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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:14 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I actually love riding in the super early morning/night but jeez, the cold. Can't keep my (very light) jacket on or I'm way too hot and sweaty by the time I get to work. But the alternative is that I freeze for the first 3 or 4 miles.

The other day, by the time I got to work, my hands were so stiff with cold that I couldn't squeeze my brakes. Like I had to pretty much coast the last half mile. Trying to get my pannier open to get my u lock out was a hilarious production that I wish someone other than me had been around to appreciate.


How cold is it where you are? I ride with just a tank top under my windbreaker, I take my shirt and suit jacket in my bag. I also wear a fleece band over my ears (I have sensitive ears), and want to get gloves soon. So far it mitigates the sweat relatively well without letting me freeze.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:28 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I actually love riding in the super early morning/night but jeez, the cold. Can't keep my (very light) jacket on or I'm way too hot and sweaty by the time I get to work. But the alternative is that I freeze for the first 3 or 4 miles.

The other day, by the time I got to work, my hands were so stiff with cold that I couldn't squeeze my brakes. Like I had to pretty much coast the last half mile. Trying to get my pannier open to get my u lock out was a hilarious production that I wish someone other than me had been around to appreciate.



Theres no real way around this unfortunately. You need to start off being on the cold side so when you warm up you have the right amount of layers. One thing I woulld suggest if you are commuting is to wear another layer then shed it right before you start getting hot in it.

I personally really like a vest and arm warmer combo since the arm warmers can be easily removed while riding. Also knee warmers are great for 45-60F range when tights arent needed. Its really all about experimenting but a hardshell jacket will usually make you sweat which can be a real issue when it gets really cold and you have to stop for a mechanical or something.

Also put on some gloves! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:17 am 
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aelle wrote:
How cold is it where you are? I ride with just a tank top under my windbreaker, I take my shirt and suit jacket in my bag. I also wear a fleece band over my ears (I have sensitive ears), and want to get gloves soon. So far it mitigates the sweat relatively well without letting me freeze.

I like this! I think I'll get a fleece band for my ears.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:54 am 
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It's not that cold generally! It was 40 the day my hands froze up which is about as cold as I've seen it so far... Seems like we're settling in to 44-45 most mornings which is tolerable in a tshirt after the first couple of miles. My commute is so short (like 12 miles now) that I hate to have to stop and take something off and then jam it into my perpetually overfull pannier.

(Also, I haven't gone full cyclist yet because I always wear leggings rather than bike shorts!)

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:42 am 
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Guys! I bought a bike yesterday! I've wanted one for getting around for a couple of years now, and finally did it! I bought it used from this really awesome non-profit bike shop here, so I don't really know anything about it besides it's a smaller frame/lighter frame Giant mtn bike that they put thinner tires on to make it more of a hybrid. But it's purple, and this is what matters.

I'm still super nervous about riding in traffic (though did on the way home today to avoid the giant hill with a 5-way stop, ha), but hopefully I'll get over than soon so I can use it instead of the bus or my car to go to places that aren't quite walking distance.

Oh, and really stupid question. How hard is a bike rack to install? Cause I'm already pretty much at the end of my budget for this, and really don't want to pay to have them do it unless it's unavoidable.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:54 am 
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Simply_Love wrote:
Oh, and really stupid question. How hard is a bike rack to install? Cause I'm already pretty much at the end of my budget for this, and really don't want to pay to have them do it unless it's unavoidable.

You mean a rack on your bike, right? Not a rack for bikes on your car?

They're not that difficult to install. If you have allen keys/hex wrenches, you should be able to do it yourself. Depending on the style of rack you choose, you might have to spend some time adjusting things to get it set up perfectly, but that will just take a bit of patience, not any specific expertise.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:35 am 
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Re cold riding layers, I got it PERFECT yesterday, I was so proud of myself. (it was low thirties) Running tights (I do some workouts on the way to work with a group, so I don't usually ride in bike shorts), regular sneakers & socks, thick long sleeve athletic shirt, my neon yellowgreen bike jacket (soft shell, I assume), a scarf and my makeshift hat (my balaclava for when it gets super cold) because I've apparently lost my regular winter biking hat.

