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Describe Your Commute

Old 01-24-15, 08:57 AM
  #1  
Jim from Boston
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Describe Your Commute

Yesterday I replied to this thread, “ How has your commute evolved over the months / years?.”

Originally Posted by chephy View Post
Below is the summary of my major commutes. I've commuted to a couple of summer jobs early on, too, and to a few other destinations for under a year, and on a couple of other bikes I've owned for a short time -- but those didn't make the list.

Title:

Route:
Hills:
Frequency:
Bike:
Bike name:
Cargo:
Helmet:
That looks like a neat idea to format cycle commutes. A while back I summarized all the features of my commute to defend my assertion:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.
So I have expanded and slightly altered your format (new categories in red) to report my commute:

Kenmore Square, Boston to Norwood over 30 years

Route: Reverse commute from downtown on four different routes of a minimal distance of 14 miles, each defined by a different hill; can expand to about 30 miles to train
Environment: In order of hill difficulty: Gritty urban, pleasant suburban, pleasant urban, ritzy suburban
Hills: One moderate hill on each route, then smaller hills; estimate only about 1-2 miles flat
Frequency: Variable over the decades; currently about 50% in winter; 75% nice weather (work is an obstacle)
Bike: Specialized S-WORKS CF Road Bike; Cannondale beater mountain bike (fenders and Marathon Winter studded tires)
Bike name: NA
Cargo: Ortlieb panniers on the Cannondale; backpack on the S-WORKS
Helmet / Mirror: yes and yes (left and right Take-a-Look eyeglass mounted mirrors)
Destination:
Parking: inside about 100 feet from my desk, directly through a door from the outside
Cleanup: shower facilities; place to hang clothes, and a table fan available to dry; for most of the time I wear surgical scrubs
Amenities: coffee shop and cafeteria on site; almost all my personal service needs like barbershop, dentist, dry-cleaner/tailor, supermarket and drugstore, and good take-out restaurants are all within walking distance of work, or a short hop on the bike; bike shop two blocks away
Alternative Transportation: train, car, bus, taxis, car rentals, Zipcar, place to stay comfortably overnight.

If anybody is interested to describe your commute, here's the template; just Reply With Quote, Copy, Remove "[/QUOTE]" and insert into ….(spaces) .

I had subsequently added Road Conditions / surfaces, Traffic, Illumination, and Departure times to my original as written above.

Title

Route:….
Road conditions / surfaces:….
Traffic:….
Environment:….
Hills:….
Frequency:….
Departure time:….
Bike:….
Bike name:.…
Cargo:….
Illumination (to see and be seen):....
Helmet / Mirror:….
Destination:
Parking:….
Cleanup:….
Amenities:….
Departure time:….
Alternative Transportation:….

Further suggestions welcome.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-23-15 at 05:21 AM. Reason: Template updated to add "Illlumination (to see and be seen)"
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Old 01-24-15, 09:15 AM
  #2  
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Title: York Region to Scarborough--6 Months

Route: Minimal 12-mile commute, but often expanded to 20+ on the morning ride.
Road conditions / surfaces: Mostly side streets, with about 10-20 minutes spent on secondary/primary arteries
Traffic: Minimal in the morning; a bit more on the ride home; just one high-stress section on highway overpass
Environment: Pleasant suburban.
Hills: Very few.
Frequency: aiming for 1-2/week in winter; 3-4 when warmer
Departure time: 5:30AM
Bike: 1995 Bianchi Advantage currently set up as winter beater with studded tires and fenders
Cargo: Backpack--lunch and snacks, spare innertube and tools, wallet and cell phone
Helmet / Mirror: Helmet
Destination:
Parking: Inside
Cleanup: Shower
Amenities: Clothes dryer to dry off clothes.
Departure time: 4:30PM
Alternative Transportation: Drive
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Old 01-24-15, 09:27 AM
  #3  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Title: York Region to Scarborough--6 Months
Excellent reply, and enjoyed reading it. Thanks for being the first.

