Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 33251 times)

secondchance

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #350 on: November 02, 2018, 07:27:44 PM »
Slight setback ... I rode most of the month, but my brakes were slowly going and my newfound confidence in traffic began outstripping my braking power.  So, I fixed my brakes and made them SUPER snug. 

The next week I got cut off by a taxi, hit my brand new brakes, and went down hard. 😂 I'm fine but busted my knee (and various other parts) pretty good.  That was Tuesday night and I'm still limping.  Hoping to be back on the bike for Monday.

I did get up and finish my ride home 💪

I was scared this would put me off riding, but taking the subway in my convalescence just makes me miss it even more.  I vow to be more careful with my brakes and my routes! I was coming from an unfamiliar place and ended up having my accident on a dangerous stretch of road I could have avoided.

Be careful out there and stay warm ❤

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #351 on: November 03, 2018, 12:19:13 AM »
Biked to work every day this week! And biked home 4 out of 5. Me and the bike got a ride home from a coworker when lab dinner kept us there past dark.

The repetition made it a little harder - each day I was a little more tired than the day before - but I assume that effect will fade with practice.

Glad you're okay, @secondchance.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #352 on: November 03, 2018, 07:46:27 AM »
Glad you are okay as well.

I biked four of five days this week a FI am still physically wiped out. That was at least my third week biking so I am not sure why it is still doing that to me. It doesn’t help that work has been crazy so I’ve had a lot of late nights. Those should be done for a little while though as of last night.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #353 on: November 03, 2018, 08:36:01 AM »
Yeah, me too, and Iíve been biking 3-4 times per week since August! I think itís because Iíve been pedaling more rather than depending on the electric assist on my ebike. Legs are kind of sore now.

I used to worry about being stinky and sweaty when I got to work, but guess what? No one actually cares, and apparently I donít actually stink that bad. At least no one has commented or gagged or run screaming from my office. I havenít even used the wipes that I carry in my bag in about a month.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #354 on: November 03, 2018, 09:23:55 AM »
The trick to not feeling gassed by Friday is to get fitter than you need to be for commuting. So if you can do some sort of cross training on the weekend it'll help.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #355 on: November 03, 2018, 06:51:58 PM »
The trick to not feeling gassed by Friday is to get fitter than you need to be for commuting. So if you can do some sort of cross training on the weekend it'll help.

Monday - No coffee
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Wednesday - Big cup of coffee
Thursday - Double espresso
Friday - Three double espressos


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Money Badger

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #356 on: November 04, 2018, 05:45:38 PM »
Lessons learned in biking this weekend by "a friend"... 

Don't inflate your new tires w/intertubes on your bike with a full sized power air compressor and a car tire gauge that isn't very precise...

It is possible to get a "bad" replacement intertube with a bad valve that won't inflate with any form of air source or multiple air nozzles (or amount of colorful language for good measure).   

Having a buddy who owns a bike shop will easily address both issues above... but will involve a lot of laughing at your expense.

Buying a nice quality bike tire air pump with a pressure gauge that on both common types of air valves (Schrader & Presta) is worth every penny to avoid all 3 lessons above!    Yes, all these things were learned by that person.  ;)

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #357 on: November 04, 2018, 07:34:26 PM »
I've requested a pump with a pressure gauge for Christmas. (In my family there is a moratorium on buying things for yourself at this time of year.) Right now I just have a hand pump.

runbikerun

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #358 on: November 05, 2018, 10:14:03 AM »
A proper track pump makes a colossal difference. It takes about twenty seconds to get a road bike tyre to 80psi, as opposed to the effectively infinite length of time it takes to do the same thing with a portable pump.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #359 on: November 05, 2018, 10:17:47 AM »
Yes and they can be used on the car too, rather than trusting unreliable garage air machines. A track pump is well worth it for someone regularly cycling.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #360 on: November 05, 2018, 10:21:09 AM »
Yes and they can be used on the car too, rather than trusting unreliable garage air machines. A track pump is well worth it for someone regularly cycling.

I've been pumping my car's tires with my track pump for years now.  It's a good workout and saves me a dollar + trip to the gas station for air.

:P

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #361 on: November 05, 2018, 10:30:54 AM »
So I managed to bike slightly more kms in October than in September. Just an extra 300m, but it felt like a pretty big accomplishment considering I lost an entire week early in the month after my back seized up. It's still not 100%, but at least I can get around again.

Another milestone is that when I was inflating the tires on my grocery trailer this weekend before heading to the store, I noticed both tires were pretty bald. The rubber was completely worn away in a couple spots. So, new tires were added to my list and will get installed this week. Bought the trailer in already well used condition, but I'm still impressed it's been used enough to wear out the tires.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #362 on: November 05, 2018, 11:08:03 AM »
Yes and they can be used on the car too, rather than trusting unreliable garage air machines. A track pump is well worth it for someone regularly cycling.

