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Thread: Commuting in Waco

  1. #1
    MoJo Friar joraff's Avatar
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    Commuting in Waco

    I'm on a big bicycle commuting kick right now, having ridden to work 30 straight days. I've also ridden to local places like the grocery store, teriyaki park, and as far as the shop (from the Baylor area). And I am LOVING it!

    However, I want to go further.. If you commute here in town, post up your routes, your bikes, your tips! Ideally I'd like this thread to be a big resource of commuting info relevant to Waco/Hewitt/Robinson/etc. and possibly a hub for organizing some kind of efforts with the city to raise awareness of cycling as a healthy, alternative mode of transportation. We all know that right now not much thought has been given to cyclists in planning and construction, but that's likely because no one has spoken up nor are there many commuters! Imagine how nice a path or bike lane from richland mall area to downtown would be!

    mapmyride.com lets you create and share routes if you have an account, but most of the routes on that site right now were created with the intention of getting out of town, and not into it. Google maps also lets you create a route and share it, and has the easiest interface in my opinion.

  2. #2
    albatross monogod's Avatar
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    tip number one... ride defensively, assuming every car is out to get you.

    tip number two... THEY ARE!

    tip number three... stay off any street with more than one lane in each direction if at all possible.
    Geez, I dunno how it happened. I was just riding along then all the sudden...

  3. #3
    MoJo Neophyte bigkfisk's Avatar
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    Waco Commute

    It's not actually an in-town commute, but here's a link:
    http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/5341232.

    The first six miles are a little spooky and the North River Crossing bridge is potentially disasterous! It's also dark at that time! The following morning, I usually take it easy on the way home.

  4. #4
    Need Mo MoJo!!! Crawfordkid60's Avatar
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    Crossing that bridge scares the crap out of me. I take a left on Eichelberger, right on Baylor Camp, and either right on 10 Downing or straight to China Spring Highway. It only adds a couple of miles and it's a scenic ride.

  5. #5
    MoJo Friar joraff's Avatar
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    Pretty good little elevation change on that route, bigkfisk.

    Here's a route that I tried the other day from Baylor area to my wife's workplace in Hewitt. It was pretty nice except the mile or so on Bagby from New Road to Hwy 6. F'ing crazy shoppers and soccer moms on their cell phones. New Road itself wasn't so bad b/c it has a shoulder... just watch out for semi's around the Flying J.

    I'm still trying to think of a better way to that particular destination.. Most other ways add several miles.

  6. #6
    Just along for the ride Wumpus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joraff View Post
    Pretty good little elevation change on that route, bigkfisk.

    Here's a route that I tried the other day from Baylor area to my wife's workplace in Hewitt. It was pretty nice except the mile or so on Bagby from New Road to Hwy 6. F'ing crazy shoppers and soccer moms on their cell phones. New Road itself wasn't so bad b/c it has a shoulder... just watch out for semi's around the Flying J.

    I'm still trying to think of a better way to that particular destination.. Most other ways add several miles.
    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...4df0785cb7f80d

    This is a cross of my old commute to work(I worked at the nursery on 12th street) and my ride out to Woodway, though I cross Valley Mills by the Genie Carwash.
    "No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride."

  7. #7
    MoJo Friar joraff's Avatar
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    Total distance is shorter, and I wouldn't mind crossing valley mills once in a while. If I remember right, Sanger is generally low traffic, and probably gets quieter past valley mills.

    That's almost the exact route I take out to the shop (I take austin instead of columbus), but I never really thought about continuing that way to hewitt. I'll have to try it. Thanks for the route!

  8. #8
    Just along for the ride Wumpus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wumpus View Post
    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...4df0785cb7f80d

    This is a cross of my old commute to work(I worked at the nursery on 12th street) and my ride out to Woodway, though I cross Valley Mills by the Genie Carwash.
    I don't ride Sanger between New Road and the Sanger overpass, but that is just me and Tennyson is a quiet, wide street for the most part.
    "No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride."

  9. #9
    Just along for the ride Wumpus's Avatar
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    Well, I blew that quote.


