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The Real Deal: Accountability Here

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The Real Deal: Accountability Here

Old 07-16-12, 01:22 PM
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ckaspar
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I can do my 11 mile ride in about 50 minutes or so. Half of the ride is on a bike path with no cross traffic and only sparse foot or bike traffic so I can book that section pretty fast so I am sure that takes some time off. Certainly leave yourself some extra time so you can take it easy the first few times. I am guessing before long you'll be doing the ride in 90 min. or so. But as had been stated several times. Take it easy at first. Otherwise you will burn yourself out and give up.
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Old 07-16-12, 01:26 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
You need a pump or CO2. FWIW, I'm a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy when it comes to flats so I carry both CO2 and a pump, and both a spare tire and a patch kit. The first flat gets a new tube and CO2. The second and subsequent flats (yes, it's happened) get a patch and pump. If I've had multiple flats I'm probably going to be late anyway.
I'm looking to buy a compact pump, I'm not sure about the CO2. Luckily, most of my commute is near main roads/businesses so if the situation with a flat is dire enough, I can hoof it to a gas station. I also have a girlfriend who doesn't have to be into work until 10am and is very good to me, so emergencies could be remedied.
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Old 07-16-12, 01:27 PM
  #28  
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If I'm carrying less than 30lbs extra on my commute, do you think it's going to feel much different than if I were not carrying anything?
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Old 07-16-12, 02:02 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by PJCB View Post
If I'm carrying less than 30lbs extra on my commute, do you think it's going to feel much different than if I were not carrying anything?
On hills and starting, for sure. Hills are probably going to be a bummer. You aren't time trialing though so kick it in an easier gear and cruise to the top. For starting, I would shift to an easier gear when approaching the stop to make it a little easier to get going too.
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Old 07-16-12, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PJCB View Post
...tomorrow is the day...
Spoken like a true procrastinator.

If you haven't already done so, you might want to try driving the route you intend to ride, paying particular attention to traffic patterns and road width. There's often a better alternative available a block or two away from the most obvious route. For instance on my commute I have a spot where I can choose between riding on Main Street or hopping two blocks over to Meadow Lane. The names, in this case, aren't misleading and I'm willing to give up the bike lane on Main Street to have Meadow Lane all to myself. Google Maps tends not to notice possibilities like this.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 07-16-12, 02:42 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by PJCB View Post
I'm looking to buy a compact pump, I'm not sure about the CO2. Luckily, most of my commute is near main roads/businesses so if the situation with a flat is dire enough, I can hoof it to a gas station. I also have a girlfriend who doesn't have to be into work until 10am and is very good to me, so emergencies could be remedied.
I highly recommend skipping compact pumps in favor of something like the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive or the Topeak Road Morph. A bigger (but still portable) pump with a flexible hose is much less frustrating to use, and many compact pumps (especially cheap ones) are nearly worthless. Until you get a pump you can leave the spare tube and patch kit behind. Although flats are more or less inevitable, they aren't really common so you can definitely ride a few days tempting fate.


Originally Posted by PJCB View Post
If I'm carrying less than 30lbs extra on my commute, do you think it's going to feel much different than if I were not carrying anything?
The bike definitely feels different with a load, but expect on hills it isn't really and harder to ride with extra weight.
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Old 07-16-12, 03:14 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I highly recommend skipping compact pumps in favor of something like the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive or the Topeak Road Morph. A bigger (but still portable) pump with a flexible hose is much less frustrating to use, and many compact pumps (especially cheap ones) are nearly worthless. Until you get a pump you can leave the spare tube and patch kit behind. Although flats are more or less inevitable, they aren't really common so you can definitely ride a few days tempting fate.




The bike definitely feels different with a load, but expect on hills it isn't really and harder to ride with extra weight.
Good to know. My back rack is quite Fredly, outfit with a stolen milk crate to cart around the goods! I'm not to worried, since thankfully tomorrow's commute will be the trip home. I can take all the time I need to get adjusted.

