Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 106186 times)

Raenia

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #950 on: August 28, 2019, 08:59:26 AM »
Biking to work is not appropriate for everyone in every situation, but I'll play devil's advocate.

-Definitely need secure storage, in my opinion. Even locking up to a fence or pole would be enough to deter potential thieves.
I don't think our site security would be happy with the 'image' that leaves for guests to the site, unfortunately.  So I would need to find somewhere secure that is also not visible to any of the main entrances.
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-Riding in the dark is not as fun, but a good set of lights can be bought for less than $100 (a minor outlay when considering overall cost). The new lithium/USB lights are great and eliminate regular battery purchases.
-Are you sure your commute would be double-time on an E-bike? You'll be traveling 20+ mph, and only needing to stop the same number of times or less than cars do.
I don't think I'd be allowed to/should go that fast on the multi-use trails, as it would be dangerous to pedestrians or slower cyclists.  On the roads it's mostly stoplights.  The time increase also accounts for taking a safer, longer route than I take in the car.
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-Being able to avoid major roads is a huge stipulation for me. I thought there was no way it could be done for my commute, until I did some research and found dedicated bike trails that avoid 90% of the roads (and all major roads) and wide bike lanes for the rest. So I agree, having to ride major roads without bike lanes would be a deal-breaker for me, but hopefully your city has a few amenities you aren't yet aware of.
The route I'm looking at already includes a large proportion of multi-use trails, but the final section to get to the more industrial area has fewer options.  I'm still looking, but not optimistic.
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-Hills are mostly irrelevant on an E-bike. I think the best way to piss off a lycra-clad biker is to zoom past them on an E-bike up a hill (speaking tongue-in-cheek as one of those lycra riders).

Here's my recommendation. Pick one day (preferably soon before it gets too dark in the morning, but it could wait til late spring if that works better), and just ride your regular bike to and/from work. Just one day. This will force you to really analyze the routes and other logistics, and will give you the general idea of what it's like to bike to work from your current neighborhood. Then see if you enjoy it enough to do again. If the answer is yes, but you need to get there faster, then consider buying an E-bike.

Unfortunately, I'm not in good enough shape to make it 20 miles on my old, heavy bike (possibly even on a lighter, but unassisted bike).  The hilly 10 mile ride is waaaay outside my functional range right now.  The hills may be irrelevant on an e-bike, but they sure matter on my old huffy!  I've had problems before with passing out when I overdo it working out.  I don't fancy the idea of passing out on the side of the road during morning traffic!  Even without that, I need to arrive at work relatively unsweaty, as there is no shower facility or anything.  That's part of why I was looking at the e-bike, as I could take it at whatever difficulty I can handle and use the assist for the rest.  Eventually, I would hope to need less assist, but right now that's not the case.

I also, quite frankly, don't expect to enjoy riding, especially unassisted.  I bike for transportation, not for fun.  I know that's uncommon for people in this thread, and I've been reamed out for it before, but that's the truth.  I want to bike because it's the right thing to do, to improve my health and help the environment, not for recreation.  We'll never get to the point of cycling being considered a 'normal' mode of transportation if we insist that everyone must be having fun doing it.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #951 on: August 28, 2019, 09:28:00 AM »
To be fair, "enjoy" wasn't meant to imply "fun". I also bike for transportation, and don't consider road biking* in and of itself "fun" (though it certainly beats commuting in traffic). I agree twenty miles is tough.

As for projecting an image for your business: I've always been under the impression that nice bikes project a positive image for many businesses. That's why many recreational places (coffee shops, brew pubs, etc.) have old bikes on the walls and such.

Having a shower for work is key for me during the summer. I agree that not having one might be a deal breaker, though a lot of folks around here do without by using the sink.

One thing I don't want to do is encourage you to get an E-bike if you won't end up using it. But as an anecdote in that direction, one of my coworkers, who is a fairly heavy guy, recently bought a full-suspension commuter E-bike and has been riding about ten miles into work and loves it. It's a nice-looking fat tire bike, goes well over twenty mph, and was relatively inexpensive at about $2k.

*Mountain biking, on the other hand....

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #952 on: August 28, 2019, 10:13:48 AM »
Here's my recommendation. Pick one day (preferably soon before it gets too dark in the morning, but it could wait til late spring if that works better), and just ride your regular bike to and/from work. Just one day. This will force you to really analyze the routes and other logistics, and will give you the general idea of what it's like to bike to work from your current neighborhood. Then see if you enjoy it enough to do again. If the answer is yes, but you need to get there faster, then consider buying an E-bike.
Don't forget to subtract any difficulty climbing the hills when you think about if you enjoyed it enough to do it again. The e-bike will help most with hill climbing and accelerating from stops.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #953 on: August 28, 2019, 10:22:44 AM »
I've been thinking of getting an e-bike recently, but I can't decide if it's worth the cost.  My commute is just 9-10 miles each way, depending on the route, and our new neighborhood is much hillier than our old neighborhood, increasing my reluctance to bike places.  I thought an e-bike would help with that, but I'm hesitant to drop too much money on something I'm not sure I will use enough.

