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Tundra_Man 02-01-22 01:21 PM

Consecutive bicycle work commute numbers 1354:

High wind warning today. Steady winds at 25 mph gusting well into the 40 mph range at times. This morning's temp started at 21F and will decline throughout the day to drop below zero tonight. Add the wind chill and things are pretty chilly out there.

I had three different destinations today. Thankfully I had some flexibility in them, so I rearranged the order that let me ride straight into the wind this morning and get that out of the way. Then the next couple rides and the ride home tonight will be mostly tail/cross winds.

Because I was going to be fighting a strong wind, I decided to take the road bike. It's pretty rare I ever get to ride the road bike in February, but we've gotten so little snow so far this season that most of the pavement is pretty dry. There are a few icy spots here and there, but with a little care I can either ride around them or cross them without any incident on my skinny tires. Just have to keep a vigilant eye out for black ice, especially after the sun goes down.

The lack of snow has been great from a commuting perspective, but terrible from a drought perspective. As much as I hate having to ride through big snowstorms, we need a handful of major snow events before spring or we're in big trouble.

Darth Lefty 02-01-22 04:55 PM

Yesterday there was some breeze in the afternoon and I indulged myself with a little irritation. For that sin I am punished with a Wind Advisory through Wednesday afternoon! 20mph on the ride home. The giant flag at the dealership was nearly out straight.

On the plus side this meant more down oranges on the ride back to the daycare.

Tundra_Man 02-03-22 08:21 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1356:

Temp this morning was projected to be a -9F, so before I went to bed I made plans to do a split commute by throwing my bike on the rack and riding the bus for part of the way. I make this concession for my wife when the temp is -5F or colder as it makes her feel better. Also, due to the bus schedule, by the time I ride from the downtown terminal to the client's office it's usually pushing 8 AM. Therefore if I'm planning to ride the bus, in order to save time I'll shower at home before I leave rather than after I arrive at the office. So before I called it a night I moved all my toiletries out of my back pack and into the bathroom.

So this morning when I got up the temp said -4F. Hmmm... not as cold as they predicted, but they also said the temp wouldn't fully bottom out until around 9 AM. I had already mentally prepared to ride the bus so I went ahead and showered. But then as I was putting on my gear I noticed there was no wind. Cold temps are a LOT easier to deal with if there's no wind. I decided to just ride the whole way and save the hassle of the bus. Besides, when I'm standing and waiting at the bus stop I'm usually colder than when I'm riding. This way I'd be generating heat.

Overall it was a pretty easy ride. The relative lack of wind (3-4 mph) actually made it feel a lot warmer than the previous morning when it was 1F with a 20 mph headwind. By the time I arrived at the office the temp had dropped to -7F which exceeded my wife's cutoff, but she was still in bed so I didn't have to have that fight. My hands and feet got a little cold, but that's generally a "given" in sub-zero commutes. Thankfully because of the temps I didn't sweat much so it wasn't a problem that I showered at home.

I've ridden the road bike this entire week. I've noticed that when the temps get below about 10F the shifting on this bike gets wonky, where any shift that slackens the cables (downshifting on the front, upshifting on the rear) doesn't always want to happen. I can usually get the bike to shift by banging on the brifters which must wiggle the cable enough to make it move. This morning no amount of banging was going to convince the bike to shift, so I pretty much had a single speed for the whole trip.

Welshboy 02-03-22 11:38 AM

Five days in work this week (Sun-Thurs) and for the first four I was able to use my road bike as it's been unusually dry in South Wales recently. My commute times have plummeted due to a combination of riding a much lighter bike without fenders and I'm quite a bit lighter myself as I've been on a bit of a diet since Jan 1st losing 17lb by doing 'dry January' and stopping eating sweets, crisps and biscuits (in the USA I think this is candy, chips and cookies). I've still got a long way to go though as my BMI is still 32.7 and firmly in the 'obese' classification.

I love seeing the days slowly growing longer although I'm only catching the benefit on a morning as I'm still working long days (11 hours).

