Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 2796 times)

Bayou Dweller

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2017, 09:06:43 AM »
HAHA!  Get a job, asshole.  I love that one.

One person yelled at me "Hippie!" 

:)

LOL!  Pretty sure there are some people that think I ride my bike to work because I can't "afford" the gas.

That's awesome.

Today a co-worker asked me, "Hey, why is your office door closed?"
Me: "Oh, I just rode my bicycle in so I was changing my shirt. Did you need to stop by?"
Co-worker: "MAN Y??????"
Me: "haha, I live pretty close.."
Co-worker: "LOL LOL"

I wasn't really sure how to reply.

Anyways, got in some miles this weekend. Biked and explored a bunch of news areas along the bayou. The weather was beautiful! Biked into work again this morning, hoping I can make this a regular thing.

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2017, 11:15:29 AM »
My husband and I had some great riding this weekend. 

Did a rain ride on Friday to just spin the legs on my commuter.  Saw a rainbow.  That was neat.

Went mountainbiking on Saturday to a local trail network.  The conditions were perfect.  Slightly cold, but the hero dirt made up for the cold.  I love riding perfect dirt.  When you tires grip like velcro and you're going rippin fast.  The cornering and going hard just makes me laugh and smile.  Kinda funny, I rode great except for a tiny stick that lodged through my rear triangle.  I heard it and opted to keep riding as I tried to pull it out as I continued to climb.  Well, that didn't work out so well.  I fell over and landed right on a hard pinecone.  The cone hit the side of my quad and really smarted. Low speed crashes can still hurt pretty good.  Got a nice bruise and have been trying to work out the kink with my foam roller.  Owie!

Sunday, I took out my CX and did some spinning and climbing at moderate pace.  It was a combo of pave/gravel/pave.  The wind was relentless. 

Today, I feel great and accomplished with the training.  5000 ft of climbing and 46 miles in all. 

MSquared

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2017, 09:00:43 AM »
Today a co-worker asked me, "Hey, why is your office door closed?"
Me: "Oh, I just rode my bicycle in so I was changing my shirt. Did you need to stop by?"
Co-worker: "MAN Y??????"
Me: "haha, I live pretty close.."
Co-worker: "LOL LOL"

Ugh, co-workers.  The amount of stupid comments I've received over the years is mind blowing.  Just keep riding and eventually they'll run out of things to say and shut up.  Unless it rains.  Then they always comment. 

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2017, 09:25:06 AM »

That's awesome.

Today a co-worker asked me, "Hey, why is your office door closed?"
Me: "Oh, I just rode my bicycle in so I was changing my shirt. Did you need to stop by?"
Co-worker: "MAN Y??????"
Me: "haha, I live pretty close.."
Co-worker: "LOL LOL"


I always reply with
'Because it's faster than walking'
:D

marielle

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2017, 09:38:38 AM »

That's awesome.

Today a co-worker asked me, "Hey, why is your office door closed?"
Me: "Oh, I just rode my bicycle in so I was changing my shirt. Did you need to stop by?"
Co-worker: "MAN Y??????"
Me: "haha, I live pretty close.."
Co-worker: "LOL LOL"


I always reply with
'Because it's faster than walking'
:D

That's hilarious. I'm definitely going to use that.

I haven't made much progress, the only places I've gone to have been further than 15 miles or close enough to walk. Tonight I'm replacing my phone battery which should help with bike adventures. My battery life is literally less than 10 minutes when I try to use navigation on it while biking. I also put a portable battery pack on my wishlist, which would be helpful for longer trips on the bike.

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2017, 09:47:31 AM »
I wanted to mention something about chains, that will help you extend the life of your chain. 

Some of you may already know this tip, so if you do just ignore me.  Please prevent yourself from cross chaining.  It stretches your chain and it is harder on your chainrings and cassette. A cross chain is being in the biggest gear in the back and the biggest in the front, or the smallest in the back and the smallest in the front.  There are much better options than a cross chain, with triples and doubles. If you are a 1x system, this of course does not apply to you.  If you have a double, it is not as bad as a triple, but still there are other options in your gears.  Many gears overlap themselves in feel factor.

Hope this made sense to the newcomers of our sport.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #56 on: November 14, 2017, 11:49:29 AM »
I wanted to mention something about chains, that will help you extend the life of your chain. 

