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2019! The “How was your commute?” thread!

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2019! The “How was your commute?” thread!

Old 04-25-19, 01:40 PM
  #826  
jade408
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So I am just dipping my toe into commuting. At the beginning of the year I started a new job about 4.5 miles away. Perfect for a bike commute. And it has been rainy all year and I am getting over a knee strain. Finally it started to clear up and my bike got stolen.

Now waiting for my new custom bike - basically the dream commuter. And I am riding a semi-commute friendly updated vintage mixte with drop bars, derailleur, and a basket.

So a few lessons learned so far after a few days commuting last week, and this week.

1. I don't really like dealing with a derailleur on my commute - gotta think more about my outfit.
2. Drop bars are OK if setup high enough to be commute friendly, but make you ride differently

I've also been trying to figure out why my commute feels kinda like a workout. So yes, I haven't been biking much in the past 6 months for a myriad of reasons. But I have been doing spin classes lately, so that is helping. And today I finally figured it out.

So after the first 1/2 mile give or take on my commute, the route is just a bit uphill. Not a proper incline, but not flat either. So this means it is 4 miles of nonstop pedaling. You can't actually coast at all. Try it for a minute and you basically just stop due to the ever so slight incline. Now it all makes sense. No coasting for me....
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Old 04-26-19, 02:11 AM
  #827  
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shaved another second from that one segment in my commute i want to get KOM on putting me on 34th place, so commute was great. yesterday shaved off 4 seconds so i went from 127th to 47th. as i was about to get to that segment realized i had completely empty bikepath which would allow me to take a much wider arc into the turn while accelerating, so i went for it.

still have not gotten lucky with the traffic lights at the end of the segment so at last bit i have to brake which costs me a bit, although i've taken to braking later and harder. think under the right conditions i can shave off those 10 seconds , just gotta get lucky with various factors
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Old 04-26-19, 06:52 AM
  #828  
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Nice ride in this morning. I felt a sprinkle as I left the neighborhood, but that cleared quickly and even had sunshine for the second half. More chances for rain later today.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:06 AM
  #829  
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Landscaping Crew Broke My Spoke!

My facility has a weekly landscaping crew that comes in to mow, edge and blow things clean. Our bike rack borders the lawn, and the concrete pad into which the rack was installed does not extend far enough to prevent about 18" of bike overhang onto the grass.

Naturally, the workers move the bikes to do a complete job, and this has resulted in some minor scuffing and things on my bike, which I was willing to ignore.

That is until last night, when I came out to find that a spoke had been sheared off at the nipple where my lock chain passed through the front wheel.

I showed a photo the facility manager this morning and asked that we handle this separately. She sent a message to the landscaping company instructing them to no longer touch bikes while doing their work. She also instructed her team to come up with a solution to extend the concrete pad to prevent this in the future.

EDIT: It was a cyclocross wheel with disc rotors, so the broken spoke didn't affect the ride home at all.

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Old 04-26-19, 09:14 AM
  #830  
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45F, sunny. Fastest morning ride EVER, but I forgot to hit 'start' on Strava so just precisely how much faster will have to go unrecorded...
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Old 04-26-19, 09:16 AM
  #831  
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@jade408 if you can resist the urge to shift, find a gear that’s comfortable and doesn’t work you too hard and stick to it for a while. It’ll also improve your ability to sense when you’re on a false flat. Indiana is “flat” but the roads are not. I don’t know what the roads are like elsewhere. I’m posting mobile so can’t see your location if you have it posted. 4.5 miles is a sweet commute.
Edit: a good headwind will also keep your feet moving.
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Old 04-26-19, 09:22 AM
  #832  
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I woke up yesterday morning with a sore foot, sat on the bike and put my foot on the pedal and my foot said we’re not riding today. It’s better today but I’m working from home. I ain’t stressin’ it as Wednesday made for 10 consecutive days and over 250 miles on the bike.
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Old 04-26-19, 10:27 AM
  #833  
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Got lucky and made the green light on the one intersection that has a long red cycle. Also a little windy, but I was drilling it!
Got a little too sweaty though and had to hang around outside until I dried off before changing into my office clothes.
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Old 04-26-19, 10:08 PM
  #834  
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Sore incision today. The trike is feeling slow too which just added to my frustration. 7-8 mph! Even though I can tell I'm putting more power out since before my surgery, when I was doing 9 on my MTB and 12 roadie. I'm looking for things to adjust and so far haven't found a smoking gun. Looking at the Bentrider forums, it seems like they're all riding around at max pressure so seems like a familiar problem. Thankfully it's been nice rides the last two days.

Morning edit - there were teenagers jumping off the low bridge. Looked like they were having a great time. There used to be two great rope swings along this section but the SRA decided to cut their trees down for safety.
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Old 04-29-19, 07:53 AM
  #835  
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Back to the Monday. Great weather this morning. Some wind, but never bothersome. Last Friday afternoon was super windy and left tree debris everywhere. The MUP still had some twigs and branches this morning, but mostly small stuff.
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Old 04-29-19, 09:03 AM
  #836  
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Stiff and sore this morning, so the first tenth of a mile with its 15 foot climb left me feeling like I should see a lot more scenery from up top. The next quarter mile was downhill, so things got better.

