Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 25854 times)

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #300 on: October 16, 2018, 12:28:51 PM »
Tailwind would be an annoying explanation. I was hoping this was a permanent change. :P

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #301 on: October 16, 2018, 01:24:25 PM »
Hi there! Can I join? I just switched jobs to one that is slightly closer. This new employer is lending me an ebike for the next six months with the caveat that I bike to work for at least 60% of my commutes. This is the start of week 2. The first week I biked 4 of 5 days. Today is Tuesday and the second day this week I have bikes so far.

My commute is about 9-10 miles each way. Technically someone other than me (stranger, more for, more time) would do this on a normal bike. The ebike was just that extra boost I needed to make the commute achievable with a bike for me. So far it is a ton of fun!

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #302 on: October 18, 2018, 05:01:59 AM »
Welcome, ysette9! I love my ebike. I would never be able to carry myself and DD on the 10 mile round trip journey to and from school, and then pedal myself an additional 10 miles to work were it not for pedal assist.

Iíve also just recently realized that I love having the speedometer on my bike. Itís fun seeing that Iím averaging a faster speed each week, and that Iím using less power to do so. I also like the odometer. My goal this year is to get to 1000km. Iím already over 800km. I know that is not much for some of the more avid cyclists, but Iím a newbie who only got my ebike last year, so this is a big deal for me.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #303 on: October 18, 2018, 07:32:18 AM »
Love this thread for motivation! Not a newbie, but not as consistent as I want to be.  Now that the cold air is settling in, I need to keep motivated to get out there before 6am.  Its hard to get going, but feels great when I get in.   

Switched to an electric bike this summer.  What a change.  I am definitely not as hard core as you folks completely under your own power, but I make my 10 mile commute each way and get to my office by 6:30am- I love the fact that I can do it without feeling wiped out at the end of the day.   My pedal assist is like having a tailwind on demand!  I am so spoiled.  With the extra help, and not trying to go crazy fast, my commute is about 42-44 minutes in to work, and 50 minutes home (more uphills/more traffic).  My e-bike was a costco buy.  I worked out the numbers when I bought it in May so that 130 days of riding to work will pay it off vs the parking near my downtown building - When I drive, its a nissan leaf, so didn't factor in gas and for simplicity, didn't bother with wear and tear comparisons.  So far, I have 92 more bike commuting days to break even.  :)

I hope to see more posts from others to give myself the needed kick-in-the-tailwind-region this winter and stay on my bike. 

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #304 on: October 18, 2018, 09:20:05 AM »
How much were your ebikes, if you don’t mind sharing? I haven’t priced any out yet as I still have 5 months to use this one. This one is really nice and apparently costs something like $4k. I find myself debating about the cost, and whether I can justify it for taking me off the road four days a week. But then again if I frame it as my mental and physical health, perhaps the numbers don’t have to add up? I do feel so wonderful on days I bike.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #305 on: October 18, 2018, 09:58:43 AM »
My commute's getting easier each day! At this point I'm clumsier about actually getting together everything I need than I am about the biking process. Yesterday it took me nearly as long to get out the door - kept having to go back for something I forgot - as it did to actually get to work.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #306 on: October 18, 2018, 10:23:34 AM »
My commute's getting easier each day! At this point I'm clumsier about actually getting together everything I need than I am about the biking process. Yesterday it took me nearly as long to get out the door - kept having to go back for something I forgot - as it did to actually get to work.
I agree that I am still clumsy about all of that also. I feel part of it is that I am adding gear over the first day I rode. Bike shorts (“butt shorts” as they are called in my household), bike gloves, wind breaker, little ear cover muff things to keep my ears warm in the morning. I am now looking into buying a sun visor to strap onto my helmet for the afternoon. I am going to look like such a fruitcake.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #307 on: October 18, 2018, 10:24:45 AM »
My commute's getting easier each day! At this point I'm clumsier about actually getting together everything I need than I am about the biking process. Yesterday it took me nearly as long to get out the door - kept having to go back for something I forgot - as it did to actually get to work.

Pack everything in your bag the night before.  Inflate your tires, put your lights and bottle* on your bike.  Then in the morning you just grab your bag and go.

* Don't do this when the temperature dips below frreezing.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #308 on: October 18, 2018, 11:58:45 AM »
I've already had a bike light stolen - I won't be putting that on the night before! My bike is in the garage 3 stories below my apartment. There's a lock on the bike room, but anyone from my complex could get access to it. (The bike is, of course, locked to a rack inside the locked room.)

I think more likely I can pack my bag the night before including with my light, water bottle, bungee net, and keys in it. Then rummage around in the morning to put them all in the right places on the bike.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #309 on: October 18, 2018, 01:16:54 PM »
I've already had a bike light stolen - I won't be putting that on the night before! My bike is in the garage 3 stories below my apartment. There's a lock on the bike room, but anyone from my complex could get access to it. (The bike is, of course, locked to a rack inside the locked room.)

I think more likely I can pack my bag the night before including with my light, water bottle, bungee net, and keys in it. Then rummage around in the morning to put them all in the right places on the bike.

Yeah, I was thinking more like in my garage.  Never leave stuff in a publicly accessible area.  Be very careful to lock your bike so that the wheels on QR skewers or QR seat posts can't be removed and stolen as well  . . . replacing a rear wheel is painfully expensive.

Just make a habit of leaving all your bike crap in the same location (ideally near the door) in your apartment then.  Same location is super important because it develops into a habit that you don't even have to think about.  When you're missing something it will scream out at you (front light is not to the left of my helmet!) after a while of doing this.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #310 on: October 18, 2018, 04:48:44 PM »
How much were your ebikes, if you donít mind sharing? I havenít priced any out yet as I still have 5 months to use this one. This one is really nice and apparently costs something like $4k. I find myself debating about the cost, and whether I can justify it for taking me off the road four days a week. But then again if I frame it as my mental and physical health, perhaps the numbers donít have to add up? I do feel so wonderful on days I bike.

