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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:41 am 
Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Eric. wrote:
no, you dont want chaining or chain grease marks on your inner leg. thats refereed to as a cat5 tattoo


Or a Fred Tattoo.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:58 am 
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I went for a leisurely/scenic type of bike ride the day before yesterday in the park across the street. There's this little baby hill (more a graduated incline than a hill) that I struggled to cycle up at first and I kept making myself go back down to the bottom and try again until I did it. It took three tries. Tiny victory but I always try and set up little challenges for myself every bike ride.

Also, Jopa's right about cycling being specific exercise and I've seen it in my own experience. I tend to have stamina for activities that I'm more used to (like walking, jogging at the moment). I used to have tremendous stamina for swimming but if I got in a pool today, I could probably barely swim five laps and it's not because I'm not in good shape (right now, I'm only in okay shape overall) but more because the body needs to adjust to the specific demands of the new exercise and that takes a bit of time and practice.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:22 am 
Just Loathin' Around!
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Tiny victories are the best! I love stuff like that.
A lot of experienced bikers forget how difficult or intimidating it can be when you're just starting out or haven't even started yet. I felt it was really difficult to just get started because so many people felt the need to give "advice" that was beyond technical and not really relevant for someone who doesn't know a thing about what they're doing. And I've seen a lot of mean remarks made about people who shouldn't be riding because they're too big or not fast enough or what have you. Biking should be for everyone! It's sad to me that so many supposed advocates of cycling make fun of others and intimidate them out of biking. With that said, I'd really like to encourage new bikers to post here, or people who are thinking about biking to post here. I've been having so much fun on my bike and I don't see that mentioned nearly enough in discussions about it. You don't have to be fast or able to take apart your bike or ride across country. You can just bike because it is a fun damn time.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:24 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I had my first flat yesterday. Couldn't figure out the cause... It looked like a puncture in the tube but I hadn't run over anything noticeable and we couldn't find any sort of debris actually in there.

It did make me aware of the fact that I really ought to be carrying an emergency kit of some sort. It was fine this time because there's a bus that goes right down the road I commute on and I just took that... But I'm hoping to try a longer route that's on a multi-use trail (so no bus obviously, and not super close to any roads even) and I would have been forked if it had happened there.

This reminds me that I need to take a class on fixing flats. There's a place here that offers them for free but conflicts a bit with my work schedule. I need to fit in in. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:31 am 
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You are so, so right about how much forking fun biking is.

I sometimes let myself get all intimidated and crappy feeling when I'm like, sweaty on the light rail in my work clothes, trying to get my shiitake-y bike up on the hook and the rest of the car is full of athletic looking people in spandex with nice bikes and knowledgable looks! It's silly but I've had a few bad experiences (more annoying than bad, I guess) and sometimes it brings me down.

But fork that noise, because I love my bike and I am getting better all the time! (Also, maybe by the time I am done replacing forking everything on my bike, it will be a nice bike, ha ha.)

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:41 am 
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Yes, Panda, I completely agree. Biking is so much fun and I love it! I feel like a kid again, totally. And when I first got the bike, I was kind of having driven thoughts about it and setting goals, which is fine, but then if I didn't cycle so far on a certain day, I'd feel disappointed and I don't want that kind of competition with myself overshadowing the joy I get from just getting out there and seeing the world on my bike. So I've started telling myself that I can bicycle from park bench to park bench if I like, I just need to enjoy the experience every time I get out, even if I only bike less than 1 kilometer or whatever the whole ride. I have enough goal-setting in other avenues in my life I don't need biking to become an added pressure because I start making demands of myself every time I get on. I just want to enjoy the experience because it is such great fun when I just relax about it!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:01 am 
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Yes! I always have a big ol' grin on my face when I am out (until I hit that hill).

