Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 117228 times)

mlipps

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #800 on: May 13, 2019, 08:04:43 AM »
I had my first biking accident this weekend. Fairly minor as these things go. I was in a bike lane on a city street and for a split second I was looking at a pedestrian on the sidewalk. When I looked back, an Uber had stopped and their passenger opened the door right into the bike lane. I wasn't going super fast so nothing permanently damaged. Conveniently I was across the street from my bike shop so I stopped in & they confirmed nothing was damaged on the bike. Doing lots of yoga to relax my shoulders and neck.

The frustrating part is that the accident really comes down to infrastructure to me. Sure, the Uber should have stopped at the corner and let the passenger out at the curb, but realistically this isn't the expectation people have when using cabs/rideshare. There's just not a way to safely share the roads. The only alternative is for the Uber to stop in the bike lane instead, which makes me even more angry.

Also, yes, partly my fault for letting myself get distracted, even for just a second. Relentlessly pay attention out there guys. Ride safe. Just hoping my minor accident will stop the passenger & driver from causing a more serious one in the future.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #801 on: May 13, 2019, 08:57:19 AM »
Hadn't seen it mentioned, but this Friday is Bike to Work Day: https://www.bikeleague.org/content/bike-month-dates-events-0.

I bike roughly two-thirds of the time to the bus stop (a little more than a mile each way), but for Friday I'm psyching myself up to ride the 23 miles to work for the first time (whether or not I ride back or take the bus is TBD). Helps that there are goodies being offered along the way in my city. Hope to see a large Mustachian turnout on Friday.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #802 on: May 13, 2019, 09:49:00 AM »
Glad you're okay, @mlipps.

I had to register for my local bike to work day to get goodies, but I did confirm there are some on my route.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #803 on: May 13, 2019, 10:00:42 AM »
My bike to work day was last Thursday, the single day of the week I could ride due to a doctorís appointment!

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #804 on: May 13, 2019, 04:18:10 PM »
I had frequent trouble with NDS spokes in my rear wheel. As spokes were replaced, the breaking became more frequent. First time through this I bought a new set of machine built wheels. This set was a slight upgrade from my original wheels, but didn't last much longer. When the problem came back, I started researching why the spokes were breaking. The spokes were always breaking at the same place - the elbow at the hub of the NDS on the rear wheel. The absolute change in tension for a spoke with each revolution is more or less proportional to the weight on the wheel. I'm a big guy, carry my load on a rear rack, and ride fairly upright - my rear wheel was doing most of the work. With longer spokes and a greater angle from vertical, the spokes on the NDS of the wheel must have less overall tension than the spokes on the DS of the wheel, so these spokes had the greatest relative change and suffered the most fatigue with each turn of the wheel. I decided I wanted to upgrade to a larger spoke count (from 32 to 36 or 40), so a complete new wheel was in order. I wanted to build it myself, but had difficulty sourcing spokes at a good price for the small quantity I needed of each length (18-20), so eventually I decided that the cost difference for the spokes was worth paying a local wheel builder's labor. So far I've had the new wheel for over 4 years (probably 10k+ miles) and it's going strong.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #805 on: May 13, 2019, 06:19:41 PM »
I had frequent trouble with NDS spokes in my rear wheel. As spokes were replaced, the breaking became more frequent. First time through this I bought a new set of machine built wheels. This set was a slight upgrade from my original wheels, but didn't last much longer. When the problem came back, I started researching why the spokes were breaking. The spokes were always breaking at the same place - the elbow at the hub of the NDS on the rear wheel. The absolute change in tension for a spoke with each revolution is more or less proportional to the weight on the wheel. I'm a big guy, carry my load on a rear rack, and ride fairly upright - my rear wheel was doing most of the work. With longer spokes and a greater angle from vertical, the spokes on the NDS of the wheel must have less overall tension than the spokes on the DS of the wheel, so these spokes had the greatest relative change and suffered the most fatigue with each turn of the wheel. I decided I wanted to upgrade to a larger spoke count (from 32 to 36 or 40), so a complete new wheel was in order. I wanted to build it myself, but had difficulty sourcing spokes at a good price for the small quantity I needed of each length (18-20), so eventually I decided that the cost difference for the spokes was worth paying a local wheel builder's labor. So far I've had the new wheel for over 4 years (probably 10k+ miles) and it's going strong.

