Author Topic: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?  (Read 10565 times)

neo von retorch

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I'm bringing this up as someone who's owned "a bike" his whole life. I bought my current bike back in ~2004. For a little while there, I lived a few miles from work, and I'd bike to work often, and sometimes to the grocery store. A couple years ago, I was biking for fun/exercise up to about 20 miles at a time. But I've used my bike only a handful of times over the past two years, during apartment life. My previous two living / working arrangements were far from ideal for riding to work. (Either narrow, winding, hilly, busy roads, or just too much distance - i.e. 50 minutes by car.) More recently, I bought a house about 11-12 miles from work, and I'm considering the commute, but I definitely need a helmet first, and I'd like a road bike. A few weeks ago, I bought a truck (which enabled safe transport to bikeable areas), and this weekend, we bought a bike for my wife. I've ridden 5 times in the past two weeks, and I've already learned this:
  • If you don't ride a bike, you probably have a really weird concept of distance. My wife was convinced she could not ride 1 mile, but our three rides together have been 4-8 miles long. I think this is pretty promising as far as riding to work goes. I've done 15 miles with a friend, so I could definitely see doing the 11-12 miles to work.
  • A road bike really makes a huge difference. My buddy brought over his Cannondale, and we swapped bikes a couple of times. My mountain bike makes either of us feel like we're on the edge of a charlie horse. Our muscles burn and you really feel the work. The road bike, by comparison, is like getting a break! Also, my wife isn't as conditioned as I am, but she can pretty much keep up with me on her road bike.
  • Hills actually are probably worse than you expect. When we are scouting for places to ride in the car, we might see "a hill", but actually on the bike, it quickly becomes an extended torture device! You have to shift to a low gear, and peddle endlessly while progressing up the hill at a rate of about 1 inch every hour. I'm sure this gets a lot better with conditioning, better gears, smoother tires and a lighter bike...
What about you? What have you learned or were surprised by?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 07:48:39 AM by neogodless »

Rubic

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 12:52:32 PM »
Riding in the rain only looks miserable.  It's actually not bad.

The post-ride cleanup of the drive train and wheel rims, however ...

skekses

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2016, 12:56:31 PM »
My bike route takes me through an area where a good number of homeless tend to live. I've learned that most of them do not wish to engage you, although some will respond if you say hello (so far only one told me to fuck off). I've seen campsites with maybe 20 tents set up under bridges that I never noticed in a car and I've seen those campsites completely vanish by the subsequent day.

Many cyclists will give each other a nod when passing by, although some seem deeply focused on the task at hand or something else and don't seem to notice you.

People on road bikes can sure go fast!

If you find yourself riding through a tourist area, assume you are invisible. While people will wait to cross for a car, a bike seemingly does not qualify as an obstacle worth consideration and people will walk out right in front of you.

The only time I've been attacked has been by a Canadian Goose. Those creatures scare me and I now give them wide berth.

Sometimes you get rained on even when there is no (or low chance) of rain mentioned in any forecast. White t-shirts are not welcome at these moments if you're a chick.

therethere

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 01:08:29 PM »
I've learned riding on the road is not nearly as scary as it seems.

Bikes are way faster through the downtown of the city than driving.

Hills are hard. 5 years of biking I'm still a wimp at any tiny incline.

I understand why a select few bikers can make cars hate all bikers. You know the ones who pass all the cars to go up to crosswalk at red lights. Forcing every car to drive slow until they can pass them when it turns green. Then the next red light they skip past to the front of the line again. Over and over.

My mood is way better when I can force myself to bike to work. And I drink way less coffee. Sleep better also.

I go through the homeless blocks on my way home too. I agree they're all friendly for the most part and don't want to engage. I've learned to smile when I get hellos or cat-calls because really they just want you to acknowledge that they aren't invisible.

Hitting a cat does not hurt the cat or make you fall off your bike. Poor kitty I was just as surprised as you!

I've learned to "read" the clouds to see if I can miss the rain. I'm actually fairly good at judging them to not get stuck in the rain or to stay on the edge of the raincloud.

I'm always the slowest biker and that's okay. I have no idea how some of the people on the city bikes go so damn fast.

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 01:12:54 PM »
I pay far more attention to wind than I did before cycling.  I am more aware of the general patterns and pay attention to it when checking a forecast, perhaps even more than I pay attention to the predicted temperature. 

Riding in the cold is not that bad.  You don't even need all that much clothing because you warm yourself up as you ride.  HOWEVER, one MUST wear wind-breaking pants in the cold or else your unmentionables will freeze while the rest of you stays reasonably warm. 