BTW, the family and I visited TO this past December, and I posted about cycling there to the Boston crew.
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Old 01-24-15, 09:53 AM
  #4  
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Route: 15.1 round trip, sometimes take it to 21 taking different route home.
Road conditions / surfaces: Smooth paved streets all with lighting. Some side\service roads, but most heavily traveled primary road.
Traffic: non existent in the morning; heavy on ride home. 4 heavy intersections to deal with.
Environment: Suburban.
Hills: None.
Frequency: 3-4 times a week year round on average.
Departure time: 4:00AM

Bike: 2014 Trek CrossRip; Rack and Fenders
Cargo: Trunk bag: Clothes, spare tubes,tools, rain jacket.
Helmet / Mirror: Helmet

Destination:
Parking: Outside covered
Cleanup: Locker room\shower
Departure time: 3 pm-ish

Alternative Transportation: Drive
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Old 01-24-15, 10:18 AM
  #5  
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Title: Vancouver suburbs to Richmond - 18 mos

Route: 33km each way on combination of side streets, hwy and bike paths. Includes hwy section where I can get a steady 30m effort. Useful for training and intervals when I'm inclined.
Road conditions / surfaces: Mostly smooth pavement, bridge sidewalk and paved bike paths around bridge access. Hwy is new and includes 12ft shoulder
Traffic: Very light on rural roads, moderate on hwy
Environment: Scenic ride mostly on flats surrounded by mountains
Hills: mostly flat with 50m bridge. 120m elevation on the way to work, 170 coming home
Frequency: 5/6 days
Departure time: 6-7am
Bike:….
Bike name: Winter - S-works Tricross / Bianchi. Summer - S-Works Tarmac.
Cargo: Backpack lunch & clothes
Helmet / Mirror: Yes/no
Destination:
Parking: Covered outside by employee entrance
Cleanup: Shower facilities
Amenities: Office located in industrial park so not a lot of amenities near work
Departure time: 5-6pm
Alternative Transportation:m5/Smart
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Old 01-24-15, 10:25 AM
  #6  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
Route: 15.1 round trip, sometimes take it to 21 taking different route home.
Road conditions / surfaces: Smooth paved streets all with lighting. Some side\service roads, but most heavily traveled primary road.
Traffic: non existent in the morning; heavy on ride home. 4 heavy intersections to deal with.
Environment: Suburban.
Hills: None.
Frequency: 3-4 times a week year round on average.
Departure time: 4:00AM

Destination:
Departure time: 3 pm-ish
Great hours; 4 to 6 AM is the best time of day to ride IMO. The drunks are off the road (2 AM closing time in Mass), the midnight shift has not departed, and the usual commuting lemmings are not out yet.

I idealize that those driving at that time are the righteous of the earth that the world has entrusted to get everything started and ready for the new day to dawn for the rest of us.
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Old 01-24-15, 10:35 AM
  #7  
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Route::….7 miles, hilly, 2 to 6 lane arterials, 1/3 bike lane the rest VC, short section of single track abandoned road.
Road conditions / surfaces:…. Poor condition asphalt
Traffic:…typical commuter traffic
Environment:…rural, suburban,low income/retail, light industrial
Hills:…nothing but
Frequency:…daily(5)
Departure time:….06:30 to 07:30 depending on day
Bike:….
Bike name:.…Gazelle t8, Robin Hood sports, Ross MTB porteur
Cargo:…saddlebag with tools and tire repair kit, lock, rain gear, lunch cooler
Helmet / Mirror:….yes/yes
Destination:
Parking:…secure, gated and guarded transportation terminal, no formal bike parking, but good covered spot
Cleanup:…restroom
Amenities:…none, may have tote for gear
Departure time:…different every day
Alternative Transportation:…motorcycle

Last edited by kickstart; 01-24-15 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 01-24-15, 10:45 AM
  #8  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Title: Vancouver suburbs to Richmond - 18 mos

Route: 33km each way on combination of side streets, hwy and bike paths. Includes hwy section where I can get a steady 30m effort. Useful for training and intervals when I'm inclined.
Road conditions / surfaces: Mostly smooth pavement, bridge sidewalk and paved bike paths around bridge access. Hwy is new and includes 12ft shoulder
Traffic: Very light on rural roads, moderate on hwy
Environment: Scenic ride mostly on flats surrounded by mountains
Hills: mostly flat with 50m bridge. 120m elevation on the way to work, 170 coming home
Frequency: 5/6 days
Departure time: 6-7am
Bike:….
Bike name: Winter - S-works Tricross / Bianchi. Summer - S-Works Tarmac.
Sounds like a nice route. I have a Specialized S-WORKS, NOS. Are your bikes variations, e,g. for cyclocross?

I love mine. When I was looking for a carbon fiber to replace my classic Bridgestone RB-1 totalled in an accident, my trusted mechanic, also a well-known fitter, just said, "Knowing how you ride this is what you want." THe MSRP was about four times what I expected to pay, but he got it half off as an end-of-year model.
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Old 01-24-15, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Sounds like a nice route. I have a Specialized S-WORKS, NOS. Are your bikes variations, e,g. for cyclocross?

