Cycle commuting


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Chip » Aug 7th, '13, 09:20

MEversbergII wrote:Unfortunately I cannot comment here re: second mugging, as it would get far too political far too fast for a friendly tea forum.

No comment from me either ... we will leave that for other forums. :mrgreen:

MEversbergII wrote:As to your missing bike, much unfortunate :(. Luckily it's a mistake you only make once!

That bike cost me around 170 USD back then, brand new. Now my bike shoes cost more. :lol:
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Aug 7th, '13, 11:14

Well, at least it wasn't an Opafiets or something :shock:

Mine is just a big box store hybrid. Been riding the thing a year now, just finally installed a rear rack last night. Not exactly a high end bike - got a few quirks to it still. Suited my purposes just fine. Probably put over a thousand miles on the thing this year, easy.

Over this year of cycle commuting in all weather, it's transcended from a curiosity / poor man's last choice to a serious lifestyle decision. I find myself looking into getting a Windsor style roadster bike with an 8 speed internal and all the bits and bobs to upgrade it to look like a spiffy Dutch City Bike.

M.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Chip » Aug 7th, '13, 12:01

Unless I load up a bike to my car and drive to a trail, the roads anywhere around here are seriously hilly. Even the city of Reading is built onto a mountainside.

So any riding on the road here is serious business and challenging. This is one reason the bike commuting did not work super well for me. I would arrive to the office completely drenched in sweat. I would lock my office door and take a "baby powder bath." It worked OK, but was too time consuming, etc.

So a good road bike becomes uber critical.

When I decided to get back into cycling in 1999 (after Lance won his first tour), I fortunately visited a bike shop owned by a soon to be bike buddy ... I went in to check out a "hybrid" as this sounded about right for me. He asked me a few quick questions and said, "you are a 'roadie.' You need to buy a road bike or you will not be be satisfied with your purchase." He was soooo right.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Sep 24th, '13, 15:40

Winter's coming, but I'll still be commuting. Upgraded the steed with an inexpensive rear rack and a trunk bag, so I don't have to deal with the backpack anymore. Not sure what to make of the upcoming weather - it was a mild summer, and it got cool early. I'd think that means a hard winter, but others are saying it'll also be mild. Either way, I'm prepping for the worst. Snow tyres!

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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Chip » Sep 24th, '13, 15:51

Great!

The biggest thing is proper clothing for Winter riding. Too little and you quickly chill, too much and you sweat too much (which can then cause a chill).

My experience which confirms what I was told by very experienced riders is to start out a bit uncomfortably cool. As you get going, your body will warm up and you will be less likely to overheat.

Hands and feet have their own issues. It is amazing how quickly your hands will get way too cold to the point of possible damage. I like to have a few pairs of differing levels of protection. Lobster gloves are great for bicyclists.

There are insulated booties that fit over shoes that are specifically designed for bicycling.

A neck gator is a great asset as well.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby yalokinh » Sep 25th, '13, 21:09

I would bike, but is getting much too cold here on Minnesota, maybe when i'm back in Florida will i resume the practice
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 3rd, '14, 12:20

Muahaha, not even today's windy ice storm kept me down! Only fell once, with 4 gallons of water (for tea) in the rear rack!

No damage. Need to invest in some snow tyres.

Now, I've been meaning to link this site here:

www.flyingpigeonproject.org

Combines China AND bikes. Win-win.

M.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby Teaism » Jan 3rd, '14, 12:58

Wow China via bicycle is one of my dream. But my semi pro cycling racing days are over. It is still nice to see and heard from fellow cyclist. Hmmm...perhaps I should dust my 2 bikes and get the crank going...and join you in China and make my dream come true :-)

I used to drink oolong or green tea early in the morning for some caffeine kick before my training. Really nice memories, at least tea is still with me now. :D
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby yalokinh » Jan 3rd, '14, 12:59

Its just waaaaay too cold in Minnesota right now haha. I really have an itch to bike again. slipped on the ice and almost broke a finger, so I won't be riding till it heals up. to all those who can bike, I am jealous
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 3rd, '14, 13:17

Teaism wrote:Wow China via bicycle is one of my dream. But my semi pro cycling racing days are over. It is still nice to see and heard from fellow cyclist. Hmmm...perhaps I should dust my 2 bikes and get the crank going...and join you in China and make my dream come true :-)

I used to drink oolong or green tea early in the morning for some caffeine kick before my training. Really nice memories, at least tea is still with me now. :D


I'm a half cripple semi-dwarf and still I ride :p

Was never too swift, I can probably average like 8mph. My new year's plan is to get myself a goodly Roadster, like the Pigeon that blog's about, except better quality.

