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

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

Old 12-06-19, 11:46 AM
  #1801  
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Today was "early minimum" for the kindergartners and so I rode with my kid to his school. This was not the cute experience you might imagine... he's been frustrating. He didn't want to go, he wanted to be driven the 1/3 mile. He's been riding for over a year but he's really timid, riding with his feet. He never seems to have his pedals set right for braking or setting off - not sure if a hand brake and freewheel would make it better or just scare him off for a while. He won't go fast enough downhill to keep himself upright. He rides on the sidewalk, which is fine, he's five, but he hugs the yards and is always running off into grass and rocks and hedges and signs, not the gutter where he would be ok. Right before he got to the school entrance he slowed down going through a gutter and then fell off the hard curb that's there to keep the dropoff queue from parking on the sidewalk. Since he's been in kindergarten I think he has hardly ridden at all. He's in school in the midday, the nanny keeps the kids inside in the afternoon, I get home after dark, weekends we are always off on a family activity.
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Old 12-06-19, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
With yesterday's ride home I rolled over 5,000 miles for the year. I looked back and saw that I did not ride any miles that were not with a purpose to get somewhere. In fact, the only non-commute ride I did was at lunch one day to a dentist's office about 4 miles away.

Happy Friday commuting! I left early and went to the gym this morning. I kind of like the quiet, dark roads at 6:15am.

And the best bonus so far today - Krispy Kremes in the kitchen! Is it okay if I just take a whole box to my desk?
congrats on making the big 5000 mile mark. I am trying to this year as well. I rode 18.5 this morning and my wife is coming to pick me up because we have somewhere to be tonight. I almost got enough miles as if I had ridden both directions.

this December might be hard to make it for me. I should have ridden more during the summer. bummed
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Old 12-07-19, 02:40 PM
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I put a dropper on my mountain bike, which also happens to be my commuter bike. To keep this commuter-relevant, I've seen that cargo bikes have lately been using dropper posts, not for any fancy stunting, but because it allows you to flat-foot the bike and adjust it easily to different people. The Surly Big Easy comes with a dropper and the BFD has ports for internal routing. A few months ago I watched my wife on her town bike fall over with the girl twin toddler in the kid seat on the back. (Kid ok, wife embarassed and bruised.) This happened because she tried to put a foot down from the saddle on the downhill side of the driveway, because she didn't feel secure with the seat on. I think there's something to it. To enable this you'd need to drop at least from the down crank to the ground which is about five inches. Right now 27.2 posts mostly don't go this low - they're being sold as retrofits for gravel bikes. Betcha the next generation of town bikes goes to 30.6 for this reason.

Would also not be entirely surprised in the future to see dropper sleeves built into the seat tube. Right now it seems like there's a huge amount of concentric stuff (seat tube, stanchion, slider with post topper, air spring cylinder, hollow air spring shaft with actuator rod) and some could be eliminated. But that might require more cooperation on standards than bike makers are willing to do.

Photo from Surly website:

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Old 12-09-19, 08:06 AM
  #1804  
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Darth Lefty - I was not aware that those type of seat posts were a thing. Interesting.

I would say rain and cold is probably my least favorite conditions. But I headed out in the 40F and drizzle this morning. It was a light rain for about 2 miles, then stopped, then started again for another couple of miles, then stopped altogether about halfway through my ride. It wasn't bad, but could've been worse if the rain had been heavier or more constant. Rain pants would have been a good addition had it rained more, but it turned out fine.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:50 AM
  #1805  
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I forgot to share the trash picture I took on the way in. I thought it was pretty funny...


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Old 12-09-19, 09:02 AM
  #1806  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 859:

My wife left town this last weekend to spend a month with her elderly widowed father and help him out for a while. So I'm manning the fort at home. One of the things that's on my to-do list while she's gone is to get a few things on her car repaired. Now's the time to do it, because she won't be needing the vehicle.

Her car is a hatchback and I figured I'd just throw my bicycle in the back so when I drop the car off at the shops I can ride to work from there. Previously I was able to barely fit my road bike in it if I lowered the rear seats of the car and took off the front wheel of my bike. However, given this week's forecast I was going to need to haul the fat bike. Yesterday afternoon I did a test-fit and sure enough, the bike wouldn't go in due to the handlebars being ridiculously wide on this bike. So I stepped back and figured out a "plan B."

I still had the old bike rack from her old car that is designed to strap onto a trunk. I had been meaning to sell it on Craigslist for more than three years, but just have never gotten around to it. I pulled it off the hook where it was hanging and managed to get it strapped to the back of the hatchback. It's a little sketchy, but it seemed to be staying in place. I decided to risk it rather than going with "plan C" which would be driving the car to the shops and then walking to work.

