Monday, September 29, 2008

Doing the Commute

Well after years of thinking about it and never really having a job that was close to home I finally made the jump. I recently changed jobs. My new job is probably within five miles of my house, so I had no more excuses! First thing I did was choose a route that I thought would be safest...remember this is Miami. Then I did a test run on a Sunday looking for potential problems.
This is always smart to do when you can take your time and not have the pressure of traffic to distract you. After scouting my route I had three potential danger spots. 1) A crossing that was under construction that bottle necked the traffic when the light changed- solution I cross when the light is red to get a jump on the traffic to avoid the bottle neck. 2) Busy intersection where to many cars crossing to many directions and a lot of red light jumpers. Solution- I cross in the pedestrian crossing and ride the side walk a couple blocks. 3) a busy four way stop where cars tend to jump their turn. Solution I cut through the back of a parking lot and go around the stop this way I avoid the traffic all together.
The first couple times was hectic finding a system that worked. I put a rack and panniers on the back. One pannier carries my change in clothes, the other my lunch and drinks.
My main concern is being seen, so I mounted a Planet Bike Super Flash. This is a great rear light which has a mile visibility. Another great light from Planet Bike is the Blinky 3. This is a small flashing light, what makes it great is you can clip it to the back of your adjusting strap on your helmet so now you have a second light at eye level facing the driver... my own invention!
I am trying some different front lights out, but since I'm not riding in the dark I'm taking my time on the decision.

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