GuitarStv

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 01:25:15 PM »
- Riding a bike is fun.
- Riding a bike fast is fun.
- Riding a bike fast while someone goes a teeny tiny bit faster than you and you try to chase after them will cause you untold misery and agony . . . but is still somehow fun.



- Always carry the stuff you need to fix a flat
- Carry as little of anything else as possible



- You don't need to be a crazy superman or incredibly fit to cycle a hundred plus kilometers in a day, just stubborn (and have a bike that fits you)

Guava

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 01:30:15 PM »
Hitting a cat does not hurt the cat or make you fall off your bike. Poor kitty I was just as surprised as you!

Hitting a full size dog does make you fall off a bike. It does not appear to hurt the dog, however.

I have to confess, that was last time I rode a bike (over 1 year ago). The 3 miles home dripping blood with gravel in my palms was not enjoyable.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 01:43:17 PM by Guava »

Beaker

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 01:38:40 PM »
When you're driving a car you can mostly ignore everyone else, follow the rules and it'll be OK. When you're on a bike, you have to watch all the cars to make sure they aren't going to run you over. 98% of drivers are just fine, but some are oblivious, and a few are outright hostile. This goes triple if you're outside the regular roadway in a protected bike lane or a sidewalk (part of my route is a Designated Bike Route/sidewalk).

Related: most drivers don't know the traffic laws for bikes. I have been yelled at for riding on the road and for not riding on the road - within 5 minutes. Then again, most bikers don't know the traffic laws either (and/or don't care).

Overly polite drivers can be really annoying. That's nice that you're trying to wave me through the stop sign, but you had the right-of-way and this would all go faster if you just followed the rules. Doubly true when it's a two-way stop, so they didn't even have to stop in the first place.

Some bikers are worse than the cars. I have been nearly taken out by other bikers doing dumb stuff like: running red lights, passing on the right while in a right turn lane, going the wrong way down a one-way street at night with no headlight and wearing dark clothes , etc.

Biking in the winter is not as hard as it looks, and makes you feel like a badass. Just watch out for ice, especially in corners and stop signs.

Bike baskets or panniers are a lot nicer than a backpack.



MoonLiteNite

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2016, 02:13:22 PM »
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.
I have always used my mt bike that i got when i was a young teen in 2004.

Everyone looks at me like i am crazy when they see it. I really never have used a "road bike" or "cruiser" Do they make the ride easier and less work?
What causes it? Small tires? Less weight? Larger wheels?

GuitarStv

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 02:50:15 PM »
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.
I have always used my mt bike that i got when i was a young teen in 2004.

Everyone looks at me like i am crazy when they see it. I really never have used a "road bike" or "cruiser" Do they make the ride easier and less work?
What causes it? Small tires? Less weight? Larger wheels?

Skinny tires are lighter.  That makes climbing easier, but because they're skinnier they need to be pumped to a higher pressure so they tend to make the ride less comfortable.  Generally road bikes are designed to be light, which again makes climbing easier.

The main benefit of a road bike though, is that you are in a more bent forward position, which improves your aerodynamics.  Better aerodynamics means that it takes less energy to go the same speed . . . or that you can go faster for the same energy.  Fighting through a headwind becomes easier too.

jamesbond007

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2016, 02:52:03 PM »
I learned that riding 100 miles in a day is not a big deal. Riding hills is not a big deal either. I learned how to control my breath and my heart rate better by riding hills. I am not the fastest but I don't care about speed as I am not racing. Fast seems fun but it is risky and not worth anything, especially downhill biking.

Eating stuff like gels, carbo-loading etc are not really helpful. It's a myth. You need complex carbs and protein to sustain energy longer. But people tend to eat simple carbs and fall flat in a few minutes and trigger a vicious cycle. They call it carbo-loading. I call it sugar loading.

I used my daughter's diaper rash cream to avoid chapped skin in my groin on my 50+ mile rides. No fancy creams. Good old diaper rash cream does wonders. Vaseline works too but you have top up frequently. A maximum strength Desitin lasts all day.

Clipless pedals are awesome.

Keep pedaling even on downhills to have blood flowing and to prevent lactate build up.

People say hiking is the best way to see America. I say, biking is a better way.

MoonLiteNite

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2016, 03:18:33 PM »
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.
I have always used my mt bike that i got when i was a young teen in 2004.

Everyone looks at me like i am crazy when they see it. I really never have used a "road bike" or "cruiser" Do they make the ride easier and less work?
What causes it? Small tires? Less weight? Larger wheels?