I'm also a big guy at 200 lbs.  Had similar problems to what you were describing.  I upgraded my winter bike to a very heavy, cheapo machine built 36 spoke rear wheel and then increased the tension on all the spokes.  Had no problem from that wheel over four years of riding.  So for my summer bike I built myself a 32 spoke wheelset with double butted spokes and tensioned the wheels up nicely.  It's been well over 10,000 km on them and no problems.  They haven't even gone out of true.

Spoke count is important, especially if the wheel you've got isn't well built.  A well built 32 spoke wheel should be enough for most people though.  A well built 36 spoke wheel should be just about indestructible.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #806 on: May 14, 2019, 09:50:27 AM »
I'm also a big guy at 200 lbs.  Had similar problems to what you were describing.  I upgraded my winter bike to a very heavy, cheapo machine built 36 spoke rear wheel and then increased the tension on all the spokes.  Had no problem from that wheel over four years of riding.  So for my summer bike I built myself a 32 spoke wheelset with double butted spokes and tensioned the wheels up nicely.  It's been well over 10,000 km on them and no problems.  They haven't even gone out of true.

Spoke count is important, especially if the wheel you've got isn't well built.  A well built 32 spoke wheel should be enough for most people though.  A well built 36 spoke wheel should be just about indestructible.
Buying a machine built wheel and tightening it up by hand is probably the best frugal path to a new strong wheel - machine built wheels seem to be no more expensive than buying the hub and the rim separately - the spoke are free.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #807 on: May 14, 2019, 10:01:14 AM »
The weather was FINALLY dry enough to bike.  A little brisk at 6 deg C but it was nice to be out (hands were frozen and my ears hurt pretty bad when I got to work); walked around in a daze for a bit until my inner ears thawed out.  The new tires really smoothed out the roads and the interlocking brick path.  Now I only feel the big bumps and pot holes.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #808 on: May 14, 2019, 02:18:03 PM »
I logged my first 100 miles on my new ebike!

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #809 on: May 14, 2019, 06:23:32 PM »
Weather can be wet enough to not bike?

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #810 on: May 14, 2019, 06:56:03 PM »
Weather can be wet enough to not bike?

That's the attitude I need to develop.

Probably shouldn't bike through floodwaters, though. For example.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #811 on: May 14, 2019, 11:13:09 PM »
Weather can be wet enough to not bike?

That's the attitude I need to develop.

Probably shouldn't bike through floodwaters, though. For example.

Biking in wet weather just means you're already partly showered when you arrive at your destination. It's a a time saver really.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #812 on: May 15, 2019, 06:52:30 AM »
Weather can be wet enough to not bike?

That's the attitude I need to develop.

Probably shouldn't bike through floodwaters, though. For example.

Biking in wet weather just means you're already partly showered when you arrive at your destination. It's a a time saver really.

If it wasn't for rain, my cycling caps would never get washed!

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #813 on: May 15, 2019, 09:40:46 AM »
Yíall are making me laugh.

Iím registered in a local transport website for biking to work. They handed out swag bags for folks who bike commute for Bike Month. Nice!

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #814 on: May 15, 2019, 10:51:09 AM »
Weather can be wet enough to not bike?

That's the attitude I need to develop.

Probably shouldn't bike through floodwaters, though. For example.
Depends on if the floodwaters are moving rapidly or not...

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #815 on: May 15, 2019, 11:18:19 AM »
There was the slightest of sprinkles today and suddenly all the other bikers disappeared off the road. Bunch of silly gooses.

That said, I looked in the mirror after changing my clothes at work and saw that my face and chest were covered in tiny mud splatters like a bunch of new freckles. Looks like I need to get myself some fenders!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #816 on: May 15, 2019, 05:58:31 PM »
That was an adventure.

I got an auto email from work saying I had a package delivered for me in a different build a good distance away. So I got on my bike to head over. I hit a poorly-filled trench in the middle of an intersection from a bunch of construction going on in the area that popped my chain off. I pulled over and started yanking on that sucker to get it back on and completely failed. I got grease all over my hands and got the chain completely stuck to the point I couldn't physically pull it out of where it was wedged.

