How was your commute?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Soulfull, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Soulfull

    Soulfull New Member

    I'll start off. I have been commuting part way since May more days than not. By part way I mean I drive the first part because the roads near my house are not safe enough for me, at least coming home. Today I had my first flat while commuting. Lesson one, yesterday when I was worried about my rear tube I just decided to put some air it in and ride this morning. It blew with a loud pop. Lesson two, check your equipment. My small pump had been used on the side of the road a couple of weekends ago one my road bike. In the process of switching to Presta valve mode for that bike I evidently lost the little part needed to open the Schrader valve I needed this morning. That's ok I think. I'll just use the CO2 cartridges to fill it up. But either my valve for the cartridges either only does Presta valves or I was not carrying the converter needed.

    Usually I am much better prepared than this. Today I got to walk back to the car and drive to work. Plus I will miss riding home on the warmest day this week.

    I am thinking of trying to pick up a Topeak Road Morph G Bike Pump with Gauge on the way home today.
  2. jvp

    jvp car dodger

    I carry a lezyne road pump, w/ a presta only option. It is amazingly light and compact, has a short air hose, and gets 100+psi pretty easily. I have also used the topeak road morph, which is nice because it operates like a small floor pump, but it is larger than the lezyne. If I were commuting w/ schrader valve tires, I would carry a small schrader-only pump if I could. I'm not a big fan of adaptor/switch-out solutions for pumps, though the mtn. morph works well when it is set up right.
  3. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto "It's pretty flat."

    I carry a Lezyne Micro Floor Drive. Presta or Schrader, but no little inserts to lose, it's a flip chuck at the end of the hose. I leave it set up for Presta all the time, but if I had to help someone else I could. When pumping up a tire on the side of the road it's really nice to have this floor pump style. 8 or 10 pumps with one hand, then switch. Can get to 100 psi fairly quickly. Having the hose keeps you from manhandling the valve. Great little pump.
  4. y2bike

    y2bike New Member

    With all this crazy weather, yesterday was my first bike commute of the new year. The last time I rode in was Dec 10th. I took it easy on the way in, I was still tired from a long ride I did Sat., just kept it in the middle ring until the big hill up to UNC campus, then dropped into the granny. I used a new light on the ride too, a Planet Bike 2 watt Blaze. I picked it up at REI using an Xmas gift card. So far I like the light, it has 3 settings, low, high and flash, I'm not sure how many hours I get out of it since uses just 2 batteries. The flash mode is really bright, I used on the way home in an area where cars tend to make left turns right in front of me. I like using a flash mode at dusk and dawn when I don't need a light to see the road, but still need to be visible to cars.

    Mike O.
  5. ubergoober

    ubergoober Member

    Infrequent commutes

    Once last week (Fri.) and once yesterday (Tues.) so far this week. Beat the "snow", and will probably ride again this Friday. Last weekend was a different matter entirely (2X on the road bike; but no work/no commute).

    Looking forward to spring, but I'll miss colder weather when summer arrives!

    See you out there!
  6. f1xedgear

    f1xedgear Member

    I've been lucky so far this year, and I'll bravely tempt fate by saying, No flats yet. I like the idea of carrying the Lezyne pump--my zefal frame pumps have done me good over the years, but they are oldish.

    This morning's commute was relatively pleasant with temps in the low 40s. The ATT north of Scott King (and just south!) is still pretty squishy. And with our weather forecast, it looks like the natural path sections are gonna stay squishy for some time. BUT, I've got a new ride now (below), with wide tires, making the squishy bits a little more fun.

    Not particularly looking forward to the ride home, but once I'm on the bike and headed home I'll have fun (I keep telling myself).


  7. 3ZKL


    about a month ago, i realized that hanging an extra right off the main road into a sub-division just before my place allowed me to bomb down a giant hill, take a full speed left at the bottom and then sprint up another hill carrying a ridiculous amount of speed. all with very very little traffic. i have been gradually increasing my speed both down the first hill, around the corner and then up the other side since then.

    however, one thing has remained the same. . .every time i get to the top of that second hill, usually going about 20+ mph, i laugh to myself (seriously) out loud. no joke. i find myself giddy at the top of the hill EVERY time. it reminds me of being a kid. or at least what i think that was like.

    anyway, some lessons i have learned doing this --

    1. invest in some decent brake pads. it was not until i upgraded to kool stops from my ****ty stock pads that i was actually able to carry some speed down the first hill and through the corner. see #2

    2. it is WAY more fun when my panniers are extra packed with stuff. railing a corner at almost 30 mph loaded down with groceries adds to the giddiness at the top. the new brake pads were crucial to figuring this out.

    3a. take the lane and triple check for cars in all directions. i have had a couple not-all-that-close calls with people creeping through the stop signs on either side. better safe than sorry though. plus, a lot of drivers seem to have a really really hard time judging a bikes speed.

    3b. DONT CUT THE CORNER WITHOUT REALLY BEING SURE! as much as i would like to believe it, i cannot actually see AROUND corners. looking for headlights helps.

    4. good technique! outside pedal down, inside pedal up. weight on your outside foot and inside arm. pick your line and stick to it!

