Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 25442 times)

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #400 on: November 07, 2018, 09:44:01 AM »
My first 5 out of 5 bike commute week last week.  I am a "fair weather" rider, and been averaging 1-3 days per week since 2015, and stopping through the winter.   This year, I'm trying to transition into a year round commuter.  Today I'm 3/3 for this week, plan to make it 5/5 for 2 weeks in a row.

It's getting colder and wetter in Chicago though.  How do you all deal with wet shoes/socks.  I have dress shoes I change into at work.  But my socks remained wet for most of the day.  I can get a separate pair of socks for work also, but then my sneakers are still wet when I put them back on to go home.  Are there any waterproof shoes that aren't winter boot-types that would work with biking?

I have a pair of waterproof Keen trail shoes that keep my feet fairly dry. The problem is they don't cover my ankles, so the tops of my socks get wet and then it wicks down into the shoe.

Most of the time I wear neoprene shoe covers over my bike shoes (I ride clipless). Keeps my shoes dry and my feet warm.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #401 on: November 07, 2018, 11:00:57 AM »
overtaking me without moving fully into the other lane

You can try cycling further towards the middle of the lane, rather than staying as far to the right as possible.  There's some kind of psychological thing that goes on that makes a person driving really, really, really, not want to cross over the line into the next lane.  Often if you're cycling really far to the right, cars will pass you very closely in order to stay in the same lane as you.  When you ride a foot or two from the right you get more room to maneuver around obstacles (potholes/debris), but more importantly, it forces a car to cross that line and exit the lane in order to pass you.  Most cars don't care about close passing a cyclist, but are loathe to put a cyclist sized dent in their vehicle.  :P

I have read that female cyclists (which I am) tend to be injured more often because they are less likely to claim the center of a lane, and so people pass closer to them/us as @GuitarStv described. (Yasha sounds like a feminine screenname but of course I could be wrong.)  I think of this whenever I feel awkward about the space I am taking up. You have the right to claim the whole lane, and it is safer for you to do so. Be obvious and force people to go all the way around you. Don't be part of that statistic.

Admittedly I have still considered getting a shirt that says "THIS IS MY LANE, GO AROUND" because drivers still pass too close sometimes. But at least you have made them pay attention to you while they are passing.

Actually, the incident that really fired me up this week was the woman who didn't see me signaling my FLASHING BLUE LIT ARM to merge in front of her slowing car because she was texting - both hands in her lap with her foot on the brake, but still moving at maybe 15mph. I would have been hit if I were biking less defensively.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #402 on: November 07, 2018, 11:05:46 AM »
My first 5 out of 5 bike commute week last week.  I am a "fair weather" rider, and been averaging 1-3 days per week since 2015, and stopping through the winter.   This year, I'm trying to transition into a year round commuter.  Today I'm 3/3 for this week, plan to make it 5/5 for 2 weeks in a row.

It's getting colder and wetter in Chicago though.  How do you all deal with wet shoes/socks.  I have dress shoes I change into at work.  But my socks remained wet for most of the day.  I can get a separate pair of socks for work also, but then my sneakers are still wet when I put them back on to go home.  Are there any waterproof shoes that aren't winter boot-types that would work with biking?

Wet feet suck.


I keep a towel at work.  After a wet ride, lay the towel flat and then lay your socks (and other wet stuff) flat on top of the towel.  Roll the towel up tightly, then walk on it.  Unroll the towel and your stuff will be like 95% dry.

If your shoes are soaked, pull the insoles out of them and roll 'em up in the towel along with your other stuff.  Then stuff your soleless shoes tightly with balls of newspaper or paper towels.  Wait about three hours and remove the newspaper/paper towels, they will have soaked up and removed most of the water.



Yes, there are waterproof shoes that you can buy.  (Google waterproof running shoes and you'll find a bunch.)  I got a pair years ago and use them (with wool socks) when it's really cold in the winter because they don't breathe and are very warm, and water would run down my leg and fill the shoe when it was really pouring . . . which is super gross feeling.  I'll occasionally use waterproof overshoes that I put over my cycling shoes when it's really pouring in warmer months and these work pretty well.