Skinny tires are lighter.  That makes climbing easier, but because they're skinnier they need to be pumped to a higher pressure so they tend to make the ride less comfortable.  Generally road bikes are designed to be light, which again makes climbing easier.

The main benefit of a road bike though, is that you are in a more bent forward position, which improves your aerodynamics.  Better aerodynamics means that it takes less energy to go the same speed . . . or that you can go faster for the same energy.  Fighting through a headwind becomes easier too.

What about those "touring bikes" or "cruiser bikes" same basic thing as a road bike? I saw one at walmart yester, had like 29" wheels!

GuitarStv

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2016, 03:33:27 PM »
[quote author=MoonLiteNite link=topic=59621.msg1177652#msg1http://g03.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1TFgGJXXXXXbgXpXXq6xXFXXXn/2015-Bob-Marley-of-primal-wear-sports-cycling-Jersey-short-sleeve-cycling-mountain-bike-clothes-summer.jpg177652 date=1470341602]
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.
I have always used my mt bike that i got when i was a young teen in 2004.

Everyone looks at me like i am crazy when they see it. I really never have used a "road bike" or "cruiser" Do they make the ride easier and less work?
What causes it? Small tires? Less weight? Larger wheels?

Skinny tires are lighter.  That makes climbing easier, but because they're skinnier they need to be pumped to a higher pressure so they tend to make the ride less comfortable.  Generally road bikes are designed to be light, which again makes climbing easier.

The main benefit of a road bike though, is that you are in a more bent forward position, which improves your aerodynamics.  Better aerodynamics means that it takes less energy to go the same speed . . . or that you can go faster for the same energy.  Fighting through a headwind becomes easier too.

What about those "touring bikes" or "cruiser bikes" same basic thing as a road bike? I saw one at walmart yesterday, it had 29" wheels!
[/quote]

Most road bikes have 29" wheels (or 700C as they're usually called).  I don't know if there's much difference between 26 and 29 inch wheels in terms of performance.  The smaller wheel would make gearing slightly easier (kinda a moot point though - there are other ways to do this), the bigger wheel would probably roll over cracks and bumps a little easier.

There are a bunch of different flavours of road bike:
- regular - fast, quick steering, light, generally have a short headtube so the handlebars are going to be lower
- enduro - same as regular but slightly longer wheelbase, slightly higher headtube
- touring - more stable steering, heavier slightly tougher frame, lots of attachment points for racks/fenders, lots of space for bigger tires, usually you can set the handlebars higher
- cyclocross - higher bottom bracket, space for bigger tires, usually a bit tougher frame designed for more off road use
- gravelgrinder - as far as I can tell these are cyclocross bikes :P

etc.


Those are really all just variations on a theme though.  Beach cruiser type bikes are a whole different animal.  They're designed for very upright riding, have very heavy tires, tend to weigh a ton, and are designed for short trips.

Rubic

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2016, 03:34:52 PM »
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.

I've only done one MS-150 charity ride.  It was on the unicycle featured in my avatar. ;-)

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2016, 07:37:47 PM »
I agree with lots of what's already been said and will add a few things:

* Hills really do suck, and they do get easier over time.  Slow, long inclines are almost worse because you just start getting tired and feel like you're crazy - then look at a map and realize you did a 10 mile ride at a 1% grade the whole time -_-
* For long rides, bike shorts with a chamois do make a difference (although I didn't notice a difference between the fancy one I got on sale and the less fancy one I bought)
* I'm much more watchful for loose dogs - for some reason almost every dog likes to chase a bike - even super friendly dogs!
* I was initially worried about being gross and smelly if I biked to work, but have found that deodorant, some wipes, and a hair brush fix just about everything
* Backpacks are the worst - no matter the temperature your back will be a swamp
* No one cares that you're the slowest rider except you
* It's helpful to have a bike mount for your phone - I use my phone to give me directions when biking to new places and it's nice to be able to look at the map and have your phone yell out instructions.
* Riding my bike puts me in such a great mood - even if it's just the short 2 mile ride to work!
* You'll meet new people once you start biking - either on the road/trail, at biking events, or through cycling organizations. 

MoonLiteNite

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2016, 02:22:50 AM »
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.

I've only done one MS-150 charity ride.  It was on the unicycle featured in my avatar. ;-)

San Antonio to Corpus like 6 times and Houston to Austin 2 times.

All on the same crappy old mongoose

Brokenreign

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2016, 06:28:26 AM »
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.

I've only done one MS-150 charity ride.  It was on the unicycle featured in my avatar. ;-)

Wow.....

