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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for some feedback to help with an upcoming article I'm working on. If you could share some info about your commute, it would be much appreciated. Helpful info would be distance, what kind of weather you commute in, and what you carry, along with how you carry it, ie: backpack, panniers, etc.

When I commuted in Australia, it was about ten miles each way, in hot and humid conditions. I used panniers to keep my back dry, but I think a hydration pack would have been a welcome addition, since I changed my clothes at work anyway.
 

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Slowin it up.
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4,299 Posts
I backpack, three miles give or take a little both ways, regardless of weather, unless it is pouring rain. Not that I don't like riding in the rain, it gives me headaches.

I tend to go for the pretty ride, as opposed to the quick one, I leave about 20 minutes before I have to, just making sure I can give myself enough time to smell the roses, if it's rose season. Otherwise, it's nice to start my work day with a nonchalant rambling.

All that is about to change though.
 

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Banned
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400 Posts
Panniers are the only way to go. I have it on my other comfort bike I use to use for commuting short distances. Everyone should have a spare tire and pump and a multi-tool or allan wrench to make adjustments or tighten things if necessary.
 

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Slowin it up.
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4,299 Posts
There's a guy on my route with panniers, back pack and a trailer. It looks heavy and he moves slow. I may try to talk to him and invite him over.
 

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retromike3
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274 Posts
commuter in the swamp

I live in Beaverton Oregon USA and it is in what is referred to as a temperate rain forrest. It seem to rain all of the time here and its usually cold. My commuter bike has a full set of fenders and it even has an extra mud guard that keeps my feet drier so they don't fall asleep.(ouch)

I use a big messenger bag (sidetrack) and a small pannier bag. The rear rack is rated at fifty pounds. I carry my tools,tires,patch kit and about five bungee cords (two are tied together and three lose) If I get something that is pretty big I can always strap it to my rack. Or if I fill up my bag and it starts to hurt my shoulder I just bungee it to the rack. I carry a shirt socks and pants but don't change my shoes.

I use 28 by 700c tires at about a hundred and five PSI I used to use torn proof tubes but I don't even know if they make them anymore I also go with a tire liners but I still have a occasional flat. I hate to fix flats on the road if I am within a mile or so will walk it home rather than fix it on the road.

mike
 

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I have a short commute in, (1.7 miles) and almost always take a longer route home to decompress (2-10 miles depending on the route).

Most of my bikes have fenders (to deal with rain and over enthusiastic waterers).
I use rear racks with panniers for my work clothes. Even though I'm close to work, I found that the wear from cycling was eating my work pants...so I change when I get to work. I do also have a Topeak DXL bag (w/drop down panniers) that I like for doing quick changes between bikes, but mostly I use the panniers (water proof and ATB from Nashbar) because I like to keep the weight lower down.

Two of the bikes are touring frames, one with drop bars and brifters; one with inverted mustache bars and friction bar ends...both set up with 700x35 tires. The third is an older Trek 700 with flat bar, grip shifters, and 700x38? (I'll have to check, but they are definitely wider than the 35's) This bike also has a Frame bag that I find very usefull.
I have a Nashbar front rack (Small shelf platform rack) on the front of one of the bikes and have found it surprisingly useful. So I'll be mounting one to the other bikes as well.

All bikes have PB Super Flashes and I move my Magic Shine headlight between the three.

Here is the one bike (I still have to take pix of the others)
 

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Completely Human
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177 Posts
Here are my stats,
I commute to work up to 5 days a week averaging 4 days...
The distance is 14.2 miles one way, 28.4 miles combined per day for the trip.

I can make one leg of the trip in 1 hour and 8 minutes, roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes round trip. This yields an average speed of 12.5 mph with some parts peaking at around 18 mph. There are approximately 6 major forced stops and I have access to bike lanes in traffic in both directions but I nearly always opt for the sidewalk witch is a 5 footer nearly the entire way.

