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  1. #1
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    Help out a commute noob

    Hey commute gurus, Im thinking about commuting between my home in Morrison to my work in Tech Center along c470 (about 26 miles, taking whooping 2 hours and 40 min per Google) on my beater 21 year old hard tail mtb. Is 26 miles considered too much for a JCOS weekend worrier? How do you carry your lap top? No shower at work what do you do? What is the key to success, other than strong legs which I may or may not get later? Can you share your thoughts?

  2. #2
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
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    The no shower thing might be tough. Do you have access to a health club near the office?

    Leave the laptop at work.

    Put slicks on the beater if you don't already have them.

    The Santa Fe hill is disheartening...

  3. #3
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    I don't take showers...if I stink because of saving the planet by not using petrol, it's other people's problem if they don't like it. But if you have to take one, just use wetwipes. Use to use them a lot on climbing trips where we couldn't bathe regularly. Yeah...get the slicks and pump 'em up tight. Also, I have a rack and these bags on the back of my commuter.

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  4. #4
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    +1 on the wetwipes, but if you have a space at work to store personal stuff, then just keep a bag of toiletries and a towel at work. I find that I am rarely sweaty in the mornings as it just doesn't get hot enough. Ride in bike gear and keep a few changes of clothes and shoes at work.
    Talk to your employer about where you can park your bike - inside.
    If 26 miles is too much at first you can start by bringing your bike with you in your car and riding home. Then the next day ride in and drive home...
    Definitely put slicks on your bike.
    Is this where I write something witty?

  5. #5
    650b me
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    Or, you could start by driving part of the way, then park and ride the rest of the way in. As you get stronger you can increase your riding distance.

  6. #6
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    Hey thanks guys. Riding home and leaving the car first may be a good way to start - I'll check out the overnight parking policy at the work.

    Not sure if you meant it, but the Santa Fe hill does make me a bit worried. My meager car slows down in the 4th gear on that section of 470. And that's only a half way point. Then it becomes gentle endless uphill. On the other hand, I can coast my way home - wish it was the other way around.

    So you guys think 26 miles one way is mamageable (once I get in shape that is)? I do have a work PDA, I guess there is no reason to drag a laptop other than as a skid pad

    Also, do you guys use bus as a part of the commute, or bail out option? What to expect if I were to do that? I'm skeptical about the reliability of the public transportation, so I never ride bus in Denver except at 16th steet mall...

  7. #7
    not actually bad :)
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    Hey hatake,
    +(however many) on the wet wipes if no access to shower.
    You can easily do the 26 miles - just make sure you have enough time (and 2.5 hours is WAY more than enough) - won't take nearly that long.
    I bike/bus/bike commute to work sometimes.
    Haven't had any problems yet with the public trans.
    And it's been nice being able to read or just relax.
    But my commute is 10 miles shorter than yours. When I bike/bus/bike, I ride maybe 3 miles on each end of the bus ride. The commute in takes almost as long as it would to ride the whole way. The commute home, I save 20 minutes or so.

    Edit - I take in a few sets of clothes whenever I drive in so I don't have to carry them back and forth.
    Old Codger

  8. #8
    hehe ...you said "member"
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    wet wipes?
    no shower?

    .... I'm a sweaty bastahd ... wouldn't be options for me.
    The healthclub close to work is a good idea though.
    Me fail english? Thats unpossible. - Matt Groening

  9. #9
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    It's all about the prep work and creating a good routine (at least for me).

    Like bad andy says, it;'s nice to have a stockpile of fresh clothes at work, use the busses to ease the travel. My one way is 36 miles, the bus cuts it down 10, plus I gain leisure time sitting on the bus. So I mix up the bus, full commute and car.

    The night before, get your gear all ready, everything, as if you are leaving that night. Just untangling the earbuds in the wee hours seems a bigger chore. After a couple of weeks it'll be a lot easier, prep wise, commute time, schedule adjustments, etc.
    Like any habit, it takes time to create and its hard to give up once you do.
    oh, and make it fun.

  10. #10
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    I commute from the CC Res to Highlands Ranch frequently, and I have also done the ride to Morrison from there. A couple things come to mind...

    -Biker friendly routes are not the most direct from the 470 trail to the DTC unless I have been commuting all wrong (which may be the case). The most direct route with a moderate chance of death leaves the trail on a little sidewalk spur before Yosemite onto Parkway Drive. It is the little path on the left after the Acres Green Drive crossing which is after the Quebec Crossing. You can hop on Yosemite which has a biker friendly path on the bridge over 25 and wide sidewalks on the rest of the route if you don't like traffic. A longer but more friendly route would be 470 trail to the trail just before Parker Road up to the CC Res. If you're going to put that many miles on though you might as well just take the highline canal trail from Chatfield to Belleview (Read: no Santa Fe Hill if you route it correctly!) which is more scenic and doesn't have any hills. The section you would be riding from Chatfield to the DTC is all gravel so travel time is dependent on trail conditions.