I love mine. When I was looking for a carbon fiber to replace my classic Bridgestone RB-1 totalled in an accident, my trusted mechanic, also a well-known fitter, just said, "Knowing how you ride this is what you want." THe MSRP was about four times what I expected to pay, but he got it half off as an end-of-year model.
The bike I'm riding now is a 2009 carbon s-works tricross. I bought it with the idea that I might do a few cyclocross races but I've yet to actually race. It's one of the few lightweight carbon frames that includes eyelets for full fenders which I wanted. I think the latest Crux Cyclocross bikes don't have fender eyelets.
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Old 01-24-15, 11:23 AM
  #10  
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Sorry Jim.

Filling out your form for three summer and three winter routes, plus variations of each in a matrix of three bikes is just too much work.

You'll have to be satisfied with:
  1. The list of my three bikes at the left, or the descriptions of them in my profile at Bike Journal.
  2. RideWithGPS maps of my Hills, Parks, Cemetery and Trails route, and my Winter Loop (because MUP on the three-seasons long loop isn't plowed).
  3. and this pic of my parking spot at work:

And you already know that I bike commute on every workday.
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Old 01-24-15, 11:29 AM
  #11  
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Title
Um, how about My Bike Commute?
Route
15 to 16 miles each way, depending on route.
Road conditions / surfaces
Usually good. Mostly but not always clean pavement. At least 50% has a wide shoulder. The morning run uses about 2 miles of bikeway.
Traffic
Moderate.
Environment
Mostly suburban.
Hills
Yes. Not long but one is steep, max grade ~10%. Total elevation gain each way is 1500 to 1700ft.
Frequency
Technically speaking, once per day.
Since this really asks "how often", then every day if no other commitment or weather intervenes. I rode this April through mid-December when events got in the way, and I've ridden this only once this January.
Departure time
7:15 to 7:30AM, typically.
Bike
All of them (except the tandem). The UO8 gets the bulk of the later-fall and winter use because it is equipped with generator lights. (I also use a powerful battery light and rear blinky.) Some have tires less suited to the debris level. The Bianchi wears Gatorskins and is especially nice. They are all good.
Bike name
I could go with Nao, Gina, Francis, Mario, but that would be silly. They don't have names other than Peugeot, Motobecane, Raleigh, Masi, Centurion, Bianchi, Bertin.
Cargo
Lunch.
Helmet / Mirror
Yes.
Destination
Woburn, MA in the morning. Waltham, MA in the evening.
Parking
For the bike? In my office.
Cleanup
No.
Amenities
They have electricity, plumbing, heat, a small cafeteria with no food service.
Departure time
From home? I already answered that. From the office? 4:50 to 5:10 PM typically.
Alternative Transportation
I drive if necessary. I could take a commuter train for part of the trip but it wouldn't save much distance or time so I have not done so yet.
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Old 01-24-15, 04:53 PM
  #12  
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I go-pro'd it the other day, and posted high speed version of it on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CLSyQLrxJI

Route::
Road conditions / surfaces: Fully paved, nice roads here (they fix potholes pretty fast)
Traffic: Not bad if I leave around 8, pretty busy before that. In the afternoon I take hillier side roads to avoid the 5:00 traffic.
Environment: In the city / downtown area.
Hills: If I go through a scary tunnel, minimal hills. If I avoid the tunnel (which normally I do), there's a 1 mile 4% climb, and then a nice steep quarter mile hill (maybe 12% at the steepest) up to the building I work in, no matter which way I go.
Frequency: 3-4 times per week
Departure time: 7:30-7:40, depending how many times I hit snooze.

Bike:
Bike name: Diamondback Podium 5 carbon road bike
Cargo: Backpack full of clothes, ramen noodles, and other food I stuff in there
Helmet / Mirror: Helmet always, no mirror

Destination:
Parking: Covered, guarded parking garage
Cleanup: Shower in the company's fitness center
Departure time: 5ish
Alternative Transportation: Gas-hogging truck, or weenie mini van

Last edited by m78596c; 01-24-15 at 04:58 PM. Reason: fixing bold and spacing
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Old 01-24-15, 06:33 PM
  #13  
chephy
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Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

