Author Topic: June Cycling Challenge 2014  (Read 17023 times)

scottydog

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2014, 10:00:15 AM »
The only other option I could come up with was a tandem bike, mod'd to bring the pedals up high enough for the largest child to ride stoker and then haul the smaller two in the trailer. However, cheap tandems are really hard to find.

How about a bike - trail-a-bike - trailer combo like this (http://daily.sightline.org/2012/07/25/babes-on-bikes-ii/davey-oil-mama/)?  I've heard one LBS owner say he built one for his sister and it's great, and I heard another LBS owner say he did it and regretted it (but he didn't give details and I didn't think to ask at the time).  In Montreal it's fairly easy to find a used trail-a-bike on craigslist.  Two years ago we got lucky and found one at a garage sale for $5; it's a bit rusty but it works fine after a minimal tune-up.

I've hooked the trail-a-bike up to our cargo bike a few times and it does introduce some wobble when my son shifts his weight from side to side.  On the cargo bike, this impacts steering because the front wheel is so far ahead; it's better when the other two kids are in the box and their mass helps keep things steady.

We started using the trail-a-bike with slow rides in an empty parking lot and gradually built up the speed and distance.  With my eldest starting summer vacation in a few days, I'm hoping to take him out with the trail-a-bike attached to my hybrid so that we can explore more parks and bike paths while still giving him a bit of exercise that he wouldn't get by just sitting in the box bike.  I'm impressed that you got your kids to bike up to 7-10 miles!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2014, 03:15:23 PM »
Looking at CL, trying to score a decent 20" multispeed but they're not super common. Will have to be patient, but since I also need to find a bike for DW (small frame hybrid, wish me luck) it's worth it.

Meanwhile we got in a 3 mile roundtrip, which is the longest they've done by themselves. I figure I'll up the miles each week, trying to figure out a good "destination" to have as a goal each time :)

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #52 on: June 20, 2014, 03:19:56 PM »
Looking at CL, trying to score a decent 20" multispeed but they're not super common. Will have to be patient, but since I also need to find a bike for DW (small frame hybrid, wish me luck) it's worth it.

Meanwhile we got in a 3 mile roundtrip, which is the longest they've done by themselves. I figure I'll up the miles each week, trying to figure out a good "destination" to have as a goal each time :)

Good thinking. Hope it turns out well!!

Hedge_87

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #53 on: June 20, 2014, 04:12:29 PM »
Couple questions. What do you use to track miles if you don't have a smartphone? Does anybody else have recommendations for peddles for someone who wears size 15-16 shoes. (I want to still wear my tennis shoes and hiking boots and not have to switch every time I get off the bike).

Thegoblinchief

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #54 on: June 20, 2014, 04:22:05 PM »
Couple questions. What do you use to track miles if you don't have a smartphone? Does anybody else have recommendations for peddles for someone who wears size 15-16 shoes. (I want to still wear my tennis shoes and hiking boots and not have to switch every time I get off the bike).

If you don't have a smartphone, you'd probably want to get a cycle computer. Nashbar and Amazon should have some inexpensive models. No personal experience with them myself, but others maybe can chime in with recs.

For pedals, I like platforms with traction pins. I have Nashbar's Verve  pedals: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_549650_-1

They're one of the biggest pedals I've seen. My feet are only 11 but I use them with chunky boots and there's a lot of usable grip surface.

PindyStache

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2014, 09:12:54 PM »
I have neither smart phone nor cycling computer, so just use Google maps/knowing where I'm going to calculate distance. How accurate you need to be will depend on your purpose for measuring distance. I am mostly interested in general monthly amounts and miles between various maintenance items, so don't care about a mile here or there.

I also have pedals similar to GoblinChief's and they've served me well, though again my feet are smaller. If you were interested in other options that would allow you to bike more efficiently you could consider pedal straps (cheap, easily removable, would work with most any footwear), clips (again, would probably work with most footwear), or a hybrid clipless/platform pedal (you would need a cycling shoe for the clip-in side).

