Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 42940 times)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #300 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 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?

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 #301 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 #302 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 #303 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 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?

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.

Raenia

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #304 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 “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.

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 #305 on: October 21, 2018, 10:20:54 AM »

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #306 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 #307 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 #308 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 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. :)

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 #309 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 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. :)

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 #310 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. 

Askel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #311 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 #312 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 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. :)

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 #313 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 #314 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 #315 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 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. :)

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!

moof

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #316 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 #317 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 #318 on: October 23, 2018, 08:20:41 AM »
You’ve 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 #319 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 #320 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.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #321 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 #322 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.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #323 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 #324 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 #325 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.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #326 on: October 26, 2018, 06:51:57 PM »
Re: the right hook.  My take is drivers committing the hook (or near hook) aren’t accustomed to cyclists riding at “road bike” speed.  They underestimate the speed the cyclist is moving and think they can safely make the turn without a conflict.  I’ve seen it happen multiple times where the driver has the “oh sh1t” 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 #327 on: October 27, 2018, 03:07:05 PM »
Re: the right hook.  My take is drivers committing the hook (or near hook) aren’t accustomed to cyclists riding at “road bike” speed.  They underestimate the speed the cyclist is moving and think they can safely make the turn without a conflict.  I’ve seen it happen multiple times where the driver has the “oh sh1t” 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 #328 on: October 27, 2018, 04:42:53 PM »
Re: the right hook.  My take is drivers committing the hook (or near hook) aren’t accustomed to cyclists riding at “road bike” speed.  They underestimate the speed the cyclist is moving and think they can safely make the turn without a conflict.  I’ve seen it happen multiple times where the driver has the “oh sh1t” 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.

Villanelle

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #329 on: October 27, 2018, 09:56:57 PM »
My plan to avoid the right hook is to be painfully slow.  lol

sixwings

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #330 on: October 27, 2018, 10:46:37 PM »
Yeah I'm always super careful about cars turning right, any car slowing down I'll start to watch for any signs they may be turning. I also bike pretty slowly, dont have my feet clipped into my pedals, and generally am very defensive. I've never had a problem or really even a close call and I bike 30-40km a day.

I have a friend who has been in 3 accidents, all from the right turn hook. He is a very fast, aggressive cyclist. He also does a lot of stupid stuff like cycle around stopped cars at stop lights so he doesnt have to unclip his feet from his pedals, etc. Don't be like him.

slipslop

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #331 on: October 28, 2018, 09:41:27 AM »
I find that I'm paranoid enough that I'm ringing my bike bell almost constantly, even around my fairly easy commute:
  • Car is parked but has brake lights on and I'm going to pass? Ring.
  • Car is out of my path but reversing into a parking space on my right? Ring.
  • Car is approaching an intersection and hasn't made eye contact? Ring.
  • Car is approaching an intersection and there are cars parked to my front, right, and I might not be very visible? Ring.
  • Car is approaching an intersection and looks like they intend to do only a "rolling stop" anywhere near me? Ring.
  • Car looks like it might make a right turn but doesn't have a signal on as I approach the intersection? Ring.
  • Passing any stopped delivery vehicle? Ring.

Part of me feels like I'm being really annoying. Part of me feels like it's helpful just to remind people that I'm there on the road with them.

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #332 on: October 28, 2018, 11:42:57 AM »
I pretty much just assume no car driver ever can see me and adjust my speed/direction accordingly :)  I find that on my beefy cargo bike I get a lot more room in the lane from cars, but I also tend to ride a lot faster than on my 'regular' bike, so intersections are dicier as drivers don't expect my speed.


Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #333 on: October 28, 2018, 01:59:21 PM »
I find that I'm paranoid enough that I'm ringing my bike bell almost constantly, even around my fairly easy commute:
  • Car is parked but has brake lights on and I'm going to pass? Ring.
  • Car is out of my path but reversing into a parking space on my right? Ring.
  • Car is approaching an intersection and hasn't made eye contact? Ring.
  • Car is approaching an intersection and there are cars parked to my front, right, and I might not be very visible? Ring.
  • Car is approaching an intersection and looks like they intend to do only a "rolling stop" anywhere near me? Ring.
  • Car looks like it might make a right turn but doesn't have a signal on as I approach the intersection? Ring.
  • Passing any stopped delivery vehicle? Ring.

Part of me feels like I'm being really annoying. Part of me feels like it's helpful just to remind people that I'm there on the road with them.

Remember that only you are hearing every single one of those rings. A cyclist ringing a bell to catch your attention shouldn't be annoying to any reasonable driver.

