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The 2023 How Was Your Commute? Thread

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The 2023 How Was Your Commute? Thread

Old 02-09-23, 10:17 PM
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I only got two laps in this week and the 2nd was a bad idea. There was a 3 day "dry run" meeting T-Th two time zones away on zoom, the kinders had early schedule Th-F. I've got a meeting first thing when I wake up tomorrow before I put kiddo on the bus and then an echo at 8. None of that lends itself to the commute schedule.

No rides next week, on work travel. Got to go two time zones away for the real version of the 3 day meeting in person. In Huntsville, AL, which despite having a few signs up proclaiming bike routes, looks like a terrifying place to bike commute. In theory I could ride the exercise bike in the hotel but I never do
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Old 02-10-23, 08:34 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1594:

Today was supposed to be number 1595, but yesterday had a wrench thrown in it. I awoke to discover water dripping from a ceiling light fixture. My first thought was broken pipe, but upon investigation figured out it was the mother of all ice dams buried under 2 feet of snow on the roof. Once uncovered the ice was about 25 feet long, 5 feet deep and varying from 7" to 12" in thickness. Behind it was a lake of water that had nowhere to go but into my house. I unexpectedly wound up taking the day off work and spending 8 hours up on the roof busting ice with a sledgehammer. The good news is I got the ice removed. The bad news is today I'm reminded that I don't normally spend 8 hours swinging a sledgehammer.

This morning the temp was 7F. Wind was very light, so it wasn't a bad ride to work at all. Way better than busting ice.

Today marks my 7 year commutaversary. The last time I drove a car to work was 2/10/2016. I took a selfie to commemorate the milestone:

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Old 02-10-23, 11:40 AM
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At long last, my first full week of cycle commuting thanks to some cold but dry weather in the UK. Riding home on Tuesday was a bit scary after a car passed me on the left (on a roundabout) just as I was about to turn left - that could have been messy if it was just one second later. I actually caught up with the driver who didn't speak English and had no idea what I was talking about. Oh, well. Not much going on under the hood there if you know what I mean.
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Old 02-10-23, 03:59 PM
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Tundra man, holy cow


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Old 02-11-23, 10:02 PM
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I needed something from the office so I made the round trip on an off day. I'm going to count it
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Old 02-14-23, 11:46 AM
  #56  
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I thought it was cold enough to wear my wool base layer this morning, but with full sun I was hot almost immediately. But, I'm glad I wore it because they keep this office too cold, so I actually put the wool layer back on after my first meeting.
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Old 02-14-23, 01:35 PM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1596:

Temp is in the mid-30s today, which means black ice everywhere. I rode the winter bike with studded tires.

Forecast stated a 100% chance of rain this afternoon (which they were correct about) so when I arrived at the office I brought my winter bike inside for the first time ever. I then rolled it through to the back door and parked it on the covered patio. I reasoned that if the bike sat outside in the rain all day, my bar mitts and seat would turn into giant sponges, and then when the temp drops back below freezing tonight they would freeze solid and would take a long time to thaw.

I would have just rolled it around the outside of the building, but there's many feet of snow on the ground and I didn't want to have to trudge through it carrying the bike.

Supposed to still be raining for the ride home tonight. 35F and rain with a headwind means I should be good and cold when I take my wife out for Valentine's Day this evening.
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Old 02-15-23, 08:53 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1597:

Today Sir Brad gave me a tour of the pit of misery.

Yesterday most of the day the temp was in the mid-30s and it rained for about 12 hours. Had it been 10 degrees colder we would have gotten 8-10 inches of snow. Seeing as the storm sewers are blocked with ice and snow, the rain had nowhere to go but pool in the low spots on the street. Later in the evening the temp did drop into the teens, so then the rain turned to snow and the water turned to ice.