I learned that pretty much every close call I have ever had has been the result of me rushing (trying to make a light, swerving around cars that have cut me off etc.). Using the brakes a little more and taking it easy seems to have reduced my risk substantially and barely affects arrival time.

Also, black full-sized pickup trucks will more-than-likely right-hook me, pass too close, not yield right of way at stop signs etc. When said black pick-up-truck is modified (lifted, fender flares, exhaust), the "more-than-likely" turns to 100% certainty. I cover my brakes and prepare for the worst when I encounter one. I originally thought that it was just a confirmation bias but have begun to keep a mental tally of all incidents (minor or not) and black pickups definitely lead the way!

driftwood

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2016, 06:40:56 AM »
I bike commute and am in the military.
#1 and best so far:  I can park my bike closer to any building on base than the base commander and other VIPs.  In fact, I like to park somewhere between his assigned parking spot and the front doors, so that I can rub it in a bit.
#2:  Chain grease gets on pant legs, so I have to use a velcro strap to hold my pants flat against my leg to prevent ruining uniforms.
#3:  My shoes get wet despite rain fenders. 
#4:  No more speed limits!  Unlike driving a car, I almost never have to worry about overtaking anyone.  I can pedal as fast as I want and the cars in front of me will always go faster. 
#5:  For short jaunts on base I can get there faster than drivers can get to their cars, drive, park, then walk to the bg.  I feel so fast!

vhalros

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2016, 06:52:29 AM »
I was surprised by just how much stuff I can carry on a bicycle. With a pair of panniers its been easy to get all my groceries. Even Costco runs haven't been a problem with a trailer.

Hills are not so bad. You just have to accept going at a slower pace for a while. Long ones can kinda suck though.

cacaoheart

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2016, 07:50:58 AM »
As long as I'm not in a rush, I can go indefinitely with a low enough gear. There is very little flat ground where I live, just one hill after another, and I'm usually carrying 5-30 pounds in my panniers plus a heavy Kryptonite New York U-lock. I feel so fast when I can go somewhere without them. I started biking around age 8 and never really stopped.

Have a good mirror to see traffic overtaking you. After a truck drove by with a 2 by 4 sticking out diagonally that came within a few inches of hitting the back of my head years ago, I make sure I can see who is behind me.

A cheap LED strip running through the spokes of my front wheel makes me more visible than anything else I've tried, and both pedestrians and drivers love it, calling out to me as I go by.

Most "dangerous" city roads are so much safer than the country roads I grew up riding on, where drivers treated running cyclists off the road as a sport, and going off road practically guaranteed crashing since the side was a big dropoff onto rough/bumpy ground.

Cycling leaves me in a much better mood than driving, regardless of weather.

Fudge102

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2016, 08:46:41 AM »
I never realized just how much junk people throw out of their car until I'm biking.  The sides of the road may look clean when you're flying by in a car but when you're on a bike every piece of glass matters.  And with some of the newer road materials I've seen and the right angle of sun, roads can look mighty sparkly sometimes...

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2016, 08:53:43 AM »
A cheap LED strip running through the spokes of my front wheel makes me more visible than anything else I've tried, and both pedestrians and drivers love it, calling out to me as I go by.

Can you post a link to a product similar to what you use? 

sis

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2016, 09:01:02 AM »
You learn car "body language" like how to tell if a car is turning even though they haven't put on their turn signal.

I haven't ridden seriously in years (spine injury that makes distance cycling hard) but when I did I just loved the freedom of being like "let's go to this place 25 miles away for brunch, it looks cool".  I cycle commuted for a few years.  I learned that if you go slow enough you really don't get too gross and baby wipes can be miracle workers.

Damn, this makes me want to get back into cycling.  Maybe I'll take a more serious crack at it after the marathon this year.

Also - learn how to change a tire and always carry a spare tube.  You never know when you'll get a flat and be like 10+ miles from the nearest bike shop.

elaine amj

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2016, 09:08:45 AM »
Its a lot less complicated to ride to work than I thought. And yes, I can bike to work in work clothes (even in a dress!) - so easy to just swap shoes when I get there. Helps that we are business casual.

Road bikes are tons of fun to ride and I love my zippy, light bike - but I am just not comfortable riding it to work. My new-to-me singlespeed cruiser is heavy and slow, but I feel secure, never worry about bumps in the road or stop and go traffic, and its also a fun ride. I LIKE biking to work now.

Getting up earlier in the mornings isn't as much of a pain as I thought.

