Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 63770 times)

philli14

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #700 on: April 09, 2019, 09:01:23 AM »
Thought for the day as I was cycling into work...

Don't underestimate the power of positive reinforcement when you're out on the bike. A simple wave, hand gesture, smile, nod, etc. in thanks when a vehicle drives safely near you (recognizes you, eye contact, let's you merge, is cautious around you, doesn't endanger you with a narrow pass, etc.) can go a long way into reinforcing these behaviors!

Even though it is not something that should be celebrated/encouraged (it just SHOULD happen), we all know it doesn't happen all the time. Further, we humans like being recognized for doing something "nice", which is likely what many drivers feel they are being when they drive cautiously around you. At the very least, the reinforcement will help those drivers be more wary of cyclists in the future.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #701 on: April 09, 2019, 03:31:54 PM »
I have myself wishing for a second bike bell, really a loud, annoying bike horn. The bell is polite for letting peds know I am overtaking them. I need something obnoxious to let cars know to back off or stop being idiots.


I've considered putting an airhorn on my bike. Should be plenty loud enough to get driver's attention.

So, to change the subject, where's the craziest place you've ridden your bike so far?

I'll go first. Today I made my second ever trip to the cardiologist by bike. The nice thing about showing up in bike shoes and carrying panniers is that the staff treat you really, really well. You get the gold star treatment because you're obviously doing your best to keep from getting decrepit.

The downside is that you're a bit smellier, especially when you have to keep taking your shirt off.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #702 on: April 09, 2019, 04:59:47 PM »
Ooh, that is an interesting question. I think I mostly havenít ridden anywhere interesting. I went to a ear doctor appointment on my bike, but I donít think I looked like a biker once I took off my neon yellow windbreaker.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #703 on: April 09, 2019, 05:08:18 PM »
I just bought a new combo light and horn. We'll see how it fares. Also, for those following at home, superglue was not sufficient to fix my pannier clip.

I haven't ridden anywhere that weird... maybe the library? Last weekend I tried to fit my Trader Joe's haul into a yoga mat bag because I made an impulsive decision to stop for groceries, forgetting I had nothing to carry them. (I failed and had to ride home with a TJ's bag dangling from a handlebar.)

I'm in a facebook Buy Nothing group and many times have had to explain that I can't pick something up until the weekend, because the gifter's house is too far (read: across a ravine) from mine to fit into my daily commute. Actually, speaking of the BN group, I've been thinking about offering to be a bike buddy for anyone along my route who's just starting out and learning to be comfortable merging with cars, etc. I'm obviously no expert at maintenance, but I think I've learned the area pretty well.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 06:32:06 PM by Tass »

slipslop

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #704 on: April 09, 2019, 06:31:38 PM »
So, to change the subject, where's the craziest place you've ridden your bike so far?

Rode home from the podiatrist... after having an ingrown toenail removed.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #705 on: April 09, 2019, 08:31:52 PM »
The fastest way to clean your chain I've found is to whack it with some WD40 and then carefully wipe off all excess with a rag.  Let it sit overnight, wipe off any further excess with a rag, and re-lube.  It's probably worth running a rag along the teeth on your cassette and chain ring (as well as jockey wheels) while you do this.  All told, this shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

I did this this evening - the chain never stopped leaving black on the rag, despite me certainly using way too much WD40. Does that mean I didn't clean enough, or should I just go back at it with the rag tomorrow and lube whatever I've got at that point?

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #706 on: April 10, 2019, 07:44:16 AM »

So, to change the subject, where's the craziest place you've ridden your bike so far?


I do almost all of my errands by bike now, unless it's too far and I can't find a safe route (my dentist), or I need to bring the kids. 

Probably the weirdest one was where I had some friends unexpectedly show up at a bar a few miles away and invite me out.  Showed up on my bike, which amused them.  For the safety-conscious, I only had one drink.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #707 on: April 10, 2019, 08:43:03 AM »
The fastest way to clean your chain I've found is to whack it with some WD40 and then carefully wipe off all excess with a rag.  Let it sit overnight, wipe off any further excess with a rag, and re-lube.  It's probably worth running a rag along the teeth on your cassette and chain ring (as well as jockey wheels) while you do this.  All told, this shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

I did this this evening - the chain never stopped leaving black on the rag, despite me certainly using way too much WD40. Does that mean I didn't clean enough, or should I just go back at it with the rag tomorrow and lube whatever I've got at that point?

It's good to see black on the rag . . . that's all crap that was stuck to your chain! 

Go back at it tomorrow and you should be able to get the black to come free.  Most of the stuff will drip out or evaporate by the morning.

I don't usually soak the chain in WD-40 though, just a quick blast as I spin the pedals.  If I don't wipe off all the WD-40 then it will prevent the lube from adhering properly to the chain.  You might need to wipe the chain down and relube again the day after too if this is the case.

