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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700

    Commuting Again!

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    It seems like ages. More than 3 years, anyhow. This new job makes it a little more complicated because of dress code and inflexible hours but I've been ironing out the snags and I'm so happy to be back in the saddle, so to speak. I didn't realize how much regular riding affected my mood. It was either a bike or antidepressants again. The bike is much easier to take, without the negative side effects, if you don't count helmet hair.

    Deb
    2016 Kona Rove ST (M/L 54) WTB Volt
    Camp Stove Green Surly Karate Monkey (M) WTB Volt
    Kona Dew Deluxe (54cm) Brooks B67-S

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,829
    I know how you feel. My commute is not bikeable and there's no mass transit near my job, so I spend a lot of time in the car. I always have the stereo on but often don't really hear the music as my mind is all over the place. But after a bike ride I just sing along loudly, clear-headed and happy.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Happy for you! A job where you can commute by bike is a big benefit, to be sure. Has always been very high on my list of what I use to rate a job.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700
    I always arrive at work in a better mood and with a much better attitude about the day if I ride instead of driving. I have really struggled since Dad died last year. This is the best I have felt in a long time. Yoga helps but I don't seem to get the endorphin hit that I get from cycling.
    2016 Kona Rove ST (M/L 54) WTB Volt
    Camp Stove Green Surly Karate Monkey (M) WTB Volt
    Kona Dew Deluxe (54cm) Brooks B67-S

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,045
    Glad your commuting is working out.

    My commute really improved last November when they finished a section of bike path. No cars for about 7 of the 9.5 mile commute. I've been riding 2-3 times a week this summer. I have to wash and blow dry my hair when I get to work, but I have a sink in my science classroom, so it works out ok. It takes about 10 minutes to get changed and get my hair under control
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700
    I grew my hair out so I could pull it back. It's kind of wavy/curly/crazy but I get in a half hour early so I have time to figure out what to do with it. Part of the reason I had stopped commuting was when a major section of bike path was closed for most of the season. Morning drivers are not at all kind to cyclists around here. Now I have a lovely route with only the first and last bits on the road, and not on busy stretches.
    2016 Kona Rove ST (M/L 54) WTB Volt
    Camp Stove Green Surly Karate Monkey (M) WTB Volt
    Kona Dew Deluxe (54cm) Brooks B67-S

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado
    Posts
    46
    Absolutely agree about the mental and emotional health benefits of our commutes, so important. My husband likes to say the grumpies flow off the back of the saddle after the first couple of miles, but it's more than that. so velo gratitude indeed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,103
    I keep saying my 2 mile commute isn't worth it, but I keep doing it 1/3 days of work. Before my office moved, the commute was 2.5 miles, and I sometimes took a longer way home, to make a total of 8 miles. But, I like the nice feeling I get, it's just not long enough, and requires some planning. Before I moved, my commute was 10.2 miles round trip, which seemed perfect.
    Starting in October, I will be facilitating a group for domestic violence victims on Friday mornings (right now, I don't work on Fridays). I probably will ride there, or bring my bike in the car and start/finish a ride from my office, especially when it's colder out. But still, is it worth it? I can easily drive there, drive home, and set out on a ride from home.
    My favorite commute was my first one, when I was teaching. I lived 6.7 miles from my school (after figuring out some roads I never knew about) and the route there was a good uphill near the end. Going home was a breeze and it was all quiet country roads. When I moved to Concord, it was just under 14 miles, more like a ride. I did it twice a week for the last 6-8 weeks of the school year and a couple of weeks in the fall, as this was before I rode in the dark or had good lights. Twice a week at 28 miles rond trip, even a few weeks of the year, added up.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700
    I wish mine was longer but I extend it on the way home. Today sucked! We're short-staffed so I'm stressed out. My commute is keeping me sane. Someone knocked my bike over in the library garage and badly bent the derailleur. It's now in the shop. From now on it will be behind my desk during the day. It shouldn't be a problem but my boss has a way of making a big deal of everything. Wish me luck.
    2016 Kona Rove ST (M/L 54) WTB Volt
    Camp Stove Green Surly Karate Monkey (M) WTB Volt
    Kona Dew Deluxe (54cm) Brooks B67-S

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,103
    On my way home, as I was turning left onto my street, a car tried to pass me on the left . I left work an hour earlier than most days I commute, so more traffic, but really? I am turning off of a busier road (one lane each way) onto my street. I am a stickler for looking, signaling, keeping my arm out there, and even shaking my finger. I have a rear blinkie and a headlight that I use at all times. I saw a small gap, signaled, and as I was not quite by the yellow line, a guy in an old convertible was going around me. He was halfway in the wrong lane. I slowed, so he wouldn't hit me as I turned. I called him lots of bad words, but I doubt he heard me.
    I have never had an issue here, and there have been many times I've had 2-4 cars wait behind me as I turn. Trying to figure out why I never had anything like this on my old commute, before I moved to the condo. It was a commute that went through more traffic, intersections, etc. I've concluded that the main road outside my street is full of people from other places where cyclists are not so common. My old commute, went through a busy area that is a mecca for cyclists.
    Oh well, onward.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Whoa, Crankin! Glad you were on your toes.

    Oh, yes, it does make a difference as to an area and its conditioning to bicycle traffic. While living in the Chicago area, I could ride downtown and cars were used to bicycles, because a lot of folks who live in the inner city, there, only use bicycles. Way too expensive to keep a car in much of that area.

    Things varied, tremendously out in the suburbs. Some were very bike conscious and friendly and some were not. Very mixed, culturally, with English very much a second language. Even on bike/walking paths, the usual, "Behind you" or "On your left" often got lost in translation or something. Same with responses to hand signals out on the road. Never knew what to expect.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,103
    The guy clearly thought I didn't belong on the road. It's the only explanation.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    335
    It's been a while for me, too, on the forum and in the saddle - the last 2 years my office was so close it didn't make sense to ride. Plenty of walking the neighborhoods! But we signed a lease on a new space, 35 minutes one way on the bike vs. the 13 minutes walk. Despite the downpour today that made me doubt it all, I'm sure once I'm back on the bike I'll realize all the happy side effects you mention!
    Sit bones = ~135 mm, saddles that work ~ 155cm/6.1 in wide
    2003 da Vinci (custom road/all-rounder)/Terry Butterfly Ti
    1994 Gary Fisher Nirvana (vintage MTB/commuter)/Terry Butterfly Chromoly
    1991 Terry Symmetry (NOS frame/fork, project in progress)
    1973 Raleigh Super Course (project in progress)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    5
    Congrats!
    I love riding to my office but it's too far away. I'm female, so it is not very convenient for me to ride my bike, you know, miniskirt and shirt.........

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Quote Originally Posted by Lindacan View Post
    Congrats!
    I love riding to my office but it's too far away. I'm female, so it is not very convenient for me to ride my bike, you know, miniskirt and shirt.........
    Most of the women here in these forums have been /are commuters by bike. I haven't heard any yet about biking to work in a miniskirt. That's just changing clothing. No big deal.

    I showed up at a job interview this afternoon in a business suit with my bike pannier full of change of clothing.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

 

 

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