commuting

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by fushman, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    so im just curious, who commutes, what do you ride, how far you gotta go, what do you wear, how do you transport work clothes and what not and not being funky all day, etc
     
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  2. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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    I commute about 3 days per week , but I only have to ride 4.25 miles one way to work. Its about a 16 minute ride for me either way(driving is about 12 minutes either way). I ride a Look Carbon road bike.... with CAMPY components(as mentioned on a earlier... more violent thread !) .

    From October to early April(coldest times of the year, 25-40 degrees at night) , I wear full synthetic leather Sidi shoes , with long sleave jersey , knee warmers****** key , and full figured gloves-peral izumi thermostat . Its all about layering as well, so I'll have a shirt underneath my jersey.... and boxer/briefs underneith my cycling shorts(8 panel).

    From mid-April to end of September...... Hotest part of the year , I basically ride when I am comfortable to commute. It gets to over 115 degrees on the black top where I live, so commuting is not so great when your rubber is straight up Melting right in front of your eyes !!!!!

    I have a back pack...... with a Good Cateye tailight ...... and Night rider headlight.

    When I get to work, I have deoterent there.... which I apply ...... change my clothes...... and simply freshin up a bit. I have other things in my locker, such as shoes... etc.. so that I dont have to continually transport those items.

    The life of a commuter is not an easy one ....... but a very rewarding one- on a personal level........ and you dont consume as much Gas, which is big $$ right about now. Also, I ride home at the end of my shift at a little past 2am in the morning :D

    No rest for the Wicked !
     
  3. recycle

    recycle New Member

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    I commute, run manageable errands (small shopping, library, not dry cleaning) ... work is only a mile and I lifeguard/teach swimming so clothes aren't an issue. I have a locker and have to change for work anyway. Also, showers built in!!! Errands I do as far as time permits, but I don't worry much about being funky for 20 minutes carrying a bike helmet. I'm in chicago and I find that the bright outer layer makes a huge difference in vehicular respect. I have a bright orange windbreaker that I wear most of the time. Layered over fleece in winter (I only go down to about 20° for riding). I ride a Gary Fisher Hybrid w/ a rack so I can do a couple of bags or bungee something on. I keep the tires to over 30c. I liked narrower cuz they were fast, but too many flats. There is alot of glass ... and I do like to take a dirt short cut when it presents itself.
     
  4. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    I commute about 5 miles one way, two to four days a week. It's a short ride, but I work at a bike friendly company in a bike-mecca region -- great hills and long loops abound. Anyways, I tend to treat that 5 mile ride like its the Tour of Georgia, because my plan is always to take that same bike up into the hills for a quick lunchtime workout anyways.

    In other words, most of the time, I'm wearing full gear, and riding either my TCR or my Klein.

    We've got showers and a bike stable here (yeah, it's rough) so it allll tends to work out!

    I'd love a dedicated commuter, though -- something I don't have right now. Thinking seriously about a track bike, possibly well-used, or maybe a cheap new option, like the Surly Steamroller or even the Bianchi Pista.
     
  5. eric_the_red

    eric_the_red New Member

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    I commute about 13 km each way. On good weather days I ride a Look carbon bike and treat each way like a time trial, flat out, as fast as I can go. When it's raining I have an older bike that I use. I usually take a couple of pairs of pants to work on Mondays, so that most days I don't have to transport too much clothing. I leave shoes at work too. We have a covered bike rack and showers at work so getting sweaty on the way there isn't a problem.
    Reasons I commute by bike:
    Fastest time on the bike - 22 minutes
    Slowest time on the bike - 40 minutes
    Fastest time in the car - 20 minutes
    Slowest time in the car - over 2 hours (major traffic accident, bridge closed)
     
  6. natewilkes

    natewilkes New Member

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    I commute 4 days a week. On the fifth I rest.
    It is a 7 mile very hilly ride along the pacific. Only ~200m of flat in the whole ride.
    I ride an '03 Marin Mill Valley, but would love to trade up to an Allez Comp/Sport/etc. or equivalent. Riding up these hills in running shoes has started to heart my feet by Friday so I am fixing to obtain a Look/Shimano pedal & shoe combination. As for clothing I just wear essentially a jersey and shorts (or pants). Gloves may be added due to wind, but it is no emergency. I double lock my bike in an out of the way rack with higher end bikes, so mine won't be conspicuous. Takes ~35-45 minutes to get there and 20-30 minutes to get back. In a car the times are 15 and 45 minutes respectively (traffic). I originally started riding to avoid buying a car.
    IF anyone has suggestions for a daily use road bike I would love to hear them.
     
  7. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    I commute most fair weather days about 3 miles. I ride a 2003 Bianchi Pista with cow horn handle bars and a couple cat eye lights. I work on a college campus, so bike theft is epidemic but fortunately my cubicle is big enough for the bike.