I walked to the bike maintenance area and sweet talked them into helping, even though they are only supposed to work on work-owned bike. Even they had trouble. They finally fixed me up, I got back on, went to the building to check on my package.

There was no package for me. I later inquired about it and was told it was a system bug sending out bad information.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #817 on: May 15, 2019, 08:02:05 PM »
That was an adventure.

I got an auto email from work saying I had a package delivered for me in a different build a good distance away. So I got on my bike to head over. I hit a poorly-filled trench in the middle of an intersection from a bunch of construction going on in the area that popped my chain off. I pulled over and started yanking on that sucker to get it back on and completely failed. I got grease all over my hands and got the chain completely stuck to the point I couldn't physically pull it out of where it was wedged.

I walked to the bike maintenance area and sweet talked them into helping, even though they are only supposed to work on work-owned bike. Even they had trouble. They finally fixed me up, I got back on, went to the building to check on my package.

There was no package for me. I later inquired about it and was told it was a system bug sending out bad information.

TLDR - I learned about bike maintenance and got some exercise today!  :P

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #818 on: May 17, 2019, 12:37:01 PM »
Hadn't seen it mentioned, but this Friday is Bike to Work Day: https://www.bikeleague.org/content/bike-month-dates-events-0.

I bike roughly two-thirds of the time to the bus stop (a little more than a mile each way), but for Friday I'm psyching myself up to ride the 23 miles to work for the first time (whether or not I ride back or take the bus is TBD). Helps that there are goodies being offered along the way in my city. Hope to see a large Mustachian turnout on Friday.

21 miles into work this morning was surprisingly more pleasant than I expected (though it might be related to the use of padded underwear for the first time). I may just make this an every-other-week thing (and probably ride the bus home).

LittleWanderer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #819 on: May 20, 2019, 09:11:36 AM »
I got grease all over my hands

Keep a couple of disposable surgical gloves on your bike.  Makes these kind of moments a lot cleaner! 

fuzzy math

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #820 on: May 20, 2019, 03:56:38 PM »
Ventured out last Friday for free breakfast on our local bike to work holiday. Along the way I discovered a previously unknown (to me) path branch that allows me to do another 1.5 miles on the trail and exit later / closer to work. This allows me to avoid biking those 1.5 mi on the Scary In Town Highway that google maps had me use upon exiting the path. The new route only adds 0.5 mi to my route.

Felt pretty excited and utilized it today, logging 11.2 mi round trip. The weather was great too!

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #821 on: May 21, 2019, 04:57:57 PM »
What do you guys eat to keep up your energy?
Lately Iíve had no energy and I think itís because Iím not eating enough or the right stuff.

I bike 12 miles round trip 5 days a week and go to the gym about 4 days a week.
Iíve been having a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk and a banana when I wake up, then 2 hard boiled eggs and a banana at work, then after I get home from the gym Iíll have something different for dinner.

Iíve thrown in an 8 oz whey protein shake at work which helps me stay not ravenous while at work.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #822 on: May 21, 2019, 07:22:56 PM »
You just need to try what works for you.  If you're new to cycling, you will likely not be eating enough.  I've found that it's takes a little over a thousand calories extra each day for my 22 mile round trip commute.  Less than that and I'll lose weight and be cranky.  This means that I plan a much bigger lunch most days when cycling in, and always bring some extra fruit (bananas, apples, pears, oranges, mangoes, kiwi, etc.).  I also keep some dry granola type cereal and chia seeds at my desk all the time in case emergency hunger comes up.

As far as what to eat . . . carbs!  Brown rice, pasta, sweet potato, legumes, oats, or similar should make up a good sized chunk of your lunch, along with vegetables if you're looking for energy.  Fatty foods like seeds and nuts will help keep you feeling full for longer.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #823 on: May 21, 2019, 07:44:56 PM »
Iíve been cycling regularly for about 13 months now but only commuting for 4.
Thatís a good idea to keep some food in the office.
Iím going to try having some chicken salad (with pasta) for lunch and see if that helps.

Iím overweight by (I estimate) around 50 pounds so the weight loss is certainly welcome. Just need the energy.