Some of you may already know this tip, so if you do just ignore me.  Please prevent yourself from cross chaining.  It stretches your chain and it is harder on your chainrings and cassette. A cross chain is being in the biggest gear in the back and the biggest in the front, or the smallest in the back and the smallest in the front.  There are much better options than a cross chain, with triples and doubles. If you are a 1x system, this of course does not apply to you.  If you have a double, it is not as bad as a triple, but still there are other options in your gears.  Many gears overlap themselves in feel factor.

Hope this made sense to the newcomers of our sport.

To clarify a tad:



Basically, you want the chain to be as straight as possible between the big rings at the front and the little rings at the back, not at an angle as above.  Usually you'll hear this as extra noise from the drivetrain when you do it.

Side note - If you're on a 1x system, it does apply to you . . . but there's nothing you can do about it.  A 1x system is the same as always riding the middle chain ring of a triple.  :P

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #57 on: November 14, 2017, 12:06:57 PM »
I wanted to mention something about chains, that will help you extend the life of your chain. 

Some of you may already know this tip, so if you do just ignore me.  Please prevent yourself from cross chaining.  It stretches your chain and it is harder on your chainrings and cassette. A cross chain is being in the biggest gear in the back and the biggest in the front, or the smallest in the back and the smallest in the front.  There are much better options than a cross chain, with triples and doubles. If you are a 1x system, this of course does not apply to you.  If you have a double, it is not as bad as a triple, but still there are other options in your gears.  Many gears overlap themselves in feel factor.

Hope this made sense to the newcomers of our sport.

To clarify a tad:



Basically, you want the chain to be as straight as possible between the big rings at the front and the little rings at the back, not at an angle as above.  Usually you'll hear this as extra noise from the drivetrain when you do it.

Side note - If you're on a 1x system, it does apply to you . . . but there's nothing you can do about it.  A 1x system is the same as always riding the middle chain ring of a triple.  :P

I am very thankful that the eagle XX1 chains seem to have very good longevity.  ;)

mucchad

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2017, 12:37:15 PM »
following

MightyAl

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2017, 01:26:39 PM »
I live in the middle of rural Indiana and have been contemplating cycling to work.  It is about 6 miles so it wouldn't be too bad but it is all county roads until I hit town.  The roads are narrow and people absolutely fly down them. 

Has anyone had to deal with these kinds of conditions and how do you cope? 

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2017, 01:32:48 PM »
I live in the middle of rural Indiana and have been contemplating cycling to work.  It is about 6 miles so it wouldn't be too bad but it is all county roads until I hit town.  The roads are narrow and people absolutely fly down them. 

Has anyone had to deal with these kinds of conditions and how do you cope?

I spend a lot of time cycling on rural and county roads.  It's very important to study the area . . . often there is a slightly less direct way to get  where you want that avoids the faster and busier roads.  If you can't avoid faster/busier roads, get very bright rear lights and wear a bright and reflective jacket.  Stay to the side of the road, but make sure you've got enough space to react to potholes and bumps up ahead.
 You'll eventually get used to cycling around faster moving traffic (although liking it is another matter).

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #61 on: November 14, 2017, 02:17:00 PM »
- Most people new to cycling pedal far too slowly.  When you pedal slowly and push hard, you end up causing muscle fatigue and don't use your aerobic system as much.  You want high RPMs (80 - 100 at least) when climbing to be efficient.  This will put more load on your heart and less on your legs (although they'll still burn occasionally).  Next time you're climbing, try going to an easier gear than you normally would and simply pedaling faster.

My quads say thank you! I didn't end up changing my seat height--maybe I'm doing it wrong, but it just didn't feel comfortable set higher and it's not like I'm out there trying to race anybody--but this morning I went down to a gear that felt silly and focused on turnover. Cruised up the barely-hill and wasn't even out of breath.

How are all of my other fellow newbies doing this week? Did anybody get a great ride in over the weekend?

I meant to and forgot! :O I got in a wimpy ride instead. Going to try to fit in the longer one today or tomorrow, but it's complicated with how early it gets dark now.

You might want to try gradually raising your seat a bit, if you think it should be higher but it's a question of comfort. I need to raise my seat a third time because I keep underestimating (a) how high it should be and (b) how much it helps.

Please prevent yourself from cross chaining.  It stretches your chain and it is harder on your chainrings and cassette. A cross chain is being in the biggest gear in the back and the biggest in the front, or the smallest in the back and the smallest in the front.

...whoops. At least I need a new chain anyway. Is it better to try to stick to mostly the middle gears?