I've been pumping my car's tires with my track pump for years now.  It's a good workout and saves me a dollar + trip to the gas station for air.

:P

Yes me too. I remember seeing some report that here in the U.K. 75% of all garage air machines are hugely inaccurate to the point you could be 15-20% out from what you think youíve put in. I was horrified, but had been using my track pump for several years by that point and vowed to use it on my car forever more. Youíre right, when all four tyres need filling itís a terrific workout.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #363 on: November 05, 2018, 11:24:53 AM »
Not to work, but biking in general.

We went on a family ride yesterday with the two Littles in the trailer behind my ebike. They are getting pretty good about being okay back there. We ply them with books and snacks and water and then I got to listen to the big one tell me all the way hoke how the little one dumped her Cheerios all over the floor of the trailer. Whatevs, kiddo. I am rich. I can buy you more Cheerios! :)

Seriously though, my husband and I feel so great when we do these outings and I figure it is teaching the kids to suck it up and learn to appreciate with us.

Biking to work this morning was different with the time change. The sun was up so much higher that there were a lot more bicyclists on the roads and trails than I am used to seeing.

haflander

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #364 on: November 05, 2018, 12:15:47 PM »
I'm ecstatic to be officially joining this thread, woo! It's more for accountability with myself vs anything else. I'm in the application process for an apt that's 1.5 miles away from work. My plan is to walk on nice days, bike in hot/cold weather (or if in a hurry), and avoid driving to/from work as much as possible. I'll be moving at the end of this month, which is great timing because I can get acclimated to the weather before our semi-Winter begins, probably in January. Previous driving commute was only 10 miles but usually 30 minutes due to a bazillion stop lights, drivers, and no decent alternative. It'll be beyond awesome to exchange that drive with a walk and get there in about the same time or less! Way less on biking days!!

Route is only two roads and possibly a short trail for a shortcut (need to investigate). The last half is on a road that goes under a busy tollway and keeps on going right to my office building, including a little bike rack in the parking garage. Both roads have four lanes and big sidewalks, but a lot of entrances/exits for apts and offices that will necessitate wariness and caution. BONUS/HAZARD (not sure, maybe you can tell me?): right around halfway is an elementary school with school zone limits. My first thought was that this would help cars be more aware of pedestrians/bikers...then I thought that it might be a net negative if there's a lot of traffic and angry late parents zooming in their Tahoes. I live right next to an elementary school now and definitely avoid walking the dog in that time/area. JACKPOT: office building also has a gym with nice showers. Idk if walking to work would break a sweat in the morning, but I'll have showers if necessary. I guess the plan for now whether biking or walking is to use a backpack to bring clothes and then change at work.

I know ya'll are probably thinking I'm so spoiled and lucky with a microscopic commute. However, I'm really inspired by reading about your legit biking commutes and want to use your words here to help my resolve when it's cold/rainy. Happy to join the club.

Only 1 ? for now...what time do ya'll bike? What are the optimal times to avoid rush hour drivers? My office is pretty flexible on schedule. For example, my cube neighbor gets here early (not sure when) and leaves at 3 everyday!! wtf?!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #365 on: November 05, 2018, 12:21:46 PM »
How fantastic that will be! I am one who tends to get in around 7:30 and leaves at 16:00 on the dot. In my old industry getting in by 7:00 was completely normal and no one blinked an eye at starting your work day at 6:00. Being on the road closer to 8:00 for me means many more cars and bikes on the road and more red lights.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #366 on: November 05, 2018, 01:17:17 PM »
Biking to work this morning was different with the time change. The sun was up so much higher that there were a lot more bicyclists on the roads and trails than I am used to seeing.

I got up an hour earlier. Or rather, I got up at the same time and everyone else got up an hour later. Far less traffic and no lost sleep.

I know ya'll are probably thinking I'm so spoiled and lucky with a microscopic commute. However, I'm really inspired by reading about your legit biking commutes and want to use your words here to help my resolve when it's cold/rainy. Happy to join the club.

This thread is for people starting out on biking to work. There is no commute too easy for inclusion. :)

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #367 on: November 05, 2018, 02:18:23 PM »
I'm ecstatic to be officially joining this thread, woo! It's more for accountability with myself vs anything else. I'm in the application process for an apt that's 1.5 miles away from work. My plan is to walk on nice days, bike in hot/cold weather (or if in a hurry), and avoid driving to/from work as much as possible. I'll be moving at the end of this month, which is great timing because I can get acclimated to the weather before our semi-Winter begins, probably in January. Previous driving commute was only 10 miles but usually 30 minutes due to a bazillion stop lights, drivers, and no decent alternative. It'll be beyond awesome to exchange that drive with a walk and get there in about the same time or less! Way less on biking days!!

