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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,466
3/20/12 3:08 P

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I often pack or leave at work a towel to use if I get too sweaty on the ride in as we don't have the benefit of showers here. Along with a spare shirt to change into. Much depends on the temps as to what I'll need.

I try to be as ready as possible the night before so there is minimal muss & fuss in the morning.

And yes on days I drive to work I plan to take extra supplies of food for lunch which I stash at the fridge at work and any other miscellaneous stuff. Don't want to take any more than necessary when cycling!

Don

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Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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TAHOEKARIN's Photo TAHOEKARIN Posts: 981
3/20/12 2:53 P

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Today is the official start of commuting season. I plan on getting 3 commutes in a week.

Lessons learned:

1) Pack your bag the night before. Play out the routine when you get to work. I forgot my washcloths, so no quicky wipe down. I did have some wet facial wipes so it was a little mneh.

2) Still trying to figure out how to get out of here with cleated feet. I saw a long time ago 'cafe caps' that you could put over SPD cleats but never bought them. Anyone have a cheap way to cover them so they don't tap tap tap?

3) Pack to refuel and don't be stingy. I biked 17 miles and took one of my carrot cake muffins with me. And proceeded to eat two bags of baked lays. Why? I was freaking starving! A protein shake would of been better. No protein to slow it down. Ugh. Then lunch. I forgot to put rice in my 'chicken teriyaki'. How could I forget? Ugh.

4) Leave earlier than you figured. It was foggy and I was running late. Got to work even later.

5) Just do it. Don't contemplate what you might forget or if you will smell. Don't even think about it. Just make sure you have a change of clothes, something that will make you smell half decent and hit the road.

6) Keep your smelly stuff, deoderant, snacks at work. Why drag that crap back and forth??

Anyone else want to add? I think the snack thing is important, especially when you start out. Everyone refuels different. Mine has always been rice and beans. It's the best and travels well. If it's a cold refuel then it gets difficult because I can't eat wheat. So there goes the beloved pbj.

The only way out is through...

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MAMMAW497's Photo MAMMAW497 SparkPoints: (3,107)
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3/20/12 1:52 P

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May is Bicycle Month.
There will be a Bike to Work day in May. We accompany our mayor on his commute to work.
oUR BICYCLE CLUB OFFERS TO HELP NEW COMMUTERS WORK OUT THE BEST ROUTE TO WORK, TO THE STORE, TO THE LIBRARY, ETC.
Oops, caps on.
If you've never tried it Google search for YOUR state bicycle affiliation, state bike league. Their web page will have lots of info on local clubs, maps of state bike routes, etc.
Try it,,,,,you'll like it.
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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,466
3/20/12 9:22 A

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Great additional points!

Along the "courteous" line, my aim as a cyclist is to be as "predictable" as possible to motorists. Using hand signals, making no sudden change in direction, pulling way off the road to stop or slow down, etc. I don't want ANY surprises!

If possible I try to route myself in such a way as to avoid or minimize any left turns.

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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FATMANRIDING's Photo FATMANRIDING SparkPoints: (17,400)
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3/19/12 8:12 P

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Very good article. I am a cyclo commuter and have been since July of last year. I have learned a few things since I started.
1. Be courteous. Some drivers are going to be jerks, but most aren't. Most drivers are polite and give me plenty of room. Some offer encouragement tell me they like my helmet. (I wear Nutcase helmets, one watermelon and the other is a big yellow smiley face) Be polite in return. Treat them as you would like to be treated. There is nothing worse than a cyclo-jerk giving others a bad name. Remember, share the road applies to us as well.

2. Use your lights. At least one part of my commute, morning or evening, will be in low light or no light conditions. I have a NiteRider 600 headlight which is like having car headlight. I have actually had oncoming cars move over to the left since adding this light. I use two different tali lights. One is flashing and the other is on constantly. The flashing light is great for getting the attention of drivers. However, some drivers have depth perception issues with a flashing light, hence the additional tail light the is always on at night. Last, but not least, I have a pair of wheel lights from MonkeyLectric. The head and tail light are designed to allow a cyclist to be seen from the front and back. The wheel light allow a rider to be seen from the side. You can program them to use specific colors and patterns if you want. I have had a lot of positve comments from folks while riding at night. I have even had cars coming out of parking lots, stop just to see the light show.

3. Know your route and stick to it. When you travel the same route each day, the locations of potholes and traffic light light sequences get burned into memory. By taking the same route each day, drivers get used to seeing you on the road. They tend to take the same routes as well.

4. When the lane is too narrow for both bike and car at the same time, take the lane. As a general rule, if there are two lanes heading in the same direction, I will take the right lane as mine. I have had some close calls when a subcompact passes me while remaining in the lane and the one ton pickup with duallies tries the same thing. It is safe for you to make them change the lane to pass. If there is only one lane going each way, I will play it by ear. However, I will always lean towards my own safety.

5. Equipment. I ride a Long Haul Trucker with heavy duty Jandd front and rear racks. I have a trunk on the front rack with my pump, tube and tools. I carry a pair of Ortlieb waterproof roll top rear panniers. I chose the yellow color for maximum visibility. The trucker is rolling with 26" wheels and full fenders. I chose the 26" wheels because they tend to be a little stronger than 700c's. When I started this journey I was over 300 pounds. I am still a shade over 280 and will take all the wheel strength I can get. I have 9300 miles on the trucker and not a single broken spoke. I roll with Schwalbe Marathon tires. I have over 5000 miles on them with only 2 flats. When commuting, reliability is king.

I hope this helps. I am giving some thought to stickers for the panniers to encourage drivers to ride. My thought is, if the fat man can do it, anybody can. As the gas prices go up, I expect to see more riders on my route. I guess we will see.

Edited by: FATMANRIDING at: 3/19/2012 (20:14)
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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,466
3/18/12 8:02 A

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Good overview! Any cycling commuters? Feel free to add your 2 cents!

Biking to Work: How to Get Started
www.railstotrails.org/news/features/
bi
ketowork.html


"All over the country people are making the switch to two-wheels as an easy and efficient way to get around in cities, but particularly to commute to work. And innovative bike-sharing programs, like the new Capital Bikeshare system in Washington, D.C., are making it even easier to cycle between destinations in town.

But as I found out, it's not always as simple as flicking up the kickstand and pedaling off into the sunset—particularly if you haven't ridden much before. Luckily, here at RTC I have access to a great network of bike friends and resources. Below are a few pointers I've put together help anyone thinking of making the switch to a pedal-powered commute."

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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