Cycle commuting


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Ursinos » Jan 22nd, '14, 22:56

I've never been a sports spectator, I prefer DOING not watching. (with the occasional exception, like watching the men's gymnastics during the olympics, for which I have gotten some rude homophobic comments on occasion :( ) So Lance having used performance enhancers didn't shock me. I'm skeptical of any professional athlete the same way I'm skeptical of all politicians.

I've never had any overly close passings, and I've done a fair amount of rural riding in my years. Heck, I biked a good 35km or so in order to be able to meet my wife in person for the first time (met on an old school BBS with each of us living in rural communities on opposite sides of the bigger city).

I guess I've just been lucky.

I HAVE however, encountered L.E.O.s who were clueless about the cycling laws. in the space of 3 blocks of cycling, I had one cop scream at me to get off the f-ing road or he'd arrest me, and then another cop threaten to give me a ticket for riding on the sidewalk. Luckily when I explained the situation to the second cop, he rolled his eyes and said "oh....I see. guess I'll have to have a word with Charlie again...." lol
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Jan 23rd, '14, 02:05

Now I keep a Giant with XTR, change the tyre to smooth tread. It was really nice to overtake a roadie with a MTB.


:lol: ...the shame, hopefully you were wearing sandals and baggy clothing too.

As far as safety is concerned, this is an interesting start:
http://innovation.uk.msn.com/design/the ... cpshrjwfbs
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Teaism » Jan 23rd, '14, 08:24

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:
Now I keep a Giant with XTR, change the tyre to smooth tread. It was really nice to overtake a roadie with a MTB.


:lol: ...the shame, hopefully you were wearing sandals and baggy clothing too.


Haha I was normally in casual wear when riding MTB and the roadie usually in their cool attire.

Although smoke was coming out of my head, I would try to breath and sound normally when I overtook those roadie. Just a polite remark with a smile and say " Hi there, how is it going?" :lol:

It was great fun. Anyway it was many many years ago. Those were the days. :D
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 23rd, '14, 11:37

Rode in today (after a delay involving busted water pipes) and I can say I really need to get a better sized frame :p

Hard to mount up when everything's snow covered. Riding a frame that's big for me, which with the rear rack makes it hard to get a leg over. Fewer places to get a leg up, too.

I'm thinking I might switch to a step-through for my dedicated snow bike...eventually.

Also need snow tyres. The ice wasn't as bad this time as it was about a month ago, but the snow was much heavier.

Speaking of getting hit, I've been hit once. It's back when I was a sidewalk riding salmon. Rear got hit side-on by someone pulling out of a driveway. No injury, but it changed my mind in a hurry.

My fiance actually got rear ended a while back on a back road. Fixed it up over the last few weeks (it's had some issues), just need to put away for a cable cutter. Or, if the snow's clear enough this Saturday, have the LBS do it.

M.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Chip » Jan 23rd, '14, 12:27

Wow, you are braver than I am! Wish I had a bike suitable to riding under the current conditions, only have road bikes.

As cyclists, it is funny how we (or is it me?) sometimes view the world around us, especially this time of the year when choices can literally have dire consequences. The world becomes a question of whether we can ride or not ...

Stage 1. I am always first viewing it from the vantage point of, "is a ride POSSIBLE?" Several considerations will help me answer this question, such as are the roads virtually clear? What does the weather channel say to me?

Stage 2. Then if it is possible, I decide, "is it really worth it?" Again several considerations come into play. How borderline is it, am I just kidding myself that a ride is possible? What do I need to do to prepare for a ride? With all the dressing required, will the ride justify the means?

Stage 3. And if it is below freezing and I decided yes, I then ask myself immediately after departing, "Am I nutz?" And then I immediately begin questioning my choice in what I am wearing ... I hope I am dressed ... perfectly for the ride ...

Stage 4. Reflections. As I near the end I ask, "so was the ride worth it?" Despite the suffering, I inevitably answer, "yes."

How about you? :mrgreen:
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Teaism » Jan 23rd, '14, 12:49

Cycling to me is a hobby that I enjoy by suffering. :lol:
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Chip » Jan 23rd, '14, 13:52

Teaism wrote:Cycling to me is a hobby that I enjoy by suffering. :lol:

Yes, there are combinations of biological and psychological things going on that makes one say yes to suffering in the saddle. Well that and it is a blast, right?. 8)
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 23rd, '14, 13:57

On the way in I found myself wedged between two earth movers, dismounted, facing uphill, since I didn't have a curb to foot down on. Then I realized I didn't have my helmet :shock: Fortunately the gate guards didn't notice.

