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The 2023 How Was Your Commute? Thread

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The 2023 How Was Your Commute? Thread

Old 12-31-22, 04:55 AM
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The 2023 How Was Your Commute? Thread

Due to the pandemic, I'm stuck working some F#$%#D up hours... I won't be able to start the thread like I usually do. If someone would be so kind as to step in for me, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 12-31-22, 07:40 PM
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How was YOUR commute?

There, hows that?
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Old 01-03-23, 02:57 PM
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Soft start to the bike riding year here in California's elbow




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Old 01-04-23, 07:26 AM
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Monday's commute was foggy!
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Old 01-04-23, 03:38 PM
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04 JAN 2023, 64 F, I worked up a sweat even with a folder.
Global warming is real.

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Old 01-05-23, 03:58 PM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1568:

My wife and I traveled to Ohio over the holidays to visit her family. While we were there the temps never dropped below about 40F, with the daily highs in the 50s and 60s. Coming from sub-zero South Dakota it was a shock, and I figured I lost my winter skin.

We returned on the 1st in order to beat a huge storm system that was rolling across South Dakota. It hit on the 2nd. Thankfully, I had originally taken both the 2nd and 3rd off of work expecting to still be traveling, so I didn't have to worry about trying to commute in the middle of the storm. I just hunkered down at home and enjoyed the fact that my consecutive commuting streak remained intact.

By the morning of the 4th, we had received 14" of snow with more still falling. Schools were closed. Nearly every business was closed. The owner of my company sent out a mandate that everyone was to work from home on this day because the city was so overwhelmed with snow that most of the roads were still unplowed. Of course, working from home and not riding would be "cheating" in my book, so I decided to ignore the mandate and figure out a way to ride to the client's office anyway. I decided if they wanted to fire me for showing up for work during bad weather, then that's their prerogative.

I got up extra early, knowing that one: the unplowed snow was going to slow me way down and two: I wanted to share the roads with as few vehicles as possible. I ran the snowblower for the 5th time in 36 hours, then loaded up the fat bike. It was 21F with a 15 mph headwind.

The first few blocks through the unplowed snow were tricky. I tried to ride in the ruts left by the few trucks who dared to be out. My pedals would hit the snow on either side of the ruts at the bottom of the stroke.

I made it to a main road which is normally too busy for me to ride. However, my plan worked: given that this is a major route they had done a good job keeping the snow clear. Also, because of the early hour and the fact that everything was closed, traffic was extremely light. The only downside was this road is extremely hilly, so that really slowed me down (more so than the snow or the headwind.)

I pretty much used the strategy of staying on the normally busy roads for the whole ride to the client location downtown. There were a few spots where I had to ride down a couple unplowed streets, but outside of those sections it really wasn't a bad ride at all.

About a block from the office one of the lanes of the road was completely blocked by a snow drift that was taller than me. There were no cars coming so I got off the bike and snapped a picture. The photo doesn't give the true perspective, as this drift is about 8 feet tall:

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Old 01-05-23, 04:09 PM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1569:

Two more inches of snow fell yesterday bringing the storm's total in our city to around 16". Much to my relief today it has stopped snowing for the first time in three days. We need the moisture, but it will be nice to have a break for a little bit to allow us to clean up.

It was 19F this morning with a 20 mph headwind. It really didn't feel cold at all. I think my fears of losing my winter skin during our holiday travels were unfounded. Tomorrow it's supposed to drop down into the low single digits so that will be the true test.

There was so much snow it's overwhelmed the city plowing system. They're way behind. They've called in people from other departments (including the fire department) to help drive plows. All of the main routes are clear, but as of this morning maybe only 1/3 of the back roads and side streets had been plowed. The MUP hasn't been touched at all, so I didn't bother trying to ride my normal route.

Instead, I did a repeat of yesterday morning. I got up extra early, blew snow off my driveway (hopefully for the last time for at least a few days) and then hit the road. I started to ride the same busy streets that I took yesterday, but quickly realized that traffic was back to normal. I decided to try a side-street route. The first 10 blocks of this route were pretty easy, as the plows had already come through. As I crossed into a different neighborhood that hadn't yet been plowed, things got a lot tougher. The next few miles were through mostly unplowed streets. Thankfully a lot of cars had packed the snow down, so while it was slow it was at least ridable.

