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Thread: My Evening Commute

  1. #1341
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    My colleague and I tried switching bikes after we crossed 14th St. Bridge to hit the MVT, since we're about the same height and build.

    The hoods on his road bike were noticeably closer to my chest. Dunno if it's just the more aggressive geometry, or I just have longer arms (we haven't compared those). Other than that, it was quite comfortable and so light, pedaling on it seemed effortless.

    He on the other hand was taken aback by the weight of my Uptown 8 and the unstable shifting that the Nexus 8 IGH is notorious for - as documented by Sheldon Brown. Actually, it's unstable on just the 6 and 7 settings. On the 8 (highest) and the lower settings it's fine - it stays in the gear it's supposed to be in. He lasted until just past Gravelly Point when he said he wanted featherweight roadie back. He asked if I ever pass anyone on the Uptown 8, and I said "Guess how I won the Freezing Saddles Lowest MPH Award".

    Strava claims we rode at 34 MPH at some point on that short stretch - I was the one following him. Just another example of how GPS tracking can be unreliable sometimes - we passed a couple of riders slummin' it on CaBi bikes, but a lot of riders also passed us - no way we were doing 30+ at any point in that segment.

    Fun times!

  2. #1342
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    I was feeling exhausted as I left work. I managed a slow Hains Point lap and was half way home when I felt that despite pedaling super slow that I deserved some Ben and Jerry's in Old Town. Super slow ride towards Old Town into a headwind. On the way back I ran into Komorebi and we pulled over and chatted for a really long time which made the struggle festival of a ride totally worth it. It was the fourth day this week that I ran into somebody I know from Freezing Saddles or the forum which is something that always makes my day.

  3. #1343
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    Nov 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I was feeling exhausted as I left work. I managed a slow Hains Point lap and was half way home when I felt that despite pedaling super slow that I deserved some Ben and Jerry's in Old Town. Super slow ride towards Old Town into a headwind. On the way back I ran into Komorebi and we pulled over and chatted for a really long time which made the struggle festival of a ride totally worth it.
    That was my experience today, too. I was struggling with the headwind and tired legs, and had resigned myself to a slow commute home. But chatting with Judd energized me so much that I positively flew the rest of the way. It was great seeing you, Judd!

    Fun fact: Strava's autopause feature didn't turn on while we were talking, so Strava thinks that that ride was my slowest commute yet (6 mph). Best slow commute ever, as far as I'm concerned.

  4. #1344
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    Most of my commute home was quite nice. Near the end I was nearly involved in an incident on the Custis. Why are there are large trains of cyclists using the Custis and why do they initiate a pass just before a blindcurve/hill?

    Probably ~6:30, but I did not check my watch, I was east bound near the beginning of the Custis - I, as usual, was slow up the hill that starts under I-66, but back to speed by the pedestrian overpass. Someone was on my tail going up the hill, but fallen well back by the time of the overpass. Through the long, mostly straight and good visibility stretch before the trail curves and goes below Harrison St, I looked behind me repeatedly and no one was catching up and still a long distance behind. Just before the western Harrison St exit (i.e., just before the curve and downhill and about where you can see only a little ahead), there are pedestrians in both directions, so I slow for passing and preparing for a left turn - I looked behind and saw no one before I got to the pedestrians. As I pass them, I am about to stick my arm out for a left (later than I wanted, but I didn't want to punch the west-bound pedestrian in the head), and I hear a bell for a pass behind me. So, I slow down, thinking I will wait for the person to pass. However, it is the lead of a long (>10) chain of cyclists, who all start shouting "slowing" and "stopping". So in that sense they all behaved well, and there were no crashes and they let me off the trail (although I had to turn around to actually get off the trail since I slowed to a stop not wanting to run into anyone).

    But why would a very large group use the Custis for riding at the prime time for commuters, dog walkers, exercisers, and those out for a stroll on a beautiful day? Four or five can at least get around most pedestrians and deal with curves and slowing for a short time, but this group seemed excessive in size. And were clearly going quite fast if they caught up to me so quickly. This was just before a blind region of the trail and I regularly have to slow to a near stop to turn off because of people in the opposite direction that are hard to see until just at the turn-off. There are plenty of nearby roads that are not overly swamped with cars and better site lines. I think it was luck that there weren't people in the other direction, otherwise this would have been much messier and I might be reporting this in a different thread.