Route:: 4 km (2.5 mi) one way.
Road conditions / surfaces: Generally well paved; only a few stretches with potholes. Most of the route has wide paved shoulders.
Traffic: My working hours are highly irregular, so traffic intensity varies a lot, but even rush hour isn't all that bad. Traffic jams do not exist around here.
Environment: Major suburban/semi-rural roads. 7 traffic lights on the way there, 8 on the way back. The environment is typical "rural being swallowed up by suburban sprawl": industrial areas and big-box retail mixed in with farmers' fields and pockets of nature.
Hills: Total climb 59 meters/just shy of 200 feet on the way there. Similarly, 59 m of downhill on the way back. Luckily, I usually have a tailwind on the way there, which balances it out a bit. And this is a windy place. Once that wind was so strong that going up a pretty steep hill felt required considerably less effort than going down.
Frequency: Very close to 100% (number of days per week varies due to schedule irregularity)
Departure time: Varies between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Bike: Kona Dew City.
Bike name: Still haven't named it!
Cargo: Ortlieb panniers; occasionally backpack.
Helmet / Mirror: Yes helmet (a cheap-o thing from a big box store), no mirror.
Destination:
Parking: Inside, but it's carpeted, so if the roads have snow, I lock the bike up outside to a fence.
Cleanup: There is a shower, but a post-commute clean up is not necessary. It's a short ride. And I can wear my commuting clothes when I work. On cold days, I do blow my nose upon arrival.
Amenities: Well, the shower I never use. Indoor storage when the bike's not messy. A kitchenette with a microwave, a fridge (occasionally stocked by free beer ). A small vending machine with junk food. A room I can use for storage, resting etc.
Departure time: Varies as widely as the departure time from home.
Alternative Transportation: Virtually none. I got a ride in once or twice. And walked once or twice due to en route flats.

Further suggestions welcome.
Time. As in how long the commute takes. Not everyone would like to fill that one out, maybe... but traffic lights are always a good excuse for why it's so high. My ride is about 13-15 minutes on the way there, and maybe 8-12 on the way back, depending on the wind, road conditions etc. It's so short and quick, I don't really bother timing myself. Usually I leave home with half an hour to spare, just to give myself some time to prep for work on the other end.

Last edited by chephy; 01-24-15 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 01-24-15, 07:04 PM
  #14  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by chephy View Post
Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

Route:: 4 km (2.5 mi) one way.
Road conditions / surfaces: Generally well paved; only a few stretches with potholes. Most of the route has wide paved shoulders.
Traffic: My working hours are highly irregular, so traffic intensity varies a lot, but even rush hour isn't all that bad. Traffic jams do not exist around here.
Environment: Major suburban/semi-rural roads. 7 traffic lights on the way there, 8 on the way back. The environment is typical "rural being swallowed up by suburban sprawl": industrial areas and big-box retail mixed in with farmers' fields and pockets of nature...
A while back I posted to this Living Car Free thread, ”How Many Cities…”[have you cycled]

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…An interesting question might be what did you think of those cities for cyling.

Here’s my parochial (North American) list, off the top of my head, roughly in amount of time spent there.
  • Metropolitan Boston: premier (if you know your way around)…
  • Charlottesville, PEI: don’t remember much, but was low traffic
I do remember Charlottesville was easy to enter (circa 1983)
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Old 01-24-15, 08:12 PM
  #15  
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Title: Dark Riding

Route: City with some bike lanes to bike trail to city with no bike lanes to country
Hills: To work is 80% uphill 56' abs (above sea level) to 124 abs - home is obviously easier.
Frequency: varies - dependant on my work schedule
Bike: Huffy Rockcreek (dual suspension)
Bike name:
Cargo: Custom mounted Bell rear pannier rack, Huffy pannier bags, red 15L top bag (approx weight of 25 lbs total).
Helmet:… hmm no.
I will also add that I have a 5 led rear multiflash (rear rack mounted), 2 led rear single flash (currently mounted to side of rack bars), 2 led (white) front constant (handlebar mounted), and Blackburn front super led head light (handlebar mounted).
I have a mirror in my storage - will be adding that tomorrow on left handlebar side.
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Old 01-24-15, 08:30 PM
  #16  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by m78596c View Post
I go-pro'd it the other day, and posted high speed version of it on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CLSyQLrxJI

Route::
Road conditions / surfaces: Fully paved, nice roads here (they fix potholes pretty fast)
Traffic: Not bad if I leave around 8, pretty busy before that. In the afternoon I take hillier side roads to avoid the 5:00 traffic.
Environment: In the city / downtown area.
Hills: If I go through a scary tunnel, minimal hills. If I avoid the tunnel (which normally I do), there's a 1 mile 4% climb, and then a nice steep quarter mile hill (maybe 12% at the steepest) up to the building I work in, no matter which way I go.

