Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 108906 times)

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #650 on: March 28, 2019, 06:43:53 PM »
Hello biking crew!
Just starting to get going on the forum, but I've been biking for almost a decade (7 years as a unknowledgeable biker and 4 years after researching laws/safety/best practices). I just wanted to say: heck yes to taking the lane. It was really uncomfortable at first but I heard a phrase and I keep repeating it to myself "Don't sacrifice your safety for someone else's convenience."  I feel like it's helped me quite a bit to stand up for what I know/what the law says/what bike advocacy groups say: that it's safer to take the lane then set up cars for failure in thinking that they have enough room to pass. This is a good visual graphic in a nutshell: http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/crash-types-and-prevention_common-650x563.png

Other neat lane-positioning sites:
http://azbikelaw.org/where-to-ride-on-the-road/
http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2014/04/08/enforcement-for-bicyclist-safety/
https://cyclingsavvy.org/cycling-law/

With all that, I do ride a stretch of "sidewalk" on my commute.** Reasons:
- In a 2mile stretch, there is 1 intersection
- The city has it labeled as a multi-use path, it's extra wide
- The road is 1 of 3 main thoroughfares and has the highest speed limit in town
- The road has a shoulder that looks like a bike lane, but no actual bike lane (If I were on the road I would take the lane and cars would probably be constantly confused as to why I'm not in the bike lane)
I think there's a balance to using the sidewalk, a bike lane, and taking the lane. The tool should fit the situation.
**For my town, 99% of the time the road is safer than the "sidewalk".

-------------------
In thread-related news, does anyone have advice on how to ride with one saddlebag? Sometimes I feel silly riding with both when everything would fit in one bag, but then it would be lopsided.
Maybe the solution is to get a top rack bag, or a DIY top bag...Thoughts?

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #651 on: March 28, 2019, 06:47:11 PM »
My personal rule is to not go faster than a slow jog on the sidewalk. If you have an extra wide sidewalk and the hill is challenging enough that you aren't faster than a jogger, I think you should be on the sidewalk (careful to look for cross traffic and yielding to pedestrians, of course). It's cyclists who bomb down sidewalks at 15 mph who are not safe (to pedestrians and where cars cross the sidewalk not expecting cross traffic that fast).
Agreed. Speedy bicyclists on sidewalks are to pedestrians as cars are to road bicyclists.


I'm pretty comfortable taking the lane at about 15 mph (either that's close enough to the speed limit that drivers should just be forgiving, or it's a multi-lane road and they can use the other lane to pass) between 10 mph and 15 mph I find taking the lane to be harder to do due to the social pressure, but too fast to be safe on the sidewalk. Fortunately it's pretty flat where I live, so I can usually cruise near 15 mph.
I feel like cars miss this point. "But I want to be in my favorite lane. Why do I have to move?"

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #652 on: March 28, 2019, 08:29:39 PM »
I certainly never want to make a pedestrian feel how reckless drivers make me feel. I doubt I make it up to 5 mph on this hill, though - I think I've been passed by joggers before - and (as I mentioned) the sidewalk is double-wide. It also immediately follows a pedestrian bridge that explicitly allows cyclists but opens onto the sidewalk, so continuing on the sidewalk is easier than merging into turning traffic.

There are a few driveways, which are not in heavy use and which I use extra caution around.

I just ride lopsided with one saddlebag.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #653 on: March 28, 2019, 10:43:34 PM »
Awesome, sounded like you assessed the situation and chose the right tool for the job.

I'll give that lopsided strategy a try with my errands tomorrow, thanks for the suggestion.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #654 on: March 29, 2019, 07:41:44 AM »
My personal rule is to not go faster than a slow jog on the sidewalk. If you have an extra wide sidewalk and the hill is challenging enough that you aren't faster than a jogger, I think you should be on the sidewalk (careful to look for cross traffic and yielding to pedestrians, of course). It's cyclists who bomb down sidewalks at 15 mph who are not safe (to pedestrians and where cars cross the sidewalk not expecting cross traffic that fast).
Agreed. Speedy bicyclists on sidewalks are to pedestrians as cars are to road bicyclists.


I'm pretty comfortable taking the lane at about 15 mph (either that's close enough to the speed limit that drivers should just be forgiving, or it's a multi-lane road and they can use the other lane to pass) between 10 mph and 15 mph I find taking the lane to be harder to do due to the social pressure, but too fast to be safe on the sidewalk. Fortunately it's pretty flat where I live, so I can usually cruise near 15 mph.
I feel like cars miss this point. "But I want to be in my favorite lane. Why do I have to move?"

Taking the lane is one reason I feel safer on my e-bike, comfortable doing things that I wouldn't do on my regular bike.  It's nearly effortless to accelerate to and maintain 20 mph even on the moderate assist level I use, and 25 mph is not too taxing.  I don't feel that bad taking a lane at those speeds, until the speed limit is 40+.  Oh, it still annoys some drivers even when I'm going 25-27 in a 25, but my mere existence is an affront to such people, so I'm not going to try to figure out how not to offend them. 

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #655 on: March 29, 2019, 12:19:42 PM »
What drives me absolute bonkers when I drive is that cyclists around here (not commuting, but riding for fun/whatever) ride on two-lane, curvy roads. You can't pass them without putting your own safety at risk, because you can't see around the curves. There are greenways built specifically for people to ride for fun, and these guys would rather block traffic/put drivers at risk by riding where they do.