When I visit China I intend to do some cycling for sure. Might even ship a few Pigeons / Forevers back with me as a memento!

yalokinh wrote:Its just waaaaay too cold in Minnesota right now haha. I really have an itch to bike again. slipped on the ice and almost broke a finger, so I won't be riding till it heals up. to all those who can bike, I am jealous


There's a good cycling culture in the Twin Cities, but I can see how it would be crazy there. Today I was overdressed but my bike's a little less than optimal for this right now. Not a huge deal though!

When you get back to FL, certainly get spinning again.

M.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby jayinhk » Jan 3rd, '14, 13:53

Just got back into biking and I am currently riding a singlespeed road bike. I just got it sent over from Taiwan. Unfortunately the left crank arm wasn't torqued down when it was assembled on that end, and the arm fell off on the road last night and I almost fell over! Fortunately it looks like I'll be getting a replacement arm. I'll make sure to torque down everything when it comes in!

Most of my riding is across my neighborhood in traffic, and I like sprinting to keep up with the cars, although the traffic lights sure get annoying!

As for biking across China:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com is one of my favorite sites to read late into the night. I'd love to do a cross-China ride, but I'd prefer a road bike with gears and more experience with maintaining my own bikes before I consider tackling any distance!

Going to buy an Indian-made roadster bike in a few weeks to keep at my home in Mumbai. I won't ride it in the city too much though, as the pollution is horrendous!
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 3rd, '14, 14:37

Jay, I did not know you lived in Mumbai! Is HK a business location for you?

Regarding working experience on bikes, go for it. There are some specialist tools that are well worth the investment, though, beyond normal shop tools. Off the top of my head:

Cone wrenches (this will be a per wheel size thing)
Crank puller (unless your road bike has a self-extracting crank)
Pedal wrench (makes crank extraction easier, see above)
Lockring spanner (in case you need to do some BB work)
Freewheel / Casette remover (makes repacking rear bearings much easier)

If you're going to get an Indian roadster (jealous...wonder how much I'd have to pay you to ship me one :p), see if you can't find a cotter press. Unless I'm mistaken all Indian (and Chinese) roadsters use cotter pins. If you do find a cottar press, let me know how much they go for over there!

A workstand is nice, but a good one is pretty pricey. Flipping the bike over works but can be a pain. Probably a good middle ground is a bike stand that's shaped a little like a coat hanger; it hooks around the down tube and cups the BB shell, lifting the rear wheel up. It'll let you spin the cranks for gearing work, if needed.

Also grease - lots of grease.

M.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby jayinhk » Jan 3rd, '14, 15:07

I don't live in Mumbai, but we own a home there and have lots of space (the complete opposite of HK, where we have no space and rent)!

I haven't messed with spokes and truing (yet), but I will get around to it eventually. I have some basic portable tools, but nothing for pulling cranks/working on hubs/etc (yet).

I also have a 2013 Dahon Matrix (Chinese edition). These were discontinued in the US in 2009, but I got one of the 2013s for a great price. Unfortunately it arrived with an obliterated serial!

Won't have time to ship any bikes (I will be oiling mine up and letting it sit through the monsoon season...eep). They are very cheap there; around $45-50 brand new for the roadsters.

As for a workstand; I have a very basic stand that props up the rear axle. It'll do (for now). Picked up some Swiss-made grease earlier. I'll put some on the spindle when I put the new arm on!

I'll look into the cotter press...that is something I might be able to do. :)
Last edited by jayinhk on Jan 3rd, '14, 16:24, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 3rd, '14, 15:12

Sounds like you're off to a good start! I haven't done any truing work, either. The wrenches are cheap, but the stands are not. However, I've been told that if you toss in some brand new brake pads, you can use your rear brakes as a guide.

M.
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Re: Cycle commuting

Postby jayinhk » Jan 3rd, '14, 15:40

Interesting re: rear brake pads--I'll have to look into that!
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