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DirtyHarry

Bike Commuting

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In reading the gas prices thread I saw a link to Seattle's bike commuter resource page. Apparently the city has just opened a "bike center," where you can store your bike during the day and get info on bike commuting. http://www.bikestation.org/seattle/index.asp

 

For those of you who commute to work by bike, or for those that would like to, do you think that these facilities are insufficient because they don't offer a shower or place to change into work clothes? Do you think most people belong to a health club or can shower/change at work? It seems that this would be a bigger impediment to getting more people to commute on bike than just having a place to put your bike.

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I would think that they are, indeed, insufficient. I know that a big factor that makes it possible for me to (plan to) bike to work is that the Port has a great locker room, shower, etc available in the building. That way, I can plan ahead and be ready--I already have all my crap in the locker room so it's one less thing to fret about.

 

I guess if you don't have to wear a suit it wouldn't matter. Or maybe if you are already in shape and don't plan on sweating like a pig then it would be ok to not have a shower. Unfortunately, I fit into both categories so the spot to park my bike is the least of my concerns.

 

At least it is a step in the right direction--especially for newbies like me.

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I would think that they are, indeed, insufficient. I know that a big factor that makes it possible for me to (plan to) bike to work is that the Port has a great locker room, shower, etc available in the building. That way, I can plan ahead and be ready--I already have all my crap in the locker room so it's one less thing to fret about.

 

I guess if you don't have to wear a suit it wouldn't matter. Or maybe if you are already in shape and don't plan on sweating like a pig then it would be ok to not have a shower. Unfortunately, I fit into both categories so the spot to park my bike is the least of my concerns.

 

At least it is a step in the right direction--especially for newbies like me.

 

software people have poor hygiene anyways, so who cares about the sweat? hahaha.gif

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I keep a pair of jeans and shoes in the lab. I shower at home and bike in. Change clothes in the bathroom, no big deal.

 

In winter I wear a goretex jacket, which keeps my shirt dry. In summer I dry off in half an hour. No need to shower until I get home.

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I just moved to shorten my commute, and plan to start biking soon myself. No more driving to and from work and then the gym. kill two birds with one stone. I'll just bring deodorant to mask the sweat. Maybe people will bother me less if I stink? hahaha.gif

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I've been doing Bike Commute workshops for the BTA in Portland, and the most common question I get is about showers and hygene.

 

I commute 32 miles round trip daily and dread the thought of spending a day in my work clothes without showering. However, the old baby wipes or bird bath in the can's sink has gotten me through the day many times.

 

Many health clubs offer "shower only" memberships. That's kind of cool.

 

I've also found that given my work dress code, finding a dry cleaner near work helps. I've got a whole wardrobe here, and usually dry my bike clothes on coatrack in my office, much to the dismay of my boss.

 

-r

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I commute 32 miles round trip daily

 

shocked.gif

 

Damn, good on you, mate. thumbs_up.gif I was pretty pleased with myself for commuting about 1/4 to 1/2 that distance. I don't think I could hang with 16 miles each way. cry.gif

 

I have found the logistical hassle of bringing all my stuff along to be difficult to overcome, at least as far as wet weather commuting. The messenger bag gets damn full with water bottle, lunch, work clothes, and sometimes kung fu uniform & gear, lock, pump, repair stuff, etc. Factoring in a towel, change of shoes & socks, plus keeping all the shit dry (how do you manage that?) seems like too much to fuck with. It'd be nice to keep the cycling going through the rainy season, though. 3-4 months of riding per year is nice, but 8-12 would be better.

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On occasion I would commute from my Queen Anne home to my former job in Redmond by biking around the north end of Lake Washington on the Burke Gilman-Sammamish Trail. I'm not sure of the one-way mileage. Something like 18 miles? It used to take about 2 hours when I was in the best biking shape. But I'll be damned if it wasn't into the wind going both ways! smirk.gif

 

There was always the dilemma: on nice days (especially summer) there would be more people on the trail walking or lollygag biking. They would get in the way of me, who generally rode at a pretty good clip. However, there were always a fair number of cute ladies whose behinds I would "draft behind" for a while. tongue.gif

 

When I lived in Woodinville I commuted only the Sammamish Trail part for 5 miles or so. The best days to ride seemed like they were the rainiest ones--because there was no one on the trail. It helped that it was ONLY five miles and I had a shower facility at work. I used to go as fast as I could. But sometimes the headwinds in the morning blowing north up the valley were incredibly tiresome. Huffing and puffing at full power and here I am only going a few miles per hour!