I know that's a car-centric view, but it is really frustrating when you have somewhere to be, but you're stuck going 15-20 mph behind cyclists in a 40 mph area.
Is this a "dad joke"? "It bothers me that other people exist and don't share my views!"

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #656 on: March 29, 2019, 12:25:11 PM »
I am planning to get an ebike for commuting and was curious if anyone is familiar with Ancheer? It looks like it wouldn't be great if I plan to ride long distance or off-road, but my commute will only be about four miles each way, with some decent hills. That is considerably cheaper than a lot of the other brands I've looked at, and I don't want to get more than I need.

I've never heard of the brand. I don't like that they don't have different frame sizes (I'm a bit taller than average and have a large shoe size, so fit issues come up for me more often than for some people). I do like that their designs seem to be targeted to Europe (250W, 15mph limits are common there - US allows 750W, 20mph), so their design philosophy more likely treats the ebike as a practical transportation option rather than as a toy for adults. Seems like a reasonable price for a bike with a mild electric assist and short range battery.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #657 on: March 29, 2019, 12:34:33 PM »
What drives me absolute bonkers when I drive is that cyclists around here (not commuting, but riding for fun/whatever) ride on two-lane, curvy roads. You can't pass them without putting your own safety at risk, because you can't see around the curves. There are greenways built specifically for people to ride for fun, and these guys would rather block traffic/put drivers at risk by riding where they do.

I know that's a car-centric view, but it is really frustrating when you have somewhere to be, but you're stuck going 15-20 mph behind cyclists in a 40 mph area.
How do you know the cyclists are not using their bikes for transportation. They have every bit as much right as you do to use the road for transportation even if they make a different vehicle choice. Move close to an interstate highway if having a fast transportation route is that important to you.

If you can't see far enough to pass a 20 mph vehicle, is it really a road where 40 mph is a safe speed?

Many mixed use recreational trails have 15 mph speed limits. This is not appropriate for road bike training routes. Of course I do frequently see cyclists exceeding speed limits on these trails. You could argue that using a road for athletic training is not its purpose.

Villanelle

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #658 on: March 29, 2019, 12:36:09 PM »
I went to the library today in my new city, and I was reading all their postings on the Community Info board, and they offer a bike mentor service!  They will pair you with someone who will teach you basic bike care and also help you find a good, safe, comfortable route for your commute (that part doesn't apply to me), and will even go biking with you. 

How cool is this!

Quote
The Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is launching a bike mentoring program to match less experienced riders with riders who have been biking in Alexandria for years. A mentor will work individually with each mentee to help achieve the menteeís biking goals Ė whether thatís learning how to bike commute, getting comfortable biking to the farmersí market, or figuring out how to bike safely to the nearest trail. If youíre an experienced rider who lives or works in Alexandria, please consider becoming a bike mentor.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #659 on: March 29, 2019, 12:40:40 PM »
I am planning to get an ebike for commuting and was curious if anyone is familiar with Ancheer? It looks like it wouldn't be great if I plan to ride long distance or off-road, but my commute will only be about four miles each way, with some decent hills. That is considerably cheaper than a lot of the other brands I've looked at, and I don't want to get more than I need.

I'm not familiar with Ancheer, but I have done a bit of research on ebikes. This company's website makes me nervous primarily because none of the components have their make and model listed. Maybe it's because they're using crap components or maybe it's because they don't use consistent suppliers, who knows?

It's a hub drive, but the site doesn't really specify what kind of hub. Hub drives are kind of going out of style, which may not matter to you. The model in the photos is clearly way too tall for the bike. Maybe he's just really tall, but make sure the frame size will work for you. Also, it doesn't specify what wheel size the bike has. The motor only assists up to 25 km/h. Most other motors are limited to 32km/hr. It comes unassembled.

It might be fine, or it might not. IMO, I'd keep looking. For a 4 mile commute, I'd just stick with a regular bike.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #660 on: March 29, 2019, 01:03:54 PM »
It's a hub drive, but the site doesn't really specify what kind of hub. Hub drives are kind of going out of style, which may not matter to you.
I'm curious what you base this assertion on. I still see plenty of hub drive ebikes. Mid-drive ebikes do have some advantages (primarily using the drive train to work efficiently at different speeds) and disadvantages (wear on drive train and noise). I only see hub drive going out of style among the crowd who want an ebike to be more like an electric motorcycle/dirtbike than a bicycle with an assist.

Also, it doesn't specify what wheel size the bike has.
You are mistaken. All three models have a nominal wheel diameter in the specifications (26" except the 20" City folder).

The motor only assists up to 25 km/h. Most other motors are limited to 32km/hr.
This is the legal limit in most of Europe - makes me think that Europe is their primary market - I don't think this is a reason to question quality.

It comes unassembled.
Any bike shipped to the consumer rather than purchased at a dealer is going to require some assembly (though the amount of assembly required may vary).

I share your concern about quality of unspecified components and potential sizing issues.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #661 on: March 29, 2019, 01:08:57 PM »
How do you know the cyclists are not using their bikes for transportation. They have every bit as much right as you do to use the road for transportation even if they make a different vehicle choice. Move close to an interstate highway if having a fast transportation route is that important to you.

If you can't see far enough to pass a 20 mph vehicle, is it really a road where 40 mph is a safe speed?

Many mixed use recreational trails have 15 mph speed limits. This is not appropriate for road bike training routes. Of course I do frequently see cyclists exceeding speed limits on these trails. You could argue that using a road for athletic training is not its purpose.