Darth Lefty 02-03-22 12:40 PM

The difference in names between US and British food usually is due to German and Dutch immigration in the top half of the country and Spanish in the bottom half, with a few places French too. Cookies per se are softer and often have nuts, dried fruit, or candy mixed in, or icing decoration. The current most popular is definitely the tollhouse chocolate chip cookie. If they're hard they are stale. Biscuits are made from very hard dough and cooked in a mold. A Brit would definitely recognize an Oreo as a biscuit.

cat0020 02-07-22 08:17 AM

Fell off bike during commute this morning, car ran a stop sign crossing the intersection, I have no stop sign traveling my direction.
My front wheel slid from under me while traveling at 12-15 mph.
I landed on my knee hip, ribs & shoulder. It's gonna hurt tomorrow and the next day.

Darth Lefty 02-10-22 09:48 AM

Weather report for California's elbow: Even though this is the "rainy season," it basically hasn't rained since New Year's. It likely won't until at least the 21st, and that's a maybe, from my favorite snow blog:

The dry pattern continues through at least Sunday. A shift in the pattern Monday - Tuesday could allow a weak system and colder air into the Sierra. Then we could go back to a drier pattern the 16th-20th. The 21st through the end of the month the pattern could shift towards a stormier pattern as we get later in the month and into March.
So my streak continues.

Orange season is nearly done. Most people who are taking care of their trees have their crop in. The ones I'm finding have come from unreachably high up in the tree and are often cracked from the fall and beginning to rot in the unseasonableness.

Tundra_Man 02-10-22 10:23 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1361:

16F this morning, but only about a 5 mph headwind so the temp wasn't too bad. My thighs and toes got a bit frosty by the time I made it to the office. Always amazing how parts of your body can get so cold, while at the same time other parts (like my shirt) were completely drenched in sweat.

Supposed to get above freezing and rain a bit this afternoon, so I took the hybrid with fenders. Don't like riding in cold rain, but we need the moisture so bad that I'm not going to complain about it.

Was putting on one of my riding jackets before I left the house and the zipper broke. So I put on my other riding jacket. That jacket doesn't match the pants I wore today, but I decided to commit a fashion faux pas rather than take the time to change pants. I brought the broken jacket with me and I'll drop it off at the tailor for repair while I'm out.

Today was a milestone day: six years since the last time I drove a vehicle to work. I hardly ever take a selfie, but it's become somewhat of a tradition to take one on my commuting anniversary date:

Welshboy 02-10-22 02:35 PM

Overall, not a bad week with just a bit of drizzle on one ride in to work forcing me to use my winter bike with fenders on that day. This is the bike I crashed on black ice a few weeks back damaging the rear fender beyond repair and also putting a very slight wobble in my front wheel. I've put new SKS fenders on the bike but they are different to the old SKS fenders and the front is causing me problems as it seems closer to the tyre than the previous one and it also has an annoying short mudflap that kicks out sharply. I'm just catching it with my foot when I turn and nudging it so that the fenders begin rubbing on the tyre. This weekend I need to strip the Tiagra 4600 groupset off it and put it onto the CAADX frame that's been sitting in the shed for about 15 months now. I've been using my old Verenti road bike more than I thought I would in the winter but the salt on the roads isn't doing it much good and it needs a good clean and a bit of TLC.

pdlamb 02-11-22 02:52 PM

Woo-hoo! Came back in to the office! Lovely day, near 70 degrees, not a cloud in the sky.

I'd forgotten, though, how exposed to wind this commute is. And there was plenty O wind to be had!

Darth Lefty 02-15-22 09:41 PM

Had a bit of an issue yesterday with being isolated at work with my bike and how long it would take to get somewhere. To put it succinctly the school sometimes asks us to take our 7yo off their hands for the rest of the day... and wife also works, at a job with a more rigid schedule than mine. So if this happens while I'm on call to be the kid-getter, it will take me about 40 min to respond instead of 15 min if I had a car. Yesterday the school was stuck with him until bus time. I had a long talk with said wife about it. In the future if it comes up I'll take an uber back to the truck which will only take a bit longer than driving to him direct. But an end to bike commuting was on the table and we will see how the uber works out in practice.

Welshboy 02-17-22 02:36 PM

I took the car on the wettest of my four days in work this week but I did ride in on the two days of Storm Dudley managing to dodge the squally showers. I do feel a bit guilty when I take the car but as I mainly work outside I've just no appetite for getting wet on the way in, wet in work and getting a third soaking on the way home. I'm so glad I'm not working tomorrow as the wind and rain forecast for Storm Eunice look absolutely biblical (well, for the UK anyway).