I carry a change of clothes, tools, shoes, water, lunch, spare tube, patches, lock and other misc items in my rear panniers and trunk, combined weight around 50 pounds, gear and bike.
I employ AC lighting from my schmidt hub and I have three battery powered rear flashers and keep it all illuminated day and night. I wear a day glow jersey with reflective tape (construction style) but street clothes otherwise (shorts and tanker).
My journey is typical south Florida "flat" and the only real technical challenge is the traffic.

I also ride to the grocery store twice a week, 9 miles one way taking around an hour and a half round trip. I carry all my groceries in front and rear panniers and a single wheel trailer.

So I am pedaling a peak of nearly 178 miles every week, during season in all weather, rain or shine. I only stop riding in gale force winds and heavy lightening and hail. In reality I pedal an average of about 130 (+/- 10) miles each week.
Stats on the bike can be found in my rides profile.

Life is good!
 

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spin... spin.. spin
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1,616 Posts
Hack,
as you know i don't drive...
my commute is Monday-Thursday regardless of weather(every weekend is a three day weekend, lots of mountain bike time)
12 miles one way... fairly light ride with one little climb.
i take my lunch most days, a change of clothes when it is hot or wet out. i can normally work in shorts and whatever i ride in.... i do office work and i am only seen by coworkers. my boss rocks and lets me violate the dress code.
arizona is fairly dry but gets hot in the summer. a little chilly in the winter but nothing bad.
i carry a multi-tool and two spare tubes. a pump and water bottles attached to the frame.
i use a small shoulder pack that fits tight, it looks like a camelback but is not full of water.
if i want to ride fast the day before i take a change including shoes and then the next day ride my Wilier in full cycling gear. change when i get to work and then take the stuff home the next day. that way i can ride without pack and thus fly.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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12,350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the response. I'm jealous of the shorts at work. Even when we are allowed to wear shorts, I can't, because I ride a motorcycle to work in the summer.

I'm guessing with so many bikes to choose from, panniers wouldn't be convenient then?
 

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Completely Human
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177 Posts
that's a lot of biking.
Not really... If you figure that I only pedal on average 10 hours a week.
If you look at it like this,
My Chrysler minivan gets approximately 17 - 18 mpg in the city and I pedal on average 130 miles, this means that I save 7,2 gallons of gasoline per week which equals 28.8 gallons a month, and at my current price of $3.60 a gallon I save $103 a month on fuel alone. These calculations do not even include reduced wear and tear on my vehicle.
Not to mention the fact that all that pedaling helps keep my 45+ year old body from swelling up from consumption of the good life!
AND
All the people I meet and have interesting conversations with
PLUS
I love to ride... It has been a part of my life since I was a toddler and I hope I can do it till they put me on the dirt side of the grass!

But alas, I find myself in a season of reduced work hours once again which means that my average pedaling time will be drastically reduced for a time, but on the bright side, my wife has a new bike now and we will be modifying and improving it for the summer trekking season. This also necessarily means that a couple of new Smitty Reports will be forth coming to review my new toys and her new bike!

Life is good!
 

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Well here I go!

I live in Presque Isle Maine

I commute 5 to 6 miles

I currently use an SS 29er with 32x18 gearing. Use it as my other whip got nicked at a Gas station off my rack:mad: Plan on getting a vintage roadie to fix as a commuter bike.

I ride in the rain as long as there is no thunder storms. Don't as much in the winter, because well it gets stinkin COLD up here, and its pretty icy often, and black ice is just not my friend:no:

In the rain I use a Montane Atomic DT water proof Jacket, and a pair of Montane Featherlight pants. I use them backpacking/camping as well and they work very nicely. I also always ware an Icebreaker wool shirt that I is just wonderful. I bring extra cloths with me for work and a pair of Steel toe work boots unless they stay at my bench at work. I use a crappy seatpoast rack with a plastic slide top lunchbox thingie. If I bring my boots I bolt on a homeade truck brakeline rack on the front.

I sometimes will hit a single track trail thats right by my work after work and will ditch my stuff in the woods for a bit to get some nice singletrack action in:thumbsup:
 
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