What my bicyle commute looks like here in Texas



E

Earl Bollinger

Guest
I thought that maybe someone might have a slight interest in what a bicycle
ride or commute looks like from the rider
s point of view. I used a mini-spy cam and a pocket video recorder to record
a lot of my bicycle rides.
I commute by bicycle from Grapevine Texas to Addison Texas, through several
cities along the way too. Pretty much all urban and city riding.

The main purpose was to catch a hostlie motorist doing something stupid,
that I might be able to use against them later.
But since last year's gasoline crisis and stuff, it seems drivers for the
nost part are all being a lot nicer than they were before the gas crises
last year.
So far drivers tend to pass by too closely in some cases, or cut me off to
make right turns.

The microphone normally records a lot of wind noise, so you might want to
turn the volume down or play your own music instead.
The video might help give you a cycling fix when it is storming and raining
outside.:)

This is a rear camera view of my commute from work back home on the one road
section that I really don't like all that much.
narrow lanes, curbs, no sidewalks, 50mph speedlimit that everyone tends to
ignore.
Unfortunately there is no way to really bypass this route on the way into
work and back. There is about 2 miles of it that has no alternate ways to
bypass.
http://earlwb.onlinestoragesolution.com/Commute_Home_rear_cam.wmv
320x200 and about 23megaytes in size. Probably not good to download if you
still use a dialup connection.
I have taken to having the video cam record what happens behind me as I am
riding to see if it catches anything or no of obnoxious drivers doing
things.

This is a more or less raw video of my entire 23 mile commute from work to
home a while back:
http://earlwb.onlinestoragesolution.com/commute_back_home_rushhour_01.wmv
It is 320x200 and about 140 megabytes in size. So unless you have a high
speed connection you probably want to avoid it.
This was a tough ride, as on that day it was blowing like 20mph with
25-30mph gusts too.
Plus I had to leave work early so I could hurry back home to vote in the
primaries, making it doubly tough.
Because it was rush hour I used an alternate route to bypass much of the
road I am not fond of riding on.
Plus I took advantage of some sidewalks to avoid the rush hour traffic and
bypass some of the traffic jams too. But when you ride on a sidewalk,
drivers totally ignore you, so you really have to be careful then for sure.
If it isn't rush hour, I ride on the roads for the entire commute.
Normally my commutes are mostly in the dark in the morning and mostly in the
dark in the evening, so this was a good opportunity to get the entire ride
in the daylight. :)
 
D

Dukes909

Guest
>Earl Bollinger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]
>I thought that maybe someone might have a slight interest in what a bicycle
>ride or commute looks like from the rider


> This is a more or less raw video of my entire 23 mile commute from work to
> home a while back:
> http://earlwb.onlinestoragesolution.com/commute_back_home_rushhour_01.wmv


The section at 1:30 reminds me of my commute, except I don't have the nice
concrete shoulder! The sidewalk section at the end made me nervous as
hell - look out kids! Nice dodge of the speed bumps, except you missed the
last one. ;-)

Cheers!
 
E

Earl Bollinger

Guest
"Dukes909" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> >Earl Bollinger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> >news:[email protected]
>>I thought that maybe someone might have a slight interest in what a
>>bicycle ride or commute looks like from the rider

>
>> This is a more or less raw video of my entire 23 mile commute from work
>> to home a while back:
>> http://earlwb.onlinestoragesolution.com/commute_back_home_rushhour_01.wmv

>
> The section at 1:30 reminds me of my commute, except I don't have the nice
> concrete shoulder! The sidewalk section at the end made me nervous as
> hell - look out kids! Nice dodge of the speed bumps, except you missed
> the last one. ;-)
>
> Cheers!
>

Thanks
Amazingly enough when it isn't rush hour that airport road (Airfield Drive)
at DFW International Aiport is pretty nice with very little traffic.
Sometimes I stop up at the Northern Industrial Park at the water tank and
watch the airplanes for a while in the evening.
But at rush hour it is a scary road on a bicycle, even with the shoulders.
I really dislike using the sidewalk on that last stretch, but as I came up
over the freeway overpass, you have that huge two block long line of cars
waiting to go through on that road when the light turns green. So I opted
for the sidewalk even if it is only on one side of the road. The only saving
grace of the sidewalk was someone had the ramps crossing the side roads and
stuff go straight instead of those artistic tight curves and such.
But I wasn't expecting all those people to suddenly be out and about then,
but that's usually my luck anyway.
Actually that last speed bump there is almost flat on the end, so what the
heck, I just zip right on over it. :)
 
D

Dukes909

Guest
"Earl Bollinger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>>

> Thanks
> Amazingly enough when it isn't rush hour that airport road (Airfield
> Drive) at DFW International Aiport is pretty nice with very little
> traffic.
> Sometimes I stop up at the Northern Industrial Park at the water tank and
> watch the airplanes for a while in the evening.


It was interesting to watch to compare to my own ride. 2 hours is amazing.
Do you do that commute everyday? What are you riding?

Cheers!
Dukester
 
E

Earl Bollinger

Guest
"Dukes909" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> "Earl Bollinger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>>>

>> Thanks
>> Amazingly enough when it isn't rush hour that airport road (Airfield
>> Drive) at DFW International Aiport is pretty nice with very little
>> traffic.
>> Sometimes I stop up at the Northern Industrial Park at the water tank and
>> watch the airplanes for a while in the evening.

>
> It was interesting to watch to compare to my own ride. 2 hours is
> amazing. Do you do that commute everyday? What are you riding?
>
> Cheers!
> Dukester
>

I try to do it 3 to four times a week. I might start riding all five days,
but it is tricky as I would have to leave early to get home to take my son
to his music lessons.
I wound up commuting to work as a way to get my riding time and mileage up
and still have time to do "honey do's" at home.
Basically, it takes me an hour to drive to work and a hour to drive home.
It takes me from 1.5 hours to 2 hours to ride the bike to work, and then the
same to ride home. It depends on the winds, and how good I feel that day.
If its windy and its a headwind then that portion fo the commute is slower.
Tailwinds are great.
So 2 hours to drive and then I'd want to ride for 2-4 hours anyway, so by
combining the two, I actually get extra time to spend at home then.:)
Of course carrying a hydration backpack and a set of panniers doesn't help
the speed any. But it is good training for when you ride light later.:)

I am using a common steel framed touring bike with racks and panniers. It is
a Windsor Tourist. I had to build my own rear wheel as the stock one wasn't
quite up to the task of loaded commuting on rough roads and it popped a lot
of spokes over a period of time. I tend to carry extra stuff in the panniers
in case I break down so I can fix it and get going again, so I carry more
junk than I really need. Except for one really bad day with three flats I
haven't really needed all that extra stuff, so I'll be traveling lighter
over time.
I also put on five LED taillights and I run three headlights, two are 10
watt dual beam units and one is a LED headlight with a blinking mode. On the
last mile back home I turn on all the headlights, to make the motorists
pause and think about what the heck it is coming down the road, instead of
just ignoring me and pulling out in front of me. It seems to work as they
all hesitate and wait for me to ride by.:)
I wanted the extra lights so that if a battery runs down, there are other
lights that are still working. Plus if a battery runs down on a headlight I
have a extra one, and if a light bulb burns out I have extra headlights too.
the LED headlight is great in blinking mode during twilight conditions and
it also makes a handy flashlight too. In the winter I wind up riding mostly
in the dark to and from work as you only get about a 1/2 hour of daylight or
twilight conditions. But during the summer you only have about an hour of
darkness in the morning. So I can take off the extra headlight then.