This is my speedy/half assed way of cleaning the chain in the winter when I'm cold and want to go inside.  :P

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #708 on: April 10, 2019, 09:52:41 AM »
The fastest way to clean your chain I've found is to whack it with some WD40 and then carefully wipe off all excess with a rag.  Let it sit overnight, wipe off any further excess with a rag, and re-lube.  It's probably worth running a rag along the teeth on your cassette and chain ring (as well as jockey wheels) while you do this.  All told, this shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

I did this this evening - the chain never stopped leaving black on the rag, despite me certainly using way too much WD40. Does that mean I didn't clean enough, or should I just go back at it with the rag tomorrow and lube whatever I've got at that point?

It's good to see black on the rag . . . that's all crap that was stuck to your chain! 

Go back at it tomorrow and you should be able to get the black to come free.  Most of the stuff will drip out or evaporate by the morning.

I don't usually soak the chain in WD-40 though, just a quick blast as I spin the pedals.  If I don't wipe off all the WD-40 then it will prevent the lube from adhering properly to the chain.  You might need to wipe the chain down and relube again the day after too if this is the case.

This is my speedy/half assed way of cleaning the chain in the winter when I'm cold and want to go inside.  :P

Another simple way to clean it would be to take the chain off and stick it in a water bottle with some degreaser. Shake it up so the degreaser can dissolve all the crud and let it sit for a while. Shake again and then take out the chain. I usually cut the bottle open to get the chain out. Rinse well with lots of water in the sink.

Getting the chain on and off is made much easier if it's had a quick link added. Most replacement chains come with this now, but if yours doesn't have one, you can ask your bike shop to add one.

I just use citrus degreaser from the hardware store. It's cheap and works great. The stuff branded for bike cleaning tends to be more dilute and much more expensive.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #709 on: April 10, 2019, 10:05:19 AM »
Yeah, that's what I do in the summer usually.  I find that pulling a chain off and putting one back on is kinda a PITA when it's twenty below in a dark garage though.  :P

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #710 on: April 10, 2019, 10:12:15 AM »

So, to change the subject, where's the craziest place you've ridden your bike so far?


I do almost all of my errands by bike now, unless it's too far and I can't find a safe route (my dentist), or I need to bring the kids. 

Probably the weirdest one was where I had some friends unexpectedly show up at a bar a few miles away and invite me out.  Showed up on my bike, which amused them.  For the safety-conscious, I only had one drink.

Bikes and bars go hand in hand. I figure drunk biking to be much more safe for all involved than drunk driving. (It helps to finds bars close to home.)

Probably the craziest place I rode my bike was to my son's parent-teacher conference. It wasn't the act itself, but it was the fact that I needed to ride about fifteen miles from work on a 100-degree F afternoon. I was an embarrassed sweaty mess for the occasion. :)

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #711 on: April 10, 2019, 10:56:16 AM »
So, to change the subject, where's the craziest place you've ridden your bike so far?
Nothing very crazy.

I've biked to various temp jobs. It's a bit of a challenge to go someplace new and be worried about first impressions. Most are in large office buildings where you can change in the restroom off the main lobby before making a first impression. Sometimes I've had to find a convenience store nearby and ask to change in the restroom. Furthest I've traveled for work was 20 miles (one time only and it wasn't my first day on that assignment).

Memorial Day service at a cemetery 20 miles from home (I think I've done this one 3 years running - I tend to go bike crazy in May for our regional MayIsBikeMonth).

Camping with my brother (he hauled most of the gear in a trailer).

Church (also in may).

IKEA - I just went there on a whim biking around on a glorious spring Saturday a few weeks ago. I didn't buy anything however, I do wish I had a bike trailer like MMM's that I could bring home furniture in.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #712 on: April 10, 2019, 11:10:06 AM »
I used to regularly ride my bike about 10 km to a farmer's market just outside of town.  It was cool because I got to roll by the two football fields of car parking and park my bike at the gate.  On one of these trips I carried back two 10 lb bags of apples (panniers), some assorted veggies, and a 15lb pumpkin in a large plastic box lashed to the top of my rack with some creative bungeeing.  Cycling with the weight was fine, but it was really hard to keep the bike from flipping over when stopped.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #713 on: April 11, 2019, 02:13:12 PM »
@DadJokes thanks for voicing your frustration. I'm a converted bicyclist from a car-centric-city upbringing so I've had a lot of conversations where similar responses pop up.
My personal belief is that most of the frustrations are when both groups are misunderstanding the other or have unclear expectations of the other.
I'm putting together some information and I think your perspective on the project would be helpful. Would you be willing to input on the content and communication style? (it's not quite ready yet, so don't get too eager)

ETA: anyone else interested in inputting on a Let's-all-understand-each-other Traffic Presentation?
It might be naive, but I'd like to try a different approach than the other bike presentations out there.

Sure, I would be happy to.

Sorry @DadJokes, I've been MIA recently.
Thank you for your willingness! I'll PM you when I have something to review (might be a month or more)

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #714 on: April 11, 2019, 02:23:09 PM »
Thought for the day as I was cycling into work...