Because they transport their bikes to a nearby parking lot via cars and ride from there. The greenways do not have a speed limit.
Do the greenways also provide the same kind of terrain and views? My guess is that they are on the road for either training conditions that the greenway doesn't provide (steeper terrain or sharper curves) or for the vistas (not as likely since you say it can be difficult to see around the curves). I can understand some frustration by people who are on the road for transportation (the nominal purpose of the road).

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #662 on: March 29, 2019, 01:46:41 PM »
I went to the library today in my new city, and I was reading all their postings on the Community Info board, and they offer a bike mentor service!  They will pair you with someone who will teach you basic bike care and also help you find a good, safe, comfortable route for your commute (that part doesn't apply to me), and will even go biking with you. 

How cool is this!

Quote
The Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is launching a bike mentoring program to match less experienced riders with riders who have been biking in Alexandria for years. A mentor will work individually with each mentee to help achieve the menteeís biking goals Ė whether thatís learning how to bike commute, getting comfortable biking to the farmersí market, or figuring out how to bike safely to the nearest trail. If youíre an experienced rider who lives or works in Alexandria, please consider becoming a bike mentor.

That is way cool. I donít live in that part of the state, but would love to see something like that here.

My city has drunk the koolaid on biking. They added a bunch of bike lanes, even on streets that didnít easily support them. I.e they lost traffic lanes on busy streets. Itís been interesting to see folks start to use them. While Iím not a big believer in the adage ďif you build it, they will comeĒ it seems to be playing out.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #663 on: March 30, 2019, 10:22:08 AM »
What drives me absolute bonkers when I drive is that cyclists around here (not commuting, but riding for fun/whatever) ride on two-lane, curvy roads. You can't pass them without putting your own safety at risk, because you can't see around the curves. There are greenways built specifically for people to ride for fun, and these guys would rather block traffic/put drivers at risk by riding where they do.

I know that's a car-centric view, but it is really frustrating when you have somewhere to be, but you're stuck going 15-20 mph behind cyclists in a 40 mph area.

Are the cyclists obeying the rules of the road?  If so, I'm not sure I see the problem exactly.  Pass when it's safe to do so, wait your turn when it's not.  As you're legally obligated to do.

Rather than rail against the cyclist who is out riding his bike, why not pick another route where it's easier to pass slower moving vehicles, or pick a route designed for cars where cyclists aren't allowed (like high speed freeways).  If you're going to say that using the freeway is out of the way, doesn't quite go to where you want, and would be inconvenient to use for some reason . . . you probably have a good idea of why the cyclist is on the curvy road rather than the greenway.

Maybe try leaving earlier next time so that you're not rushing against the clock to be where you need to be.

runbikerun

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #664 on: April 01, 2019, 03:58:50 AM »
What drives me absolute bonkers when I drive is that cyclists around here (not commuting, but riding for fun/whatever) ride on two-lane, curvy roads. You can't pass them without putting your own safety at risk, because you can't see around the curves. There are greenways built specifically for people to ride for fun, and these guys would rather block traffic/put drivers at risk by riding where they do.

I know that's a car-centric view, but it is really frustrating when you have somewhere to be, but you're stuck going 15-20 mph behind cyclists in a 40 mph area.

If you're stuck behind riders for a full mile at 20mph rather than doing 40mph, you'll lose all of ninety seconds. It's genuinely difficult to lose a meaningful amount of time due to cyclists riding on the road unless you end up stuck in the middle of a mass-start race or sportive.

And greenways are lovely, but I've never seen one that was suitable for fast road riding. They're generally designed with walkers, joggers and casual cyclists in mind. If you're planning to go out and put the hammer down for a couple of hours, it's madness to head for a greenway.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #665 on: April 01, 2019, 04:23:47 AM »
I am planning to get an ebike for commuting and was curious if anyone is familiar with Ancheer? It looks like it wouldn't be great if I plan to ride long distance or off-road, but my commute will only be about four miles each way, with some decent hills. That is considerably cheaper than a lot of the other brands I've looked at, and I don't want to get more than I need.

Judging by the name of the brand and the grammatical errors in the descriptions, Iíd guess that this is a Chinese brand venturing into the US and European markets. I guess the ďmade in factories in Taiwan and ChinaĒ is another hint.

I personally have been riding another Chinese-brand ebike that has ventured into the US market (Yunbike) for the past two years, and I donít have many complaints. Itís very similar to the Ancheer 20Ē city bike. Occasionally I need to wiggle the plug a bit (the part that connects to the battery when charging up) to get it to connect properly. And sometimes it will just stop charging even though the battery is not fully charged, so Iíll need to unplug and plug it back in. Iíd say, overall, the biggest concern is the electrical components. The rest of the bike is pretty much just a normal bike, like one you might find at a local bike shop. My range is better ó between 50 to 70 km, depending on how much you use the electric assist, which is good because I ride up to 40 km a day round trip.

I suspect Ancheerís quality will be similar, though a max range of 25 km isnít very far.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #666 on: April 01, 2019, 03:20:02 PM »
I went to the library today in my new city, and I was reading all their postings on the Community Info board, and they offer a bike mentor service!  They will pair you with someone who will teach you basic bike care and also help you find a good, safe, comfortable route for your commute (that part doesn't apply to me), and will even go biking with you. 

How cool is this!

Quote
The Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is launching a bike mentoring program to match less experienced riders with riders who have been biking in Alexandria for years. A mentor will work individually with each mentee to help achieve the menteeís biking goals Ė whether thatís learning how to bike commute, getting comfortable biking to the farmersí market, or figuring out how to bike safely to the nearest trail. If youíre an experienced rider who lives or works in Alexandria, please consider becoming a bike mentor.