  5. #1345
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    Well, I almost ran over a large black snake on the MVT. I was passing a jogger by the Belle Haven Marina and when I glanced down I see a large rat black snake, mouth open, on the whole left side of the path. Needless to say, it was a much closer pass of both than I would have preferred. I said "snake" to the jogger who half jumped off the trail. Gutsy snake at a peak time on the trail. I'll see if it shows up later on my camera when I charge it up.

  6. #1346
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    My evening commute was mostly good, except for running over a skink. However, every now and then, going up the Custis from Rosslyn, a guy on an eBike will pass me. He did yesterday, and he doesn't call his passes, which I'd be okay-ish with except it's always a surprise because 1) he passes pretty close for a guy on what is essentially a damn scooter, and 2) I rarely get passed going up that hill.

  7. #1347
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    My evening commute was great save for my self-induced fall. Going up Beacon Hill from Ft. Hunt I managed to hit a rock or twig or something, lose balance, unclip the wrong side after I tried to steer back the right direction, and fell onto the ground at a whopping 2mph. Embarrassment aside, it was kind of funny in a slowmo theatrical sort of way. Bound to happen sooner or later since I had gone 7 months without any falls/injuries/etc. So now I'm going through FS17.

  8. #1348
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    My extended evening commute was on three bicycles. All pretty cool.

    From work to home (first time): old hybrid that I just had the brakes replaced on (picked up yesterday evening - swapping my new hybrid for service). Fastest I have ridden on that bike in ages. Wow. Not only can I now stop well, I can go well. I and the bike shop adjusted those old ones many times but they kept coming out of alignment. This was long overdue, I realized today.

    Home to bike shop: On a CaBi (just joined Saturday so I could return from bike shop after dropping off old hybrid). These really aren't that bad. Sure, I wanted to go faster and the top gear wasn't quite what I wanted, but it was pretty good for Custis, Fairfax Dr., and Clarendon Dr. I will be using these more often.

    Bike shop to home (second and final time): On my new hybrid with a new bottom bracket (9 months and ~4,500miles after purchase, it appears to have developed issues, clunk, clunk). Good ride back. Wonderful evening for extra riding.

    Then I mowed the lawn. That was not as much fun as all the bikes.

  9. #1349
    KLizotte's Avatar
    KLizotte is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Anybody see the great big tour bus traffic jam on Ohio Drive and E Basin this evening? I went through at 8:00 pm (!) and for the first time ever had to skip over to the sidewalk along Ohio Drive to get to the George Mason bridge because there were so many buses crawling along. It was insane.

    And along East Basin Drive the buses got stuck because the parked ones were blocking the street creating a backup. A group of Segway tourists got stuck in the middle of the pack along with a couple of cars. It was so bad that I'm rather mystified the Park Police weren't out there trying to clear up the mess and prevent any more buses from entering the area.

    The buses all appeared to be carrying school groups looking to see the sights around the basin. I'm completely baffled as to why there seems to be exponential growth in tour buses this spring and I've lived here for twenty years. Just wait till Metro Armageddon hits.

    If possible, avoid the area.

  10. #1350
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    I've been trying to talk my boss out of riding through Ohio Dr/E. Basin when we ride together in the evenings - to no avail.

    My ride for Thurs. was solo, so I got to choose my tourist avoidance route: Madison->4th->C St.->6th->D St.->(secret route to Banneker Circle)->Case Bridge

    The scaffolding and other construction stuff is still there on Case Bridge, but I didn't mind dealing with that vs. tour buses. At least the pit in the middle of the sidewalk approaching the ramp to 14th St. bridge is gone.

    There were some weird noises/chain snapping in and out going on in my largest cog (34) on the Renegade climbing the hill home. I'm guessing it's damage from yesterday morning's chain entanglement thing. Had to upshift to the next largest cog.

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