Don't underestimate the power of positive reinforcement when you're out on the bike. A simple wave, hand gesture, smile, nod, etc. in thanks when a vehicle drives safely near you (recognizes you, eye contact, let's you merge, is cautious around you, doesn't endanger you with a narrow pass, etc.) can go a long way into reinforcing these behaviors!

Even though it is not something that should be celebrated/encouraged (it just SHOULD happen), we all know it doesn't happen all the time. Further, we humans like being recognized for doing something "nice", which is likely what many drivers feel they are being when they drive cautiously around you. At the very least, the reinforcement will help those drivers be more wary of cyclists in the future.
This x1 million.  I'm a smiling, waving, head nodding fool when I'm on my bike and a driver exhibits great behavior.

However, I also don't shy away from giving 1-1 feedback. Which hasn't ever resulted in "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll do better next time."
It physically pains me to think that I just sat back and let something happen. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing", and all that.  Because that's how you get ants Hitler.
What if the driver was just never told that what they did was inappropriate?

For others with this urge to communicate, how do you keep it to yourself? Do you think you should?


*FYI, I though maybe this urge could be balanced with doing something else to increase awareness/education. So I am actively working with my city and community to create a Bicycle Traffic Awareness program.
But it is still so hard to sit by while someone threatens harm on another human being.


GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #715 on: April 11, 2019, 02:27:49 PM »
So, to change the subject, where's the craziest place you've ridden your bike so far?

The eye doctor receptionists got a kick out of me showing up and asking where the nearest bike rack was. Turns out there wasn't one in the whole strip mall, but they happily suggested to keep my bike in the lobby.
"You're the second person to show up on a bike. There's this man that came in last week, and it was snowing!"  Ya...that man is my husband. Ha.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #716 on: April 11, 2019, 03:13:27 PM »
"You're the second person to show up on a bike. There's this man that came in last week, and it was snowing!"  Ya...that man is my husband. Ha.

Ha!

That reminds me that I did once ride my bike to a very fancy hotel where I was meeting a visiting professor for a meal. Zipped right up to the valet and asked where I could park it. They offered to keep it in a maintenance closet (for free) and concluded I didn't need a valet receipt because it was the only bike in there.

By the way, my ride is wonderfully quiet and squeak-free now that my chain is clean(ish) and lubed!

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #717 on: April 11, 2019, 07:14:57 PM »
Thought for the day as I was cycling into work...

Don't underestimate the power of positive reinforcement when you're out on the bike. A simple wave, hand gesture, smile, nod, etc. in thanks when a vehicle drives safely near you (recognizes you, eye contact, let's you merge, is cautious around you, doesn't endanger you with a narrow pass, etc.) can go a long way into reinforcing these behaviors!

Even though it is not something that should be celebrated/encouraged (it just SHOULD happen), we all know it doesn't happen all the time. Further, we humans like being recognized for doing something "nice", which is likely what many drivers feel they are being when they drive cautiously around you. At the very least, the reinforcement will help those drivers be more wary of cyclists in the future.
This x1 million.  I'm a smiling, waving, head nodding fool when I'm on my bike and a driver exhibits great behavior.

However, I also don't shy away from giving 1-1 feedback. Which hasn't ever resulted in "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll do better next time."
It physically pains me to think that I just sat back and let something happen. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing", and all that.  Because that's how you get ants Hitler.
What if the driver was just never told that what they did was inappropriate?

For others with this urge to communicate, how do you keep it to yourself? Do you think you should?


*FYI, I though maybe this urge could be balanced with doing something else to increase awareness/education. So I am actively working with my city and community to create a Bicycle Traffic Awareness program.
But it is still so hard to sit by while someone threatens harm on another human being.

LOL!  I donít have an issue with repressing my urge to communicate. Its pretty much primal scream therapy. I really need to work on that; weíre supposed to be bicycle ambassadors I suppose.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #718 on: April 11, 2019, 07:52:18 PM »
I just got yelled at out a car window for the very first time. Didn't catch a word of it. I'll assume it was encouragement.

To be fair, I WAS being somewhat unpredictable immediately prior. I was biking with my boyfriend for the first time, and he's not used to biking on the road. We were occupying the rightmost lane beside a lane of parked cars, when the parking area ended and a new rightmost lane opened up. I signaled to take it, but he didn't see me, with the result that we both scooted right but ended up sort of on the lane divider. Then the guy behind me honked, which SUPER helped me communicate with my partner (I had to shout), we merged right, and someone in the backseat shouted at us as they passed. It's hard to care without even knowing what he said, though.

Related: that was an EXTREMELY aggravating stretch of road to bike, with constant switches between bike lane present, parked car lane present, three lanes with rightmost marked to share with bikes, or - at one point - just two marked lanes, but the right one was double-wide. I'm enjoying my commute, but that ride was stressful. It's too bad the library is on the other side of it. I might honestly rather walk 4 miles round trip.

