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Do you commute?(42 posts)

Do you commute?bike n veg
Sep 27, 2001 4:51 AM
How many on this list commute to work by bike at least once a week? If there are enough of us, maybe we can get a commuter board going.
re: Yes..Jay
Sep 27, 2001 5:08 AM
10.15 miles each way, on my Lemond Zurich with panniers. Leave at sunrise and takes about 1/2 hour. I commute at least 80% of the time, sometimes I drive in cause I'm going mountain biking afterwork with friends and biking to the trailhead would take too much time after work. Or sometimes I have to run errands at lunchtime the bike would be too long to do, but I try to bike in at least 4 out of the 5 days, rain or shine. Leave early and come home early.

No showers at work, I bring a change of clothes
I store my bike in my cubicle
In my company, 2 other people bike commute, many others should!!

re: Do you commute?mackgoo
Sep 27, 2001 5:16 AM
Spring Summer and Fall if the weather is good I ride to work every day. I don't know I would be very active in a comuter B/B though.
Agree, I consider myself a cyclist first. Being a commuter isMB1
Sep 27, 2001 5:19 AM
Every day. The last piece in the puzzle for us wasMB1
Sep 27, 2001 5:18 AM
studded snow tires, haven't missed a day of commuting since we got them.

A huge number of people in DC commute by bike. It amazes me to see how crowded the commuter routes are in the mornings and evenings.

I look forward to really bad weather because the trails are less crowded and much safer then.
I'm also a DC commuter and WABA member. nmbike n veg
Sep 27, 2001 5:31 AM
Thought you might be, did you do the ride?MB1
Sep 27, 2001 5:34 AM
We did, had a lot of fun. Too bad they had to shorten the route.
Not this n veg
Sep 27, 2001 5:57 AM
Since our baby came in July my riding has been limited to commuting. Heard everything went well despite the shorter route.

Another ride I'll miss this fall is Bike Virginia's Shenandoah ride. Every hill is worth it out there!
re: Do you commute?bent_sprocket
Sep 27, 2001 5:20 AM
yep, i commute 4-5 days a week, year round in madison, WI.

most of the year, i ride a cannondale R600 with a carradice nelson longflap or a messenger bag (or both, if i've got a big load).

in the winter, i ride a fisher wahoo that i bought for 30 bucks and refurbished (new brakes, rear wheel, fenders, rack, drivetrain).

fortunately, i can shower at work, and my bike gets locked to a rack in the underground lot.

about 30 miles round trip.
What do you use for lights?bikedodger
Sep 27, 2001 7:09 AM
I figure your trip probally takes about an hour each way. especially in winter. That's two hours roundtrip. Do you use battery powered lights and if so does the battery really last for the whole round trip with enough reserve left for emergencies like fixing flats?
What do you use for lights?Rich Clark
Sep 27, 2001 11:01 AM
My ride is 50-55 minutes each way, in the dark in winter. I have a Niterider Pro6 (single 15w spot) and a Performance Dual (12w flood, 12w spot). Both run on 6v batteries, NiMH on the first, SLA on the second.

I keep a charger for the Niterider at my office because, no, it won't run continuously for the entire RT with enough reserve to make me feel safe.

The Performance system makes the RT without a recharge, probably because I use just the 12w flood most of the time, and because I tend to use it more in situations where part of the ride will be in daylight.

Generally (although I didn't follow this advice myself) I'd recommend a digital system that lets you select among several power levels. Most commutes spend a good portion of the time on well-lit streets where you don't really need to illuminate the pavement -- you just need to be seen by other traffic, for which a power-conserving 4w setting is quite sufficient. Operated this way, you should be able to get 3 hours per charge from most systems.

Yup. 26mi RTRich Clark
Sep 27, 2001 5:34 AM
4-5 days into Philadelphia, on either a Novara Randonee touring bike or an Airborne Carpe Diem light tourer.