My prices wonít apply to you, since Iím in China. I paid about $350 for my basic Chinese ebike. They do sell the exact same bike in the US for around $1000. The global (non-Chinese) website is https://www.uma.com/en

ETA: The English website is translated quite poorly. If in the off chance you can read Chinese, the site is https://www.uma.com.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 04:53:12 PM by Freedomin5 »

slipslop

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #311 on: October 18, 2018, 10:30:54 PM »
Just started week 2 of my first regular bike commute. It's a 5-mile commute with some great bike lanes on roads that aren't too scary. I'm on a hand-me-down bike, but I managed to adjust the rear derailleur so that I can get all 7 of the rear gears working. (Of course the chain fell off my front gears today, so that may be a fix for tomorrow.)

But new achievements every day. Yesterday I discovered that it hurts a lot less if I sit further back on my seat. Today I hit 16.5mph on a straightaway. A few days ago I started to feel stable enough that I'm not gripping the handlebars in terror for the whole ride. So far so good.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #312 on: October 18, 2018, 11:13:18 PM »
Just started week 2 of my first regular bike commute. It's a 5-mile commute with some great bike lanes on roads that aren't too scary. I'm on a hand-me-down bike, but I managed to adjust the rear derailleur so that I can get all 7 of the rear gears working. (Of course the chain fell off my front gears today, so that may be a fix for tomorrow.)

But new achievements every day. Yesterday I discovered that it hurts a lot less if I sit further back on my seat. Today I hit 16.5mph on a straightaway. A few days ago I started to feel stable enough that I'm not gripping the handlebars in terror for the whole ride. So far so good.
Awesome!

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/ has a buttload of tutorials for fixing everything on any bike(like tuning a front derailleur).

Where does it hurt? Finding the right saddle can take time. Local bike shops will sometimes measure your sit bone width to help you find the right seat.

slipslop

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #313 on: October 19, 2018, 05:54:38 AM »
https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/ has a buttload of tutorials for fixing everything on any bike(like tuning a front derailleur).

Where does it hurt? Finding the right saddle can take time. Local bike shops will sometimes measure your sit bone width to help you find the right seat.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look.

I suspect that I'm having a couple of problems, which I'm slowly figuring out (much thanks to this thread, in fact.) The first was some chafing. I've started wearing bike shorts as underwear and that seems to help. The other problem is perineum soreness, and I think it's that I'm sitting too far forward on the saddle. When I push myself backwards, onto my buttocks, I'm much more comfortable. I'll likely try making some saddle adjustments over the weekend to see if I can push myself into a better position.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #314 on: October 19, 2018, 07:06:05 AM »
https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/ has a buttload of tutorials for fixing everything on any bike(like tuning a front derailleur).

Where does it hurt? Finding the right saddle can take time. Local bike shops will sometimes measure your sit bone width to help you find the right seat.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look.

I suspect that I'm having a couple of problems, which I'm slowly figuring out (much thanks to this thread, in fact.) The first was some chafing. I've started wearing bike shorts as underwear and that seems to help. The other problem is perineum soreness, and I think it's that I'm sitting too far forward on the saddle. When I push myself backwards, onto my buttocks, I'm much more comfortable. I'll likely try making some saddle adjustments over the weekend to see if I can push myself into a better position.

If you find yourself sliding forward in the saddle, it's possible that you've got your saddle tilted with the nose slightly down.  Try to level it out a bit and see if that improves things.  It's also possible that your saddle is set a bit too far back on the rails (or that your stem is too long) if you find that you naturally feel like you want to sit at the nose all the time.  Try moving the saddle forward a few millimeters or putting on a shorter stem if this is the case.

Raenia

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #315 on: October 19, 2018, 08:46:11 AM »
After a few setbacks, I finally got the bike out again yesterday to run errands.  My rear light had broken and I wasn't comfortable riding without a light on my roads, but I finally ordered a new one.  I should be able to set up a crate on the rack, as well, which will hopefully be more comfortable than riding with a backpack.  I've also figured out that part of why it feels like it takes just as long to bike as to walk, is actually just getting the bike outside - we don't have a bike rack at our apartment building, which means I have to keep it in the storage locker in the basement.  Every time I want to bike, I have to go down, unlock the storage area, unlock our locker, pull the bike out, relock everything, haul it up a flight of stairs and out the door, and then I can finally walk it to the curb and get on.  Then the whole thing in reverse when I get back - open the main door with my keyfob, hold the door from closing while lifting the bike over the step/threshold, carry it down the stairs, etc.  It's a massive pain in the ass, but I don't think I have any better option right now.  I'll just have to push through the annoyance until we move next year.

In other news, riding in the cold sucks!  I need to get some gloves, and possibly grab a scarf to keep my neck warmer next time.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #316 on: October 19, 2018, 08:49:21 AM »
https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/ has a buttload of tutorials for fixing everything on any bike(like tuning a front derailleur).

Where does it hurt? Finding the right saddle can take time. Local bike shops will sometimes measure your sit bone width to help you find the right seat.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look.

I suspect that I'm having a couple of problems, which I'm slowly figuring out (much thanks to this thread, in fact.) The first was some chafing. I've started wearing bike shorts as underwear and that seems to help. The other problem is perineum soreness, and I think it's that I'm sitting too far forward on the saddle. When I push myself backwards, onto my buttocks, I'm much more comfortable. I'll likely try making some saddle adjustments over the weekend to see if I can push myself into a better position.
Not to delve too deeply into sensitive topics, but I want to ask about not wearing underwear with bike shorts. A friend of mine strongly discouraged me from wearing underwear and alluded to all sorts of disastrous consequences if I did. I only have one pair right now and don’t do laundry every day, so I’ve been wearing underwear. Is that going to lead to gangrene and losing important bits of my body or something equally catastrophic?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #317 on: October 19, 2018, 09:07:41 AM »
https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/ has a buttload of tutorials for fixing everything on any bike(like tuning a front derailleur).

