PLANNING to Commute- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Killer of Chains
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    PLANNING to Commute

    I just got a job at the County Planning Department. Since some of the stuff I'll be working on will be related to Bike-Ped access...I've gotta walk the walk. I don't have a parking spot, so I'd have to find pay parking and walk into work. I could probably get there quicker on bike.

    Now I've commuted in the past, but never at a job where I had to wear kahkis and a dress shirt, interact with the public and attend meetings. I've also gotta go through security, and the bike will have to sit outside, so take this into account.

    So far, I'm going to try the following:

    - Slow the pace down so I'm not super sweaty when I roll into work.
    - Leave dress shoes at work.
    - Leave most of my dress clothes at work.
    - I'll be using fenders, as to not get myself dirty.

    Any other tips?

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If you're mechanically inclined, a late-80s road bike is probably the ultimate in a versatile commuter - they usually still had eyelets and clearance for fenders and a rack. Racks and panniers are awesome if you have to carry a lot of stuff or want to go grocery shopping on the way home. And, you can leave the bike locked outside without undue stress.

    It's hot enough where I am, for now, that there's no way I'm getting to work dry. I wear a cycling jersey and change into a more professional shirt when I get there.

    Lights are a must. They need to be really bright. If you go with a $100 bike, spending more on the lights would not be bizarre.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
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    +1 on super bright lights. I use a Magicshine 900, and when I'm on the roads I put it on the rapid blink setting. It's can be a bit seizure-inducing if I'm somewhere really dark (at which point I'll cycle it to a steady setting), but under streetlights I think the flicker gets me noticed by cars better. It doesn't seem to freak out motorists with the brightness, but my bars do have some backsweep and the light angles ever so slightly toward the side of the road so It's not pointed in anyone's face blinding them.

    Also deck the bike out in reflective tape.

    I'm in Texas and I don't think it's been possible to commute without sweating since April. I either have to deal with it or change completely when I get to the office. Some baby wipes will do wonders if you don't have access to a shower at work.

  4. #4
    It's about showing up.
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    I can't seem to ride "slow." Whether using long pants or riding shorts my legs have dried sweat on them. I use bike jersey/arm warmers/vest as I know that part of me sweats. Clothing feels awful over sweat.

    I have a 16 mile commute. Even if I ride to the BART Station 3 miles away and coast the block from the station to the School I've sweated. Maybe it is just my metabolism or my years of riding which makes my body more efficient. I always end up washing off with a hand cloth which I put into a baggy after use. So I need to budget more time.

    Driving and parking and getting right to work is soooo easy! Yet, the other day I was filling up the Tribeca at Costco and realized I hadn't done that in quite a while.
    I don't rattle.

  5. #5
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I ride in biking clothes, and carry underwear, undershirt, and sometimes socks in the backpack. Pants/Shirts/Shoes for work stay at work. No worries with sweat. Wet wipe shower when I get there, and swap the work clothes out on the weekends when I'm near there with the car.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  6. #6
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    Yeah, a full changes of clothes is so nice. Swapping the stinky, sweaty bike clothes for something nice and dry when you get to work is almost as good as a shower.

    And even if I don't sweat when riding (it was barely above freezing this morning), as soon as I get inside and stop moving I'll start to sweat pretty badly. It only lasts a few minutes, but changing clothes really helps. I don't know how those bike-chic Europeans ride in their stylish coats and long scarves.

  7. #7
    Killer of Chains
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    I already have the bike. Early 90's Marin, canti-brakes, fenders, switching to threadless stem, all for under $100. It's also neon colors, which decreases theft.

    First day at the job, and first day riding in, it went well.

    I found that I have plenty of space in my cubicle to store extra clothes, but the downside is virtually no access to a shower or even a proper changing room...so I'll have to sneak into stalls before the masses get in.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaintPeelinPbody View Post
    I already have the bike. Early 90's Marin, canti-brakes, fenders, switching to threadless stem, all for under $100. It's also neon colors, which decreases theft.

    First day at the job, and first day riding in, it went well.

    I found that I have plenty of space in my cubicle to store extra clothes, but the downside is virtually no access to a shower or even a proper changing room...so I'll have to sneak into stalls before the masses get in.
    Welcome to the fun! A few links that helped me when I first started commuting:

    Commuting 101: Cleaning Up Your Act | Commute by Bike

    Commuting 101 | Commute by Bike

    You'll just tend to figure little things out on your own as well.
    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

  9. #9
    Moderator Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaintPeelinPbody View Post
    I just got a job at the County Planning Department. Since some of the stuff I'll be working on will be related to Bike-Ped access...I've gotta walk the walk. I don't have a parking spot, so I'd have to find pay parking and walk into work. I could probably get there quicker on bike. ....

    Any other tips?
    Maybe you could get a bike jacket with "County Bike/Ped Staff" printed on the back... You might get some extra respect from cars and some interesting insights from cyclists and pedestrians, not to mention some cred for not just talking the talk.

  10. #10
    Killer of Chains
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    Well I said some, mostly I'll just be working on the subdivision and land development review process...

  11. #11
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    If you do need to carry your work clothes on the bike roll them instead of folding. Put the underwear and socks in the middle of the roll and the shirt and pants should be wearable when you get to work.

  12. #12
    Killer of Chains
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    So this is how it turned on. Ugly, dramatic, somewhat impractical, but wayyy better for the ride in than my road bike.

  13. #13
    Killer of Chains
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    Tested with 38x700C wheels and tires:




    Then back to mountain bike status:


    Commuter with swept bars:


    Commuter with risers:


    My hope is to try 2x7, with no front derailure. That way I can switch the to the middle ring when needed (which is rarely). Eventually I may go to a 1x2 with a tensioner, but that'll only be if the shifter/derailure is an issue. In the meantime, I want a front fender and rear rack.

  14. #14
    Wierdo
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    That is one colorful bicycle.

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