Final note: I just received my combo bike light and horn, so I am improving my ability to communicate! Kinda psyched.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #719 on: April 12, 2019, 06:33:39 AM »
I clean my chain with a gizmo that looks like this and some citrus degreaser from the hardware store.  https://www.amazon.ca/VeloChampion-Bike-Chain-Cleaner-Bicycle/dp/B002CLO29U/ref=sr_1_7?hvadid=230008289239&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001605&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=8118926246043663448&hvtargid=kwd-301091455831&keywords=bike+chain+cleaner&qid=1554755289&s=gateway&sr=8-7

Takes 2 minutes. Then just rinse off all the degreaser with a garden hose.

Good recommendation -- I'll have to get one of these! How do you guys clean your chainrings / gear cogs?

NorthernMonkey

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #720 on: April 12, 2019, 08:11:56 AM »
I use iso propyl alcohol and an old rag. Pour some alcohol on the rag, grab the bottom
Of the chain and turn the pedals a few times. Repeat until clean. If you keep the chain clean, it takes 30 seconds.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #721 on: April 12, 2019, 09:19:55 AM »
Related: that was an EXTREMELY aggravating stretch of road to bike, with constant switches between bike lane present, parked car lane present, three lanes with rightmost marked to share with bikes, or - at one point - just two marked lanes, but the right one was double-wide. I'm enjoying my commute, but that ride was stressful. It's too bad the library is on the other side of it. I might honestly rather walk 4 miles round trip.
Yeah, busy roads with inconsistent bike infrastructure is annoying. One street I commute on has two regular trafic lanes in each direction. The first block I ride has a school - there is a striped bike lane with signs and pavement markings. The next block is around a right hand curve and mostly has residences - the striping is the same, but the bike lane is not marked and the residents regularly park in the lane even though it's not wide enough so the cars straddle the solid white line (I assume it was intended as a bike lane, but someone removed the signs and parking restrictions are never enforced). Then the street straightens out and has businesses on it - bike lane striping goes away and sharrows are painted in the right hand traffic lane. The shoulder is wide enough for parking here, but there are rarely parked vehicles at the time I ride there, so I don't usually need to take the lane. Fortunately I usually take this trip before the street gets busy in the morning.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #722 on: April 12, 2019, 09:38:33 AM »
I clean my chain with a gizmo that looks like this and some citrus degreaser from the hardware store.  https://www.amazon.ca/VeloChampion-Bike-Chain-Cleaner-Bicycle/dp/B002CLO29U/ref=sr_1_7?hvadid=230008289239&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001605&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=8118926246043663448&hvtargid=kwd-301091455831&keywords=bike+chain+cleaner&qid=1554755289&s=gateway&sr=8-7

Takes 2 minutes. Then just rinse off all the degreaser with a garden hose.

Good recommendation -- I'll have to get one of these! How do you guys clean your chainrings / gear cogs?

I pour a bit of degreaser in an old ice cream bucket and use a tile brush from the hardware store to scrub the degreaser over all the cogs. Don't forget he jockeys (cogs) on the rear derailler. They collect the most gunk and they're usually plastic. https://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Building-Products-Tile-and-Grout-Brush-49146/205329342 See how it only costs a couple bucks?

You can also get a bike specific version of the same brush for 2-5x the cost. Or not.

I also use an old, thin rag dipped in a bit of the degreaser to wipe off the wheel rims because I have rim brakes. Wiping off all the sand and grit that accumulates on them from riding in wet weather makes my wheel rims last longer. Otherwise, the grit sands down the rims every time I apply the brakes.

After everything's been degreased and wiped off, make sure to spray off all the degreaser.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #723 on: April 12, 2019, 10:22:09 AM »
I pour a bit of degreaser in an old ice cream bucket and use a tile brush from the hardware store to scrub the degreaser over all the cogs. Don't forget he jockeys (cogs) on the rear derailler. They collect the most gunk and they're usually plastic. https://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Building-Products-Tile-and-Grout-Brush-49146/205329342 See how it only costs a couple bucks?

You can also get a bike specific version of the same brush for 2-5x the cost. Or not.
The bike specific one from Park Tools is about $5 and the handle end is designed to be thin enough to use to pick out gunk between the gears on the rear wheel. I've gone with the free version - a retired toothbrush; but that doesn't work so well if you use those fancy electric toothbrushes.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #724 on: April 12, 2019, 02:26:30 PM »

Related: that was an EXTREMELY aggravating stretch of road to bike, with constant switches between bike lane present, parked car lane present, three lanes with rightmost marked to share with bikes, or - at one point - just two marked lanes, but the right one was double-wide. I'm enjoying my commute, but that ride was stressful. It's too bad the library is on the other side of it. I might honestly rather walk 4 miles round trip.


