It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Anyone an avid commuter on bike?

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 06:54 PM
link   
The reason I ask is because today I purchased my first bike, I’m attempting to save little money since I’m a college student and we all know how it is being a full time college student. Anyway my point is I just would like to know how it is to be a daily commuter on a bike, is it easy? Is it ever nerve wrecking during traffic hour? Or any tips that you have would help or typical stories for that matter. I would be commuting to and from school which is about 6 miles to and from. Also I don’t know the “rules” regarding biking, of course I’ll be wearing a helmet and there are bike lanes…but what if you’re making a turn onto a street going to the left …I would have to tag behind a vehicle right?... so lost… >< only time will tell how I’ll end up lol.

Here’s the bike I just purchased, once it arrives I’ll be taking it to the local shop for them to build and tune (since I have no clue what I would be doing >< computers are my field not bikes!)

Schwinn's Seneca Bike


Best Regards,
Richie




posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 07:08 PM
link   
Ride a bicycle on the street much the same way you drive a car on the street, except you stay to the right (US). Use hand signals for turning and stopping. Practice riding straight because there are plenty of motorists who will come close to you and yell at you. You just have to hold your own space. Make sure if you know you are approaching an obstacle (sewer grate, etc.) that you do a quick rear view check before swerving out. Always ride with the flow of the traffic.

Those are just some of the main things that will keep you out of trouble. I ride 10 miles each way. It pays to have good brakes and be ready to stop for trouble or traffic signals. Turns can be negotiated in a couple of ways. You can come to an intersection and use the crosswalks or pretend you are a car and turn the same way they do. You just have to be sure of your abilities and not let the cars scare you.

Helmets are a good idea, but you can never fully prevent someone from running you down. That's just an inherent risk you must take.



posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 07:15 PM
link   
Here's a pretty good site detailing the common traffic hazards and safe riding tips:

bicyclesafe.com...

(not affiliated).

You can start by taking your bike to an empty parking lot and practice signalling and turning properly.

For left turns you can always do a right turn onto the facing street, make a safe U-turn, then line up wiih traffic and go though straight.

Good luck!



posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 07:25 PM
link   
reply to post by ben91069
 


If you don't mind me asking what kind of a bike do you own? And how bad is the traffic in your area?



posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 07:26 PM
link   

Originally posted by Badge01
Here's a pretty good site detailing the common traffic hazards and safe riding tips:

bicyclesafe.com...

(not affiliated).

You can start by taking your bike to an empty parking lot and practice signalling and turning properly.

For left turns you can always do a right turn onto the facing street, make a safe U-turn, then line up wiih traffic and go though straight.

Good luck!


Pretty interesting website kind of pessimistic though lol

Thanks!



posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 09:38 PM
link   
reply to post by Seaman_Richie
 



I just ride the cheapest Wal Mart bike. Its $70 new. But I did have to fix everything on it before it was rideable. The wheels had terrible runout and the pedals laste 30 miles and the bearings became loose.

I now have around 750 miles on it without any other maintenance. It's a 26" mens bike. My philosophy is to just ride it into the ground and just buy another one. It's lasted this second season, so I ain't complaining.



posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 10:36 PM
link   
I am glad you have chosen to commute on your bike. To answer your first question, it depends on what you mean easy. It isn't as easy as hopping in a vehicle and driving there, but isn't that the point? As far as enjoyment goes, it rocks. I'd ride 10 miles to and from work.

There was hills, which are the best as far as I am concerned, riding up them big hills get the heart pumping and the air moving, and them going down them is the real treat. I would go over 30 MPH frequently. As far as traffic goes. I don't really know, in St. Paul they have awesome paved trails. Every once in awhile I'd have to watch for cars, but for the most part it was smooth sailing.

Perhaps you can rearrange your route to find the least traffic, I changed my route a few times after going it so many times. Also, driving along the road can suck bad. I'd be riding along highway 61 (this was before I augmented my route) and there would be road kill. This was the summer and that road kill (I mean several off the side) made me vomit. It made me lose my breath and it slowed my stride.

More tips/useful stuff:

Face cover/scarf- I found that covering the face can be very useful. There was a part of my route, at a certain time of year that had bugs everywhere. The first time they went up my nose and in my mouth. So I purchased a silk scarf and tied it around my neck so I could quickly lift it over my mouth and nose.

Portable tire patch kit w/self adhesive glue- This is self explanatory. If you ride enough you will likely get a flat. The self adhesive is for simplicity.

Portable tire pump - Self explanatory. There are several out there that are affordable, small, lightweight, and pump quickly.

A tire pressure gauge - Self explanatory. I prefer the digital, because they are lit up and you can see them in low light. However they take batteries.

A back pack - A back pack is a must as far as I am concerned. Camelbak's are awesome because they also have a water reservoir with a tube that you can bite on and get the water you need. You want to keep hydrated. You can also carry the gear, such as the pump, rain coat, clean clothes, etc... I own the H.A.W.G., it's a bit spendy, but I am very happy with the quality.