This morning I woke up to 10F degrees, a 25 mph wind, -8F wind chill and two inched of fresh snow. I spent a half an hour blowing the snow off my driveway with the snowblower, then I loaded up the bike and drove to the shop. Today's maintenance item is new tires. Her old tires had been put on new when we bought the car, but were the absolute cheapest tires the seller could have found. For the last three years we suffered through the winters with horrible traction because I felt bad getting rid of tires that still had tread on them. This year they were getting bald enough that I could justify sending the old ones to the landfill. I had a few moments where the bald tires were sliding around in the snow, but I made it. I was more concerned with someone behind me being unable to stop and slamming into my fat bike hanging on for dear life to the rear rack.

After dropping off the car, and convincing the guy behind the counter that I really didn't need a ride to work and that I would have ridden my bicycle even if I wasn't having the car repaired, I headed for the office. This snow is exactly what a fat bike excels at. It was bombing through the powder without slowing down, and in the spots where cars had packed down the snow on top of the layer of ice it didn't slide at all. My old winter bike really struggles on the snow packed down by cars. Had to fight the headwind and ride mostly uphill to the office, but that will mean an easy ride back to the shop at 5 PM when I return to take the car home.

Got to my desk two minutes before 8 AM and then listened to everyone coming in late complaining how bad the roads were to drive on.
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Old 12-09-19, 01:12 PM
  #1807  
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I like the way you think. Took my Toyota Land Cruiser to the dealer last week for service. I enjoyed taking out my bike and riding away past the queue of people waiting for a ride. Most with heads down on their phones.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:37 PM
  #1808  
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Three words: Shorts in December.

Not bad.
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Old 12-09-19, 09:57 PM
  #1809  
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Remember this?
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Today was "early minimum" for the kindergartners and so I rode with my kid to his school...
Well, it was raining that afternoon, so Mom picked him up. She did not grab his bike - she thought I had driven him there then come home for my bike. We went back to look on Saturday and it was gone. We figured the school janitor had put it away. Who steals a 16 inch kiddie bike? But nope, today when we checked with the school they made it clear it was stolen. Oh, she was furious with me... she's the one who bought it and I'm the one who, uh, didn't keep her from losing it - more importantly didn't lock it. Amazingly some kids of a police officer found it and brought it home, and my wife found his wife through social media about an hour after she posted on all the local community FB groups. So the bike is back, missing its chain case, bell, and seat bag, and I'm about 68% forgiven.
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Old 12-10-19, 07:31 AM
  #1810  
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Evening Commute 12/6/19 - Mostly Cloudy, 47°F, Wind 10 mph WNW

Morning Commute 12/9/19 - Overcast and light rain, 52°F, Wind 15 mph S
Evening Commute 12/9/19 - Light Rain 59°F, Wind 15 mph SW

Morning Commute 12/10/19 - Overcast, 32°F, Wind 12 mph from WNW

I'm about 52 miles past needing to clean and lube the chain again, so the shifting froze up on me again this morning about 3/4 of the way through my commute. I*'ll have to see about getting that done this weekend.
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Old 12-10-19, 08:24 AM
  #1811  
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Consecutive work bicycle commute number 860:

Cold again this morning with an air temp of 9F and a 21 mph headwind which made for a -11F wind chill. Surprisingly, the MUP had not yet been plowed from yesterday morning's snow. Usually by now they've at least began the process. The temp was about 5 degrees warmer than they predicted, so at least I had that going for me.

Not supposed to warm up at all today. In fact, it is projected to get a bit colder as the day progresses. Also the wind is supposed to shift around so I'll get to fight it on the way home as well. Air temp is supposed to be below zero by the weekend, so I think it's safe to say winter has arrived.

The fat bike was shining on the frozen ruts left from other riders and pedestrians. I can barely feel them, where as with my old winter bike I would go to great lengths to try and find virgin snow because the ruts would slow me down significantly. On mornings like today where there had been a lot of traffic and hardly any virgin snow left, it would have made for a much slower commute.

I did have my first crash of the season. Kind of. I came out from under an overpass and hit a big drift of snow sitting on top of sheet ice. The bike came to a rapid halt and slid out from under me. Somehow I managed to leap over the handlebars and stayed on my feet. However the quick jerking motion on this old body will probably make me more sore than had I just laid down in the powder.
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Old 12-10-19, 10:44 PM
  #1812  
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Got laid off today after 2,100 round trip commutes and a total of 35,000 miles to the same job. So I may not be commuting for awhile or posting about bike commuting, but wish the best of luck to you all.
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Old 12-11-19, 08:19 AM
  #1813  
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It's beginning to look a lot like winter, 20F
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Old 12-11-19, 08:50 AM
  #1814  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Got laid off today after 2,100 round trip commutes and a total of 35,000 miles to the same job. So I may not be commuting for awhile or posting about bike commuting, but wish the best of luck to you all.
Good luck finding something new
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Old 12-11-19, 08:58 AM
  #1815  
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Evening Commute 12/10/19 - Overcast, 30°F, Wind 7 mph WNW, so nice little headwind for my entire ride home.

