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Discussion Starter #1
Bike to work day is Wednesday the 24th!

I did a bicycle commute for the first time in about three and half years today. Castle Rock to Centennial Airport. 19 miles one-way, and less than three miles of that is w/o a designated bike lane or multi-use path. One hour, five minutes. Looks like I'll be back in the saddle at least two days a week now. Before my company moved to a new office three years ago, I was riding daily 37 miles (RT) to work. I was putting anywhere from 3500-5000 miles on my bike annually just commuting. When we moved, I couldn't find any safe routes to ride, so I got fat and lazy. Now we've moved again and I'm exploring bike routes. I actually have two offices now where I split my time, one downtown and one at Centennial Airport. I'd like to try the Castle Rock to downtown Denver commute, but I think that's pushing the saddle time a little too far.

I recently bought myself and my wife new bicycles. Mine is a Gary Fisher Kaitai. 700c wheels, lockable front suspension, disc brakes, fairly aggressive stance......and it fits me like a dream. It's somewhere between a comfort/hybrid and a cyclocross bike. This is the best commuter bike I've ever been on. Granted, I can't carve out a high speed turn like I can on my road bike, but I can ride it all day long without feeling abused and beat up. Now I just need to find some good carbon bars, road wheels that will accept disc brakes, and put on some smooth skinnies for high speed cruizing.

I bought my wife a Specialized Globe Carmel. It's a comfort bike all the way. I just wanted to get her something that she was comfortable on so that we could take relaxed pace rides together on the weekends.

Also in my stable is my thoroughbred, Cannondale SR500 road bike, and an old Scott Santa Fe hybrid bike (used to be my wife's) that I turned into a high-speed grociery getter. I call it my pack mule. The Cannondale has been a great bike. It's a road bike with Cannondale's headshock. Cannondale only made these in 96-97. It's a little on the heavy side for a road bike, but with my Bonetrager carbon handlebars and seat post, it is buttery smooth and wicked fast. I upgraded all of the components to Ultegra just before the office move. Unfortunately, the elastomer in the headshock is shot and is no longer servicable....hence the need for a new bike.

I'll post some pics of my bikes when I get home this evening, but for now I'm just enjoying the adrenalin high from this morning's commute.
 

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Oooooh oooooh me, me, me!!

1985 Centurion Cavaletto, 56cm. fixed gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A fixed gear commuter......I'm impressed! I've never been brave enough to go the fixed gear route....I like being able to coast effortlessly and not rely on leg strength for breaking.
 

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Mavic makes a wheel called the speed city that will let you run disc brakes. I have them on my Giant Anthem right now and they are really nice.
 

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A fixed gear commuter......I'm impressed! I've never been brave enough to go the fixed gear route....I like being able to coast effortlessly and not rely on leg strength for breaking.
once you go black, you never go back!

.....o wait, i think that's for a different application.

i love mine, and you could always put a break on there....but you want to be cool don't you?!
 

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I commute occassionally. Need to start now that the weather is more predictable. When I lived in Pittsburgh, I commuted every day ... but it was only 1 mile.

I had set up my Independent Fabrications Deluxe for commuting with fenders, lights, Magura brakes, goretex shift cables, etc, but I've been using my Litespeed Ultimate more out here.

It's only 6 miles one way for me ... not much excuse to not do it.

The two best purchases I made for commuting are:
NiteRider lights - WOW. Just WOW.
Timbuk2 Messenger bag - WAY more comfortable on the bike than a backpack.
 

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The sad thing is that I work at a BIKE SHOP, only 3 miles away, and usually drive....haha
 

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i occasionally bike commute on my gt i-drive carbon pro...but my commute is also less than a 10 minute walk. so i rarely ride. my fixie is busted right now or i would cruz to work on that every day. need a new hub. damn.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I commute occassionally. Need to start now that the weather is more predictable. When I lived in Pittsburgh, I commuted every day ... but it was only 1 mile.

I had set up my Independent Fabrications Deluxe for commuting with fenders, lights, Magura brakes, goretex shift cables, etc, but I've been using my Litespeed Ultimate more out here.

It's only 6 miles one way for me ... not much excuse to not do it.

The two best purchases I made for commuting are:
NiteRider lights - WOW. Just WOW.
Timbuk2 Messenger bag - WAY more comfortable on the bike than a backpack.
You've got some nice bikes.