Villanelle

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #403 on: November 08, 2018, 04:12:08 AM »
If you can't find a solution for the shoes that works, could you have two pair?  Ride in with pair A, leave A at the office and drive home in B, then B to work the next day, etc. 

mveill1

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #404 on: November 08, 2018, 07:26:14 AM »
My first 5 out of 5 bike commute week last week.  I am a "fair weather" rider, and been averaging 1-3 days per week since 2015, and stopping through the winter.   This year, I'm trying to transition into a year round commuter.  Today I'm 3/3 for this week, plan to make it 5/5 for 2 weeks in a row.

It's getting colder and wetter in Chicago though.  How do you all deal with wet shoes/socks.  I have dress shoes I change into at work.  But my socks remained wet for most of the day.  I can get a separate pair of socks for work also, but then my sneakers are still wet when I put them back on to go home.  Are there any waterproof shoes that aren't winter boot-types that would work with biking?

I have a pair of waterproof Keen trail shoes that keep my feet fairly dry. The problem is they don't cover my ankles, so the tops of my socks get wet and then it wicks down into the shoe.

Most of the time I wear neoprene shoe covers over my bike shoes (I ride clipless). Keeps my shoes dry and my feet warm.

May be pricey, but winter merino cycling or hiking socks will be dry at the end of the day as long as you don't leave them bunched up in your bag. As far as your shoes, is there anywhere warmish and discreet you could leave them? If they're not dripping you should feel pretty dry in your merino's... there may be a kirkland/costco line of merino socks that i'm sure are as good as any

I use traditional cycling shoes for my commute and these tend to dry fairly fast. but I did use to have a tower for a PC under my desk at work, I'd dry my whole kit on it!

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #405 on: November 08, 2018, 08:34:35 AM »
Tomorrow will be my first day of commute failure since late June, when I started biking.  I have a dentist appointment in the middle of the day, and it's too far away (and without a good route) to realistically bike in a safe manner.  It would also necessitate leaving work earlier to bike, which I'd feel a bit guilty about.  Given that work is on the way to the dentist, it doesn't really make sense to bike in, bike home, then drive to the appointment. 

I feel a bit bad about tomorrow, but I suppose this is one of the reasons I keep the car around.  Still, I think that 4.5 months since my car has graced the work parking lot is a decent achievement for someone who had never biked to work before.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #406 on: November 08, 2018, 10:05:36 AM »
That is really good! I’ve been biking for only five weeks and four of those weeks I’ve had something come up that required a car one day of the week. An appointment that was too far away in the middle of the day, two flat tires, etc.

Yasha

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #407 on: November 08, 2018, 01:19:21 PM »
Thanks for all the tips and tricks all! (The pool-noodle space indicator particularly resonates with me!) I rode to work again yesterday and left my bike in the office. Still working on those muscles so decided not to do the double trip in one day. I have the safe rider training on Saturday so I will figure out if it makes more sense to bus to work on Saturday morning, pick up the bike and ride from there to the training, or if it makes more sense then Iíll ride the bike home today after work and then from home to the training.

erutio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #408 on: November 09, 2018, 10:19:39 AM »
New milestone.  Biked to work today in full on chicago snow!!

I've commuted in torrential downpour, (light) hail, maybe a small flurry, but never in real snowfall.  Now, it's still too warm for the snow to stick on the ground, but this was a big step. 

Wore my regular wool gloves + snowboarding gloves, face mask, goggles.   The only real part that was cold were my toes.  I wore my wigwam socks, with my usual running shoes, and my toes were frozen numb by the end of the 6.5 mile ride.  Still need to figure something out with my feet..

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #409 on: November 09, 2018, 10:32:50 AM »
New milestone.  Biked to work today in full on chicago snow!!

I've commuted in torrential downpour, (light) hail, maybe a small flurry, but never in real snowfall.  Now, it's still too warm for the snow to stick on the ground, but this was a big step. 

Wore my regular wool gloves + snowboarding gloves, face mask, goggles.   The only real part that was cold were my toes.  I wore my wigwam socks, with my usual running shoes, and my toes were frozen numb by the end of the 6.5 mile ride.  Still need to figure something out with my feet..