Some considerations:
-My work doesn't have any bike racks or storage, so I won't have anywhere secure to store it
-I would be riding in the dark more, which makes me nervous
-I would have to wake up earlier and get home later, because my commute would about double in time - I don't currently bike for exercise, to this would not replace other workout time, it is just extra time coming out of chores and relaxation, which I already don't have enough time for
-The route is about half on trails and half on roads, some of them heavy traffic roads. I haven't checked for bike lanes, but I'd be surprised if they had them.  Trying to avoid the major roads would add further time and distance.
-Besides work, the library is a decent biking distance, I usually do groceries on the way home (but might not pass the good stores on the bike route), family is all too far to bike, most other things we use public transit

I currently haven't biked at all since moving here, and I feel bad about it but I'm having trouble overcoming the hills and the increased distance.  I also recently decreased my monthly personal spend to funnel more money into house repairs, so I'd be saving up for many months to have enough personal spend for even a basic bike or conversion kit, which is also a bit demoralizing.

Convince me?

Well, you definitely need to figure out a safe way to lock it up.  You could look into whether there is a place to bring it inside work, but if that's not a possibility you should scope out other places to lock it - bike racks are definitely not the only option.  I have a reasonably hefty lock, and I also have a heavy-duty noose-style chain that I bring when there's no good bike rack.  With the chain, I can lock it up nearly anywhere.  You could also pop off the battery and bring it in with you to work, leaving a far less attractive target.

I don't mind riding in the dark (over 50% of my commutes are in the dark), because I have multiple bright lights.  1050 lumen headlight built in to the bike, multiple blinkies, and reflective strips all over.  The most dangerous things for me are cars that forgot to turn their headlights on, so I double-check for those whenever I'm out.

You'll get plenty of extra exercise unless you're a throttle junkie like some e-bike riders.  It's a benefit whether or not you consider it to be.  I suppose you'd have to figure out how much extra time it would cost you, but certainly as the above poster said you'll be going pretty fast on an e-bike, and depending upon your route you might be able to skip certain things that slow cars down more. 

Bike routes are a work in progress, at least for me.  I start with google maps bike routing, using the 'street view' to really get a sense of what it would be like on that road (you can check for bike lanes this way), but actually being out there will give you even better perspective. 

Hills are much easier on an e-bike, unless they're super steep.  Mid-drives are supposedly better once the hills get really steep, but I've never ridden one. 

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #954 on: August 28, 2019, 10:24:32 AM »
If you don't expect to enjoy riding an e-bike, then I'd guess you haven't ridden one before!

erutio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #955 on: August 28, 2019, 10:32:16 AM »
I don't think our site security would be happy with the 'image' that leaves for guests to the site, unfortunately.  So I would need to find somewhere secure that is also not visible to any of the main entrances.


If your work has a site security team, bring it up to them the fact that there are not safe ways to lock bikes there.  Easy to steal bikes would be a be security risk to the site, right?  And if you have say into the matter, suggest indoor bike racks if they are going to implement anything.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #956 on: August 28, 2019, 10:43:08 AM »
Do any ebike dealers offer rentals in your area? If so, try renting one for a week to see if it makes the commute manageable.

Another option it to try riding your regular bike one way to the office on a weekend. Have someone pick you up and drive you and the bike home. That'll give a more realistic feel for how the ride will go on a work day, since you'll never ride the complete return route back to back.

Another option is to replace your old Huffy with a nicer, lighter pedal bike. I have a couple different bikes in my fleet and agree that an old Huffy would be my least preferred option and I'd probably never ride it. My current ride is an older model Kona Dew hybrid. Al frame makes it lighter and I replace the drive train and cables as needed so it runs like a new bike. I (over)paid $300 for it used and then put another $300 in parts into it. Way, way less than the cost of an ebike, but still a big upgrade from a department store bike.

turketron

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #957 on: August 28, 2019, 10:43:55 AM »
We're also considering an e-bike for my wife, so I'm interested in everyone's experiences as well.

 We only have a ~4.5 mile commute to work but she has knee issues from an old sports injury that gets aggravated by biking. She can usually do a few miles at a time but any longer than that can be dicey. What's bad about it is that it doesn't hurt in the moment, but if she pushes it too far on a bike ride it can put her in unbearable pain for the next day or two afterwards. Anyway, we have a cool bike sharing service in town with e-bikes so we're gonna take them for a test ride some time, and if the e-assist helps her knee we might pull the trigger on buying one, so any experiences or recommendations would be super!


Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #958 on: August 28, 2019, 11:48:45 AM »
We're also considering an e-bike for my wife, so I'm interested in everyone's experiences as well.

 We only have a ~4.5 mile commute to work but she has knee issues from an old sports injury that gets aggravated by biking. She can usually do a few miles at a time but any longer than that can be dicey. What's bad about it is that it doesn't hurt in the moment, but if she pushes it too far on a bike ride it can put her in unbearable pain for the next day or two afterwards. Anyway, we have a cool bike sharing service in town with e-bikes so we're gonna take them for a test ride some time, and if the e-assist helps her knee we might pull the trigger on buying one, so any experiences or recommendations would be super!

So many options these days.  A good place to poke around is:

https://electricbikereview.com/

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #959 on: September 01, 2019, 12:25:58 PM »
I bike primarily for transportation and occasionally for fun with friends. For fun on my own I'd rather be puttering in the yard or hiking with the dog.

I LOVE MY EBIKE.

I ride WAY more than I did before I had it. I even ride my regular bike more.

I spent years debating an ebike versus a scooter. I can ride my bike in the winter, which I wouldn't do on a scooter. Yeah there are days I don't feel like biking when I first leave, but being able to get where I'm going without having to take days off for asthma issues or knee pain has been a total game changer. I also totally underestimated how much easier it is to ride for transportation when I can bump up the assist to get up to speed faster at stoplights and stop signs.

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #960 on: September 03, 2019, 11:36:04 AM »
Today was my first day riding a bike to work! Got a bike yesterday, spent some time yesterday just getting used to riding a bike again, and then rode it this morning. I just started working here and it's only a 1.3 mile ride from my house. So far, everything has been going really great - roads are pretty paved in this area and most roads have a bike lane. If they don't, drivers are used to sharing the road with bikers and I haven't encountered any jerks yet (I know, it's only been a day, but I'm excited!)

Yesterday I probably rode a total of about 3 miles, and so far today I've rode a total of 3.3 miles (commute to work + other riding beforehand). My legs are the tiniest bit jelly but the biggest thing is that my sit bones hurts. I spoke to another cyclist this morning and he told me to give it a week. I'm hoping that's true because otherwise, this whole biking thing is going to be a piece of cake!

It's been almost a full week of riding to work. No issues with the sit bones anymore and the ride is so easy that I can't believe I just started doing it. I was actually disappointed this morning when I woke up to thunderstorms and thought I might have to take the bus - but it cleared up enough for me to ride my bike! Best part about it is that I haven't had to fill up my gas tank. If I had still been driving everyday, I would've definitely needed to fill it up at this point. At this rate, I won't have to refill it for another 2 weeks!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #961 on: September 04, 2019, 02:16:03 PM »
I miss this thread! I went and had a baby so no biking to work for me for a while, and no biking at all in the short term. My poor ebike is left abandoned in the garden.

I agree with @katscratch: I LOVE my ebike. I am so-so about regular biking by that extra assist is just plain fun. My ride to work is around ten miles each way and is a nice commute with the assist. It would be impossible without. Not so much the physical aspect, though that is significant, but I would never be able to fit in the time of commuting on a regular bike.

I agree with the idea of renting one for a week to test drive the idea. I got an ebike because my work had a program of lending me an bike for six months to commute with. So I got the bug and couldnít stop when I had to turn it back in.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #962 on: September 04, 2019, 06:44:21 PM »
I miss this thread! I went and had a baby so no biking to work for me for a while, and no biking at all in the short term. My poor ebike is left abandoned in the garden.

I agree with @katscratch: I LOVE my ebike. I am so-so about regular biking by that extra assist is just plain fun. My ride to work is around ten miles each way and is a nice commute with the assist. It would be impossible without. Not so much the physical aspect, though that is significant, but I would never be able to fit in the time of commuting on a regular bike.

I agree with the idea of renting one for a week to test drive the idea. I got an ebike because my work had a program of lending me an bike for six months to commute with. So I got the bug and couldnít stop when I had to turn it back in.

I'm basically of the mind that the e-bike is the perfect mode of transportation.  It needs to take over the world. 

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #963 on: September 04, 2019, 10:17:53 PM »
I miss this thread! I went and had a baby so no biking to work for me for a while, and no biking at all in the short term. My poor ebike is left abandoned in the garden.

I agree with @katscratch: I LOVE my ebike. I am so-so about regular biking by that extra assist is just plain fun. My ride to work is around ten miles each way and is a nice commute with the assist. It would be impossible without. Not so much the physical aspect, though that is significant, but I would never be able to fit in the time of commuting on a regular bike.