I finished up the last couple miles back on a major road and just held my breath as cars passed me on the slick streets. Thankfully there were no incidents. Even on the plowed roads, there was enough snow that there's nowhere to push it completely out of the way, so things have gotten very narrow. Four lane roads are currently two lanes, and two lane roads are often just one lane.
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Old 01-06-23, 08:41 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1570:

No additional snow this morning which was nice. Temps took a nosedive down to normal January temps. It was 0F this morning but thankfully the breeze was very light. I wasn't cold at all, which makes me very confident that my winter skin survived our Ohio trip intact. I did throw on an extra layer under my riding pants, which I normally do below 10F. Switched out my glasses for goggles, which are warmer but lack a rearview mirror.

Took the fat bike again. The plow status of the MUP could not be confirmed (via our local online bicycle social media group), and where I normally get on the MUP is at the bottom of a giant hill with no acceptable alternative routes other than the way I get there. I decided I didn't want to risk riding down and discovering that the MUP is impassable, and then having to backtrack a mile up that big hill. I opted to take the streets the whole way. I'll check the MUP on the way home as from the downtown area there are a lot more options to bail out if it's not clear. By the time I go home tonight it will be 36 hours since the last snow fell, so it would surprise me if the MUP wasn't plowed by then.

I looked on the map and decided to try some different side streets. My goal was to reduce the intensity of the hills compared to the routes I took the previous couple days. There's no way to avoid hills on this end of town, but I would be happy if I could trade a couple of the "rollercoaster" streets for more gradual gradient changes. For the most part my efforts were successful, but these alternative routes were anything but flat.

Saw a Bobcat stuck in the snow (the heavy equipment kind, not the feline kind.) It takes some serious doing to get one of those stuck.
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Old 01-06-23, 09:31 AM
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Today is not a work day. Not sure if I'll get a ride in, helping my wife move offices and 100% on kid duty. Will I ever ride my bike again? We might wash away

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Old 01-08-23, 11:28 AM
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Well, I'm underway in 2023 but it's not been a good start. First off, I've really put on weight over the festive period but I'm doing 'dry January' and easing up on the crap I've been eating.

I'm working at two locations now and did a recce on the new location (10-mile each way) earlier this week to find that it's really poor for bike storage, changing and drying clothes. It is doable but not in heavy rain and that's exactly the forecast for the week ahead. At this location, I'm customer facing and arriving at work like a drowned rat is not an option.

My other three days were at my usual location (only 3-mile each way) but I wimped out on one day due to the offer of a lift from a kind-hearted work colleague on a day of very heavy rain.
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Old 01-09-23, 11:24 AM
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I started a new job on November 28. (Yay!) Today was the first day I rode my bike to work. Until today, I was taking the subway. (I’m in NYC.)

The route is the same as it was for me in 2014 through 2017. My workplace is very close to the workplace I had back then. It’s 13 miles each way, and that’s a bit much for me. Five years ago, I did the route only two or three days a week, and if I can get up to that level, I’ll be very pleased.

I put it off because I wanted to create a good track record of arriving at work on time. I’m now working in a school, and of course, teachers must be on time, reliably. I’ve been on time every day so far. That’s an improvement for me, though in my previous jobs, punctuality was less important than it is now. I prepared my bike last night and kept it in the apartment. I also prepared my lunch and my clothes at night. I got up early. The bike ride takes a bit longer than the subway ride.

I was five minutes late, but it’s in the 15 minute margin between the time we are supposed to arrive and the time we need to be ready for the kids, so that five minute difference is inconsequential.

The route is almost entirely flat. It’s so flat that I really noticed it. I’m not used to such a flat route. It’s right along the edge of the Hudson River, and it can get very windy. The wind was quite calm today, so it didn’t slow me down. The weather was cold, and I decided to err on the side of dressing too warmly. That worked out well, especially since I had forgotten my undershirt.

I did have to pedal at a pretty vigorous rate the whole time. If I want to do it at a more leisurely pace, I’ll need to allow for extra time. And there was no margin for anything to go wrong, and I should build one in.

Overall, I’m pleased. The school said they can’t provide me with any space inside to put my bike. I locked it up onto a signpost outside. I’m not happy about that. I’ll ask again and explain the risk of theft and vandalism. I really think they could find room in a closet or something.