Going to bike (19 miles round trip :D) to the grocery store tomorrow and see what I can find.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #824 on: May 21, 2019, 08:03:25 PM »
Don't burn as many calories since I e-bike, but still ends up around 300-350 calories for the 13-14 mile round trip, and I do find myself needing an extra 'bike meal.'  Generally I will eat a bowl of cereal + oats + banana with milk right after getting home and that sets me straight.  Economical and carb-heavy. 

During the day I do eat a lot at my desk, but that's because I lift weights instead of taking a lunch break and then eat at my desk (protein shake + granola bars + nuts).

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #825 on: May 22, 2019, 07:00:03 AM »
What do you guys eat to keep up your energy?

As far as what to eat . . . carbs!

As a counterpoint, I followed MMM into low-carb land a few years ago, and it seems to work for me. I typically don't eat much if anything before or during a long sustained workout (whether a 20-mile bike ride or 4,000-ft mountain ascent), and I can go hours afterwards without feeling especially hungry. I will make up those calories come dinnertime, but the hunger pangs don't really exist like they used to.

mlipps

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #826 on: May 22, 2019, 08:30:34 AM »
My bike commute isn't as long as some of yours, but I find it useful to keep a jar of peanut butter at my desk. I usually have either a banana or an apple with me as a snack every day, so if I feel like I'm extra hungry I just throw a tablespoon of PB on it & that's a nice boost. I used to keep trail mix but I lack the self control to eat a reasonable portion haha.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #827 on: May 22, 2019, 10:39:21 AM »
What do you guys eat to keep up your energy?
Lately Iíve had no energy and I think itís because Iím not eating enough or the right stuff.

I bike 12 miles round trip 5 days a week and go to the gym about 4 days a week.
Iíve been having a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk and a banana when I wake up, then 2 hard boiled eggs and a banana at work, then after I get home from the gym Iíll have something different for dinner.

Iíve thrown in an 8 oz whey protein shake at work which helps me stay not ravenous while at work.
I commute a similar distance, 11 miles per day if I take the shortest route each way. No serious elevation (like 200ft).

Typically I'll ride fasted in the morning. Drink a glass of water and go out the door.
Breakfast = Cereal, oatmeal, pastries, or a banana
Lunch = Sandwich & chips, a frozen meal, or leftovers
Snack = Granola bar, found chocolate
Dinner = Leftovers, pasta, stir fry, quiche, pizza (too many options)

Sometimes I add a longer ride after work... 18 miles with 1000ft climbing. I don't really adjust what I eat unless I'm going to be riding for more than an hour(means I'll fill up the water bottle and bring granola bars.)

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #828 on: May 22, 2019, 12:10:03 PM »
You'll want to eat some carbs and protein to keep up energy even if you do want to burn some fat. Just keep the calories replaced lower the the calories burned (it should only take eating 10-30% of the calories burned to keep your energy levels up if you have body fat to burn).

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #829 on: May 22, 2019, 08:22:15 PM »
My office stocks fancy pants chocolate milk in the office fridge. On days I feel extra hungry in the afternoon, I have a glass of that.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #830 on: May 28, 2019, 05:11:20 PM »
I sold my car a couple weeks ago and just started my first day of bike commuting. My commute is just over 8 miles one way, majority being on a paved bike trail.

However, I need some advice. I use a waterproof roll-top backback to carry my clothes (dress shoes, pants, shirt, undershirt, underwear, socks, tie, watch, belt), lunch box, phone, wallet, and body-cleaning wipes and deodorant. I know most people use racks and pannier bags, but I didn't want to always have the racks on my road bike.

But my main issue is with the logistics of changing clothes. What's the best way to store all my dress clothes in the bag without wrinkling them? Also, what do you guys do with your sweaty biking clothes while at work? I have no place to hang them out to dry, so they get balled up and end up stinking. Then I put on the same smelly clothes for the ride back home. Is there any way to mitigate this? The ride to work isn't so bad, because it's before 6 AM and the sun hasn't yet come up, but the ride home in the 90+ degree humid weather can get pretty brutal.

As always, any advice is GREATLY appreciated!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #831 on: May 28, 2019, 05:39:41 PM »
I sold my car a couple weeks ago and just started my first day of bike commuting. My commute is just over 8 miles one way, majority being on a paved bike trail.