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2017, 02:40:59 PM »

I am very thankful that the eagle XX1 chains seem to have very good longevity.  ;)

Even if you don't think your chain is going to wear out, it's still less efficient.

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2017, 05:25:12 PM »

I am very thankful that the eagle XX1 chains seem to have very good longevity.  ;)

Even if you don't think your chain is going to wear out, it's still less efficient.

HAHA!  Well, you may wonder why most manufacturers are moving to a 1X system.  It's great for MTB and CX.  1x is very popular these days.  Go into any bike shop and look at the drivetrains. 

It is more efficient, and lighter.  One less derailleur.  So less maintenance, better shifting, and lighter.   

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2017, 05:54:11 PM »
You might want to try gradually raising your seat a bit, if you think it should be higher but it's a question of comfort. I need to raise my seat a third time because I keep underestimating (a) how high it should be and (b) how much it helps.

Please prevent yourself from cross chaining.  It stretches your chain and it is harder on your chainrings and cassette. A cross chain is being in the biggest gear in the back and the biggest in the front, or the smallest in the back and the smallest in the front.

...whoops. At least I need a new chain anyway. Is it better to try to stick to mostly the middle gears?

Your bike won't explode if you cross chain.  It just wears stuff out a bit faster, tends to cause rubbing and annoying noise, and is generally less efficient.

All you really have to remember is that if you're in your easiest (biggest) couple gears at the back, then go into your easiest (smallest) ring at the front.  If you're in your hardest (smallest) couple gears at the back, then go into your biggest ring at the front.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2017, 07:04:00 PM »
I believe I misread. Correct me if I'm wrong: there is no problem with using the absolute lowest or absolute highest gear setting; the issue is using the lowest on one hand and highest on the other, where lowest/highest refers to number or difficulty rather than size. Yes? (i.e. using the hardest gear in the front and the easiest "climbing" gear in the back at the same time)

I am still learning all the terminology.

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #66 on: November 14, 2017, 07:31:21 PM »
You might want to try gradually raising your seat a bit, if you think it should be higher but it's a question of comfort. I need to raise my seat a third time because I keep underestimating (a) how high it should be and (b) how much it helps.

Please prevent yourself from cross chaining.  It stretches your chain and it is harder on your chainrings and cassette. A cross chain is being in the biggest gear in the back and the biggest in the front, or the smallest in the back and the smallest in the front.

...whoops. At least I need a new chain anyway. Is it better to try to stick to mostly the middle gears?

Your bike won't explode if you cross chain.  It just wears stuff out a bit faster, tends to cause rubbing and annoying noise, and is generally less efficient.

All you really have to remember is that if you're in your easiest (biggest) couple gears at the back, then go into your easiest (smallest) ring at the front.  If you're in your hardest (smallest) couple gears at the back, then go into your biggest ring at the front.

All the more reason that I love my 1x. 

...and why are there no emoticons on this site.  Are we too grown up for that? 

fluffmuffin

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2017, 08:35:04 AM »
Hey experts, can you help me think through a moment on my commute home? I'm never sure what to do with myself.

I have to go down a one-lane road with a bike lane. As it approaches Big Cross Street, it expands into three lanes and the bike lane disappears: so you've got a right turn lane, straight ahead lane, and a combo left turn/straight ahead lane. After the intersection, there are two travel lanes on my side of the street, and no bike lane. I need to proceed across Big Cross Street and then make a left turn a block later.

Currently, I'm riding in the bike lane until it phases out into the right turn lane, then hopping onto the sidewalk via a handy cut in the curb for the 20 remaining feet until the intersection. I wait at the corner until it's safe, then proceed across the intersection in the cross walk. I know riding on the sidewalk is bad, but I get rattled taking the straight-ahead travel lane because there's usually a long line of cars, and I can't stay right next to the curb because then I'm interfering with people trying to make a right turn. Where do I go?

Once I'm across the intersection, I wait until the line of cars has passed, then get back out into the right travel lane until I need to make the left turn a block later. Sometimes this means I have to come to a complete stop, though, since I'm working with four lanes of traffic, and there's no bike lane so I'm just standing in the road. This makes me nervous since sometimes I have to wait a while, and there's no easy way to get my bike up and down from the sidewalk there without dismounting. There's plenty of room for cars to pass but standing in a traffic lane just doesn't seem like a smart move.