I'm trying to get a similar program sponsored by my city, too! Good to know there are people that would get excited for it, thanks for posting.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #667 on: April 01, 2019, 03:26:53 PM »
I had to go around someone parked in the bike lane this morning, right where the marker becomes a dotted line to allow right-turning cars to merge. She was in the car with her window down, so I slowed down and said "Excuse me, you can't park here." I didn't stop, though, so she called after me, "I'm disabled," and I replied over my shoulder "It's a bike lane" before I was out of earshot.

I'm not sure what disability had to do with it; we weren't near any buildings she could want a short walk to enter. I guess if I wanted to understand I would have stopped. At least I can say the whole exchange had a civil tone.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 05:38:57 PM by Tass »

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #668 on: April 01, 2019, 03:28:49 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.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 03:32:11 PM by GreenToTheCore »

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #669 on: April 01, 2019, 05:24:07 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.
100% of microaggressions are unintentional...

Cyclists aren't on the roads to deliberately slow you down, make you nervous or force you into bad situations....
Motorists aren't on the roads to purposefully mow down cyclists, make them nervous or force them into bad situations....

Hey motorist, you're driving pretty patiently and responsibly. Thanks for your kindness!
Hey cyclist, you're lookin' pretty good out there on the road. Keep up the good work!

Inhale, exhale, move on, repeat...

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #670 on: April 03, 2019, 10:34:05 AM »
Since my first rain-biking experience my chain has been squeaking in a new way, so I finally bought chain lube.

I also probably need to buy a new front light, but I'm still hoping the old one will turn up somewhere... (I'm reasonably sure it got lost rather than stolen.)

On the subject of regular maintenance, how do you know when your brakes need replacing? Presumably you want to get that done before the day when they just don't stop you.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #671 on: April 03, 2019, 12:10:09 PM »
Since my first rain-biking experience my chain has been squeaking in a new way, so I finally bought chain lube.

I also probably need to buy a new front light, but I'm still hoping the old one will turn up somewhere... (I'm reasonably sure it got lost rather than stolen.)

On the subject of regular maintenance, how do you know when your brakes need replacing? Presumably you want to get that done before the day when they just don't stop you.

Depends on the kind of brakes you've got.  If you have regular rim brakes, you'll notice that the pads get thinner with use.  Usually there are markings (notches) on the pads.  Once the brake has worn down to where you can't see the markings any more it's time to replace the pad.

Pads will tend to wear much faster if you cycle in the rain, if you're a heavier rider, or if you often find yourself using the brakes to come to a stop from high speed.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #672 on: April 03, 2019, 12:14:04 PM »
Since my first rain-biking experience my chain has been squeaking in a new way, so I finally bought chain lube.

I also probably need to buy a new front light, but I'm still hoping the old one will turn up somewhere... (I'm reasonably sure it got lost rather than stolen.)

On the subject of regular maintenance, how do you know when your brakes need replacing? Presumably you want to get that done before the day when they just don't stop you.

Depends on the kind of brakes you've got.  If you have regular rim brakes, you'll notice that the pads get thinner with use.  Usually there are markings (notches) on the pads.  Once the brake has worn down to where you can't see the markings any more it's time to replace the pad.

Pads will tend to wear much faster if you cycle in the rain, if you're a heavier rider, or if you often find yourself using the brakes to come to a stop from high speed.

This. And you only have to replace the rubber pad, not the whole brake mechanism. If you ride in wet weather often, I highly recommend Kool Stop pads. They're a little more money, but they last longer and stop better than the cheaper brands.

philli14

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #673 on: April 03, 2019, 01:22:33 PM »
This thread has made me feel very pathetic, so thank you!!

I am ~3mo into really implementing MMM principles into my life. I have been very pleased with the progress, the changes in my life and the quality of life improvement on what was already a pretty great life!

More specifically to this thread, I was very proud of myself for finding a free used beat up bike on craigslist, watching youtube videos and fixing it up at the cost of only the parts. 125$ later I had brand new road tires, inner tubes, a bike repair kit, front and rear bike lights, chain lube and brake pads. I successfully installed everything and now have a functional working bicycle.

I was also proud of myself for using the bike to commute to the gym and have been commuting to work on 50% of work days.

However...

1. I live in sunny northern CA. Sure, it's been a little rainy as of late, but the weather on my work commute is BEAUTIFUL.
2. My work commute is pretty much entirely flat except for one small hill that takes all of (an intense) 10seconds to get up.
3. My work commute is 2.5 miles.. 5 miles round trip. Takes about 15 minutes, 30 minutes round trip.

Reading what some of you guys have to deal with, I'm such a whimp!! Can't believe I have only been able to do 50% of work days. I really have no excuse to drive to work at all.

SO, starting on April 1st, I am going to try to pump this number up to 100%. Posting here for accountability :)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #674 on: April 03, 2019, 01:42:38 PM »
Since my first rain-biking experience my chain has been squeaking in a new way, so I finally bought chain lube.

I also probably need to buy a new front light, but I'm still hoping the old one will turn up somewhere... (I'm reasonably sure it got lost rather than stolen.)

On the subject of regular maintenance, how do you know when your brakes need replacing? Presumably you want to get that done before the day when they just don't stop you.

Depends on the kind of brakes you've got.  If you have regular rim brakes, you'll notice that the pads get thinner with use.  Usually there are markings (notches) on the pads.  Once the brake has worn down to where you can't see the markings any more it's time to replace the pad.