Hedge_87

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2014, 06:21:50 AM »
Quote
They're one of the biggest pedals I've seen. My feet are only 11 but I use them with chunky boots and there's a lot of usable grip surface.

I think this is one of myour biggest problems. I know I'm supposed to ride on the balls of my feet but is that all that should be touching. I also feel like if I'm going to get my cadence any higher I'm going to have to change pedals because my feet feel IIke they are going to fly off the pedals.

Quote
I have neither smart phone nor cycling computer, so just use Google maps/knowing where I'm going to calculate distance. How accurate you need to be will depend on your purpose for measuring distance. I am mostly interested in general monthly amounts and miles between various maintenance items, so don't care about a mile here or there.

That is really all I am interested in for now. I just tend to meander my way back to the house sometimes so I'm not sure how far I've been.

Lian

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #57 on: June 24, 2014, 04:41:11 PM »
Will there be another challenge in July? I'm riding to work tomorrow for Bike 2 Work day, & I want to make it a regular habit - at least a couple of days a week, and I could use the extra motivation of a challenge.

Shor

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2014, 04:57:54 PM »
Will there be another challenge in July? I'm riding to work tomorrow for Bike 2 Work day, & I want to make it a regular habit - at least a couple of days a week, and I could use the extra motivation of a challenge.
We put up the challenge every month! Good luck working it in to a regular schedule. The challenge comes in setting out a routine and then sticking to it.

looshi

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2014, 08:10:34 PM »
I just graduated from rides for fun to rides with purpose. I'm throwing my hat into the challenge for this month.

Hedge_87

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #60 on: June 24, 2014, 09:11:21 PM »
I just graduated from rides for fun to rides with purpose. I'm throwing my hat into the challenge for this month.

Riding for fun is a perfectly valid purpose lol (never thought at 26 years old two wheels and some pedals could still be so much fun). This is my first month though and it really helped me with consistency logging miles every night welcome aboard!

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #61 on: June 25, 2014, 10:30:52 AM »
I just graduated from rides for fun to rides with purpose. I'm throwing my hat into the challenge for this month.

Riding for fun is a perfectly valid purpose lol (never thought at 26 years old two wheels and some pedals could still be so much fun). This is my first month though and it really helped me with consistency logging miles every night welcome aboard!

You guys are all rocking it!!
For me, with the temps getting in the 90s, I'm getting ready to ditch the laptop backpack. Unfortunately, it won't fit in my current panniers, so I'm looking at something like this. Not a fan of the price tag, but I think it'd be worth it. Back sweat sucks!! :D

Thegoblinchief

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #62 on: June 25, 2014, 12:01:04 PM »
Does the laptop fit by itself? If it does, one of those neoprene sleeve jobs would do the trick, especially if your HDD is solid state.

I don't get overtaken by many cyclists, but the other night got overtaken by a guy in USPS livery by a good 5+ mph differential. That was simultaneously humbling and inspiring, since I was going 18-19mph myself.

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #63 on: June 25, 2014, 12:10:15 PM »
Does the laptop fit by itself? If it does, one of those neoprene sleeve jobs would do the trick, especially if your HDD is solid state.

I don't get overtaken by many cyclists, but the other night got overtaken by a guy in USPS livery by a good 5+ mph differential. That was simultaneously humbling and inspiring, since I was going 18-19mph myself.

That's what I meant. The laptop won't fit in the panniers. I don't have an SSD, but I always shut it down to avoid damage to the HDD. I was originally just going to go the neoprene sleeve, but didn't plan on it when I bought my panniers last year. They are relatively small, since I just needed a change of clothes in one, and shower stuff in the other. I'm still not sure if I'm going forward with this, and it definitely won't be this month, so I'm open to other suggestions. This pannier (although ridiculously pricey) has excellent reviews, and apparently is like the last one you would ever need. Big enough to carry everything I need, lifetime guarantee, specifically designed with laptop protection in mind. I can't envision commuting without a laptop.

