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2021! The “How was your commute?” thread!

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2021! The “How was your commute?” thread!

Old 07-28-21, 01:10 PM
  #201  
groovestew
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On my last commute home, I broke a spoke in the rear wheel during a standing climb. Guess I'm just too powerful. Made it home okay, but I can't ride that bike until it gets fixed. The same bike has a messed up front derailleur, so I'm kinda stuck in the small ring. So I went to book the bike in for repairs at my usual bike shop, and couldn't get an appointment until August 9! Crazy. That's my best/favourite bike, a 2009 Kona Jake the Snake CX.

My fixed gear bike is out of commission until I can replace the chain ring and cog, and I'm told that parts will be unavailable until Spring 2022.

I have an 80's era Bianchi road bike that's been languishing on a hook in my garage for some time, so I got it down, inflated the tires, gave it a test ride - everything was working fine. Next morning, the front tire was flat. Easy fix, but haven't gotten to it yet. One reason I'm dragging my feet is because that bike (and the fixie) are pretty much road-only bikes, and I've been riding a dirt singletrack shortcut on the way home, which I love. The road route home is longer and along some unavoidable high-traffic routes.

That leaves my least favourite bike: my big, heavy Surly Disc Trucker. The back brake needed adjustment, and I managed to mess up the brake cable while tinkering with it. It's a real love/hate relationship I have with these mechanical disc brakes. I managed to get a cable from a bike shop - at least that was still in stock. The brake still isn't set up properly, but I'll be darned if I can't figure out what the problem is. The bike is rideable, and that's what I rode today.

It's been almost 2 weeks since my last bike commute (so much for me being on this thread a lot during July), or any exercise at all, really, and in the meantime, I came down with a cold (not COVID - I have a negative test result) and had to stay home. That and other lame excuses kept me from riding this past while. Not a great ride in. I sometimes have a problem where if my heart rates goes into the anaerobic zone (like when powering up a hill), I start feeling faint and have a hard time recovering. It's not usually a problem as long as I keep up my exercise, but it happened this morning, and I had to ride very slowly for a while to slow down my heart rate and breathing. Probably something I should talk to my doctor about.

I lived to tell the tale. I'll try to ride the rest of this week. Have a great day everyone.
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Old 07-28-21, 03:36 PM
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Miserably hot and smoky. Must be a new fire or the wind shifted. Halfway back to the preschool about 1:30 I get a call from summer camp: please come get your 7yo, he’s too contrary be here any longer today. Legos were involved, that were not his, and are now… everywhere, to demonstrate his displeasure. Fortunately the preschool and camp are close together.

Edit - looks like it's blowing down from the Dixie fire
https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2021...ty-dixie-fire/
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Old 07-28-21, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Miserably hot and smoky. Must be a new fire or the wind shifted. Halfway back to the preschool about 1:30 I get a call from summer camp: please come get your 7yo, he’s too contrary be here any longer today. Legos were involved, that were not his, and are now… everywhere, to demonstrate his displeasure. Fortunately the preschool and camp are close together.

Edit - looks like it's blowing down from the Dixie fire
https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2021...ty-dixie-fire/
Oof, sorry to all of you who are riding in The Smoke Zone.

I’m curious, does your 7yo kid ride with you on their own bike, or do you have some kind of family bike setup?
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Old 07-28-21, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbiRobbi View Post
I’m curious, does your 7yo kid ride with you on their own bike, or do you have some kind of family bike setup?
I’m driving to the preschool in the morning with the bike in the truck, 7yo gets dropped off on the way there. Riding to work from preschool, back for preschooler pick up after lunch (10 mi round trip). Kiddo is picked up later before dinner, usually.

This gets adjusted in a few weeks when school starts.
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Old 07-29-21, 07:34 AM
  #205  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1243:

We're getting a welcome break from the heat today. It's only supposed to hit 88°F, which is at least ten degrees cooler than it has been the last couple of days. With the humidity it had pushed the heat index well over 100°F the first three days of this week. Wind shifted out of the north, which isn't going to work in my favor on today's 22 mile ride, but I'm not going to complain too loud.

On Tuesday when I was coming across town at 2 PM so much sweat was pouring out from under my helmet that it drenched my eyes and completely blinded me, necessitating a stop to try and sop up what I could off of my heat with my already drenched shirt. Yesterday I broke out the full "80s Mike Reno sweat band" to try and alleviate the situation. It kind of works. More or less it just buys me about 10 extra miles before the sweat band gets drenched and then I find myself in the same situation.

