Mistakes commuters make

Here’s a list of ‘DUH’ moments that I’ve had over 2 years of commuting to work on a bike.

* Forgetting my water bottle. -luckily I have a park mid-route so I was able to replenish.
* Not carrying a mini-pump and carrying empty C02 cartridges and getting a flat. – I ended up walking my bike home for 1/2 mile.
* Not carrying lights -One day I had to stay at work until it got dark outside, luckily, most of my commute was lit.
* Forgetting my helmet – It happened once, I felt naked riding without it
* Daydreaming while riding – I spaced out, hit the sidewalk with my pedal almost eating it. Luckily my MTB skills saved my ass.
* Leaving my pannier attachment on another bike – I was lucky that I had a bunch of bungee cords on my truck and strapped my pannier to the rack.
* Forgetting my truck keys at work – Let’s just say that my wife was not too happy.

Feel free to share your ‘DUH’ moments, it’s OK, nobody is perfect.


  1. Lance

    Phwew!!! I’m glad to not be the only one forgetting his keys.

    I spent one day sitting on our porch for 3 hours waiting for the wife to come home. Thank goodness for liquor stores or I’d have been bored out of my mind.

  2. mike

    when i split my commute by riding / driving on alternate trips i would forget shoes or my front wheel.

    i solved the problem by getting in shape to ride everyday. (ahh, the joys of rediscovering cycling!)

  3. Jeff Rossini

    until i got a flat recently, i was carrying around threadless co2 cartridges and a threaded valve mount…and no mini-pump.

  4. Drew

    I have left home without my gloves, my cell phone and my lunch (on separate occasions). A few times I have had to borrow a vehicle and make an emergency trip home during the day– twice I have done this and left the keys to my house at work. Also, I locked up and left work in my sneakers instead of my bike shoes once (I had clipless pedals… the sneakers weren’t doing it for me). I guess we all have those moments!

  5. Ghost Rider

    I left my dress shoes at home once and had to work all day in heavy-lugged MTB shoes — man, does THAT look funny with dress pants and a tie!!!

  6. Joe

    forgetting to pack my work clothes in my panniers.

  7. Jeff

    oh – my buddy just started bike commuting, and on day 1 he forgot to bring underwear. the best part is, a half mile after he left his house, he went back home because he remembered he forgot an undershirt…

  8. RL Policar

    I forgot my underwear once…

  9. Priscilla

    Well i’ll share a duh moment on behalf of RL. haha. He wanted to be sweet one day and accompany me on my bike commute to work. Our gym is close by my work so he figured he’d head to the gym after seeing me off to work. How sweet, huh? Well I get a call about an hour later…he was stuck at the gym b/c he had forgot his key to unlock his bike. SO i had to ride down there and hand him my extra key…hahaha…luckily the ride down there cooled me off a bit…

  10. Quinn

    well last night I forgot to check the weather, I knew it was gonna be chilly (Oct in the Sierras) so I wore my summer/ lace-up cleats, shorts a base layer and a jersey and my are warmers in my pocket, normally good for this time of yr, Well, I woke up and it snowed last night( I work nights) and its my long day, 12 miles in short and jerseys @ 40Β°! D*** it

  11. Ol

    Weather and bad prep! I cycle to work and the suns out, eight hours of desk hugging later and I unknowingly step into torrential rain. My full back pack, cotton tshirt and baggy shorts (not to mention my steamed up glasses) made my fifteen mile traffic heavy route nothing short of epic. Short of cycling via the Gaza strip I’ll never come so close to getting hurt so often on a commute again.

  12. Logan

    Forgot shoes a few times, had to work in clipless. Forgot about flat tires I’d accrued the day before, was late to work.

  13. FlynRyan

    Numerous DUH’S ! to many to account for. Forgotten underwear ,socks, lunch. The worst is not checking the weather and end up riding in the rain. Thats happened on more that one occasion. I’m glad there is a dyr cleaner near my work.

  14. Henry

    I have done most of the above things, except for RL’s sweet moment, but this one is about the same: forgetting my lock.

  15. Coelecanth

    My favorite Doh! is that morning commute when I feel like I’m riding uphill the whole way. I wonder if I’m coming down with something or if I didn’t drink enough water the night before only to notice when I’m locking up the bike that one tyre is only half inflated.

  16. Paul Rivers

    I’ve made 2 big mistakes. I had just started bike commuting to work, and it was a long commute – an hour. It was all on off-street bike trails, though, so it was rather pretty and unstressful, but it was long. When I got my bike fitting the guy had suggested that I switch from mountain bike pedals/shoes to road pedals/shoes because they would be better on my knees for biking that kind of distance so often. So I was wearing road shoes and biker tights on my ride, and I would change when I got to work.

    Naturally, you can imagine what happened –
    One day I forgot my shoes and had to spent the entire day walking around in road biking shoes. You know, the ones with the giant clip and absolutely no traction? Yeah. πŸ™‚ Luckily I have a desk job, but it was still a really long day.

    On another day after that – well, I had a bag on my bike rack. I had panniers but I didn’t like to use them for my commute because I felt that they slowed me because of wind resistance (I tested it out, it wasn’t just an idle thought). So I put my shoes and raincoat in the bag, and strapped my jeans to the top of the bag. Well, after riding an hour to work I arrived to find that my jeans were no longer on my bike. Imagine my panic – I was going to have to go back and trace my steps over an hour long route, which would make me 2 or 2.5 hours late for work. All my normal stuff was in my jeans – my wallet, my card to get into my office building…had someone else picked up my jeans and I lost my drivers license and credit cards? And neither of this things was as bad as the prospect of spending the day wearing biker tights around the office! Holy crap – I’d rather be 2 hours late to work than do that.

    You can imagine my relief when I found my jeans lying on the sidewalk 4 blocks back – they had come loose when I hit the sidewalk bump. I was only 5 minutes late to work, I didn’t lose my id or credit cards, and I had normal jeans to wear for work…the first thing I did when I got home that night was get in my car, drive to the store, and buy an extra pair of jeans and shoes to leave at work so they’d never, ever, ever, ever fall off my bike again. πŸ™‚

  17. Murf

    Forgetting to pack an extra pair of socks/boxers on a rainy day. Forgetting your belt on the day you bring your “widest” pair of pants. Forgetting your wallet (as I don’t feel comfortable having it in my pockets when I ride). Forgetting to bring a tube. Forgetting your lock. Forgetting you had disconnected the breaks for maintenance when there’s an 1″ of ice outside. Forgetting what I forgot. Yeap, those all suck! But I guess you just end up being slightly wiser every time πŸ˜‰

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