When I woke up this morning I could hear the wind howling. That's never a good motivator to make me want to get out of bed. I looked out the window to see 1/2" of fresh snow on top of tons of ice. I came exceedingly close to throwing my consecutive commuting streak away and driving a car. My son probably wasn't going anywhere today so I could have used his. The only thing that stopped me as that I don't have a permit for the client's parking garage, so I wouldn't have had anywhere to park. Years ago when I started with this client they offered me a parking pass, and I turned it down. That's what saved me.

My boots were still slightly damp from yesterday's rainy ride home. The wet components on my bike had frozen in the unheated garage, making the bike very reluctant to shift and making the chain skip if I tried to use my small front ring. The temp was 17F. The wind was a steady 30 mph, with gusts much higher. Of course, I had to ride straight into it. There were about three gusts that brought me to a dead stop, one of which happened as I was going down a big hill. Yuck.

Given the moisture on the ground combined with the temps, the 1/2" of snow had a weird crunchy texture that added a surprising amount of resistance to the ride relative to its insignificant depth. The bigger challenge with the snow was it camouflaged the large areas of ice. Thankfully(?) the wind was keeping my speeds down around 5 mph so between that and my studded tires I didn't slip around too much. The bigger surprises were the deeper puddles that had a thin frozen layer of ice on top where the snow could sit, but didn't have enough thickness to the ice to support the weight of me and the bike. I'd find myself in the middle of those and then the bike would break through, leaving me stranded in the middle and having to push the bike out. Yuck.

Normally I don't add a layer of long underwear until the temps drop below 10F. The intense wind had the windchill at -3F. I should have worn the long underwear, as by the time I got to the office my thighs were pretty cold.

The temps are predicted to continue to drop. After today it sounds like we're going back into the negative air temps. The good news is I only have one more commute left, and then I'm taking a week off for a Las Vegas getaway with my wife. The temps there are supposed to be in the 60s, which is probably cold to the LV natives, but sounds wonderful to this South Dakota boy. I may even try and intentionally get a sunburn just because I can.
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Old 02-22-23, 11:28 AM
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First ride in about two weeks, went fine! Can't find my toolkit or my fleece gloves. Toolkit was taken out of my laptop bag when I thought I was using it for the carry-on and stashed ...somewhere. Gloves, no idea. Almost done with glove season anyhow.

Yesterday there was an astonishing forecast of snow here tomorrow morning. The precipitation has now been moved to 10am and no chance. It would have been so unusual I'd have woken everyone up to see it
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Old 02-23-23, 01:27 PM
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Two commuting days out of a possible three and I'm annoyed that I missed out on a third day due to rain. I don't mind if it's raining on the way home but raining on the way in to work is a problem as I'm customer facing and looking like a drowned rat is just not going to happen. Worryingly, despite it only being two days of commuting, I've had three near misses this week. Two of them fall into the category of "are you f****** blind" whilst the third was so cynical that I can't believe anyone would treat a fellow human with such disdain. What is wrong with some car drivers?
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Old 02-24-23, 09:39 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1599:

Today was my first day back from our vacation in Las Vegas, and let's just say the commute was... interesting.

Half the reason it was interesting was self inflicted. My wife and I spent the previous seven days in Vegas enjoying 60+F weather, staying up until 2:30 AM, sleeping in until 10:30 AM, and eating whatever food in whatever quantities we fancied. Neither one of us drink, or it would have been even worse. Our flight home landed at 9:30 PM last night.

The other non-self-inflicted part of the reason it was interesting was while we were gone 13" of snow fell, the wind whipped it into a blizzard and then the temps plummeted to below zero. In fact, the airport opened back up just in time to prevent our return flight from getting delayed.

Once I was back in Sioux Falls I had to trudge out to the far edges of the airport parking lot to unbury our car. When I got home last night I then had to stay up to blow snow out of our driveway. It was 1 AM before I fell asleep, then the alarm went off at 6 AM (which my jetlagged body told me was 4 AM Vegas time.) Ugh.