    -I carry my laptop in a backpack that has a sleeve for a computer. I keep a pump / tube / multi-tool, etc... in the front pocket. It makes more sense than panniers to me for cost reasons, but I would love to have a rack on my bike to transfer the load off of my back.

    -There is a 24-hour fitness on Belleview in the DTC. Their memberships are pretty cheap and you could shower there.

    -There is a really good, yet pretty flat, lunch loop from the DTC to the CC Res to the Tollgate Creek Trail to the Highline Canal Trail if you need to fit in some training before you start commuting. A 30-mile flat burner.

  11. #11
    ONE WORD: GRAVITY
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    Quote Originally Posted by hatake
    Hey thanks guys. Riding home and leaving the car first may be a good way to start - I'll check out the overnight parking policy at the work.

    Not sure if you meant it, but the Santa Fe hill does make me a bit worried. My meager car slows down in the 4th gear on that section of 470. And that's only a half way point. Then it becomes gentle endless uphill. On the other hand, I can coast my way home - wish it was the other way around.

    So you guys think 26 miles one way is mamageable (once I get in shape that is)? I do have a work PDA, I guess there is no reason to drag a laptop other than as a skid pad

    Also, do you guys use bus as a part of the commute, or bail out option? What to expect if I were to do that? I'm skeptical about the reliability of the public transportation, so I never ride bus in Denver except at 16th steet mall...
    RTD is very reliable. I ride 18 miles from home to work everyday on a singlespeed. On rainy or snowy days I take the bus which is awesome. Comes about every 30 mins (depending on the area) and takes me fairly close to where I need to be (usually the case). They have bike racks too, for days you are feeling lazy.

    Slicks are much needed...so is high PSI.
    Get clipless pedals or to straps...that will help dramatically
    Wear shirts that wick away the sweat.

    The first few weeks of the distance riding will kick your butt but after that its alot of fun!

  12. #12
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    Much appreciated guys. Options and options... I thought of 470 trail mainly because I really want to avoid battling with cars. I have to check out this Chatfield to DTC gravel path. One thing about the neighborhood bike path is that they vanish at some point and I end up wondering around, looking for through streets. That's no fun.

    I'm no fan of seeing a pair of skinnies on an mtb but they may save my butt I guess. I do know that I have to get a different saddle - my vetta GT racing saddle looks really fast but my butt screams in pain after 20 min.

    I'll give a 1/2 try tomorrow... I'll go pack now. Thanks again.

  13. #13
    Rolling
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    My only advice.....Just watch out for moronic drivers if you ride any part on the road.

  14. #14
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    Props on resolving to bike commute. You might think about a set of panniers for the bike. If you can throw stuff in there and avoid wearing a backpack that will keep obviously keep your back much dryer. Now that the days are getting long, daylight is less of an issue but I usually keep a flashing LED plus headlight on the bike just incase I end up working later than expected.

  15. #15
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    My only advice.....Just watch out for moronic drivers if you ride any part on the road.
    I'm with stupid ^^^

    Avoid the streets in the DTC at ALL costs.

  16. #16
    3nf
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    Fenders are cool (if you ever ride in weather, at least). A rear rack is handy.

    The new LED headlamps have a lot of uses and don't take up any space in a pack. That, and a rear blinky, make the idea of running late and running out of daylight less worrying.

  17. #17
    ONE WORD: GRAVITY
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    Quote Originally Posted by hatake
    Much appreciated guys. Options and options... I thought of 470 trail mainly because I really want to avoid battling with cars. I have to check out this Chatfield to DTC gravel path. One thing about the neighborhood bike path is that they vanish at some point and I end up wondering around, looking for through streets. That's no fun.

    I'm no fan of seeing a pair of skinnies on an mtb but they may save my butt I guess. I do know that I have to get a different saddle - my vetta GT racing saddle looks really fast but my butt screams in pain after 20 min.

    I'll give a 1/2 try tomorrow... I'll go pack now. Thanks again.

    answer me one question.....what is it that makes a seat look fast???

    go with a brooks saddle if you are doing this long commute thing for awhile. they are unbeliveably comfortable and they last a really long time. the only down side is the price but after a week of riding it you will thank yourself for a little seat upgrade. enjoy!!

    today was a great day minus the huge gusts of wind stopping me in my tracks.

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