I agree with the idea of renting one for a week to test drive the idea. I got an ebike because my work had a program of lending me an bike for six months to commute with. So I got the bug and couldnít stop when I had to turn it back in.

I'm basically of the mind that the e-bike is the perfect mode of transportation.  It needs to take over the world.
No disagreement from me. I canít stand minivans but I do look with some lust upon the ebike version of minivans with the bench on the back where you can seat two kids, one in front of the other.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #964 on: September 05, 2019, 11:25:50 AM »
I miss this thread! I went and had a baby so no biking to work for me for a while, and no biking at all in the short term. My poor ebike is left abandoned in the garden.

I agree with @katscratch: I LOVE my ebike. I am so-so about regular biking by that extra assist is just plain fun. My ride to work is around ten miles each way and is a nice commute with the assist. It would be impossible without. Not so much the physical aspect, though that is significant, but I would never be able to fit in the time of commuting on a regular bike.

I agree with the idea of renting one for a week to test drive the idea. I got an ebike because my work had a program of lending me an bike for six months to commute with. So I got the bug and couldnít stop when I had to turn it back in.

I'm basically of the mind that the e-bike is the perfect mode of transportation.  It needs to take over the world.
No disagreement from me. I canít stand minivans but I do look with some lust upon the ebike version of minivans with the bench on the back where you can seat two kids, one in front of the other.

This. So much this. Except my kids are basically adult sized now. The plan is to get them ebikes of their own if they so much as whisper about pedal biking being too difficult. With graduated licensing they can't drive alone until they're 17 anyway. I don't want to be their chauffeur for that long.

My kids biked to school for the first time today! The route is 7km and goes down busy streets, a highway overpass and a couple trails. I rode with them this morning, but they're on their own this afternoon. Fingers crossed they get home safely, don't get lost and stay together.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #965 on: September 05, 2019, 01:15:01 PM »
No disagreement from me. I canít stand minivans but I do look with some lust upon the ebike version of minivans with the bench on the back where you can seat two kids, one in front of the other.
I don't even have kids and I want a longtail bike (I'd probably find a way to give a ride to a niece or nephew occasionally). There's a Yuba Boda Boda parked in the bike parking at my work regularly. I have yet to see the rider. I see other longtails out and about sometimes. I caught a glimpse of a local dad dad who rode a Yuba Mundo with three kids at a Bike Fest a few years ago.

Don't forget the front loaded box bikes - I think they make an even better minivan replacement.

Kids have grown, so not much recent content (last two posts are just about how they picked up their Christmas tree by bike again - 8 years running now), but Hum of the City had great blog content about biking with kids in SF for a few years. Dorie wrote reviews of all the bikes they had an opportunity to try while they lived car free with two kids.

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #966 on: September 05, 2019, 02:43:51 PM »
Mine's an Xtracycle and hauls my dog quite often :)  If I'm going multi-modal w/bus or train I'll take my regular bike but it takes a half hour longer than riding the e-assist cargo bike.

Cargo bikes multiplied in our bike cage at work this summer; on most days there are three or four.

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #967 on: September 05, 2019, 06:17:06 PM »
When ebikes started showing up around Sydney, I was pretty internal snarky ["just ride a normal bike!"] but it is one of the things that has helped normalise cycling as another regular mode of transport instead of being the province of MAMILs and couriers. It has been such a net gain in terms of my own safety to have more people riding on the road and more of those people being seen as regular normal people with some kids and some groceries that I just smile whenever I see one now.

A friend has one in Wellington (the city that made me quit riding for a decade) and loves it so now I can see an ebike in my future, when I am older and the hills are steeper. Currently I am leaning towards the Brompton ebike (removable battery! still foldable!) but I am sure design and battery life will continue improving so who knows what they will look like in 5 or 10 years time.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #968 on: September 05, 2019, 07:00:54 PM »

I think the best way to piss off a lycra-clad biker is to zoom past them on an E-bike up a hill (speaking tongue-in-cheek as one of those lycra riders).


I think the best way to piss of a lycra-clad biker is to zoom past them uphill on a cargo bike with 60+lbs of kids... to be fair he was probably at the end of 50km+ ride and we were just starting... *not me my husband though can do this*

And we have a longtail extracycle and it is the bomb for grocery shopping with kids, dropping kids off at preschool/daycare/zoo trips whatever... but if I were to do it again I would get a longtail e-bike. My kids are now 1, 3 and 6 (the 6 year old can ride on her own, but not on busy streets, and it's soooo much slower then when we have her on our bike - so she gets a lift alot!)... and at 25lbs, 30lbs and 50lbs.... they are heavy. They have taken to cheering me up hills because if I don't get up they know they have to get off and walk lol. We are quite the spectacle!