What do I do with myself? In theory I could make the left turn at the original Big Cross Street via the left turn lane, but that spits me onto a busy road with a line of parked commuter cars that are also trying to get out (so lots of opening doors, people trying to bolt out of parallel spots before the next wave of traffic hits, etc.). I would also have to deal with a second busy intersection, while going up to the intersection that I'm using now means I'm on my own very quiet residential street the whole rest of the way home.

Help! Everything else is going smoothly at this point (knock on wood).

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2017, 08:55:09 AM »
Thechnically - you're supposed to go straight through in the straight through lane, if it's narrow (ie not enough room to pass a cyclist safely and stay in the lane), then you should be in the middle of the lane and wait with the cars, once through the intersection merge into the right lane (watching for right turning cars from the other direction and cars going straight through in the turn lane) until you need to turn left... and then yes wait in the traffic lane to turn. This works really well for fast, confident cyclists... slower cyclists are likely to get harassed and dangerously passed (I get to be both depending on how much cargo I carry)

Now cyclists get yelled at a lot, for doing what their supposed to and doing what their not, so really there are a lot of different ways to get through this and your risk depends on a lot of different things. Does the sidewalk have driveways/alleys/parking lot exits and entrances and are their many pedestrians... if it doesn't have many of those and you are a slower biker I would stay on the sidewalk and walk my bike through the major intersection... then I might stay on the sidewalk all the way until you make a left (if there's a crosswalk there just get off your bike and get cars to yield... then continue on your quiet residential street home.) If there is no crosswalk, I might even use the Big cross street (it has lights? or crosswalks?) to get to the other side of the street and continue a block on the sidewalk.

Again, when riding on the sidewalk, remember sightlines around corners are not built for speed, so go slower (jogging pace), be considerate to pedestrians, and get off your bike for major intersections.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #69 on: November 28, 2017, 10:22:14 AM »
In general if you have to bike in a lane for cars, you'll be safer occupying the entire lane than hugging the curb (assuming you are appropriately visible). Hugging the curb in a narrow lane invites cars to pass you dangerously. In the middle of the lane, it's clear they need to change lanes if they want to go around.

This is only something I do during a short interlude in which the bike lane has been eaten by construction, though.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #70 on: November 28, 2017, 10:35:21 AM »
Hey experts, can you help me think through a moment on my commute home? I'm never sure what to do with myself.

I have to go down a one-lane road with a bike lane. As it approaches Big Cross Street, it expands into three lanes and the bike lane disappears: so you've got a right turn lane, straight ahead lane, and a combo left turn/straight ahead lane. After the intersection, there are two travel lanes on my side of the street, and no bike lane. I need to proceed across Big Cross Street and then make a left turn a block later.

Currently, I'm riding in the bike lane until it phases out into the right turn lane, then hopping onto the sidewalk via a handy cut in the curb for the 20 remaining feet until the intersection. I wait at the corner until it's safe, then proceed across the intersection in the cross walk. I know riding on the sidewalk is bad, but I get rattled taking the straight-ahead travel lane because there's usually a long line of cars, and I can't stay right next to the curb because then I'm interfering with people trying to make a right turn. Where do I go?

Once I'm across the intersection, I wait until the line of cars has passed, then get back out into the right travel lane until I need to make the left turn a block later. Sometimes this means I have to come to a complete stop, though, since I'm working with four lanes of traffic, and there's no bike lane so I'm just standing in the road. This makes me nervous since sometimes I have to wait a while, and there's no easy way to get my bike up and down from the sidewalk there without dismounting. There's plenty of room for cars to pass but standing in a traffic lane just doesn't seem like a smart move.

What do I do with myself? In theory I could make the left turn at the original Big Cross Street via the left turn lane, but that spits me onto a busy road with a line of parked commuter cars that are also trying to get out (so lots of opening doors, people trying to bolt out of parallel spots before the next wave of traffic hits, etc.). I would also have to deal with a second busy intersection, while going up to the intersection that I'm using now means I'm on my own very quiet residential street the whole rest of the way home.

Help! Everything else is going smoothly at this point (knock on wood).

If you need to use the sidewalk because it's too dangerous, you should dismount your bike and walk.  Walk to the intersection, cross over at the intersection, walk (on the opposing sidewalk) to the next intersection, cross it, and then get on your bike and join back in with traffic.  If that's going too slow for you, then stay on the road.

I have a very similar intersection and left hand turn on my way to work every morning.  I ride the bike lane and start shoulder checking well before it has ended.  Merge over into the straight through lane near where the bike lane ends, and take the lane if it's very narrow.  Once you're past the intersection, signal your left turn, shoulder check, and move into the left lane as it becomes free.  I'll usually move to the left side of the lane at this point, this gives aggressive drivers the chance to floor it around me on the right hand side.  Signal, and then make your turn at the intersection.