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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Chip » Jan 23rd, '14, 14:07

MEversbergII wrote:I didn't have my helmet :shock: Fortunately the gate guards didn't notice.

I may neglect buckling my seat belt ... til I am reminded by Mrs. C. But, I truly endeavor to never leave home w/o my bike helmet. My head feels naked w/o it. :wink:

Hmm, actually the helmet and glasses hide my secret true identity too. :mrgreen:
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 23rd, '14, 14:21

I had two hoods on today (extremely unusual as I don't like how hoods block my vision - especially since they never quite let me look behind). Had the whole stretch of my commute not been on foot to that point (snow/slush issue), I probably would have gone back.

Ah well, I'll sling it when I get home tonight. Normally all my stuff sits in my helmet, but today was different.

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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby hopeofdawn » Jan 24th, '14, 11:46

I have a weird question for folks--has anyone here ever ridden a folding bicycle? Do they ride the same/any different than a normal bike, at least in terms of how fast vs. how much effort you put in?

I'm strictly a commuter cyclist, doing short hops between busses and on errands. But my work location is about to change, and if I don't want to drive in every day, I will have to catch a bus in a different city. (50 mile round trip commute with no dedicated bike trails, unfortunately, so riding the whole way just isn't practical.)

Unfortunately I have a coupe with a spoiler, so trunk racks that fit are reaallly expensive, and I'm not too keen on putting either a tow hitch on the back or a rack on the top to mount a bike rack on--both of which would also cost a fair amount and be inconvenient to boot. So I'm wondering if finding a good used folding cycle I can just toss in my trunk might be a better bet. Anyone have any experience in that area?
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Ursinos » Jan 24th, '14, 12:17

hopeofdawn wrote:I have a weird question for folks--has anyone here ever ridden a folding bicycle? Do they ride the same/any different than a normal bike, at least in terms of how fast vs. how much effort you put in?

I'm strictly a commuter cyclist, doing short hops between busses and on errands. But my work location is about to change, and if I don't want to drive in every day, I will have to catch a bus in a different city. (50 mile round trip commute with no dedicated bike trails, unfortunately, so riding the whole way just isn't practical.)

Unfortunately I have a coupe with a spoiler, so trunk racks that fit are reaallly expensive, and I'm not too keen on putting either a tow hitch on the back or a rack on the top to mount a bike rack on--both of which would also cost a fair amount and be inconvenient to boot. So I'm wondering if finding a good used folding cycle I can just toss in my trunk might be a better bet. Anyone have any experience in that area?


I don't have personal experience with them, but I've had friends who have had them and it sounds like, as with tea, it depends on the particular one you get :). There are folding bikes out there that were designed for use by para-troopers "behind enemy lines" that ride just like a mountain bike. There are others out there that I have been....shall we say, delicate?
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Ursinos » Jan 24th, '14, 12:22

what you could look into instead is see if the city you will be working in has one of those new bike share programs that are popping up all over the place. They generally use sturdy bikes and look to be pretty convenient if you don't want to have to pack up a bike into your car.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 24th, '14, 13:12

Hope, you have three basic choices with folding bikes:

1) Full sized bikes that fold - exactly what it says on the tin! Typically these are 26" wheel bikes, usually in a mountain style configuration. Probably the most famous example is the Montague Paratrooper or the Dahon Espresso, but there are some no-name and low-name ones on Amazon (Columbia comes to mind). The Montague has a good reputation last I heard. These are pretty heavy, as far as folding bikes are concerned, but if you're not hauling them around much by hand (i.e. on and off a bus) it's probably nothing.

2) Small-wheel folding bikes - 20" is the most common ones, but 16" ones are available. I'd go with 20" since they have more components that work for them. Brompton is the shiny-diamond example, but they're not cheap. Good, though, and well regarded. More budget friendly ones can be found through Dahon, which have a good selection and reputation, as well as Citizen. Citizen tend to be steel framed, and their selection is less than reliable - they change things up fairly frequently. Same as above with the weight. You can find cheap, hefty steel ones on Amazon as well (Stowabike) as other brands I didn't mention, like Tern.

3) Microfolders - A-bikes are tiny. Good, I think, for exploring unknown cities (since you can hand carry them easily enough) but not a good commuting bike I'd imagine.

