Well, the first full day of extra long commutes was a success. I was pretty worn out by the end of the day though....but I was carrying a lot of extra stuff with me. I had my Burley trailer pretty much completely filled with laundry (and basket). Figured I'd take advantage of my brother's absence by using his free washer and dryer. That was surprisingly heavy--I'd guess at least 40lbs.
I also had a my single pannier stuffed almost to overflowing....I had three days of lunch, a change of clothes, a pair of shoes, and a large hardback novel. Also a can of Cherry Coke Zero in my middle jersey pocket.
It's very slow going when carrying a load like this over long distance, but I always find it helps to keep the name of the bike in mind--"Long Haul Trucker". A cement truck might climb a hill slowly, but it gets to the top. With the gearing on my bike, I can carry over a hundred pounds in addition to myself and just spin at a relaxed pace up a hill--as long as I remember not to hurry. Sprints are inviting, but very much the natural enemy of the loaded bicycle rider.
I miscalculated on my savings, though--I actually saved $7 yesterday instead of $6. I can go with that.
Pictures from today's commute coming tonight.