    I wear normal clothes, though in the summer I wear a t-shirt and stow my dress shirt in my backpack. When I get to work, I apply a little deodorant (and if it's really hot, maybe a little soap and water from the bathroom sink) and swap the t-shirt for the dress shirt. I switched the clipless pedals for toe clips... I didn't want to have to carry a change of shoes with me.

    I use a backpack (with a little extra reflecting tape glued on), but my girlfriend just got a messenger bag and I must confirm that it's pretty sweet (comfortable and way big). They're expensive at $70, but I may go for it.

    I usually start my morning commute trying to remind myself to enjoy the ride, but being a naturally competitive person, I can't make it a mile with out racing a few cars or trying to get a new max speed on the computer. A three mile commute just isn't long enough!
     
  8. sfcommuter

    sfcommuter New Member

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    Hybrid bike (highly-modified '03 fisher utopia) with fenders/racks/lights.

    20 hilly miles roundtrip, 5 days a week, rain or shine.

    I've found the best solution for clothes is that I keep all of my work clothes and shoes at work and change there so I don't have to keep hauling them around with me or get them all sweaty. I do laundry near work. I keep the bike in my office so no need for locks.

    Since the hybrid is a dedicated commuter I put on racks to carry stuff and it is fully outfitted for all weather conditions. I can't stand carrying around in a backpack while I'm riding. If the weather looks iffy in the morning I just throw in a rain jacket/pants so that if it's raining on the way home I'm ready.
     
  9. neil0502

    neil0502 New Member

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    Taking some time off of work right now, but the normal drill:

    -trip: 18 mile r/t
    -frequency: 4+ days/wk
    -time (bike): average: ~32 min out, ~28 min back (terrain issues. no way around The Hill).
    -time (car): 25 min to over 1hr (SoCal weather is great, but...)
    -steed: Cannondale T2000 with rear rack + panniers
    -lights: Lupine Edison 10 headlight; xenon strobe taillight, reflective stickers on bike, shoes, backpack, panniers, helmet
    -riding duds: Bike jersey, bike shorts, Sidi's. Add layers as needed
    -hygiene: shower at office; toiletries under desk; shave at home
    -working duds: fresh clothes come with me daily, half the time in backpack; half the time in panniers (no logic)
    -footwear: shoes stay at the office (2-3pr)
    -towel: comes home 2x/wk for fumigation ;)
    -downer: laptop tends to (ugh) come home 2 days/wk (chalk up about 7 more pounds....)
    -upper: calories burned in the process: apparently at least as many as I take in :D
     
  10. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

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    Here are my commuting details:
    - 2-3 times per week
    - 61 miles roundtrip - beautiful, rolling New England back roads (only 8 stop lights!)
    - ride a 2004 Specialized Allez Comp in good weather
    - ride an early 90s mountain bike in the winter
    - right now wearing tights, or bib shorts and leg warmers, T-shirt and long sleeved jersey, windbreaker and ear band
    - leave house at 5:30-6:00 AM
    - shower at the onsite gym
    - leave a pair of shoes at the office
    - leave biking clothes at the office, for the return trip
    - use a Camelback HAWG for packing in work clothes, pager, phone, etc, and 2 liters of water
    - park the bike in my office (doubles as conversation piece)
    - use a 43 point checklist to remember everything that I need (can you say OCD?)
    - estimated savings - $4.00 in tolls and $5.00 in gas each day I ride in
    - estimated costs - $3.00 in Accelerade, $2.50 in Clif/Odwalla bars and $1.50 in Endurox

    All in all it is a great ride. I feel like I've made a huge accomplishment, and it is only 8:00 AM!
     
  11. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    I ride about 20 miles to and from work. mostly downhill going to work and mostly uphill coming home. I ride everyday-- even in snow (twice last winter season)

    Being a blue collar guy, sweating isn't an issue. I wear polyester work pants, tee shirts, work boots. I have a couple of old wool sweaters and $50 rain gear for bad weather.

    I'm currently riding an old road bike I bought at Goodwill for 18 bucks, a century exectutive? SIS drivetrain and super heavy. Last winter I trashed an old Sears Free Spirit 10 speed. I'm not really picky about bikes. I leave them chained outside a lot and the wet roads are really hard on them.

    I do have a $150 headlight & good tail light.

    I pretty much see bikes as a way to get to point A to point B-- I don't club ride or race (not that I hold any ill will toward sport cyclists) I'm also not even a great cyclist-- you'd think after 20 years of riding I'd be racing up hills and bombing around downhill curves, but I'm still just bumbling along.

    According to AAA automotive club numbers on the $$$ of driving, I've saved over $100,000 by cycling and not driving to work in my life. Plus I'm pretty healthy. Commuting by bike takes gumption and a bike-- and very little else.
     
  12. neil0502

    neil0502 New Member

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    Bravo, Tacomee. Bravo for every single word you said.