The best purchase I've made for my commuters is racks and paniers. I've looked hard at the Timbuk2, but I like to keep the stuff off my body and on my bike. I feel better balanced, and I don't end up quite so soaked with sweat. I have the waterproof paniers from Nashbar and between the two of those and a trunk bag, I can carry A LOT of gear. As for lights...I never made the leap to a really nice setup. I just don't get caught in the dark that often. I have a red LED indicator for the rear, and a Cateye LED projector beam for the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am a bicycle commuter at heart. I have never looked at bicycles as recreational equipment, but as a means of transportation. I am pretty picky about what I ride, and it has to serve a practical purpose. I have rarely ridden just for the sake of recreation. All but one of the bikes in my household has a rack, and that's only because I took it off of that bike to put on my wifes new bike. I commute year round. As far as weather goes, 20* is my cold cutoff, I will ride ride while it's snowing or raining, but I won't ride on snow or ice, and if the weatherman predicts high wind, I'm in the car.

The newest ride: '09 Gary Fisher Kaitai. This is without a doubt the most versitle bike I've ever ridden. So far the only upgrade really is the Bonetrager carbon seatpost. It needs cabon bars pretty bad. I'm thinking I might really go to town and put a carbon stem on it too. Since most of it's time will be spent on pavement, I currently am running Conti Cityride tyres (28x1.25-1.75), but I have two other sets of knobby cross tyres (700x32 and 700x38) for light trail running.

The hot rod: '97 Cannondale SR500. Bonetrager Select wheels, Bontrager Race X Lite carbon bars ($$$ but worth every penny), Specialized Carbon seatpost, Ultegra components. This is really a nice, fast, stable, comfortable bike for me, and the first roadbike that ever made me go "Oh yeah!". Yes, I commuted on this bike 36 miles/day, four days a week for ~4 years. Too bad I can't replace the elastomer in the headshok. Guess I'll just have to ride it locked out from now on.

The pack mule: Scott Santa Fe. This started out as my wife's comfort/hybrid. She never road it, and I radically modified it. All of the take-off parts from my Cannondale went on this bike. Throw in some old Scott AT-2 handlebars with Profile Design Aerobars, a Nashbar suspension seatpost, Forte' Axis carbon fork, and you've got a comfortable, purpose built, high speed commuter. I love this bike. I would typically ride this bike one day a week loaded with enough lunches and supplies to get me through the week. The other four days, I would just carry a change of clothes on the Cannondale. This was also my inclimant weather/winter bike.

And a closeup of the handlebars and shifter/brake setup.

Wifey's Sunday driver: '09 Specialized Globe Carmel. Nothing really special about this bike other than the pink bell and computer. It fits my wife and she is comfortable on it which means she will actually ride it.
 

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Couldn't you just find the correct durometer (sp) elastomer and get it cut to fit to fix your headset?

I've though about riding to work, I guess I'm too much of a sissy. My ride would be 12 miles each way, I could not imagine 36. Back in the day when i did the "elephant rock" it was rough for me to get 36miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, what do you do about work clothes and stuff? Is there a shower where you work?
I keep a pair of shoes, deoderant, and box of baby wipes at the office. Believe it or not, the baby wipes do a great job of cooling me down and wiping the sweat away. I used to keep a bar of soap and a wash cloth and take a spit bath in the bathroom sink, but that was a royal pain. Three to four baby wipes and I'm good...No shower needed. With me, I carry underwear, pants, shirt and belt. It's not exacty a suit and tie office. If I take a shower before I ride, wear clean riding clothes every day, and wipe down and change clothes as soon as I get to the office, BO isn't a problem.

Couldn't you just find the correct durometer (sp) elastomer and get it cut to fit to fix your headset?
I would love to do just that, but I have no idea where to begin. I don't know what the properties of the elastomer are or where to find it, and once I do find it, whose going to cut that perfect little cylinder to fit inside the spring? To top it off, it requires a $$$ proprietary Cannondale tool to get into the headset to replace it. I'm open to tips.

