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-   -   2019! The “How was your commute?” thread! (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1163199)

jade408 01-25-19 09:20 PM

First time commuter
 
Its been a rough few months for me and biking. I’ve hardly ridden in the past 6 months after a series of mishapps and knee issues.

Basically I twisted my knee and reaggravated it and it took forever to heal which curb weekend errand runs.

This year I retriggered the knee issues and I have been waiting to feel normal. I also started a new job just over 4 miles away and a two seat transit ride, so it was going to be an ideal bike commute.

This week I was feeling about 75%, the weather dried up so I thought it was time to give it a go. First ride over 2 miles on my bike since October. I had done a bike share e-bike in November-ish. But you know pedal assist is different. And my knee issues have blocked me from exercising.

So I took off for work and it was fine. Other than a few twinges in the last mile, my knee felt fine! The way home was similar, but getting back to pedaling will help me with those weakened stabalizer muscles. I am not ready to try spin class and bike home, but it was nice to get an hour of pedaling in today. I will likely alternate biking and transit for a little bit so I can plot tbe workout classes but happy to be back into an active commute. And this is the first time a bike commute is the best choice - and I can do it the whole way.

mgw4jc 01-28-19 07:28 AM

30F this morning when I left. I left a little late and then had a long wait for a left hand turn. This made for a bit of a time crunch so I decided to take my shorter, slightly more traffic route in. It wasn't too bad and I got to work on time.

The MUP that is right by my office can make my route nicer traffic and distance wise. But it just has so many wet spots on it that I don't like it. It hasn't rained since Thursday morning but there are half a dozen places where water is just running across the MUP. Not deep, but enough to kick up a spray. And when it's cold enough I worry about those being icy. I'm not sure if something could be done about the drainage or what there.

Tundra_Man 01-28-19 08:42 AM

Got up early to move the 1/2" of snow that fell last night off my driveway. That's not much snow, but with the projected temps it was going to turn into a sheet of ice if I didn't get it off the pavement, especially once it got driven on a couple times.

Cold morning. 1F with a 25 mph headwind which made for a -22F wind chill. The temp didn't bother me as much as the resistance. The combination of resistance created by the wind, snow and my 50 lbs winter bike made me work really hard this morning to average 7 mph. I arrived at work feeling like I wanted to curl up in a fetal ball.

This is going to be a tough week. Today is the warmest day in the forecast until Saturday. The temps are supposed to drop this evening and the high the rest of the week will be below zero. And to make matters worse, the wind is actually supposed to increase. This morning may have been the easiest ride in all week.

Wednesday morning is supposed to be -22F with a -55 wind chill. My wife is already lobbying for me to work remotely that day. I might bite the bullet and do it.

HardyWeinberg 01-28-19 09:05 AM

I am not going in until after lunch today but I hope that with the new brake pads it will be easier to stop in certain locations...

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1d629b1171.jpg

wphamilton 01-28-19 09:49 AM

I was slow this morning, not from the weather but my legs felt torched, and knees weak. I think that I blame my 10 mile run on Sunday, which though slow was 2 or 3 more than my usual. I'm hoping that a few easy commutes will be enough recovery without skipping some of my weekly miles, but at near 60 I'm finding that line harder to define.

madpogue 01-28-19 11:27 AM


Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg (Post 20767821)
I am not going in until after lunch today but I hope that with the new brake pads it will be easier to stop in certain locations...

Had to look at that photo a few times before it became evident what it is. Yeah, those old pads were... uh... a little past the "use by date".

And you might want to re-check your toe-in. Yeah, there's supposed to be some, but those look a little extreme. 'Course, if they worked for you, right down to that point, maybe they were just right.

I sat the fence on the commute today. Over half the dept. is telecommuting. I checked the traffic cams and the bus arrival times, and decided it would be just as quick to take the bus and walk from the stop. Also saves me from cleaning off the bike tonight.

esmith2039 01-28-19 01:03 PM

40 degrees and quite the tailwind! Unfortunately that tailwind has dropped the temp by 20 degrees since I got to work. Going to be a real bugger on the way home. Supposed to keep dropping till Wednesday and bottoming out in the negatives. Supposed to rebound to the 50's this weekend.

robertorolfo 01-28-19 03:57 PM


Originally Posted by jade408 (Post 20764567)
So I took off for work and it was fine. Other than a few twinges in the last mile, my knee felt fine! The way home was similar, but getting back to pedaling will help me with those weakened stabalizer muscles.