If traffic is too busy or fast moving in your area for that (which happens), you could ride to the intersection where you need to make the left hand turn, and then dismount on the sidewalk.  Cross the street as a pedestrian, wait until there's a free spot in the traffic, and remount and continue on your way up the road.  (This bypasses the need to merge to the left lane entirely.)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 10:37:52 AM by GuitarStv »

fluffmuffin

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2017, 11:57:41 AM »
Thanks all. I'm a really slow biker so I worry about people getting road rage when I have to take the whole lane, but I know I need to work on getting over it. Fortunately there's quite a bit of bike traffic on this route, so most people are used to driving with cyclists.

GuitarStv, I'm going to try what you outline tomorrow.

Askel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2017, 12:50:23 PM »
If there's lots of bike commuter traffic in the area, a fun thing to try and organize is a "bike train".  Check if there are any bicycle advocacy groups in your area- they may already be organizing them.

Every day, it follows a preset route with stops where everybody waits for 5 minutes or so to jump on the bike train. (usually at least one stop is someplace for coffee in the morning/beer in the evening). The group is led by a conductor who keeps the schedule and everybody together.

Folks can also join up or jump off whenever is convenient. 

It gives both safety in numbers as well as some people to chat with on the ride.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #73 on: November 28, 2017, 03:06:16 PM »
Thanks all. I'm a really slow biker so I worry about people getting road rage when I have to take the whole lane, but I know I need to work on getting over it. Fortunately there's quite a bit of bike traffic on this route, so most people are used to driving with cyclists.

GuitarStv, I'm going to try what you outline tomorrow.

Don't give up hope . . . there's almost always a safe work-around to a troubling vehicular cycling situation when you give the scenario a lot of thought!

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #74 on: November 28, 2017, 04:38:43 PM »
Thanks all. I'm a really slow biker so I worry about people getting road rage when I have to take the whole lane, but I know I need to work on getting over it. Fortunately there's quite a bit of bike traffic on this route, so most people are used to driving with cyclists.

GuitarStv, I'm going to try what you outline tomorrow.

If you stick with it, it's pretty much inevitable that you will get faster.

zeli2033

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #75 on: December 03, 2017, 09:14:35 PM »
Thanks all. I'm a really slow biker so I worry about people getting road rage when I have to take the whole lane, but I know I need to work on getting over it. Fortunately there's quite a bit of bike traffic on this route, so most people are used to driving with cyclists.

I worry about this as well. I'm a very new bike commuter (live two miles from work, been commuting by bike for 3 months now and going strong into rainy fall/winter!).

Living in a fairly bike-friendly town should make this simpler but it actually makes me more nervous when there are long lines of cars AND experienced cyclists behind me. Slowly but surely, I've been gaining a little more confidence the more I do it. Happy to see I'm not alone in this.

never give up

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #76 on: December 04, 2017, 03:01:39 PM »
Great to see a thread on this. Iíve commuted by bike for several years now. Iím based in the UK. Itís only just over 7 miles for me a day so nothing massively impressive.

Iím not sure if anyone can help me (maybe Canadian cyclists) but the biggest issue I have this time of year, when there is a frost is my hands. I wear three pairs of gloves but they are still frozen and hurt like crazy when I arrive at work! Anyone got any tips here please? All my other extremities are fine but my hands are in agony.

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #77 on: December 04, 2017, 04:31:10 PM »
Great to see a thread on this. Iíve commuted by bike for several years now. Iím based in the UK. Itís only just over 7 miles for me a day so nothing massively impressive.

Iím not sure if anyone can help me (maybe Canadian cyclists) but the biggest issue I have this time of year, when there is a frost is my hands. I wear three pairs of gloves but they are still frozen and hurt like crazy when I arrive at work! Anyone got any tips here please? All my other extremities are fine but my hands are in agony.

Invest in bar mitts.  They are worth it. I have these on my bike in Winter. 

https://www.modernbike.com/product-2126178521?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrcnAxMHx1wIVCsZkCh2T8gywEAQYAyABEgKT0_D_BwE


TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #78 on: December 04, 2017, 04:40:42 PM »
Iím not sure if anyone can help me (maybe Canadian cyclists) but the biggest issue I have this time of year, when there is a frost is my hands. I wear three pairs of gloves but they are still frozen and hurt like crazy when I arrive at work! Anyone got any tips here please? All my other extremities are fine but my hands are in agony.