Route is only two roads and possibly a short trail for a shortcut (need to investigate). The last half is on a road that goes under a busy tollway and keeps on going right to my office building, including a little bike rack in the parking garage. Both roads have four lanes and big sidewalks, but a lot of entrances/exits for apts and offices that will necessitate wariness and caution. BONUS/HAZARD (not sure, maybe you can tell me?): right around halfway is an elementary school with school zone limits. My first thought was that this would help cars be more aware of pedestrians/bikers...then I thought that it might be a net negative if there's a lot of traffic and angry late parents zooming in their Tahoes. I live right next to an elementary school now and definitely avoid walking the dog in that time/area. JACKPOT: office building also has a gym with nice showers. Idk if walking to work would break a sweat in the morning, but I'll have showers if necessary. I guess the plan for now whether biking or walking is to use a backpack to bring clothes and then change at work.

I know ya'll are probably thinking I'm so spoiled and lucky with a microscopic commute. However, I'm really inspired by reading about your legit biking commutes and want to use your words here to help my resolve when it's cold/rainy. Happy to join the club.

Only 1 ? for now...what time do ya'll bike? What are the optimal times to avoid rush hour drivers? My office is pretty flexible on schedule. For example, my cube neighbor gets here early (not sure when) and leaves at 3 everyday!! wtf?!

Rush hour in my town lasts for several hours, so avoiding it requires unreasonable time shifts. However, I actually prefer riding when the roads are nearly gridlocked vs when cars are moving faster. A big chunk of my commute is on a 2-3 lane highway with a nice wide shoulder. When traffic's at a near standsill, it's feels safer because of the low speed. Not sure what it's like in TX, but you may find something similar.

If you choose to ride on the sidewalk (I assume there's no bike lane or shoulder on the road) you're right to be very careful at each of those driveways. Those are what make riding on the sidewalk dangerous.

School zones are a mixed bag. Great that traffic is generally moving more slowly, but there are tons of distractions (kids everywhere) for both you and drivers. Plus, there's likely to be a lot of cars pulling in/out all around the school as kids get dropped off. School zones are only an issue for me in the morning because I don't leave the office till after the school zones are all cleared out for the day.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #368 on: November 05, 2018, 11:04:00 PM »
Another flat! Thankfully this was only four blocks from home, but damn.

Grump grump grump.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #369 on: November 06, 2018, 07:52:09 AM »
Iíve officially biked over 1000km, according to the odometer on the bike! Havenít had any issues with the bike yet (knock on wood) but the brakes are a little wonky. One side is closer to the wheel than the other side and I donít know how to center it back. They still work and I donít bike fast (average 20km/hr) so Iím just making do for now.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #370 on: November 06, 2018, 08:47:41 AM »
Iíve officially biked over 1000km, according to the odometer on the bike! Havenít had any issues with the bike yet (knock on wood) but the brakes are a little wonky. One side is closer to the wheel than the other side and I donít know how to center it back. They still work and I donít bike fast (average 20km/hr) so Iím just making do for now.
The good news is that when the brakes squeeze the rim they should self center on the rim so the brakes being off center when they are open should not cause braking power issues. If your wheel is true enough that you're not rubbing the closer break pad then there's not much harm to leaving it as is; however, if you can center your brakes, you could improve brake responsiveness by setting your open brake position to have a smaller overall gap from the rim. If the brake pad is rubbing the rim when you're not applying your brakes you are robbing yourself of power and wearing out your brake pad, so you should address the issue. One likely cause of the brake not retracting evenly is that the pivot points are starting to get gunked up and should be cleaned and lubed. It is also possible that the spring tension to pull the brakes away from the rim is not even (there are usually adjustment screws near the pivot points to adjust spring tension).

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #371 on: November 06, 2018, 03:34:49 PM »
Iíve officially biked over 1000km, according to the odometer on the bike! Havenít had any issues with the bike yet (knock on wood) but the brakes are a little wonky. One side is closer to the wheel than the other side and I donít know how to center it back. They still work and I donít bike fast (average 20km/hr) so Iím just making do for now.
The good news is that when the brakes squeeze the rim they should self center on the rim so the brakes being off center when they are open should not cause braking power issues. If your wheel is true enough that you're not rubbing the closer break pad then there's not much harm to leaving it as is; however, if you can center your brakes, you could improve brake responsiveness by setting your open brake position to have a smaller overall gap from the rim. If the brake pad is rubbing the rim when you're not applying your brakes you are robbing yourself of power and wearing out your brake pad, so you should address the issue. One likely cause of the brake not retracting evenly is that the pivot points are starting to get gunked up and should be cleaned and lubed. It is also possible that the spring tension to pull the brakes away from the rim is not even (there are usually adjustment screws near the pivot points to adjust spring tension).