I'd be very supportive of a dedicated commuting board, although this board is very responsive and fun. It scrolls off too fast, though.

re: Do you commute?NewRoadBiker
Sep 27, 2001 5:49 AM
yep, three days a week when it's not raining...I don't have adequate rain gear yet. I converted my first mountain bike into my commuter bike...a 1993 Rockhopper. I put road tires, heavy tubes, tire liners, fenders, a rack, panniers, riser bars (for comfort), a suspension seatpost, and a gel seat with built in flashers in it on the bike. It's a bit odd looking but is very comfortable to ride for my 12 mile round trip commute. I wouldn't dare ride my road bike down the way I commute to work, it's a pretty nasty road; pot holes, glass, lots of rocks, etc. This lets me ride an extra 12 miles a day. When I get home at night I break out the OCR1 for my nightly 25 mile ride. :o)

Yes... I'm a DC guy too...Greg Taylor
Sep 27, 2001 5:59 AM
We have a group of us that go every morning, pretty much rain or shine. We're down near Mt. Vernon. About 29 miles round trip.
You ride fixed don't you?MB1
Sep 27, 2001 6:13 AM
I have noticed a lot of SSers commuting lately.

Just last week I saw a woman on a beautiful yellow Eddy Merckx cyclocrosser SS. What a beautiful bike, don't remember a thing about the rider though.
Yes, I'm "fixed"...Greg Taylor
Sep 27, 2001 6:52 AM
It's a conglomeration of old parts, but I love it. It has really made a difference this year with both my power and spin. Power because you have to work it up hills, and spin when you ride it down those hills...

Haven't seen the of my commuter buddies has a really beautiful Waterford single speed frame (horizontal drop outs) that is just really nice. He bought it used, and had a few issues (one being a slightly oversized seat tube), but Waterford took care of with little hassle.
Yes... I'm a DC guy n veg
Sep 27, 2001 6:32 AM
I ride in from the Mt. Vernon area too. i go up Park Terrace Drive and cross the parkway at Tulane, then go up the trail from there. What's your route?
Well Now!Greg Taylor
Sep 27, 2001 6:47 AM
We meet at St. Lukes Church (corner of Ft. Hunt Road and Wellington) go down West Boulevard, over the "Stone Bridge" and pick up the path at the end of Northdown (I guess) road. We roll about 7:35 a.m. Usually three guys, often riding fixed gear rigs.

You wouldn't ride a red Lemond, would you...?
Yellow Gunnar Street Dog. Mostly.MB1
Sep 27, 2001 6:55 AM
Sometimes on a Bianchi Crosser. Snow we use the ATBs with studs.

In the a.m. solo from Georgetown across Key bridge to the 14th Street bridge to Downtown. In the p.m. I meet Miss M around the monuments and often go out past the airport before reversing direction and heading home. She commutes on a pea green Rivendale.
I think that I've seen you two...Greg Taylor
Sep 27, 2001 7:01 AM
...when you were riding the Fuji fixie. Was it red and yellow? I think that I ran across you guys on or under the 14th Street Bridge once or twice. Maybe even yelled something silly like "Fixies rule!" as I sailed (HAH!) by...

The Gunnar sounds cool...
Yep, that was us. Know anybody that wants to buy the Fuji.MB1
Sep 27, 2001 7:21 AM
58cm, SPDs and a front brake. 39X15 with a spare 14.

The Gunnar is cool. Has everything I was looking for. Big tire and fender clearance, a nice road ride, cantis, way comfortable and good parts. I have had it for just over 2 weeks and have ridden it every day but 1. I'm thinking about trying the length of the C&O on it sometime in the Spring.

OT-want to try to get a group ride together someday after work. Seems like there are a lot of DC riders here.
Well Now!bike n veg
Sep 27, 2001 8:40 AM
I ride a blue Bianchi Eros. I'm usually at work by 7:35, or at least in D.C. How's your fixed gear work out on the hills?
It works pretty good...Greg Taylor
Sep 27, 2001 9:08 AM
I run a 46 x 16 gearing (about 75 gear inches) that lets me stay seated for most of the hills on the path, yet is tall enough to keep a pretty good pace if I spin. The key is keeping your momentum up when you approach a hill -- easy to do because you can't coast!
Fixed hills.MB1
Sep 27, 2001 9:41 AM
I'm running a 42X16, Miss M uses a 39X14. You don't even think about hills, just ride up them. Stand, weave whatever. It is kind of liberating.