Better gloves. My winter gloves have a wind and waterproof outer layer, a lining layer and when it's really cold I also wear the separate liner gloves that came with them. The fabric of the outer layer should resemble the fabric winter parkas are made of, since it serves the same purpose.

Also, make sure they're not too tight. Anything tight restricts circulation and results in the body part feeling colder. This is especially true for hands and feet.

I wore a glove similar to this one today, https://garneau.com/ca/en/proof-gloves-c/color/black-020-60. It was frosty and about 2C. My fingers were toasty.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #79 on: December 04, 2017, 05:56:36 PM »
Iím not sure if anyone can help me (maybe Canadian cyclists) but the biggest issue I have this time of year, when there is a frost is my hands. I wear three pairs of gloves but they are still frozen and hurt like crazy when I arrive at work! Anyone got any tips here please? All my other extremities are fine but my hands are in agony.

I ride pretty comfortably down to about -8 C with two light weight pairs of jogging gloves layered.  A few things that work well for me:
- Keep your core and your arms warm.  If your core is warm enough, your body will shunt extra heat to your extremities.  If your core gets just slightly too cool, your body stops doing this as a survival mechanism.
- Your gloves should not be snug.  Things that are tight cut off your circulation, and circulation is needed to keep you warm.  They don't need to be hanging off you, but try going up a size and see if it helps.
- If possible get an outer layer that's windproof/waterproof and an inner layer that's insulating.

When it gets below -8 I will switch to heavy duty skiing gloves.  They're too thick to work STI shifters, so that's when I pull out the winter bike with bar ends.

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #80 on: December 04, 2017, 06:34:57 PM »
With bar mitts, most gloves are sufficient.  I can't say enough good things about these things.  If those are too expensive, some modified water jugs would do the trick.  The problem with the cold is the forward motion and the wind.  That can blow through most gloves.  Nice gloves are pretty expensive.  I have a pair of Castellis that are pretty divine, when I ride my bike without the bar mitts. 

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #81 on: December 04, 2017, 11:12:45 PM »
Hi, thank you so much for all the replies, much appreciated. I have experimented with various glove styles and combinations over the years. Nothing seems to have worked. Often reviews are left by people saying their hands are toasty warm wearing them but they havenít worked for me.

My current combination is a silk glove (apparently skiers wear these?) followed by a neoprene layer followed by a thicker waterproof type glove. I just about have enough feel to change gears and brake here! I am travelling about 6:30am when I have the trouble. During the day and early evening I donít have the problem. The rest of my body is warm and my feet, ears etc donít have an issue.

Thanks very much for the links. Iíll take a look at some other products. I havenít seen bar mitts before. I have a downhill a few minutes in and itís definitely the airflow here that gets my hands off to a very cold start.


Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #82 on: December 05, 2017, 07:38:53 AM »
The root problem of cold hands is a cold core.  When your core temp starts to fall, your body starts to shut off blood flow to your extremities.  The warmest gloves in the world aren't going to make a difference if your core isn't warm enough.  I would try adding another layer, like a vest.

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #83 on: December 05, 2017, 07:41:15 AM »
Hi, thank you so much for all the replies, much appreciated. I have experimented with various glove styles and combinations over the years. Nothing seems to have worked. Often reviews are left by people saying their hands are toasty warm wearing them but they havenít worked for me.

My current combination is a silk glove (apparently skiers wear these?) followed by a neoprene layer followed by a thicker waterproof type glove. I just about have enough feel to change gears and brake here! I am travelling about 6:30am when I have the trouble. During the day and early evening I donít have the problem. The rest of my body is warm and my feet, ears etc donít have an issue.

Thanks very much for the links. Iíll take a look at some other products. I havenít seen bar mitts before. I have a downhill a few minutes in and itís definitely the airflow here that gets my hands off to a very cold start.

This is going to seem very tacky, but I have seen some people use milk jugs crafted to the bars for the winter.  It works double duty, you can keep your hands dry and warmer.  It keeps the wind off well, and you can't beat the price.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #84 on: December 05, 2017, 08:52:33 AM »
We have a few winter cyclists with Raynaud's syndrome - it contributes to poor circulation in the hands and therefore they struggle with cold hands. From what I've read, they survive using either the chemical hot packs (apparently you can put these in the fridge - to slow the reaction - after your morning ride and they will still work on the ride home) or even battery heated mitts/gloves.

