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All That is Man
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Discussion Starter #1
So I wanted to ask this here since I know some of you road ride on top of the mountain biking. I live in the Rita Ranch area near Nexus & Rita Rd and work downtown. I'm probably going to start commuting here very soon once I get the old bike set up for it. What kinds of routes would you guys suggest? Right now the plan is to take Valencia west to Kolb north then get on the Aviation Bikeway at Kolb & Escalante and take that all the way down town. That path seems like the safest way to get down there, but it would require that I ride a few miles north on Kolb. Kolb has about 5' or 6' of shoulder but the speed limit is 55 which makes me nervous, especially when I see tire skid marks all over the curbs and shoulder area. What are your thoughts?

Here is the basic route I might try Link
 

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Yeah you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Kolb is sketchy. It seems to be fairly sane through the under pass area at DMAFB but it is the northern section that scares me a little. If you can get to the Aviation safely it is clear flying from there. The only danger is crossing the side streets where traffic is turning regularly. You really need to be on your toes because you are off street. I ride the Aviation irregularly and it is really nice except for those things. The addition of the basket bridge is fantastic as it allows direct communication with the north side of broadway without having to navigate broadway and Euclid or park or whatever that intersection is with the del taco.
 

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swashbucklerette
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Kolb isn't too bad. I stay waaay over on the right when riding it and crank fast to get through that part. Valencia west of Kolb is way gnarlier. But I prefer Kolb to Houghton, as Houghton is missing a bike lane in spots.

Are you on a road bike or something with knobbies? If you have knobbies, take the Fantasy Island fenceline trail to Irvington, then cut over to Camino Seco to Escalante. There are also dirt access roads that follow the train tracks. I used to live in Rita and take the train road most of the way to work (I work by the airport). It's a little freaky when the trains pass, but not bad.

If you can, drive most of the proposed route ahead of time to see where the tough spots are.
 

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All That is Man
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
There is a Park & Ride lot at Kolb and Golf LInks. I was toying with the idea of driving to that and riding from there to downtown, but that would require riding along golf links from Kolb to Craycroft which doesn't sound pleasant either. I'm not keen on the extra steps of having to drive a section of the route though either.

I have ridden the tracks on the mountain bike (then proceeded downtown once I hit Aviation). It's rougher than I'd care for as a commute and running unto thugs under the bridges makes me uneasy which happened when I did that ride.

I'm still open to the fantasy island route. I want to get a cyclocross bike with rack mounts for commuting and that trail that follows the fenceline wouldn't be too bad on a CX bike. I like that route you suggested since it's light on the traffic, the only drawback will be that the extra time taking FI will prove slower than hauling down Kolb but it's only about 3 miles of dirt to deal with.
 

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I wish I had some advice for you, John but I'm not overly familiar with traffic in your area. I'm fairly lucky that my commute is pretty much a straight shot down Broadway with one jog down to Speedway and Harrison to where I live. As I mentioned in the other thread... my "scary" areas are passing Park Mall to Wilmot and then on Speedway east of Harrison (NO bike lane and evening rush hour traffic with the sun setting... ick!)

My favorite section is heading east on Broadway after Kolb to Prudence... that gradual decent is super-fun to really crank!

Props though... that's a good commute!

BTW... hit me up anytime for a spin around Fantasy Island... :D
 

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Plus size jersey model
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I haven't been down kolb that much but when I did it didn't seem that bad. As far as aviation goes its is pretty smooth sailing but you do have to be aware of the cars turning off of the highway they don't really pay attention to whats coming down the pathway but you don't have to cross but maybe 3-4 roads once your actually on aviation. Thats always my route when I head out to the east side monument or FI. I would have to say though that I probably have the best commute in town which is only an 80ft ride down in an elevator to work.
 

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swashbucklerette
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Yeah, I know the thugs you're talking about. I carry this on my commuter: http://www.defensedevices.com/bike-mount-bicyle-pepper-spray.html

I run the same setup. I have a Jake the Snake CX bike with a rear rack. It's not bad in the dirt as long as the back doesn't get weighed down too much. I can load up the trunk on the rack, but if I put side panniers on it gets too heavy for dirt. So I try to keep as much stuff at work or take it in the day before (clothes, etc).
 

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Tucson, AZ
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623 Posts
Zero Signal said:
So I wanted to ask this here since I know some of you road ride on top of the mountain biking. I live in the Rita Ranch area near Nexus & Rita Rd and work downtown. I'm probably going to start commuting here very soon once I get the old bike set up for it. What kinds of routes would you guys suggest? Right now the plan is to take Valencia west to Kolb north then get on the Aviation Bikeway at Kolb & Escalante and take that all the way down town. That path seems like the safest way to get down there, but it would require that I ride a few miles north on Kolb. Kolb has about 5' or 6' of shoulder but the speed limit is 55 which makes me nervous, especially when I see tire skid marks all over the curbs and shoulder area. What are your thoughts?

Here is the basic route I might try Link
I'd toss something semi-slick on and go through Fantasy Island before jumping on some back roads and heading down to Aviation. I have the continental traffics on my commuter bike (and actually did PEE with them, a 90 mile canal + double bypass on the McDowells, 9k of climbing). In CA, I rode through camp pendleton on a touring trip, I guess that is prob not allowed as a civilian on DM, right?
 

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Sounds like you have the best route planned out already, that along with those proposed by others. My thoughts are Aviation is nice once you get there, but you are correct in your statement about the conditions prior to passing onto the separate bike lane. I used to ride from my house @ Bway and Harrison over to golf links and then up to Aviation but Golf links is not that great to ride on. I just shoot straight down Broadway right now because of the extra distance and harrowing bike lane conditions on golf links at times.

Thr thing I dislike about Broadway is constantly playing leapfrog with the city bus.
 

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I ride very sporadically, not as often as I would like. I will be inheriting a decent/nice road bike in early Feb so I will start riding that. Ultimately I would like to build an inexpensive commuter bike as previously I have ridden my old KHS mountain bike with a trunk rack and skinnier tires. That bike is not a comfy ride and will be on craigslist soon.
 

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Aha - KHS! :D My single-speed mountain bike, which you'll see tomorrow, is a KHS soft-tail. Awesome bike...

I'd love to build a single-speed commuter bike but if I brought home a 4th bike, the girlfriend would kill me. :D So I ride my road bike and just throw a drag-inducing backpack on. If ya ever see me out there, say HI. I'll be on the grey/black/red Fuji.
 

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All That is Man
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329 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I think I will stick with the plan of riding down through FI. Right now the bike that's on my radar is this one http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/X-RAY-RCE-Details.html which should handle the fenceline trail as long as I'm not reckless.

The other option I'm playing with is doing a single speed monster cross setup like these http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=192307 which would handle all the beating I could throw at it in a commute ride.

I don't know yet, but speed will be a factor, I don't want something too slow.
 
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