I find I am still intimidated each morning by the fact that I have to BIKE to work, but the ride itself is more pleasant each time. On Friday I rode through a lovely mist on campus. Though, is there a trick for preventing my glasses from fogging up when I stop? I don't think it was the mist causing it - I think it's the heat/sweat off my face.

If we wouldn't mind returning the conversation to crotches... I have been biking in yoga pants and underwear. No problems so far. Am I tempting fate? I'm a lady, if that's relevant...

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #334 on: October 28, 2018, 03:45:30 PM »
If your body and your bits are fine in the gear you're using, carry on :)

I have friends who wear jeans to commute year round. For myself it depends on the bike saddle and how long I'm riding.

My regular glasses get too fogged up at stoplights from now until next summer. It's definitely the heat from my face. I wear sunglasses (with an amber lens for low light) that I already have or ski goggles once it's colder - they both are vented at the eyebrow to prevent fogging. I'm sure there are better solutions (like clear non-fog lab glasses bought cheap online) but that's what I've already got on hand.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #335 on: October 28, 2018, 08:11:30 PM »
Slide your glasses a tad further down your nose, so they're further away from your face. Then when you exhale, blow out through your mouth and kind of down towards your chest.

When that's not enough, just wipe them off with your fingers.

Re crotches: I find I can wear whatever I want; until I can't. Once a saddle sore appears, it takes months to go away. However, it may just be an age issue. I never used to have this problem when I was younger.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #336 on: October 29, 2018, 09:15:47 AM »
Flat tire this morning!
$&%#£€¥?!!

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #337 on: October 29, 2018, 09:28:28 AM »
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 agree that if the vehicle is slowing without a signal indicating that they will turn left, you should be very cautious about passing on the right. If they are signaling a right turn, do not pass on right without clear eye contact with the driver assuring that they are waiting for you. I try to always take my right of way when it is safe to do so as it avoids delaying responsible drivers who know and follow the rules of the road.

I find it most difficult time to avoid this problem when passing cars that are accelerating after waiting at a red light but still going slow enough to execute the turn. If they aren't signaling, there no indication that they might not be proceeding straight until they are actually moving across your path.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #338 on: October 29, 2018, 09:38:19 AM »
Flat tire this morning!
$&%#£€¥?!!

Drat! But you had the stuff to fix it and know what to do, right?

Two weeks ago I got a flat too. Someone had helpfully sprinkled drywall screws in the bike lane for about 500m worth of my commute. So not only was I late because I had to fix a flat, I also spent 20 minutes picking up all those screws so I won't get a flat every day for the next 6 months.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #339 on: October 29, 2018, 09:57:14 AM »
Two weeks ago I got a flat too. Someone had helpfully sprinkled drywall screws in the bike lane for about 500m worth of my commute. So not only was I late because I had to fix a flat, I also spent 20 minutes picking up all those screws so I won't get a flat every day for the next 6 months.
I once identified a particular part of my commute where I was regularly picking up staples in my tire (my solution was to change my route - your solution was much better for the world).

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #340 on: October 29, 2018, 11:22:58 AM »
Flat tire this morning!
$&%#£€¥?!!

Drat! But you had the stuff to fix it and know what to do, right?

Two weeks ago I got a flat too. Someone had helpfully sprinkled drywall screws in the bike lane for about 500m worth of my commute. So not only was I late because I had to fix a flat, I also spent 20 minutes picking up all those screws so I won't get a flat every day for the next 6 months.
Oh jeez, that is horrible.

I tried pumping it up but it was dead. I threw it in my car and took it to the bike repair place at work. They told us at orientation that the ebikes are such that you pretty much need to be able to put it up on a stand to change a flat, so they recommended bringing them in instead. I was running late by then and am happy to let them change it for me while I work.

I woke up in a funk and really needed that bike to work this morning to work out the bad juju. Tomorrow!

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #341 on: October 29, 2018, 02:39:30 PM »
I really need to force myself to change a flat at home, such that I'm not doing it for the first time in the cold/dark on the side of the road.  I keep saying it, but haven't facepunched myself into doing it yet.  The rear wheel in particular looks to be somewhat of a nightmare for my hub-mounted e-bike, and at this point I'm not quite sure I'd be able to do it.  I have the tools/tube, but it still looks like a bear.

Ok.  Going to do the front one this weekend.  Accountability and stuff.  Depending on the results of that, will schedule up a rear tire practice down the (figurative!) road.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #342 on: October 29, 2018, 04:48:13 PM »
I really need to force myself to change a flat at home, such that I'm not doing it for the first time in the cold/dark on the side of the road.  I keep saying it, but haven't facepunched myself into doing it yet.  The rear wheel in particular looks to be somewhat of a nightmare for my hub-mounted e-bike, and at this point I'm not quite sure I'd be able to do it.  I have the tools/tube, but it still looks like a bear.