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:21 am 
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Yah there are a lot of people with poor attitudes in the cycling world just like everywhere else. Honestly it doesn’t change whether your slow or fast, a noob, or been riding for years… theyre always people explaining what youre doing wrong or whats wrong with your equipment. Don’t let it get to you. As long as you’re doing things that are beneficial for yourself and the sport, fork em.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:24 am 
Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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pandacookie wrote:
coldandsleepy wrote:
I had my first flat yesterday. Couldn't figure out the cause... It looked like a puncture in the tube but I hadn't run over anything noticeable and we couldn't find any sort of debris actually in there.

It did make me aware of the fact that I really ought to be carrying an emergency kit of some sort. It was fine this time because there's a bus that goes right down the road I commute on and I just took that... But I'm hoping to try a longer route that's on a multi-use trail (so no bus obviously, and not super close to any roads even) and I would have been forked if it had happened there.

This reminds me that I need to take a class on fixing flats. There's a place here that offers them for free but conflicts a bit with my work schedule. I need to fit in in. Thanks.


I'm pretty sure the REI offers pretty regular basic maintenance classes (which I think is probably stuff like fixing a flat and oiling your chain). Check their event schedule! Western Bikeworks, where my boyfriend works, also has classes, I think. If I recall correctly, it's pretty close to where you live?

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:31 am 
Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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And yeah, the bad attitudes are bad, and yeah, they exist at every level. Best thing to do is to try and ignore it, but I know that can be frustrating when you feel like you're catching shiitake just for being new.

That said, I do think beginners have a responsibility to be safe on the road/path/whatever. I have seen crashes and only narrowly avoided them myself caused by people who clearly didn't know the rules of the road or the path, and were riding their bikes in a dangerous manner, not on purpose, but because it was pretty clear they didn't know better. If you ride your bike 15 or 20 hours a week, those close calls add up pretty quick, so it can make it difficult not to get a bit annoyed when you see people riding in a way that is dangerous. Not that a bad attitude is an acceptable response to that, of course, but maybe it makes the attitude seem very slightly more understandable? I know that when I see people riding dangerously who seem like they're new or unaware of their actions, I will try to approach them and let them know what's up in a friendly, non-confrontational manner. Usually, they're happy to have the information, which is nice, and I hope that makes them feel less stressed out. One time I came across a guy riding with his helmet on backward. I approached him at a stop light and let him know, and he was so grateful! I guess it had been bothering him, and he couldn't figure out why it was so uncomfortable. I hope that interaction made him feel better about cycling and about other cyclists - even those of us that wear the weird looking spandex! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:53 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I sometimes let myself get all intimidated and crappy feeling when I'm like, sweaty on the light rail in my work clothes, trying to get my shiitake-y bike up on the hook and the rest of the car is full of athletic looking people in spandex with nice bikes and knowledgable looks! It's silly but I've had a few bad experiences (more annoying than bad, I guess) and sometimes it brings me down.

Ha! I've already had someone make fun of my bike. Do not care, I love it. Ain't got time for no fools.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:40 pm 
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I got a bike today! It was only $80 from a local guy who fixes them up and sells them as a hobby. Rides like a dream, especially compared to my old bike.

The first thing I did with it when I got home was find an old milk crate my parents had lying around and put it on the back, then cover up the dairy name with vegan stickers.

I hope it's nice enough to try to ride it to work tomorrow!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:24 pm 
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A nice bike rack trick I have learned in the last couple of years is that if you can find a plastic coca cola crate, they're a bit wider and shallower than milk crates, so the crate doesn't push into your butt. When I have used milk crates in the past, the height means I can't sit as far back as I should be in the saddle and its all kinds of uncomfortable for my crotch to be in the wrong spot! I also put stickers over the coca cola label. (One says "I bike because I'm awesome.')


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:11 pm 
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Awesome louzilla! Put that cat in that crate and ride on!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:36 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
Awesome louzilla! Put that cat in that crate and ride on!


You took the words right out of my keyboard!

