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  • The GTD bike commuter?

    As part of my ongoing training, and also in no small part due to the spike in gas prices (with CNN saying it'll hit $4/gallon this summer), I'm going to start bicycle commuting in a few weeks. Due to my work and school schedules, I can only "cardio" commute one day a week, but it's a start.

    I'll be carrying the following:
    • smart phone for dumb guy (me)
    • Nagalene water bottle
    • 2-3 file folders
    • USB memory stick
    • small camera
    • and some miscellaneous stuff that would be about the size of a Bible if it were all condensed together.

    Anyway, I'll have to re-tool my briefcase for some sort of messenger bag. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    No messenger bag suggestions, but on any commute long enough to need a water bottle, I also would add:

    bicycle pump and patch kit and/or replacement inner tube

    You may never need them. But if you do, you'll *really* need them.

    Back during my bicycle commuting days, I got a thorn wedged between two bumps in the tire tread (knobby mountain bike tires). It barely poked through the tire, but that was enough. I think I went through three tubes before I figured out what was going on.

    Plus, depending on the bike storage facilities:

    bicycle lock

    Katherine

    Comment


    • #3
      I ride to work and I like my bike to make my life easier not harder, so I don't plan it to any great extent. Just chuck everything you need for work and after work activities into a back pack and go! You'll automatically discover which items you need to pack, and you'll probably find that many of them earn a permanent place in your bag.

      Comment


      • #4
        What's the problem with the gas prices.

        Originally posted by webhak View Post
        As part of my ongoing training, and also in no small part due to the spike in gas prices (with CNN saying it'll hit $4/gallon this summer), I'm going to start bicycle commuting in a few weeks.
        In Poland we pay about $6/gallon and the average salary is about $12000/year so I do not understand your motivation

        I suggest iPod for podcast listening and NoteTaker Wallet for idea capture.

        Comment


        • #5
          Messenger Bags

          Webhak, Timbuktu makes great messenger bags. Usually only one big compartment, one small inside zip, one outside zip, so you'll lose the rabbit warren of pockets most briefcases have. The advantage of Timbuktu is the second strap: it connects to the shoulder strap at your chest to stabilize the bag. I commuted on a narrow trail with swamp on both sides -- if my bag swung to one side and I lot may balance, I became the Legend of Boggy Creek in a second.

          I also recommend a small towel, either in your bag or at the office. Even on cool days you may perspire a bit.

          Comment


          • #6
            +1 on the Timbuktu bags -- I've had great luck with mine.

            The best alternative of all would probably be to invest in a set of panniers. (more typically associated with bicycle touring, but great for commuting as well.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
              In Poland we pay about $6/gallon and the average salary is about $12000/year so I do not understand your motivation

              I suggest iPod for podcast listening and NoteTaker Wallet for idea capture.
              Yes but in Pland you probably travel much shorter distances.

              Comment


              • #8
                TesTeq,

                As a fellow Pole, I'm sorry to hear that. My mother was born and raised there and was able to get out just after WWII.

                My biggest challenge here is the heat. It is in the high 80s (F) and will be climbing to the 110s within two months. When I would ride to work in the morning, it will be close to 90 and will be between 105-110 when I ride home.

                I was already planning on leaving a stash of clean clothes at the office and doing a quick sink shower in the men's room to freshen up.

                I'm thinking a backpack would be quite sweaty. The Timbuk2 bags sound intriguing. Any particular style?

                hak

                Comment


                • #9
                  Timbuk2 Bags

                  They're all good -- extremely well made. You can even design one yourself, and the company tries to be as green as they can. Just check the website -
                  www.timbukt2.com. I live in Phoenix, so I feel your pain -- or heat, to be specific. The messenger bag hangs lower on your back, so the sweat is just relocated; but definitely cooler than a backpack. I keep clothes at the office, along with a towel. The real secret, I've found, is to not treat the morning commute as a training ride. Don't sprint for green lights; don't test your quads; and be sure to think cool thoughts. It's not hot till you stop. You can always go Lance on the ride home.

                  And definitely, take tire irons and a spare tube. If your commute's not too far and multiple flats is not a major concern, you could even leave the patch kit at home -- just slap in a new tube and go, worry about the leak some other time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A collection tool is great to have on hand

                    I was once a bike commuter in San Francisco. Loved it. Did some of my best thinking on the bike. I'd highly recommend some kind of small capture tool for all of those great ideas you'll have when you're getting that fresh air and the adrenaline is pumping. Someone was telling me recently that they were going to strap a capture tool on their bike handlebars for such purposes. For me, I just kept it in my under seat storage and pulled it out at stop lights when some brilliant (or critical) thing needed to get captured.

                    In terms of practical bike commuting advice, allow plenty of time. And I found that cars just weren't as aware of me as I was of them, especially around rush hour times when anxiety and impatience is on the rise. Be safe.

                    Enjoy.

                    Cheers,
                    Kelly

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's the EU tradition.

                      Originally posted by webhak View Post
                      TesTeq, As a fellow Pole, I'm sorry to hear that. My mother was born and raised there and was able to get out just after WWII.
                      High gas price is the European Union tradition (big chunk of the price is a special tax). Despite some drawbacks it is great that Poland became the European Union member.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But he lost his external rear mirror!

                        Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
                        And I found that cars just weren't as aware of me as I was of them, especially around rush hour times when anxiety and impatience is on the rise. Be safe.
                        One of my friends used to come to work on his bicycle. One day he arrived later with broken front wheel of his bicycle. When asked what had happened he answered:

                        "I had a close encounter with a car. The wheel is broken but he lost his external rear mirror!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
                          I was once a bike commuter in San Francisco. Loved it. Did some of my best thinking on the bike. I'd highly recommend some kind of small capture tool for all of those great ideas you'll have when you're getting that fresh air and the adrenaline is pumping. Someone was telling me recently that they were going to strap a capture tool on their bike handlebars for such purposes. For me, I just kept it in my under seat storage and pulled it out at stop lights when some brilliant (or critical) thing needed to get captured.
                          Kelly,

                          Out of curiosity, what was the capture device you kept under your seat?

                          hak / john

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Creative Zen Nano Plus for capture

                            When I'm out for recreational rides, I use my Creative Zen Nano Plus for capturing ideas. I have it mounted on an armband on my upper arm & when I have an idea, I just reach over & start it recording. I can talk in normal conversational tone, & the I hit the stop button. It works fine up to about 25 or 30 mph of wind. If there is more wind than that, I can't make out my voice on play back.

                            Other mp3 player/records should work fine, too.

                            By the way, if you do much dictation to yourself, you can speed things up with the free Express Scribe transcription software & you can pick up a transcription pedal on ebay.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Capture tools on the go

                              Originally posted by webhak View Post
                              Kelly,

                              Out of curiosity, what was the capture device you kept under your seat?
                              Back then, I was using a Palm V handheld. These days I capture into my Palm Treo or into my David Allen notetaker wallet. Both are portable and easy enough to carry around. On the Palm, if I've already figured out my next action, it goes right onto the correct action list. If I haven't figured out the next action it goes into Palm Tasks as an uncategorized entry. That's a good temporary place to park stuff that needs to be processed when I get the next chance.

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