Sounds like the Southern CA commitment to bike infrastructure I've grown to know and love.  It's too bad, really, since this sprawling, seething mass of concrete could well be a fantastic biking city if there were any public will to make it so. 

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #725 on: April 12, 2019, 02:30:15 PM »
I'm not in LA, but yeah, basically. It made me appreciate that most of my commute is through/around a college campus that accommodates bikes better.

I'd rather have no bike lane than a sporadic one.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #726 on: April 12, 2019, 07:31:28 PM »

Related: that was an EXTREMELY aggravating stretch of road to bike, with constant switches between bike lane present, parked car lane present, three lanes with rightmost marked to share with bikes, or - at one point - just two marked lanes, but the right one was double-wide. I'm enjoying my commute, but that ride was stressful. It's too bad the library is on the other side of it. I might honestly rather walk 4 miles round trip.


Sounds like the Southern CA commitment to bike infrastructure I've grown to know and love.  It's too bad, really, since this sprawling, seething mass of concrete could well be a fantastic biking city if there were any public will to make it so.

Interesting that you mention that. In my city bike lanes were installed about two years ago. I did not expect them to take off. I was wrong. Weíre seeing a lot more people riding. There are even some other lunatics out at 515 in the morning riding to work!


Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #727 on: April 12, 2019, 07:52:39 PM »
Just completed my first ever week of bike commuting every single day!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #728 on: April 13, 2019, 10:18:15 AM »
Just completed my first ever week of bike commuting every single day!
Nicely done!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #729 on: April 14, 2019, 03:07:47 PM »
I clean my chain with a gizmo that looks like this and some citrus degreaser from the hardware store.  https://www.amazon.ca/VeloChampion-Bike-Chain-Cleaner-Bicycle/dp/B002CLO29U/ref=sr_1_7?hvadid=230008289239&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001605&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=8118926246043663448&hvtargid=kwd-301091455831&keywords=bike+chain+cleaner&qid=1554755289&s=gateway&sr=8-7

Takes 2 minutes. Then just rinse off all the degreaser with a garden hose.

Good recommendation -- I'll have to get one of these! How do you guys clean your chainrings / gear cogs?

Deep clean:
- remove the chain and cassette (take the cassette apart) from rear wheel, dunk in a container of degreaser and let sit for a couple hours
- wipe down the two cogs on the rear derailleur and the chainrings with some degreaser/toothbrush* then wipe dry with a rag
- wipe clean each cog in the cassette
- hang the chain from a nail on the wall to drip dry overnight
- Re-assemble the cassette on the rear wheel, re-attach the rear wheel, re-attach the chain, lube the chain (sparingly)

*It is very important to thoroughly rinse the toothbrush before using it again on your teeth.

That only happens once or twice a year though.  Maybe once a month I'll use one of those degreaser thingies that fit over your chain and spin the chain backwards, dry, and re-lube.  After nearly every ride I'll spend a minute quickly wiping down the chain, cassette, jockey wheels, and chainrings . . . all together this tends to keep things very clean.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #730 on: April 15, 2019, 07:44:53 AM »
I clean my chain with a gizmo that looks like this and some citrus degreaser from the hardware store.  https://www.amazon.ca/VeloChampion-Bike-Chain-Cleaner-Bicycle/dp/B002CLO29U/ref=sr_1_7?hvadid=230008289239&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001605&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=8118926246043663448&hvtargid=kwd-301091455831&keywords=bike+chain+cleaner&qid=1554755289&s=gateway&sr=8-7

Takes 2 minutes. Then just rinse off all the degreaser with a garden hose.

Good recommendation -- I'll have to get one of these! How do you guys clean your chainrings / gear cogs?

Deep clean:
- remove the chain and cassette (take the cassette apart) from rear wheel, dunk in a container of degreaser and let sit for a couple hours
- wipe down the two cogs on the rear derailleur and the chainrings with some degreaser/toothbrush* then wipe dry with a rag
- wipe clean each cog in the cassette
- hang the chain from a nail on the wall to drip dry overnight
- Re-assemble the cassette on the rear wheel, re-attach the rear wheel, re-attach the chain, lube the chain (sparingly)

*It is very important to thoroughly rinse the toothbrush before using it again on your teeth.

That only happens once or twice a year though.  Maybe once a month I'll use one of those degreaser thingies that fit over your chain and spin the chain backwards, dry, and re-lube.  After nearly every ride I'll spend a minute quickly wiping down the chain, cassette, jockey wheels, and chainrings . . . all together this tends to keep things very clean.

Whatís a ďdegreaser thingie that fits over your chainĒ? I think I need one of those. Havenít cleaned the chain since I bought the bike two years ago. Yes, Iím a total newbie.