    Columbus is nice -- very few stoplights(12th??? and 17th&18th) and light traffic compared to Austin.
    "No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride."

  10. #10
    bui
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    Any big city buses on Columbus? I've had some issues with getting brushed by the Waco Transit on Austin (out towards the neighborhoods)...and I'm already riding in the crap that is cutting my tires to shreds.
    You are now breathing manually.

  11. #11
    Just along for the ride Wumpus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bui View Post
    Any big city buses on Columbus? I've had some issues with getting brushed by the Waco Transit on Austin (out towards the neighborhoods)...and I'm already riding in the crap that is cutting my tires to shreds.
    I haven't encountered any that I can remember. If you follow the route I posted, you only have to be on Austin for a block.
    "No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride."

  12. #12
    MoJo Friar joraff's Avatar
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    So I found a VERY nice pedestrian lane on the south side of the valley mills bridge over the railroad tracks. However.... there are no connecting sidewalks

    Anyway, I found it trying to piece together a backroads way to Cheddars, after riding alongside the railroad tracks looking for an opening in the brush that I could walk across. I reach the end of that road without any luck and looked up to the bridge on valley mills, and saw that ped lane - score!

    By the way, what I mean by ped lane is a concrete barrier on either side of you.. not just a shoulder or sidewalk exposed to traffic.

    Seems a waste to have such a lane without sidewalks, but w/e.. I'm still going to use it.

  13. #13
    MoJo Neophyte bigkfisk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawfordkid60 View Post
    Crossing that bridge scares the crap out of me. I take a left on Eichelberger, right on Baylor Camp, and either right on 10 Downing or straight to China Spring Highway. It only adds a couple of miles and it's a scenic ride.
    There aren't many scenic routes at 5:30A.M. I will take that route home at times, but I rationalize staying on 185 (and consequently-the bridge) in the dark hoping that motorists will see the lights from a ways back instead of as they round a corner half asleep. I averaged 20 mph coming this morning with a little tailwind.

  14. #14
    MoJo Friar joraff's Avatar
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    found another nice pedestrian lane without any connecting sidewalks, this time on the New Road bridge over the tracks.

    Whats the deal with our civil engineers?! Do they get some sort of dark enjoyment out of making it so difficult to cross those railroad tracks?

  15. #15
    bui
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    Informal poll:

    To those who commute, do you prefer the relaxed geometry of a mountain bike, or does a road bike feel more natural? I'm a juncture where I might sell my current "commuter", a mtb, and buy an old road bike to beat around on.
    You are now breathing manually.

  16. #16
    Just along for the ride Wumpus's Avatar
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    When I commuted all the time, I liked the speed of the road bike. Plus back then I felt it was less likely to get stolen than my mountain bike.
    "No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride."

  17. #17
    MoJo Friar joraff's Avatar
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    I didn't have many options... I only had one spare frame to put together my commuter, and it happened to be a mountain bike.

    With the slicks on (1.3's), I feel it's plenty fast and the sloping top tube and tall stem I have makes the geometry pretty relaxed and comfortable. I don't quite have the geo right, though.. I have a tendency to lean too hard on the bars. Suggestions from any fit experts?

    I ditched the singlulator for a 1x9 deore/road cassette setup. If/when I switch the mtb to a 1x9, I might lace my eno to a 26" for this bike and turn it into a fixed. I'll need to get shorter cranks and pedals, or a taller fork... something to raise that bb height.. I keep flipping hitting the ground pedaling through turns.

  18. #18
    MoJo Neophyte newtothis's Avatar
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    Thumbs down suggestions

    I am considering trying to commute to work via bike. Live in Hewitt/Lorena area near Spring Valley and Old Lorena Rd. Anyone have suggestions about safest routes? I have ruled out I-already...

  19. #19
    MoJo Friar joraff's Avatar
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    Where is your destination? I've stumbled upon a few decent roadways that lead to that area

  20. #20
    MoJo Neophyte newtothis's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    It would help if I included that huh? I work at 6th and Clay, which is a couple of blocks east of downtown.

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