Helmet / Mirror: Helmet always, no mirror
Thanks for that video, with a great soundtrack (though FWIW, I’m not a fan of that type of music, but it suited the video well). As I watched it, I thought the Environment was suburban for sure, then when I returned to your post, noted you call it “city / downtown area."

Maybe it was the speed of the playback, and I’m such a mirror maven, but the upcoming traffic made me nervous.

Addendum: I went back and looked some more, and I appeared to have skipped most of the city riding. Also, it looked like you showed two different rides (? to and from) and I caught the apparent suburban segments. When I get a chance, I'll have to return to the urban parts, since city riding is my favorite.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-24-15 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Added Addendum
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Old 01-24-15, 08:36 PM
  #17  
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Route: 3.7 miles one way.

Road conditions / surfaces: Paved roads, mostly arterial routes, with separate bike lanes most of the way. But the bike lanes are often blocked by parked cars, delivery trucks, pedestrians and other shenanigans.

Traffic: 1-2 lanes of cars in each direction, going 15-25mph, often heavy -- it's not unusual for me to keep pace with cars or leave them behind if traffic's slow.

Environment: Urban.

Hills: My route is fairly flat, especially for San Francisco.

Frequency: About 2x a week. Would like to do more but my schedule often doesn't permit it.

Departure time: 8:15ish AM

Bike: My KHS Winner or my Diamondback, which is now converted to a hybrid.

Cargo: Backpack, purse, bike chain, bike cable, occasionally things I need to bring to work or for errands. I put most of this in panniers and wear the backpack.

Helmet / Mirror: Helmet.

Parking: Underground garage that requires an employee badge to get in; to get their badge, employees must go through an FBI background check. The gates are manned by guards and the bike rack is located right behind a guard station and in view of another set of guards.

Cleanup: I don't get super sweaty on my ride, so I usually just change shirts when I arrive.

Amenities: None, really.

Departure time: Around 5:15. I don't ride all the way home, because I can't typically leave early enough to ride the whole way and pick up my daughter at school before 6pm. I sometimes ride to the nearest BART station and then ride the subway to her school. If I can leave work by 5pm, I can sometimes ride a mile down to the next-closest BART station and take the subway from there.

Alternative Transportation: Subway+walking.
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Old 01-24-15, 08:52 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Beth W View Post
Route: 3.7 miles one way.

Road conditions / surfaces: Paved roads, mostly arterial routes, with separate bike lanes most of the way. But the bike lanes are often blocked by parked cars, delivery trucks, pedestrians and other shenanigans.

Traffic: 1-2 lanes of cars in each direction, going 15-25mph, often heavy -- it's not unusual for me to keep pace with cars or leave them behind if traffic's slow…
Well said. It's often controversial about passing and filtering traffic, and that really peeves one radio talk show host in Boston who occasionally rants against cyclists, and I called him about that.

Originally Posted by Beth W View Post
Parking: Underground garage that requires an employee badge to get in; to get their badge, employees must go through an FBI background check. The gates are manned by guards and the bike rack is located right behind a guard station and in view of another set of guards…
Do they have g-u-n-s? Those are about the only circumstances where I would leave my CF bike away from my immediate work area.
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Old 01-24-15, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Well said. It's often controversial about passing and filtering traffic, and that really peeves one radio talk show host in Boston who occasionally rants against cyclists, and I called him about that.
Really? Even in separated bike lanes? If I'm in a dedicated lane I don't see any reason why I should go slower just to make the drivers (or talk show hosts) happy.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Do they have g-u-n-s? Those are about the only circumstances where I would leave my CF bike away from my immediate work area.
I believe some of the guards (some are US Marshals) do have firearms. Some of the folks who park in that bike rack don't even bother to lock their bikes, but I tend to -- it's still San Francisco and I've already had one bike stolen, so I'm paranoid.
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Old 01-24-15, 09:06 PM
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I don't lock my bike at work either, being a gated, guarded truck terminal with literally 100's of security cameras, if someone decided to steal my bike they would be caught. Besides that, there's new bikes, electronics, ect. ect. by the pallet that would be easier and more profitable to steal.
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Old 01-24-15, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
As I watched it, I thought the Environment was suburban for sure, then when I returned to your post, noted you call it “city / downtown area."
I guess it is about half suburban, then half downtown/city as I get closer to work. I live in Chattanooga, not exactly a big city, so the downtown area is not really as built up as other cities. The first half was to work, the second half was back, I just recorded both since I take a different way home because of the extra traffic.