Haven't had any bad weather yet in the 3 weeks since I started bike commuting...but felt really badass the one morning it called for rain. Dh was worried and asked me if I was going to drive. I shrugged, tossed a dollar store poncho in my bike bag, and off I went! I'm sure I will need prep rain gear, etc eventually but for now, I am just going for it. I LOVE that its become a routine and even on days when my schedule is tight and I am rushing around, I still do my bike commute. There was one day with a tight schedule when DH picked me up after work. The next morning, I WALKED to work instead.

Confession: I suck at changing flats and haven't added spare tubes to my kit yet. To be honest, I'm not worried since DH is rarely more than a 10-15 min drive from me and I can call for a pickup anytime.

gggggg

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2016, 09:09:32 AM »
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.

I've only done one MS-150 charity ride.  It was on the unicycle featured in my avatar. ;-)

Wow.....

I learned that pretty much every close call I have ever had has been the result of me rushing (trying to make a light, swerving around cars that have cut me off etc.). Using the brakes a little more and taking it easy seems to have reduced my risk substantially and barely affects arrival time.

Also, black full-sized pickup trucks will more-than-likely right-hook me, pass too close, not yield right of way at stop signs etc. When said black pick-up-truck is modified (lifted, fender flares, exhaust), the "more-than-likely" turns to 100% certainty. I cover my brakes and prepare for the worst when I encounter one. I originally thought that it was just a confirmation bias but have begun to keep a mental tally of all incidents (minor or not) and black pickups definitely lead the way!

Yes. The more "modified" the vehicle, the less they care about you. I hate to stereotype, but it's true. The jacked up trucks, the lowered honda civics; for some reason drivers of customized vehicles could give a rat's ass about cyclists and buzz you by 6".

sis

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2016, 09:27:33 AM »
Its a lot less complicated to ride to work than I thought. And yes, I can bike to work in work clothes (even in a dress!) - so easy to just swap shoes when I get there. Helps that we are business casual.

Road bikes are tons of fun to ride and I love my zippy, light bike - but I am just not comfortable riding it to work. My new-to-me singlespeed cruiser is heavy and slow, but I feel secure, never worry about bumps in the road or stop and go traffic, and its also a fun ride. I LIKE biking to work now.

Getting up earlier in the mornings isn't as much of a pain as I thought.

Haven't had any bad weather yet in the 3 weeks since I started bike commuting...but felt really badass the one morning it called for rain. Dh was worried and asked me if I was going to drive. I shrugged, tossed a dollar store poncho in my bike bag, and off I went! I'm sure I will need prep rain gear, etc eventually but for now, I am just going for it. I LOVE that its become a routine and even on days when my schedule is tight and I am rushing around, I still do my bike commute. There was one day with a tight schedule when DH picked me up after work. The next morning, I WALKED to work instead.

Confession: I suck at changing flats and haven't added spare tubes to my kit yet. To be honest, I'm not worried since DH is rarely more than a 10-15 min drive from me and I can call for a pickup anytime.

Learn to change a flat.  It really isn't hard and takes much less than 10-15 minutes to do once you get proficient at it.  Being a lady is no excuse (says this lady!).  I once had to change my husband's flat just because I have so much more experience and we were in a hurry.  Other dudes biking buy on the bike path were chuckling at him :-)

vhalros

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2016, 09:27:53 AM »

Road bikes are tons of fun to ride and I love my zippy, light bike - but I am just not comfortable riding it to work. My new-to-me singlespeed cruiser is heavy and slow, but I feel secure, never worry about bumps in the road or stop and go traffic, and its also a fun ride. I LIKE biking to work now.


Yeah, I also find a road bike not especially suitable for urban riding. I can attain a higher top speed, but due to traffic, red lights, safety, etc. that is not typically very useful. Light weight doesn't matter than much when you add 30 pounds of groceries. Stability/maneuverability at slow speeds is more important, and having tires that can deal with pot holes and fissures is also very helpful. Although I use a hybrid not a cruiser. I'd think about a touring bike, but they tend to rather expensive.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 09:29:33 AM by vhalros »

therethere

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2016, 09:33:46 AM »


Learn to change a flat.  It really isn't hard and takes much less than 10-15 minutes to do once you get proficient at it.  Being a lady is no excuse (says this lady!).  I once had to change my husband's flat just because I have so much more experience and we were in a hurry.  Other dudes biking buy on the bike path were chuckling at him :-)

I know how to change a flat but its still a pain to me. Instead I buy the double thick tubes filled with goop and call it a day. Everyone always frowns when I say I don't have an extra tube but I've never needed it. If I get a flat I lock up my bike and walk to the nearest brewery to get a ride. Why get your hands dirty when I could have a beer and get a ride instead? Silly. I've only had a flat on the road twice. Once on the very first day I rode to work and another <1 mile from my house. I have not had a flat during a ride since I switched to the thicker tubes.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 10:06:07 AM by therethere »

sis

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2016, 09:42:11 AM »