@robartsd  Thanks, this is helpful! The brake pads are not touching the wheel (unless I squeeze the brakes), so I guess Iím okay. I do have a total noob question though ó what is a pivot point? Iíd like to try to clean/adjust the brake, but all the how-to websites refer to the pivot point, and I donít know which part of the brake it is.

singpolyma

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #372 on: November 06, 2018, 03:40:25 PM »
Iíve officially biked over 1000km, according to the odometer on the bike! Havenít had any issues with the bike yet (knock on wood) but the brakes are a little wonky. One side is closer to the wheel than the other side and I donít know how to center it back. They still work and I donít bike fast (average 20km/hr) so Iím just making do for now.
The good news is that when the brakes squeeze the rim they should self center on the rim so the brakes being off center when they are open should not cause braking power issues. If your wheel is true enough that you're not rubbing the closer break pad then there's not much harm to leaving it as is; however, if you can center your brakes, you could improve brake responsiveness by setting your open brake position to have a smaller overall gap from the rim. If the brake pad is rubbing the rim when you're not applying your brakes you are robbing yourself of power and wearing out your brake pad, so you should address the issue. One likely cause of the brake not retracting evenly is that the pivot points are starting to get gunked up and should be cleaned and lubed. It is also possible that the spring tension to pull the brakes away from the rim is not even (there are usually adjustment screws near the pivot points to adjust spring tension).

Is it not just a likely that the wheel is off-true? When my v-brake bikes start rubbing, that's usually the cause. Easy to fix on your own, still.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #373 on: November 07, 2018, 03:36:30 AM »
Hello friends! Very newbie cyclist here. Last week I rode in to work (8km) on Thursday morning, left my bike at work over the weekend then rode it home Monday afternoon. Tuesday I rode it to work and home. Today I caught the bus, tomorrow I hope to ride depending on weather and tushie-tenderness.
I have booked in for a half-day riding course run by the council to brush up on my road rules (no car for the last three years and in this new city you must ride on the road not the path, heavy fines apply) and make sure that all my google-fu as to the road rules are what they are teaching.
Any tips for making the cars less mad at you? (or maybe caring less?) People are beeping at me, or overtaking me without moving fully into the other lane (moving over just half into the lane and zooming past me in the middle of my lane close enough to touch if I stretched out my hand) and it's unsettling... I almost want to get a shirt with this logo or stick it to my backpack or something...
but would they read it? Doubt it...

Question: Do you have a video camera (like a dashcam) on your bike in case of accidents? If I get smooshed I feel like my parents will want to know who did it...

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #374 on: November 07, 2018, 07:06:44 AM »
Any tips for making the cars less mad at you? (or maybe caring less?)

If you're cycling sensibly (don't weave all over the road, don't be overly aggressive, signal your lane changes well in advance, use lights and reflectors at night, stop at traffic lights/stop signs, etc.), most drivers are going to be pretty reasonable.  You'll always get a few folks who are having a bad day and see you as a vulnerable person that they can take out their problems on.  Honestly, there's not too much that you can do beyond taking a moment to try and figure out if maybe you did something that triggered their anger, and then letting it go.



People are beeping at me

Some people will go behind you and honk because they incorrectly believe that this is safer (by letting you know that they are there before they pass I guess?).  Not much you can do about this, beyond keep your cool and just ignore it.



overtaking me without moving fully into the other lane

You can try cycling further towards the middle of the lane, rather than staying as far to the right as possible.  There's some kind of psychological thing that goes on that makes a person driving really, really, really, not want to cross over the line into the next lane.  Often if you're cycling really far to the right, cars will pass you very closely in order to stay in the same lane as you.  When you ride a foot or two from the right you get more room to maneuver around obstacles (potholes/debris), but more importantly, it forces a car to cross that line and exit the lane in order to pass you.  Most cars don't care about close passing a cyclist, but are loathe to put a cyclist sized dent in their vehicle.  :P

almost want to get a shirt with this logo or stick it to my backpack or something

Unfortunately, the kind of person who is a dick to a cyclist isn't likely to change their behaviour by reading something on a cyclists back.



Question: Do you have a video camera (like a dashcam) on your bike in case of accidents? If I get smooshed I feel like my parents will want to know who did it...

Nope.  I don't think there's any real utility in having a camera while cycling.  Having a record of the accident doesn't prevent the accident, which is what you really want.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #375 on: November 07, 2018, 08:57:17 AM »
Question: Do you have a video camera (like a dashcam) on your bike in case of accidents? If I get smooshed I feel like my parents will want to know who did it...