Pads will tend to wear much faster if you cycle in the rain, if you're a heavier rider, or if you often find yourself using the brakes to come to a stop from high speed.

This. And you only have to replace the rubber pad, not the whole brake mechanism. If you ride in wet weather often, I highly recommend Kool Stop pads. They're a little more money, but they last longer and stop better than the cheaper brands.

+1 Kool Stop!  I really like the Kool Stop salmon and black ones for regular use or just the plain salmon ones for winter (wet) riding.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #675 on: April 03, 2019, 04:32:37 PM »
This thread has made me feel very pathetic, so thank you!!

I am ~3mo into really implementing MMM principles into my life. I have been very pleased with the progress, the changes in my life and the quality of life improvement on what was already a pretty great life!

More specifically to this thread, I was very proud of myself for finding a free used beat up bike on craigslist, watching youtube videos and fixing it up at the cost of only the parts. 125$ later I had brand new road tires, inner tubes, a bike repair kit, front and rear bike lights, chain lube and brake pads. I successfully installed everything and now have a functional working bicycle.

I was also proud of myself for using the bike to commute to the gym and have been commuting to work on 50% of work days.

However...

1. I live in sunny northern CA. Sure, it's been a little rainy as of late, but the weather on my work commute is BEAUTIFUL.
2. My work commute is pretty much entirely flat except for one small hill that takes all of (an intense) 10seconds to get up.
3. My work commute is 2.5 miles.. 5 miles round trip. Takes about 15 minutes, 30 minutes round trip.

Reading what some of you guys have to deal with, I'm such a whimp!! Can't believe I have only been able to do 50% of work days. I really have no excuse to drive to work at all.

SO, starting on April 1st, I am going to try to pump this number up to 100%. Posting here for accountability :)

Very nice!  Honestly, I feel like 100% is almost easier than 50%, similar to how I feel about working out.  100% is a habit, automatic, and no thought goes into the decision.  50% can invite procrastination and excuses, at least for me.  Now, my bike commute isn't difficult, so maybe I'd feel differently if it were unpleasant for some reason. 

philli14

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #676 on: April 03, 2019, 07:16:44 PM »
This thread has made me feel very pathetic, so thank you!!

I am ~3mo into really implementing MMM principles into my life. I have been very pleased with the progress, the changes in my life and the quality of life improvement on what was already a pretty great life!

More specifically to this thread, I was very proud of myself for finding a free used beat up bike on craigslist, watching youtube videos and fixing it up at the cost of only the parts. 125$ later I had brand new road tires, inner tubes, a bike repair kit, front and rear bike lights, chain lube and brake pads. I successfully installed everything and now have a functional working bicycle.

I was also proud of myself for using the bike to commute to the gym and have been commuting to work on 50% of work days.

However...

1. I live in sunny northern CA. Sure, it's been a little rainy as of late, but the weather on my work commute is BEAUTIFUL.
2. My work commute is pretty much entirely flat except for one small hill that takes all of (an intense) 10seconds to get up.
3. My work commute is 2.5 miles.. 5 miles round trip. Takes about 15 minutes, 30 minutes round trip.

Reading what some of you guys have to deal with, I'm such a whimp!! Can't believe I have only been able to do 50% of work days. I really have no excuse to drive to work at all.

SO, starting on April 1st, I am going to try to pump this number up to 100%. Posting here for accountability :)

Very nice!  Honestly, I feel like 100% is almost easier than 50%, similar to how I feel about working out.  100% is a habit, automatic, and no thought goes into the decision.  50% can invite procrastination and excuses, at least for me.  Now, my bike commute isn't difficult, so maybe I'd feel differently if it were unpleasant for some reason.

Yep, spot on. Short of me sleeping through my alarm and car being the only way to make it to work on time (won't happen), making it 100% leaves it decision-less. Well put, I didn't think of it that way!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #677 on: April 03, 2019, 07:54:47 PM »
I got LASIK years ago and think it was some of the best money ever spent, so I canít offer helpful advice on the glasses. As a kid my parents had some blue waxy product they would rub onto the bathroom mirrors to prevent them from digging up when we showered. I thought it was pretty cool but have never seen something like it since.

I love riding when it is wet! But my ride is mostly on neighborhood streets and trails, so thankfully I donít have to worry about traffic much. However sun and heat are my kryptonite.

I think the blue wax youíre talking about is called ďcat crap.Ē You can still buy it. I used it as an anti fog for ski goggles. It did work reasonably well.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #678 on: April 03, 2019, 08:06:24 PM »
This thread has made me feel very pathetic, so thank you!!

I am ~3mo into really implementing MMM principles into my life. I have been very pleased with the progress, the changes in my life and the quality of life improvement on what was already a pretty great life!

More specifically to this thread, I was very proud of myself for finding a free used beat up bike on craigslist, watching youtube videos and fixing it up at the cost of only the parts. 125$ later I had brand new road tires, inner tubes, a bike repair kit, front and rear bike lights, chain lube and brake pads. I successfully installed everything and now have a functional working bicycle.

I was also proud of myself for using the bike to commute to the gym and have been commuting to work on 50% of work days.

However...

1. I live in sunny northern CA. Sure, it's been a little rainy as of late, but the weather on my work commute is BEAUTIFUL.
2. My work commute is pretty much entirely flat except for one small hill that takes all of (an intense) 10seconds to get up.
3. My work commute is 2.5 miles.. 5 miles round trip. Takes about 15 minutes, 30 minutes round trip.