However, I need some advice. I use a waterproof roll-top backback to carry my clothes (dress shoes, pants, shirt, undershirt, underwear, socks, tie, watch, belt), lunch box, phone, wallet, and body-cleaning wipes and deodorant. I know most people use racks and pannier bags, but I didn't want to always have the racks on my road bike.

But my main issue is with the logistics of changing clothes. What's the best way to store all my dress clothes in the bag without wrinkling them? Also, what do you guys do with your sweaty biking clothes while at work? I have no place to hang them out to dry, so they get balled up and end up stinking. Then I put on the same smelly clothes for the ride back home. Is there any way to mitigate this? The ride to work isn't so bad, because it's before 6 AM and the sun hasn't yet come up, but the ride home in the 90+ degree humid weather can get pretty brutal.

As always, any advice is GREATLY appreciated!
I attended this lecture years ago on how to pack a suitcase for travel and the person advised rolling your clothes together to reduce wrinkling. Iíve used that pretty successfully when traveling overseas (back when I still owned stuff that could wrinkle, that is). So take your pants and shirt and lay them on top of each other flat, throw in socks and knickers and whatnot, maybe fold in half for size, and then roll that whole thing up like a burrito.

Iíve hung my biking stuff to dry over my filling cabinet or on the back of my chair at work after particularly rainy days. Iíve also just left them hanging on a shelf in the ladiesí room. Can you just commander some space like that?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #832 on: May 28, 2019, 06:31:07 PM »
I sold my car a couple weeks ago and just started my first day of bike commuting. My commute is just over 8 miles one way, majority being on a paved bike trail.

However, I need some advice. I use a waterproof roll-top backback to carry my clothes (dress shoes, pants, shirt, undershirt, underwear, socks, tie, watch, belt), lunch box, phone, wallet, and body-cleaning wipes and deodorant. I know most people use racks and pannier bags, but I didn't want to always have the racks on my road bike.

But my main issue is with the logistics of changing clothes. What's the best way to store all my dress clothes in the bag without wrinkling them? Also, what do you guys do with your sweaty biking clothes while at work? I have no place to hang them out to dry, so they get balled up and end up stinking. Then I put on the same smelly clothes for the ride back home. Is there any way to mitigate this? The ride to work isn't so bad, because it's before 6 AM and the sun hasn't yet come up, but the ride home in the 90+ degree humid weather can get pretty brutal.

As always, any advice is GREATLY appreciated!
I attended this lecture years ago on how to pack a suitcase for travel and the person advised rolling your clothes together to reduce wrinkling. Iíve used that pretty successfully when traveling overseas (back when I still owned stuff that could wrinkle, that is). So take your pants and shirt and lay them on top of each other flat, throw in socks and knickers and whatnot, maybe fold in half for size, and then roll that whole thing up like a burrito.

Iíve hung my biking stuff to dry over my filling cabinet or on the back of my chair at work after particularly rainy days. Iíve also just left them hanging on a shelf in the ladiesí room. Can you just commander some space like that?

+1  on rolling stuff.

Lay pants and shirt flat, put socks, undies, and undershirt in the middle.  Roll the pants and shirt around them.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #833 on: May 29, 2019, 08:13:24 AM »
I sold my car a couple weeks ago and just started my first day of bike commuting. My commute is just over 8 miles one way, majority being on a paved bike trail.

However, I need some advice. I use a waterproof roll-top backback to carry my clothes (dress shoes, pants, shirt, undershirt, underwear, socks, tie, watch, belt), lunch box, phone, wallet, and body-cleaning wipes and deodorant. I know most people use racks and pannier bags, but I didn't want to always have the racks on my road bike.

But my main issue is with the logistics of changing clothes. What's the best way to store all my dress clothes in the bag without wrinkling them? Also, what do you guys do with your sweaty biking clothes while at work? I have no place to hang them out to dry, so they get balled up and end up stinking. Then I put on the same smelly clothes for the ride back home. Is there any way to mitigate this? The ride to work isn't so bad, because it's before 6 AM and the sun hasn't yet come up, but the ride home in the 90+ degree humid weather can get pretty brutal.

As always, any advice is GREATLY appreciated!

Some of those things you're carrying every day - could you leave them at work?  Leave dress shoes, several ties, watch, belt, and free up some space in your backpack, perhaps for an extra set of biking clothes?  Maybe a large, sealing bag to hold the dirty clothes and avoid stinking up the place?

