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Please give me your details on biking to work

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  • Please give me your details on biking to work

    How far? Do you change clothes? Is it daily? Road or mountain bike? Clips? Backpack? Have you had a flat? Any accidents? With reduced hours, I've been thinking of biking to work. It's ten miles and there's probably about 300 ft of climbing. I'm convinced that this would be good for me.

  • #2
    I plan to start this yeah as well. 4 miles for me. I have a lot of the same questions. I have a POS mountain bike I got when I was 14. If I do it consistently through this summer I will treat myself to a new bike. I will likely change at work. I will switch to a back pack.

    Good thread. Hopefully I get some ideas and some motivation.

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    • #3
      Did this for a long time. Biked uphill 500 feet to work, rode home downhill. 4-6 miles depending on route. Had access to shower. It was awesome. Flats were rare. Ideal setup for me as I was inpatient and did not have appointments to keep, so being late was not an issue. Probably the most challenging aspect was getting caught in snow. Nowadays on my locums assignment I feel kinda disgusting and evil driving to work.

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      • #4
        Did for years, only stopped because current job is 50 miles from home.
        -Never had a problem with flats: key is to make sure your tires are properly inflated, not under inflated - counterintuitive, but it’s actually pinching the inner tube against the rim that causes most flats.
        -mtn bike unless you are v experienced road biker. Road bikes are less comfortable and rider position gives you less ability to scan traffic.
        -Clips make you more efficient but there is a learning curve and not a great idea in traffic or city riding. There’s a split-second delay between unclipping and getting your foot to the ground. If you have to stop suddenly, you could end up on the pavement with both feet still clipped in. Instead, get clipless pedals and a pair of stiff-soles shoes. You don’t need the super rigid kind that racers use, you can find bike shoes that look and fit more like regular shoes. You will be much more comfortable in bike shoes.
        -if you are going to do it regularly, invest in panniers for your bike. Way more comfortable than a backpack.

        And it goes without saying that you need all the lights (both front, rear and side), reflective gear etc.

        If you ever feel crowded by cars, go ahead and take up the whole lane. Most municipalities let bikers use a whole lane if riding on the shoulder isn’t safe (too narrow, snow piles etc). Just ignore the honking horns of annoyed drivers.

        If the ride seems too long to do BID you can: drive in Monday morning with bike and change of clothes, bike home. Bike in Tuesday am, change at work, drive home. Repeat.

        I loved biking to work - built-in exercise, don’t have to deal with parking, cheaper than driving. Hopefully someday I will live close enough to work to do it again.
        Last edited by CrockettsRiver; 04-15-2020, 02:56 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity

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        • #5
          I did it for a couple of weeks, MTB to work, but by the time I got there I was so sweaty I felt nasty without getting to take a shower, so it was back to driving for me. Now I just go after work, and only my wife has to smell me!

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          • #6
            Have been doing it for a few years now but am only teaching not clinical so can take my time. I did it on and off or roller bladed on occasion back when I was clinical. Also walk it sometimes. 3.5 miles. A couple of decent grades, most serious on the way home. When I was clinical I would shower and change into greens. Now more relaxed on my pace, I take a change of clothes but seldom need to shower. Back in the day it was a road bike. Now I am on a hybrid with fenders and panniers. Much nicer. We are lucky to have a great bike path to the side of the road for most of the way and then a nice university campus with no traffic allowed. Never had a flat on this ride. Nor accident. Not any kind of a workout but a bit of exercise.

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            • #7
              I've always biked to work to some extent (at least since college).

              My current route is ~7 miles, ~10 if I drop my son off at daycare. ~15-20 when I get to take the scenic route home. I wear cycling clothes and keep shoes at work, take fresh clothes daily. My commute is mostly downhill to work and uphill home.

              I have a dedicated commuter, as well as a gravel bike and a road bike (of the bikes I commute with). All but the road bike have front and rear rack options depending on who I'm carrying on the back. Lately, I've been running a huge front bag (chrome - some older model, its huge) on a velo orange rack. I can fit an absolutely massive amount of stuff in this bag. I vastly prefer my rear pannier setup (ortleib), but its not compatible with my son's seat.

              I'm willing to bet I've had more flats than anyone on this forum (rode BMX for 20+ years, MTB and road bike now). I've had less than 5 commuting. Only ~1-2 during a commute. Its more frequent, in my experience, to get slow leaks and wake up to / leave work to a flat tire that needs repair.

              Accidents? None commuting. I got rolled into in a parking lot when I was a kid (BMX bike). I got hit-and-runned on foot when I was in grad school. BMX and MTB have left my shoulders in tatters. I once took a corner too fast on my road bike and saw my life flash before my eyes. IMHO commuting is safe as you make it, buy a yellow jersey / jacket and a few flashing lights. Don't run red lights. Stay in a bike lane or path if you can. Maybe don't ride if you live in some heinously traffic-y place (i.e. do you see any other bike commuters?)

              Bikes are the best. 100% the best option is commuting by bike. Better for you and the environment. I nerd out on bike gear. Let me know if you want to spend a bunch of money on a sweet commuter set up... please don't ride 10 miles with a backpack unless you hate yourself.

              Edit: Also let me know if you want my opinions on "best" reasonable gear. Not necessarily the most expensive, e.g. cheap rack is totally fine, but Ortlieb panniers are amazing and leagues better than the cheaper ones you find on amazon. The velo orange / chrome gear is really just fancy.
              Last edited by danesgod; 04-15-2020, 07:45 PM.