Riding is good rehab for some knee issues, assuming you aren't feeling any pain, so just make sure you build slowly buy surely.

@HardyWeinberg, those pads are pretty awesome. Now that is properly used!

HardyWeinberg 01-28-19 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by madpogue (Post 20768064)
And you might want to re-check your toe-in. Yeah, there's supposed to be some, but those look a little extreme. 'Course, if they worked for you, right down to that point, maybe they were just right.

It's about the level I need to avoid squeal. I don't know how much rim/brake squeal is due to the specific rim, the specific fork, the combination of the two, all the other things that can be vibrating, but anyway, that is the amount of toe-in that keeps my braking quiet...

noglider 01-28-19 05:44 PM

I went to a job interview today, so I can call that a commute. My previous job ended on December 14, so it had been a while. It was cold and windy. The interview was downtown, a neighborhood I've always found invigorating and intriguing, and I've never worked there. I decided to take Broadway even though it's not the quickest route. That turned out to be a good decision. Traffic on Broadway in that section is congested, and has only two forward lanes. One is for regular traffic, the other for buses only. The bus lane was mostly clear, so I took that, and I zoomed past regular traffic. When a bus came up behind me, I pulled into the regular lane and let the bus in. That worked fine. I think I had a tailwind, and I think the route was slightly downhill, so it seemed easy. I took Citi Bike which is a fleet of 50-pound monster bikes, built to stand abuse.

The interview went very well, I think. This is my third interview with the company; the first two were on the phone.

When docking the bike, I noticed the station had five e-bikes. Citi Bike introduced their e-bikes recently, and I haven't had a chance to try one. Seeing five all at once was unusual, and I wondered if I would get a chance to try one when my interview was done.

Well, there weren't five, but at least there was one for me. And it was fun. It's a little unnerving to feel the bike surge forward when I pedal, because the speed feels inexplicable. But I could definitely get used to it. Power comes on only when you pedal, and there is no throttle. When coasting, the bike slows down a lot. Maybe there is friction in the electric drivetrain? I can't understand it. There was one situation where I wasn't looking ahead far enough because I wasn't anticipating my own speed, but that's another thing to get used to. I took the river path home, and the wind on the river was fierce. This time I had a headwind, and it was cold.

I track all of my rides with ridewithgps, so I created an entry for a new bike (Cit-E-Bike), because if ever compare average speeds, I don't want it to seem like I hit those speeds with my legs alone. It shows that I spent the most time at 16 mph, and that is not possible with a regular Citi Bike, AND I had a headwind.

madpogue 01-28-19 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg (Post 20768616)
It's about the level I need to avoid squeal. I don't know how much rim/brake squeal is due to the specific rim, the specific fork, the combination of the two, all the other things that can be vibrating, but anyway, that is the amount of toe-in that keeps my braking quiet...

I have noticed those salmon Kool-Stops are quite finicky wrt position and noise. Seems like they'll squeal even if they're off relative to the vertical "profile" of the rim wall. I switched wheels to a set with non-studded tires for a few days a couple weeks ago, and those rim walls had a slightly different angle. It was ear-splitting!

noglider 01-28-19 05:49 PM

@jade408, what is your knee diagnosis? Some problems are caused by misalignment. Cleats can help keep your knees aligned. All of my bikes have SPD pedals so I can ride aligned.

jade408 01-28-19 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 20768727)
@jade408, what is your knee diagnosis? Some problems are caused by misalignment. Cleats can help keep your knees aligned. All of my bikes have SPD pedals so I can ride aligned.

I twisted my knee over the summer and reaggrevated it on a hike during a recent vacation. I thought I was all healed but definitely not.