I got it pretty good today too but my toes got a bit cold with my bike shoes/toe cover combo.

Simply_Love, it's fairly easy to install a rack, but probably time consuming. I think I got my dad to help me with mine since had more tools available and is good at that kind of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Thanks, guys! My stepdad has a load of tools, so I'll just borrow what I need from him.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:21 am 
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I've been wondering about how to do this cold weather biking thing too. I haven't ridden my bike at all for a few weeks now, but I can't wait to get back to it. I'm glad to read all your tips! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:39 pm 
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My commute is super short now, but still, layers are the way to go. I've been wearing a fleece and a Burley rain jacket that has underarm vents that I can unzip when I start to warm up. This should work all winter because it doesn't get as cold here as where we used to live. I also have a hat and either gloves or lobster mittens depending on the temperature. I want one of those fleece buffs for when it starts to get colder because a scarf is just cumbersome sometimes.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:51 pm 
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I managed to bike all the way back to my apartment today! I live a quarter of a mile from the trail I ride to school on, and its all up hill basically (its a 5-6ish percent grade the whole way, with a turn up another hill in the middle to get on the street I live on from the main street, that's also the 5-6ish percent grade). But, woot! And I ran this morning, so my legs were already tired. Probably feeling way too proud of myself right now haha


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:29 am 
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So I bought a bike last night! It's a 1993 Haro Impulse and it looks SO early 90's (it's white, neon green and neon blue), I love it!

I used to ride bikes and raced in triathlons and duathlons, but I had a couple of bad spills on my clipless pedals on my road bike and became terrified of riding bikes so this is a big step for me. I'm really nervous about riding in streets, even side streets. There is a large cemetery near me that I think would be great to practice riding, but I think I'm going to have to walk my bike there (like a 20 minute walk). Is that crazy?

Anyway, excited to rejoin the world of bicycling!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:57 am 
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Did you fall due to the clipless pedals or some other reason?

I dont think walking a bike to a location to ride is crazy. you need to rebuild your confidence somewhere, right? eventually riding a bike on roads with cars/people/other nonsense wont take a second thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:17 am 
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The thing that built confidence the best for me was taking a class with my local bicycle advocacy group. I'd spend a fair amount of time riding around on a bike before taking the class, but it really gave me the confidence to ride in traffic and not feel totally wigged out. I'm really not a risk taker or very brave in that respect, so it was actually kind of a surprising result.

Another thing that helped was reading some bike blogs and stuff like that (Bike Snob, Bikeyface, and Streetsblog were some that I checked out). It made me feel like riding in the road was a normal thing that lots of people do, rather than something crazy and dangerous, which is how a lot of people who don't ride see it.

You could walk your bike to the cemetery, but I imagine you'd eventually get pretty impatient with taking 20 minutes to get there and back, when it would probably be a 5-minute ride. Maybe that would actually be a good motivator to start riding in the road a little. I mean, not to be pushing you in a direction you're nervous about, but riding a bike is way more practical and fun when you aren't as constrained by not feeling comfortable riding in traffic.

As for the bike, it sounds awesome! Are you putting flat pedals on it?

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:50 am 
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Eric - yeah, I had a few spills on my clipless pedals, one really bad one, and I am already prone to anxiety and panic attacks so then getting on a bike became a huge trigger!

Jordan - thanks for those great tips! You are right, I imagine after a few times of walking 20 min to go ride I will get impatient and just ride there/back. I can take side streets for most of the way and then hop on to a (wide) sidewalk for a tiny bit and then I'm there. I will also look into classes and I will most definitely read some blogs!

The bike has pedals with toe cages, but my husband has normal platform pedals on his bike and actually wants the toe cages I have so we're just going to swap pedals.

This is the bike, I love the 90's look of it so much so it's motivating me to get over my fear. The green/blue is WAY brighter in person.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:14 am 
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Don't know how much wrenching you do or if you are even going to do it yourself but if you do and don't know it already the left pedal is reverse thread. Righty loosy, lefty tighty. That throws a lot of people off at first.