Nope.  I don't think there's any real utility in having a camera while cycling.  Having a record of the accident doesn't prevent the accident, which is what you really want.
I don't know. Take your recent hit-and-run. A video could be helpful to authorities in tracking down and prosecuting the offender. A video could also be used to get media attention helping to educate some drivers about their responsibilities towards cyclists. Having a record of a collision (it was not an accident - the driver intentionally put you in danger) doesn't prevent that collision, but it could prevent a future one.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #376 on: November 07, 2018, 09:24:16 AM »
My first 5 out of 5 bike commute week last week.  I am a "fair weather" rider, and been averaging 1-3 days per week since 2015, and stopping through the winter.   This year, I'm trying to transition into a year round commuter.  Today I'm 3/3 for this week, plan to make it 5/5 for 2 weeks in a row.

It's getting colder and wetter in Chicago though.  How do you all deal with wet shoes/socks.  I have dress shoes I change into at work.  But my socks remained wet for most of the day.  I can get a separate pair of socks for work also, but then my sneakers are still wet when I put them back on to go home.  Are there any waterproof shoes that aren't winter boot-types that would work with biking?

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #377 on: November 07, 2018, 09:37:47 AM »
Hello friends! Very newbie cyclist here. Last week I rode in to work (8km) on Thursday morning, left my bike at work over the weekend then rode it home Monday afternoon. Tuesday I rode it to work and home. Today I caught the bus, tomorrow I hope to ride depending on weather and tushie-tenderness.
I have booked in for a half-day riding course run by the council to brush up on my road rules (no car for the last three years and in this new city you must ride on the road not the path, heavy fines apply) and make sure that all my google-fu as to the road rules are what they are teaching.
Any tips for making the cars less mad at you? (or maybe caring less?) People are beeping at me, or overtaking me without moving fully into the other lane (moving over just half into the lane and zooming past me in the middle of my lane close enough to touch if I stretched out my hand) and it's unsettling... I almost want to get a shirt with this logo or stick it to my backpack or something...

Question: Do you have a video camera (like a dashcam) on your bike in case of accidents? If I get smooshed I feel like my parents will want to know who did it...

GuitarStv said all the things I was going to say.

After years of bike commuting, I'm finally to the point where I don't panic when I get honked at. Instead I think, "Great! They see me!". However, for years being honked at scared the ever loving crap out of me on a visceral level.

Ditto to the advice to ride further into the lane to force them to give you more space when they pass. You could also try one of these gizmos to give the cars a visual cue as to how far away they need to be. I've always wanted something like this, but with a bingo dabber or wet paint brush on the end, so if they make contact their car will get tagged.



Oooh, looks like someone's come up with a way to enforce the passing distance, https://www.citylab.com/life/2015/06/a-nifty-device-to-stop-cars-from-driving-too-close-to-bikes/397055/

I don't use a camera, but I don't think it's an awful idea. I live in a fairly cycling friendly town and the police take incidents seriously. I've called them a few times when a driver's actions have been egregiously dangerous. Thing is, it's only useful to call if you can get the plate# of the car. That can be hard to do in the one second it takes for the driver to speed away. It's even harder to get a decent description when your adrenaline is pumping. So a helmet mounted camera could help.

Of course the last time I reported a driver for nearly killing me the plate# and car description didn't match at all. The officer made it sound like the plates were likely stolen. Makes it hard to track down the offender.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 09:41:35 AM by TrMama »

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #378 on: November 07, 2018, 09:44:01 AM »
My first 5 out of 5 bike commute week last week.  I am a "fair weather" rider, and been averaging 1-3 days per week since 2015, and stopping through the winter.   This year, I'm trying to transition into a year round commuter.  Today I'm 3/3 for this week, plan to make it 5/5 for 2 weeks in a row.

It's getting colder and wetter in Chicago though.  How do you all deal with wet shoes/socks.  I have dress shoes I change into at work.  But my socks remained wet for most of the day.  I can get a separate pair of socks for work also, but then my sneakers are still wet when I put them back on to go home.  Are there any waterproof shoes that aren't winter boot-types that would work with biking?

I have a pair of waterproof Keen trail shoes that keep my feet fairly dry. The problem is they don't cover my ankles, so the tops of my socks get wet and then it wicks down into the shoe.