Where does it hurt? Finding the right saddle can take time. Local bike shops will sometimes measure your sit bone width to help you find the right seat.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look.

I suspect that I'm having a couple of problems, which I'm slowly figuring out (much thanks to this thread, in fact.) The first was some chafing. I've started wearing bike shorts as underwear and that seems to help. The other problem is perineum soreness, and I think it's that I'm sitting too far forward on the saddle. When I push myself backwards, onto my buttocks, I'm much more comfortable. I'll likely try making some saddle adjustments over the weekend to see if I can push myself into a better position.
Not to delve too deeply into sensitive topics, but I want to ask about not wearing underwear with bike shorts. A friend of mine strongly discouraged me from wearing underwear and alluded to all sorts of disastrous consequences if I did. I only have one pair right now and donít do laundry every day, so Iíve been wearing underwear. Is that going to lead to gangrene and losing important bits of my body or something equally catastrophic?

Underwear has seams in areas where you tend to put pressure on your saddle.  You're more likely to get chafing and sore spots wearing underwear under bike shorts, and the underwear prevents the bike shorts from wicking sweat away from your ass.  Chafing can lead to skin infections (and the dreaded saddle sores) so it's generally recommended not to wear underwear under bike shorts.  Wearing bike shorts multiple times in a row can also lead to infections (and the dreaded saddle sores), so it's not recommended as well.

You might get away with either while going short distances in cooler weather (especially if you're having a shower immediately after your rides), but probably best to get a couple more pairs of shorts (fall is a good time to pick up discounted stuff on sale) so you don't have to worry about this as much.  It sucks to have to stop using your bike because you've got an oozing sore spot on your arse.  :P

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #318 on: October 19, 2018, 09:08:57 AM »
After a few setbacks, I finally got the bike out again yesterday to run errands.  My rear light had broken and I wasn't comfortable riding without a light on my roads, but I finally ordered a new one.  I should be able to set up a crate on the rack, as well, which will hopefully be more comfortable than riding with a backpack.  I've also figured out that part of why it feels like it takes just as long to bike as to walk, is actually just getting the bike outside - we don't have a bike rack at our apartment building, which means I have to keep it in the storage locker in the basement.  Every time I want to bike, I have to go down, unlock the storage area, unlock our locker, pull the bike out, relock everything, haul it up a flight of stairs and out the door, and then I can finally walk it to the curb and get on.  Then the whole thing in reverse when I get back - open the main door with my keyfob, hold the door from closing while lifting the bike over the step/threshold, carry it down the stairs, etc.  It's a massive pain in the ass, but I don't think I have any better option right now.  I'll just have to push through the annoyance until we move next year.

In other news, riding in the cold sucks!  I need to get some gloves, and possibly grab a scarf to keep my neck warmer next time.
How cold is “cold” for you? I am a total wimp in that department.
I got these little ear cover thingies to protect my ears from the cold without having something that went over that head and interferes with my helmet. That has made the morning ride more pleasant.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #319 on: October 19, 2018, 10:11:58 AM »
@slipsop @ysette9 @GuitarStv I heard cotton was the enemy. Ever since switching to these undies I've been feelin' fine: https://www.target.com/p/men-s-power-cool-long-leg-boxer-briefs-2pk-2-free-pairs-c9-champion-174/-/A-53786634

Target regularly has 25% off deals on Champion brand stuff.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #320 on: October 19, 2018, 10:31:16 AM »
https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/ has a buttload of tutorials for fixing everything on any bike(like tuning a front derailleur).

Where does it hurt? Finding the right saddle can take time. Local bike shops will sometimes measure your sit bone width to help you find the right seat.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look.

I suspect that I'm having a couple of problems, which I'm slowly figuring out (much thanks to this thread, in fact.) The first was some chafing. I've started wearing bike shorts as underwear and that seems to help. The other problem is perineum soreness, and I think it's that I'm sitting too far forward on the saddle. When I push myself backwards, onto my buttocks, I'm much more comfortable. I'll likely try making some saddle adjustments over the weekend to see if I can push myself into a better position.
Not to delve too deeply into sensitive topics, but I want to ask about not wearing underwear with bike shorts. A friend of mine strongly discouraged me from wearing underwear and alluded to all sorts of disastrous consequences if I did. I only have one pair right now and donít do laundry every day, so Iíve been wearing underwear. Is that going to lead to gangrene and losing important bits of my body or something equally catastrophic?

Underwear has seams in areas where you tend to put pressure on your saddle.  You're more likely to get chafing and sore spots wearing underwear under bike shorts, and the underwear prevents the bike shorts from wicking sweat away from your ass.  Chafing can lead to skin infections (and the dreaded saddle sores) so it's generally recommended not to wear underwear under bike shorts.  Wearing bike shorts multiple times in a row can also lead to infections (and the dreaded saddle sores), so it's not recommended as well.

You might get away with either while going short distances in cooler weather (especially if you're having a shower immediately after your rides), but probably best to get a couple more pairs of shorts (fall is a good time to pick up discounted stuff on sale) so you don't have to worry about this as much.  It sucks to have to stop using your bike because you've got an oozing sore spot on your arse.  :P

If you're not going too far, or getting too sweaty, it may be fine. However, if you're female, you can also add recurrent yeast infections to the list of risks. It's a bigger problem in summer, so you may get away with it for the next few months.