Beautiful bike-cat setup, for sure! :) I love old Schwinns.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:36 pm 
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I had a great ride this morning along a new route and found a new route off of that to try next week. Combined with the ride home later, today was my longest mileage logged in a single day. I am really tired because I've been riding more this past week but certain parts have been easier. Progress!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:07 am 
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I was actually surprised that the crate wasn't pushing into my butt and bothering me, but if it does turn out to be a problem I'll definitely keep that in mind--thanks e_c!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:18 am 
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A few days ago a woman biked past me and suggested that I needed to raise my seat. I've been riding around for years with it all the way down and never thought about it. I raised it to the recommended height today and made a huge difference. Dismounting takes some getting used to, but I can get places 15% more quickly now.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:56 pm 
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So on Friday, I finally tried the longer route to work that means I don't have to take the light rail. It's about 16 miles and took me right around 1:15 to ride. It was awesome! It's a multi-use path through nice trees and stuff, with all of one road crossing. (Well, the first 3 miles-- before the path starts-- is city riding but not so bad.) The time savings of not having to take the ultra slow light rail (and wait around for it) meant I got to work at almost the same time despite riding three times as far.

Trees mean not as much wind impact too. Woot.

I did it again this morning, and I hit a pedestrian! Argh. Well, I nudged her. She and her friend were running shoulder to shoulder across the entire narrow part of the path that had no shoulder. I was ringing my bell AND shouting to them and they didn't hear me because their headphones were up too loud. And I just didn't brake fast enough. (They were wearing earbuds and I couldn't even tell they had headphones until I was that close.)

She was fine, I was fine, she was apologetic and I was too. But I still feel foolish. What the fork was I supposed to do? There was literally nowhere for me to go and I was doing everything I could to get their attention.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:01 pm 
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Ha! What were they thinking? Maybe mount a little catapult to the handlebars to fire dried chickpeas at people who are oblivious.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:13 pm 
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It doesn't happen to me that often any more, but I really got scared today going out on my bike for the first time in over a month (I've been out of the city for a while) and having a pedestrian walk off the pavement without looking (she was facing the other way to where traffic was going and just veered off the pavement) right in front of me in the middle of town where the road was really busy. Luckily I just about managed to brake in time, but it was a close call for having to either hit her (going relatively fast) or ending up being hit by a car, or both. Why can't people just look before walking out into the road?

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:37 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
Maybe mount a little catapult to the handlebars to fire dried chickpeas at people who are oblivious.


This is the perfect solution!

I have a bell on my commute-y bike, but I rarely use it. I tend to shout out "on your left" or "HELLO" (if I am feeling less than capable in my left-right decision matrix).

Reason being; I think that bell sounds get lost in music sounds for people listening to music, whereas voice sounds tend to get attention.

Hooray for tree-full route with less wind!


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:40 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
This reminds me that I need to take a class on fixing flats. There's a place here that offers them for free but conflicts a bit with my work schedule.


If you have a local bike store that you use or like, talk with them about it. It takes nothing for them to offer a quick clinic and builds so much good will. I went and learned all about the magic of tire levers, AND the shop gave out a set to all who attended.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:42 pm 
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~Sz wrote:
pandacookie wrote:
This reminds me that I need to take a class on fixing flats. There's a place here that offers them for free but conflicts a bit with my work schedule.


If you have a local bike store that you use or like, talk with them about it. It takes nothing for them to offer a quick clinic and builds so much good will. I went and learned all about the magic of tire levers, AND the shop gave out a set to all who attended.


(Most modern rims don't require levers, but vintage rims may -- that was my situation, and I see Louzilla's lovely vintage bici up there. Awesome!)


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:33 pm 
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I don't know anything about tire levers but I do know my tires will be a little harder to change because of my beautiful vintage bike's set up!

My knees hurt a little today and I'm not sure whether it's because I haven't ridden in a while (and, as noted before, biking is so different from anything else) or I'm doing something wrong. Maybe, like Root, my seat should be changed? My brother said it was fine at first but I felt a little far from the ground when stopping, so the guy lowered it about an inch.

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