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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My definition of a bad commute is when someone has to pick you up because of a mechanical. I am pretty handy and maintain my bikes very well but in the last eight years of commuting I have had to be picked up three times. Once in Virginia when I broke multiple spokes on the back wheel and their was no way to true it out roadside, once in Hawaii when I broke a pedal spindle, and today in Bremerton, Washington when I snapped my chain. I swear I had a spare SRAM link in my bag but apparently not. The chain only had around 600 miles on it. It snapped at a link but not the removable one. I took the removable link off the broken chain and put it in my bag. At least it was on the homebound leg of my commute.

Good commutes are all the other ones, even the ones in tropical storms, sleet, snow, vog, etc.
 

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do you carry a chain tool?
I wonder at times how many out there do..

I always have, as I have been in your position before..
 

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I've carried a superlink in my seatbag for years but have never had to use it.

Knock on wood, but I've never had to be picked up either on a commute. In fact, I've never had a flat during a commute. I carry all sorts of spare parts and tools in my seatbag, adding to my load, but I guess it's sort of an insurance policy.
 

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tarwheel2 said:
I've carried a superlink in my seatbag for years but have never had to use it.

Knock on wood, but I've never had to be picked up either on a commute. In fact, I've never had a flat during a commute. I carry all sorts of spare parts and tools in my seatbag, adding to my load, but I guess it's sort of an insurance policy.
Yeah,

It's when you decide to NOT carry it that you will be in need of it and stranded without it :)
 

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I once got a flat, tore two spare tubes at the valve stem and somehow broke my pump in the bargain. That sucked.
 

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I snapped a chain on the way to work about 25 years ago. That's (knock on wood) the only chain that ever broke on me. Luckily a fellow employee was coming by in his pickup. We just tossed the bike in the back & continued on to work.
 

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Nothing worse than pulling out your spare tube and finding out it's a scharder when you need prestra
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mr. Versatile said:
I snapped a chain on the way to work about 25 years ago. That's (knock on wood) the only chain that ever broke on me. Luckily a fellow employee was coming by in his pickup. We just tossed the bike in the back & continued on to work.
The only other road chain I ever broke was after a crit. It was a short course and I rolled a lap after finishing. When I pulled off the course into the parking lot I shifted off the big ring and thought I had dropped the chain. I looked down, no chain. It was on the road about ten feet behind me. The race course was perfectly flat with no wind. The whole race had been 53X14 going into the corners, 53X13 on the straights.
 

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3 days in 8 years! I would say that speaks for itself: clearly you keep your bikes wired tight..............MTT :thumbsup:
 

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Festina Lente'
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Must be a bad week. I got a flat on the way to work that slowly leaked down. Look for my pump... no dice, left it in my camelbak.

Wish my company, which has huge amounts of compressed air farms, gaseous nitrogen, helium, liquid argon, liquid nitrogen....would have a stupid floor pump for commuters. :rolleyes:
 

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Ethical Nihilist
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2 'bad' days in 14 years of bike commuting-----(by your definition)

---Broke my freehub in 25 degree weather and called my wife for a ride.

---Got t-boned and broke leg and called the ambulance for a ride.

All the others I at least rode/walked away from and to my destination to nurse my wounds and/or make repairs.
 

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Something in the air?

I think there's something going on here in the PNW these days.

The last two weeks, I have had not had a "bad" commute, by your definition, but I've had some "challenging" ones. I was left-hooked by a car, but no major damage, just bruises. Two flat tires from staples. Broke a rear, driveside spoke, but limped home. Switched to a backup wheel, tire looked a little worn but mostly okay, but it got two flats on the way to work. The first was in the dark and rain, couldn't really look at it too closely, the second I managed to see a nice spot of rubber gone and boot it. Replaced the tire. Then, today, I broke a spoke on the backup wheel.

I don't carry extra spokes in my bag... but both times, I was able to get the wheel rideable enough to get to work.

I'm not good enough to use the spoke cutter at work and do serious truing, but my coworker is, so we got me back on the road.

Still.

Maybe this part-destroying gremlin will go away with the weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Argentius said:
I think there's something going on here in the PNW these days.