And in other news my maternity leave is at an end, I start biking to/from work again on Monday. It's been a long 16 months away from work (sorry americans, I hope your country catches up someday soon!).  The HR guy will have a bike cage key ready for the first day of work, but he still sent me a parking form lol! I live a short 2 miles jaunt, but with the occasional kid drop off and pickup it could be more like a 10 mile roundtrip some days. Here's to 100% bike commuting again :)


katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #969 on: September 08, 2019, 04:30:05 AM »
I've been very surprised that the only judgy comments I get about my e-assist are from women, except for precisely one young fixie rider online ;) In person though it's been all women! On different styles of bikes. Even more surprisingly to me, the "group" of cyclists that I get the most positive commentary and questions from are men in full kit on training rides while we're at stoplights.

It always makes me ruminate on why - is it because "men" subconsciously see their bikes as a tool and "women" as a value signal? I'm often loaded with some random heavy thing or my dog, so maybe it's also part of the "that's not safe" reaction a lot of cargo bike parents get? I don't know. I do know that my bike is the best cheat code ever and I ride my "regular" bike even more because of it!

@Kmp2 welcome back to the commuting ranks! Your posts in the past cycling threads were definitely an influence on my decision to give up my car and make a go year-round with the cargo bike :)

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #970 on: September 08, 2019, 10:40:29 AM »

I think the best way to piss off a lycra-clad biker is to zoom past them on an E-bike up a hill (speaking tongue-in-cheek as one of those lycra riders).


I think the best way to piss of a lycra-clad biker is to zoom past them uphill on a cargo bike with 60+lbs of kids...
Let's not generalize a group of cyclists. I wear lycra on the weekends and hot days. e-Bikes and their riders aren't an irritant at all. I've been passed up while going uphill by a number of things, but don't bear them any ill will.

I love my road bike, but understand that the same choice isn't optimal for everyone. Seeing more cyclists riding on the streets is always a positive sign.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 10:42:07 AM by hadabeardonce »

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #971 on: September 08, 2019, 09:49:40 PM »

I think the best way to piss off a lycra-clad biker is to zoom past them on an E-bike up a hill (speaking tongue-in-cheek as one of those lycra riders).


I think the best way to piss of a lycra-clad biker is to zoom past them uphill on a cargo bike with 60+lbs of kids...
Let's not generalize a group of cyclists. I wear lycra on the weekends and hot days. e-Bikes and their riders aren't an irritant at all. I've been passed up while going uphill by a number of things, but don't bear them any ill will.

I love my road bike, but understand that the same choice isn't optimal for everyone. Seeing more cyclists riding on the streets is always a positive sign.

No intention to generalize negatively, I'm a fan of e-bike riders. But my experience is always uncanny for a few moments when I get blown away by someone who looks like they aren't even trying (at least to the same extent I am), until I make the connection that they are not using the same mode of locomotion as I am (despite most outward appearances).

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #972 on: September 09, 2019, 07:39:39 AM »
I was on a large group ride and saw something very strange happening.  There were quite a few steep hills at the start, followed by some long flat sections.  Three guys would break away from the main group going up every hill . . . like just effortlessly crushing everyone else.  Then we would all catch up and quickly pass them on the flats.  Didn't make any sense to me at the time.

I later figured they must have been on ebikes.  The ebike assist is limited to 32 kph.  So they get the max assist climbing and go up the hills like superheroes, but couldn't hang with a group going 45 on the flats and immediately get dropped.  :P

But yeah, I agree with hadabeardonce.  It's a little odd until you realize that the person is on a motorcycle.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #973 on: September 09, 2019, 10:01:30 AM »
I expected to get the stink eye from the real road bikers when I was commuting on my ebike. I was pleasantly surprised though at the positive feedback I got from those who did talk to me. Iíd like to think we are all in together on this and the more of us there are on the road, the better it is for everyone.

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #974 on: September 10, 2019, 08:40:10 AM »
Question

Do you all ride during thunder storms?

If so, what gear do you recommend?

Ended up driving to the gym this morning because we were in the middle of a thunder storm, but trying to stick to biking as much as possible for all local trips.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #975 on: September 10, 2019, 08:46:10 AM »
Question

Do you all ride during thunder storms?
I usually do but try to gauge how severe it seems before purposely going out in a thunderstorm.

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If so, what gear do you recommend?
Same as you would wear in the rain with no thunder/lightning.
No long metal rods.

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Ended up driving to the gym this morning because we were in the middle of a thunder storm, but trying to stick to biking as much as possible for all local trips.
That's reasonable.
There was only one thunderstorm that I rode through where I felt unsafe but that was a nasty one with high winds and large branches falling around me lol.

