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#46855 - 08/23/05 07:09 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
Anonymous
Unregistered


Bee just do it!

Anything is better than nothing and you'll be proud too :-)

In Autumn/Winter golves, hat/hood, scarf are essential plus sun-glasses for eye protection including against wind/rain too, of course one outer layer water proof is needed too . . . Ah . . . back/front lights so that you stay legal and are seen by cars & people . . . I don't wear a helmet but you may choose to do so for safety . . . Just common sense really.

Enjoy it.


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#46856 - 08/23/05 07:24 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
Anonymous
Unregistered


Tom how're things.

Too much pressure on the knees, in the LONG term, may damage the knees . . . Round about 60-70 revs per minute feels right.

I chose a Specialized MTB Hardrock (bottom of the range) just because I wanted one for years and so eventually I bought one. Although, sensibly, for the commute a 'travel' type bike would be more suitable in terms of speed and efficiency . . . However, I love it and have benefited from the exercise for the past year, come rain or shine :-)

You are right about other commuters on the road . . . I 've noticed a lot since I started my commute too . . . from all ages (up to 60 yrs I guess) and all year round . . . I get up at 05.00 and start work at 06:30 . . . In the Spring/Summer it's easy . . . but in Winter it's challenging :-)

I'll write more.

Take care.

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#46857 - 08/23/05 08:48 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
Frozen Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/07/05
Posts: 86
I own a mountain bike in addition to the touring bike. I tend to use the MTB for commuting only in the spring, when roads here are gritty and can have a winter's worth of garbage collected near the curb. The MTB (a Mongoose Rockadile, w aluminum frame and front suspension) also has a gel seat, which is nice in the early season when I'm getting broken in.

As soon as conditions improve though, the geometry of the road bike makes for a much nicer ride.

In an Ideal world, I would own three or more bikes, to account for differences in terrain, surface, and objective.
_________________________
“Expectation strolls through the spacious fields of Time towards Opportunity.” Umberto Eco

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#46858 - 08/23/05 08:59 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
frenchy Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
Quote:
back/front lights so that you stay legal and are seen by cars & people

If you have to ride in low light/no light conditions, back and front lights are a must.
You may see cars, but they may not see you or not in time to avoid running all over you .....

I see too many bike riders without light....
And have backups : a red Photon 3 in blinking mode, hanging from a safety pin, on your back is much better than no light at all.
A hand held (or tied to the handlebar with a bit of Velcro) Nuwa? Q3 or a Inova T2, or a head lamp, anyone is usefull when your main front light decide to die on you (replacement bulbs are nice, but I don't trust the light of my bike ... always burning out when I need it ... it doesn't like thehigher voltage when going down a slope a bit too fast...)

In addition, when it's dark, I wear a luminescent jacket (salvaged from an airport maintenance crew ...!!).
So, if I'm run over by a car, I can sue the driver for intention to commit a crime !! He won't be able to say he didn't see me ..... <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Alain

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#46859 - 08/23/05 11:52 PM Re: Bicycle Commuting
Paul D. Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Porkopolis
Bee,
As far as clothing goes, I don't think you need anything special for a commute that short. Something to bind your trouser legs at the ankle to keep them clean (it is getting hard to find a decent bike with a chainguard in North America) and winter gloves for cycling maybe. I used to commute in gloves that were quite warm when walking, but virtually worthless on the bike. I found a pair of lobster style (split mitten) gloves designed for cyclists for $20 on sale and never regretted spending that money.

I eventually got one of those neoprene face masks too, but my commute was at least 15 or 20 minutes each way and I tended to ride all over the place before I got home. The mask really helps if you have sinus pain though.

Just make sure you wear layers in the winter.

What everybody else said about lights and helmets too! <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Paul

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#46860 - 08/24/05 02:13 AM Re: Bicycle Commuting
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Bee,

If it is a 15 minute walk for you... why bike? When I had that short of a "commute", I walked and I would commend that to you. IMHO it would be a real hassle to bike that short of a distance and it would be an insignificant workout. OTOH, if you want to take a different route home for the purpose of exercising, biking to work could be just the thing for you.

Regards,

Tom
(Neophyte Bike Commuter)

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#46861 - 08/24/05 02:41 AM Re: Bicycle Commuting
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Arde,

I'm well, thanks. Good point about knees. As it is, I really look forward to the two daily rides - one clears my mind for the (work) day ahead and is a fairly easy paced ride by intent - I don't want to arrive too sweaty - although that was impossible to avoid for most of this summer. Some mornings I'm tempted to just keep riding... anyway, the evening commute is at a much higher exertion level (plus it's UPhill) and that blows off what little residual stress there might be from the day or is simply a chance to get those good old endorphins released. It already feels like something is missing in my day if I must drive instead of bike, and I've only been doing this for a couple of months.