Ditto the advice to just buy more bike shorts. The good news is that they take forever to wear out, especially if you keep them out of the dryer, so whatever you buy will last.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #321 on: October 19, 2018, 03:36:42 PM »
After a few setbacks, I finally got the bike out again yesterday to run errands.  My rear light had broken and I wasn't comfortable riding without a light on my roads, but I finally ordered a new one.  I should be able to set up a crate on the rack, as well, which will hopefully be more comfortable than riding with a backpack.  I've also figured out that part of why it feels like it takes just as long to bike as to walk, is actually just getting the bike outside - we don't have a bike rack at our apartment building, which means I have to keep it in the storage locker in the basement.  Every time I want to bike, I have to go down, unlock the storage area, unlock our locker, pull the bike out, relock everything, haul it up a flight of stairs and out the door, and then I can finally walk it to the curb and get on.  Then the whole thing in reverse when I get back - open the main door with my keyfob, hold the door from closing while lifting the bike over the step/threshold, carry it down the stairs, etc.  It's a massive pain in the ass, but I don't think I have any better option right now.  I'll just have to push through the annoyance until we move next year.

In other news, riding in the cold sucks!  I need to get some gloves, and possibly grab a scarf to keep my neck warmer next time.
How cold is ďcoldĒ for you? I am a total wimp in that department.
I got these little ear cover thingies to protect my ears from the cold without having something that went over that head and interferes with my helmet. That has made the morning ride more pleasant.

It's not that cold, I'm just a wimp about it.  It's certainly going to get a lot worse this winter.  I hate being cold!  And the wind really cuts through you when you're moving fast.  I'll have to look into ear warmers for when winter really sets in.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #322 on: October 21, 2018, 10:20:54 AM »

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #323 on: October 21, 2018, 09:56:53 PM »
I started biking to work in late June, and also ramped up my biking for errands.  The first week of July, I needed to gas up my car, formerly my daily driver for a couple of dentist appointments that I couldn't quite find a safe biking route to.  I spent $10, which doesn't get you much gas in California. 

Yesterday, I finally needed more gas for a trip to the warehouse club, 3.5 months later.  Can't complain too much about 10 bucks getting me through more than a quarter of the year. 

We do have a family car that sees regular use, including my DW driving to work every day.  If I can keep this up on my car, we'll have to look seriously into whether we can get rid of it.  There have been a few times where the second car has been convenient, such as when DW's car battery completely died, but is that worth $600/year in insurance/registration, plus maintenance (and gas, I suppose)? 

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #324 on: October 21, 2018, 10:32:23 PM »
I ordered a sun visor to attach to my helmet and a pair of padded bike pants. If they work well I’ll get another pair so I can have two pants and a short in rotation, and hopefully be able to wash them frequently enough. You peeps have scared me into ditching the knickers while riding. :)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #325 on: October 22, 2018, 07:18:52 AM »
I ordered a sun visor to attach to my helmet and a pair of padded bike pants. If they work well Iíll get another pair so I can have two pants and a short in rotation, and hopefully be able to wash them frequently enough. You peeps have scared me into ditching the knickers while riding. :)

You might get better use out of a cycling cap rather than a sun visor.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #326 on: October 22, 2018, 08:38:10 AM »
I ordered a sun visor to attach to my helmet and a pair of padded bike pants. If they work well Iíll get another pair so I can have two pants and a short in rotation, and hopefully be able to wash them frequently enough. You peeps have scared me into ditching the knickers while riding. :)

You might get better use out of a cycling cap rather than a sun visor.

Are sun visors and cycling caps better than simply wearing sunglasses?

Villanelle

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #327 on: October 22, 2018, 08:47:10 AM »
This spring, I will be moving to a place that seems like it would be very bike friendly. (DC metro area) Husband and I are even in conversations about finally making the jump to one car.  (I'm askeered!) 

I own a bike.  It weighs approximately a zillion pounds and is too tall for me.  My feet either barely touch the ground, making it very difficult to get started (especially because it weighs so much!) or if I lower the seat more, then my knees are in my chest as a pedal.  In other words, I need a new bike.

If I walk in to a bike shop and explain what I want the bike for (local errands of probably 5 miles max, and most likely much less than than), knowing very little about bikes, will they be able to help me with everything I know.  I have significant social anxiety and one of my worst triggers is situations with strangers where I feel stupid and clueless, so while this may seem like a stupid question, I need to feel prepared.  So maybe I'm just looking for some reassurance that this isn't an unusual situation and the bike store folks won't bat an eye and will be able to help me. 

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #328 on: October 22, 2018, 09:13:17 AM »
If I walk in to a bike shop and explain what I want the bike for (local errands of probably 5 miles max, and most likely much less than than), knowing very little about bikes, will they be able to help me with everything I know. 

That should be no problem for most any bike shop, but be prepared to visit a couple. Some shops cater more to different groups such as the racing roadie or dude bro mountain biker.  Ask the guys at the shop if any of them ride to work and what they ride...

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #329 on: October 22, 2018, 09:53:31 AM »
I ordered a sun visor to attach to my helmet and a pair of padded bike pants. If they work well Iíll get another pair so I can have two pants and a short in rotation, and hopefully be able to wash them frequently enough. You peeps have scared me into ditching the knickers while riding. :)

You might get better use out of a cycling cap rather than a sun visor.

Are sun visors and cycling caps better than simply wearing sunglasses?

Sometimes (especially in the morning) just blocking sun at a particular angle is much more effective than wearing sunglasses.  A cycling cap can work as a sweatband on hot days as well (although if you sweat a lot it will only work for a limited time, and they do tend to keep your head a bit warmer . . . so YMMV).  Generally I'd much prefer sunglasses if the problem is the sun and it's a hot day.  Choosing between a visor and a cap, I'd go cap every time though.