They're actually talking about rain tomorrow. I hope so. We are in dire need of moisture, and I'm not going to complain one bit about riding in the rain if it helps the drought.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:48 AM
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Really chancy on the air quality this morning. Wind out of the hills is meeting wind from the delta and pushing it down the valley, and my town is right about on the borderline. The AQI goes from 25 here to 40 over the first ridge to 135 in the foothills, about a 10 mile distance, and the little arrows are pointed at us but not directly. My commute is on the left side of this map

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Old 07-29-21, 09:28 AM
  #207  
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Pretty nice ride in today. I accomplished something this morning I've never done before. There's a dirt singletrack trail I take home most days, but never ride to work. The reason is there's a section that's quite steep and a little bit technical, and on my CX bike, even in the lowest gear, I would spin out and stall, and need to walk up most of that hill. (On the way home, it's all downhill and not a problem.) Now that I'm riding my Trucker with a triple chainring, I thought I'd try that hill again, and this time, I made it all the way up without stopping. I actually tried yesterday, but at one point, my front tire lifted off the ground and I went off the trail, stalled, and fell over because I didn't unclip. Today, I kept a bit more weight up front, kept it slow, and even with slick tires, made it up the hill. Yay me!

We're now under a heat warning for the third time this year, but I'm sure it would make some of my American friends roll their eyes. Temps will be hovering around 30C, which is about 87F. For us northerners, where most of us don't have AC in our homes, that's pretty warm. A little hazy too, but it's been worse. Our AQHI is a scale out of 10. Today it's 3; a few weeks ago it was 11. Out of 10. Our own little Spinal Tap moment.
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Old 07-29-21, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Really chancy on the air quality this morning. Wind out of the hills is meeting wind from the delta and pushing it down the valley, and my town is right about on the borderline. The AQI goes from 25 here to 40 over the first ridge to 135 in the foothills, about a 10 mile distance, and the little arrows are pointed at us but not directly. My commute is on the left side of this map

I just rode across town and couldn't believe the difference in the air quality as compared to this morning. It was like a fog had settled on the city and the air smelled thick with smoke. If you'd had told me that there was a huge fire a mile away I would have believed you, as the smoke was thick enough that it was at times even impacting visibility.
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Old 07-29-21, 01:12 PM
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The really strange thing is how long it left us alone in the central valley. Last week all the smoke was blowing out over the Great Basin so I'm not surprised to hear it went your way. There was an even bigger fire in Oregon twice the size of this one, another fire on the east slope about half the size of this one, now contained, and yet another one to the south of Lake Tahoe.
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Old 07-30-21, 08:06 AM
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It was only about 70°F this morning so I opted to wear t-shirt and jorts. I still brought a pair of long pants in my bag because my office is over air conditioned, but being able to comfortably ride in “regular” clothes feels good. For a brief moment when I got going the breeze was almost chilly!

I also tried a new route for the first section of my commute, which takes me through the park on a lovely stretch of road that was converted to “no motor vehicles” a few years ago. I don’t think it will be convenient to do all the time because of a particularly obnoxious left turn you have to make if coming from my place. But today I was coming from the other direction after a doctor appointment, so I took the opportunity.

Edit: oh and I got yelled at by a car going the opposite direction as I was speeding down the big hill. I didn’t catch words, just a sharp AH. And like, why? When I’m traveling downhill at traffic speeds I am less of an inconvenience than most other time.

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Old 07-30-21, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbiRobbi View Post
It was only about 70°F this morning...
Funny how everything is so relative! It was 17C/63F here this morning, and I'm dripping sweat after my ride in. I never once felt chilly. Another decent ride in, pretty much the same as yesterday. Warm (for me), sunny, and not a breath of wind. Took the dirt trail again, and now I feel like a pro.
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Old 07-30-21, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by groovestew View Post
Funny how everything is so relative! It was 17C/63F here this morning, and I'm dripping sweat after my ride in. I never once felt chilly. Another decent ride in, pretty much the same as yesterday. Warm (for me), sunny, and not a breath of wind. Took the dirt trail again, and now I feel like a pro.
My morning commute is shorter and primarily down hill, so that helps. Then I just deal with being more sweaty on the way home.
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Old 07-30-21, 11:33 AM
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AQI good today.

I noticed that my commuter tire was holding air and decided to risk it. I'm really sick of the MTB for this ride. Setting out I realized I still didn't have the pump and sealant in my computer bag - I had got them out of the bike bag but left them on the counter or something. Rode anyhow. Living dangerously! It held.

This makes 5 days riding this week, a feat I accomplish only rarely.
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Old 07-30-21, 01:10 PM
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I rode my morning "non-commute" that covered about 0.6-0.7 of a full round trip commute this morning -- call it a recovery ride.

At least it's a recovery ride until my sweat glands noticed the temperature was 78F at 8:00. That's only about 5 degrees warmer than it's been all week in the morning, but it felt a lot warmer. I remember maybe 10 years back when the temperature never got below 80F for most of the month of July, with dew on the grass every morning so the humidity was 100%. How did I manage?
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Old 08-03-21, 04:09 AM
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I am back from vacation and was able to bike commute both yesterday and today. This morning was a pleasant uneventful commute.
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Old 08-04-21, 04:16 AM
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Another pleasant yet uneventful bike commute to work today. Though during yesterday's ride home I had an entertaining encounter. I rode by a house with about five young teens hanging out in the driveway. Before I reached the house I saw 1 of the boys riding his bike doing a wheelie. When a passed the house one of the boys told me to pop a wheelie. I told him I did not have that talent.
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Old 08-04-21, 07:29 PM
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I am 44 years old and have been working on wheelies for about 40 years. Around junior high I figured it out but then I broke my collarbone (a story told elsewhere here) and once back had lost the nerve. I still try. I killed my high-school-and-college Novara MTB landing wheelies on the rigid fork.