I have no garden, no balcony, no garage, no garden hose, and keep the bike in the spare bedroom, so I need something simple and not messy to clean the chain.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #731 on: April 15, 2019, 08:23:59 AM »
I clean my chain with a gizmo that looks like this and some citrus degreaser from the hardware store.  https://www.amazon.ca/VeloChampion-Bike-Chain-Cleaner-Bicycle/dp/B002CLO29U/ref=sr_1_7?hvadid=230008289239&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001605&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=8118926246043663448&hvtargid=kwd-301091455831&keywords=bike+chain+cleaner&qid=1554755289&s=gateway&sr=8-7

Takes 2 minutes. Then just rinse off all the degreaser with a garden hose.

Good recommendation -- I'll have to get one of these! How do you guys clean your chainrings / gear cogs?

Deep clean:
- remove the chain and cassette (take the cassette apart) from rear wheel, dunk in a container of degreaser and let sit for a couple hours
- wipe down the two cogs on the rear derailleur and the chainrings with some degreaser/toothbrush* then wipe dry with a rag
- wipe clean each cog in the cassette
- hang the chain from a nail on the wall to drip dry overnight
- Re-assemble the cassette on the rear wheel, re-attach the rear wheel, re-attach the chain, lube the chain (sparingly)

*It is very important to thoroughly rinse the toothbrush before using it again on your teeth.

That only happens once or twice a year though.  Maybe once a month I'll use one of those degreaser thingies that fit over your chain and spin the chain backwards, dry, and re-lube.  After nearly every ride I'll spend a minute quickly wiping down the chain, cassette, jockey wheels, and chainrings . . . all together this tends to keep things very clean.

Whatís a ďdegreaser thingie that fits over your chainĒ? I think I need one of those. Havenít cleaned the chain since I bought the bike two years ago. Yes, Iím a total newbie.

I have no garden, no balcony, no garage, no garden hose, and keep the bike in the spare bedroom, so I need something simple and not messy to clean the chain.

The degreaser thingies usually look like this:


You fill them up with degreaser, clamp them over the chain, and spin the chain through them.  The little brushes scrub as the chain moves, and get degreaser all over the chain.  They're messy and I wouldn't use them in the house but since they only take a few seconds you could use one on the street, pat your chain dry, and then re-lube and bring it up to your apartment.

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #732 on: April 15, 2019, 02:25:12 PM »
In my living room, I hold a rag under the chain, spray cleaner on the chain only (so it doesn't get on the cogs or chainrings or especially disc brakes), then move it forward, then spray, then move it forward, then spray.....then hold the rag on the chain while pedaling to wipe the whole thing down. Then same process with chain lube. This keeps me going well enough until it's warm outside and I can take the chain off properly -- or, more likely, sweet talk my bike shop mechanic into doing it while I go down the pub for a drink on a slow weekday afternoon :) ((I do pay them as well....))

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #733 on: April 15, 2019, 04:07:51 PM »
@GuitarStv @katscratch Ooooh, good ideas. Thanks! I guess I have my weekend project.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #734 on: April 19, 2019, 05:52:38 PM »
Wannabe bike commuter looking for suggestions!

I want to bike to work. I really do. I specifically rented a house that is only 6 miles from work so I could. What I didn't account for is the last 2 miles on the way there. There is no other route for this portion. It is, effectively, a freeway. Just slowed down to 65 mph (!!!) and with the occasional intersection. There is a wide paved shoulder, where I'll be staying for most of the ride. Going to work requires two left turns across all 4 lanes. Thankfully returning is all right turns.  I have done a trial run on a Saturday, when there is less traffic from my workplace and the one across the road. It's pretty doable, although utterly terrifying when getting passed by a semi. Assuming I gather up the courage to do it on weekdays, I plan to only go during the part of the year when I don't have to ride in the dark, light my bike up like a Christmas tree, wear a reflective vest, and maybe slap some reflective strips on my helmet as well. Any other suggestions to make this part of the trip safer or less scary?

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #735 on: April 19, 2019, 06:04:18 PM »
Can you cross at a crosswalk instead of turning left across four lanes? When I turn left, I merge into the car's left turn lane, so I'm only turning across the opposite direction of traffic - and if I don't feel safe merging for any reason, I use the crosswalk instead.

Riding with cars traveling at freeway speeds would really scare me, frankly.

Edit: To be clear! I merge into lanes with cars traveling max 45 mph, and only with a lot of space for them to see me and slow down!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 06:19:55 PM by Tass »

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #736 on: April 19, 2019, 06:12:44 PM »
Wannabe bike commuter looking for suggestions!

I want to bike to work. I really do. I specifically rented a house that is only 6 miles from work so I could. What I didn't account for is the last 2 miles on the way there. There is no other route for this portion. It is, effectively, a freeway. Just slowed down to 65 mph (!!!) and with the occasional intersection. There is a wide paved shoulder, where I'll be staying for most of the ride. Going to work requires two left turns across all 4 lanes. Thankfully returning is all right turns.  I have done a trial run on a Saturday, when there is less traffic from my workplace and the one across the road. It's pretty doable, although utterly terrifying when getting passed by a semi. Assuming I gather up the courage to do it on weekdays, I plan to only go during the part of the year when I don't have to ride in the dark, light my bike up like a Christmas tree, wear a reflective vest, and maybe slap some reflective strips on my helmet as well. Any other suggestions to make this part of the trip safer or less scary?