Cycling caps rock for riding in the rain as they tend to keep the worst of the road spray off your glasses (and tend to keep your head warmer).

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #330 on: October 22, 2018, 10:18:01 AM »
The problem is that the sun is at an angle so it manages to sneak around the side edge of my sunglasses. I end up tilting my head to the side in an attempt to block the sun with my helmet, leading to a crick in my neck.

I did end up ordering an attach-on visor thingie that is made for racing, so it should be able to handle the wind of my ebike speed. :) I am prepared for it looking ridiculously dorky, but it will just fit in with the bike (butt) shorts and gloves and everything else. :)

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #331 on: October 22, 2018, 11:04:43 AM »
If I walk in to a bike shop and explain what I want the bike for (local errands of probably 5 miles max, and most likely much less than than), knowing very little about bikes, will they be able to help me with everything I know. 

That should be no problem for most any bike shop, but be prepared to visit a couple. Some shops cater more to different groups such as the racing roadie or dude bro mountain biker.  Ask the guys at the shop if any of them ride to work and what they ride...

You should be just fine in nearly any bike shop. Getting new people to ride is fantastic for their business (new customers!) so they should be very accommodating. Wear comfy clothes and if you already have a helmet, bring it. You'll want to test ride a few different bikes on the streets nearby.

Ask the staff where it's safe to ride nearby and make sure you test the bikes on terrain that's similar to where you plan to ride (aka hills, traffic, gravel, whatever). When you find a bike that you just want to keep riding and don't want to take back to the shop then you've found the right one :-)

If there's some specific thing about the bike you don't like (seat, tires, handlebars, etc) ask if it can be changed if you buy the bike. I've done this with all the bikes I've bought. Seat changes are so common, most shops have a bin of extra seats somewhere they use to swap onto new bikes.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #332 on: October 22, 2018, 04:25:22 PM »
I ordered a sun visor to attach to my helmet and a pair of padded bike pants. If they work well Iíll get another pair so I can have two pants and a short in rotation, and hopefully be able to wash them frequently enough. You peeps have scared me into ditching the knickers while riding. :)

You might get better use out of a cycling cap rather than a sun visor.

Are sun visors and cycling caps better than simply wearing sunglasses?

Sometimes (especially in the morning) just blocking sun at a particular angle is much more effective than wearing sunglasses.  A cycling cap can work as a sweatband on hot days as well (although if you sweat a lot it will only work for a limited time, and they do tend to keep your head a bit warmer . . . so YMMV).  Generally I'd much prefer sunglasses if the problem is the sun and it's a hot day.  Choosing between a visor and a cap, I'd go cap every time though.

Cycling caps rock for riding in the rain as they tend to keep the worst of the road spray off your glasses (and tend to keep your head warmer).
The problem is that the sun is at an angle so it manages to sneak around the side edge of my sunglasses. I end up tilting my head to the side in an attempt to block the sun with my helmet, leading to a crick in my neck.

I did end up ordering an attach-on visor thingie that is made for racing, so it should be able to handle the wind of my ebike speed. :) I am prepared for it looking ridiculously dorky, but it will just fit in with the bike (butt) shorts and gloves and everything else. :)

Gotcha. Thanks!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #333 on: October 22, 2018, 04:50:35 PM »
Cold weather Pro-Tips:
1)  Bar Mitts (aka Pogies)!  About $50 a pair (ouch), but you get neoprene over-mitts to hide your hands in.  Available for both flat-bar (mountain bike style) and drop-bar road bike style.  Cold hands suck.  These things are good for both cold and/or wet conditions.  Mine take about 2 minutes to put on the bike, so in shoulder seasons like now I'll take them off if the next few days look nice, or leave them one for months at a shot once the Oregon dreariness sets in for good.

2)  Dry-bag for your work clothes.  A $10-15 investment gets you a decent 10-15 liter dry bag for your work clothes.  Grocery bags are cheaper, but leak and get holes easily.  Waterproof panniers are even nicer, but also very pricey.  If you have cheap panniers, or just use a day pack, a dry bag will be plenty to protect your phone/wallet/clothes/etc just fine.  You may have one already in your backpacking gear if you are into that sort of thing.

3)  Gloves dryer.  I hang my gloves on the back edge of my tower PC at work, and the warm air drys them in no time.

4)  Store spare rain gear at work.  My worn out rain jacket/pants live at work.  Sometimes the weather is fine in the morning and I forget to take the "good stuff", so it is nice to have a set of functional beater gear in my cube to get home dry'ish in.

5)  Stage your bike gear the night before!  I am brain dead in the morning (especially when getting up pre-dawn), so I put my bike clothes in the bathroom, pack my pannier with work clothes+wallet+etc, and put my bike shoes+helmet+gloves+vest together next to the breakfast table.  In the morning I stumble to the bathroom, emerging dressed, feed the kid, and don the rest as I walk out the door to take the kid to the bus stop.  Half the time about a mile into the ride as blood/calories finally reach my brain I go through a slight panic about fearing I forgot something, usually it is nothing worse than forgetting to grab something for lunch.