As far as road riding I guess that is something I have just taken for granted as I have done it...forever. Something that might help as you work your way through it is that there is no shame in driving to a ride. If you find a trail/bike path (like a rail trail) or some other place that might be a suitable environment for you don't be afraid to pack the bike up and drive there. Make a day out of it perhaps. When I pack my bike to ride somewhere I find other local things to do (usually a brewery) so it isn't like all you are doing is packing the bike for a ride. Take your husband and have lunch somewhere, make a date out of it. When you do eventually hit the road the absolute best things you can do for yourself is obey laws (i.e. traffic signals) and communicate with drivers (not the middle finger), make eye contact with them whenever you can and be predictable. It is easier than your nerves are letting you on to believe, most importantly it is fun.

Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:47 am 
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Roll on lobsteriffic! I walked my bike to a non-car path for about the first month of riding. It was only about a 5 minute walk but I wasn't ready to ride in traffic. It also helped me to have a friend ride with me when I started road riding so I could follow them and be a bit less concerned about directions and focus more on just being in traffic and aware of cars.
I think as long as you're getting out there and trying, there's no right or wrong way. Yes you can!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:24 am 
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lobsteriffic wrote:
Eric - yeah, I had a few spills on my clipless pedals, one really bad one, and I am already prone to anxiety and panic attacks so then getting on a bike became a huge trigger!


got yah! well glad youre back on the saddle again. were your spill due to the pedals (ie couldnt get out in time) or you crashed and were also using a clipless pedal system at the time?

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:05 am 
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Eric. wrote:
lobsteriffic wrote:
Eric - yeah, I had a few spills on my clipless pedals, one really bad one, and I am already prone to anxiety and panic attacks so then getting on a bike became a huge trigger!


got yah! well glad youre back on the saddle again. were your spill due to the pedals (ie couldnt get out in time) or you crashed and were also using a clipless pedal system at the time?


It was totally my ineptitude at using clipless pedals! I crashed and hit my head on the curb so bad. Luckily I was wearing a helmet. The helmet had a big dent in it. Luckily my skull was perfectly fine though!


In other news, it's been super rainy here ever since I bought my bike, but the first nice evening I'm going to go down to the cemetery and ride around and hopefully I will be up to going to the farmers market on Saturday (I can get most of the way there on a bike/pedestrian trail).

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:56 pm 
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What kind of pedal system were you using, Lobsterrific? There are some systems that are really hard to deal with, particularly for women. If you start riding more and want to try clipless again, I'd suggest getting some mountain bike pedals - the multi-release SPDs by Shimano are great, and you can loosen the tension a lot so that it's pretty much impossible not to be able to clip out. I'd say they're way safer than toe cages.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:49 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
What kind of pedal system were you using, Lobsterrific? There are some systems that are really hard to deal with, particularly for women. If you start riding more and want to try clipless again, I'd suggest getting some mountain bike pedals - the multi-release SPDs by Shimano are great, and you can loosen the tension a lot so that it's pretty much impossible not to be able to clip out. I'd say they're way safer than toe cages.


I had Keo Look pedals, which the guy at the LBS told me were easy to use. But I'm really uncoordinated and clumsy, so I wouldn't blame the pedals for my own errors. I think for this year I'm going to just stick to plain ol' platform pedals, which I'm sure I will be sick of by next year because of all of the extra energy you need to expend so I will note your suggestion down!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:16 pm 
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oof thats a bummer... i agree with jordan, if your going to get back in the clipless game go with a MTB style so you can actually walk in the shoes and clip out very easily.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 6:27 am 
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There was finally a break in the weather yesterday evening so I took my bike to the cemetery to ride around and it was lots of fun! I walked the bike there but managed to ride back home. That involved about 5 min. riding on a sidewalk along a busy street and then the rest of the way was on side streets. Riding on the streets was a bit stressful because I'm just not used to it but all in all I'd say the bike ride was a success!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 2:26 pm 
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Super!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 5:37 pm 
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lobsteriffic, if you go back to clipless riding, I'd also recommend the combo pedals-platform and spd. Might be a good way to ease back into it. (How I did it and it still lets me ride w/o clips on days where I'm biking to a run workout)

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