Snow's not too bad.  I kinda like cycling in it, when it's falling heavily everything sounds softer.  It gets pretty exciting when there are five or six inches of the stuff down and you've got to jump from rut to rut.  Good exercise to brush up on your bike handling.

:P

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #410 on: November 09, 2018, 03:10:52 PM »
New milestone.  Biked to work today in full on chicago snow!!

I've commuted in torrential downpour, (light) hail, maybe a small flurry, but never in real snowfall.  Now, it's still too warm for the snow to stick on the ground, but this was a big step. 

Wore my regular wool gloves + snowboarding gloves, face mask, goggles.   The only real part that was cold were my toes.  I wore my wigwam socks, with my usual running shoes, and my toes were frozen numb by the end of the 6.5 mile ride.  Still need to figure something out with my feet..

Congrats!!! Isn't it a little magical?? I rode last night as snow was falling, flakes lit up by my headlight, cars slipping and sliding while I just kept trucking along. Looks like I'll need to buy a studded tire earlier than I was planning!

My mom keeps sending me boxes of disposable hand warmers so I've used those under my toes. They're annoying when I'm walking but I don't notice them at all riding. For commuting, I'd rather have warm feet than dry feet once I get to work, so I've also used plastic bags inside my shoes to help block wind (I change into scrubs anyway so changing socks/underthings is no biggie for me).

My son rides clipless and bought neoprene shoe covers a few years ago. He didn't end up liking them, so I've actually used those over top of my regular shoes, or inside my boots over my socks. More breathable than straight plastic. When I've used them outside my shoes, I haven't noticed any issue with being slippery on my pedals (since they're made for cleats and only have a small opening for the cleat) but that may vary from bike to bike.

Again, congrats!

Money Badger

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #411 on: November 09, 2018, 08:38:12 PM »
OK, the ride in the snow is awesome and officially makes any of us who complain about the cold a bunch of pansies.

So here goes...  New helmet (with nice rear view mirror attached) is ready to go for first cold-ish ride and new light and other bike goodies are setup satisfactorily (new front/rear light, rear rack for grocery/computer bags)... Just around freezing for tomorrow's ride time so this should be interesting.   The tips about feet being the worst thing to get cold helped...   Goal is 10 miles+ on a relatively flat greenway...  This Badger is almost 10lbs lighter now and has better gear than the first 5 mile ride there a month ago.

Yasha

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #412 on: November 11, 2018, 01:36:00 AM »
Attended the safe city cyclists class ($25) run by the local council and I feel so much more confident about riding on the roads - plus the instructor pumped up both my tyres (both at less than half the psi they should have been, so wonder it was a struggle!) and helped me put my seat on straight so it doesnít keep poking me in the thigh and giving me a bruise. As part of the course we went for a 9km bike ride. I then rode the 7km home as well totalling 16km in a row. Tush is a bit tender but the worst bit is I got sunburnt because I forgot to put on sunscreen and the Aussie sun is merciless. Still very happy I went!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #413 on: November 12, 2018, 12:38:43 PM »
I didn’t ride today. Partially it is because I went on little runs on both days last weekend and am tired. Partially it is because the air quality outside is unhealthy due to massive fires north of us. I have a face mask and will probably use it to ride tomorrow, but it made a nice excuse today.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #414 on: November 12, 2018, 01:10:47 PM »
New milestone.  Biked to work today in full on chicago snow!!

I've commuted in torrential downpour, (light) hail, maybe a small flurry, but never in real snowfall.  Now, it's still too warm for the snow to stick on the ground, but this was a big step. 

Wore my regular wool gloves + snowboarding gloves, face mask, goggles.   The only real part that was cold were my toes.  I wore my wigwam socks, with my usual running shoes, and my toes were frozen numb by the end of the 6.5 mile ride.  Still need to figure something out with my feet..


Well done!  And here I was, feeling good because it was my first commute with the temperature in the 40s.  No, I didn't think it was a particularly impressive accomplishment, but it was still a first for me, and I enjoyed it (thanks to adequate preparation)! 

Still haven't dealt with significant precipitation.  Life in a drought.