And to Andy_K: Yes, procrastination is definitely one of the defining characteristics of my personality! Here's to hoping letting all you guys know will keep me from procrastinating any longer!

Is there any reason I shouldn't carry a floor pump?
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Old 07-16-12, 03:18 PM
  #33  
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Lots of good advice on these posts! I've been commuting 6 miles each way for a couple of months now. I started with doing it once, then when I experienced how much I liked it, I added more and more days per week. Been at 4 per week lately. Next week hopefully my first 5.

Add a cellphone to your list if it isn't already there. I actually keep mine in the back pocket of the sleeveless jerseys I ride with now. Haven't had to use it once, but it is a nice Plan C and security blanket.

You may get "butterflies" the night before or morning of, you are not the only one, it was my experience. Push past that, you can do it.

While you are doing part of your commutes by car, definitely use the car to haul in anything you can to lessen what you ride with, whether that be clothes, food, diet cokes, or whatever. I leave a lock at work, locked to the bike rack outside, but it sounds like you can park in your office, which is even better.

After 2 months, I finally feel like I am organized and systematic, so it can take a little while. Like others here, I pack the night before as much as possible. I use panniers, and within them I even use different-colored canvas bags to organize things like
- one for flat repair kit
- one for mail, meds, etc., that I am changing daily to bring in to the office
- one for my keys (while riding) and my 4 bike lights and bike computer (when in the office)

At my office, I keep a separate belt and pair of shoes. They were worth purchasing to leave there and not haul daily. I keep a full change of business-casual work attire in a bag, too, although it has gone unused so far.

I'm sure once you are in the groove, you will have a system that works for you. Getting the first one accomplished will be 80% of the fight, after that, if you like it, you will make it happen. That is my experience from 2 months in. Good luck!
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Old 07-16-12, 03:27 PM
  #34  
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I've been procrastinating myself, over 2 months now since I first got the idea to commute. The distance, time it will take, and the fact that 2-lane rural, hilly roads with fast traffic and no shoulder as my only road choice, are what's keeping me from starting. I have a wife and young son and I value my time with them, and I'd rather not take even 1.5 hours to go 14.4 miles each way.

I usually only average 11.x mph on my rides so it would likely be near 90 minutes each way. Not such a problem in the morning, but more of a problem in the afternoon as my wife goes to workout classes several times a week at 6 and needs me home by 5:45 at the latest. Then during the school year she also takes a boy to day care in the mornings T-F for a little extra cash, and isn't back home until 7:15a. Needless to say finding the time to commute will be a problem for me.

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Old 07-16-12, 03:31 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by PJCB View Post

Is there any reason I shouldn't carry a floor pump?
Just so you don't have to lug the weight around.

I got one of these: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...62_-1___400167 and have yet to use it. I keep meaning to get more cartridges off Amazon but since I have yet to use my first one I am finding it hard to invest the $12 for a box of carts. See here for the carts: http://www.amazon.com/16-Gram-Thread...s+16g+threaded
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Old 07-16-12, 03:45 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by PJCB View Post
Good to know. My back rack is quite Fredly, outfit with a stolen milk crate to cart around the goods! I'm not to worried, since thankfully tomorrow's commute will be the trip home. I can take all the time I need to get adjusted.

And to Andy_K: Yes, procrastination is definitely one of the defining characteristics of my personality! Here's to hoping letting all you guys know will keep me from procrastinating any longer!

Is there any reason I shouldn't carry a floor pump?
So ah PJ...Can I get my milk crate back anytime soon?
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Old 07-16-12, 03:51 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by PJCB View Post
Is there any reason I shouldn't carry a floor pump?
A spare wheel might be easier to carry.

