Road Commutes

Discussion in 'The Roadie Hangout' started by CarbonLegs, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. CarbonLegs

    CarbonLegs Search for ultimate ride.

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    Road bike Commute

    Looking to Commute From Foothill R. to Newport Blvd (in Newport)- I dont have much experience on the road and trying to achieve by commuting at the same time, not sure if this is a good idea. Time to ride lately as been a bit tough.


    1. Anyone else commute from home to work ?
    2. Safest route ?
    3. Flasher on the rear or another strong light ?
    4. Anyone here meet up to commute ?

    Questions and suggestion will be appreciated = )

    Thanks, Mario
     
  2. Aviatrix

    Aviatrix Active Member

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    Mario have you checked out Franko's maps for OC trails and bikeways? I know HeyitsDave here on STR commutes (or used to) to work on his bicycle. I would love to commute to work, but time constraints and fear of cars has kept me away. I wish we had more dedicated bikeways.
     
  3. Sprankle

    Sprankle Chicks Dig Scars....

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    I've done it the other way, live in Newport, work in Foothill. Flasher definitely! Clothes and food for the work day can be a challenge you have to plan ahead or bring a backpack. As for routes Irvine Blvd is great, there are significant bike trails in Irvine that take you towards the back bay trail. This should get you there and back with limited exposure to traffic. See http://www.cityofirvine.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=16359 for a map of bike-ways through Irvine, I would take a test run on a weekend and map it out. Personally I just do Irvine blvd to Jeffry.
     
  4. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej Well-Known Member

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    Do some research and find out if there are any bike paths between you and your job. Don't know what the safest route is.....or at least what you consider safe. Personally I don't mind riding in traffic.

    If you are riding before or after sunset/sunrise....being seen is the #1 goal. Flashing Taillights and light colored clothing. A bright headlight is recommended.

    Go go out and scout your route in your car or check it out in a weekend.

    Best part of commuting is you can always alter your route if you don't like it.
     
  5. bowser29

    bowser29 New Member

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    check my comments below

     
  6. 9er

    9er New Member

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    Google maps has a cool beta bike feature. You can drag around the route and get a good idea of what your options are.

    Lights are a big deal. And most of them suck in the daytime. My CygoLite Hotshot is the best and brightest one I've tried to date.
     
  7. bikerider

    bikerider New Member

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    Mario, I used to commute to Irvine off of MacArthur from Trabuco and there is a good bike path route that cuts a lot of the lights out and makes the commute a bit safer. Take Bake or Alton to Barranca, pass Sand Canyon and you can hop on there. Takes you all the way under the 405 to the back bay. If you have a safe place to park at work, you could drive in with your bike, ride home and ride back in the next morning. Leaving a change of clothes in your car, that way you don't have to carry it. I had showers at my place of work, otherwise it would not have been feasible though.
     
  8. AKAlan

    AKAlan Member

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    I'm not familiar with your particular route, but I have done a lot of bike commuting in the past. Currently I can't ride to work much because of school pickup/dropoff responsibilities plus it's only 1.5 miles from home to work. In the past I rode from North Hollywood to Culver City almost every day which took me 13 miles through Hollywood and mid-city LA so I'll share the advice from my experience.

    Lights, the more the better. Check out the Planet Bike Superflash, the have a super bright version now but even the original is very bright. I used to ride with a tail light on the seatpost, another on my helmet, and a small light on a bungee on each ankle (Cateye used to make them but I don't think they do anymore). Sure, I looked really goofy, but cars would pull up beside me at stop lights to compliment and thank me for being so visible. There are several good headlights out there for a decent price these days and if you have a mtb light you're already covered. Also, if you don't have a CO2 inflator, get one. It really sucks to have to pump a tire on the side of the road when you're late for work.

    My commute was far enough that I couldn't ride in work clothes so I'd change at work. I had a couple of different systems for hauling clothing. Most of the time I'd drive once or twice a week and I'd haul enough changes of clothing for the rest of the week, this worked very well since I had plenty of space to store clothing. When I was riding pretty much every day I'd haul my clothing in a pack but I'd keep a couple of pairs of shoes at work to keep the pack small. To clean up at work I kept a canister of Wet Ones there and did a quick wipe down in the bathroom before getting dressed. I took it easy going in to work so I wasn't disgustingly dirty and the wipes freshened me up quite a bit.

    If you'll be riding through heavy traffic you might want to get a bell or even one of these-
    http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Cycle-Airzound-Bike-Horn/dp/B000ACAMJC
    I used to use one when I was riding to West Hollywood in rush hour traffic and it's louder than some car horns, very effective. Again, not stylish at all but at least it's light.
     
  9. grendal

    grendal Member

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    Mario,
    I used to have an Apartment down by where Pat worked and this is how I would ride to whiting trail head. It follows the viaduct all the way down to back bay. There are only a couple street crossings along the way and it is a fast route. You might want to ride different tires or a road bike as it is all paved and will wear out your tires really fast.

    As far as lights, You have seen the one I ride with and I would get something at least that bright.
     
  10. skflow

    skflow Member

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    I don't commute but ridden enough on the road after hours and this is what seems to work:

    Some kind of flat protection scheme like tubeless road tires with some sealant in them or tires with a flat protection belt like from Schwalbe and/or at least tubes with Slime in it would take out the unfortunate series of flats. It sucks to dismount the tire to change/patch a tube along the road and having to look for the offending puncture debris still piercing the tire when it's dark or if you're in a hurry.