Also agree with the rolling comments.  I do avoid many of these challenges since I use an e-bike, go to work very early like you, and live in coastal CA; I save my sweating for the ride home.

LittleWanderer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #834 on: May 29, 2019, 08:14:59 AM »
I got some of those plastic command hooks and fixed a few of them up under my desk.  My bike shorts and sports bra hang to dry down there.  You can't see them unless you're really looking.  My shirt dries on my coat hook.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #835 on: May 29, 2019, 08:38:01 AM »
My current job is super casual so I don't have to worry about wrinkly clothes, but at my last job I did. I had another obligation after work one day a week that required driving in on those days, so I used that as an opportunity to bring in the next week's worth of shirts and such without them getting messed up. It required a little bit of forethought but wasn't a huge burden to work around.

mlipps

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #836 on: May 29, 2019, 09:22:24 AM »
I understand not wanting a rack on a road back, but you'll be WAY less sweaty if you get those clothes off your back. I've never tried them, but I wonder if the seat mounted bike racks might work for your use case & let you throw a pannier on. It's incredible how much more comfortable I am riding without that stuff on my back.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #837 on: May 29, 2019, 09:57:17 AM »
I understand not wanting a rack on a road back, but you'll be WAY less sweaty if you get those clothes off your back. I've never tried them, but I wonder if the seat mounted bike racks might work for your use case & let you throw a pannier on. It's incredible how much more comfortable I am riding without that stuff on my back.

This. Even fancy pants road bikes can have racks mounted to them. https://www.axiomgear.com/products/racks/streamliner-racks/streamliner-road-dlx/ You'll get way less sweaty and your back will thank you in the long run.

I commuted for years on a compact framed carbon road bike with my gear in a messenger bag. My back did not appreciate it and let me know in no uncertain terms last fall that the situation could not continue. Now I ride a basic hybrid commuter with a rack like a proper commuter. My body is happier and I can haul all kinds of crap in the panniers with no real effect on my body. Ironically, I also ride way more now because the hybrid is an older model with a beat up frame, so I feel safe leaving it locked up just about anywhere.

Another great thing to do is to leave whatever you can at work. My shoes, belt and a pair of jeans get left behind. The jeans get switched out once/week so I'm not hauling them everyday.

Your riding clothes need to air out during the day. I like the command hooks idea (use them myself to hang my towel in the shower room), but you could even just drape them over your bag or the frame of your bike.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #838 on: May 29, 2019, 10:13:06 AM »
I went from using a rack with panniers to a backpack, and much prefer the backpack.  A good backpack with a chest and waist strap doesn't move at all while you're riding, and is quite comfortable.

Yes, the backpack is warmer in the summer.  By the time I get to work I'm sweaty regardless of what method of holding stuff I use, so that doesn't really matter to me.  Warmer is actually kinda nice in the winter, spring, and fall when it's colder.  Stuff carried in panniers is jostled more than stuff carried on your back . . . so if you're concerned about that work laptop, the backpack is the way to go.  You can haul all sorts of crap with panniers . . . but I've found over the years that the less I haul the better.  Using a backpack and keeping the weight on your back encourages you to be less wasteful and to really pare down the stuff that you carry to the minimum.  Panniers also stick out from your bike and create some noticeable drag . . . having your stuff behind you is better aerodynamically, which means you don't have to work as hard (or you go faster for the same effort).

Your balance on the bike is better with a backpack.  Panniers add weight to the frame in a weird way, and throwing the bike from side to side while climbing feels scary with them attached.  Because panniers add weight to the frame, they're harder on your frame and wheels when you go over bumps . . . with a backpack you can change your weighting much more easily.  Bunny hopping a bike with panniers is somewhere between difficult and impossible.  It's easy to bunny hop with a backpack.  Your bike is lighter without a rack.  If you're going for a fast ride on the weekend there's no futzing around taking the rack off.  There's no fussing around with clipping/unclipping panniers and awkwardly carrying them around (and the carry strap is always a bit awkward) . . . you just walk away from the bike.  I've also taken to clipping my rear lights to my bag . . . which means that I don't have to unclip/pull off multiple lights every time I go to lock up.