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Anybody have beta on good waterproof messenger bags/packs? Especially that you would trust a laptop in?

 

why not just put everything inside a plastic bag inside of your pack?

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak

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I use a Dueter Trans-Alpine 30 pack with a rain fly.

 

No fried puter yet.

 

Bold. I've seen some people with the Ortlieb bags. Those look pretty bomber, waterproofing-wise, but they look a little skimpy on features and padding. I'm not sure I'd trust the laptop in something less than totally submersible.

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Anybody have beta on good waterproof messenger bags/packs? Especially that you would trust a laptop in?

 

http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/retail/catalog.htm?categoryId=0&skusetId=86

 

I've had a Timbuk2 bag for about a year that I've done the bike-commute thing with. Been through blizzards, NorEasters, etc and haven't ever had a drop get through.

 

For larger volumes those Ortleib backpacks look like the ticket.

 

http://www.ortlieb.de/_prod.php?lang=en&produkt=velocity

 

I also know of people that bring in new sets of workclothes via car/bus/whatever on Mondays and then ride the other four days.

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Since we're on the subject of bike commuting, I can't say that it's saved me all that much money over the years. It has some other benefits, but in the past year alone I think I've spent at least $500 or so on tires (includes studded snow tires for the winter), tubes, brake pads, cables, shifters, led-lights, a new helmet, etc - not to mention all of the extra money I've spent on fuel, e.g. food. I think I'd be money ahead if I just took the bus every day, but commuting by bus sucks way more than shelling out some extra money for gear and grinding through all of the delights that the New England climate can throw at you.

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Anybody have beta on good waterproof messenger bags/packs? Especially that you would trust a laptop in?

 

http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/retail/catalog.htm?categoryId=0&skusetId=86

 

I've had a Timbuk2 bag for about a year that I've done the bike-commute thing with. Been through blizzards, NorEasters, etc and haven't ever had a drop get through.

 

For larger volumes those Ortleib backpacks look like the ticket.

 

http://www.ortlieb.de/_prod.php?lang=en&produkt=velocity

 

I also know of people that bring in new sets of workclothes via car/bus/whatever on Mondays and then ride the other four days.

 

Ahh, that's keen beta; thanks. Backpack dealie might do the trick, too.

 

Is this what they mean by "bipartisanship?" yellaf.gif

Or would that be "bike-partisanship?" tongue.gif

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If they have a place to store shit and change.

 

 

And if their ass isn't gonna get fired for sponge bathing in the shared gender neutral john every morning. yellaf.gif

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Since we're on the subject of bike commuting, I can't say that it's saved me all that much money over the years. It has some other benefits, but in the past year alone I think I've spent at least $500 or so on tires (includes studded snow tires for the winter), tubes, brake pads, cables, shifters, led-lights, a new helmet, etc - not to mention all of the extra money I've spent on fuel, e.g. food. I think I'd be money ahead if I just took the bus every day, but commuting by bus sucks way more than shelling out some extra money for gear and grinding through all of the delights that the New England climate can throw at you.

 

The biggest benefit to bike commuting, for me, was squeezing in an extra 45-60 minutes of exercise a day. Money wise it was a small savings.

 

If you want to take a laptop get a pelican case that will fit it and a pannier that will fit the pelican. I didn't use waterproof panniers - I had el cheapos from sierratradingpost and a drysack.

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If they have a place to store shit and change.

 

 

And if their ass isn't gonna get fired for sponge bathing in the shared gender neutral john every morning. yellaf.gif

Or they aren't freaks who just like carrying around their wardrobes with them wherever they go. cantfocus.gif

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