I've thought about riding to work, I guess I'm too much of a sissy. My ride would be 12 miles each way, I could not imagine 36. Back in the day when i did the "elephant rock" it was rough for me to get 36miles.
12 miles is a good start. Just far enough to start to sweat. When I started, I did 7.5 each way. It didn't take long to realize that the 15 to 18 minute ride wasn't going to be enough for me and I started gradually expanding my route. When I was riding 18 each way, I was still having to drive 14 miles to Chatfield before I got on the bike. It wasn't an ideal setup, but it beat a 30 mile drive down Santa Fe. Now, I can ride straight from my house to Centennial Airport. The bike you're riding makes a big difference too. Road bikes make the miles easy breazy. Along a relatively flat path, like the paths along the South Platte or Cherry Creek, 18-20mph is a motivated, but not difficult pace. I'm pretty out of shape right now, and Friday's 19 mile ride took 1:05 northbound and 1:24 southbound (Crowfoot has one big hill just before getting to Castle Rock). I can easily spend that much time in Friday afternoon traffic from downtown to Castle Rock in the car. As I get back into riding, I expect to be able to make the NB trip in under and hour and SB in an hour and ten minutes. Two 19 mile rides broken up by several hours in an office chair is nowhere near the same as one 38 mile ride.

There is no excuse for anyone with less than a ten mile ride not to ride to work on Wednesday!!!!
 

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yea, i really miss riding to work. i used to work at an ISP, and the ride was almost 100% on the cherry creek trail. it was amazing, and i definitely took advantage. however, i haven't figured out a good route from either my old or new house to my new job - there just doesn't seem to be any long bike paths that run from denver to the west. i found one, but it stopped and dumped me out onto streets that were not fun to ride on. i have yet to bike to my new job at all, i'd love to try sometime. i should probably just ride around on the weekend to figure out the best route... cuz i can't think of anything that would be desirable. i need to get from englewood to lakewood essentially. there's the platte trail north, but then going west... i just don't know which route to take. any suggestions? 14th isn't bad, but not much of a shoulder.
 

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I don't have a lot of room to post in this thread. I used to bike a lot when it was about 2 miles, but when it went to a hilly 4 I stopped. Then it went to 8 and I didn't even think about it. My excuses are a) never knew when I'd have to go to a meeting or visit a site during the day, b) not a morning person and like to sleep as late as absolutely possible, c) mountain bike only, d) lazy. :D

i need to get from englewood to lakewood essentially. there's the platte trail north, but then going west... i just don't know which route to take. any suggestions? 14th isn't bad, but not much of a shoulder.
Well, Bear Creek runs as far west as you'd want to go, but if you're looking at 14th I guess you're wanting a north Lakewood rather than south. And I can't think of anything in particular going north that would make a BC cut west better than Platte north and then west. So the only thing I can suggest is to start at http://www.bikedenver.org/maps/ and then try the different routes west to see if anything connects well to your work.
 

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cool, i never really found any good sites to route biking... c'mon google, that's like the last thing you need to add to maps haha!

at any rate, my work is off colfax, just west of simms. i'll check out that site and see what i come up with. maybe i'll take the bear creek trail west, i just don't know what would work best cutting north from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
cool, i never really found any good sites to route biking... c'mon google, that's like the last thing you need to add to maps haha!

at any rate, my work is off colfax, just west of simms. i'll check out that site and see what i come up with. maybe i'll take the bear creek trail west, i just don't know what would work best cutting north from there.
From the South Platte Greenway trail, 10th Ave. has an on-street bike lane all the way to Kipling (looks like you have to actually exit the path at 11th). Then you have to follow Kipling north two blocks to 13th, but my map shows a designated bike path here. Turn west on 13th, take the third left on Miller and go one block south to Senset Park where there is a bike path going west to Simms. The map shows a designated bike path going north along Simms to 13th where there is an on street bike lane.

The map also shows a designated bike path along Kipling from Bear Creek Lake Park all the way to 13th, and a bike path from Kipling west to Union along Alameda and then along Union north to 14th. I've ridden the Bear Creek path to and from the South Platte path, and I would opt for an on street route before I went that route again. The Bear Creek trail is in pretty rough shape in some areas.

I picked up a map by the Denver Bicycle Touring Club at a Performance Bike for like $12. You can order the map online at www.dbtc.org. The Colorado Lottery used to post a downloadable map of all the bike and foot trails in Colorado, but they don't do that anymore. I haven't been able to find any free or downloadable maps since the State Lotery updated it's website.
 

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If I didn't have to carry three toolboxes and various rolls of wire or sticks of conduit, and wasn't commuting from Highlands Ranch to Brighton every day, I would be down to ride tomorrow. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If I didn't have to carry three toolboxes and various rolls of wire or sticks of conduit, and wasn't commuting from Highlands Ranch to Brighton every day, I would be down to ride tomorrow. :p
Yakima makes a good trailer.....:D
 
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