    5. brake late but not too late! see #1

    6. MASH THROUGH THE CORNER! once i am past the apex i drop the hammer. being in the drops helps.

    7. finding the shifting sweet spot. this has been the hardest part for me. i have to remember to upshift without being under extreme power and before getting too far up the other side of the hill. otherwise my leg speed suffers and i slow down too soon. as much as i love riding my fixed gear, it really is just not the same as knowing you have a couple extra gears to power yourself up that son-of-a. . .

    8. YOU ARE ALMOST HOME! it is good to remind myself this. especially after a crappy ride due to weather or whatever else. 'self, you will be inside your house and into a warm shower in just a minute. lighten up and have some damn fun!'

    good times! very much looking forward to my ride tomorrow after writing all of this.
  8. Daniel

    Daniel New Member

    This morning was a good commute into RTP. I even caught a few flakes of the inbound snow "storm" on the last mile - then sat inside and watched the rest of it!
  9. f1xedgear

    f1xedgear Member

    How was the commute today?

    The snow was nice on this morning's ride in to work. But I have to admit that I didn't enjoy it as much as I would've had I had a tail wind instead of a head wind. Looking forward to the tail wind goin' home this afternoon.

    Lesson learned (I hope) from yesterday evening's ride: If it's below 40F, and even it's a drizzle, wear the damn rain pants you packed! I wasn't cold, but after 90 minutes in the stuff, my lower half could have been happier . .
  10. 3ZKL


    the snow was indeed enjoyable this morning, but that wind was BRUTAL. i had a head and then a nasty nasty cross the whole way into CH.
  11. f1xedgear

    f1xedgear Member

    how was the commute today?

    What a difference dry pavement and a little sun (rising) makes to one's psyche. I was really feelin' beaten down by ol' man winter this week, but this morning's ride in was pleasant. Lots of critters out on the ATT, birds esp. but also quite a lot of deer running around. With the sun coming up it's great to be able to see all that activity instead of just hearing it off to the side in the dark and imagining it could be some mongrel beast about to launch itself at me.
  12. 3ZKL


    a guy in a mini cooper convertible, with what looked like a trek road bike strapped to the back, gave me a thumbs up as i crossed over 54 on barbee.


    3 days of the NAHBS + riding around drunk in Richmond + 4 days of commuting so far this week = dead wooden legs. yet i am somehow really looking forward to commuting tomorrow, mountain biking on saturday and riding the ATT to brunch sunday afternoon. . .then starting the week all over again.
  13. bullcitybiker

    bullcitybiker Member

    Hijacking the thread- you were there too? Quite a crowd from down this way. What stood out to you?
  14. f1xedgear

    f1xedgear Member

  15. chofelt

    chofelt Member

    Today was Beautiful

    It could not have been more prefect last night or this morning to ride in to work...

    Chris "have not been on TC in a loooooong time" Hofelt
  16. f1xedgear

    f1xedgear Member

    So, how was it this morning?

    Just when the ATT was drying out . . man. It is WET out there. Nothing particularly notable about this morning's commute. Greeted a runner at the Scott King crossing. Sloshed my way through mud and puddles from Chatham Co. line to Massey Chapel Rd. The Tobacco Road Marathon is next weekend--iffy if ya ask me about how dry the Trail will be for the runners.

    I try to use the water left in my water bottles to wash my bike off before I come into work. I've got a couple of cardboard pieces on the floor of my office where I rest the bike. It gets drapped with cycling clothes, and I have a floor fan on high right now drying everything. Fortunately, I'm in early enough that by the time my office neighbors arrive, I usually can have the wet stuff almost dry and back in plastic bag. Dunno about this morning--soggy. Smell? ya, a little.
  17. 3ZKL


    a clean bike is a happy bike! i just love how quiet a well cleaned and lubed chain can be in the morning. although i did forget the crucial step of scuffing my pads and rims, so i was greeted with some squealy brakes this morning. . .

    enjoyed a nice little lunchtime sprint with my co-worker today, too.
  18. Soulfull

    Soulfull New Member

    A little different route today. Instead of Cary I rode in Las Vegas. It wasn't really a commute because I was already in the hotel where the conference I am attending is. But I took advantage of the time change and rode early. I did almost 30 miles west of the strip. I was able to find a lot of bike lanes and I stayed in the pretty flat part of the valley. Saturday I have more time and I plan to venture up to Red Rock Canyon.
  19. jvp

    jvp car dodger

    10 miles, nonstop! today. Despite the ever-changing, adjustable weather forecast, which went from sunny and 70s yesterday to cloudy/drizzley and 60s today. Why do they even bother to forecast? They should stick to giving current conditions, which should be easy enough to get right.
  20. f1xedgear

    f1xedgear Member

    Are you renting or did you bring your bike?


    One of the more comforting (and beneficial) aspects of regular and consistent cyclocommting, I think, is that many of the cagers on the road at the same time as I am now are expecting to see me. I recognize many as they pass. It's why I'm so annal with departure times. 10 minutes late and I'm sharing the road with an entirely different bunch.

    Oh yeah, the ride in this morning was great!

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