6)  Stage lunches and spare clothes!  A couple frozen pucks from Trader Joe's (or wherever) can bail you out if you forgot to grab your lunch from the fridge on your way out the door.  Not as good as home cooking, but still better than eating out.  A spare set of work clothes bail you out if you forgot to pack something, or if your cheap plastic grocery bag let things get soaked.  Spare workout clothes are nice to get a run in at lunch, or to get home in if your morning cycling clothes got soaked and failed to dry out.  Keep a $20 in your desk in case you manage to forget both your wallet and already ate your backup frozen pucks.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 05:15:07 PM by moof »

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #334 on: October 22, 2018, 09:28:48 PM »
You’ve got me curious: what is a frozen puck?

moof

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #335 on: October 23, 2018, 08:20:41 AM »
Youíve got me curious: what is a frozen puck?
$3-4 frozen meal in a black tray.  They remind me of a hockey puck, and taste marginally better.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #336 on: October 23, 2018, 04:22:48 PM »
Occasionally I hit a perfect tailwind while going somewhere and it's incredible.  You feel light, powerful, and like an unstoppable force.  Then you go waaaaayyy too far and end up paying for it on the return trip.  :P
The best tailwinds I've experienced have been occasional summertime rides home. Unfortunately the wind rarely shifted before the morning ride, so a headwind battle to work AND the wind direction was not right for bringing cooler air at night, so hotter than average ride home the next day. In winter, wind from that direction is usually accompanied by wet weather that has me seeking rides on the bus instead of riding my bike.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #337 on: October 23, 2018, 04:59:53 PM »
Occasionally I hit a perfect tailwind while going somewhere and it's incredible.  You feel light, powerful, and like an unstoppable force.  Then you go waaaaayyy too far and end up paying for it on the return trip.  :P
The best tailwinds I've experienced have been occasional summertime rides home. Unfortunately the wind rarely shifted before the morning ride, so a headwind battle to work AND the wind direction was not right for bringing cooler air at night, so hotter than average ride home the next day. In winter, wind from that direction is usually accompanied by wet weather that has me seeking rides on the bus instead of riding my bike.

We get a lot of the leftover weather from hurricanes and tropical storms that hit Florida, which just means some rain, lightning and wind.  The best I've cycled with was a 50 kph tailwind with gusts to 65.  You can just put your feet up and the bike will start moving in that weather.  I'm close to 200 lbs and generally have no issues controlling the bike, but at those speeds the crosswind is quite challenging to deal with.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #338 on: October 23, 2018, 06:05:07 PM »
What is your commuting attire?

I live in an area where there is 4 seasons and since my commuting started in November I’ve been through many trial & error clothing sessions on what to wear in what weather condition.

I may not wear what others would choose or advise in certain circumstances but I’ve found what is efficient and comfortable for me.  But there may be something better out there I haven’t tried so I’m interested in hearing what other commuters wear or if they have any attire hacks....or attire failures!

This is what I wear in 65°F & above:

-Plain ol’ t-shirt.  I’ve yet to find a sweat-wicking material I like the feel of (including bike jerseys) so I don’t own any.  This serves me well and with my short commuting distance, I’ve never been uncomfortable.
-Green fluorescent vest.  I may trust drivers enough to commute on the road with them, but that trust only goes so far.  If I can draw attention to myself from a distracted driver, I will.
-Shorts: I don’t wear padded shorts underneath.  I just wear a pair of 97% nylon 3% spandex hiking shorts. Super comfortable and a tad stretchy.
-Wool socks
-Sunglasses
-Gloves: these are not a necessity but I prefer the feel of the gloves rather than having naked hands.

As for rain, I usually take a rain coat but have never once worn it....if it’s pouring I’ll usually stay at work a little longer until it passes and if it’s a light rain I’ll just get a little wet.




This is what I wear in 60-64°F

-Plain ol’ t-shirt. 
-Hoodie
-Green fluorescent vest.
-Shorts: I don’t wear padded shorts underneath.  I just wear a pair of 97% nylon 3% spandex hiking shorts. Super comfortable and a tad stretchy.
-Wool socks
-Sunglasses
-Gloves: these are not a necessity but I prefer the feel of the gloves rather than having naked hands.





What I wear in 50-59°F

-Plain ol’ t-shirt. 
-Hoodie
-Green fluorescent jacket
-Bike pants (the ones I wear are the REI Co-Op brand)
-Wool socks
-Full fingered gloves (these are Pearl Izumi and rated to 20°, but I am extremely sensitive to cold and switch to non-cycling winter gloves in the 30’s)
-Buff to keep my neck, ears, and face warm

SeaKayEl

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #339 on: October 23, 2018, 06:10:14 PM »
It’s good to see all the activity in this thread!!

I’m coming up on my one year commuting anniversary

Also, I don’t know about what the weather is like where everyone else is but here in MA, one morning this week we got into the 20’s!  What happened to fall??

Last winter I figured out what will keep me warm down to 0° (which was my threshold—although last year I think the lowest I rode in was 2°).  And snow accumulation will also keep me off my bike until the roads/paths are clear.

Who puts studded tires on?? I think last year mine went on at the beginning of December.

Here’s to winter riding

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #340 on: October 24, 2018, 07:49:41 PM »
Just had to share this photo from my ride yesterday.

I'd just like to point out the 1) red light, 2) massive thoroughfare during rush hour; you can't really tell but there are 8 lanes of traffic -- all those cars had the right of way as it was a green left turn light, 3) the fact that the old guy thought his motorized scooter could take on all of the cars. And it's not even like he had to wait that long. There was literally only THREE SECONDS left before the light changed to green.

Last week, I watched a coach bus (the Greyhound-type bus) hit a guy on a scooter. The scooter guy was wrong because he ran a red light going the wrong way in traffic right into the path of the left-turning bus.

On Tuesday, I saw the aftermath of a taxi who had hit a guy on the bike. The guy was in the bike lane crossing an intersection (he had the right of way); the taxi was turning right and apparently did not look before making the right turn. Cars often don't look or signal before turning or changing lanes.

This is what I put up with Every. Single. Day. I still like biking though because it's the fastest way to get where I need to go, and as long as you bike slowly and stay alert, you're generally okay. But all of you who talk about biking to work along a nature trail or whatnot are blessed beyond belief.

Money Badger

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #341 on: October 24, 2018, 09:04:39 PM »
Keep up the good work Freedomin5!