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #64 on: June 25, 2014, 04:46:57 PM »
I haven't completely confirmed this, but we now have a full 39 participants, which is the max amount this spreadsheet can support. How awesome is that?

Dyk

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #65 on: June 26, 2014, 06:40:02 AM »
Hello!

I have only been around for about 1 month now.  While reading the blog, the face punches were welcomed, because my thinking had been switching to Mustachian, but very,very slowly.  So, peering through my black eyes I have made a number of changes.  One, I parked my car and started riding my bike everywhere!  (Will be selling the car shortly).  And my family now rarely takes the car anywhere.

So, sun, rain (been in some already), or snow, I am in!  Snow may get tough if we get a winter like the last one.  I live in Michigan, and we had somewhere over 100 inches this last winter.  The road to work has a bike path that is not plowed, and the speed limit on the road gets to 55mph.  This last winter the shoulders were gone, so it would not have been safe.  But I am throwing down the gauntlet here that I will make it as long as I can.

So far, the $90/month decrease in insurance, plus gas savings is awesome!

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #66 on: June 26, 2014, 10:03:47 AM »
Hello!

I have only been around for about 1 month now.  While reading the blog, the face punches were welcomed, because my thinking had been switching to Mustachian, but very,very slowly.  So, peering through my black eyes I have made a number of changes.  One, I parked my car and started riding my bike everywhere!  (Will be selling the car shortly).  And my family now rarely takes the car anywhere.

So, sun, rain (been in some already), or snow, I am in!  Snow may get tough if we get a winter like the last one.  I live in Michigan, and we had somewhere over 100 inches this last winter.  The road to work has a bike path that is not plowed, and the speed limit on the road gets to 55mph.  This last winter the shoulders were gone, so it would not have been safe.  But I am throwing down the gauntlet here that I will make it as long as I can.

So far, the $90/month decrease in insurance, plus gas savings is awesome!

Glad to have you here! We do a separate challenge for each month, and have a couple of other ones as well. Check here come July 1, and the new sheet will be updated. If you are feeling like it's just not enough, you might want to look at GoblinChief's Bike 365 Days in a Row challenge.

PindyStache

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #67 on: June 26, 2014, 02:10:29 PM »
New bike commuting experience for me today: Detour required due to President.

Obama is in Minneapolis today, and so happens his event is in the park that I usually bike through on my way to work. When I came through in the morning they had the roads closed down but trails still open, so was able to get through. Was a bit eerie with no usual traffic and just dozens of police around. We'll see if it's opened by this evening.

Every day is an adventure.

Dyk

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #68 on: June 27, 2014, 06:47:35 AM »
Does the laptop fit by itself? If it does, one of those neoprene sleeve jobs would do the trick, especially if your HDD is solid state.

I don't get overtaken by many cyclists, but the other night got overtaken by a guy in USPS livery by a good 5+ mph differential. That was simultaneously humbling and inspiring, since I was going 18-19mph myself.

That's what I meant. The laptop won't fit in the panniers. I don't have an SSD, but I always shut it down to avoid damage to the HDD. I was originally just going to go the neoprene sleeve, but didn't plan on it when I bought my panniers last year. They are relatively small, since I just needed a change of clothes in one, and shower stuff in the other. I'm still not sure if I'm going forward with this, and it definitely won't be this month, so I'm open to other suggestions. This pannier (although ridiculously pricey) has excellent reviews, and apparently is like the last one you would ever need. Big enough to carry everything I need, lifetime guarantee, specifically designed with laptop protection in mind. I can't envision commuting without a laptop.

(I am pasting some of this from another comment, sorry if you already read it . . . and don't forget, I will need you to throw down the same Gauntlet's on me!)
First, I am new here, and I love it.  I need the Mustachian community to help me along this journey.  My comments will always be what I would expect someone to reply to me with.