A breathable lightweight raincoat - There is going to be times when you are riding and the rain clouds hit. O2 Rainwear is the bees knees. You can roll it up and put it in your back pack. I cannot stress how awesome this stuff is. It's so light, and breathable, yet it keeps out the rain.

Lights - Even if you are not riding at night, you want lights to bring up your visibility. I was almost hit several times, and that was with my lights. I purchased Reelights, because they don't take batteries. They use magnets. You can get them off of amazon.com. I also purchased a Cateye headlight. The HL-EL220 works awesome. They are affordable and the beam is bright and wide. There is a strobe function or just straight beam. There are other head lights out there.

Stay Hydrated - If not the Camelbak or other water back packs, at least a water bottle. You want to keep you body cool and hydrated. It is very important, especially on hot days.

Always Watch for cars - This should go without saying, but people frequently do not see cyclists. Some even disdain the cyclists. Respect the road rules.



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 12:35 AM
link   

Originally posted by eye open doors
I am glad you have chosen to commute on your bike. To answer your first question, it depends on what you mean easy. It isn't as easy as hopping in a vehicle and driving there, but isn't that the point? As far as enjoyment goes, it rocks. I'd ride 10 miles to and from work.

There was hills, which are the best as far as I am concerned, riding up them big hills get the heart pumping and the air moving, and them going down them is the real treat. I would go over 30 MPH frequently. As far as traffic goes. I don't really know, in St. Paul they have awesome paved trails. Every once in awhile I'd have to watch for cars, but for the most part it was smooth sailing.

Perhaps you can rearrange your route to find the least traffic, I changed my route a few times after going it so many times. Also, driving along the road can suck bad. I'd be riding along highway 61 (this was before I augmented my route) and there would be road kill. This was the summer and that road kill (I mean several off the side) made me vomit. It made me lose my breath and it slowed my stride.

More tips/useful stuff:

Face cover/scarf- I found that covering the face can be very useful. There was a part of my route, at a certain time of year that had bugs everywhere. The first time they went up my nose and in my mouth. So I purchased a silk scarf and tied it around my neck so I could quickly lift it over my mouth and nose.

Portable tire patch kit w/self adhesive glue- This is self explanatory. If you ride enough you will likely get a flat. The self adhesive is for simplicity.

Portable tire pump - Self explanatory. There are several out there that are affordable, small, lightweight, and pump quickly.

A tire pressure gauge - Self explanatory. I prefer the digital, because they are lit up and you can see them in low light. However they take batteries.

A back pack - A back pack is a must as far as I am concerned. Camelbak's are awesome because they also have a water reservoir with a tube that you can bite on and get the water you need. You want to keep hydrated. You can also carry the gear, such as the pump, rain coat, clean clothes, etc... I own the H.A.W.G., it's a bit spendy, but I am very happy with the quality.

A breathable lightweight raincoat - There is going to be times when you are riding and the rain clouds hit. O2 Rainwear is the bees knees. You can roll it up and put it in your back pack. I cannot stress how awesome this stuff is. It's so light, and breathable, yet it keeps out the rain.

Lights - Even if you are not riding at night, you want lights to bring up your visibility. I was almost hit several times, and that was with my lights. I purchased Reelights, because they don't take batteries. They use magnets. You can get them off of amazon.com. I also purchased a Cateye headlight. The HL-EL220 works awesome. They are affordable and the beam is bright and wide. There is a strobe function or just straight beam. There are other head lights out there.

Stay Hydrated - If not the Camelbak or other water back packs, at least a water bottle. You want to keep you body cool and hydrated. It is very important, especially on hot days.

Always Watch for cars - This should go without saying, but people frequently do not see cyclists. Some even disdain the cyclists. Respect the road rules.









Thank you so much for such a well thought out post!

Here’s the deal there are plenty of “Bike Trails” but their painted along with the main street. It’ll be intimidating the first week I could only imagine but I believe I’ll get used to it. I actually already own a camelback from when I was training with the Navy; they would have us run tons. The lights of course I’ll be getting because I know that



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 12:37 AM
link   

Originally posted by ben91069
reply to post by Seaman_Richie
 



I just ride the cheapest Wal Mart bike. Its $70 new. But I did have to fix everything on it before it was rideable. The wheels had terrible runout and the pedals laste 30 miles and the bearings became loose.

I now have around 750 miles on it without any other maintenance. It's a 26" mens bike. My philosophy is to just ride it into the ground and just buy another one. It's lasted this second season, so I ain't complaining.


$ 70 dollars huh? I went to a bike performance shop and they were showing me bikes rangning 600+ dollars. I was like sheesh....who would spend so much.

Now i'm thinking of putting it all together at home and then taking it to the bike shop for them to tune, what do you think?



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 12:56 AM
link   

Originally posted by Seaman_Richie
$ 70 dollars huh? I went to a bike performance shop and they were showing me bikes rangning 600+ dollars. I was like sheesh....who would spend so much.

Now i'm thinking of putting it all together at home and then taking it to the bike shop for them to tune, what do you think?


Sounds good. I would try and learn as much as you can from the local bike shop guy or buy a book on bicycle maintenance. It really is not that difficult for anyone to do, and you'll save some money and down-time from cycling by doing it yourself. Of course you will need some tools and maybe a few special one's just for bikes, but they're not that expensive.