The plows still hadn't run on the side streets and the MUP, and the air temperature was -9F with a wind chill around -30F so I decided to do a split-commute with the bus. Thankfully the buses were running again today after shutting down for a couple days, so I at least had that option available to me. I rode/carried the bike through the unplowed streets and made it to the bus stop, where I (quite literally) stood in snow up to my knees waiting for the bus. The streets from the downtown stop to the office were plowed, so that portion of the ride was a little easier. Thankfully I made it to the client's office without having to drive a car.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of luck to keep a consecutive streak like mine going. This is the second time this winter where I coincidentally happened to be out of town during a major snow event that likely would have broken my streak.
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Old 02-24-23, 09:47 AM
  #62  
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I got only one lap this week. Two days of kids off for Prez Day, Wednesday riding, yesterday errands, today California weather making the east coast news again.
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Old 03-01-23, 07:06 PM
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I went back and forth about riding today. It was sunny but drenched in the morning. I got over it and hit the road. The lagoon bridge thats sometimes frosted had sheet ice on the planks.

In the morning I guess I was preoccupied with the cold but in the afternoon it was dramatic how hard spring has sprung. The trees havent fledged yet but the ground is thick green.


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Old 03-02-23, 11:30 AM
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No hint of rain this week so I got the hat-trick in with three commuting days out of three. Not much to report other than on this afternoon's ride home I didn't need to switch my lights on at all. Spring has sprung!
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Old 03-02-23, 02:19 PM
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that's what the cup holder is for, right? Discovered a new coffee spot today, happy to be back riding again after last week's work schedule had me driving
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Old 03-05-23, 10:09 PM
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The number of times I've lost the lid is significantly nonzero, tuck it in! Depending how you like your coffee you'll be sticky or scalded

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
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Old 03-06-23, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
The number of times I've lost the lid is significantly nonzero, tuck it in! Depending how you like your coffee you'll be sticky or scalded
better yet, plan ahead and bring your own travel mug haha. I'm sometimes getting good at this... that looks so messy!
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Old 03-06-23, 02:42 PM
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Some excellent stories there!
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Old 03-06-23, 02:59 PM
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I saw an egret this morning, pretty close. He was hunting frogs on the meadow above China Wall. I had already passed him and was moving away when he took off. I don't think I scared him. Maybe I spoiled his spot somehow. Egrets are just really cool looking birds. Why did Scot Nicol go with an ibis? the world wonders

I came home early on the most direct route. My wife tested covid positive and I had to take the (negative) kinders to school and then go test the 3rd grader. I first called the school - Yes, you need to test him. He can stay if he's negative. We have tests here. No, we can't give him the test, you have to. @#$%ing government!
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Old 03-08-23, 07:23 AM
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A bit chilly this morning (about 33 F) but will get up to the 50s later on I think. showing off the new separated bike lanes near campus! not sure if you can see the bike traffic signal up ahead on the left. Yay DelDOT!
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Old 03-08-23, 09:09 PM
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decided to just minimize my bike's and make a road bike my commuter too. luckily the new road bike has fender/mounts and nice proprietary fender set that looks clean.

the seattle misty damp cold winter isn't fun to commute in but I've been loving the 1.8 mile hilly ride so far. again the garmin varia, fenders, lights, and nice new bike has made my days more enjoyable.

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Old 03-14-23, 07:54 AM
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Consecutive bicycle work commute number 1611:

The last few weeks of commuting have been mostly uneventful. Over the last month we've had a minimum of 3" additional snow each week added to what's already on the ground. Last snowfall total I heard put us at 64" received so far this season. We've started to see some daily high temps poking up above freezing, which has started to melt a little bit of the snow. I'm hoping for a slow warm-up this spring to try and prevent flooding. If we suddenly get a 60F day we're in trouble.

