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K'Tesh 12-31-20 10:00 AM

2021! The How was your commute? thread!
Yes, I've re-upped, and am still in China, I made it through the dumpster fire that was 2020, and I still ride bikes. Oh, and it's 2021 here (I was afraid it'd be 13/01/2020 (so I double checked and it's not))... So, let's get started...

How was YOUR commute?

K'Tesh 01-01-21 04:22 AM

Well, my first commute is in the bag. Cold (2-4C), not to much wind. Lots of snow, and slush when I couldn't ride on the streets. I survived without too many slips, zero falls, and only a few motorized idiots to deal with.

Ev0lutionz 01-01-21 07:50 AM

Biked 32 km to a hawker centre for lunch in almost torrential rain, and another 32km back home... Bad day to bike but i think the rain cleaned my bike a bit.

RidingMatthew 01-01-21 02:11 PM

Not commuting yet
I'm still work from home until the first of March.

essiemyra 01-04-21 05:36 AM

The first bike commute this year! A great way to start the new week and year! It was a pleasant uneventful ride with the temp at 30 f degrees.

Tundra_Man 01-04-21 08:37 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1104:

First day back to work in 16 days. Two weeks of binge eating combined with zero exercise doesn't add up to maintaining your fitness level. I definitely gained some weight over the holidays, so now it's time to pay the piper.

I had the option of working from home today, but I decided to go to our office anyway. Staying home probably would have encouraged me to continue with the holiday feeding frenzy. At work I find it easier to "be good" about my diet.

23F, which is pretty good for a January morning in South Dakota. Probably 20 degrees warmer than usual. It was nice to be able to ease back into riding with mild temps. There was a steady 15 mph headwind, which is pretty typical for a January morning in South Dakota.

We got some significant snowfall while I was off, requiring plows to run. I wasn't sure what the road conditions were on my route, so I took the fat bike. There were a few places where I was glad I had it, but everything had been plowed good enough that I probably could have gotten away with riding my hybrid and just walking through those small areas. It probably would have been faster, as I averaged 8 mph on the fat bike.

Tried out my new toe warmers I bought. They worked pretty well, although the real test will be in colder temps. Generally I don't have too much trouble with cold toes when wearing my boots above single digit temps.

Daniel Harris 01-04-21 07:57 PM

Ohh... beautiful pictures.

Tundra_Man 01-05-21 08:19 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1105:

Last night before bed the weatherman said this morning's temp would be 10F. When I got up, Google told me it was 17F. When I walked out to the kitchen my thermometer said it was 22F. Not knowing who to believe, I dressed for the average of the three.

Turns out my kitchen thermometer was correct. I arrived at the office very sweaty.

caloso 01-05-21 08:55 AM

Originally Posted by RidingMatthew (Post 21858097)
I'm still work from home until the first of March.

Well be on WFH until the end of January at the earliest, possibly through February. Although I may be on the skeleton crew rotation, so I may have a day in the office each week if that happens.

K'Tesh 01-06-21 11:40 AM

Today's commute was painful... 6 hours later, and my face is still burning from the wind. Suffice it to say that eastern China is F***ING COLD right now.

Out was 23 (-5C) with gusts around 50mph (strong enough to blow me (a Clyde) into staggering at intersections). Time involved <10 minutes (work is downhill). Wind chill was about 9F. Light snow flakes.

Back was 14F (-10C) plus headwind gusts at 30mph. Wind chill of -7F. Time involved >30 minutes (uphill, in a headwind/crosswind (nearly blew me into an oncoming car at one point), with stops for groceries and walking due to construction). Heavy, but dry, snow.

[EDIT] Here's the view from my window the next morning...
Baby, It's COLD Outside...

K'Tesh 01-07-21 06:00 AM

Today's commute was just like yesterday's... only with more snow and it was louder (the snow is very noisy as it crunches under foot and squeaks under the wheels). God I hurt... A few more "Uh oh" moments which play merry hob with my knees and back. Thankfully, I didn't fall.

Tundra_Man 01-07-21 08:48 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1107:

Forgot to mention yesterday that when I arrived at the office and was juggling things around to take my temperature, I dropped my helmet. The flashlight I keep zip-tied to the top snapped off. Thankfully the light still worked, so later that evening when I got home I zip tied it again. It's mainly my back up light in case the battery on my main headlight dies in the middle of a ride, so thankfully I didn't need it on the way home.

Today's commute was extremely slow. We had about 1" of wet, heavy snow yesterday with temps hovering just above freezing (unusually balmy for January in South Dakota). There wasn't enough snow to run the plows, and during the night the temp dropped below freezing which meant this morning everything was an icy rutted mess. Any tire track or footprint turned into a frozen lump that I had to ride over. The open areas where the snow had melted yesterday were now glassy smooth with ice.

