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#46835 - 08/17/05 06:59 PM Bicycle Commuting
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Anyone here regularly commuting to-and-from work on a bicycle?

#46836 - 08/17/05 07:25 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting

Yep, it's part of my regular exercise plan. ~2 miles each way, fair weather only. Interest by my coworkers has picked up since gas started going up, but nothing past the talking stage yet.

#46837 - 08/17/05 07:40 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting

I did in California, but not here in NC.
My commute is mostly on a 4 lane road that averages 45-60 mph traffic, and a population that considers bicyclists mostly an annoyance.

#46838 - 08/17/05 08:14 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1738
if i go to work yes, to school i take the train. Bicyle is pretty much the only fast way of traveling locally. I don't have my drivenslicenses yet ( hopefull soon, got my exame in less than 2 months), so there really isnt a alternative. Good for the body too and save's fuel. Combine being dutch with the world second highest fuel prices i'm not the only one. Speed bumbs are also annoying as hell, in a car that is.

#46839 - 08/17/05 10:28 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Well, Iím interested in how other ETS forumites manage gear, bikes used, etc. Hopefully less inflammatory topic than guns or knivesÖ

I started biking about 8 weeks ago for reasons that I honestly cannot exactly recall, other than I was disgruntled at my busy life not leaving me time to exercise. Itís 3.6 miles one way with a maximum single elevation change of about 200 feet, I think. Slightly faster biking than driving going to work (the big downhill leg is in the last third) and slightly slower than driving going home (I donít pedal uphill nearly as fast as downhill). Anyway, Iím addicted to the rides now, although Iím not convinced it is making any significant difference in my fitness because the rides are too short.

Iím using a fairly high-end hard tail ATB (because itís the only bike I own); I did replace the knobby tires with some comparatively smooth Michelin ATB tires and keep them at max inflation pressure. Since it's an ATB bike, it is a bit short on wheelbase for really hanging huge rear panniers on it (heel strike potential), but: Since I started the commuting it has gained weight Ė tools, the big Jandd rear rack (I had to machine up a nifty clamp to attached the horizontal stays to the seat post tube (? the tube the seat stem fits into), a trunk for the rack, etc etc. Had a big heartache over pannier prices and got cordura nylon ďbasketsĒ instead (Jandd, IIRC), although as it turns out I rarely use them for commuting. Front rack options are limited / complicated because of the front suspension so if anyone has any ideas Ė I hold back my downhill speed to high-20s mph right now as the rear weight bias gives me potential instability at higher speeds. The good news/bad news is that I less frequently take work home nowÖ

Used my Camelbak Rim Runner at first, but itís really set up as my Ready Pack Ė too much volume taken up by things I would not need as EDC in this urban environment and I donít want to re-configure it constantly (I know Ė buy another one...). I park the bike inside in one of my offices, so leaving items on the bike is not an issue.

Iím more interested in reading how ETSers are bike commuting than reading how the bike fanatics do it on some biking forum. Details, anyone? Fall and winter are coming soon - August rains are not the same as November rains... I think I can handle Jan-Feb fine, but late fall and early spring...



#46840 - 08/17/05 11:26 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
wolf Offline

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 329
Loc: Michigan
Being considered an annoyance might not be so bad. Here they consider bicyclists a target worthy of veering up onto the sidewalk to tag. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
"2+2=4 is not life, but the beginning of death." Dostoyevsky

Bona Na Croin

#46841 - 08/18/05 01:01 AM Re: Bicycle Commuting
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Not "regularly" but I bring a bike to the ferry to NYC and ride in NYC. It's a bit of a hassle to park a bike, but I manage.

#46842 - 08/18/05 04:07 AM Re: Bicycle Commuting
OrangeJoe Offline

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Old Colony, USA
I had a bycicle, somewhere back in the 80's.

A broken drain cover jumped in front of it and I [color:"blue"][color:"red"] " [/color] Superman[/color]ed[color:"red"] " [/color] over the handlebars.

Bycicles are EVIL <img src="/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />
All good things...
a) come to those who wait.
b) come to an end.

#46843 - 08/18/05 02:55 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
Frozen Offline

Registered: 01/07/05
Posts: 86
Iím a dedicated bike commuter. From late spring to early winter, I ride to work almost every day, with a round trip of about 25 km (15 miles). I use a nice touring bike (Trek 520), with front and rear racks. So far this year I have covered about 2300 km, and expect to do about 4000 km (2500 miles) before it gets too icy for me.

You learn quite a bit about dressing appropriately from the conditions you need to contend with. In the early season and late season, I may start out in freezing conditions in the morning (on the way home too at the very end Ė late November or early December), while in mid season, it gets steamy on the ride home. I deal with rain at all temperatures, and only wimp out when itís a driving rain in the morning below about 5 C (about 40 F). Staying hydrated is only an issue for the hottest rides home. The season ends when itís too icy, and not because itís too cold.

Most days I have small panniers on the front rack only, containing my bike repair kit, lunch, weather gear, FAK (AMK Ultralight.5) and EDC. The EDC stays in a small compressible waist-pack inside a pannier.

The bike repair kit consists of
plastic tire irons
bike multi-tool with all necessary Allan keys, spoke wrench and chain tool.

I also carry a replacement tube, after an incident with an irreparable puncture a few months ago.

The EDC consists of
Ritter PSK
Leatherman Charge Ti with bits,
Spyderco Delica
Petzl Zippka
Space pen
Windmill lighter
Chouinard Expedition Sewing kit, wrapped with masons line
Estwing mini prybar
Wire ties, assorted
550 Parachute cord
Spare reading glasses
Space blanket
Irwin "Heavy Duty Job Site" work gloves
Swisscard in my wallet

Add it all up and it doesnít weigh much, except for the Charge.

I tend to drop 15 pounds through the cycling season, and gain back about 10 in the off-season. Iím on a long-term trend to getting my weight back to where I want it to be. Iíll give you my age (50), but not my weight.

Edited by Frozen (08/18/05 03:13 PM)
ďExpectation strolls through the spacious fields of Time towards Opportunity.Ē Umberto Eco

#46844 - 08/18/05 04:05 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting

Hello Tom . . . I use my MTB all year round.

Some personal & general facts:

- I used to walk the same distance to work (40 minutes) and I used to get back home exhausted/beat, also didn't lose any weight. But now using the bike, the same distance takes me only 15 minutes, I get home not too tired . . . and I've LOST weight too! So cycling burns calories - I'm average weight at 73 Kg.

- After a full year, now I cycle a minimum of 20 minutes each day at a steady rate of 60 rev per minutes (maintaining a moderate exertion level, ie about up to 75% of my max heart rate).

- Fitness definition - In general, people need a MINIMUM of 20-30 minutes of 'moderate' exercise about 3 times a week.

I'm sure most of you know the facts . . . If not then I urge you to read the guide from the USA National Institute on Aging (pdf version also available)

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