Commute to begin

A while back I posted an idea about giving up one of my vehicles in hopes to commute back and forth to work on my bike, see Serious Commitment. Well in May I’m going to give it a trial run and see how it goes. With a few changes to the plan it should go rather well.

There are a couple of issues I have to deal with of course beginning with May gray. I’m hoping not to have too much rain falling down on me as I haven’t yet purchased any rain appropriate gear for riding. Another issue, and this is possibly the hardest one to deal with is cargo. Being that I work in the IT field I have to carry quite a bit of equipment daily. I usually have a laptop and at least one 10 pound case of backup tapes we use everyday. If for some reason I’m the only one “on duty” then I get the luxury of carrying two 10 pound cases. So this is a biggie to try and figure out as I don’t see me getting rid of the tapes anytime soon. My first thought was a backpack. It could be done but wow I’m pretty sure 20 pounds of equipment plus clothing and my lunch everyday would be extremely painful on the shoulders. Cancel that idea. Second thought was panniers or saddle bags. These are bags similar to those that cowboys used to carry on their horses. Each bag hangs over the side of the back wheel. Typically though using these on a carbon race bike is a big no no. Not only does it look terrible but it’s really not good for the frame and also not typically designed to carry such a large load. Could it be done? Probably so but I’m not willing to risk damaging my steed to accomplish this. Cancel that idea as well. What to do? Well I think I’ve got a plan. I have a pretty nice mountain bike sitting in the garage that gets little to no use. Sorry but the road rules! Now mountain bikes aren’t as efficient on the road, some might argue this, but it can be adjusted to accomplish what I’m looking to do.

For starters I’ll need to throw on some slick tires. Right now I have knobbies on and I would be wasting down not only the tread but also my energy. I’ll also need to pick up the saddle bags and get it all adjusted correctly and test out the ride. I have to make sure my load is set right as I wouldn’t want 10 pounds on one side and 12 on another. Tends to make you fall over. I’ve got about two weeks to get everything situated and possibly squeeze in a couple rides to feel it out. Then if all goes well I will attempt to commit to the entire month of May to commute back and forth to work. Just to give you an idea here is a picture of the two cases I currently carry.

Keep in mind that this is not including clothing, laptop and cell phone or even my lunch. I’m already annoyed at having to carry all this gear in to work everyday and now I’m dreading having to “ride” in with it. Who knows, maybe it will be such a rewarding experience making a smaller carbon footprint and not spending money on gas that I wont even notice the extra weight? Yeah right. I will post some pics of the trusty mountain bike once I have it all set up. Let me know what you think. Am I crazy for trying this?

“Mantenha o lado de borracha para baixo”


5 thoughts on “Commute to begin

  1. Tony, I think your idea of using less gas & riding your bike is a great idea!
    I’m sorry I haven’t commented more often on your blogs. I do love them & read them.

  2. I don’t think you’re crazy. I’ve even considered this when I return to Florida at the end of the month. Totally agree on not using your prize carbon road rig for this. I’d be surprised it even has attachment points for a rack or panniers. I like your idea of using the mountain bike with slicks on it. I have a Schwinn Trailways that’s already got road tires on it that I thought of using. Would just need to set up a rack, panniers, or whatever. Those cases look like they would fit into a pannier nicely on either side of the back wheel. If you put a rack that fits between them (over the back wheel) you might be able to put your lunch and clothes in it instead of wearing a backpack.

    1. It’s going to be one heavy daily commuter. I think just the bike alone is around 22 pounds. If I could just some how minimize my gear I could stick to my Cervelo instead of my GT mountain bike.

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