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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 11:51 am 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Location: Toronto, ON
So I wanted to update this to say that after a few scary rides I'm starting to find my comfort zone on my bike and I've been cruising around a lot on weekends! Yesterday I ended up riding 20 miles like it was nothing! If I ride in light traffic for about 5 minutes, get off and walk my bike on the sidewalk of a busy road for about 4 minutes, then I'm at a very large cemetery that hooks up with a bike/walking trail in a forested ravine. I'm even toying with the idea of starting to bike on busier roads with bikes lanes (on the weekend, so traffic is lighter) to get to other spots in the city. So thanks PPK for listening to me whine about being scared to ride a bike and encouraging me. So happy I'm back on a bike!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 12:40 pm 
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^ Woot! I gots to put air in my tires and get my bike out, too. Soon! Twenty miles is awesome!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 11:46 pm 
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I started commuting on bike again after many years and I am really happy to be outside instead of on the exercise bike. I had to get a new lock and I went with one of the GIANT bloody Planet Waves 10lb, 6 foot chains with big ole padlock to intimidate any would-be-thief -- I cut in half so I can wear it as 5 pound belt when riding. I live in a mountainous area and OMG, I never realized how heavy an extra 5-6 pounds could be when your going up hill for 2 miles straight. Psyched to be parking the car and logging more emission free miles.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 11:00 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Location: Bull City, NC
I've been working too far from home to bike commute recently, but I did get out on the road for a quick ride over the weekend. Felt good!

I also saw some of the most dangerous bicycling behavior I've ever seen yesterday. I was driving home around 9:15 pm, on a narrow 2 lane road with a guard rail and no shoulder. It was dark, and the road was outside of town so there were no street lights/ambient lights from houses and the speed limit was 45 (which a lot of people ignore.). Cue 2 cyclists, biking in the center of the lane (at least they were on the right side of the road?), dark clothing, and no lights or helmets. Taking the lane doesn't help you if no one can see you, cyclists!


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 12:08 am 
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^I rode in serious urban traffic today for the first time in ages and I realized I am one of those bike riders that I hate! Coasting stop signs, creative traffic light bypass, strategic lane alignment...when driving I HATE bikers like me. I have some serious work to do on my bad biking attitude -- that I didn't even know I had in me.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 6:49 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again

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I want to get back into cycling but first I have to overhaul my poor, neglected bike. It creaks and grinds and I'm probably going to find that I need to replace the chain and chainring due to my complete lack of a cleaning and lubing routine. And there are probably still some imperial nuts and bolts on it, so that will be an extra hassle to try and find spanners for.
I've got a manual out of the library and I think I will mostly be able to remember how to take pieces off, as I volunteered as a dismantler at a bike recycling place a couple of years ago, but getting things back on again will be interesting. I think I'll have to see if I can take photos as I go without covering my camera with grease, as well as some very careful laying things out in the correct order.
I'll be doing all this at the Fix Your Own Bike sessions at the aforementioned bike recycling centre, so I'll have access to a stand and tools and grease and spares and advice, but I feel so shy about displaying my ineptitude.

So, PPK, please hold my hand. And kick me if I don't report going along to Fix Your Own Bike on Wednesday evening.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Today! Have fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:34 am 
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GreenDuck wrote:
I want to get back into cycling but first I have to overhaul my poor, neglected bike. It creaks and grinds and I'm probably going to find that I need to replace the chain and chainring due to my complete lack of a cleaning and lubing routine. And there are probably still some imperial nuts and bolts on it, so that will be an extra hassle to try and find spanners for.
I've got a manual out of the library and I think I will mostly be able to remember how to take pieces off, as I volunteered as a dismantler at a bike recycling place a couple of years ago, but getting things back on again will be interesting. I think I'll have to see if I can take photos as I go without covering my camera with grease, as well as some very careful laying things out in the correct order.
I'll be doing all this at the Fix Your Own Bike sessions at the aforementioned bike recycling centre, so I'll have access to a stand and tools and grease and spares and advice, but I feel so shy about displaying my ineptitude.

So, PPK, please hold my hand. And kick me if I don't report going along to Fix Your Own Bike on Wednesday evening.


There are cycling forums where you can get help but there is here as well. Surely I am not the only one here that does their own wrenching so if you have questions feel free and pics to go with them will help a great deal while we do what we can for you.

Good luck and I hope we hear from you being back on the bike soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Location: bindlestiff
My reward for getting back out and riding more on weekend mornings is a new cat on the feral cat path. A wee tuxedo!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:08 pm 
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I got a new bike! For the past two years l've lived walking distance from my work and our neighborhood is really walkable, so I've just never really needed to bike. Well, the parties over. We actually just bought a house an 8 minute walk from my work...but that very same week my company signed a lease for a place 2 miles away. Booooo. So I decided it was time to get something I can commute on year-round and would actually like to ride. I've been on road bikes for the past few years and find them so incredibly uncomfortable, but it was good enough for when I occasionally needed it. They just don't work for my body or lifestyle. This time I bought a nice upright dutch-style with a step-through frame and it is so awesome. I completely fell in love on the test ride because it was so obvious how much more safe and comfortable I felt being able to sit upright. I 'm actually kind of excited to commute and get into cycling!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:55 pm 
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Yay Nebraska! I had a similar feeling on road bikes. I'm glad you found a bike you love !