Gadget freakiness - apparently the dogs were a rolling playful furball of teeth and fun last night and knocked my bike over. Someone picked the bike back up but failed to notice that the computer was awol and the mount broken... about a block into my ride this morning I glance down and OMG!!! WHERE IS THE COMPUTER!!! It's how I pace myself - mostly paying attention to the above or below average speed indicators. Son #1 is mounting a replacement bracket as I write this... he's the one that convinced me to put a computer on the bike when I bought it 4 years ago, but other than the oddometer function, I never used it until I started commuting - it was wierd how much it bugged me that it was not there today.

Ride safe!

Tom

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#46862 - 08/24/05 03:00 AM Re: Bicycle Commuting
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Yeah, the one really hardcore commuter I know uses both a road bike and an ATB, but now that he does 90% of his commute ride on the bike path along the river, he mostly rides the road bike until winter (path is not plowed in the winter, but the biknuts ride it anyway). He has the same elevation gain as me going home, but his is right at the end and right in-your-face - a straight shot up - which would be a bit off-putting to me. I'm pretty new to all this...

Besides the bike commuters that I never really noticed before (this is where I work, mind you!), I have become aware of a bunch of really hardcore um, "enthusiasts" at work. They hammer out more miles on a Saturday ride than I do in a week - and at a serious pace, from eyewitness accounts. Only one of that bunch also commutes on a bike. I guess the others are doing "recreational" riding. I think their top gearing is 20% higher than mine PLUS the wheels and tires are taller - my legs would be a blur trying to keep up on the flats. OTOH, none of those bikes would survive a week on my commute route - I'm not tempted to get another bike, nope.

Would be nice to have disc brakes, tho <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> I can retrofit my bike with discs... the hydraulic ones on my sons' bikes are really nice... nah - I'll just ride what I have.

Regards,

Tom

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#46863 - 08/24/05 03:11 AM Re: Bicycle Commuting
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Alain,

You know, I've been thinking exactly the same thing about redundant lighting. The multimode LED taillights are so cheap that the most economical approach would be to toss one of those in, but it would do poor double duty in my pocket. My lefthand pocket has a red Photon II and my righthand pocket has an ARC AAA-P. Might make sense for me to upgrade the red Photon. As for the white light - I was thinking about getting a Tikka to toss in the toolbag anyway - hands free light for repairs. But for now I'll toss in a converted minimag (TerraLux) and nighteyez headstrap because I already have those laying around doing nothing.

I'm more concerned about getting hit from the side, especially after dark, than I am from fore or aft. Not a big issue this time of year, but it will be soon. I'm feeling creative...

My lights are mostly for the purpose of being visible and legal; a serious headlight will force me to a large rechargeable battery and I don't think I need to do that for my commute. Guess I'll find out.

Say, your lighting system is driven by a dynamo - I understand that there are now regulated dynamos available. If that's true, you could put one of those on and stop blowing bulbs with overspeed. That happened to me years ago a couple of times and I remember how annoying that was - I quit using dynamo lights in part because of that.

There are also some very sophisticated hub dynamos available now, including at least one that uses some internal storage to continue to provide light while stopped. AFAIK you have a larger selection of bike gadgets like that in Europe than we do in North America, so I apologize if I'm writing something you know more about than I!

Regards,

Tom


Edited by AyersTG (08/24/05 03:47 AM)

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#46864 - 08/24/05 03:25 AM Re: Bicycle Commuting
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Tjin,

For many reasons, your country is much more bike-friendly than North America, of course! Good luck with your drivers test.

Speed bumps - oh, yeah, I remember those in odd places around here - not very noticable when I'm driving "Moby Ford" (White F-250 Superduty). In my wife's car, OTOH...

Our gasoline prices are still comparitively low, but for those of us in North America who can afford the luxury of biking instead of driving, it's not an insignificant savings. For a lot of reasons (and only slightly because of commuting costs), I'm one of those folks over here who would like to arrest and then reverse the insane urban sprawl that has been going on since post WWII.

But that's another topic, and a pretty darned complicated one at that... perhaps over a beer if we should meet someday. Again, I wish you good luck with your driver's test.

Regards,

Tom

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