Reading what some of you guys have to deal with, I'm such a whimp!! Can't believe I have only been able to do 50% of work days. I really have no excuse to drive to work at all.

SO, starting on April 1st, I am going to try to pump this number up to 100%. Posting here for accountability :)

Iím an utter wimp. My meek attempts at badassity pale compared to what wifey does every day at work. Sheís a wildlife biologist in a swamp and her day usually consists of avoiding bears, not getting bitten by snakes and various acts of badassity.  Iím not even in the same league.
That said, we should all strive to the best in our league, even if itís T-ball.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #679 on: April 03, 2019, 08:09:39 PM »
Question for yíall: what recommendations do you have for rain gear?  My area  rains a lot and itís preventing me from biking to work every day. Any maintenance to do given my bike will be sitting out in the rain?

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #680 on: April 04, 2019, 06:51:05 AM »
Question for yíall: what recommendations do you have for rain gear?  My area  rains a lot and itís preventing me from biking to work every day. Any maintenance to do given my bike will be sitting out in the rain?

You bike will be fine as long as you keep stuff lubed up (this basically means lube your chain every week or so and regrease your brake pivots, headset, bottom bracket, and any screws that go into the frame for racks/fenders once or twice a year)

Generally speaking with rain gear I just try to keep warm.  As long as I can avoid being too chilled, getting wet doesn't matter.  Waterproof cycling gear tends to make you sweat so much that you're soaked when you get there anyway.  :P

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #681 on: April 04, 2019, 08:13:51 AM »
Question for yíall: what recommendations do you have for rain gear?  My area  rains a lot and itís preventing me from biking to work every day. Any maintenance to do given my bike will be sitting out in the rain?

Rain jacket I have that's been working great: North Face Venture 2.  More of a shell so it's not too warm (but you can layer if necessary), and it's proven to be waterproof thus far.  My previous jacket - cheap off of Amazon - was decidedly not.  Since my preference is to wear my work clothes on my bike in the morning, a waterproof-but-not-hot jacket is very helpful.

Haven't found good, inexpensive waterproof pants.  I've been wearing cheap Amazon bike pants that are water-resistant.  I did buy some rain booties (off of Amazon - any patterns here?) as well that have mostly kept my feet dry as long as I manage the layering to prevent water seeping down from the top, which has allowed me to wear my work shoes underneath. 

No recommendations on gloves yet.  Mine got soaked.  I did pick up a new pair during Performance Bike's closing sales that theoretically may do better, but we've exited the rainy season in SoCal where I live, so they haven't yet been tested. 

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #682 on: April 04, 2019, 10:47:48 AM »
I live in the PNW and the basic gist of riding in the rain is that you get wet. Think of it as adding to the authentic outdoor experience.

That being said, I switched to an oversized, waterproof cycling rain jacket this winter. I don't love that it's kind of plasticky and makes me sweat. This is why a picked a bigger size, it gives me more ventilation and it's got huge pit zips so I can open it up like a poncho. I mostly bought it because it's bright yellow with lots of reflective strips on it, including my arms so hopefully my arm signals will be more visible. Anyway, if you get a rain jacket, pick a really bright color so you'll be more visible to cars.

I ride clipless and wear neoprene booties over my cycling shoes. These keep my feet warm, and my shoes less wet. Highly recommend.

For pants I just wear ordinary athletic tights and then change when I get to work. When it's cold I wear fleece lined tights. These are the bomb.

Make sure your lights are switched on in the rain for increased visibility.

Your bike will be fine sitting out in the rain. Make sure it's got fenders so you don't get road grit sprayed all over you (you'll still get some). The PITA part about wet weather riding is cleaning the sand and grit off your drivetrain (gears and chain) and wheel rims (if you've got rim brakes). All that grit really wears out your drivetrain and wheel rims. You don't technically have to clean it, but it will run better and last longer if you do. Scroll up through this thread for cleaning advice.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #683 on: April 04, 2019, 11:45:12 AM »
This thread has made me feel very pathetic, so thank you!!
...
More specifically to this thread, I was very proud of myself for finding a free used beat up bike on craigslist, watching youtube videos and fixing it up at the cost of only the parts. 125$ later I had brand new road tires, inner tubes, a bike repair kit, front and rear bike lights, chain lube and brake pads. I successfully installed everything and now have a functional working bicycle.

I was also proud of myself for using the bike to commute to the gym and have been commuting to work on 50% of work days.

However...

1. I live in sunny northern CA. Sure, it's been a little rainy as of late, but the weather on my work commute is BEAUTIFUL.
2. My work commute is pretty much entirely flat except for one small hill that takes all of (an intense) 10seconds to get up.
3. My work commute is 2.5 miles.. 5 miles round trip. Takes about 15 minutes, 30 minutes round trip.

Reading what some of you guys have to deal with, I'm such a whimp!! Can't believe I have only been able to do 50% of work days. I really have no excuse to drive to work at all.