Learn to change a flat.  It really isn't hard and takes much less than 10-15 minutes to do once you get proficient at it.  Being a lady is no excuse (says this lady!).  I once had to change my husband's flat just because I have so much more experience and we were in a hurry.  Other dudes biking buy on the bike path were chuckling at him :-)

I know how to change a flat but its still a pain to me. Instead I buy the double thick tubes filled with goop and call it a day. Everyone always frowns when I say I don't have an extra tube but I've never needed it. If I get a flat I lock up my bike and walk to the nearest brewery to get a ride. Why get your hands dirty when I could have a beer and get a ride instead? Silly. I've only had a flat on the road twice. Once on the very first day I rode to work and another <1 mile from my house.

I guess that logic works if you aren't biking far from civilization... but if you ever do start going on longer rides, carry a tube or a patch kit.  It'll make your life a whole lot easier :-)

cacaoheart

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2016, 09:49:40 AM »

Can you post a link to a product similar to what you use?

I installed the green light version of this on both my and my wife's front wheels 2 years ago and have been very pleased:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GT86H68/

I was initially worried that having a battery pack attached to my spokes would mess with the truing of the wheel making it warp, but so far in 2 years it's been fine. To avoid having to worry about that as a potential issue, if I were shopping now and okay paying $60 instead of $15 per wheel, I could get fancy with this which mounts the battery pack on the central hub of the wheel:

https://www.amazon.com/Monkey-Light-M232-Lumen-Waterproof/dp/B0081UDLDY/

Oh, and one more cycling lesson learned: always ride far enough from parked cars that you won't have to swerve if they suddenly open their door, ESPECIALLY when a car is trying to pass you.

cacaoheart

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2016, 10:02:28 AM »
I know how to change a flat but its still a pain to me. Instead I buy the double thick tubes filled with goop and call it a day. Everyone always frowns when I say I don't have an extra tube but I've never needed it. If I get a flat I lock up my bike and walk to the nearest brewery to get a ride. Why get your hands dirty when I could have a beer and get a ride instead? Silly. I've only had a flat on the road twice. Once on the very first day I rode to work and another <1 mile from my house.

Similar for me. I have puncture resistant tires and make sure they're properly inflated before riding. Proper inflation has probably made the biggest difference for only having 2 flats in the past 14 years, one from when my college campus was full of construction zones. In both cases it was a slow enough leak I could just pump up the tire, finish my errand and take care of it later.

elaine amj

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2016, 10:15:19 AM »


Learn to change a flat.  It really isn't hard and takes much less than 10-15 minutes to do once you get proficient at it.  Being a lady is no excuse (says this lady!).  I once had to change my husband's flat just because I have so much more experience and we were in a hurry.  Other dudes biking buy on the bike path were chuckling at him :-)

I know how to change a flat but its still a pain to me. Instead I buy the double thick tubes filled with goop and call it a day. Everyone always frowns when I say I don't have an extra tube but I've never needed it. If I get a flat I lock up my bike and walk to the nearest brewery to get a ride. Why get your hands dirty when I could have a beer and get a ride instead? Silly. I've only had a flat on the road twice. Once on the very first day I rode to work and another <1 mile from my house.

I guess that logic works if you aren't biking far from civilization... but if you ever do start going on longer rides, carry a tube or a patch kit.  It'll make your life a whole lot easier :-)

I definitely carry a spare tube, etc on my road bike. I also bought more durable tires :) But yeah - for bike commuting (20 mins bike ride from my house), it just seems more hassle than it's worth for me to worry about it. Like I said, DH is never far away and there's always friends/cabs/walking the bike the rest of the way. I will probably get around to learning one day but to be honest, not hugely interested. DH did learn (so it can't be that hard since he's not much handier than I am) although he did bust a couple of tubes in the early days not installing them properly lol. I'm going to look into the double thick tube to replace this one (although I'll wait until I actually get a flat before I replace it).

@cacaoheart I like the idea of LED lights! Come wintertime, it will likely be dusk around the time I leave work (5pm) so I can definitely see those being much safer! Maybe I'll have to add a reflective safety vest at that time (thank goodness I have some stashed in my basement).
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 10:17:45 AM by elaine amj »

TrMama

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2016, 12:43:26 PM »
Small birds can fly right through your frame as you ride. This is very disconcerting.