Trying to visualize these turns. If there is a crosswalk I would just get off the the bike and cross. As for the shoulders, so long as theyíre separate from traffic by a reasonable margin, donít see much of a problem. So long as you have lights, flashing vest, reflectors and stay out of high speed traffic lane, you will likely make it. I ride to work in the dark with no bike lane part of the way but lower speed. Still here to tell the tale. Maybe get with another experienced riders in the area and have them get you some pointers.

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #737 on: April 21, 2019, 06:28:12 PM »
Like Tass and Buffalo Chip recommended, I often go to the opposing crosswalk to go left across traffic. My routes are super bike friendly but during rush hour it's that one person checking their phone that won't see me I'd like to avoid.

When I've ridden on county highways out away from the city, I've found a mirror really helpful - mine clips to my helmet and was about $10. It gives me a heads up to move over as far right as I can for bigger trucks -- the wind tunnel after them isn't too fun.

For myself, I'd rather add 2-3 miles than have to commute that stretch daily and I'm (finally) really comfortable in car traffic. I know you've looked at options and there's not another route -- but maybe zoom in on a satellite view and see if there are even dirt roads, access roads, horse paths, etc. I've found some super-safe shortcuts in the suburbs that I'd never have seen on the regular Google map view or just by riding nearby.

In your particular circumstances, I'd also say the more visible you are the better, as drivers are probably not expecting a cyclist. Until you've done the route for a while, then 90% of them will probably be looking for you :) Jacket/shirt that is a color that stands out against the background is the easiest (hot pink/coral tends to work in most conditions). That's my rule for myself, anyway - I try to dress as normal as possible most of the time because of the psychology around biking being dangerous, but I also put my safety first and go nuts with light&bright when the conditions aren't bike friendly.

Overall there are hundreds of cyclists every year that ride on the shoulders of high speed roads for touring or randonneuring so you'd be in good company :)

BobbyTables

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #738 on: April 22, 2019, 06:17:51 AM »
I agree with previous two posters, really try to find another way or use a sidewalk/crosswalk. It doesn't sound like the place where many people would be walking anyway. I would even consider doubling the distance just to avoid that, you'll get used to the distance much easier and get a nice workout as well.

The fastest way to my job would be 5km, but I take anything between a 8-10 km route just for nicer roads.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #739 on: April 22, 2019, 07:56:24 AM »
I do my best to avoid riding on roads where traffic speed is around 65 mph/100kph.  I'd want a very wide shoulder to even consider it frankly.  The suggestions to use the sidewalk in that section of road are good, but if there are any intersections where the road meets the sidewalk (entrance/exit to plazas and parkinglots, side streets, etc.)  I'd get off the bit and walk across them.  If you're clipping along at a good speed on the sidewalk going the wrong way, cars will not expect you and you're pretty likely to get dinged.


I'd happily add 3-4 miles to a commute to ride on slower/less busy roads than do the sidewalk thing or ride on a very fast road.  Is there an alternate route you could take?  Can you give us a google maps rough approximation of where you need to get to and from?

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #740 on: April 22, 2019, 08:21:33 AM »
The last couple weeks have given me a little taste of what all of you rainy-climate riders experience. I don't mind riding in rain at all, but I'm sure not used to having to plan for dripping wet clothing needing a place to be stored in the locker room! Thankfully I keep extra socks in my locker so I'll have a third pair to change into at the gym later, and I've already gotten my money's worth out of the rainproof shell I picked up last week. Very grateful for merino base layers - I only have one set that I wear year round but they dry pretty quickly even in my locker (with the door cracked open). I'm used to these heavy downpours in summer when all I'm wearing is a sundress and liner shorts, not this 45F degree business!

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #741 on: April 22, 2019, 09:17:18 AM »
The last couple weeks have given me a little taste of what all of you rainy-climate riders experience. I don't mind riding in rain at all, but I'm sure not used to having to plan for dripping wet clothing needing a place to be stored in the locker room! Thankfully I keep extra socks in my locker so I'll have a third pair to change into at the gym later, and I've already gotten my money's worth out of the rainproof shell I picked up last week. Very grateful for merino base layers - I only have one set that I wear year round but they dry pretty quickly even in my locker (with the door cracked open). I'm used to these heavy downpours in summer when all I'm wearing is a sundress and liner shorts, not this 45F degree business!

Ha! Just this weekend I finally got around to repairing my neoprene shoe covers. I've used them so much, including walking around in them, that the bottom edges got all chewed up and they weren't really working anymore. Some denim patches (from an old pair of jeans) and some fold over elastic and now they're like new! I should get another 5000km out of them before I have to finally replace them.