I did have a mirror for a while, but I got rid of it because I guess if someone's going to hit me from behind, there's not much I can do about it (maybe I'm wrong?). But I think having a mirror might take my focus away from what's ahead more than I want.
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Old 01-24-15, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Beth W View Post
Really? Even in separated bike lanes? If I'm in a dedicated lane I don't see any reason why I should go slower just to make the drivers (or talk show hosts) happy.

I believe some of the guards (some are US Marshals) do have firearms. Some of the folks who park in that bike rack don't even bother to lock their bikes, but I tend to -- it's still San Francisco and I've already had one bike stolen, so I'm paranoid.
Sorry, but I missed that you rode “with separate bike lanes most of the way.” However, “But the bike lanes are often blocked by parked cars, delivery trucks, pedestrians and other shenanigans.” so I presumed you took to the streets. Most of my bike lanes are on the street, marked only by a white line, and sometimes disappear at intersections, requiring filtering. (A fun aspect of reading these commuter descriptions is trying to visualize them compared to my own.)

My question about firearms was rhetorical.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-24-15 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Corrected a typo, and added parenthetical statement
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Old 01-24-15, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by m78596c View Post
I guess it is about half suburban, then half downtown/city as I get closer to work. I live in Chattanooga, not exactly a big city, so the downtown area is not really as built up as other cities. The first half was to work, the second half was back, I just recorded both since I take a different way home because of the extra traffic.

I did have a mirror for a while, but I got rid of it because I guess if someone's going to hit me from behind, there's not much I can do about it (maybe I'm wrong?). But I think having a mirror might take my focus away from what's ahead more than I want.
I was hit from behind on a peaceful street so likely I was not monitoring from behind as frequently as otherwise. I'm glad though I did not watch it in my mirror, though maybe could have avoided it. I don't find the mirror distracting, but quite reassuring, and I wear both left and right.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-24-15 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 01-24-15, 09:29 PM
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Title: Bloomsburg to Danville. 19 months

Route: Direct route 10.6 miles each way. Usual route 12 miles; more in the summer depending on time.
Road conditions / surfaces: Side streets through town. Secondary road that parallels main road and then a quiet neighborhood that connects to my workplace via a very short MUP.
Traffic: Not much in the morning. In the afternoon most traffic is close to work then it thins out until I get back to my town.
Environment: Small town, rural and ending at a large campus.
Hills: Gradual uphill the last 7 miles with a couple small climbs.
Frequency: Winter - whenever possible (no studded tires). The rest of the year 99% riding.
Departure time: 6:15am

Bike: 2015 Trek 520 Disc with full fenders.
Cargo: One Ortlieb back roller classic with lunch, work clothes, Crocs to walk from bike to office and rain coat. Ortlieb handlebar bag with wallet, keys, personal items that I used to carry in a purse when I was a car commuter.
Helmet / Mirror: Helmet. I still haven't decided what type of mirror to use on the new bike.

Destination:
Parking: Parking garage bike rack.
Cleanup: Change clothes.
Amenities: Locker room to change. Shower available if needed. Food court, C-store, cafe, Subway.
Departure time: 4:30PM

Alternative Transportation: Drive

Last edited by bloomrae; 01-24-15 at 09:46 PM. Reason: More info.
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Old 01-24-15, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I was hit from behind on a peaceful street so likely I was not monitoring from behind as frequently as otherwise. I'm glad though I did not watch it in my mirror, though maybe could have avoided it. I don't find the mirror distracting, but quite reassuring, and I wear both left and right.
Glad you didn't get hurt. Even though I don't have a mirror, I have sort of developed a decent sense of when someone is about to pass without leaving much room, versus when they are giving space. I guess it sounds different..and granted it's probably like a 1 second warning, not nearly as good as a mirror. Whenever I hear that sound though, I do a little swerve toward the edge of the road, if it's safe, and tuck my elbow in. I have no idea if that actually makes me any safer, but it's what I do.

Also, as a side note..I figured out something useful about those reflective leg band things (supposed to be for keeping your pant leg from your chainring). If you wear one on your left leg, it must make you appear further to the left, for someone looking from behind. As soon as I started wearing one of those on my left leg, I started getting buzzed a LOT less often.

I would LOVE to figure out how to get some LED / laser type thing to shine a colorful light down on the road, a foot or so to my left. If someone could figure out how to do that, I think cars would give more room.
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