Ok.  Going to do the front one this weekend.  Accountability and stuff.  Depending on the results of that, will schedule up a rear tire practice down the (figurative!) road.
The bad news is that rear tires get punctured more frequently than front (in my experience much more frequently). One explanation is that a sharp object may be lying flat on the ground, but disturbed by the front tire ends up pointy side up when the rear tire rolls over. Learning to take both wheels on/off is important.

On normal bikes dealing with the chain/derailleur makes the process slightly harder than the front, but I'd be surprised if it is very difficult to deal with the motor's wiring connection. A stand to hold the bike would certainly be nicer than flipping the bike over onto its handlebars and saddle, especially with the extra weight of the battery / motor and with electronic controls on the handlebar. I suppose you could disconnect everything you need to disconnect with the bike upright, then carefully lay the bike on its right side to take the wheel off.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #343 on: October 29, 2018, 08:27:14 PM »
At 55lb it is kind of a beast to manhandle. I managed to get it into and out of my little car, but barely.

Luckily I got the bike repair shop at work to take a look. They replaced the rear tire as it was apparently shot. I suppose 1000+ miles on a tire will do that.

I can only imagine how interesting my 1 year-old would find a half-dissembled bike. ;)

slipslop

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #344 on: October 29, 2018, 10:38:55 PM »
Tried a new shower room at work today. It is much nicer than the one I was using before. It's got several little personal changing areas + showers. Of course, I have the problem that I get water everywhere when showering, so my stuff ends up getting all wet... Somehow have to re-learn how to shower so that it doesn't look like I've flooded the room when I leave...

carozy

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #345 on: October 29, 2018, 11:17:10 PM »
Hi, I'm joining.  Lots of good info here.  I'm just starting to commute by bike for my current job (used to commute for my previous job over a year ago, but that was only 1/2 an hour bike ride).  It's 9.5 miles which is long for me.  I took my heavy ebike and managed it in 53 minutes this morning.  It was fun and the time went by fast.  Better than sitting in traffic!  I'll see if I can keep this up.  I wish I had a bit more scenic route, but at least there were long stretches of good bike lanes and what hills there were were easily managed with the ebike.

DS

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #346 on: October 30, 2018, 07:52:37 AM »
Tried a new shower room at work today. It is much nicer than the one I was using before. It's got several little personal changing areas + showers. Of course, I have the problem that I get water everywhere when showering, so my stuff ends up getting all wet... Somehow have to re-learn how to shower so that it doesn't look like I've flooded the room when I leave...

How clean is the floor? Do you put your towel down on the floor to step on when you get out? Dries the feet and the floor at the same time.

Money Badger

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #347 on: October 30, 2018, 08:11:32 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.

First real ride after the upgrades went great!   Just 6 and a half miles with decent hills and 50/50 gravel/paved roads averaged just under 10MPH (bike is NOT a higher end bike, nor am I a higher end fitness level (yet ;-)).    First ride with significant road traffic (thankfully in an area used to bikers) so that was educational for sure...   Now added rear view mirrors to bike and helmet to avoid pooping myself with the folks who come up behind quietly, then FLOOR IT when going by...   Fitness level and riding style lessons abounded as well...  Hit a wall on the tougher hill section, but then really recovered with a 2nd kick to finish up the last 2.5 miles.   Now also a Strava site user to keep up the stats, improve and build some cred' there.   Keepin' on, keepin' on!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #348 on: October 30, 2018, 11:28:05 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.

First real ride after the upgrades went great!   Just 6 and a half miles with decent hills and 50/50 gravel/paved roads averaged just under 10MPH (bike is NOT a higher end bike, nor am I a higher end fitness level (yet ;-)).    First ride with significant road traffic (thankfully in an area used to bikers) so that was educational for sure...   Now added rear view mirrors to bike and helmet to avoid pooping myself with the folks who come up behind quietly, then FLOOR IT when going by...   Fitness level and riding style lessons abounded as well...  Hit a wall on the tougher hill section, but then really recovered with a 2nd kick to finish up the last 2.5 miles.   Now also a Strava site user to keep up the stats, improve and build some cred' there.   Keepin' on, keepin' on!
Congrats! You sound pumped. :)

I got to ride again today after my flat which felt great. I also got to try this mega-dorky brim I added to my helmet to block the afternoon sun. It was effective and didn’t blow off, so successful.

slipslop

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #349 on: October 31, 2018, 02:16:08 AM »
How clean is the floor? Do you put your towel down on the floor to step on when you get out? Dries the feet and the floor at the same time.

Did exactly that this morning and somehow managed to fling water slightly less far than yesterday.

Also I changed my first flat since I started riding yesterday morning.