Most of the time I wear neoprene shoe covers over my bike shoes (I ride clipless). Keeps my shoes dry and my feet warm.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #379 on: November 07, 2018, 11:00:57 AM »
overtaking me without moving fully into the other lane

You can try cycling further towards the middle of the lane, rather than staying as far to the right as possible.  There's some kind of psychological thing that goes on that makes a person driving really, really, really, not want to cross over the line into the next lane.  Often if you're cycling really far to the right, cars will pass you very closely in order to stay in the same lane as you.  When you ride a foot or two from the right you get more room to maneuver around obstacles (potholes/debris), but more importantly, it forces a car to cross that line and exit the lane in order to pass you.  Most cars don't care about close passing a cyclist, but are loathe to put a cyclist sized dent in their vehicle.  :P

I have read that female cyclists (which I am) tend to be injured more often because they are less likely to claim the center of a lane, and so people pass closer to them/us as @GuitarStv described. (Yasha sounds like a feminine screenname but of course I could be wrong.)  I think of this whenever I feel awkward about the space I am taking up. You have the right to claim the whole lane, and it is safer for you to do so. Be obvious and force people to go all the way around you. Don't be part of that statistic.

Admittedly I have still considered getting a shirt that says "THIS IS MY LANE, GO AROUND" because drivers still pass too close sometimes. But at least you have made them pay attention to you while they are passing.

Actually, the incident that really fired me up this week was the woman who didn't see me signaling my FLASHING BLUE LIT ARM to merge in front of her slowing car because she was texting - both hands in her lap with her foot on the brake, but still moving at maybe 15mph. I would have been hit if I were biking less defensively.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #380 on: November 07, 2018, 11:05:46 AM »
My first 5 out of 5 bike commute week last week.  I am a "fair weather" rider, and been averaging 1-3 days per week since 2015, and stopping through the winter.   This year, I'm trying to transition into a year round commuter.  Today I'm 3/3 for this week, plan to make it 5/5 for 2 weeks in a row.

It's getting colder and wetter in Chicago though.  How do you all deal with wet shoes/socks.  I have dress shoes I change into at work.  But my socks remained wet for most of the day.  I can get a separate pair of socks for work also, but then my sneakers are still wet when I put them back on to go home.  Are there any waterproof shoes that aren't winter boot-types that would work with biking?

Wet feet suck.


I keep a towel at work.  After a wet ride, lay the towel flat and then lay your socks (and other wet stuff) flat on top of the towel.  Roll the towel up tightly, then walk on it.  Unroll the towel and your stuff will be like 95% dry.

If your shoes are soaked, pull the insoles out of them and roll 'em up in the towel along with your other stuff.  Then stuff your soleless shoes tightly with balls of newspaper or paper towels.  Wait about three hours and remove the newspaper/paper towels, they will have soaked up and removed most of the water.



Yes, there are waterproof shoes that you can buy.  (Google waterproof running shoes and you'll find a bunch.)  I got a pair years ago and use them (with wool socks) when it's really cold in the winter because they don't breathe and are very warm, and water would run down my leg and fill the shoe when it was really pouring . . . which is super gross feeling.  I'll occasionally use waterproof overshoes that I put over my cycling shoes when it's really pouring in warmer months and these work pretty well.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #381 on: November 08, 2018, 04:12:08 AM »
If you can't find a solution for the shoes that works, could you have two pair?  Ride in with pair A, leave A at the office and drive home in B, then B to work the next day, etc. 

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #382 on: November 08, 2018, 07:26:14 AM »
My first 5 out of 5 bike commute week last week.  I am a "fair weather" rider, and been averaging 1-3 days per week since 2015, and stopping through the winter.   This year, I'm trying to transition into a year round commuter.  Today I'm 3/3 for this week, plan to make it 5/5 for 2 weeks in a row.

It's getting colder and wetter in Chicago though.  How do you all deal with wet shoes/socks.  I have dress shoes I change into at work.  But my socks remained wet for most of the day.  I can get a separate pair of socks for work also, but then my sneakers are still wet when I put them back on to go home.  Are there any waterproof shoes that aren't winter boot-types that would work with biking?

I have a pair of waterproof Keen trail shoes that keep my feet fairly dry. The problem is they don't cover my ankles, so the tops of my socks get wet and then it wicks down into the shoe.

Most of the time I wear neoprene shoe covers over my bike shoes (I ride clipless). Keeps my shoes dry and my feet warm.

May be pricey, but winter merino cycling or hiking socks will be dry at the end of the day as long as you don't leave them bunched up in your bag. As far as your shoes, is there anywhere warmish and discreet you could leave them? If they're not dripping you should feel pretty dry in your merino's... there may be a kirkland/costco line of merino socks that i'm sure are as good as any

I use traditional cycling shoes for my commute and these tend to dry fairly fast. but I did use to have a tower for a PC under my desk at work, I'd dry my whole kit on it!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #383 on: November 08, 2018, 08:34:35 AM »
Tomorrow will be my first day of commute failure since late June, when I started biking.  I have a dentist appointment in the middle of the day, and it's too far away (and without a good route) to realistically bike in a safe manner.  It would also necessitate leaving work earlier to bike, which I'd feel a bit guilty about.  Given that work is on the way to the dentist, it doesn't really make sense to bike in, bike home, then drive to the appointment. 