Disclaimers:
1.  If you are retired, don't read my comments.
2.  This is an MMM forum, not a Nashbar or other bike forum.

So, with all that in mind.

Gauntlet
(That's supposed to be a 'Gauntlet' laid down, I hope it works!)

Your answer to transport your laptop:  A milk crate, zip ties, towel and a garbage bag in the rain.  $5 if you don't already have a milk crate.  (That's 185 reasons this idea kick's ass!)
(I know it doesn't look cool, my dad just asked me if I was collecting cans . . . . but screw other peoples thoughts de-railing my retirement!)

I know I sound like this righteous financial snob, but I will just let my accomplishments speak for myself:
- Until just recently I used to drive my car, sit in a room with men for 30-60 minutes, making small talk about sports I really didn't care about.  At the end of this I gave some money to cut my hair!!!
- Until just recently I drove my car 2.5 miles to work ....
- Until just recently I had 2 cars!
- Until just recently we dried our clothes in a dryer, the dishes on heated dry, and had regular flow shower heads!!!
- Until just recently I was paying to insure a $390,000 house, when mine was worth $230,000!  (Check your insurances!!!)
- Until just recently I paid for CFL bulbs while my power company gave them away for FREE!
- When I did ride my bike, I went to the bike shop to see everything I needed.  It totaled $200.  Luckily I woke up, found an old rack, modified it to fit, zip tied a milk crate to it, inserted a backpack with a garbage bag inside.  Whatever the weather, I will ride.  Money spent:  $0.
and my favorite:
- Until just recently I took those CFL's that I paid for and put them on the shelf, waiting for the incandescent's to burn out ....

So, as you can see, everything I write is with double black eyes from face punches.  I have just picked myself up out of my suckiness, and I write out of respect for the community, and the I write out of the seriousness that we need to take in controlling our future!

You guys rule, you guys are awesome!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 07:38:17 AM by Dyk »

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #69 on: June 27, 2014, 10:09:22 AM »
So, as you can see, everything I write is with double black eyes from face punches.  I have just picked myself up out of my suckiness, and I write out of respect for the community, and the I write out of the seriousness that we need to take in controlling our future!

You guys rule, you guys are awesome!

I love the enthusiasm!!

TrMama

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #70 on: June 27, 2014, 10:46:58 AM »
Does the laptop fit by itself? If it does, one of those neoprene sleeve jobs would do the trick, especially if your HDD is solid state.

I don't get overtaken by many cyclists, but the other night got overtaken by a guy in USPS livery by a good 5+ mph differential. That was simultaneously humbling and inspiring, since I was going 18-19mph myself.

That's what I meant. The laptop won't fit in the panniers. I don't have an SSD, but I always shut it down to avoid damage to the HDD. I was originally just going to go the neoprene sleeve, but didn't plan on it when I bought my panniers last year. They are relatively small, since I just needed a change of clothes in one, and shower stuff in the other. I'm still not sure if I'm going forward with this, and it definitely won't be this month, so I'm open to other suggestions. This pannier (although ridiculously pricey) has excellent reviews, and apparently is like the last one you would ever need. Big enough to carry everything I need, lifetime guarantee, specifically designed with laptop protection in mind. I can't envision commuting without a laptop.

Can you just tie the entire backpack to the top of your rack?

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #71 on: June 27, 2014, 11:47:43 AM »
Does the laptop fit by itself? If it does, one of those neoprene sleeve jobs would do the trick, especially if your HDD is solid state.

I don't get overtaken by many cyclists, but the other night got overtaken by a guy in USPS livery by a good 5+ mph differential. That was simultaneously humbling and inspiring, since I was going 18-19mph myself.