I probably should have taken my other winter bike with studded tires, but by the time I realized that fact I was more than a mile down the road and I wasn't in the mood to go back and swap bikes. It probably would have been a wash anyway, as the studded tires handle the sheet ice better but the fat bike handles the rough frozen surfaces better. I rode really slow to be cautious. I felt my tires slip out from me dozens of times, but thankfully never enough to take me down.

The MUP was in a lot worse shape than the roads. I had three miles on the roads, and five miles on the MUP. Averaged about 7 mph overall, which means it took more than an hour to get to the office, and that was with a tailwind.

Tundra_Man 01-11-21 08:29 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1109:

25F this morning with a 12 mph headwind. This January has been unseasonably warm here in South Dakota. Normally it's rare we ever see daytime highs above freezing, but so far almost every day has gotten into the low to mid 30s. As a result, most of the ice from last week's snow has melted off the pavement.

Given this fact, I took my hybrid today instead of one of my winter bikes. I could easily ride around and avoid most of the icy spots, but there were a few places where I had to cross them. I unclipped and went slow, making sure to keep as straight of a line as I could until I was across. Made it with no incidents, so it's all good. It was nice getting 2-3 additional MPH with no additional effort as compared to my winter bikes.

Got to work and realized I forgot to pack my shaving kit. So no comb, deodorant or shave after my shower. Then I put on my dress pants and realized I mistakenly packed the belt I normally wear with my jeans. Wasn't my best performance last night when I packed up my gear before bed. lol

essiemyra 01-12-21 05:40 AM

I was able to ride today, no obligations in my way! Yeah! The temp was 27 f degrees this am which made riding more appealing than the 17 f degrees yesterday. It was a very pleasant commute. I saw a deer hightailing it back into the woods. He had not crossed in front of me so I am assuming he was at the edge of the road and saw me and ran away(I am that scary). Anyway all in all it was nice to be out riding this am.

essiemyra 01-13-21 05:35 AM

Another pleasant commute done and in the books. The temp was 2 f degrees colder today than yesterday which puts it at 25 f degrees. And still warmer than 17 degrees. There will be no commuting by bike tomorrow as I have to get a covid test after work. I do not have enough time to get to one place from another by bike in the time frame I have.

Tundra_Man 01-14-21 08:51 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1112:

What a weird January. The last three days had lows in the 20s and highs in the 30s, which is a good 20-30 degrees above normal for us. I rode my hybrid rather than one of the winter bikes.

This morning I woke up to 34F. It had rained a fair amount during the night, but now snow was falling on top of the wet. It's supposed to snow up to about 4" through tomorrow and we're under a blizzard warning, so I opted to take the fat bike today. The hybrid would have been fine on the way to work, but at 5 PM tonight who knows what the weather will be like?

4" of snow isn't that much, so the main reason for the blizzard warning is due to the winds which can turn even a little bit of snow into a whiteout. On the way in I had 20+ mph sustained with gusts on top of that. It was a mix of headwind/crosswind. They're predicting sustained winds of 30+ mph with gusts over 50 mph for the ride home, but areas west of us have already seen gusts over 70 mph so it might be an adventure getting home.

A co-worker who rides his bike 9 months out of the year pulled up behind me in his car as I was riding into the cul-de-sac where our office sits. I was going straight into the wind at that moment, and my speed dropped low enough that my speedometer wouldn't register that I was moving (it cuts off below 3 mph). When we got to the parking lot he empathized with me. My fat bike is slow on a calm day, but it's nearly an immobile object in a headwind.

As I was trying to take my temperature before entering the building I dropped my helmet again and snapped off the zip ties that keep my backup headlamp attached. That's the second time I've done that in two weeks. With no backup available, I went back out to the bike and grabbed my headlight so I could get a full charge on it before I head home tonight.

Darth Lefty 01-15-21 01:13 AM

I hope you made it home ok in the blizzard. I had a job nibble from Madison WI four or five years ago and rejected it based on climate. Maybe I should have said F it, global warming, and gone

Tundra_Man 01-15-21 08:37 AM

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty (Post 21878810)
I hope you made it home ok in the blizzard. I had a job nibble from Madison WI four or five years ago and rejected it based on climate. Maybe I should have said F it, global warming, and gone

The ride home was actually easier than I had feared. We had only gotten about an inch of snow so far by the time I left the office, but the saving grace was the wind shifted a little so I mostly had it at my back. The stretches where I had a cross wind gave me a pretty good ice cream headache, though.

Tundra_Man 01-15-21 08:58 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1113:

The wind absolutely howled all last evening and during the night. Every time I woke up I could hear it as a constant rumble, which filled me with a little bit of dread for the ride to work this morning. In all honesty, today was one of those days where if I didn't have a huge streak going I would have thrown in the towel and driven.