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:23 am 
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my dad bought a starter-bike quite recently and goes biking every weekends + every chance he gets. he even bought some of the necessary equipment. and seeing him happy, i think it's great to say that my dad lost some pounds because of it. :) really happy for him.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:50 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
I got a new bike! For the past two years l've lived walking distance from my work and our neighborhood is really walkable, so I've just never really needed to bike. Well, the parties over. We actually just bought a house an 8 minute walk from my work...but that very same week my company signed a lease for a place 2 miles away. Booooo. So I decided it was time to get something I can commute on year-round and would actually like to ride. I've been on road bikes for the past few years and find them so incredibly uncomfortable, but it was good enough for when I occasionally needed it. They just don't work for my body or lifestyle. This time I bought a nice upright dutch-style with a step-through frame and it is so awesome. I completely fell in love on the test ride because it was so obvious how much more safe and comfortable I felt being able to sit upright. I 'm actually kind of excited to commute and get into cycling!


Awesome!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:35 pm 
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Woo! I had a basket installed yesterday, which I am in love with. I can just throw my bag and locks in it and get out the door in no time. Now I just need a nice waterproof pannier for the winter. I'm looking for something not too huge and stylish that can double as a purse/day-bag.

I'm going to take a basic cycling in traffic class soon. I feel pretty confident on the road, but sometimes I sort of freeze up and don't know what to do, especially at busy, non-protected intersections. And sometimes I feel like a driver is being aggressive or annoyed with me, and I'm pretty sure I'm in the right, but I'm still not positive so I get sort of nervous.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:05 pm 
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Nebraskalaska, that's awesome! I love the look of the upright bikes but actually prefer riding road styleish bikes (I have a surly cross check), so I'm at once envious and not, but I'm glad other people are getting the really fun bikes. There are some really cool stylistic things you can do with everything else (though a lot is unfortunately made of leather). There's a shop here in Boston called Bicycle belle that's super useful.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:39 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
Woo! I had a basket installed yesterday, which I am in love with. I can just throw my bag and locks in it and get out the door in no time. Now I just need a nice waterproof pannier for the winter. I'm looking for something not too huge and stylish that can double as a purse/day-bag.

You should check out Gladys. At one point they had a lot of nicer and smaller bags and she may be able to help you find what you're looking for if they don't have it.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:56 pm 
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Will do! I just checked out their website and the shop looks so awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:02 pm 
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It's my favorite bike shop. I just picked up my bike from there today after getting it tuned up. Smooth ridin'.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:09 pm 
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What did you get, P-cookie? So glad you liked Gladys - they are super awesome, and I am really happy they are doing so well!

Nebraskalaska, Ortlieb makes great waterproof panniers. I think they're pretty much the gold standard. You'll see lots of folks rocking them around here.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:22 pm 
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I decided to not get a new bike right now, I just got my old one tuned up. I'm not working so I have limited income right now and I need some rain gear. I tried on the rain capes they carry last year and may buy one of those this year. They are pricey but nice and they fit.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:33 pm 
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I commuted to my new office on my bike for the first time today! It went pretty well. The ride to the office is pretty easy, though it is a gradual uphill most of the way there. Of course, it started raining, because Portland

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:23 pm 
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I have panniers from Queen Bee Creations that I've used pretty much every day for five years in all weather and they still look new!


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Location: Portland
I'm always worried about violating some sort of unwritten rules of cycling, so I'm going to ask what you folks think:

On my way to work I have to cross a fairly busy 4 lane street. The lanes are narrow and even though it's a 25 mph zone everyone speeds. It can be a bit of a wait to find a gap in traffic. The intersection doesn't have a light, but it has a marked pedestrian crosswalk with flashing stoplights that get activated if you press the button. The past few mornings I've gone onto the sidewalk and hit the button, and crossed. I was happy with how easy it seemed! However, this morning there were other cyclists at the intersection and they all just waited for traffic to clear.I've been told to just use crosswalks of you feel unsafe at an intersection, but since this basically stops traffic at your whim it seems kind of...rude. I don't know! Also, in Oregon it's legal to cycle on sidewalks and crosswalks as long as you do so at "walking pace". So, I it might not be illegal, but it still might be a dick move. I'm not sure.

Second issue: there is another busy 4 lane street with a small median dividing the two sides of the road, it's large enough that if traffic is clear on one side I can cycle to the center and wait for traffic to clear (or cars to stop, which they frequently do) on the other. Is this terribly unsafe or otherwise wrong? I feel a bit vulnerable in the center island, and often times it pressures cars on the other side of the median to stop anyway...so again, feels like a dick move.

I'd appreciate any advice! Before this I cycled a bit, but not much, and both these situations are new to me. I don't want to be a crasshole!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:08 pm 
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I always tell friends who are just getting into cycling that if they feel unsure about riding through an intersection to, by all means, hit the button and cross safely with the light.

Any number of things can happen at an intersection, especially when propelling off from a stand still, so erring on the side of safety is never rude nor a dick move.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:31 am 
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+1 on doing what makes you feel safe!

I found it weird in Portland how cars would stop for you though, even away from intersections. sometimes one lane would stop, so you feel pressured into crossing, but meanwhile there's a car flying down in another lane and you don't know if it'll stop etc. it seemed to create more confusion by them being polite! I'd rather they all just drive and I'll wait for a natural break in traffic so at least it's predictable

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