Biking and busing to work

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ghostrunner
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Biking and busing to work

Post by ghostrunner »

I'm about to start biking to work when the weather allows.

Starting in a couple weeks, Indy has a rapid transit bus going in from the South end, roughly right up the middle through downtown and every other bus goes all the way to the North end. I work a few miles further North, so I'll be biking 4 miles or so to the bus stop, getting on the bus (they're double buses w/room for the bikes) and riding 5.5 miles on the bus, then riding another 4 miles or so to my work. So about 16 bike miles total every day I ride. 90% of those miles are trails, which is a big help.

The last few weeks I've been riding my bike about 6 miles or so in the mornings, and I feel pretty confident I can pull it off.

I've been pondering ways to avoid driving for about a year or so, and considered an electric bike at one point, but it was too expensive. It's also a pretty long commute and I worried about time and being a sweaty mess by the time I got to work if I took my normal bike. The bus line changes things and gives me a chance to cool down while saving time and wear on my bike. Not planning to do it every day either, only when it's cool enough in the mornings.

Also hoping to lose some of my gut while I'm at it.

Been trying to think of things I might run into. Probably going to start off taking a change of full change of clothes. Bought a portable pump, extra tube, and got a storage rack put on my bike. If anyone has other tips, pass them on.
tlombard
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by tlombard »

I need to buy another bike this fall and start riding to work. I did it once a couple of years ago and I was not in good enough shape for it at that point. I eventually sold the bike after not riding it for over a year.

I'm only 3 miles from work and if the weather is nice, I could probably make the trip without being a disgusting mess since I will have to stop at a LOT of intersections with stoplights on my way which will give time to cool down but the trip is almost all uphill which really added to the pain my first (and only) attempt. While I was in Boston last week I found out that those punks have a gym and showers in the new building so my boss rides his bike a couple of days a week and then takes a shower before starting work. We don't get that option here in St. Louis.

I do currently take the bus to work almost every day though and love it. It remains to be seen how much longer that can continue though. Apparently massive changes take effect on September 30 and I know that at least my favorite route to use to get to and from work is going away and so might the route that drops me off right in front of the building. Thanks to that bus, I have a shorter walk than people have to their cars. That might be going away. Time to check I guess.
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stlouie_lipp
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by stlouie_lipp »

I remember a few years ago a poster who no long posts (name had something to do with Missouri and Dan I think) started riding his bike to work. I remember he kept updating about tips and tricks he was learning along the way. Maybe someone with better search skills than me can find it.
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by Freed Roger »

This is great. I've talked to running friends who bike or run commute.

I want to do this, but my routes are a mess. 10 miles each way( too long to run) but involves getting across 2 interstates
.
What I would do is sample the route options on a slow day. Also contemplate the scenarios for missed buses, what to do then?

The pump and tube, it doesn't hurt to have it. But more likely to lock it up and uber etc if that happens rather than changing it out on the fly? No?

The smell, sweat and cleanliness? Assuming a shower option is NA. Wet wipes. Guy I know that commutes swears that shaving up the pits etc makes for less stank. (Probably true, short and less hair on my head makes it simpler, cleaner).

What to do with stinky commute clothes is a consideration
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lukethedrifter
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by lukethedrifter »

I think you’ll find after a couple of weeks is that 8 miles isn’t really that difficult (esp broken up by bus ride) unless hilly. 14-16 mph is reasonable. It’s a good distance to get a workout in without killing yourself. That your route is mostly trails is fantastic. Is there a bike hub/commuter station for showers etc? Otherwise a birdbath and change of clothes.
I would not worry about putting too many miles on your bike unless it’s a beater.
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ghostrunner
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by ghostrunner »

Saw a tip elsewhere to bring clothes in prior to the commute day, so they don't have to be carried and balled up. Seems like a good idea, though I don't know how many clothes I want to have at work. I think jeans can be packed easily, but I might bring a shirt in early just in case. I'm hoping to only change shoes and pants and then put a work shirt on over whatever t shirt I wear in, though I may need to change that too. Probably need a larger ziploc or something to put riding clothes in.

I'm hoping the ride in is going to be pretty easy. No shower possible, so hopefully that proves to be correct. The trail portions ought to be flat and shady. To the extent there's any uphill parts, they're very gradual. I've already ridden first leg to the bus stop. The toughest climb will be on my way back home, which I can just shower after.
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by Gashouse »

I used to bike commute regularly, but now either need my car during the day or need to pick up / drop off kids. We have a shower / locker room so that made a big difference. Couple of other tips:

I left a pair of shoes at work.
I can wear jeans, so I'd bring in a couple pair on Monday and use them through the week but not so it was obvious that I was wearing the same pair 3 days in a row.
Would also leave towel and shampoo at work, but that doesn't help you.

So the rides on Monday Morning and Friday evening could be bulky, but this made the other days much easier.
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lukethedrifter
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by lukethedrifter »

I’ve been kicking the idea around for a while. My commute would be 6 miles w some hills but nothing too difficult. Now that i have a hybrid bike with rack (and no longer have to sub out), i have no excuse.
No trails but i can avoid the busy streets for the most part. That said, I sure wish stl would get moving on bike friendliness.
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G. Keenan
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by G. Keenan »

Be that guy biking in a full suit, with briefcase, sweat just pouring off you for the first hour at work.

Do it.
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Re: Biking and busing to work

Post by tlombard »

G. Keenan wrote:Be that guy biking in a full suit, with briefcase, sweat just pouring off you for the first hour at work.

Do it.
After the mentioning of bringing in clothes ahead of time, I'm just picturing Ghostrunner with a full dresser and armoire at the office like he lives there.
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