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=uptoolate;n199481]. I did it on and off or roller bladed on occasion back when I was clinical. ]

                Roller blades? I hope it has been a few decades since you were clinical

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                • #9
                  Ha!! I tried rollerblade commuting for a few months in residency. I would blade to the metro, take the metro to the hospital stop, and then walk into the ICU with my skates over my shoulders feeling like a champion. The onset of winter and my return to irregular ED shifts sadly curbed that habit that year.

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                  • #10
                    In medical school I lived a mile from campus so I could bike most of the year. Parking was a nightmare so it was nice. I didn't do anything fancy. Same pos mountain bike I had in middle School. I was too far from most of the clinical rotations to bike during 3rd and 4th year. But in residency I lived 6 blocks from the hospital so I biked or walked more often then not. Until I had a kid whose daycare was on the other side of town.

                    It is as if mother nature is trying to mess with me. This thread got me motivated to try it out this week but we are in the process of getting a few inches of snow. Maybe next week.

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                    • #11
                      I'm under a mile from work so I walk. My husband takes his e bike 3 seasons a year. It's a nice option for commuting because you don't have to get sweaty going up hills, just turn on the pedal assist. Something to consider if you don't have the time or a place to shower in the morning and also makes a longer commute pretty doable.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by danesgod View Post
                        I've always biked to work to some extent (at least since college).

                        My current route is ~7 miles, ~10 if I drop my son off at daycare. ~15-20 when I get to take the scenic route home. I wear cycling clothes and keep shoes at work, take fresh clothes daily. My commute is mostly downhill to work and uphill home.

                        I have a dedicated commuter, as well as a gravel bike and a road bike (of the bikes I commute with). All but the road bike have front and rear rack options depending on who I'm carrying on the back. Lately, I've been running a huge front bag (chrome - some older model, its huge) on a velo orange rack. I can fit an absolutely massive amount of stuff in this bag. I vastly prefer my rear pannier setup (ortleib), but its not compatible with my son's seat.

                        I'm willing to bet I've had more flats than anyone on this forum (rode BMX for 20+ years, MTB and road bike now). I've had less than 5 commuting. Only ~1-2 during a commute. Its more frequent, in my experience, to get slow leaks and wake up to / leave work to a flat tire that needs repair.

                        Accidents? None commuting. I got rolled into in a parking lot when I was a kid (BMX bike). I got hit-and-runned on foot when I was in grad school. BMX and MTB have left my shoulders in tatters. I once took a corner too fast on my road bike and saw my life flash before my eyes. IMHO commuting is safe as you make it, buy a yellow jersey / jacket and a few flashing lights. Don't run red lights. Stay in a bike lane or path if you can. Maybe don't ride if you live in some heinously traffic-y place (i.e. do you see any other bike commuters?)

                        Bikes are the best. 100% the best option is commuting by bike. Better for you and the environment. I nerd out on bike gear. Let me know if you want to spend a bunch of money on a sweet commuter set up... please don't ride 10 miles with a backpack unless you hate yourself.

                        Edit: Also let me know if you want my opinions on "best" reasonable gear. Not necessarily the most expensive, e.g. cheap rack is totally fine, but Ortlieb panniers are amazing and leagues better than the cheaper ones you find on amazon. The velo orange / chrome gear is really just fancy.
                        not sure what your commuter bike is but if it's a gravel or road bike, have you considered using tubeless tires? I've found that most of my slow leaks are because of road debris such as small staples piercing my tire/tube. With tubeless, the sealant seals up around these so it's a lot less worry. Usually just pull it out, if you feel the flat developing, and add a little CO2. The sealant does the rest and no need to take the freaking wheel off to change the tube out. You keep a spare tube with you as a backup.

                        alos, regarding bike lights, I purchased front white and rear red lights by Bontrager. They are very bright and very blinky. The reason I purchased them was because I could see another cyclist's red flashing light from really far away. When I finally caught to him, I asked him what type they were. They are the best ones I've come across.




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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Eye3md View Post

                          not sure what your commuter bike is but if it's a gravel or road bike, have you considered using tubeless tires? I've found that most of my slow leaks are because of road debris such as small staples piercing my tire/tube. With tubeless, the sealant seals up around these so it's a lot less worry. Usually just pull it out, if you feel the flat developing, and add a little CO2. The sealant does the rest and no need to take the freaking wheel off to change the tube out. You keep a spare tube with you as a backup.
                          I run tubeless on my MTB, but maybe I should look into a tubless conversion / second set of wheels for my gravel bike. My gravel bike doubles as a commuter, its a steel frame touring bike rather than a modern race-y gravel bike, so its set up is a bit antiquated... I don't think its worth buying a new set of wheels for my single speed commuter, but maybe I could play around with a DIY tubeless conversion... Good ideas! thanks!

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                          • #14
                            I rode to work 10 miles 1-2x/wk for several years.
                            I never did the “bring your bike in car, ride home, get a good night’s sleep, then ride back to work the next day” but I had a colleague that did.
                            If you don’t have shower facilities to use at work, then I recommend using wet wipes to clean your sweat and maybe just wear scrubs for the day (if allowed).
                            Use reflectors, lights, and ride only in good weather and when alert. Take roads with less traffic even if it adds distance to your ride. Safety first. Every commute does not need to be a time trial.
                            Some coworkers may be put off by a bicyclist entering the work building dressed in spandex, so I would be respectful with your clothing and manners.
                            Ride on!

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                            • #15
                              Been doing a 19 mi round trip daily for the last 2 weeks. I like it and I'd like to keep it up. Intuitively I would think that I would drop weight, but my weight on average has inched up a pound or two, but definitely no weight loss. Any other bikers experience this?

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