That's what I meant. The laptop won't fit in the panniers. I don't have an SSD, but I always shut it down to avoid damage to the HDD. I was originally just going to go the neoprene sleeve, but didn't plan on it when I bought my panniers last year. They are relatively small, since I just needed a change of clothes in one, and shower stuff in the other. I'm still not sure if I'm going forward with this, and it definitely won't be this month, so I'm open to other suggestions. This pannier (although ridiculously pricey) has excellent reviews, and apparently is like the last one you would ever need. Big enough to carry everything I need, lifetime guarantee, specifically designed with laptop protection in mind. I can't envision commuting without a laptop.

Can you just tie the entire backpack to the top of your rack?

Unfortunately not. I've got a pretty good setup currently, in which the top of my rack contains all of my repair stuff, my pocket stuff, my water, and my lunch. The one pannier I use only holds an extra shirt and rain gear (pants and a jacket). I actually thought about ripping off the mounting pieces of my second pannier and putting them on the back pack, but at that point it becomes useless as a backpack (and painful), plus I need two panniers when I go on beer runs. :-) I've looked into some of the cargo nets, as well as the crates, and may give them a shot. The other option would be to get a personal laptop I can use at home, and just leave the work one at work. Still contemplating. For now, wearing hawaiian shirts keeps me cool enough (barely), so I look retired already :-).

marblejane

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #72 on: June 27, 2014, 08:21:16 PM »
How big is your laptop? Could you ask for a smaller laptop that would fit into your panniers?

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #73 on: June 28, 2014, 07:19:06 PM »
How big is your laptop? Could you ask for a smaller laptop that would fit into your panniers?

It's a 19". I thought about asking for a smaller laptop, but the performance is reduced. I'm just sucking it up right now, but we'll see where I go. Thanks for all of the suggestions. Back sweat is no fun, but don't think for a second it'll stop me. :D

Hedge_87

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #74 on: June 29, 2014, 09:20:02 AM »
Where I live an adult on a bike is almost like spotting big foot lol. I really got some funny looks at the hardware store while getting plumbing parts.

Russ

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #75 on: June 30, 2014, 07:48:30 AM »
woohoo only got in a car twice this month (friends and I going places together)
woohoo rode erryday
woohoo most miles in a month since I was a supr srs biek racer in high school

guess this is why I am so tired all the time

Dyk

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #76 on: June 30, 2014, 09:49:34 AM »
woohoo only got in a car twice this month (friends and I going places together)
woohoo rode erryday
woohoo most miles in a month since I was a supr srs biek racer in high school

guess this is why I am so tired all the time

Russ, that is insanely impressive.  Nice work!

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2014, 10:28:55 AM »
woohoo only got in a car twice this month (friends and I going places together)
woohoo rode erryday
woohoo most miles in a month since I was a supr srs biek racer in high school

guess this is why I am so tired all the time

You broke 800 miles this month!! Way to go. Also, way to skew the average :D

SisterX

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #78 on: June 30, 2014, 11:00:32 AM »
And here I was feeling really pleased about my 112 miles this month.  :)  But I made my goal!  (Over 100 miles.)

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2014, 11:07:06 AM »
And here I was feeling really pleased about my 112 miles this month.  :)  But I made my goal!  (Over 100 miles.)

Yeah, you were rocking it!! I actually ran some errands just so I would pass you. :P
This has been my best month so far too. I broke 130, which is awesome!! I also started an average statistic on the first summary, so I was trying to hit that, but it kept going up!!! Didn't make it this month, but I will next month (depending on how crazy those 400+ mile people get).

I'll be releasing the next month's challenge a bit later today. We no longer need to create the sheets for ourselves. There is now an associated form that automatically handles all of the work. Just fill out the form, and then go into the spreadsheet and your stuff is there. This has been a great month.

SisterX

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #80 on: June 30, 2014, 05:12:37 PM »
And here I was feeling really pleased about my 112 miles this month.  :)  But I made my goal!  (Over 100 miles.)

Yeah, you were rocking it!! I actually ran some errands just so I would pass you. :P
This has been my best month so far too. I broke 130, which is awesome!! I also started an average statistic on the first summary, so I was trying to hit that, but it kept going up!!! Didn't make it this month, but I will next month (depending on how crazy those 400+ mile people get).