I feel a bit bad about tomorrow, but I suppose this is one of the reasons I keep the car around.  Still, I think that 4.5 months since my car has graced the work parking lot is a decent achievement for someone who had never biked to work before.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #384 on: November 08, 2018, 10:05:36 AM »
That is really good! I’ve been biking for only five weeks and four of those weeks I’ve had something come up that required a car one day of the week. An appointment that was too far away in the middle of the day, two flat tires, etc.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #385 on: November 08, 2018, 01:19:21 PM »
Thanks for all the tips and tricks all! (The pool-noodle space indicator particularly resonates with me!) I rode to work again yesterday and left my bike in the office. Still working on those muscles so decided not to do the double trip in one day. I have the safe rider training on Saturday so I will figure out if it makes more sense to bus to work on Saturday morning, pick up the bike and ride from there to the training, or if it makes more sense then Iíll ride the bike home today after work and then from home to the training.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #386 on: November 09, 2018, 10:19:39 AM »
New milestone.  Biked to work today in full on chicago snow!!

I've commuted in torrential downpour, (light) hail, maybe a small flurry, but never in real snowfall.  Now, it's still too warm for the snow to stick on the ground, but this was a big step. 

Wore my regular wool gloves + snowboarding gloves, face mask, goggles.   The only real part that was cold were my toes.  I wore my wigwam socks, with my usual running shoes, and my toes were frozen numb by the end of the 6.5 mile ride.  Still need to figure something out with my feet..

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #387 on: November 09, 2018, 10:32:50 AM »
New milestone.  Biked to work today in full on chicago snow!!

I've commuted in torrential downpour, (light) hail, maybe a small flurry, but never in real snowfall.  Now, it's still too warm for the snow to stick on the ground, but this was a big step. 

Wore my regular wool gloves + snowboarding gloves, face mask, goggles.   The only real part that was cold were my toes.  I wore my wigwam socks, with my usual running shoes, and my toes were frozen numb by the end of the 6.5 mile ride.  Still need to figure something out with my feet..

Snow's not too bad.  I kinda like cycling in it, when it's falling heavily everything sounds softer.  It gets pretty exciting when there are five or six inches of the stuff down and you've got to jump from rut to rut.  Good exercise to brush up on your bike handling.

:P

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #388 on: November 09, 2018, 03:10:52 PM »
New milestone.  Biked to work today in full on chicago snow!!

I've commuted in torrential downpour, (light) hail, maybe a small flurry, but never in real snowfall.  Now, it's still too warm for the snow to stick on the ground, but this was a big step. 

Wore my regular wool gloves + snowboarding gloves, face mask, goggles.   The only real part that was cold were my toes.  I wore my wigwam socks, with my usual running shoes, and my toes were frozen numb by the end of the 6.5 mile ride.  Still need to figure something out with my feet..

Congrats!!! Isn't it a little magical?? I rode last night as snow was falling, flakes lit up by my headlight, cars slipping and sliding while I just kept trucking along. Looks like I'll need to buy a studded tire earlier than I was planning!

My mom keeps sending me boxes of disposable hand warmers so I've used those under my toes. They're annoying when I'm walking but I don't notice them at all riding. For commuting, I'd rather have warm feet than dry feet once I get to work, so I've also used plastic bags inside my shoes to help block wind (I change into scrubs anyway so changing socks/underthings is no biggie for me).

My son rides clipless and bought neoprene shoe covers a few years ago. He didn't end up liking them, so I've actually used those over top of my regular shoes, or inside my boots over my socks. More breathable than straight plastic. When I've used them outside my shoes, I haven't noticed any issue with being slippery on my pedals (since they're made for cleats and only have a small opening for the cleat) but that may vary from bike to bike.

Again, congrats!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #389 on: November 09, 2018, 08:38:12 PM »
OK, the ride in the snow is awesome and officially makes any of us who complain about the cold a bunch of pansies.

