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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I always thought my commute to work was a bit boring and would be of no interest to anyone, until several weeks ago when Mohair Chair showed us his commute through (what I thought) a similarly boring part of San Jose. Lo and behold, it seems there was great interest. So if his commute is of interest to so many, then why not mine.
Just over 9 miles from door to desk with just under 2 miles on bike trails and most of the rest on a 4 lane highway with a nice bike lane. Almost pancake flat apart from one minor rise (50ft maybe?) just after leaving for home.

1. Everything ready to to be packed.
2. Before the panniers are attached.
3. View from the front door.
4. Hwy 87 bike path and the only "climb" of the route.
5. Traffic crawling towards the city centre. I'm going in the opposite direction.
6. No wind this morning as usual. In the evening I usually have a headwind to help make me a stronger rider.
7 & 8. Redline 925
 

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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
1. Looking back at path just taken.
2. From Hwy 87 bike path looking down to Chynoweth Ave.
3. Mt Umanum (aprox. 3500ft) in the distance. The box like structure on the top is an old early warning radar station. Unfortunately the road to the summit is closed.
3 & 4. Santa Teresa Blvd. A nice wide bike lane that unfortunately never seems to get too much use.
5, 6 & 7. Crossing Canoas Creek. Wouldn't this make for a great bike trail? Most of the bike trails in this area (with the notable exception of Hwy 87 bike trail that you've just seen) follow many of the many creeks and flow through the valley and they make for wonderful scenic trails. I'm sure a lack of money is the reason we can't use this fine creek for biking.
8. I swear the roads aren't always this empty. Usually there are there are plenty of inconsiderate drivers just like everywhere else.
 

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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
1. Nearing the edge of suburbia, Santa Teresa Blvd becomes quite scenic.
2. I have the luxury of having light rail train stations right beside work and home. A useful backup if I can't ride home for some reason (sickness or lack of lights after working far later than planned).
3. Start of the ride home.
4. I know there are a thousand reason not to, but I can't help smiling a little as I see these prices go up every day. In the background is the Kaiser hospital that I will probably be brought to should I be taken out by an errant motorist.
5 & 6. Almost home.
7. But not before my first flat in months. Bunny-hopping a small kerb is difficult with these panniers.
8, 9 & 10. But now I've another chance to take some photos.
11. San Jose downtown in the distance and the end of another commuting week.
 

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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
MB1 said:
where are all the other cyclists?
Unfortunately there never are too many. On an average day I might see 5 or 6 going in the opposite direction. Maybe they all start work earlier than me. Some parts of the South Bay, (Palo Alto, Los Altos), seemingly have swarms of cyclists on the weekends (not sure about weekdays), but 20 miles away in San Jose there is hardly a bike to be seen anywhere :(
 

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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thinkcooper said:
Love the redline's set-up. But like my commute better :D

Cheers!

Coop
Obviously it can't compare to your wonder machine, but I do like this bike. Got it (in Santa Cruz incidentally) a few months ago to replace an old road bike which I was commuting on. After a couple of weeks of battling the homebound headwinds with loaded panniers, the 15t cog was replaced with a 16t. Not only is it a better bike for commuting, but the more relaxed riding position and fatter tyres mean it's far more suitable for more casual Sunday rides with non-biking friends and far more suitable for hauling some groceries home. If I keep up this lifestyle I might qualify for a move to Santa Cruz! :)
 

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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Leopold Porkstacker said:
So… can I assume you live on one of those developments on top of the hill next to 87 & Crapitol Expressway? It appears that way from your photographs. If this is the case, can you confirm that it never gets dark there?
No, further north than the area you describe. Look for the clues in the photos :)
I too have heard that it never gets dark there. Some mad experiment in that tower means a series of 1.21 petawatt lasers must be kept on continuously, day and night, apparently.
 

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Knives, Guns, and Booze
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Fr Ted Crilly said:
No, further north than the area you describe. Look for the clues in the photos :)
I too have heard that it never gets dark there. Some mad experiment in that tower means a series of 1.21 petawatt lasers must be kept on continuously, day and night, apparently.
Actually I was referring to the constant glow of the Crapitol Excrementway Auto Mall.
 

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The 87 bike path is always so desolate. Parts of it appear so unused, it makes me wonder if anyone has ever used it before! I hate the way it just ends, and you have to find your way to the next leg on city streets.

One thing I've always loved about commuting next to the freeway is seeing people sitting in their cars in traffic. I've been that guy, but no more! Last Friday, 17 was backed up to at least Hamilton at 4:00 pm, which means something nasty happened.
 

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No Crybabies
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stopped cars

mohair_chair said:
One thing I've always loved about commuting next to the freeway is seeing people sitting in their cars in traffic. I've been that guy, but no more! Last Friday, 17 was backed up to at least Hamilton at 4:00 pm, which means something nasty happened.
Same here. In one place, I ride on a bridge over a large freeway, and I look down on the stopped cars. Another place, I ride under a freeway, same thing.

Even better, on surface streets at 5 o'clockish, the routes I take have wonderful bike lanes. Frequently, I pass cars 20 deep while they are stopped at the red light, then some of them don't even make it through that cycle. I've stayed ahead of some cars for 5 or 6 miles doing this repeatedly, even though they are going 45 mph in between lights. Always beat city busses. A number of times, drivers have pulled up next to me at a light and mentioned that they should ride, too, as I was getting through town faster than them. Well, duh?!
 

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Nice blue skies in your photos. I can't believe the weather here in Eastern Washington; I can count the nice (no ice, rain, wind) riding days since Last October on one hand, no sh*t! When this housing bubble is done crashing I'm headed south again.
 

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Nice post. It looks so Californy. Your bike looks like it's set up great for commuting, except the lack of gears. I don't know how you handle the hills carrying that kind of load without gears, but more power to you.
 

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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
MTT said:
You might consider leaving a pair of shoes and/or a belt at work; makes the pack lighter. How do you like those bars?

MTT
With hands toward the end over the brakes, the position is pretty similar to riding on the hoods on regular bars. While commuting with regular bars I don't think I ever rode with hands down on the drops, so I'm not missing much there.
 

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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
tarwheel2 said:
Nice post. It looks so Californy. Your bike looks like it's set up great for commuting, except the lack of gears. I don't know how you handle the hills carrying that kind of load without gears, but more power to you.
Eh, nothing special about my power output. Fixed works for me because my commuting route is pretty much flat, apart from one short and small climb (30 seconds maybe). One of those bags is almost empty for most of the ride - I bring it along so I can stop at a local store for groceries on the way home. Fully loaded with groceries that one short climb is a bit tougher :)
 

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Anti-bling
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
mohair_chair said:
The 87 bike path is always so desolate. Parts of it appear so unused, it makes me wonder if anyone has ever used it before! I hate the way it just ends, and you have to find your way to the next leg on city streets.

One thing I've always loved about commuting next to the freeway is seeing people sitting in their cars in traffic. I've been that guy, but no more! Last Friday, 17 was backed up to at least Hamilton at 4:00 pm, which means something nasty happened.
I agree, it is a bit broken up which definitely doesn't encourage slower, more cautious cyclists. The worst part is crossing Curtner. At least at the other bike path "intermissions" you don't have to move across fast moving traffic like you must do at Curtner.

This commute is against most of the traffic so while I see plenty of people stuck on Hwy 87 N each morning, I unfortunately don't get to smile smugly at them as the traffic in my direction is usually fine.
 
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