Author Topic: January Cycling Challenge 2015  (Read 53852 times)

jordanread

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #250 on: January 29, 2015, 06:07:17 AM »
Hey Jordan, quick question about the spreadsheet.
So there is the column of our past months, with the rider avg and our personal record in the next column.
What is the conditional formatting on those cells trying to convey? Some are red, some are green...

Nvm figured it out... They are Red if we've rode more miles in that month compared to the current month...
jeez what a way to motivate me to ride more miles than ever before with each month. Such an angry red... I must make them soothing green! :(

Yeah, I originally just did it for my sheet, since I've sucked previously and figured that every month should be my best month. And then I just expanded it out. You can remove it if you want, but I do love watching my previous months turn green as I beat them. :)

Thanks, Jordan.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but they look big.  How big are they?  I don't usually carry much, just lunch and some clothes.  Once in a blue moon I'll transport my laptop between home and the office, but not very often.
I'll take some photos in the morning for you, and post them here. What frame of reference do you need?

Hmmm... how about a water bottle?  Or a milk jug if that's closer to the size? 

Here you are (ignore the carpet, that's my bike parking spot :D):



The first image shows how far it can expand, and the second image shows it closed. The thing I really like about these is that you can tighten them down so they are pretty much pieces of fabric when you don't need them. Keeps the wind from catching and makes them easier to carry. I use the top rack thing I linked for my lunch, tools, and tubes, and just leave it on. It is insulated, so that helps too. Depending on how tightly you can fold your clothes, the top one might be the only one you need. :-) Also, if you are going to throw a laptop in there, make sure it has a sleeve.

Let me know if you have anymore questions.

mskyle

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #251 on: January 29, 2015, 07:43:24 AM »
GoGo (that's the bike's name) is pretty heavy already and I'm not super big and muscular, so something lightweight that doesn't act like a braking parachute would definitely be appreciated for my 9-mile each way commute.  80-90% of the time I have non-trivial headwinds coming home in the evening and it sucks when I'm wearing a windbreaker that catches those gusts!

Waterproof would be great, but not a deal breaker if the right pair isn't waterproof as I can always continue my gallon-sized ziploc method of water-proofing for the rain. 

I have a pair similar to Jordan's Avenir's but I think a bit smaller. I usually only one at a time, unless I'm doing a heavy grocery run. They're Novara (the REI house brand) and it doesn't look like they make them anymore, but one of the nice things about them is they have a built-in rain cover that hides in a little pocket on the outside. You can buy a rain cover separately, too... I have no idea if this one is any good but that's the kind of thing I mean. I carry my laptop to and from work a lot (only 4 miles though) and I usually don't bother with the rain cover unless it's pouring - the pannier is actually reasonably water-resistant on its own.

The cover did fail me once when I rode home from the grocery store in thunderstorm, but even then it was only that the stuff on top got damp (but it was a 5-pound bag of sugar, ugh!).

If you're mostly only carrying a change of clothes and lunch you might want to look into a trunk bag too.

jordanread

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #252 on: January 29, 2015, 08:24:57 AM »
GoGo (that's the bike's name) is pretty heavy already and I'm not super big and muscular, so something lightweight that doesn't act like a braking parachute would definitely be appreciated for my 9-mile each way commute.  80-90% of the time I have non-trivial headwinds coming home in the evening and it sucks when I'm wearing a windbreaker that catches those gusts!

Waterproof would be great, but not a deal breaker if the right pair isn't waterproof as I can always continue my gallon-sized ziploc method of water-proofing for the rain. 

I have a pair similar to Jordan's Avenir's but I think a bit smaller. I usually only one at a time, unless I'm doing a heavy grocery run. They're Novara (the REI house brand) and it doesn't look like they make them anymore, but one of the nice things about them is they have a built-in rain cover that hides in a little pocket on the outside. You can buy a rain cover separately, too... I have no idea if this one is any good but that's the kind of thing I mean. I carry my laptop to and from work a lot (only 4 miles though) and I usually don't bother with the rain cover unless it's pouring - the pannier is actually reasonably water-resistant on its own.

The cover did fail me once when I rode home from the grocery store in thunderstorm, but even then it was only that the stuff on top got damp (but it was a 5-pound bag of sugar, ugh!).