Also, many people smoke pot first thing in the morning. I never realized this when I drove to work with the windows rolled up.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 12:47:55 PM by TrMama »

GuitarStv

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2016, 12:59:22 PM »
Also, many people smoke pot first thing in the morning. I never realized this when I drove to work with the windows rolled up.

The amount of pot smoke that I smell while cycling around is kinda astounding.

TrMama

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2016, 02:58:12 PM »
Also, many people smoke pot first thing in the morning. I never realized this when I drove to work with the windows rolled up.

The amount of pot smoke that I smell while cycling around is kinda astounding.

Pot is sold in retail shops around here so I'm not surprised by the quantity, but by the timing. I don't partake, but can someone please explain to me the appeal of smoking at 7am?

jorjor

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2016, 04:17:28 PM »
Also, many people smoke pot first thing in the morning. I never realized this when I drove to work with the windows rolled up.

The amount of pot smoke that I smell while cycling around is kinda astounding.

Pot is sold in retail shops around here so I'm not surprised by the quantity, but by the timing. I don't partake, but can someone please explain to me the appeal of smoking at 7am?

You get to be high sometime just after 7:00 AM?

Hotstreak

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2016, 04:53:51 PM »
Also, many people smoke pot first thing in the morning. I never realized this when I drove to work with the windows rolled up.

The amount of pot smoke that I smell while cycling around is kinda astounding.

Pot is sold in retail shops around here so I'm not surprised by the quantity, but by the timing. I don't partake, but can someone please explain to me the appeal of smoking at 7am?

You get to be high sometime just after 7:00 AM?

You can't be high all day if you don't start in the morning!

Hotstreak

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2016, 05:02:45 PM »
I usually keep my spare tube and patch kit in my backpack, but had taken it out a few weeks ago when I took the pack hiking.  Like some posters here I assumed I would be fine on my 4 mile commute, especially considering I had a small pump that could get me through a slow leak.  Well, I ended up getting a blow out & walking my bike home 2 miles.  NOT fun!  My spare tube and patch kit are now on my before-you-leave checklist for any ride.

Other things I've learned:
-  Most people don't call out before passing.
-  A bell is a more effective signal most of the time, anyway.
-  An astonishing number of bikers run red lights and stop signs.
-  On days I ride to work, I feel great.  On days I don't ride, my legs get sore and cramped.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2016, 05:57:27 PM »
#1 and best so far:  I can park my bike closer to any building on base than the base commander and other VIPs.  In fact, I like to park somewhere between his assigned parking spot and the front doors, so that I can rub it in a bit.

This!!  I roll up and lock my bike up right next to the front door of the building I work in - everyone else has to park at a lot that's about 2 blocks away, so of course I rub it in whenever possible!

Brokenreign

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2016, 08:10:52 AM »
hahah i have done several 150 bike rides for charity events.

I've only done one MS-150 charity ride.  It was on the unicycle featured in my avatar. ;-)

Wow.....

I learned that pretty much every close call I have ever had has been the result of me rushing (trying to make a light, swerving around cars that have cut me off etc.). Using the brakes a little more and taking it easy seems to have reduced my risk substantially and barely affects arrival time.

Also, black full-sized pickup trucks will more-than-likely right-hook me, pass too close, not yield right of way at stop signs etc. When said black pick-up-truck is modified (lifted, fender flares, exhaust), the "more-than-likely" turns to 100% certainty. I cover my brakes and prepare for the worst when I encounter one. I originally thought that it was just a confirmation bias but have begun to keep a mental tally of all incidents (minor or not) and black pickups definitely lead the way!

Yes. The more "modified" the vehicle, the less they care about you. I hate to stereotype, but it's true. The jacked up trucks, the lowered honda civics; for some reason drivers of customized vehicles could give a rat's ass about cyclists and buzz you by 6".

Yeah - the modified ones generally seem to be the ones that are actively malicious. I suppose the trucks are generally driven by A-type "I own the road - fear me lesser users!" men while the modified cars are usually driven by teenagers. The next most common offenders are full-sized luxury SUVs. I attribute that to the 14 screaming kids/dogs in the back and the massive blind spots. They seem more oblivious than rageful and are usually shocked to see you.

Also, taxis - I have more sympathy for them as they're at least making a living by driving.

A couple more things I've learned:

1) Bike baskets or giant pannier bags are the greatest. It's so nice to drop your whole backpack in.

2) Regularly inflate tires and lube chain. Both have a noticeable impact on efficiency.

3) You break weird things on a singlespeed. I've cracked three freewheels in half and broke a crank arm.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2016, 01:14:01 AM »
I can cycle for six hours without a snack.

It should have been a four/five hour ride, it sucks when your snack falls out of your bag.