     
  13. rek

    rek New Member

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    I commute between one and three times a week. Riding in is 24-35km (depending on route), and back home is anything from 21km to 43km. I'm fortunate enough to have full shower and locker facilities at my place of work (university campus.) Bike theft is not an issue as I keep the bike locked in my office.

    The majority of my route is on a cycleway that runs parallel to the freeway into the city, so I only have to deal with traffic for the last couple of kilometres -- and even then the roads have marked cycle lanes etc.

    When I go in by car, I take enough clothing for however many days I expect to ride in that week. As riding a fair bit makes your stomach a bottomless pit, I also prepare some frozen lunches (usually pasta of some kind) and leave them in the lounge freezer so I don't go broke buying food ;) Failing all that, I sometimes also ride with a backpack with an emergency top-up of supplies :)

    I normally do it on my road bike (C'dale CAAD5 roadie with 105), but in wet/otherwise bad weather I use my mountain bike (C'dale CAAD5 hardtail with XT/XTR, Hayes hydros, Lefty fork) equipped with semislicks. At the moment I only have LED flashers, but as it's getting to Winter here, I can't wait for my HID light set to finally arrive in the mail...

    It's great. Commuting to work makes you feel that much more awake and gets you much more productive right from the start of the day. It's also a good way to get some k's into the legs without having to "make time" for it.
     
  14. Gonzo Bob

    Gonzo Bob New Member

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    I ride an old rigid MTB with studded tires in the winter ,and switch to slicks in the spring/summer/fall.

    about 15 miles one-way but I often lengthen it if the weather is nice

    i wear cycling clothes

    i leave an extra pair of shoes at work and carry work clothes and towel in a pannier

    shower and change clothes at work
     
  15. armchair_spacem

    armchair_spacem New Member

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    Commute is 25k each way, bayside trail for 20 of the 25, on an MTB commuter hack I built over a rainy long weekend from parts found on ebay and scrounged from LBS bargain bins. I save my roadie for serious training and weekend group rides at times when there's not peak-hour traffic. I keep a change of clothes at the office and shower at work, with undies & socks and whatever else carried in a backpack.
    This morning's misty sunrise over the glassy-smooth bay sure beats the hell out of looking up some motorist's exhaust pipe.
    (That said, the "afternoon sea breezes" in my face on teh way home can be character building). People at work ask me why I do it. I say "because I can".
     
  16. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    4 days/week (schedule makes Tuesdays hard) unless it's really icy, or I feel icky. 7 miles one way, through town; lots of stop signs but some nice charges up some slight upgrades, which are a nice challenge if I'm on the middleweight, and fun on the Racer -- both coaster brake 1-speeds from the 60's. The fenders are nice when that matters. I wear T-shirt & sweats or long johns, tights, and sweats if it's close to zero (F). Tuesdays I bring or take clothes.
    Started doing it one day at a time, and it got to be a hobbit.
     
  17. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    What an awesome ride! I'm constantly stopping at lights (or running them and keeping an eye out for traps -- Cambridge, MA cops ticket bikers constantly) and always regret getting to my office right as I'n getting into the office...

    I used to work with a guy who road every day, no matter what the weather. I honestly have no idea how he did it -- Boston weather can get pretty ugly in the winter. I took one spill on the ice near heavy traffic and decided the subway is a perfectly fine option on snowy days...
     
  18. Brunswick_kate

    Brunswick_kate New Member

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    10 kms each way...4 times out of 8 day cycle....cycling gear for the most part with some ski gear for the really cold days...carry my work clothes on the bike but I'm thinking about changing that soon. I have a locker at work.

    Hybrid bike with all the commuting bells & whistles, fenders, luggage rack, panniers, handle bar basket, red blinky blinky light, helmet light for the early morning dark hours. I shower before leaving home and keep deodorant in my locker, along with handy dandy baby wipes.

    I love my commute and do it about 8-9 months of the year. I haven't managed to brave the Canadian winters, namely because I'm not brave enough to deal with dark roads and icy traffic conditions.
     
  19. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    Man, I totally unstand about the ice! It's only icy here two weeks out of the year at most and I can just barely keep riding. 3 months of snow would be way too much. I also seem to crash on the snow every year-- but becuase drivers here in western Washinton State are whimpy snow drivers, it's just me riding really slow on a junk bike-- except for all the little bastard kids chucking snowballs at me.

    My favorite part of my commute is racing kids on BMX bikes on these dirt paths down by RR tracks--
     
  20. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    Man, I totally understand about the ice! It's only icy here two weeks out of the year at most and I can just barely keep riding. 3 months of snow would be way too much. I also seem to crash on the snow every year-- but becuase drivers here in western Washinton State are whimpy snow drivers who stay off the roads, it's just me riding really slow on a junk bike-- except for all the little bastard kids chucking snowballs at me.

    My favorite part of my commute is racing kids on BMX bikes on these dirt paths down by RR tracks--
     
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