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Commuting Advice (Friendship to Downtown)

I'll start commuting downtown by bike when I move to Friendship/Bloomfield area next month. I had a few questions that I was hoping experienced commuters might help answer: 1. Trying to see what routes others use: This is the route I'm thinking of - Friendship Ave -> Penn Ave -> 34th St -> Smallman -> Trail by the Convention Center -> Downtown (I think the trail in Strip District is closed between 11th & 22nd Streets) Any Other suggestions? 2. Any shower/locker room facilities once I get downtown? I was thinking about getting the cheapest membership Gold's Gym would offer, but feel free to point me to any other resources. Thanks!
2014-07-29 14:21:32
I don't particularly care for that section of Penn, personally. If you like it, great, but if you don't, go ahead and try some of the side streets like Milgate and Woolslayer. You could also consider Liberty, since the lanes and common presence of bicyclists makes that street much nicer than Penn from 34th up to Bloomfield, in my opinion. Try some different routes until you find one you really like. And most of all, don't let one bad experience sour you-- I've definitely had some learning experiences since I started commuting, but now that I'm experienced I hope I never have to go back to being a car commuter. Have fun!
2014-07-29 14:41:27
Ah! I didn't realize Liberty had a dedicated bike lane. I'll definitely try it out.
2014-07-29 14:59:11
I'd probably take the route you suggested or just take penn (instead of smallman) all the way in to town depending on traffic. My guess is that it's a bit busier in the mornings, so smallman might be the better option. Gold's gym is in a pretty convenient location, and if you don't mind carrying your bike down the stairs, they have a bike rack tucked away inside for use while you're there (at least last time I was a member there). I bet you could keep your stuff in a locker there during the day and remove it after work, I doubt you can leave stuff in there overnight, but I could be wrong about that. I'm not sure how accommodating they are for bike commuters, since I just went there after work typically. Keep in mind, there is somewhat secure, keyfob access, bike parking at the century building for a $100 / year lease. As well as secure parking in the 3rd ave garage. http://localhost/resources/bike-parking/#Where?
2014-07-29 15:03:23
Obligatory reminder: U-lock your bike. We've had a rash of thefts in town in recent weeks, but no verified thefts of bikes properly locked with a good U-lock.
2014-07-29 21:20:33
Yep! Just had my bike stolen from inside my bulding (posted in the Stolen Bike thread). Learned my lesson. Cable lock isn't good enough and I don't need a fancy bike to commute. I read some of BikeSnobNYC's posts about bike theft and watched some of Hal Ruzal's bike lock grading videos. I know what NOT to do now :) Wish I would have paid attention to these resources earlier.
2014-07-30 11:07:47
I commute from Friendship -> Downtown occasionally and riding Penn all the way downtown has never been an issue (though I usually leave between 8:30-9:00am). I'm on a street next to Liberty so I take Liberty -> 32nd -> Penn all the way down.
2014-07-31 12:14:57
Looks like the Police just recovered my stolen bike (YIKES!! I can't believe they found it!!), so I'll be making this commute sooner rather than later. Also talked to Gold's Gym. The lady on the phone said that they do nightly locker clean-ups, and they won't allow overnight use of lockers, even if someone is willing to pay more. Bummer. But I can always keep a whole weeks' work clothes at work, and just change after getting there. I'll figure it out. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
2014-08-05 14:59:47
I keep a stock of spare clothes at work. I really find that I can get a few wears out of my shirts and pants If I'm not too sweaty and keep a lint roller handy. I keep a pack of huggies, baby powder, and some deoderant handy for freshening up. I just rotate a bunch of shirts and pants out as needed so I don't wind up wearing the same shirt more than once or twice a week. Works fine for me. YMMV.
2014-08-05 15:18:13