SO, starting on April 1st, I am going to try to pump this number up to 100%. Posting here for accountability :)
Welcome from another northern California wimp. My commute is also mostly flat and fairly short (4.5 miles - my one small hill is on the route with best bike infrastructure; but I can avoid it if I want to). This winter my commute trips by bike: 65% in November, 43% in December, 41% in January, 50% in February, 70% in March. Soon we'll be back to consistently dry weather and bike share of commute trips will be nearly 100% again. If you're in the Sacramento Region, sign up for MayIsBikeMonth.com.

philli14

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #684 on: April 04, 2019, 01:15:52 PM »
Welcome from another northern California wimp. My commute is also mostly flat and fairly short (4.5 miles - my one small hill is on the route with best bike infrastructure; but I can avoid it if I want to). This winter my commute trips by bike: 65% in November, 43% in December, 41% in January, 50% in February, 70% in March. Soon we'll be back to consistently dry weather and bike share of commute trips will be nearly 100% again. If you're in the Sacramento Region, sign up for MayIsBikeMonth.com.

Thanks! I like the percentages. I've been tracking mileage car/bike and looking at my miles biked as a percentage of total, pretty revealing:

February: 33.6 biked / 292 driven (10.3%)
March: 34.7 biked / 538 driven (6.0%.. ouch, too many trips to sac and davis)
April: goal is to bike more miles than driven (>50%)

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #685 on: April 04, 2019, 01:47:53 PM »
Question for yíall: what recommendations do you have for rain gear?  My area  rains a lot and itís preventing me from biking to work every day. Any maintenance to do given my bike will be sitting out in the rain?

You bike will be fine as long as you keep stuff lubed up (this basically means lube your chain every week or so and regrease your brake pivots, headset, bottom bracket, and any screws that go into the frame for racks/fenders once or twice a year)

Generally speaking with rain gear I just try to keep warm.  As long as I can avoid being too chilled, getting wet doesn't matter.  Waterproof cycling gear tends to make you sweat so much that you're soaked when you get there anyway.  :P

Thank you very much!

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #686 on: April 04, 2019, 02:01:28 PM »
Thanks all for the wet riding advice. Today was the Fight Club Bicycling tour. Lessee. One large dog lunging at me. Check.  One clueless driver turning into me. Check. One jerk trying to force me over in traffic by splitting a lane. Sweet!

One unexpected benefit of bike commuting:who knew swearing could be so cathartic? Probably not the best thing for Lent though 🤭

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #687 on: April 04, 2019, 02:57:33 PM »
Thanks! I like the percentages. I've been tracking mileage car/bike and looking at my miles biked as a percentage of total, pretty revealing:

February: 33.6 biked / 292 driven (10.3%)
March: 34.7 biked / 538 driven (6.0%.. ouch, too many trips to sac and davis)
April: goal is to bike more miles than driven (>50%)
My percentage is just for my commute trips. Fortunately most of my non-bike commute trips are transit (though sometimes my wife drops me off or picks me up). Unfortunately much of my non-commute (church, family activities, shopping and other errands) transport is by car (though usually with my wife) - I easily travel more miles by car even when my commute is at 100% bike. Best way to reduce the percentage of non-commute trips by bike would be to get my wife an e-bike.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #688 on: April 08, 2019, 08:48:03 AM »
Looks like I ought to clean my chain before putting lube on it? Or should I just lube it now and worry about cleaning another time?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #689 on: April 08, 2019, 10:06:28 AM »
dirty chain no lube < clean chain no lube < dirty chain w lube < clean chain w lube

Further right the better!


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.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #690 on: April 08, 2019, 10:43:03 AM »
Looks like I ought to clean my chain before putting lube on it? Or should I just lube it now and worry about cleaning another time?
Lots of "religion" in chain care as mentioned previously. The primary theory against lubing without cleaning is that the lube will transport the grime to the inner surfaces and wear the chain faster than if you hadn't added the lube. I recommend cleaning as thoroughly as possible before lubing.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #691 on: April 08, 2019, 10:58:21 AM »
dirty chain no lube < clean chain no lube < dirty chain w lube < clean chain w lube

Exactly what I was looking for, thanks. I can probably manage all that on Tuesday night.

This morning I realized right outside my apartment complex that I'd forgotten something, so I pulled onto the sidewalk to turn around, clipped a fire hydrant, and ripped off my pannier. One of the clips is broken. I'll see whether it's fixable by superglue, but that's a very disappointing development. I have a bungee net and backpack as a fallback for now.

I also had a guy continue to accelerate toward me as I merged (with TONS of space) into his lane today, which was freaky. I couldn't see if he could see me, so I swerved - probably not the best idea - and he slowed down in time, looked at me (now in a different lane), and then accelerated again to pass. The guy behind him let me in. Wish I had this bike horn working.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #692 on: April 08, 2019, 11:55:08 AM »
I also had a guy continue to accelerate toward me as I merged (with TONS of space) into his lane today, which was freaky. I couldn't see if he could see me, so I swerved - probably not the best idea - and he slowed down in time, looked at me (now in a different lane), and then accelerated again to pass. The guy behind him let me in. Wish I had this bike horn working.

That's always been my hardest obstacle to overcome when biking: getting over the assholes*. They're probably no more than 1% of the population, but they ruin it for me on days where they make their presence known. My sympathies.

*Not to discount the biking assholes (which I wouldn't believe existed if I hadn't seen it myself). I was stopped at a red light and a couple riding their bikes came to a stop at the light perpendicular to mine. The guy got off his bike, and in his flip flops kicked the car that drove up next to them. The guy in the car got out and a fistfight started in the middle of the street. The girl on the other bike looked like she wanted to vanish. Unfortunately my light turned green and I missed the rest of the story.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #693 on: April 08, 2019, 01:26:04 PM »
I also had a guy continue to accelerate toward me as I merged (with TONS of space) into his lane today, which was freaky. I couldn't see if he could see me, so I swerved - probably not the best idea - and he slowed down in time, looked at me (now in a different lane), and then accelerated again to pass. The guy behind him let me in. Wish I had this bike horn working.