On my quest, the old bike has been upgraded!   New derailleur to fix the slipping gears, brakes, tires, a rear rack that will hold panniers if I get really motivated about this and a kick-ass USB-rechargeable headlight (thanks GuitarStv) plus a new MIPS helmet.   Promised myself this would have to do until I drop 20 lbs and get my fitness level up to where it needs to be...   Last bit is the cold weather bar mitts.   Then my reward will be a new ride in 6 months or so after I see how the bike (and my motivation) hold up through the winter months.

JanetJackson

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #342 on: October 25, 2018, 07:10:51 AM »
Just had to share this photo from my ride yesterday.

I'd just like to point out the 1) red light, 2) massive thoroughfare during rush hour; you can't really tell but there are 8 lanes of traffic -- all those cars had the right of way as it was a green left turn light, 3) the fact that the old guy thought his motorized scooter could take on all of the cars. And it's not even like he had to wait that long. There was literally only THREE SECONDS left before the light changed to green.

Last week, I watched a coach bus (the Greyhound-type bus) hit a guy on a scooter. The scooter guy was wrong because he ran a red light going the wrong way in traffic right into the path of the left-turning bus.

On Tuesday, I saw the aftermath of a taxi who had hit a guy on the bike. The guy was in the bike lane crossing an intersection (he had the right of way); the taxi was turning right and apparently did not look before making the right turn. Cars often don't look or signal before turning or changing lanes.

This is what I put up with Every. Single. Day. I still like biking though because it's the fastest way to get where I need to go, and as long as you bike slowly and stay alert, you're generally okay. But all of you who talk about biking to work along a nature trail or whatnot are blessed beyond belief.

Wow Wow WOW.
There's a dude who rides his motorized wheelchair/scooter directly along the center line of the busy road that I car commute home on.  He just powers ahead with a really obstinate look on his face and I guess so far hasn't been hit.  People do honk a lot though, because there's no berm and we pass maaaaybe a foot away from him.
My cycling endeavors have been nonexistent lately, as it's getting cold and I am a weak small baby who hates the cold weather more than almost anything.  I'd rather be punched directly in the face than walk outside for more than 30 minutes when it's snowing... that's how awful a person I am.
Working on being a better human.  Maybe I'll get to 31 minutes this winter.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #343 on: October 25, 2018, 07:33:53 AM »
I've seen old people on motorized scooters driving down the middle of the road, and driving up the wrong way lane of road right next to an empty sidewalk.  I've never really understood the reasoning . . . originally thought that maybe they couldn't get up onto the sidewalk because of a lip or something, but I've seen them on occasion drive by 5-6 driveway entrances that are perfectly accessible.  ???

There are several types of vehicles that I've developed special rules for when cycling in Toronto:
Taxis:  They will close pass you, drive in bike lanes, cut you off, go through an intersection when it's not their right of way, switch back and forth between lanes unpredictably, run reds.
City Buses:  City buses stop often, but around here at least it's very rare for them to signal when they're going to pull away from the curb and start back up again, and they often don't use their mirrors.  (They also run red lights a surprising amount.)  I try to give a wide berth when passing a stopped city bus.
Big Transport Trucks:  This is mostly a visibility thing . . . I'm very careful never to go into blind spots or pass on the right.  Generally I'd say that transports are more predictable than regular traffic, but that can lull you into a false sense of security.
Luxury cars: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla . . . I've found that these cars are more likely to close pass than generic cheaper brand cars.  For such expensive cars you would think that they would come with turn signals as standard equipment, but judging by the amount of signalling I see from them, this is not the case.
Shiny New Looking Pickup Trucks:  I get a lot of aggressive driving in general from people in these vehicles.  Revving engines, close passes, screeching tires, slamming on brakes.  Behavior seems to be worse outside of the city when you're cycling in the middle of nowhere, they're much less of a problem in busy traffic.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #344 on: October 25, 2018, 12:59:13 PM »
On Tuesday, I saw the aftermath of a taxi who had hit a guy on the bike. The guy was in the bike lane crossing an intersection (he had the right of way); the taxi was turning right and apparently did not look before making the right turn. Cars often don't look or signal before turning or changing lanes.
The right hook (or left hook in lands where drivers sit on the right side of the car instead of driving the car on the right side of the road) is the most common problem for cyclists. Most motorists are at least a little aware that a cycle might be coming if there is a marked cycle lane making them slightly more likely to look and/or signal. One intersection I frequent has a bit of a jog to the right on the street I ride on, so from one direction the lanes turn about 45 degrees to the right just before the intersection. I'm in the habit of always signalling my slight left to continue on the street as so many motorists turning right fail to signal or look at that point. The timing of the lights and traffic mean I'm almost always passing cars that had been waiting at a red as I approach the intersection. I'm sure more than a few motorists who failed to signal their right turn have been a bit miffed when suddenly a cyclist at full speed is signaling in front of them and crossing their path (I don't cross the path of right turning vehicles that do signal - probably about 1 in 3 cars not signaling at this intersection turn right).

There are several types of vehicles that I've developed special rules for when cycling in Toronto:
Taxis:  They will close pass you, drive in bike lanes, cut you off, go through an intersection when it's not their right of way, switch back and forth between lanes unpredictably, run reds.
City Buses:  City buses stop often, but around here at least it's very rare for them to signal when they're going to pull away from the curb and start back up again, and they often don't use their mirrors.  (They also run red lights a surprising amount.)  I try to give a wide berth when passing a stopped city bus.
Big Transport Trucks:  This is mostly a visibility thing . . . I'm very careful never to go into blind spots or pass on the right.  Generally I'd say that transports are more predictable than regular traffic, but that can lull you into a false sense of security.
Luxury cars: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla . . . I've found that these cars are more likely to close pass than generic cheaper brand cars.  For such expensive cars you would think that they would come with turn signals as standard equipment, but judging by the amount of signalling I see from them, this is not the case.
Shiny New Looking Pickup Trucks:  I get a lot of aggressive driving in general from people in these vehicles.  Revving engines, close passes, screeching tires, slamming on brakes.  Behavior seems to be worse outside of the city when you're cycling in the middle of nowhere, they're much less of a problem in busy traffic.
Your vehicle classifications seem universal (though I'd add SUVs with the pickups) and perhaps my city is better at training bus drivers to signal. I always get aggravated when an aggressive driver honks at me for taking a lane - particularly when I'm in a lane with painted sharrows and multiple lanes in my travel direction.