Comfortable riding weather, not too cold and not too hot. A few locust trees were blooming, but thank goodness they have flowers that attract pollinators instead of blasting pollen into my sinuses and eyes. Oh yes, and the blackberries are blooming, too. Since I put up most of my winter cycling clothes this weekend, I hope I can weather the blackberry winter that's due next.
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Old 04-29-19, 10:33 AM
  #837  
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I finally thought to air up the tires in the trike and they were at 20 psi. Pumped up to 80 and all the speed and handling problems went away. Did no favors for the ride quality, though!

Got a new heart rate strap but arrived at work showing zero mileage and time on Strava, wth
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Old 04-30-19, 06:35 AM
  #838  
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At 57 it started out a little cool for short sleeves, but I warmed up fine. The spring days continue, with cool mornings and warm afternoons. Though yesterday it stayed below 70 and was really nice for the ride home.

Both yesterday morning and today, the same minivan honked while passing me. A constant honk the whole time they pass. Neither time were they terribly inconvenienced and passed quickly and safely, just had to lay on the horn while doing so. Whatever.
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Old 04-30-19, 07:21 AM
  #839  
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Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
At 57 it started out a little cool for short sleeves, but I warmed up fine. The spring days continue, with cool mornings and warm afternoons. Though yesterday it stayed below 70 and was really nice for the ride home.

Both yesterday morning and today, the same minivan honked while passing me. A constant honk the whole time they pass. Neither time were they terribly inconvenienced and passed quickly and safely, just had to lay on the horn while doing so. Whatever.
There are a lot of people in my locale who believe it’s considered etiquette to honk at cyclists as they pass, it’s supposed to be some sort of courtesy, like a warning. My grandparents were that way. I think they don’t realize it’s not only useless but startling, but it’s ignorance. I have spoken to people since I started bike commuting who believed that cycling in the road was illegal.
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Old 04-30-19, 08:57 AM
  #840  
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37F, sunny
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Old 04-30-19, 09:34 AM
  #841  
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Some of the people I work with have been detailed to work in Hawaii or other Pacific islands in the past. You ask them what it was like, and they'll tell you, "Just another perfect day in paradise."

That was my ride today. Not too hot, not too cold, traffic was well behaved, wind wasn't a factor. Just another perfect day in paradise.
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Old 04-30-19, 03:43 PM
  #842  
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Been a little extra hectic around here lately, and maybe it's all the added commuting traffic that spring brings about.

The other night I had a somewhat close call on the bridge when a jogger, dressed in all black, seemed to pop out from the shadows headed toward me. I wasn't going particularly fast (even if that section is downhill), but after breaking pretty hard in reaction to her initial appearance, I realized my back wheel had actually lifted slightly. It was probably the worst possible spot for that type of situation (one of the few spots that isn't well lit, and there is a little corner that obscures your view), and the situation was further exacerbated by some incredibly bright front lights on other bikes.

Yes, we need to talk about lights, and this misconstrued notion that brighter is always better. It's not. There is a reason lights are supposed to be aimed at the ground. Blinding oncoming traffic is not good. Period.

Last night I witnessed what had to be the most insane and stupid move I've seen in the past 5 years, and that's saying something. Some dude on a mountain bike rides right through a red light, slicing through a crosswalk with pedestrians and then passing in front of a cab and a city bus. Now this is a one way street (Lexington Ave), with 3 or 4 lanes of traffic all going the same way. So even if this guy was able to calculate the timing just right to squeeze in front of the bus (which wasn't going fast, 10mph at most, but he passed about 3 feet in front of it), he had no idea what was coming behind the bus. If a car, motorcycle, or bike was passing the bus (very possible in that situation), it would have completely plowed into him. It was truly incredible how dumb this guy was (and no, he wasn't running from the cops or something).

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I finally thought to air up the tires in the trike and they were at 20 psi. Pumped up to 80 and all the speed and handling problems went away. Did no favors for the ride quality, though!
Good to hear that, and not surprising since the difference between 20 psi and 80 is pretty huge.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:41 AM
  #843  
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I saw a fellow on a standing elliptical scooter/bike kind of thing this morning. I turned into his direction as he passed, and stayed behind him for 1/4 mile or so. He was moving pretty well up a slight grade, maybe 15 mph? Impressive. Anyway, that was a bit different.

60 degrees with a light East wind. Pleasant ride.
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Old 05-01-19, 06:20 AM
  #844  
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Hmm. I'm at my office, so I must have ridden my bike this morning. My clothes are dry, so I guess it wasn't raining. My hands are clean, so evidently I didn't have any mechanical issues. All indicators are that I had a good commute this morning. All I really remember, though, is that I had a hard time getting myself out of bed.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:55 AM
  #845  
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Overcast with a bit of wind here and there. A nice ride in though. I've taken a longer 15 mile route all three morning so far this week. Assuming nothing interrupts the rest of the week, I should hit 140 miles, the highest in a long time.