I've got nothing against panniers and they're a viable alternative, but there are a lot of little reasons that keep me from using mine very often for commuting.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #839 on: May 29, 2019, 11:57:35 AM »
My husband has a rear-mounted basket where he puts his backpack and (on the way home), dinner. Iíd really like one also to get the backpack off of my back, but I havenít gotten around to it yet.

mlipps

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #840 on: May 29, 2019, 01:52:45 PM »
Totally valid arguments @GuitarStv --I still think it's worth experimenting with both methods to see what works for each person. I felt like a new woman the first time I biked with a pannier. But, I also tend to carry a lot of stuff with me, so maybe that's part of the difference.

I do notice the balance thing occasionally, especially if I come out of my saddle to climb (the only) hill on my commute, but I've mostly gotten used to it. And I've never bothered taking my rack off. I tend to ride with a pannier even if I'm just going on a fitness ride because it's nice to have extra layers & snacks.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #841 on: May 29, 2019, 03:31:32 PM »
Panniers also stick out from your bike and create some noticeable drag . . . having your stuff behind you is better aerodynamically, which means you don't have to work as hard (or you go faster for the same effort).

They also make your frame wider behind you where you can't see them, so you have to be more careful that you've left enough space when passing, say, a fire hydrant sticking into the trail. Ask me how I know.

I enjoyed my pannier for the month before I broke the mounting hooks that way. Now I bungee-net my backpack to a rear rack, because I hate the feeling that I can't fully expand my lungs when I'm wearing the backpack. I am re-appreciating the ease of carrying the backpack, though, even though attaching/detaching it from the bike is more annoying.

I also don't detach my rack; it requires a screwdriver. I suppose I could loop it into the U-lock with a cable lock.

Geographer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #842 on: May 29, 2019, 06:54:45 PM »
Thanks for the awesome recommendations, guys. Sadly I work in a open workspace with several people I don't know too well, so there's no way to hang my sweaty clothes in my office. BUT seeing these suggestions gave me the idea that I could hang my clothes over my bike in the parking garage and use it as a makeshift drying rack. I think this will be way better than balling them up in my bag until I put them back on for the ride home!

Thanks for the positive perspective on using a backpack, GuitarStv. My road bike definitely doesn't have the geometry to support racks and bags, so for the time being the backpack is the most efficient solution. I think once we have more space in the future, I'll probably get a more cargo-friendly touring bike to support racks and bags, and then have my road bike for unloaded riding.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #843 on: May 30, 2019, 08:55:32 AM »
Hi All,

Thought I would jump in as well.  My commute sounds somewhat similar to Geographer, it would be slightly over 8 miles one-way, however it would be broken up into two 4 mile rides by a slight train/rail ride.  So it would be 4 miles from house to rail, then 4 miles from rail to work and vice versa.  I'm not fully committed as I still have my car, so I'm looking to maybe start at 1 day a week and slightly ramp up, however I'm hesitant as I am a very new biker and want to get a spare tube and practice changing a flat as I have never done that before.

I've been biking to the grocery store for 6 months now, but that's not too impressive as I only live about .4 miles away.  I was using an old beat down mountain bike that definitely could not make the commute, but I just pulled the trigger on a new bike.  I guess it's a somewhat mustachian purchase (once I get the value out of commuting), however I did it in a non-mustachian manner.  Bought a Trek FX3 Disc for $815 https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/hybrid-bikes/fitness-bikes/fx/fx-3-disc/p/21572/ Any thoughts?

Also, kind of an impulse kind of guy so I took it out for a 16 miles ride the day I bought it and it kicked my ass (physically and literally), I saw a mention of the padded shorts, any suggestions?

Barbaebigode

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #844 on: May 30, 2019, 09:35:56 AM »
I live in a tropical country and commute by bike everyday. For me what worked best was a combination of light fabric shorts and a pannier/bike seat where I strap my backpack. I ride shirtless most of the time and only put on a dry fit tshirt about a block away from work. If the tshirt gets sweaty I dry it inside a large drawer at my desk that I leave 5cm/2in open, due to the open office BS.