I am in central NJ so thunderstorms aren't too bad here compared to what I've seen in other states.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #976 on: September 10, 2019, 08:53:12 AM »

@Kmp2 welcome back to the commuting ranks! Your posts in the past cycling threads were definitely an influence on my decision to give up my car and make a go year-round with the cargo bike :)

This makes me so happy! We have not given up a car yet, but our second car is a 2004 civic that is super cheap to keep around for the amount we drive it and it refuses to die!

I am surprised that it's women that make comments - I always tell e-bikers that I'm jealous, and that my n+1 will definitely be an e-bike :)

There is a lot of evidence showing that e-bikes generally end up being more exercise for normal people (read non roadie/mountain bikers) because they lower the barriers to getting out and allow you to go further - both of which increase your total exercise.


Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #977 on: September 10, 2019, 08:58:22 AM »
Question

Do you all ride during thunder storms?

If so, what gear do you recommend?

Ended up driving to the gym this morning because we were in the middle of a thunder storm, but trying to stick to biking as much as possible for all local trips.

I have, I usually get caught out in them, I wouldn't purposely go out into one. Ours are usually over fairly quickly so you can wait it out.  If it's really bad I seek shelter on someone's porch, a coffee shop, a bus shelter etc... it's the buffeting wind that can blow you a few feet sideways that's sketchy when you are riding in traffic, and also low visibility for drivers doesn't help either. So those conditions might dictate I stop and wait it out - depends on the roads I'm on and how close to where I'm going!

I wear whatever rain gear I have. But not a lot will hold up against a drenching downpour.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #978 on: September 10, 2019, 10:01:54 AM »
Question

Do you all ride during thunder storms?

If so, what gear do you recommend?

Ended up driving to the gym this morning because we were in the middle of a thunder storm, but trying to stick to biking as much as possible for all local trips.

I ride in the rain all the time.

Most important gear is a bright rear and front light.  Next would be fenders for your bike.  Next would be a bright fluorescent coloured jacket.  Waterproof is nice, but the odds are you're going to get wet cycling in the rain.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #979 on: September 10, 2019, 12:19:38 PM »
There is a lot of evidence showing that e-bikes generally end up being more exercise for normal people (read non roadie/mountain bikers) because they lower the barriers to getting out and allow you to go further - both of which increase your total exercise.

This is the other reason I wholeheartedly welcome ebikes (plus the reduction in pollution, traffic, etc.). So if ebikes lead to the revolution where the majority of people begin to embrace commute by at-least-partially human powered machine, I will consider their adoption a boon for mankind.

Question

Do you all ride during thunder storms?

This is tangentially related to my previous comment: I find the concept of baby steps to be extremely helpful in improving my life. So I am a fair-weather biker who would probably take the bus at the hint of strong thunderstorms, but at the same time the more I ride, the less I am sweating the small stuff (like thunderstorms). I imagine with enough experience, at some point a thunderstorm wouldn't even affect my biking plans.

So I won't judge if you choose to drive the car through the thunderstorms. The chances are good that as long as you keep regularly biking, at some point you will chuckle at a future thunderstorm rolling in while you fling your leg over the saddle and slam down on the pedal to zoom off into the electrically charged darkness ahead.

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #980 on: September 10, 2019, 03:19:15 PM »
Thanks all!! I do ride my bike when it's raining, but might take it easy on myself for now when it's actually pouring (which is the current weather forecast for the next two days - thunder storms for the next 48 hours. ugh. hoping i'll be able to wait it out for breaks in the storms so that i can still bike around but we will see.)

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #981 on: September 10, 2019, 05:15:11 PM »
Question

Do you all ride during thunder storms?

If so, what gear do you recommend?

Ended up driving to the gym this morning because we were in the middle of a thunder storm, but trying to stick to biking as much as possible for all local trips.

I ride in the rain all the time.

Most important gear is a bright rear and front light.  Next would be fenders for your bike.  Next would be a bright fluorescent coloured jacket.  Waterproof is nice, but the odds are you're going to get wet cycling in the rain.

I ride in rainstorms, snowstorms, you name it. I check windy.com to see how the storm is moving. It's been the best visualization tool that I've found.

I second all of GuitarStv's suggestions: lights, fenders, bright jacket. I'll add:
- Safety glasses for clear sight in rain/wind  |  ski goggles for clear sight in snow, it prevents the dreaded foggy lenses
- I really appreciate my waterproof jacket
- If it's a warm rain, I'll try to maximize showing skin. Fabric takes a while to dry but skin you can generally wipe right off.
- If it's cold, I'll wear my waterproof pants and I'm comfortable the whole commute (~6mi)
- Bag cover if I have my backpack. I like the mesh pocket on this one: https://www.amazon.com/Salzmann-Reflective-Visibility-Waterproof-Weatherproof/dp/B07L297H1B/ref=sr_1_4?crid=I7BR1P89JP6L&keywords=salzmann+3m+reflective+backpack+cover&qid=1568157073&s=gateway&sprefix=salzmann+3M+reflective%2Caps%2C211&sr=8-4

Happy riding!