There was no melting happening this morning. It was 12F air temperature plus a 20 mph cross wind. The humidity was again pretty high for temps this low (80%) which meant the temps felt even colder than it really was. The humidity has been higher than normal for most of this winter. I wore an extra layer of thermal underwear under my pants. I arrived at work chilly, but not frozen.

The sun has melted off most of the rutted ice on the pavement, except for areas along the edges. The center part of the roads and trails are pretty much ice-free now. The big exceptions are under bridges, along the north side of tall buildings, and dense tree areas. In those spots the rutted ice is still pretty severe as the sun doesn't get a chance to do its thing. I rode the winter bike with studded tires.

I didn't sleep well last night. I think it was a combination of the time change and the stress of life. I wound up only getting about three hours of sleep, and very little of it was consecutive. I'd snooze for 45 minutes or so, and then my brain would turn on and I'd find myself lying awake for a long time and thinking about things. It's dumb of me to lay there in the middle of the night obsessing about stuff I can't control, but when it happens it's fruitless to try and convince my mind of that fact.

When I rolled out of the garage and turned on my headlight the button immediately turned red, indicating low battery. That was concerning, as I just charged it up the previous evening. I think the battery on this light is reaching end-of-life. I've already purchased its replacement, but I'm trying to milk the old one as long as I can. Sure enough, the light died completely about halfway to the office. Of course it went out right in the middle of a big icy stretch, leaving me navigating the area in the pitch dark. I finished the remaining four miles to work using my backup light I keep zip-tied to the top of my helmet. It's been a few years since I've had to resort to the backup. I'm glad it had enough of a charge to get me there.

The Take-A-Look mirror I have attached to my pair of clear glasses has been getting looser and looser, causing the mirror to frequently fall off. I thought about using a little bit of tape to keep it in place, but decided to try a slightly more elegant solution. I cut a length of heat-shrink tubing and put it over the area where the mirror attaches to the glasses, then shrunk it down. It is extremely secure now, and if I need to replace the glasses I can easily remove the mirror by just cutting the tubing. No sticky tape residue to deal with. I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with this idea. Little accomplishments like this make life more enjoyable.

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Old 03-14-23, 08:04 AM
  #73  
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I am also struggling with the daylight savings time situation this week and yes, not sleeping well. I can't wait for nicer weather. Good job on your glasses! Have you thought about getting dynamo lights? I think about that sometimes because dead batteries suck to deal with when you need working lights. But I guess they don't really light up if not actively pedaling (or flicker at times?), which I don't really love the idea of.
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Old 03-14-23, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jaxy357
I am also struggling with the daylight savings time situation this week and yes, not sleeping well. I can't wait for nicer weather. Good job on your glasses! Have you thought about getting dynamo lights? I think about that sometimes because dead batteries suck to deal with when you need working lights. But I guess they don't really light up if not actively pedaling (or flicker at times?), which I don't really love the idea of.
I've thought about dynamo lights long enough to decide it's not the best for my situation. I have six bikes that I will ride depending on the weather conditions and/or the load I'm carrying. I purchased mounts for each bike and I'll just swap my set of lights onto the bike I happen to be riding on that particular day. Having to retrofit all six bikes with dynamo hubs would be cost prohibitive.
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Old 03-16-23, 02:52 PM
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I'm only working three days a week now and the past two weeks have been identical with two cycle commuting days and one 'bus day' due to heavy rain and high winds (on one of the days I was almost blown off my feet walking past an alleyway that was funnelling the wind). My fitness is improving and I smashed my best time for riding home this week (about 10 minutes lower than when I started on this commute in January).

My Cannondale CAADX is doing a good job but I can't help thinking about what bike I'll use when we get good weather in April and May. I've got a low-end Giant Contend (8-speed Claris) that's ready to go but I've also got a 2013 Giant TCR2 (SL) aluminium frameset that I'd like to build up. I've also seen a new smart-looking lugged steel frame (Reynolds 520 tubing) that's caught my eye but I simply can't justify buying it.
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