I wear merino wool liners, and then down ski mitts. I can still reach my brakes and I have twist shift.  The liners are important for locking/unlocking so that my hands don't get to cold right at the start, as they never warm up. This works for me down to about -25C, but if I had a commute longer than about 30 minutes I would invest in bar mitts at that temp.

You can also get lobster gloves that keep more fingers together but still allow for shifting/braking, but I find mitts keep me toasty and nimble enough.


ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2017, 09:18:56 AM »
My winter ride.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 09:25:44 AM by ACyclist »

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2017, 09:44:20 AM »
Just added bar mitts to my amazon wish list. These look amazing and my hands always get cold so I think this will really be helpful riding in the winter.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #87 on: December 05, 2017, 10:16:52 AM »
I wear 4 layers when itís very cold so I donít think my core is cold. Everything is fine except the hands. I do appreciate everyoneís comments on what they do. Some of the temperatures quoted are far below those that I have to put up with.

I have a fairly icy remote country lane that is never treated on the commute. It can be a bit treacherous. Iím wondering if on the very cold days I would be better off walking. My hands have always been fine walking. That way I avoid the treacherous lane and the cold hands. That may be the best way to proceed over the next couple of months or so.

ACyclist

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #88 on: December 05, 2017, 10:30:35 AM »
It was 19 today for my ride.  My hands were toasty. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #89 on: December 05, 2017, 10:35:34 AM »
I wear 4 layers when itís very cold so I donít think my core is cold. Everything is fine except the hands. I do appreciate everyoneís comments on what they do. Some of the temperatures quoted are far below those that I have to put up with.

I have a fairly icy remote country lane that is never treated on the commute. It can be a bit treacherous. Iím wondering if on the very cold days I would be better off walking. My hands have always been fine walking. That way I avoid the treacherous lane and the cold hands. That may be the best way to proceed over the next couple of months or so.

What kind of covering is on your handlebars?  Aluminum is a great conductor of heat away from the body.  Cork bar wrap, and some of the thicker rubber grips provide OK insulation about this.  If you have very thin grips this could be worsening your cold hands problem.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #90 on: December 05, 2017, 10:39:08 AM »
My commuter is a rigid forked mountain bike. So the grips are the fairly standard rubber mountain bike size. They arenít thin. Thatís a good thought. The bar/grips doesnít feel cold. Iím sure its the air flow that is the culprit.

eightyeighttoone

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #91 on: December 07, 2017, 12:12:16 AM »
My wife and I mountain bike pretty regularly, but I'm terrified to ride on the roads around here. We live in the mountains of East Tennessee. The locals here have their vices... some smoke meth, others "roll coal" in big lifted trucks, either way these curvy roads are most of the time treated like a race car track... I get nervous even in a car. I used to ride a DRZ400, but after having children I sold that for fear of them being without a father. I have read the blog post about fear, and have looked at the studies, but I still have fear. Am I being silly?

Thinking that everybody on the road is some methed out redneck ready to roll coal on you might be a bit silly. However, having a healthy respect for roads with low visibility and fast moving traffic is not.   

I typically avoid such roads, because riding in fast moving traffic is just no fun, but sometimes you have to do it to get where you are going.  I deal with this by:
1. Staying seen. Lights, day-glo reflective vests, festive hawaiian shirts, whatever it takes. 
2. Ride respectfully. Try not to unnecessarily impede traffic. Pull over for a bit if you do.  Use hand signals. 
3. Stay aware. Look around, try and anticipate what people will do. Looking drivers in the eye really helps. 

Sure, there's the occasional nitwit that does something or yells something* out the window, but be happy- that means they saw you.  It's the ones that don't see you that will get you. 

*Best thing ever yelled out a car window at me: "GET A JOB, ASSHOLE!"

Thanks for the input, and the laugh at the end. haha Get a Job!

As someone who grew up in the northeast TN as a "local", I understand your concern regarding the combination of narrow, curvy, 2 lane mountain roads with NO shoulder on the one hand, and a not insignificant percentage of drivers who are either imitating Dale Earnhardt (rest in peace), or who maybe spilled their beer and are reaching for it down in the passenger seat.... Ok maybe I exaggerate a little.... But I feel ya. I live in Colorado now and biking here is a dream. I would be uncomfortable on a lot of roads in East TN (except Knoxville, JC, and few other spots.) On the other hand, the thrill of risking your life every day during your bike commute could add to the enjoyment. Some roads just aren't as bike friendly as others. That being said, didn't Lance Armstrong decide to start riding again after doing Beech Mtn, NC?

marielle

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #92 on: December 07, 2017, 06:18:48 AM »
Lesson learned this week: Bring some sort of glasses when riding because it might rain on the ride home. Thankfully it was a short ride!