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #982 on: September 10, 2019, 06:54:23 PM »
I'll ride in any kind of rain, even heavy rain. However, I don't ride in lightning because I don't want to risk getting zapped. I also don't ride in wind above about 70km/hr because I find it hard to stay upright at that speed and don't want to get run over. Gusting wind can be especially tricky because the gusts can feel like someone's just randomly tried to push you over.

Otherwise, pretty much all weather is fair game. Note that it rarely snows where I live.

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #983 on: September 11, 2019, 07:56:25 AM »
I am definitely going to be investing in some of the gear that you guys are posting here, especially good waterproof jackets, pants, and a bag cover.

I rode into work this morning. Weather forecast yesterday said it would be storming, but it's not yet... Now it's been moved down to later this evening and it says isolated storms at 5 when I leave work. Hopefully the forecast is wrong about that too but if not, I'll be riding home in a potential downpour. That's okay, I'll get home and change into something dry. My other option was to take the bus, but I didn't feel like spending the money (lol). But that bag cover does have me thinking about my unprotected laptop in my backpack - I didn't think about that. I have an extra sweater so I'll probably wrap it up in that if it's really bad out, and it should survive the 15 minute ride home.

I'm in Wisconsin so it'll start snowing in a few months, and then it'll get really bad by January/February. I'm going to try to continue to ride in the snow (I'll get some studded tires OR if I've been able to save up enough money, I'll get a nicer bike with studded tires, fatter tires, and disc brakes. We'll see if my budget allows it, but I already have the potential bike picked out).

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #984 on: September 11, 2019, 08:15:55 AM »
As far as rain predictions go, I've found that you can't trust weather reports at all.  I look at the weather radar a couple hours before I go to work and a couple hours before I leave to get an idea if it'll rain on me.  :P

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #985 on: September 11, 2019, 08:54:37 AM »
After my haughty reply about being a fair-weather biker yesterday, Thor decided to treat me to some lightning bolts and heavy rain this morning. Wasn't as bad as I was expecting, lasted about 20 minutes at the beginning of the ride, and was dry by the time I arrived at work.

One more box to check on things not to worry about while biking: summer thunderstorms.

(Granted, this was western N.A. rain and lightning, which is a different breed than the eastern kind. I rode in plenty of actually scary thunderstorms growing up in South FL, and would prefer not to if it could be avoided (and it usually could by waiting half an hour).)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #986 on: September 11, 2019, 09:24:26 AM »
For people afraid of lightning strikes . . . do you guys live in extremely flat areas with no trees or buildings?  I'd expect that a lightning strike of a person on a bike is vanishingly small in typical cities.  There are buildings and trees everywhere that will guide lightning much more easily than your puny bike.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #987 on: September 11, 2019, 09:34:51 AM »
I would agree that a lightning strike on your bike is vanishingly small... unless one is in the midst of a strong thunderstorm. Then the probability shifts from vanishingly small to very small, which when combined with the hazard severity of 'death', may not lead to a wise risk (depending on your level of risk tolerance).

It's similar to the risk of swimming in the ocean, when there's a dorsal fin cutting a wake just offshore.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #988 on: September 11, 2019, 10:03:13 AM »
I normally avoid riding when wet (most years this probably equates to about 40 days commuting by bus from November to March where I live). The time I was caught in a thunderstorm on my way home. I got pretty soaked nearly instantly then sheltered in a freeway underpass until the downpour passed (not more than 15 minutes).

erutio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #989 on: September 11, 2019, 10:59:02 AM »
What do you all do to prevent rusting of your chair and cassette after riding in the rain. 
I just had to have my cassette replaced by the LBS, due to the rain over the summer and rusting.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #990 on: September 11, 2019, 11:17:02 AM »
What do you all do to prevent rusting of your chair and cassette after riding in the rain. 
I just had to have my cassette replaced by the LBS, due to the rain over the summer and rusting.

I wipe my chain dry with a towel after riding in the rain. I don't do anything to the cassette.

I do need to get better at cleaning and lubricating the chain after rain though.
Seems to get gritty, likely because most of my commute is on a dirt trail.

Another thing that's been driving me crazy is my seat post. I feel like I have to grease the thing once a week to stop it from creaking.
After it rains, it's even worse. I've been using automotive grease. Maybe I need to look into something else...

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #991 on: September 11, 2019, 12:40:15 PM »
Bounce your bike a few times to knock most of the water off it, then wipe the chain off with a rag and re-lube it . . . rain is pretty mild as far as bike destroying potential goes.  Salt and grit when riding around in the winter on the other hand . . .    :P

erutio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #992 on: September 11, 2019, 01:40:24 PM »
Do you guys use different lubes for summer months vs winter months?  And for those of us that have 4 seasons, when do you make the transition?