Gearing: If your terrain is flat or nearly so, you could get away with single speed. If not, check out hub gearing. They're both easier to maintain than derailleur setups, and don't risk damage to the gearing if it slides around in the trunk or gets knocked over on the bus, or something.

Now with folders, they'll be relatively expensive. Miniturization is one thing, but there's also some more complex engineering work involved. They'll be relatively heavy due to the hinges, and will handle a bit "twitchy" due to a smaller wheel base.

On the bright side, most of these come pretty well equipped with fenders and racks built in. Toss on some good lights and you have a very useful commuter. Over in China, the older fixed frames are giving way to folders, within the cycle-commuting / utility cycling community.

I don't own any folding bikes, as I keep putting off buying one. If I had to pick one, it would be an IGH Dahon, probably. The Vitesse looks interesting. In the near term I'm thinking I should pick one up cheap and hefty on Amazon as A) A better winter commuter bike (lower COG, lower frame in general, cheap) and B) Stowable backup/guest bike.

Hope all this helped!

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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Chip » Mar 12th, '14, 13:35

Hopefully I have gotten all the auto/bike ... incidents out of the way for this year on my nearly first ride.

I was bike commuting through a very old and locally historic suburban residential area yesterday ... really beautiful and often magnificent mansions from the industrial heydays long gone by. I am riding a carbon Giant TCR road bike.

I was entering into a pretty famous circle/roundabout where two somewhat busy roads intersect at the heart of the area. I have driven and ridden around it 100s of times. Traffic in the circle lanes has right of way to traffic entering the circle. Simple, right? Not really. My goal is to pass through the roundabout and continue on the road I am already on.

So, I safely entered into the circle lane. I am on full alert, not assuming anything. Although I am very used to interacting with cars, I know they can act unpredictably. So I endeavor to be as visible as possible and ride predictably ... but not sheepishly.

I see a car to the right approaching the roundabout. I watch the car's progress as I am fully aware he could just ignore the yield sign ... I become aware he is not going to yield to me. He is just going to go. Did he not see me and my neon red jersey and helmet?

I am in about the worst position possible as if I do nothing, I will likely be t-boned ... I lose. It is too late for me to slow down and I would surely lose control locking the breaks. And the car would likely hit me anyway.

As we all have to do, we have to make instantaneous decisions that can have life or death results ... I make the instantaneous decision to attempt to accelerate out of the situation ... I just have to get past his oncoming front bumper.

I almost anticipate contact ... I have been there and done that ... I know what it feels like and sounds like ... but I am relieved as I see the car's bumper is going to just miss me, WHEW! REAL CLOSE! SUCCESS! ... but my eyes have been focused upon the car which was to my right ... more specifically his bumper/grill. As I see my bike is just going to clear his bumper, I swing my attention front again forward anticipating I would be facing the roadway.

But the circle and the confusion and the adjustments I had to make have all gotten me off line. My line has shifted to the left of where I should be and heading straight at the vertical curb of a median strip. I am guessing now that I was a second or two from t-boning the curb which would surely have destroyed my front wheel, maybe the carbon fork and who knows what else. Not to mention I would have done an endo over the bars to what end I have no clue.

It is one of those moments you know you are in big trouble. Time stands still and then fast forwards. There was no time to think ... no getting out of this unscathed ... I just hit the breaks and turned to the right ... both wheels locked up and my bike swerved. I ... am ... going ... to ... HIT. And BAM I hit the curb HARD did you ever hear a bike crash ... it can sound a lot worse than you can imagine ... but SOMEHOW I had managed to slide into it broadside ... OMG ... STUNNED ... I am still upright. I am a state of disbelief that I pulled this off on a road bike.

I am a little dazed by all the sudden events that just took place ... but I am still upright. I am also somehow moving ... barely forward. I begin to take inventory. The back wheel hit the curb really hard ... I expected a flat and a taco'd wheel. but as I move forward, it is not flat and is rotating through the break pads w/o rubbing.

I attempt to clip in my left foot which had flown out upon impact I guess ... but as I looked down, my Time RXS pedal was only half there. I chuckle a bit as I consider this a very small price to pay as the pedals were quite cheap at $70 for the pair in 2005 ... and I have wanted to replace them for over a year with pedals sitting in a box ... waiting for me to put them on.

I returned to pick up the piece(s) of pedal ... I am amazed to see all the car debris from accidents. I am thinking to myself, I was lucky.

I managed to return to the departure point on two wheels.

Oh, and the car did not stop ...

Small price to pay ... Image
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