back can make a comfortable saddle start to hurt. Just too much weight on your tush.
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Old 05-26-12, 06:28 PM
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Welcome to the club! Ride on.
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Old 05-26-12, 08:34 PM
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capejohn
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Hooked another one.
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Old 05-27-12, 05:37 AM
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Isnt commuting a lot of fun? I love it too because you are right, it starts your day off just right!

For all my work stuff (and I have a lot I have to bring home each night) I use Ortlieb Classic Panniers. Waterproof and very high quality. Thetouringstore.com is the best place (in my opinion) that sells them. Call up Wayne, the owner, and talk with him. Real nice guy!
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