Knowing it was going to be a slow ride, I left the house about 20 minutes early.

Temp wasn't bad at 29F. We had about 3" of snow on the ground and still falling, but the wind was pushing it around so much there were lots of places where the pavement was clear, and lots of places where there were big drifts. The wind was a constant 35 mph, with gusts much, much higher than that. Thankfully it was coming from the NNW, and I was mostly heading SW so other than a few short stretches I didn't have to ride directly into it.

Mile 5 was particularly challenging, as the MUP runs along the south side of a big park full of soccer fields. So the north side of the MUP is completely open, but there are trees lining the south side of the MUP which creates a notorious place for snow to drift. Today was no exception. I hit this area and rode right into a drift that was about two feet deep, which brought me to an immediate stop. The drift was about 1/2 mile long, and I knew there was no way to ride it. I got off the bike and started to push.

It's a huge workout to try and push a fat bike through 2' of snow. After about a 1/4 mile, I came to my senses and left the MUP and cut across the soccer fields for another several hundred yards. It was still unrideable, but the snow wasn't as deep and it gave my heart a chance to catch up. Once I got to the service road the pavement was ridable, so I took that road through the park and then got back on the MUP. The MUP on that end of the park wasn't drifted over

Arrived at the office right on time. About an hour and 20 minutes to go 8 miles. One of my coworkers was arriving at the same time and she wanted me to pose for a photo. A bunch of people opted not to even drive and just work from home today.

Here's a short excerpt of the ride:

Darth Lefty 01-16-21 05:27 PM

I don't have a commute today, or ever anymore, but Universal Cycles is running a sale on Schwalbe tires this week. Pretty good deals on Marathon Supremes in 27.5 and 29er, as well as Thunder Burts in 29er, which are XC racing semi-slicks that might be of interest for a MTB commuter

essiemyra 01-18-21 05:34 AM

It was a pleasant uneventful commute in but a great way to start the work week by riding. Anyway the temp was not uncomfortable at 38 f degrees with dry roads.

Tundra_Man 01-18-21 08:57 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1114:

25 this morning with a very light wind. Not knowing how the roads/trails would be after Friday's blizzard I loaded up the fat bike. However, I couldn't find my tail light.

It wasn't on the bike, and it wasn't on the kitchen counter where I set it if I brought it inside to be charged. I searched the garage, then I went inside and searched the kitchen. After not finding it in either of those places, I went back out to the bike and grabbed my pannier, then proceeded to unpack it. No light.

Perhaps I somehow carried it into the bedroom and set it on my dresser? I went back in where my wife was still asleep and started to feel around in the dark on top of my dresser. After a minute my wife said, "You might as well turn on the light because I'm awake now." Oops. I turned on the light and verified what my hands were telling me: no light on top of my dresser. Then I happened to glance down and saw it sitting on the floor in the corner. I have no idea how it got there.

After re-packing everything I finally rolled out of the garage 20 minutes later than I had planned. Knowing I was running late I pushed extra hard to try and make up the time, which is a challenge on a fat bike. When I got to the office, I looked at the clock and I was right on time. I somehow managed to push that bike hard enough that I shaved 20 minutes off my usual commute time for this bike.

I'm pretty tuckered out now, though.

Tundra_Man 01-19-21 08:28 AM

Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1115:

The balmy January weather continues, with this morning's temp being 28F. There was a 15 mph headwind, however, so that slowed me down. I also wore my balaclava and goggles, which normally don't get worn until the temps drop below 20F, but fighting the wind I'm glad I had them on.

Snow was falling, but I don't think we're going to get anything more than a dusting today. Rode the fat bike. Most of the MUP is clear enough to have ridden my hybrid, but the back streets are still in pretty rough shape from the last snow so I wanted the bigger tires.

Today I'm getting called back to work from the client's office. This is the second time they've called us back since the COVID thing hit. They sent us home last April, then called us back towards the end of August, and then sent us home again in early November. This last stint I worked from home for a few weeks but found my home situation not conducive to being productive, so I chose to work from our company office instead which I've been doing since early December.

I have a meeting at our company location later this morning, so I rode here first. After the meeting I'll then ride 8 miles across town to the client's location. By the time I get home tonight I should have roughly 20 miles logged.

essiemyra 01-20-21 05:32 AM

It was another pleasant yet uneventful ride this am. The temp was a bit chillier this morning at 30 f degrees but dry roads.

essiemyra 01-22-21 06:00 AM

It was a pleasant yet uneventful ride this am. The temp was at 28 f degrees with dry roads. There is a chance of snow squalls this afternoon. Hopefully they do not materialize.

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