The few times that I wore a backpack to work were a sticky, sweaty mess that I don't plan on repeating.

mlipps

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #845 on: May 30, 2019, 09:38:43 AM »
Hi All,

Thought I would jump in as well.  My commute sounds somewhat similar to Geographer, it would be slightly over 8 miles one-way, however it would be broken up into two 4 mile rides by a slight train/rail ride.  So it would be 4 miles from house to rail, then 4 miles from rail to work and vice versa.  I'm not fully committed as I still have my car, so I'm looking to maybe start at 1 day a week and slightly ramp up, however I'm hesitant as I am a very new biker and want to get a spare tube and practice changing a flat as I have never done that before.

I've been biking to the grocery store for 6 months now, but that's not too impressive as I only live about .4 miles away.  I was using an old beat down mountain bike that definitely could not make the commute, but I just pulled the trigger on a new bike.  I guess it's a somewhat mustachian purchase (once I get the value out of commuting), however I did it in a non-mustachian manner.  Bought a Trek FX3 Disc for $815 https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/hybrid-bikes/fitness-bikes/fx/fx-3-disc/p/21572/ Any thoughts?

Also, kind of an impulse kind of guy so I took it out for a 16 miles ride the day I bought it and it kicked my ass (physically and literally), I saw a mention of the padded shorts, any suggestions?

You already bought the bike so it doesn't really matter what we think now. ;) Probably wouldn't have been my suggestion to get a new one, as Trek bikes are a dime a dozen on Craigslist, but what's done is done.

My bike shorts are clearance models from Sierra Trading Post that I bought 4 years and 2000 miles ago. They serve the purpose just fine. No need to get crazy when you're starting out, but they do make a difference on longer rides. If you're still having a lot of pain after getting padded shorts, a better seat is the next thing to try.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #846 on: May 30, 2019, 10:47:44 AM »
Thanks for the awesome recommendations, guys. Sadly I work in a open workspace with several people I don't know too well, so there's no way to hang my sweaty clothes in my office. BUT seeing these suggestions gave me the idea that I could hang my clothes over my bike in the parking garage and use it as a makeshift drying rack. I think this will be way better than balling them up in my bag until I put them back on for the ride home!

Is your parking garage secured? I would hate for your gross clothes to get swiped!

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #847 on: May 30, 2019, 12:06:20 PM »
Also, kind of an impulse kind of guy so I took it out for a 16 miles ride the day I bought it and it kicked my ass (physically and literally), I saw a mention of the padded shorts, any suggestions?

For any rides over about 10 miles, buy the padded shorts. I still laugh at myself when I put them on, but it sure beats the pain in the ass that results from riding without them.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #848 on: May 30, 2019, 12:27:39 PM »
Also, kind of an impulse kind of guy so I took it out for a 16 miles ride the day I bought it and it kicked my ass (physically and literally), I saw a mention of the padded shorts, any suggestions?

It's hard to make a suggestion for padded shorts.  They kinda work as a system.  What is great for my ass and saddle may not work well for yours.  But it doesn't have to be scary.  I'm comfy in any pair of shorts for under 50 km rides, and it's only when I'm doing over 100 km that I start getting really picky.

Bike shorts go on sale now and again, so just figure out what size you are and pick some up when that happens.  Any bike shorts are better than no bike shorts.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #849 on: May 30, 2019, 01:59:10 PM »
Bike shorts go on sale now and again, so just figure out what size you are and pick some up when that happens.  Any bike shorts are better than no bike shorts.

This. I like padded shorts for my 12.5km each way commute. Any padded shorts are better than none, but given the choice I prefer ones with a thicker, cushier pad. For me, Pearl Izumi fit the bill nicely. I also prefer a longer inseam, rather than the shorter ones, this may only be an option for women's shorts though. I also always size up. All bike shorts fit snugly, no need for them to also be restrictive.

Padded shorts help alleviate any pain you feel directly under your seat bones. This is the part of your posterior you're supposed to sit on. If you're having pain in any of your soft tissues, you probably need a different seat, and/or a bike fit. Your soft tissues aren't meant to be sat on and will let you know when they're unhappy. Bike shorts won't fix that.

The bike you bought looks great. For $800, if you use it even semi regularly to commute,  you'll easily recoup the cash in reduced driving costs. I also think buying new is a good option for a newb. You know the bike you've got is in great shape and most shops include a basic fit and some tune up services as well. Plus, presumably they sold you the right size frame, so you don't have to worry about that.