Neoprene shoe covers make life worth living when you have to ride in the rain everyday ;-)

@nightzephyr Will traffic actually be moving at highway speed during your commute? Part of my commute is on a highway shoulder and frankly it feels like the safest section. However, this has a lot to do with the fact that traffic moves so slow during rush hour. I'm generally going faster than traffic. Some of the poorly designed bike lanes in my town are frankly much more dangerous.

Otherwise, check Google maps, with the bike travel option switched on, and MapMyRide to see if you can find some alternate routes. Do buses in your area have bike racks? Is a hybrid bus/bike commute an option to avoid the highway?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #742 on: April 23, 2019, 07:19:52 AM »
Are there any tall poles nearby?  Railings?  Benches?  Fences?  Steel Grates?  Gas pipes?  I've successfully locked up on all of these items.

You really don't need a bike rack, just something at about the correct height that you can loop a U-Lock and cable through.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #743 on: April 23, 2019, 09:38:48 AM »
Can you bring it into the building with you? Talk to HR, or building operations, and ask for secure bike parking. Are there any parkades nearby that could be convinced to install a proper bike cage?

acepedro45

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #744 on: April 23, 2019, 10:17:32 AM »
Yeah @DadJokes you may have better luck approaching your local government as an employee asking for bike parking than as a random constituent asking for the same thing. It sounds like you're an employee, too (but I can't tell for sure).

LittleWanderer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #745 on: April 23, 2019, 02:21:00 PM »
I bring my bike into the office with me.  It sits in my cube.  I never asked anyone about this - I just started doing it.  No one has ever said anything.

Granted, I don't work for the government though. 

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #746 on: April 23, 2019, 04:08:41 PM »
Wannabe bike commuter looking for suggestions!

I want to bike to work. I really do. I specifically rented a house that is only 6 miles from work so I could. What I didn't account for is the last 2 miles on the way there. There is no other route for this portion. It is, effectively, a freeway. Just slowed down to 65 mph (!!!) and with the occasional intersection. There is a wide paved shoulder, where I'll be staying for most of the ride. Going to work requires two left turns across all 4 lanes. Thankfully returning is all right turns.  I have done a trial run on a Saturday, when there is less traffic from my workplace and the one across the road. It's pretty doable, although utterly terrifying when getting passed by a semi. Assuming I gather up the courage to do it on weekdays, I plan to only go during the part of the year when I don't have to ride in the dark, light my bike up like a Christmas tree, wear a reflective vest, and maybe slap some reflective strips on my helmet as well. Any other suggestions to make this part of the trip safer or less scary?
Busy road with limited opportunities to turn across it sounds like what the folks over at Strong Towns call a STROAD.

I would likely pass the left turn and make my way to the next intersection with a signal. If that intersection has a crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, I'd stop on the near side and use the crosswalk as a pedestrian then ride back the other direction making the turn to work a right hand turn. If there is not crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, I'd likely opt for a double Copenhagen left to turn around instead.

I agree with locking to the bench (or other convenient fixed object - just avoid blocking handrails/walkways/other access infrastructure) until dedicated bike racks can be installed. Find someone in HR involved in employee wellness to advocate for a bike rack (a lawmaker that works in the building is another potential ally - bike racks are a low cost way to get some good PR).

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #747 on: April 23, 2019, 05:28:37 PM »
I work in a building full of legislators four months out of the year and have to go through a metal detector when entering. I don't think the bike would even fit through that.
You can get some pretty narrow drop bars... next time you go through the metal detector take a measuring tape(It won't look suspicious at all.) If you've got 46cm of width, you're golden. The security guys may actually be the best source for knowing the safest places to lock up your bike.

I'm lucky enough to be able to park my bike in my cubicle. Plus I have a metal filing cabinet that I can turn it over on to do tuning/maintenance. After I started riding in, my boss started. Another co-worker has begun riding lately too.


Anyone checked out the Trek CrossRip? I bought a used 2015 LTD model over the weekend and it seems perfect for wet weather commuting. Disc brakes and fenders are going to make the ride a lot nicer on rainy days. The resale value of them seems to have really dropped since they are a "jack of all trades, master of none" kind of bike:
https://archive.trekbikes.com/us/en/2015/Trek/crossrip_limited#/us/en/2015/Trek/crossrip_limited/details

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #748 on: April 23, 2019, 09:42:39 PM »
I park my bike in the lobby of my building and just lock it to itself. Most people donít lock their bikes but mine is a borrowed company ebike that cost a ridiculous sum new.

I think I deserve MMM biking bad-ass brownie points today. I took my kid in to work with me for bring-your-short-person-to-work-day and we biked. She was in the bike trailer which is still work to pull, even with the ebike assist. On top of it was a bazillion degrees today in a freak hot spell and I just about melted. I have no issue biking in a massive windy rain storm but when the sun and warmth come out I just canít handle it.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #749 on: April 24, 2019, 09:11:30 AM »
I have no issue biking in a massive windy rain storm but when the sun and warmth come out I just canít handle it.
I'm pretty much the opposite.