JanetJackson

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #93 on: December 07, 2017, 06:39:37 AM »
Posting because I did my first work ride yesterday!
On Sunday the transmission blew in my old Honda... so for the day job I am using a company car and reimbursing for personal miles.  Well, on the two days a week that I don't go to the office, I have a dog walking business and serve a 5-mile and under radius.  Welp, I didn't want to reimburse the company, so I hopped on the bike I inherited from my grandfather when he passed away last year (he was an avid cyclist).
I served two clients and overall it was MAYBE a 3.5 mile round trip.  I did have to walk up the steepest hill in town at about halfway... I was in the lowest gear and standing, but baaaarely moving and tipping over.  I also got really sweaty and realized just how hard cycling is.  It was about 42 degrees here, but felt ok.
I neither feel encouraged or discouraged about cycling more- pretty neutral... But I think I'll likely try it for the two times a week that I serve pet clients.  I need to get a light, helmet, and lock (I had to bring my bike inside people's houses... not everyone will be cool with that).

Anyways... YAY!  I did it.  I was moving like molasses and heaving and panting (I don't even consider myself out-of-shape... so... hmmmm), but I DID IT!

MSquared

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #94 on: December 07, 2017, 07:29:29 AM »
We have a few winter cyclists with Raynaud's syndrome - it contributes to poor circulation in the hands and therefore they struggle with cold hands. From what I've read, they survive using either the chemical hot packs (apparently you can put these in the fridge - to slow the reaction - after your morning ride and they will still work on the ride home) or even battery heated mitts/gloves.

I have Raynaud's and the chemical hot packs are a must for me every winter.  Better than sticking them in the fridge - put them in a washed out jar of baby food.  (Or ziplock bag, but I think the jar works better.)  They react to air, so when you take away the air, they stay good to use later. 

frompa

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #95 on: December 07, 2017, 01:43:33 PM »
Posting because I did my first work ride yesterday!
On Sunday the transmission blew in my old Honda... so for the day job I am using a company car and reimbursing for personal miles.  Well, on the two days a week that I don't go to the office, I have a dog walking business and serve a 5-mile and under radius.  Welp, I didn't want to reimburse the company, so I hopped on the bike I inherited from my grandfather when he passed away last year (he was an avid cyclist).
I served two clients and overall it was MAYBE a 3.5 mile round trip.  I did have to walk up the steepest hill in town at about halfway... I was in the lowest gear and standing, but baaaarely moving and tipping over.  I also got really sweaty and realized just how hard cycling is.  It was about 42 degrees here, but felt ok.
I neither feel encouraged or discouraged about cycling more- pretty neutral... But I think I'll likely try it for the two times a week that I serve pet clients.  I need to get a light, helmet, and lock (I had to bring my bike inside people's houses... not everyone will be cool with that).

Anyways... YAY!  I did it.  I was moving like molasses and heaving and panting (I don't even consider myself out-of-shape... so... hmmmm), but I DID IT!

GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Even though you are in shape, you will get more in shape the more you ride, and there's nothing like hills to take care of that for you.  Good luck with your longer term plan!

cazio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #96 on: December 08, 2017, 08:29:38 PM »
Joining! I start back to school in January and I plan to bike from home to school each day (and hopefully back - otherwise taking public transport and biking combo). I'm a total biking noob so it'll be a new experience for me!

I am incredibly lucky in that 90% of my route will be on a designated bike path - no busy roads to deal with beyond crossing one "highway" to get back on the path.  Best part - home to school is all downhill, and the uphill isn't that bad on the way back!

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #97 on: December 10, 2017, 07:54:02 PM »
I took a bike trip out to the bulk grocery store yesterday for my longest ride yet at 17.6 miles round trip. Mostly just for practice; I only bought one thing. I had a rain check I wanted to use before it expired. I did walk up the worst hill - almost a 10% grade for over half a mile. Geez. Got passed by a jogger going up that sucker.

I probably won't repeat that trip - I'd prefer to buy in bulk at the bulk store, and the bike infrastructure really broke down once we got close - but it's nice to know I can do it.