Also, my phone cannot navigate for more than two hours without a battery pack, the sign on local bike lanes are not good.

Cannot Wait!

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2016, 07:41:24 PM »
The one thing I've learned is that I LOVE biking now that I'm retired whereas I just did it for economic reasons before.  It is so much better when you're not in a rush, when you're not in traffic, and when you are not dreading your destination!

Paul | pdgessler

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2016, 01:19:29 PM »
- gravelgrinder - as far as I can tell these are cyclocross bikes :P

Blasphemy! How else will the bike industry sell the consumer suckas of the world MOAR BIKES?! ;-)

Nothing much from me that hasn't already been said, I just want to echo the comments about improved mood and "body language" of cars/drivers,

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2016, 01:26:47 PM »
Distracted driving is a real problem.  When I encounter a driver who does not acknowledge my presence, the majority of the time it is someone yacking on a cell phone oblivious to the world.  I have learned to slow down, cover my brakes, and give a wide berth whenever I notice a driver with the telltale hand-to-head posture.

frugaliknowit

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2016, 02:46:15 PM »
I have been cycling many, many years, but began commuting to work (8 miles each way) last fall, when I decided I did not want to gain 5 pounds during the winter, then spend 6 months burning it off...I had been of the mindset of "...geez it's only 8 miles (I'm an amateur endurance athlete), not much of a workout and all that clothes packing and changing and showering...why bother....I only want long rides...!

What I have learned since last fall is that riding in the rain (light to moderate) is NOT that bad (provided you have fenders) and to ALWAYS follow the hourly forecast, and possibly weather radar before excusing yourself from riding.   If you don't ride any day there's a mention of possible showers/rain/snow flurries, you will miss a lot of riding.  Riding to and from work is awesome and has contributed to me losing a pound of body fat per month and I'm thrilled!

FLBiker

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2016, 03:02:27 PM »
Also, many people smoke pot first thing in the morning. I never realized this when I drove to work with the windows rolled up.

The amount of pot smoke that I smell while cycling around is kinda astounding.

Absolutely true!

Re: hills, I agree that they take some getting used to, but it is absolutely doable.  When I lived in Hawaii, I was great at (slowly) going over hills.  I did a bike tour on the Tibetan Plateau where we spent more than one day simply pedaling uphill in granny gear.  Not fun in the conventional sense, but still kind of fun.  I was always trying to maintain enough speed to shift into 1:2, just so that I would have the luxury of knowing I had a lower gear available.

Now that I'm in Florida, I haven't seen a hill in years.  I bike four days a week, five miles each way.

I like a good helmet mirror vs a handlebar mirror. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVHZ4O/)
I always have a patch kit and a spare tube.
I like a milk crate on a rear shelf.
I like a mountain bike -- I'm not so heavy (6 ft, 185) but I ride like an elephant, apparently.  I've broken numerous plastic pedals, one metal pedal, and even the crank.  I'd wreck a road bike.
I like having my own office so I can change at work.  And once I'm used to commuting, I don't need a shower.
I don't bike after dark.  Tampa kills too many cyclists and I've got a wife and kid.
I prefer riding in the "car" lane of smaller roads to riding in the bike lane of larger ones and plan my route accordingly.
I monitor Accuweather during our quasi-monsoon summer season.  Less for rain than for lightning.

Melody

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2016, 04:06:08 AM »
Once you get fit changing clothes becomes unnecessary even in the Australian summer. So its worth getting through those first few weeks where doing the Madonna wastes so much time so you can reap the subsequent benefits.

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Melody

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2016, 04:07:53 AM »
Oh, and buy a compressor!!! Hand pumping bike tires sucks and you can do your car at the same time meaning that you do both more often meaning you enjoy cycling  more and will get better fuel economy  100% of the time
 

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GuitarStv

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2016, 06:29:37 AM »
I use a track pump to check and fill my tires before nearly every ride.  It takes maybe two minutes to do, the bulk of that time is attaching the pump head to the valve.  I'm not sure that a compressor would be significantly faster.

Rubic

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Re: What did you learn AFTER you began biking (at all, or more/regularly)?
« Reply #49 on: August 22, 2016, 07:58:23 AM »
Oh, and buy a compressor!!! Hand pumping bike tires sucks and you can do your car at the same time meaning that you do both more often meaning you enjoy cycling  more and will get better fuel economy  100% of the time

I actually keep my bike pump in the trunk and have used it on occasion
to top off my car tires (and sometime other owner's tires).

While the process for pumping up a car tire is time-consuming, it's never
taken me more than a minute to fully inflate a bicycle tire.