I'll be releasing the next month's challenge a bit later today. We no longer need to create the sheets for ourselves. There is now an associated form that automatically handles all of the work. Just fill out the form, and then go into the spreadsheet and your stuff is there. This has been a great month.

Haha, it's nice to know that what I think of as my paltry mileage motivated someone else!  Congrats on 130.  :)
My miles will be down in July due to an out-of-state vacation to visit family, but maybe I can hit 150 miles in August?  Or maybe, just maybe, the bebe will let me get out on weekends to do my favorite 15 mile fun ride.  I'm not going to hold my breath though.  :)

Dyk

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #81 on: July 01, 2014, 06:19:21 AM »
SisterX - Excellent work on hitting your goal!

Jordanread - Thank you for these challenges, they are greatly appreciated!

mizzourah2006

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #82 on: July 01, 2014, 09:02:34 AM »
I'm new here, but in for July. To those that bike to work, do you also bring your lunch? I guess my concern would be carrying a lunch for 9 miles along with work clothes, my computer, and shower stuff. Any tips, or recommendations?

PS, I've been a long time follower of this site and forum and I love it, such great motivation.

marblejane

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #83 on: July 01, 2014, 10:09:41 AM »
Hi Mizzourah- welcome!

I'd highly recommend checking out bikeforums.net, and specifically their commuting subforum, for more inspiration on daily bike commuting.

Is your concern just that you have a lot of stuff to haul? Or is it specifically about keeping your lunch cool on the ride?

Personally, I like to keep stuff off my back when I bike, so I use a rear rack. For a long time, I got by with a front basket and a rear basket- I would put my lunch in the front basket, and a backpack/bag with my laptop & change of clothes in the rear basket.

I recently switched to a different bike, and I also got a pannier that converts to a messenger bag- the Ortlieb Downtown (kind of pricey, but it was a birthday gift from my parents.) Now, I keep my laptop, change of clothes, and toiletries in the pannier, and I bungee my lunchbox to the top of my rear rack. My commute is 5.5 miles each way.

I would recommend getting the Wald rear baskets to attach to a rear rack. A pair is pretty affordable, and they hold plenty of stuff. Also, bungee cords are awesome for securing stuff in the baskets or on the rack.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #84 on: July 01, 2014, 12:56:37 PM »
I'm new here, but in for July. To those that bike to work, do you also bring your lunch? I guess my concern would be carrying a lunch for 9 miles along with work clothes, my computer, and shower stuff. Any tips, or recommendations?

PS, I've been a long time follower of this site and forum and I love it, such great motivation.

I also bring my lunch (& Breakfast!) everyday. I have one pannier that attaches to the side of my rack. Sometimes if I have a lot I will bungie cord my lock to the top of my rack, but mostly everything (my clothes, laptop, & lunch), fit in my one pannier.

jordanread

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #85 on: July 01, 2014, 01:32:47 PM »
All right everyone!! Great job this month. The guantlet has been thrown down for July. Join in here.

mizzourah2006

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Re: June Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #86 on: July 02, 2014, 07:41:16 AM »
I'm new here, but in for July. To those that bike to work, do you also bring your lunch? I guess my concern would be carrying a lunch for 9 miles along with work clothes, my computer, and shower stuff. Any tips, or recommendations?

PS, I've been a long time follower of this site and forum and I love it, such great motivation.

I also bring my lunch (& Breakfast!) everyday. I have one pannier that attaches to the side of my rack. Sometimes if I have a lot I will bungie cord my lock to the top of my rack, but mostly everything (my clothes, laptop, & lunch), fit in my one pannier.

Thanks Marble! I will definitely check out bikeforums.net. My concern is mostly keeping it cold. I bring baked or grilled chicken breast for lunch every day and I want to make sure it stays cold on the ride. I have a cooler bag that might be an option, but I will definitely check out the website you mentioned.