My GPS tracks: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/110759379
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Old 01-09-23, 12:02 PM
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Nice, Tom! Welcome back

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The school said they cant provide me with any space inside to put my bike. I locked it up onto a signpost outside. Im not happy about that. Ill ask again and explain the risk of theft and vandalism. I really think they could find room in a closet or something.
Where do the drivers park?
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Old 01-09-23, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The school said they cant provide me with any space inside to put my bike. I locked it up onto a signpost outside. Im not happy about that. Ill ask again and explain the risk of theft and vandalism. I really think they could find room in a closet or something.
I'd suggest asking the maintenance people rather than "the school." There's probably a closet or some extra space next to an HVAC air handler they'll know about.
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Old 01-09-23, 06:31 PM
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Today is the 9th of January and I got my first commute to/from work in. It was great. Aside from arguing with a UPenn idiot in a Range Rover who doesn't know the law and almost hit myself as well as the woman on a bike directly in front of me. He was stopped at a light, no signal, I was astride his passenger door and the rider in front of me was right astride his bumper. We were both in the bike lane and when the light turned green, he gave his truck the gas and just about hit the person in front of me who swerved. He got yelled at by me to learn the law and then I rode to work. It was a great ride there and back, I felt really good today.
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Old 01-09-23, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Nice, Tom! Welcome back


Where do the drivers park?
Thank you for the welcome. Its good to be back with the identity as bike commuter.

I dont know where the drivers park. I suspect they are on their own with street parking (which is TIGHT) and paid parking (which I assume is expensive). NYC is not an easy place to live or work. Many New Yorkers have deep love and hate of the City.
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Old 01-09-23, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I'd suggest asking the maintenance people rather than "the school." There's probably a closet or some extra space next to an HVAC air handler they'll know about.
Yes! Just today I noticed a closet where the janitor stores the plastic bags full of garbage. Maybe it would work if my bike were between those bags and the wall. I have to figure out how to convey my request in Spanish to Mister Juan. We are all addressed as Honorific First-Name, so I am Mister Thomas.
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Old 01-10-23, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Yes! Just today I noticed a closet where the janitor stores the plastic bags full of garbage. Maybe it would work if my bike were between those bags and the wall. I have to figure out how to convey my request in Spanish to Mister Juan. We are all addressed as Honorific First-Name, so I am Mister Thomas.
How about: Puedo aparcar la bicicleta del seor en el armario del seor junto a la basura del seor?

(For those who don't speak Spanish, that means "May I park Mister bicycle in Mister closet next to Mister garbage?")
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Old 01-10-23, 08:24 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1572:

First day since the new year where I rode all the way to our company headquarters. Three seasons out of the year I try to get there two mornings a week. During winter it usually becomes less than that because my client is only half the distance and the snow, temperatures and/or wind often sucks the motivation out of me to ride that far.

I left the house at about 6:20 AM and it was plenty dark. 12F this morning, but only a 5 mph breeze so the temp wasn't bad. My thighs got a little chilly along with the toes on my left foot (not sure why just the left.) The rest of me was fine temperature-wise. The humidity was 80% which is unusually high when the temps are this cold. Similar to wind chill, high humidity tends to make things feel colder than they actually are. However the big thing I noticed with the humidity this morning was that my goggles fogged over in about half the time versus normal.

I rode the fat bike. The MUP is plowed, but there's quite a bit of snow pack still covering most of the pavement so I wanted the security of the fat tires. When I got to a park where I normally cut through on the road portion, a sign was hanging on a barrier saying the road was closed due to police training. So I had to take the MUP the whole mile through the park. I usually take the road because the MUP in this area tends to drift shut with snow, but luckily it was clear this morning.

The last two miles were on the streets, which are still very narrow due to the snow piles along the sides. A few drivers couldn't figure out that if I'm out in the middle of the lane because of the snow pack, that means they should use the other lane to pass me when it's clear. A couple of them decided to squeeze between me and oncoming traffic. Once again reminding us that half of everyone on the road is below average intelligence.

Took me an 1:05 to ride the 8 miles. When I arrived at our office the bike rack was completely buried in snow. It was also buried last time I was here, which was before Christmas. With the 20" of snow we've received since that time the situation with the rack has gotten worse. With no other good options available, I chained my bicycle to a handicapped parking sign right in front of the front door to the building.
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Old 01-11-23, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1572:
My thighs got a little chilly along with the toes on my left foot (not sure why just the left.)
Pay close attention to how your leg/s feel and those toes. In February 2019, I was diagnosed with a 3ft blood clot in my greater saphenous vein of my left leg. It went from my ankle nearly to my groin. I didn't have most of the symptoms of DVT, but my toes felt like they were in cold water all the time. The clot's location close to my groin made it a little more serious. I was put on blood thinners for a bit, prescribed compression socks and ordered to get off the bike while I was on thinners, just to limit complications in case of an accident (Philly is a notoriously dangerous city for cyclists.)
It resolved itself and I've been clear since.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...%20artery%20(2).
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Old 01-12-23, 11:13 AM
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On the board for 2023!