I hadn't realised it until I checked my Strava today that the two bikes I use for commuting are enjoying a little mileage competition between themselves!

Darth Lefty 02-17-22 06:42 PM

UK is naming rain clouds now? I remember some years ago when Weather Channel started naming snow storms over here to make them more exciting.

Only two laps for me this week. Kid got busted out of school twice and it's a four day work week. Not much hope for next week either as he gets two! days off for the Presidents.

Bikewolf 02-18-22 01:28 PM

Today I tested my limits. Yes, today, when a storm called Eunice hits ...
What I learnt:
that wind gusts of 100 km/h (and more) put a limit to commuting comfort.
Let's NOT do that again.

Welshboy 02-22-22 10:33 AM

My working week started on Sunday with a 'car day' as the wet and windy weather was still battering the UK with some localised flooding. On Monday 'Storm Franklin' came to town but we only had the high winds so I rode to work into a 60mph headwind using every scrap of shelter I could find like using the bike path with a nearby hedge where I would normally stay on the quiet road. It took me an extra 10 minutes and I had a right sweat on but coming home was an absolute breeze! Tuesday has been almost as windy but without rain.

With regard to commuting mileage the bad news for me is that things are changing at work and my work location is moving back to just outside my home town meaning that my daily commute is going from 8.5 miles each way to just 3 miles each way. It's a nice location but I'm really disappointed. I can't add a loop, go the long way around or even go a different way as we live on a very narrow strip between the sea and the hills with just the two parallel roads leading to work. One road carries fast-moving traffic but the quieter road has many more lights and junctions but does eventually lead to a cycle path which is far safer at rush hour.

For about 15 months now I've been disappointed with myself for doing very little (almost none) non-commuting mileage and I need to shake myself and start going out on my days off.

Bikewolf 02-24-22 01:50 PM

Today I ended up in a (grain) hail storm. But I embraced the experience :-))

Fortunately, I am an experienced and prepared commuter. But I met other commuters on foot with their bicycles, a bit thrown off balance and unprepared. I know how a hailstorm can quickly cool one's body temperature.

Darth Lefty 02-24-22 06:12 PM

Grateful for a lap today. Yesterday kiddo did not get busted so today I risked a ride. Kiddo remained unbusted, thankfully. But his little sister moped and whined from wakeup and continued in daycare until she dozed off, triggering a return ride about 11 - thankfully not in a great hurry.

Tundra_Man 02-25-22 09:10 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1367:

Haven't posted much in a couple of weeks. Been riding as usual, and then my wife and I took a much needed vacation to a warmer climate. We got back on Wednesday evening. I had taken Thursday and Friday off from work as well. I took Thursday off because nobody likes to get back from a trip and then go right in to work the next morning. I took Friday off because why go back to work for just one day before the weekend?

However, after sitting at home on Thursday I realized there was probably better use of my limited vacation time, so I opted to return to work a day early.

A whole slew of challenges awaited me this morning. I woke up to an air temperature of -11F with about an inch of snow on the ground. I had spent a week in glorious 70 degree and sunny weather, which sheds the winter skin rather quickly. The time zone difference also managed to completely screw up my sleep schedule, so getting up for work made it feel like I was getting up in the middle of the night. Not riding the bike for a week and going on a feeding frenzy only added to the cards stacked against me. So, long story short, I found myself sucking wind really hard as I slowly trudged through the snow and up the hills in the sub-zero temps.

Because the temp was south of -5F, it reached the cutoff temp I've negotiated with my wife. Colder than this and I do a split commute where I catch the bus for part of the way. Most days I protest a little and try to get her to let me ride the whole way, but this morning with all of the above factors I listed, I didn't put up any argument against riding the bus for part of the commute. A co-worker told me he saw me a riding a few blocks from the office and said that I looked to be going slower than normal. I can believe it.

It's supposed to hit 16F this afternoon, so I'm planning on riding the whole way home.

Welshboy 02-25-22 11:21 AM

^ That's a fair old temperature range!

noglider 02-25-22 12:00 PM

The original shutdown for Pandemic started on March 12, 2020.