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #993 on: September 11, 2019, 01:56:06 PM »
My chain gets lubed but twice a year, when my studded tires go on a winter lube, when my studded tires come off a summer lube... PS full chain guards are awesome... but between the chain guard, IGH, fenders, rack, dynamo lighting changing a tire is not a beside the road job!

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #994 on: September 11, 2019, 03:58:02 PM »
I not even know there was a winter or summer lube. I just use finish line dry lube with Teflon fluoripolymer.

Itís the one in the black container with the red sticker and cap.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #995 on: September 11, 2019, 11:59:51 PM »
Muc-Off makes a wet lube and a dry lube. I try to be good about applying it every few weeks, but it's more important to do in the rain. Bike washes get rid of a lot of grime that collects, which is especially key to remove from braking surfaces.

I'd also recommend applying waterproof grease to your headset and bottom bracket. Anti-seize on the seat tube. The wrong grease may get all over your bike when wet, making a slippery mess which could find its way to brake pads.

I prefer riding in the rain to driving in the rain. Windshields and windows really obscure vision way more than a cycling cap. Last year was my first year really committing to all-weather bicycle commuting. It's been so long since it rained in the California that I can't remember how I did it =P

During 2019 I've biked 147 of 153 work days. It'll be 148/155 on Friday... I need to pick up kids from the airport during the middle of the day.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #996 on: September 12, 2019, 09:46:29 AM »
I broke down and bought a fairly expensive pair of rain pants.  I managed last year with cheapo gear, but after getting soaked a couple of times I sprung for an actual waterproof jacket/shell, which turned out to be a big improvement.  Decided it would be nice to have pants that I can slip over my work pants and reduce the amount of time gearing up/down (and drying myself) on those wet days. 

I also got a rain cover for the bike.  I have to park outside at work, and leaving the e-bike in the rain for extended periods isn't recommended.  Instead of fiddling with covering individual electric components (plus the seat, rear bag, panniers), I realized that it would be easier just to cover up the whole darn thing.

imadandylion

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #997 on: September 12, 2019, 08:52:05 PM »
First day of fall is coming up soon and it's gotten dramatically darker at 6 in the morning in the last week or so. :( I whipped out the flash light for the front of the bike but have found that the blinking light I got for the back of my back back in the spring doesn't stay on. I think it's broken or something. It turns on and even flashes, but it turns off after a minute, or when I'm not looking. I've gone to work in the dark and by the time i get there, I go to turn it off and find it's not even on. Grrr.  Hopefully i can complain to the bike shop and exchange it because I literally only started needing to turn it on it last week!

It's also a bit chilly for me at around mid to low 60 degrees F, but when I tried wearing a jacket I got sweaty. Maybe because it was a rain jacket, but it was advertised to be 'breathable.' Not really sure what I'm supposed to do here to be kind of comfortable, but not too warm.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #998 on: September 13, 2019, 08:42:34 AM »

It's also a bit chilly for me at around mid to low 60 degrees F, but when I tried wearing a jacket I got sweaty. Maybe because it was a rain jacket, but it was advertised to be 'breathable.' Not really sure what I'm supposed to do here to be kind of comfortable, but not too warm.

We're all different, of course, but for me it's something like this for my ride to work, where I don't want to get sweaty but also don't want to freeze (e-bike, so less effort and more speed/wind chill).  I'm always wearing long work pants for that ride.

>70 annoyingly warm, but very rare where I live at 5:45 in the morning
65-70 short sleeves preferred but ok in long sleeves if it's dark out
60-65 long sleeves
55-59 switch to thin, full-fingered gloves
50-54 add balaclava, windbreaker
45-49 thicker gloves, add a layer over pants
40-44 inner jacket under windbreaker
35-39 very rare where I live...not sure if I'm doing anything different than 40-44. 

Rain changes the equation a bit; still figuring out the best configurations, but my new rain shell pants will probably be worn frequently this coming winter.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #999 on: September 13, 2019, 10:34:01 AM »
It's also a bit chilly for me at around mid to low 60 degrees F, but when I tried wearing a jacket I got sweaty. Maybe because it was a rain jacket, but it was advertised to be 'breathable.' Not really sure what I'm supposed to do here to be kind of comfortable, but not too warm.

My experience (and I understand everyone is different) is that the low 60's feel cold when I start riding, but I'm plenty warm after the first fifteen minutes with my summer gear on. This was the case earlier this week when I was drenched on the way to work. (Not really sure if this is a suggestion, other than to maybe try riding without a jacket at those temps if you haven't before and see if the discomfort is temporary.)