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Ride Report 2010-09-05


I recently started commuting to work on my bicycle. I recently hit 230lbs., which I've always kept in my head as my maximum weight I'll let myself get to. The weight problem leaves me with a conundrum. I love eating and I hate exercising. Fortunately, I've always enjoyed bicycling, so the answer was to start converting my 2009 Marin Alpine Trail 29er to a commuter and combine exercise with my commute. Riding a bicycle to work only takes me an extra 15 minutes if traffic is bad, giving me 1.5hrs of exercise every day with only a half hour added to my commute. That's not mentioning the reduced road rage, gas, mileage on my car, and starting my day energized.

I've ridden into work about 10 times now. It's about 10 miles each way depending on my route, which I think is in the sweet spot of, "far enough to make it worth getting smelly and still under an hour commute."

Latest Work Route

Since tomorrow is a holiday and I wanted to check out some panniers at REI, I decided to ride so I could keep my body guessing. Route

The ride went fine and I felt pretty good the whole time. It was really nice to be able to wear my camelback (Costco version) and stay hydrated without dinking with a water bottle. I picked up some new grips and a pack of shot bloks. I looked at the Ortlieb panniers which look very nice, but are way too expensive for my current level of commitment. The laptop bag alone was something like $150. I might go after one later after I've totally adapted to bicycle commuting, but I'm not spending $300 on bags until I'm sure I'll use them for a 1000+ miles.

Defeated, I rode home and browsed around the web looking at what people are doing with custom mods. There's some really creative stuff out there, most interestingly, using plastic ammo cans. I drove over to a Stevens Creek Surplus, but all they had were the classic steel cans (though they had an awesome camping section). On the way home I thought I'd stop at Home Depot and see if they had anything interesting. They did. I bought two "Husky 16 in. Hang-Up Tool Bag", some velcro straps, and a two packs of flat bungee cords.

Tomorrow, I'll figure out how to mount the bags to my satisfaction, or return them and go for the plain aluminum briefcase (can't find HD link).

Now, I'm off to google some ideas for pannier hooks.