SeaKayEl

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #345 on: October 26, 2018, 05:15:34 AM »
Keep up the good work Freedomin5!

On my quest, the old bike has been upgraded!   New derailleur to fix the slipping gears, brakes, tires, a rear rack that will hold panniers if I get really motivated about this and a kick-ass USB-rechargeable headlight (thanks GuitarStv) plus a new MIPS helmet.   Promised myself this would have to do until I drop 20 lbs and get my fitness level up to where it needs to be...   Last bit is the cold weather bar mitts.   Then my reward will be a new ride in 6 months or so after I see how the bike (and my motivation) hold up through the winter months.

Right on Money Badger!

If you don’t want to spend money on bar mitts, you substitute them for good set of winter gloves.  I’ve found they work great, keep my fingers/hands warm, and they have allowed me to avoid buying bar mitts!

SeaKayEl

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #346 on: October 26, 2018, 05:22:47 AM »
I've seen old people on motorized scooters driving down the middle of the road, and driving up the wrong way lane of road right next to an empty sidewalk.  I've never really understood the reasoning . . . originally thought that maybe they couldn't get up onto the sidewalk because of a lip or something, but I've seen them on occasion drive by 5-6 driveway entrances that are perfectly accessible.  ???

There are several types of vehicles that I've developed special rules for when cycling in Toronto:
Taxis:  They will close pass you, drive in bike lanes, cut you off, go through an intersection when it's not their right of way, switch back and forth between lanes unpredictably, run reds.
City Buses:  City buses stop often, but around here at least it's very rare for them to signal when they're going to pull away from the curb and start back up again, and they often don't use their mirrors.  (They also run red lights a surprising amount.)  I try to give a wide berth when passing a stopped city bus.
Big Transport Trucks:  This is mostly a visibility thing . . . I'm very careful never to go into blind spots or pass on the right.  Generally I'd say that transports are more predictable than regular traffic, but that can lull you into a false sense of security.
Luxury cars: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla . . . I've found that these cars are more likely to close pass than generic cheaper brand cars.  For such expensive cars you would think that they would come with turn signals as standard equipment, but judging by the amount of signalling I see from them, this is not the case.
Shiny New Looking Pickup Trucks:  I get a lot of aggressive driving in general from people in these vehicles.  Revving engines, close passes, screeching tires, slamming on brakes.  Behavior seems to be worse outside of the city when you're cycling in the middle of nowhere, they're much less of a problem in busy traffic.

I don’t Commute in a city, so I can’t relate to all your examples, but what I have noticed is a consistent attitude of “this road is meant for cars.”

On my route to work I come up on a t-intersection.  There is a stop sign on the road I travel on and I end up taking a right.  The road is a single lane road, but when you get to the stop sign there is a dedicated turn right lane and a dedicated turn left lane.  This stop sign is usually backed up because of morning traffic.  Cars will be passing me as we both approach the intersection, so they are well aware that there is a bike on the road (there is no dedicated bike lane).  Without fail, there is always at least one car that will get as close to the curb as possible, blocking my ability to ride past (even though the lane is big enough for the both of us).

I am going to make it a point to see what types of cars do this and see if it matches with your pattern above, GuitarStv...

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #347 on: October 26, 2018, 06:51:57 PM »
Re: the right hook.  My take is drivers committing the hook (or near hook) arenít accustomed to cyclists riding at ďroad bikeĒ speed.  They underestimate the speed the cyclist is moving and think they can safely make the turn without a conflict.  Iíve seen it happen multiple times where the driver has the ďoh sh1tĒ look when they realize the cyclist is still next to them when they try to make the turn. The only way to prevent it is to be aware of your surroundings.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 06:54:50 PM by Debts_of_Despair »

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #348 on: October 27, 2018, 03:07:05 PM »
Re: the right hook.  My take is drivers committing the hook (or near hook) arenít accustomed to cyclists riding at ďroad bikeĒ speed.  They underestimate the speed the cyclist is moving and think they can safely make the turn without a conflict.  Iíve seen it happen multiple times where the driver has the ďoh sh1tĒ look when they realize the cyclist is still next to them when they try to make the turn. The only way to prevent it is to be aware of your surroundings.

The other way to avoid it is to never pass a vehicle on the right when it's slowing or signalling at an intersection.  At intersections shoulder check, and if it's clear pass the vehicle on the left (or come to a stop and wait if it's not safe to do so).

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #349 on: October 27, 2018, 04:42:53 PM »
Re: the right hook.  My take is drivers committing the hook (or near hook) arenít accustomed to cyclists riding at ďroad bikeĒ speed.  They underestimate the speed the cyclist is moving and think they can safely make the turn without a conflict.  Iíve seen it happen multiple times where the driver has the ďoh sh1tĒ look when they realize the cyclist is still next to them when they try to make the turn. The only way to prevent it is to be aware of your surroundings.

The other way to avoid it is to never pass a vehicle on the right when it's slowing or signalling at an intersection.  At intersections shoulder check, and if it's clear pass the vehicle on the left (or come to a stop and wait if it's not safe to do so).

I would never do that.  I see the right hook situation happen when an impatient motorist passes a cyclist then slows down to make a right turn.  By the time they are ready to make the turn, the cyclist has already caught up to them.