That's always been my hardest obstacle to overcome when biking: getting over the assholes*. They're probably no more than 1% of the population, but they ruin it for me on days where they make their presence known. My sympathies.

*Not to discount the biking assholes (which I wouldn't believe existed if I hadn't seen it myself). I was stopped at a red light and a couple riding their bikes came to a stop at the light perpendicular to mine. The guy got off his bike, and in his flip flops kicked the car that drove up next to them. The guy in the car got out and a fistfight started in the middle of the street. The girl on the other bike looked like she wanted to vanish. Unfortunately my light turned green and I missed the rest of the story.

Interesting tale. Iíve had to deal with enough idiots just in the last month to give the cyclist the benefit of the doubt. I donít know what the relative a-hole versus moron % is in my area, but Iíd say the just plain crappy/clueless/malevolent percentage is roughly one out of every 10 or 20.

I donít think bike commuting will ever become more prevalent than clown cars as a result. I do not mind being a trend setter, but I wonít lie to folks:  bike commuting can be darn scary.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #694 on: April 08, 2019, 02:29:56 PM »
I also had a guy continue to accelerate toward me as I merged (with TONS of space) into his lane today, which was freaky. I couldn't see if he could see me, so I swerved - probably not the best idea - and he slowed down in time, looked at me (now in a different lane), and then accelerated again to pass. The guy behind him let me in. Wish I had this bike horn working.

That's always been my hardest obstacle to overcome when biking: getting over the assholes*. They're probably no more than 1% of the population, but they ruin it for me on days where they make their presence known. My sympathies.

*Not to discount the biking assholes (which I wouldn't believe existed if I hadn't seen it myself). I was stopped at a red light and a couple riding their bikes came to a stop at the light perpendicular to mine. The guy got off his bike, and in his flip flops kicked the car that drove up next to them. The guy in the car got out and a fistfight started in the middle of the street. The girl on the other bike looked like she wanted to vanish. Unfortunately my light turned green and I missed the rest of the story.

Interesting tale. Iíve had to deal with enough idiots just in the last month to give the cyclist the benefit of the doubt. I donít know what the relative a-hole versus moron % is in my area, but Iíd say the just plain crappy/clueless/malevolent percentage is roughly one out of every 10 or 20.

I donít think bike commuting will ever become more prevalent than clown cars as a result. I do not mind being a trend setter, but I wonít lie to folks:  bike commuting can be darn scary.

I'm willing to bet $100 internet dollars the guy in the car nearly hit the dude on the bike sometime before they both reached the intersection.

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.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #695 on: April 08, 2019, 03:27:04 PM »
No garden hoses available in an apartment complex! All materials must be carried down three flights of stairs and across the parking garage...

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #696 on: April 08, 2019, 03:35:41 PM »
I'm willing to bet $100 internet dollars the guy in the car nearly hit the dude on the bike sometime before they both reached the intersection.

I don't doubt it. But is road rage the answer? (Completely rhetorical, because maybe it was the right answer in that situation....)

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #697 on: April 08, 2019, 07:33:23 PM »
I'm willing to bet $100 internet dollars the guy in the car nearly hit the dude on the bike sometime before they both reached the intersection.

I don't doubt it. But is road rage the answer? (Completely rhetorical, because maybe it was the right answer in that situation....)

Maybe, maybe not. I donít advocate vigilantism. But I might have stood up and cheered had I been there and known the whole story.

Iíve had enough close calls with the clueless/indifferent/ malevolent drivers. If we ever want bike commuting to become a thing, dealing with that is going to become a key. And I think it can be. At one time in my memory, drunk driving wasnít a big deal. Lots of people died. Then MADD came on the scene. Maybe we need Mustachians Against Idiotic Drivers (MAIDs)?

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #698 on: April 08, 2019, 08:28:33 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.

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Back on the bike today after two weeks being on business travel. I went to the gym every day while gone but doing different exercises (run, elliptical, swim). Maybe it is that or maybe it is the jet lag, but I was really slow and really tired today. Better luck tomorrow.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #699 on: April 09, 2019, 07:54:55 AM »
I'm willing to bet $100 internet dollars the guy in the car nearly hit the dude on the bike sometime before they both reached the intersection.

I don't doubt it. But is road rage the answer? (Completely rhetorical, because maybe it was the right answer in that situation....)

Maybe, maybe not. I donít advocate vigilantism. But I might have stood up and cheered had I been there and known the whole story.

Iíve had enough close calls with the clueless/indifferent/ malevolent drivers. If we ever want bike commuting to become a thing, dealing with that is going to become a key. And I think it can be. At one time in my memory, drunk driving wasnít a big deal. Lots of people died. Then MADD came on the scene. Maybe we need Mustachians Against Idiotic Drivers (MAIDs)?

Have you ever talked with a police officer about a traffic incident that occurred while you were on your bike?  If not, prepare yourself to be either laughed out of the room, or blamed for the evil of dangerously following the rules legally prescribed for cycling on the road.  I don't advocate vigilantism, and tend to try to withdraw from confrontation always trying to remember that people make mistakes . . . but if you're interested in justice for a flagrantly and willfully unsafe incident that happens while cycling vigilantism it's very likely the only way that you'll get it.

Cyclists are not treated as equal citizens in the eyes of the law in my experience.  If we can fix that, it will go an awful long way towards fixing the problem of dangerous driving around cyclists.