    Bright colored and breathable material jacket that is also waterproof (like eVent) to protect from the changing elements and provide extra visibility is nice to have.

    Also, I recommend at least 2 headlights and 2 taillights for redundancy. There are some dazzling LED lights you can attach to your wheel to improve visibility from the side. Make a strong presence of yourself.


    To freshen up, some small microfiber hand towels dampened with water and a little bit of astringent makes quick work to wipe away the body funk when showers are not possible.
     
  11. MnMDan

    MnMDan Member

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    I have and continue to commute before/after work. Extra distance on lightly traveled roads and on bike paths is worth the safety factor. Morning is actually safer as long as you're commuting before 8am. After 5pm, you have to be aware of commuters and soccer moms.

    You can never have enough lights. I use a helmet-mounted flasher front/rear (Light and Motion makes a great one). The more annoying, the more visible you are. 2nd light on the handlebars...currently use a Cygolite with an pulse setting..its on 100% but also flashes. And multiple rear lights...steady-on mounted to the pack to comply with the law and a couple of seat post/seatstay mounted flashers.

    +1 on the flat protection overkill.
     
  12. Heyitsdave

    Heyitsdave Member

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    Yep!........Still commuting and I love it! I'm riding about 25 miles a day on my Townie, back and forth to work, then getting in a little during lunch time, too. I like riding through residential areas and staying off of busy roads as much as I possibly can. Look at an OCTA bike route map to get an idea. Good lights are important. I change my clothes at work. I wear out a lot of chains, rear shifter cables, and tires like crazy.
     
  13. CarbonLegs

    CarbonLegs Search for ultimate ride.

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    I also have the Fear, at night, not a fan of Alton at night coming back up towards Foothill.

    That would explain your Strava runs/hours = ) But it adds miles by the end of the week. Right now, i have to train early in the Morning at the gym through Spin class. Its efficient and effective just not enough.

    I have a light colored Kit, perfect for this. I will test run the Loop in my vehicle and check it out. Its 19miles on surface and FWY route, Road bike would be 23 = ) Not too bad. Would like to have done this already, did not realize the involvement and input into something like this.

    405 path, i have seen, i always wondered how to jump on that particular bike path, thanks-

    Lights, i would have to research a bit more. Rear flashers are a must, i have see some bright lights. Hours, would be 8:30am and leaving Newport @ 6pm. To be Honest, its rear to see anyone after 6pm = /

    Thanks All-
     
  14. cmeride

    cmeride Member

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    U could try MapMyRide.com has all the bike paths and stuff...
     
  15. da big hills

    da big hills happy night trails

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    I commuted on a bike. I rode parallel streets in the residential areas to limit my time on dark holiday Blvds. Make sure you have reflectors wrapped around your ankles. They are the most visible because they go up and down. Drivers only see motion, they do not see flashies and such. But I still used three flashies and three front lamps. Two on the bars and one on my head. I will sweep a potential right and left turning car with my helmet lamp. I must look pretty funny with my head wagging back and forth but it works very well. Stay off the Blvd sidewalks unless you get really really scared. The few weeks before Christmas drivers get crazy bad
    Happy dark xmas streets,
     
  16. CarbonLegs

    CarbonLegs Search for ultimate ride.

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    I got lights, proper clothes and route. I test drove this loop on Saturday, 27miles, 70 to 80% bike path Via back bay Towards New Port. PCH from Jamboree towards NP blvd is sketchy.

    Brings me to my next question, riding through bike path @ night- anything to worry about ? Some sections are lighted and others are not, specially heading down under main streets (over head).

    Thanks.
     
  17. CarbonLegs

    CarbonLegs Search for ultimate ride.

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    Not sure im in shape to ride to work and ride back home..... Tough 50miles.
     
  18. BigTex

    BigTex Member

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    You can get rid of a good bit of that. Take the bike path that begins at the corner of Back Bay Drive and the entrance to Newport Dunes. That dumps you off on Bayside Drive, take a left back to PCH. You can ride the sidewalk between Bayside and Dover, because that's considered bike path there (part of the Back Bay Loop). Go right on Dover, left on Cliff Drive. You can take side streets over to Newport Blvd. or back to PCH on Riverside, leaving only a short squirt on PCH.
     
  19. MnMDan

    MnMDan Member

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    The biggest issue with the paths at night are not freaking out when the critters you startle try to "evade" you thinking you are a predator...other than that, a lower light level works on the paths because you can see pretty well, and it doesn't blind other users who are out early in the am or just after sunset.

    The alternate route suggested gives you a route with much lower traffic...the section of PCH between Jamboree and Newport Blvd. (both ways) is dangerous enough on the weekends in full daylight...it's a section I'd avoid on weekday commutes. The extra time/effort is worth peace of mind.

    Good Luck!
     
  20. CarbonLegs

    CarbonLegs Search for ultimate ride.

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    That was not a good experience, day or "especially" at night- on PCH from jamboree to New Port Blvd. Light up front and rear, flasher up front and rear total of 4 light sources and i did not feel safe !!
     

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