The lingering pain I have is aggravated at certain angles, particularly climbing up and down stairs. (And going up a steep hill on a bike).

Of course during my cacation my hotel my hotel only had stairs so I didn’t get to take a break from that movement and then that caused me to walk weirdly to protect my knee. And that means weakness around my knee and in my quads.

robertorolfo 01-28-19 06:28 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 20768717)
Well, there weren't five, but at least there was one for me. And it was fun. It's a little unnerving to feel the bike surge forward when I pedal, because the speed feels inexplicable. But I could definitely get used to it. Power comes on only when you pedal, and there is no throttle. When coasting, the bike slows down a lot. Maybe there is friction in the electric drivetrain? I can't understand it. There was one situation where I wasn't looking ahead far enough because I wasn't anticipating my own speed, but that's another thing to get used to.

I know this is a topic for another thread, but that's what worries me about these bikes. If it caught you out for a second, and you are an experienced rider with knowledge of the city, it scares me to think about inexperienced riders and confused people.

I've only seen one of the E-Citi bikes in use (some guy on the bridge that I thought was a hero until I saw he was on an electric version), and if I walk by a dock I always try to check out how many are available. Normally there are none, and only occasionally do I see more than one.

noglider 01-28-19 06:52 PM

@robertorolfo, I'm not that worried. Everything takes a little getting used to.

They sent me a satisfaction survey after I docked. One of the questions was whether it was too powerful. I said no.

I wonder if people ride this bike and don't notice. Or if some notice their improved speed and figure it's just a good day. Hmm, maybe not, because you have to hit the power button, or at least I think you do.

I don't see these bikes succeeding if they don't put a charging connector into every dock. As I understand it, the maintenance crew has to take the bike out and charge it somewhere else and then put it back.

arsprod 01-29-19 07:06 AM

Needed to drive yesterday to drop off some stuff and looks like I won't be riding the rest of the week. Today it's 12 with -3 windchill. It's not horrible but winds are horrible. Tomorrow's high is predicted -3 with -30 to -40. I'm nuts but not stupid!

mgw4jc 01-29-19 07:34 AM


Originally Posted by Tundra_Man (Post 20767791)
Wednesday morning is supposed to be -22F with a -55 wind chill. My wife is already lobbying for me to work remotely that day. I might bite the bullet and do it.

I agree with your wife!

Sprinkles on the way in this morning. Not really enough to make anything wet though. More rain coming today, but looks to stop before quitting time.
We aren't getting anything close to what you northern folk are getting slammed with. Polar Vortex here means low 20s for a couple of mornings and highs in the mid 40s. We've had that off and on here for the past few weeks.

I stopped at the grocery store for some lunch and snack supplies on the way to work. Somehow a donut made its way into my bike bag too. But I knew what to do with it.

wphamilton 01-29-19 08:52 AM

Last mile and a half was in the 46-12 gear after the cable slipped the clamp. Or the cable ferrule slipped into the cable stop somehow, not sure but the cable was slack and seemed solidly clamped when I got here. I didn't want to stop and fool with it in the rain. I'll probably need to before going home though since we're expecting some ice and snow possibly.

Tundra_Man 01-29-19 09:16 AM

This morning the temp was -9F with a -30F+ wind chill. Winds were blowing hard, and of course I had to ride straight into them. I opted to re-arrange my work location so I only had a 4 mile route. Nice to have that flexibility. Took 40 minutes to ride the 4 miles in.

A half mile into the ride my goggles started to ice badly.
At a mile my left foot felt a little loose in the boot, and I'd noticed my shoelace had come undone, but I really didn't want to take off my gloves to re-tie them so I decided to just live with it.
At a mile and a half, my foot accidentally brushed my front fender, which caused one of the zip ties I use to hold the fender stays to the fork (no eyelets) to snap like a twig. I guess it got really brittle in the cold. So the rest of the ride in my fender was rattling.
At two miles my goggles had iced to the point where I couldn't see anything through them. I tried scraping the ice off the inside, but it wasn't going to budge. So I just pulled my goggles off and rode the last half of the commute with exposed eyes. My tears kept freezing and my eyes would stick together when I blink.
At three miles out my other shoelace on my right boot came untied. But there was no stopping at this point.
At 100 yards out my goggles had cleared up enough that I put them back on for this photo:

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...380880d34d.jpg

This morning was as warm as it's going to get. Temps are supposed to start falling. By the time I ride home tonight it's supposed to be -15F, but at least I'll get a tailwind. Schools have announced they're letting out two hours early today in anticipation of the falling temps.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be well into the -20s before accounting for the wind. Pretty sure they're going to cancel school. The city transit system has announced free fares on Wednesday, so if I don't stay home and work remotely, I may ride my bike a mile to the bus stop, put my bike on the rack and then ride the bus downtown. From there it's only about 5 blocks to the client location. But if I do this I'll probably have to get up an hour early to make the bus that would get me to work on time.

madpogue 01-29-19 10:13 AM

Yeah, zip ties and low temps are a no-go. I had to replace a block heater cord on my truck when it was this cold a couple years ago. Normally it's zip-tied to the frame, but every time I wrapped one around, it just snapped. Had to use twine "for the duration". Come to think of it, a few feet of twine would be a good thing to have squirreled away in one's seat bag.

How's your suspension fork working in this weather?

Tundra_Man 01-29-19 10:32 AM


Originally Posted by madpogue (Post 20769562)
How's your suspension fork working in this weather?

I didn't really notice a problem with that, but then again I didn't really do anything requiring a suspension fork.

I keep the springs set as tight as they will go. If this fork had a lockout I would just leave it on. I've actually considered replacing the fork with a rigid one, as in certain temps this one likes to squeak.

robertorolfo 01-29-19 12:53 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 20768835)
@robertorolfo, I'm not that worried. Everything takes a little getting used to..
I don't see these bikes succeeding if they don't put a charging connector into every dock. As I understand it, the maintenance crew has to take the bike out and charge it somewhere else and then put it back.

I think we are back to the theme of you trusting the average Joe/Jane way more than I do. What kind of brakes do the E-Citi bikes have?

And I didn't know that about the charging. I was actually wondering how they got charged (I thought there might have been something integrated into the dock, or perhaps the pedaling and/or coasting helped to regenerate some energy).

noglider 01-29-19 01:10 PM

Regenerative braking makes no sense on a bike. It would be too expensive and much too heavy, and the gains would be tiny.

The docks might one day all have charging ports, but last I heard, no dock has one. That could have changed.

My speed lingered at 16 mph for a very long time, so it got me wondering if there is a speed limiter. I didn't feel the motor stop helping me when I was cruising, so maybe not. Further tests are needed. ;)

I don't completely trust Joe and Jane Average. The most dangerous instrument they use commonly is an SUV, and their records are not great, but an e-bike does a lot less damage. I would like to see speed limiters on e-bikes, but enforcement is impossible.

robertorolfo 01-29-19 01:17 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 20769872)
Regenerative braking makes no sense on a bike. It would be too expensive and much too heavy, and the gains would be tiny.
The docks might one day all have charging ports, but last I heard, no dock has one. That could have changed.
My speed lingered at 16 mph for a very long time, so it got me wondering if there is a speed limiter. I didn't feel the motor stop helping me when I was cruising, so maybe not. Further tests are needed. ;)
I don't completely trust Joe and Jane Average. The most dangerous instrument they use commonly is an SUV, and their records are not great, but an e-bike does a lot less damage. I would like to see speed limiters on e-bikes, but enforcement is impossible.

I can only imagine them having to re-do all of the docking stations, after they went through so much effort to install them initially.

Agreed about motor vehicles being more dangerous, but they won't be sharing the bike lanes with us, and they generally seem to follow some traffic patterns.

I definitely agree that some sort of rules and enforcement is needed. The existing situation is already bad enough with all the electric powered stuff wizzing around haplessly in the bike lanes.

Darth Lefty 01-30-19 12:21 AM

Came upon a group of day hiking retirees on the dog walking path along the MUP. Their behavior makes me remember I need a bear bell... for humans. Maybe a Christmas sleigh bell.


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