I keep a floor pump at work, mostly as a monument to the useless mini pumps I used to carry. The two pumps I mentioned above (I have both, but usually carry the Lezyne) are easy enough to use that I'm not sure I would even bother to lug the floor pump out to the parking lot if I did find my tire flat at work. It was definitely worth the effort with my old cheap pumps.
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Old 07-16-12, 04:08 PM
  #38  
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Cheap hand pumps suck. I was filling my tire once, just as practice with the cheap pump, and actually sawed a hole through the schraeder valve with it rubbing against the hole in the rim. I was SO pissed. NO more pumps like that for me. I have thought of getting a better hand pump as mentioned before but seeing as how I have yet to use my one CO2 cartridge I see no need for a hand pump.
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Old 07-16-12, 04:10 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by ckaspar View Post
Which direction?
My bad, I should have clarified; if you look at your bike from the side so that the front wheel points to the LEFT, then counter-clockwise.

A good indicator is the direction of the bikes movement. If you start pedaling and the bicycle moves forward, you are doing it correctly. If, on the other hand, the bicicle moves to the left or right and you fall on the ground, you are pedaling in the wrong direction. Alter your pedal stroke and try again!
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Old 07-16-12, 04:33 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Koobazaur View Post
My bad, I should have clarified; if you look at your bike from the side so that the front wheel points to the LEFT, then counter-clockwise.

A good indicator is the direction of the bikes movement. If you start pedaling and the bicycle moves forward, you are doing it correctly. If, on the other hand, the bicicle moves to the left or right and you fall on the ground, you are pedaling in the wrong direction. Alter your pedal stroke and try again!
ahhhh....got it. Makes sense now. No wonder you guys were able to ride so fast. I was only able to go as fast as I could push the bike and hop on until it stopped and I had to start over again. I was just pedaling backwards. Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-16-12, 04:38 PM
  #41  
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My recommendation is to first ride the route on a weekend. Go slow and learn the route, not only where you go, but all the obstacles, pot holes, glass fields etc.

17 miles each way is significant. I've only had that length commute once. It took me about an hour and a half each way. The time required turned out to be the biggest problem. Keep a complete change of clothes at work, just in case you have problems or forget something. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early. That gives you cool down time and also ensures that you will be on time if you have a flat that must be fixed.

My on-board pump is a Zefal-HpX. My first one lasted about 20 years until it was accidently run over by a truck. Now it's a handy back scratcher and I have a new one.

Good luck.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

Last edited by Artkansas; 07-16-12 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 07-16-12, 05:06 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
My recommendation is to first ride the route on a weekend. Go slow and learn the route, not only where you go, but all the obstacles, pot holes, glass fields etc.

17 miles each way is significant. I've only had that length commute once. It took me about an hour and a half each way. The time required turned out to be the biggest problem. Keep a complete change of clothes at work, just in case you have problems or forget something. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early. That gives you cool down time and also ensures that you will be on time if you have a flat that must be fixed.

My on-board pump is a Zefal-HpX. My first one lasted about 20 years until it was accidently run over by a truck. Now it's a handy back scratcher and I have a new one.

Good luck.

I did the trip once this weekend, it's going to take me about 1.5 hrs, if I have good timing. If not, I've calculated an extra half hour so I can be prepared. Like has been mentioned, I'm already getting butterflies about it, but I think it might be a good thing rather than bad. When I get home I have to outfit my crate with all the goods and load it into the car so I don't forget anything when it comes time to jump on and ride! I bought a headlamp today, thought if all else fails, I'll be able to see where I'm looking. As of right now, I leave work no later than 4:30, so I should be able to stay in the daylight for both my end-of-day commute and my morning commute (6am start).

Looks like a CO2 pump might be the best answer, and it wouldn't hurt to have one for casual rides, either.