If you're mostly only carrying a change of clothes and lunch you might want to look into a trunk bag too.

Ha! That's the exact one I was talking about above, that is insulated like a lunch box. Great minds!! I just couldn't remember that it was called a trunk bag. I use mine for beer runs. I'm going to start using it for groceries. Doing a test run today. So a couple times a week, I will stop by the grocery store to pad my miles and have two panniers. Now I actually need to get a lock for my bike.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #253 on: January 29, 2015, 05:29:30 PM »
The thing I really like about these is that you can tighten them down so they are pretty much pieces of fabric when you don't need them. Keeps the wind from catching and makes them easier to carry.

That is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for.  Thanks!

jordanread

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #254 on: January 29, 2015, 06:17:05 PM »
That is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for.  Thanks!

You are welcome!

The test run to the grocery store went well today. It should add about 2-3 more miles on the days I go. Granted, it's at the top of a killer hill, but that just means I get the opportunity to be even more badass. Unfortunately, I just found out I got transferred to another department (why does the cloud infrastructure team need a software engineer? I don't know, but they are stoked, and it should be fun) and that will require me to be up in Denver for an indeterminate amount of time. 2 - 3 weeks is best guess. We shall see how it goes. I might try to do some fun riding just to keep the habit going. Maybe I should park my car at my Colorado Springs office, ride there, and drive the rest of the way. Might be a viable option, although I wouldn't want to be in a car with me right after a bike ride :-)

b4u2

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #255 on: January 30, 2015, 07:23:22 AM »
Tomorrow is my birthday and I am not getting overtime next week so maybe I can free up some time and finally set my bicycle up correctly. I need to fully retune it and set the derailers properly. I kinda miss bicycle riding and the cold weather is killing me. If I can I'll try and get it out this weekend.

Roadhog

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #256 on: January 31, 2015, 10:24:31 AM »
I'm really happy with myself.   I've been bike commuting since 2007, but I have never commuted by bike in December or January, convincing myself it was too dark, cold, etc.   For January 2015 I have managed 157.5 miles by bike.  Fantastic since in all prior Januaries, my total was a big fat zero!

jordanread

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #257 on: January 31, 2015, 05:16:18 PM »
I'm really happy with myself.   I've been bike commuting since 2007, but I have never commuted by bike in December or January, convincing myself it was too dark, cold, etc.   For January 2015 I have managed 157.5 miles by bike.  Fantastic since in all prior Januaries, my total was a big fat zero!

Way to go!! I've found that once you get the gear dialed in, it's just as fun (although of a different kind) as riding in 'nice' weather.

On my side, due to a ride I went on with wolf_stache while she was visiting put me over 300 miles in a month!! As a point of reference (and bragging), for the previous 9 months I've been doing this challenge, my record was 155 miles. That's almost double!! Had I looked at this earlier, I would have tooled around to actually get over double my previous record. It's gonna be hard to do that now. And I can say that this challenge has been the main reason I've been able to pull that off.

jordanread

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #258 on: February 01, 2015, 11:07:34 AM »
The new challenge is up!!

February 2015 Cycling Challenge!

b4u2

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #259 on: February 02, 2015, 07:44:51 AM »
I wish I knew or lived near people that biked here in Cedar Rapids. I looked on my company website for clubs but the site is old with nothing for a few years updated. It would be more motivating to ride with someone rather than by myself. I'll try and see if there is a group outside the company I work for that rides.

I almost ordered a bike stand but then Sunday morning I did my weight training and decided to do some cardio. I took my bicycle down and broke out my trainer I bought when I dislocated my shoulder a few years ago. As I started setting it up and riding I realized I could use my trainer as the stand to fine tune and adjust the gears on my bike. It's not a perfect set up but it allows me to spin the rear wheel and change gears. Saves me about $40 over ordering a bike repair stand.

It snowed 12 inches over the weekend and it was a wet, heavy snow.

wintersun

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Re: January Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #260 on: February 05, 2015, 06:07:23 PM »
I am still here!

did not meet my January challenge but am ready for February.  Once again my goal is time not miles since I am on a stationary bike.  Perhaps I could use a fitbit or phone app to gauge miles?