On February 1, 2022, I started commuting to classes and work again. I'm so happy. It's so good for my health.

scottfsmith 02-25-22 06:08 PM

I just ruined a $1000 carbon rim on my commute this week. Moral is don't do all of the following.
  1. Let a slow leak fester, thinking you can just keep pumping up in the morning for a few more days before properly fixing on the weekend
  2. Forget to check in on said slow leak after a day at the office
  3. When your bike rear then starts handling a bit strange due to said slow leak, don't actually look at the tire, instead blame it on the heavy load in the rear panniers
  4. Gun it over a large speed bump
I am lucky that it seems to be under warranty but it is only because of an absurdly good warranty that Roval has on their carbon rims.. two years free replacement for any reason if it happened while biking.

noglider 02-27-22 08:33 AM

Man, that hurts. Here’s hoping nothing like that happens again.

pdlamb 03-02-22 05:21 PM

This was a beautiful day for a ride! Middle 70s and sunny, not much wind. Traffic was well behaved (only heavy downtown coming home). There was a pair of bluebirds flying about some trees near the road on the homeward ride -- it must be spring already! (If that doesn't bring cold rain, I don't know what will.)

Oh, and I didn't have to stay at the office too long, so that didn't ruin the ride.

Welshboy 03-03-22 11:57 AM

First week at my 'new' work location (I was last there 53 weeks ago) and I'm not enjoying the pitifully short 3-mile each way ride after having a year of doing 12-miles each way and then 8.5-miles each way. Anyway, I had to have one car day just to get my heavy stuff into work (track pump, work boots, extra clothing, storage box, etc.) and this nicely coincided with a pretty nasty day of rain. The other three days were OK but this short ride is more dangerous than my previous commutes as there is almost no cycle path (just a short section very close to work) and my ride into work is exactly at the peak of rush hour and passing three schools and one college. I find that parents on the school run can be most inattentive especially after dropping their children off.

Tundra_Man 03-07-22 08:39 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1371:

Last week I missed a few days of work due to a bad cold. I lounged around a good chunk of the weekend trying to recover. This morning I awoke still under the Nyquil haze from the shot I took before bed last night. I metabolize that stuff really slow so if I take some it will be 14-16 hours before the effects fully wear off. As a result it felt like everything was moving in slow motion when I got out of bed. Had some vivid dreams, though.

12F with a 12 mph headwind made for a -2F wind chill. We had a storm come through on Saturday and drop 1/4" of ice with 2" of snow on top of it. The city deemed it not plow-worthy, so by this morning the roads were an icy rutted mess. I decided to take the fat bike as it seems to handle the rough terrain better than my mountain bike with studs. The studded tires seem to handle sheet ice better. In any event, I kept the bike upright and arrived without incident.

Given our overall lack of snow I really haven't ridden the fat bike a whole lot this winter, which frankly I don't mind. I've come to the realization that I really don't care for the fat bike. It's just super slow and a lot of work. Today I averaged about 7 mph. On a good day without snow and with a tailwind I maybe top out at a 10 mph average. By the time I get to/home from work I'm pretty exhausted. I have friends that love any opportunity to ride their fat bikes, and will even ride them on nice summer days on dry pavement. For whatever reason, it's just not my thing. I guess I'm just lazy.

Darth Lefty 03-07-22 11:27 AM

I forewent riding today because I was snowboarding yesterday and my quads are toast.

This was my first trip to the slopes in about eight years. Not since the first kid. I can hardly believe that. I worried I'd be too rusty to have fun. But last year I got a longboard to chase my kids around on their balance bikes and that freshened me up.

SkinGriz 03-11-22 02:01 PM

Out of shape.
Rode bike to school.
6.9 miles each way.
The only hills were overpasses and Im still gassed.
First time riding more than 2 miles in 20+ years.

Welshboy 03-12-22 12:54 PM

No car days this week on a four-day week and I just had the one soaking on the way home made worse by having parked up my wet weather bike. I'm loving my re-built 2012 CAADX (purchased second-hand about 16 months ago) so much it's now become my weapon of choice despite it not having fenders. I'm probably putting Schwalbe CX Comp 35c tyres on it tomorrow but I'll see how they look on narrowish rims (Shimano RS010's).

Darth Lefty 03-12-22 04:55 PM

Only one lap this week. 7yo is having a really hard time.

philburden 03-13-22 11:16 AM

Snowy and cold. Gotta love cycling in the great Canadian winter!

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