This morning there was a meet-the-teachers breakfast at the 7yo's grade school so we saddled up and rode our bikes. G4yo wanted to ride the trail-a-bike but that seat is reserved for B4yo who still has not figured out pedaling on his single. Then her jumper got caught in her bike. So we had some driveway delays.




Anyone know a good fender for a 16er? Trail worthy. This is a Banshee after all



She pedaled all the way up the hill to home, with a few stops. I remember the first time 7yo did that. Waiting on B4yo now.

Breakfast was some muffins and juice and coffee, and we met the teacher. When back, packed the bike in the truck as usual to take the kids to their places, but when I got to the 7yo's summer camp they told me he needed trunks and a towel today for slip-n-slides. So drive back to the house and to summer day camp again and then I still rode, finally, about 2 hours after normal.

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Old 08-05-21, 11:21 AM
  #218  
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Strange weather this morning. Cloudy and cool as I loaded the bike in the truck. It burned off just about the time I got everyone dropped off and started my ride. Pretty quickly - made me kind of wish for a time lapse of the clouds like on Top Gear / Grand Tour. So it was clear and warming for the ride in - perfect. At one point in my commute the road goes downhill and I cross the light rail tracks and turn left. Today the light was sustained green - which usually means the train is about to start but stuck in the station. So I sailed through the downhill and around the corner at a solid 27 mph, says the GPS track - whee! Later in the ride found a part of someone's trailer by the roadside, salvaged a clip from it for my travel trailer and threw the rest deep onto the shoulder bushes. Maybe I saved someone's tire from a puncture too.

Edit, downwind leg... I had dropped off the twins first so the truck was parked at 7yo's camp. As I got the truck the kids were lining up to bus to the pool. So I was just in time to hear them yelling at my kid to get back in line!

Have been feeling really good, physically. Riding more is working.
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Old 08-06-21, 04:15 AM
  #219  
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A very pleasant Friday morning commute. This commute was an on and off again commute due to circumstances relating to me part-time job. Anyway, it turned out to on again. So that was good. I got four days of riding to work in this week. It has been a while for me since that has happened.
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Old 08-06-21, 05:48 PM
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Glad I'm not riding today. The wind shifted and the smoke, still from the Dixie Fire, is really bad. It started as a high altitude plume blowing over and has gradually mixed all day. My local AQI values are edging up into purple (150). That's nothing compared to Chico, in the 200's, or around Tahoe, where it's getting out of purple and into meaningless. I think one of them said 500 there for a minute.

https://www.iqair.com/us/air-quality...CgNsBDr2LuJPZR
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Old 08-07-21, 09:33 AM
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Looks like we are in the part of the year where I check the smoke forecast before riding. The Dixie fire in the mountains has hit 700 square miles covering pretty much the entire width of the Sierras east of Chico and is dumping smoke all over the country again.
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Old 08-09-21, 04:15 AM
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A very pleasant commute to work today, and a great way to start the work week. I stopped by the community garden this morning on my way to work and picked some swiss chard, cherry tomatoes and mint. The swiss chard is for my breakfast and the mint goes into my drinking water, cherry tomatoes are a snack.
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Old 08-10-21, 09:21 PM
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School starts tomorrow. Today was supposed to be a trial run. Fail! Or at least I learned what I needed to. I've done the afternoon leg in less than 30 minutes, and I was budgeting 30 minutes. Leave at 1, pick up twins at 1:30, then get 7yo. Lying to myself. Today I left my desk at 1:05 and wasn't riding til maybe 1:10. It took forty minutes, just taking it easy in the heat and taking the slightly more pleasant route. In order to pick up my twins first at about 1:30 and then my 7yo at precisely the 1:52 bell, I need to be leaving my desk at about 12:45 and taking the direct route. This might relax a little if I figure out what time he really pops out to the sidewalk.
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Old 08-11-21, 04:14 AM
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A very pleasant commute this am. It is noticeably darker in the am. I am going to need a new front light. Mine died just a few months ago. The replacement one is not as user friendly for me. Attaching /unattaching to the handle bars is to hard for me maneuver. I am going to have to buy another Metro as that attaches to a clamp and is easier for me to attach.
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Old 08-11-21, 04:32 PM
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Dressed out at 12:45 pm and wheels up at 12:55, 28 minute elapsed ride time, picked up twins right at 1:30, 10 min to spare to get 7yo even if there weren't first-day chaos at the school. Success!

I don't know how much faster I'd be with gears or smooth tires, but I'm doubting all that much. I see one place I could shave maybe a minute on my route, using the bike lane on the artery instead of the bike trail along it. I know I could go a lot faster on my road bikes.

I've been happy with the improved GPS from my Garmin vs my Apple watch but they won't share heart rate. I wonder what would happen if I did a ride on my garmin and strava on my watch at the same time. Would it be smart enough to combine them? Probably not. I'll try it tomorrow and see
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