And SlimRider: finder's keepers. Don't leave it next to the hot dog guy next time!
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Old 07-16-12, 05:20 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by PJCB View Post
Looks like a CO2 pump might be the best answer, and it wouldn't hurt to have one for casual rides, either.
There are definite downsides to C02. In particular, you've got a finite number of chances to get it right. The first time I tried to use CO2 as my inflation method I screwed it up twice and had to make the call of shame. With a pump you can keep trying until you damage all your tubes beyond repair (which is less likely). That said, I rode in today with just a CO2 inflator and that's what I use for most of my recreational rides now.
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Old 07-16-12, 05:24 PM
  #44  
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Definitely +1 on the ride it on the weekend (which you have done) and giving yourself extra time until you're comfortable with the route. When I first started commuting a few years ago the weekend test ride helped me solve some trickier aspects of my original route plan and gave me an indication how it was going to affect my body to do the ride.
It always helps to add some extra time in case you have to stop and change a tube or make an adjustment on the bike.
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Old 07-16-12, 05:50 PM
  #45  
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The air cartridges can't hurt, but they're mostly a one shot deal. I have a Road Morph pump and it really is the closest thing you can get to having a floor pump. Here's a shot of it mounted to one of my bikes. Not much bigger than one of the small, cheapie ones and much easier to use.
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Old 07-16-12, 06:34 PM
  #46  
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Another vote for the Topeak Road Morph. I have its earlier relative, something like 15 years old, and it still works perfectly. I figure if I need to carry both CO2 and a pump, why not skip the CO2? I know it's convenient, but the little pump does a remarkably quick job of pumping up tires. It's basically a one-third size floor pump. There's a stabilizer that folds out from the base to put your foot on, and the handle unlocks from the barrel and then pivots 90 degrees so you can push on it. I think the Lezyne one is basically the same design, but made better. The pump just goes into a pannier or backpack, along with the tool kit.
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Old 07-16-12, 06:38 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
There are definite downsides to C02. In particular, you've got a finite number of chances to get it right. The first time I tried to use CO2 as my inflation method I screwed it up twice and had to make the call of shame. With a pump you can keep trying until you damage all your tubes beyond repair (which is less likely). That said, I rode in today with just a CO2 inflator and that's what I use for most of my recreational rides now.
Yep. I've been there too.
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Old 07-16-12, 08:11 PM
  #48  
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Well, now that this first-time commuter thread has gotten into pumps, Here's my commuter pump, a Topeak Pocket Rocket DX II. I've tested it and it works fine for emergency situations.

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Old 07-16-12, 09:21 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by PJCB View Post
Thanks for all the support. I'm thinking that the ride in Wednesday morning is going to be more tiring and/or more important to make sure I pack up correctly. So far my list is as follows:

-work clothes
-extra tubes
-allen wrenches
-adjustable wrench
-epi pen
-tire levers
-lunch
-water
-written directions
-helmet
-bug spray
-rain jacket
-sunglasses
-gloves
-lock

You are packing "extra tubes", but no pump? Having a tube is worthless extra weight if you have no way to inflate it.

I'd also say that you can leave the rain jacket at home as well. I'm trying to remember where I got this quote, it might have been The Art of War"...or it might have been a GI Joe cartoon, but "to sucsessfully fight in the rain, understand that you will be wet". My understanding of that, is that no matter what, you will be wet, so you might as well just accept that as a fact, and deal with it as a part of the conditions. The only time I would worry about getting wet is in the cold when it involves me not getting hypothermia.

Instead of brown bagging it, can you buy lunch there? That will save space and weight.
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Old 07-17-12, 06:50 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Simpletommy View Post
You are packing "extra tubes", but no pump? Having a tube is worthless extra weight if you have no way to inflate it.

I'd also say that you can leave the rain jacket at home as well. I'm trying to remember where I got this quote, it might have been The Art of War"...or it might have been a GI Joe cartoon, but "to sucsessfully fight in the rain, understand that you will be wet". My understanding of that, is that no matter what, you will be wet, so you might as well just accept that as a fact, and deal with it as a part of the conditions. The only time I would worry about getting wet is in the cold when it involves me not getting hypothermia.

Instead of brown bagging it, can you buy lunch there? That will save space and weight.

The pump is a work in progress! but there are gas stations littered around my route that have free air, at worst I'll have to hoof it for a few minutes to get it to an air source.

Thanks for the tip on the rain gear, makes a lot more sense.

I would buy lunch but strict dietary and budget guidelines prove otherwise. I'm not short on space, and I don't mind the extra weight (I used to mountain bike with weekend camping gear attached to me/my bike).
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