The kinders had an early day and I got them onto their bikes for the ride in. The boy's bike is still way too big for him. I should have put off his move up. I gave him a shorter handlebar and flipped it, that helped a lot. Still, he can't quite get to the ground when he needs to and his cranks are too long. 140 cranks and 2, not 2.6 tires will help him. Today he negligently tried to ride up parallel to a round curb and his tires, still shiny, pumped too hard by yrs trly, attached to a suspension fork too hard to move, and way bigger than before, could not follow. A hundred feet later he crashed again in the middle of the school's crosswalk right into the crosswalk sign in the middle of the street. Much smaller girl twin on her perfectly sized Spawn also managed one crash when a teacher, who's never been there before, got in front of her on an upslope, and told her she couldn't ride where we've always ridden before with no interference up to the front gate.

Then I had to ride back to the house because I'd forgotten the lock for their bikes.

@stardognine no blockage between the Iron Point bike trail entrance and the US50 pedestrian overpass exit

Today is a nice lull in the weather before we get whacked again this weekend.

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Old 01-12-23, 07:51 PM
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Today at lunchtime I ventured onto main street, which has sharrows, no bike lane. it went about as expected with an suv passing me within about 12 inches, not getting into the left lane to pass. I'm not in a huge rush to venture off bike lanes, back roads and paved trails again anytime soon.
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Old 01-15-23, 10:50 AM
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A rare five-day week for me and a mixed bag with three commutes to my local workplace but none to my new second workplace due to very heavy rain (not for me on a 10-mile e/w commute). Being a gentleman of a certain age I now have a free bus pass so took the bus to work on those two days.

The weather for the week ahead looks much colder but thankfully drier so I'm aiming to finally cycle in to the new workplace.
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Old 01-16-23, 08:46 AM
  #23  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1576:

Unseasonably warm today at 35F, which is about 25 above average. A light rain was falling, which should reduce our snow pack significantly, but given that the ground is frozen solid and all the storm sewers are clogged/blocked with ice and snow, there's nowhere for the water to go so it's just standing. Tonight when the temp drops back into the teens should make for a very icy commute tomorrow.

I took the winter bike with studded tires. There is still enough packed snow in places on the pavement that I didn't want to go with the thinner-tired hybrid. Sill, with the warm temps it felt like I was flying as I rode. Looked down at my speedometer and I was going 11 mph. After more than a month of 8 mph average that seemed smokin' fast.

As I arrived at the client's office I went to ride up the wheelchair curb ramp onto the sidewalk as I normally do to get to the door, but due to snow cover I misjudged where it was. Because I'm coming across a "T" intersection I approach this ramp at a 90 angle. I wound up hitting the curb HARD with my rear wheel. It made a startlingly loud "bang". I thought for sure I had blown my tire and/or bent my rim, but when I inspected it the wheel looked OK. My Ortlieb pannier bag, however, did not fare so well. The impact was hard enough to break the upper mount where it screws into the bag. I'll have to see if I can glue it back together when I get home tonight.
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Old 01-17-23, 10:02 AM
  #24  
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1577:

1" of fresh snow on the ground this morning. Got up early to clear the snow from my driveway, otherwise it would be a skating rink by this evening. We're forecasted to get 6" more snow tomorrow.

24F with a 15-20 mph headwind. I took the winter bike with carbide studs because of all the ice hiding under the snow. I rode 8 miles out to our company headquarters, and it took me a little more than an hour.

I had heard they did a big study and as a result are redoing/reducing some of the bus routes in my city to better match usage patterns. I was concerned that the route I occasionally use would be on the axe list. I found the city's transportation study and read through the proposed changes. Looks like my route is safe, they're just rearranging a small part of it to add a couple stops previously handled by another route getting the axe. That's a relief.
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Old 01-17-23, 12:52 PM
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Got a lap in today. Maybe the rest of the week too if the forecast holds. We are looking at a small storm Weds night but otherwise clear. California flooding is quickly going to fall out of your east and midwest newspapers, it's already below the fold
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