We have done some pretty good hills on the fixers, uphill really isn't the problem. Downhills now.... Once I hit 30 I'm more than spun out, it's pretty hard.

That is what the brakes are for.
Sep 27, 2001 6:12 AM
appears to be something that shows up on the 'general board' quite alot - and has enough distinct elements that would posibly warrant a devoted board

how do you figure these things?
yes, 5 days a weekDuane Gran
Sep 27, 2001 7:14 AM
I commute on bike regularly in the DC area. There are almost enough of us DC cyclists to justify a "DC commuter" board. ;)

Seriously though, I'm not sure if a commuting board would be that great. What is there to say about it? Sure, there are a few techniques and tips, but I think we could cover 95% of the utility of such a board by developing the long desired and put-off RBR FAQ. I think most commuters will ask their questions in the general area anyhow. I am willing to volunteer some questions/answers to the FAQ.
re: Do you commute?TomS
Sep 27, 2001 7:18 AM
I commute between 2-5 times a week, usually on my road bike but sometimes mtn bike (over the summer I went mtn biking before work with some of my co-workers a couple of times a week). It's a great stress reliever! Any stress that builds up during the day just melts away on the ride home. Also I find that on the days that I do drive, I usually end up feeling "antsy", and drive way to fast on the way home.

I have to admit though, I'm still looking for a good way to carry a change of clothes, lunch, etc. A backpack is too hot/sweaty, sometimes my timbuk2 bag is too small or puts too much pressure on one shoulder, and I don't have a good way to put a rack on my road bike... during the winter I mainly use my mtn bike with rack and panniers though.

One thing that just happened last weekend was kinda neat - I was driving somewhere, and stopped to get gas, and realized that I hadn't bought gas since early august :-)
everyday, but it is short.vanzutas
Sep 27, 2001 7:29 AM
I Ride everyday but it is only 3 miles each way.
I am in Graduate school so I have a lab with an office where I can bring my bike right in with me.
A couple commuting things.....Blue 'Goose
Sep 27, 2001 7:41 AM
My workplace just moved to a new building where there
is a bike rack in our loading dock, showers and other
bike-friendly things for commuters which is a good

Since I live in Minnesota where it gets 30 below, it would be hard to do the commuting thing during the winter, but spring/summer/fall would work.

One question: is there a national "ride your bike to work"
day? If not, there should be. It would raise awareness
on why it's a good idea (health, environment, etc.).
Bike to work weekfishwheel
Sep 27, 2001 9:28 AM
There's actually a bike to work week with a bike to work day on the Friday, sometime in summer I think. I remember it because I ride to work everyday, but was away on business travel that week so only rode in on two days.

I join the Icebike listserve in the winter, and a lot of the posters are from MN, Manitoba and other extremely cold places. I don't know if I could do it though. It doesn't get nearly as cold here in MI, although we do have a real winter.
re: Do you commute?specialized_allez
Sep 27, 2001 8:01 AM
i started riding a road bike this summer and commute now 3 days a week and was planning doing 4 next week. i'm pretty psyched that i can do it year round since i moved to san diego. i just got here from dc and now i wish i started riding when i was there from what all of you guys are saying. of course i lived near dupont circle and worked near foggy bottom so it would have been a five block commute!
re: Do you commute?fishwheel
Sep 27, 2001 8:51 AM
I commute year round, 5 days a week in Michigan. I agree studded tires are excellent. I ride older inexpensive bikes for commuting. Not huffy's but I have a Schwinn form the late 70's I bought for $25. It sure takes away the worry about theft. The only problem is I feel bad when I pass guys on real expensive bikes ; ). Seriously though riding everyday regardless of weather puts a beating on a bike, and the older utilitarian type bikes were built more for durability than newer road bikes. I, personally, am disappointed in the way th ebike industry has evolved. Choices now are real expensive road bike, piece of crap huffy, or MT. bikes and comfort bikes that are not efficient at all on the road.