Morning Commute 12/11/19 - Clear, 23°F, Wind 4 mph S, I know some of y'all deal with colder but 'round here 20 degrees is really f***ing cold. I busted out the long johns for this morning. Shifters froze about a mile into the commute, so back to riding in fixie mode until I can get things cleaned and re-lubed again. Supposed to get up to around 40 ish today so I should have shifters this evening, but tonight's going to be a late ride do to my son's winter concert. This year the HS they're holding it at is more or less directly on my commute route, so I won't be having to ride double my normal daily mileage for once dealing with this.
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Old 12-11-19, 04:08 PM
  #1816  
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Sorry to hear that, Wm
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Old 12-11-19, 11:12 PM
  #1817  
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wphamilton, I'm very sorry. I've been there.

Today after class, I got to the bike rack and found my bike untampered-with. And I discovered that I had forgotten to lock it! Boy am I luckier than I deserve to be!
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Old 12-12-19, 08:16 AM
  #1818  
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wphamilton - bummer for sure. I hope something new pops up quickly!

I missed the last 2 days of work due to stomach illness. And then drove today. So minimal commuting this week. Maybe tomorrow, but the forecast is for temps in the 30s and 100% chance of rain. I may wimp out on that.
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Old 12-12-19, 10:20 AM
  #1819  
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Haven't ridden in almost almost 2 weeks, between travel for work, and being sick (from travelling...).

Commute this morning was nicer than it has been, in the upper 30s with only a light mist. It was quite comfortable in the Strada (although my feet never get warm, I need some winter shoes). It's supposed to be a mix of rain and possibly snow today, so the ride home might be sketchy. I have the cover on the velo to keep the rain/snow out while it's parked.

Also, first time commuting in with the new light pole, and it seems to really make the motorists give me more room.
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Old 12-13-19, 08:38 AM
  #1820  
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A bit warmer this morning at 30F and calm winds. I have a piece of my commute that takes me into some alleys behind some downtown bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, it seems to be THE place people seek out to get sick. This morning it was fresh as opposed to the normal petrified mess. It's amazing how long it lasts... sorry for the gore. I think I'm going to make a sign - Puke There Not Here
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Old 12-13-19, 08:58 AM
  #1821  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 863:

Dropped my wife's car off at the shop to have the windshield replaced, and then rode the bike to work from there. The shop was on the west side of the city, and I live on the east side.

First full crash of the season. I was on an unfamiliar street and my front tire dropped into a big icy rut. I had a split second to think, "I should be careful on this ice" and the next thing I knew I was on the ground. Fell on my left side. The impact was pretty evenly distributed across my shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle. I popped up immediately worried that I was going to get run over. Once I saw there were no cars coming, my next course of action was to look around and see if anyone saw my blunder. Thankfully there were no witnesses.

I looked at the bike and didn't see any visible damage. My Ortleib bag and the side of the bar mitt was the main thing that hit the ground (other than me, of course.) The handlebars were knocked out of alignment. I straightened those out surprisingly easily with no tools, so I need to tighten the stem nuts. I then finished the ride to work.

Got to work and removed my jacket to find a spot about the size of a quarter where I lost skin. The jacket has absolutely no mark on it. Weird.
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Old 12-13-19, 09:46 AM
  #1822  
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^^Ugh, I hate it when that happens. Glad you're okay!

I hit some ice yesterday morning but managed to keep straight and upright. I'm not enjoying the cold, though!
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Old 12-13-19, 02:19 PM
  #1823  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Got laid off today after 2,100 round trip commutes and a total of 35,000 miles to the same job. So I may not be commuting for awhile or posting about bike commuting, but wish the best of luck to you all.
sorry to hear that and I hope you find something new and something that you can commute too!


i have driven the entire week. it has been rainy and cold. PLUS i have had a cold felt terrible. Today i finally feel 85-90% so hopefully after the weekend I will be good to get back on the bike!
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Old 12-16-19, 08:37 AM
  #1824  
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Back on the bike after a week of sickness, recovery and cold rain. But this morning was upper 40s and warm enough for shorts. Great morning for a ride and got in 15 miles. Daylight hours are about as short as they're going to be. I'm ready for it to start going the other way.
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Old 12-16-19, 10:27 AM
  #1825  
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About 4" of snow overnight and dpw didn't touch any of the trails. Expecting another 3-5" starting at 2p and an interesting ride home.
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