So I'm entering my second week of commuting to work by bike. What have I learned from the experience so far? Not much really. It's pretty much been riding a bike as usual. I guess that's good and what bike commuting should be: not an extravagant production, but just get on your bike and ride.
My commute isn't far (9.8 miles each way) or very complex and technical. I pretty much head straight up a gentle climb from my house for about 3 miles and then turn right on a dead-straight residential street that dumps me out near work at the community college. At this point I have to cross a busy street (lots of traffic lights help) and then do a zig-zag through another neighborhood to get to the back entrance of the college.
From driveway to office door takes me 40 minutes.
One thing that has really helped is the Deuter backpack I picked up at Sierra Trading Post. It's not too large, has lots of compartments and straps to tighten/stabilize the load, comes with a built-in rainfly, and is constructed with an awesome mesh backing that keeps the pack off your back for non-sweaty performance.
I'm pretty lucky in that I can pretty much wear whatever to work, so I've stashed some jeans/shoes/socks in my office and bring in a clean shirt in the backpack. Do a little quick cleanup in the bathroom and I'm set. The bike stays parked next to my desk. Nice.
The weather has been beyond great for commuting by bike, and so what I need to thing some more about are the inclement days. I think I'll refurbish and tweak an old steel bike I have for the bad day rides. That'll be the real test...the bad weather days.