I caught up to 2 ladies on one of the MUPs out for a bike ride. Pretty rare for me to see other cyclists, especially on the morning ride. I gave the "on your left" warning and said, "Good Morning" as I went by.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:06 AM
  #846  
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46F and sunny. Tried 2 shirts this morning (short sleeve and long sleeve) rather than short sleeve plus coat in am and long sleeve in pm.

I was the first person at work, so locked out since I have stopped carrying keys. Didn't have to wait long though.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:32 AM
  #847  
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between a spring break trip to hawaii, then a savage gout attack last week, and then torrential rains the past two days, it's been 2.5 weeks since my last bike commute.

but that all changed this morning!!!!!!! 50 with light drizzle and light winds. it was puddle city on the MUP given the 8,000 inches of rain we got over the past several days. some nearly a foot deep.

my gouty toe is still a little sore from the attack, but i got through the 8 mile ride without too much discomfort.

now that the attack itself is over and my foot isn't swollen up like a balloon anymore, i think the use and movement of the joint is actually good for it. get things moving again.

extended breaks from riding really make me realize how much i appreciate my bike commuting lifestyle and how i should never take it for granted.

it's great medicine for the mind, body, and soul.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:02 AM
  #848  
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Two great days of riding (mon & Tues) driving today wish i wasn't but after being up late it felt good to sleep in a little.

Have to do some errands after work so driving just seemed the best way to go.

I don't like Wednesday breaking my momentum but I do feel refreshed on Thursday and Friday with a small break.
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Old 05-01-19, 02:09 PM
  #849  
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No commuting today, but rollin’ nonetheless :-)



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Old 05-01-19, 05:16 PM
  #850  
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Well, I'm back. Sorta. I took a week long hiatus from the internet after my surgery to try and focus more on my recovery. But here's part of the story for anyone interested:

Wednesday morning of the surgery we had to be at the hospital by 5 AM. I decided to ride my bicycle there simply because I had never heard of anyone riding a bicycle to an open heart surgery appointment. My son decided to ride with me. My wife drove my truck and hauled the bikes home afterwards.

Surgery was at 7. By the time they had me prepped and in the waiting area I was feeling pretty anxious. I said "goodbye" to my family and they wheeled me into the OR. The last thing I remember is expressing my nervousness to the staff who were making preparations. They assured me I would be completely unconscious and that everything would be fine. They were right. Whatever they hit me with worked so good that I can't even remember them sedating me.

I woke up around noon and my breathing tube was already out. Apparently I was breathing so well on my own that I was fighting against the tube to get air, so they pulled it out extremely early. I don't remember much until they moved me into a chair around 4 PM. The move was excruciating. Family came back to visit that evening, after which they moved me back into bed for the night which was even more excruciating.

About 2 AM Thursday all of the heavy anesthetic finally wore off and the pain got really bad. The next 24 hours or so was pretty ugly, to the point where if they had placed a euthanasia form in front of me I would have gladly signed it. They had to give me morphine three or four times during this time on top of the Hydrocodone and frankly I couldn't sense that it made any difference. I went for a couple of walks, I think the first was 100 feet and the second was maybe 150 feet. Both walks had me breathing hard and tired me out to the point where I had to take a nap afterwards.

Thankfully by Friday I was much improved. The catheter came out which made me feel way better, especially when moving. I walked about 1200 feet total throughout the day in about five different sessions. I was still pushing a wheelchair for balance and had to have a nurse carry the case for my chest tube, but I was becoming much more mobile.

Saturday I was able to stand up and sit down in a chair unassisted. I still needed help getting in and out of bed due to the inability to use my arms. The chest tube came out late that morning (feels really weird) and at that point I could walk by myself without a nurse. I could also now use the bathroom any time I wanted without calling for help. I just had to roll my IV tower with me. I took advantage of this new freedom and walked tons of laps around the floor. They had calculated that each lap was 225 feet. I pushed myself to make 24 laps throughout the day, for right about a mile.

Sunday found more improvement. I walked a total of 47 laps (2 miles) and set a new hospital record. The only thing holding me back from getting discharged was they couldn't get my blood to thin.

Monday my blood was still too thick, but they decided to send me home anyway. I have to give myself shots in the abdomen until my blood is thin enough, which isn't awful but not ideal either. I made it home and spent the afternoon napping. Unfortunately by Monday night it was also obvious that I had caught a cold, which sucked. Coughing and a freshly split sternum are a very painful combination. To compound things, I was adamant about coming home without any narcotic pain killers, so I was left with only Tylenol to keep the pain in check.

Tuesday was rather rough with the cold in full swing, and being unable to find a comfortable sleeping position. I still managed to get out and walk two miles. I made it through the day and Tuesday night I was exhausted enough that I slept well.

So here I am typing this on Wednesday morning. I have a long recovery road in front of me, but at the same time it is somewhat amazing to look at how far I've come and think that a week ago I was in the middle of open heart surgery.

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