The last two weeks, I have had not had a "bad" commute, by your definition, but I've had some "challenging" ones. I was left-hooked by a car, but no major damage, just bruises. Two flat tires from staples. Broke a rear, driveside spoke, but limped home. Switched to a backup wheel, tire looked a little worn but mostly okay, but it got two flats on the way to work. The first was in the dark and rain, couldn't really look at it too closely, the second I managed to see a nice spot of rubber gone and boot it. Replaced the tire. Then, today, I broke a spoke on the backup wheel.

I don't carry extra spokes in my bag... but both times, I was able to get the wheel rideable enough to get to work.

I'm not good enough to use the spoke cutter at work and do serious truing, but my coworker is, so we got me back on the road.

Still.

Maybe this part-destroying gremlin will go away with the weather.
My new chain and I made it to work just fine this morning. Not a bad day for commuting. My definition of bad being not raining. I got caught and passed on the second of my two long climbs this morning. I caught the guy on the descent and stayed with him for a while. He was riding a road bike with a PB superflash and a cheesy headlight that projected a light colored spot on the road about six feet in front of his bike. Call me practical, but I like my HID headlight and two seizure worthy taillights.
 

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bigbill said:
My new chain and I made it to work just fine this morning. Not a bad day for commuting. My definition of bad being not raining. I got caught and passed on the second of my two long climbs this morning. I caught the guy on the descent and stayed with him for a while. He was riding a road bike with a PB superflash and a cheesy headlight that projected a light colored spot on the road about six feet in front of his bike. Call me practical, but I like my HID headlight and two seizure worthy taillights.
That sounds like my occasional commuter companion, who has a Superflash rear, which actually seems sufficient to me, but just a AA-powered headlight.

I'm still searching after the move for my Cateye doubleshot emitter, I have what's supposed to be my "second" light, a Sigma Karma, solid and very tiny but not really enough light for the whole thing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Argentius said:
That sounds like my occasional commuter companion, who has a Superflash rear, which actually seems sufficient to me, but just a AA-powered headlight.

I'm still searching after the move for my Cateye doubleshot emitter, I have what's supposed to be my "second" light, a Sigma Karma, solid and very tiny but not really enough light for the whole thing...

I have a small LED headlight that runs on AA batteries. I use it in the fall and winter to light my way to the main road before I turn on the HID. I also use it when I leave work and only have 30 or so minutes of daylight. I figure on a bad day it saves a half hour on the HID battery which only runs 3 hours on my just under three hour commute.
 

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How does that

bigbill said:
I have a small LED headlight that runs on AA batteries. I use it in the fall and winter to light my way to the main road before I turn on the HID. I also use it when I leave work and only have 30 or so minutes of daylight. I figure on a bad day it saves a half hour on the HID battery which only runs 3 hours on my just under three hour commute.
3 hours a day treat you as the weeks wear on? I'm still getting adjusted to my mileage.

I've got just north of 4 hours a day now, and doing it every day is a little wearing. I've been trying to carpool at least IN to work on, say, Wednesdays, and sometimes home on Friday.

That way, I'm only commuting 250 or so miles a week, not 300, and I can "afford" to do some weekend fun rides and not be too blown for Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Argentius said:
3 hours a day treat you as the weeks wear on? I'm still getting adjusted to my mileage.

I've got just north of 4 hours a day now, and doing it every day is a little wearing. I've been trying to carpool at least IN to work on, say, Wednesdays, and sometimes home on Friday.

That way, I'm only commuting 250 or so miles a week, not 300, and I can "afford" to do some weekend fun rides and not be too blown for Monday.
I get it down to 2 and a half by June. I'm not that efficient right now, many times in each direction today I realized that I was just putting along. As it gets warmer and there is more daylight, I get faster. It does wear on me, as you know it's not five round trips, it's ten individual rides. Around June I find myself not riding at least one day each weekend. Just commuting five days a week will give me around 13 hours on the bike. Last year my commuting plus two centuries allowed me to do a 10:15 STP. Commuting builds endurance beyond the mileage.
 
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