So here goes...  New helmet (with nice rear view mirror attached) is ready to go for first cold-ish ride and new light and other bike goodies are setup satisfactorily (new front/rear light, rear rack for grocery/computer bags)... Just around freezing for tomorrow's ride time so this should be interesting.   The tips about feet being the worst thing to get cold helped...   Goal is 10 miles+ on a relatively flat greenway...  This Badger is almost 10lbs lighter now and has better gear than the first 5 mile ride there a month ago.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #390 on: November 11, 2018, 01:36:00 AM »
Attended the safe city cyclists class ($25) run by the local council and I feel so much more confident about riding on the roads - plus the instructor pumped up both my tyres (both at less than half the psi they should have been, so wonder it was a struggle!) and helped me put my seat on straight so it doesnít keep poking me in the thigh and giving me a bruise. As part of the course we went for a 9km bike ride. I then rode the 7km home as well totalling 16km in a row. Tush is a bit tender but the worst bit is I got sunburnt because I forgot to put on sunscreen and the Aussie sun is merciless. Still very happy I went!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #391 on: November 12, 2018, 12:38:43 PM »
I didn’t ride today. Partially it is because I went on little runs on both days last weekend and am tired. Partially it is because the air quality outside is unhealthy due to massive fires north of us. I have a face mask and will probably use it to ride tomorrow, but it made a nice excuse today.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #392 on: November 12, 2018, 01:10:47 PM »
New milestone.  Biked to work today in full on chicago snow!!

I've commuted in torrential downpour, (light) hail, maybe a small flurry, but never in real snowfall.  Now, it's still too warm for the snow to stick on the ground, but this was a big step. 

Wore my regular wool gloves + snowboarding gloves, face mask, goggles.   The only real part that was cold were my toes.  I wore my wigwam socks, with my usual running shoes, and my toes were frozen numb by the end of the 6.5 mile ride.  Still need to figure something out with my feet..


Well done!  And here I was, feeling good because it was my first commute with the temperature in the 40s.  No, I didn't think it was a particularly impressive accomplishment, but it was still a first for me, and I enjoyed it (thanks to adequate preparation)! 

Still haven't dealt with significant precipitation.  Life in a drought. 

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #393 on: November 13, 2018, 10:22:14 AM »
I didnít ride today. Partially it is because I went on little runs on both days last weekend and am tired. Partially it is because the air quality outside is unhealthy due to massive fires north of us. I have a face mask and will probably use it to ride tomorrow, but it made a nice excuse today.
Between air quality and DW's availability to drop me off/pick me up, I didn't ride the last half of last week after getting a flat (there was also other bike maintenance that needed attention that I became aware of early last week but did not prevent me from making my easy bike commute). DW's schedule doesn't allow for the drop off this week, but bike maintenance got taken care of yesterday and I rode again today. Although it will mean more days off the bike for me (no fenders), we need rain to come soon; but still none in the forecast.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #394 on: November 13, 2018, 11:54:33 AM »
I'm another one not wanting to ride with this air quality.  I think I'll hit the gym though and get some movement in this week.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #395 on: November 13, 2018, 12:39:45 PM »
My husband has a pack of dust filter masks and I took one to ride in this morning. He has also been riding this week. As he put it, it is important for his mental health. It was uncomfortable riding with this mask on as it got steamy inside from my breathing, but it is better, I suppose, than nothing.

I did have a laugh at the new record I am setting for dorkiness.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #396 on: November 13, 2018, 02:12:13 PM »
Poor Bay Area air quality broke my 4 week streak of riding. I rode last Friday and it didn't feel like the brightest thing to be doing. I could tell I was a little more winded than usual, so I took that a sign my body was trying to tell me to degrease my chain, wash the frame, disassemble my bike and try to drill out a rusted stainless steel screw in the front fork so I can mount fenders for the future rainy days.

One news station was saying those N95 masks are only functional for about an hour, but they were wrong - the masks should last about 8 hours.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 10:14:33 AM by hadabeardonce »

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #397 on: November 13, 2018, 02:23:23 PM »
Thanks for the info. We have a small stack of the masks so I can toss it tonight and use a new one for tomorrow’s commute.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #398 on: November 13, 2018, 08:27:53 PM »
An hour?! I don't think that's correct. If they are properly fitted (providing a good seal) a mask certified N95 will certainly filter particles for the day. I've read studies in the past that showed anywhere from 2% to 50% decrease in efficacy after one WEEK (if I'm remembering right they were measuring daily wear in Beijing).

I believe most industries that require N95 wear also require changing them daily primarily for liability reasons. My hospital requires changing as we do any other mask (when leaving the sterile room) but I've worn them for at least 8 hours in a tuberculosis-positive case, and we are extremely conservative when it comes to possible pathogen exposure.

Changing them multiple times a day would add up $ fast!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #399 on: November 14, 2018, 06:01:19 AM »
Poor Bay Area air quality broke my 4 week streak of riding. I rode last Friday and it didn't feel like the brightest thing to be doing. I could tell I was a little more winded than usual, so I took that a sign my body was trying to tell me to degrease my chain, wash the frame, disassemble my bike and try to drill out a rusted stainless steel screw in the front fork so I can mount fenders for the future rainy days.

One news station was saying those N95 masks are only functional for about an hour.

Very, very important to unscrew things from the frame and add a little dab of grease on the threads at least once a year.  :P