As for lights, I built my own. Because they are so simple, and you have to pay a fortune to get a truly useful set of lights. I have a rechargeable battery and get about 4 hours of run time in winter. I have 2 20W lights mounted, but usually just run 1 at a time, unless I need to. I like the security of the two lights in case a bulb goes at 6:00 p.m. in mid- January. Notice the cheapness trend.

Although I ride centuries, training etc. I am more focused on using the bike as a means of transportation. I run most of my errands and go to work on my bike. Ihave a trailer to haul the kids and groceries too. If it wasn't for all those cars, I wouldn't need a car at all.
Another thingfishwheel
Sep 27, 2001 8:59 AM
When I kept commuting throught the winter people in my office started to notice and ask questions. I also lost a lot of weight. The following spring people who had neber ridden started riding their bikes in, and when they'd see me they'd say "hey, I rode my bike today". I guess it's kind of contagious. Thinking I may have influence some people to ride thier bikes at all make's me happy.

Two wheels good.....
DC Commuterdg73
Sep 27, 2001 9:17 AM
Another DC commuter. I do the reverse commute from Adams Morgan to Alexandria on my '89 Bottecchia. I try to average 3-4 times a week when I am able (read: not slacking).

Also did last weekend's WABA ride. Had a nice time despite the slow first few miles that were a byproduct of the course change. When I rode to RFK that morning I was trying to merge into some traffic going around stanton(?) park on the hill. Some knucklehead who was clearly on his way to the ride, as there was a bicycle in the back of his car, wouldn't let me in! So much for solidarity!
re: Do you commute?Andy M-S
Sep 27, 2001 9:08 AM
From LaCrosse, WI...

I commute 6 or 7 miles each way (depends on which route I choose), every day that it isn't pouring rain, the streets aren't iced, and it's above 25 Fahrenheit.

I usually ride my Bianchi, which I lock to a rack just outside our building. If it's wet or snowy, I ride my singlespeed road with fenders. Since I leave a U-lock on the rack, I'm all set no matter what I ride that day.

After years of advocating panniers, I've just recently switched over to using a backpack. The bike likes it better than a rack (it's a lot less noisy) and because I'm suspending the load along with myself, the load doesn't get beat up (translation: I don't have to clean my fountain pen when I get to work).
Yup...9 miles each waymk_42
Sep 27, 2001 9:18 AM
I just started a new job about a month and a half ago and commuting was a big part of that choice. I ride about 4-5 days a week. I think it's great.

Sep 27, 2001 12:13 PM
I started riding to work every Friday here in San Diego about 2 months ago (freeway traffic is horrible here on Fridays-much worse than any other day of the week). I take the Coaster train for the first leg of my commute and ride 9 miles from the train station to work. I usually bring my clothes in the day before and shower at the office.

I plan on trying it twice a week maybe more over the next couple weeks.

I ride an 11 year old Univega road bike most of the time.
Yes... No... Not sure?Dutchy
Sep 27, 2001 6:43 PM
I live about 15km/9ml from work and I find it's too short and way too busy (even with bike lanes) to take the direct route. So I ride a detour route of quiet roads which makes the ride 40 - 60 kms/25-37ml one way. I then put my bike in my wifes car, grab my bag of clothes and walk across the road to work. I then get alift home. I do this 2-3 times depending on the wind as I ride along the eslpanade it can get VERY windy somedays.
So it's not really commuting but I do get a good amount of riding done.
Me tooKurt H
Sep 28, 2001 6:00 AM
Fairly regularly. It's about 11 miles in and 9 miles home (odd intersection I have to ride around coming in).
Suburban MarylandGusGus
Sep 28, 2001 8:49 AM
4-5 days a week, 25 miles RT, Silver Spring to Rockville. I use an old Bridgestone MB4 with slick tires, fenders, rear rack, drop bars and bar end shifters. I've recently started riding in the rain, and am still figuring out the logistics. Some of my coworkers drive the same route that I bike, and I beat them in about 50% of the time (due to lousy traffic). There's nothing better than blowing past a mile-long line of cars stuck in traffic. I love commuting by bike!
Sep 28, 2001 8:53 AM
Every day.
Every Daychar
Sep 28, 2001 6:53 PM
Rain or shine, take a different route every day, it truly is the best way to get to and from work.