Probably the best and most useful thing you can learn on a bicycle is changing tires and tubes. Once the wheel is removed, you can almost remove the tire and tube by hand if it isn't a skinny tire (they tend to fit tighter). Buying a simple hand pump is also nice to have. The cartridge type work good, but they're primarily for when you're out on the road and cannot carry a pump around with you. They take up little space and are pre-charged. The bad thing is once you use them, they are empty. If your tires don't leak around the valve, you will still probably have to add more pressure twice a year. Some air does escape during use and abuse.

I like the hand pumps that have a gauge already on them. The best accessories that your money can buy is probably a water bottle and bracket (you definitely need this if you ride often and far), a lock, and a light for riding in low visibility.

EDIT: About costs, there is no reason if you struggle to afford things to buy an expensive bike. You will definitely get what you pay for, but by just being able to maintain things, there is no reason you cannot enjoy riding with a cheap bike. I tend to laugh at these guys with expensive bikes, some of them ranging around $1200 or more. I see them on the trails, and unless you are shooting for a particularly high performance level or are training for an arduous bicycle tour, you are not going to enjoy cycling any more than someone spending 10% of the cost. Besides, with the expensive bikes, they tend to have to be very careful where and how they ride them as they can't take the same type of abuse as a heavier bike. I've heard cyclists complain about grass clippings getting into their chain and tire beads as a concern just because their bike was seriously expensive. There's no fun in having to be that cautious.

[edit on 8-6-2008 by ben91069]



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 01:28 AM
link   
I rode my bike for years, now that I have a truck I don't have an oppurtunity to ride it as much as I'd like, (Oh, you have a car now eh? You can get here much earlier then, right?) and always loved it, except for the occasional flat tire.
Can't say much about your area, but for mine bike lanes tend to be more of an after thought, spare road bit than an actual bike lane. They tend to disapear and reappear when they had room for them.
For me, sidewalks are great. I average a 15 to twenty mile ride speed, but I keep it lower than that when there are a good lot of people around. I never ride with traffic, to many idiots have tried to run me off the road, and to many people I know get a kick out of seeing me on my bike and trying to to startle me off.
For me though, it was also no problem to take back routes, less traveled routes that may take me a little off the more traveled places, but kept me out of much of the traffic.
All in all, though, I recommend a good music player, wind and traffic gets dull.



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 11:47 AM
link   
reply to post by Seaman_Richie
 


You are welcome. It's not that bad really, however I am an adrenaline junkie. I get a thrill out of the risk. Oh, light colored clothing, or even those florescent reflective vests are a good idea. The Camelbak are so awesome.



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 01:11 PM
link   
People seem to balk at the price of a local bike shop bike (LBS), but the bang for the buck on a modern road bike is quite high.

Riding a Wal-bike or Bike-shaped object can be OK, but the drive chain is not tight, brake lever travel is usually slack, and the bike usually weighs about 40-45lbs if you get the kind with the fake springs.

If you're serious about riding, or expect you'll ride 4-5 days per week, you can't go wrong with a LBS.

In addition, if you're going at speed and in traffic you don't want a bike put together by high school kids that might be missing a bolt or something.

2 cents.



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 01:41 PM
link   

Originally posted by RuneSpider
I rode my bike for years, now that I have a truck I don't have an oppurtunity to ride it as much as I'd like,


I drive my truck when it's raining, but it costs me $4 in gas to get to and from work, so when I ride, I reassure myself that I am not only getting good exercise , a nice tan, and enjoying the scenery, but I know that it pays for itself as the cost of lunch. So, it feels like someone is buying me Wendy's everyday I ride for free. Yes, I am cheap.



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 03:17 PM
link   

Originally posted by ben91069

Originally posted by RuneSpider
I rode my bike for years, now that I have a truck I don't have an oppurtunity to ride it as much as I'd like,


I drive my truck when it's raining, but it costs me $4 in gas to get to and from work, so when I ride, I reassure myself that I am not only getting good exercise , a nice tan, and enjoying the scenery, but I know that it pays for itself as the cost of lunch. So, it feels like someone is buying me Wendy's everyday I ride for free. Yes, I am cheap.


As am I, don't get me wrong I have a car ( an 06 tC Scion) but gas prices are a bit too high at the moment and well I find this to be the alternative! I really can't wait for it to get here.

Most of you mention detours and alternate routes but theirs only one route to school and it's next to a "somewhat" busy street and highway as I said before we'll see what happens. I appreciate everyone's input : )



Best Regards,
Richie



Edit: I just spoke to the bike shop and it's 75 dollars for their service which indludes...

Basic Tune-Up Get ready for the coming season, or keep your bike in top-running shape with our basic tune-up.

Starting with our 20-point inspection, our basic tune-up includes:

Precision bottom bracket adjustment
Precision brake adjustment
Chain lubrication
Precision gear adjustment
Headset adjustment
Hub adjustments
Wheel truing



Is it worth it?

[edit on 8-6-2008 by Seaman_Richie]



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 03:31 PM
link   
Gas at 4.50 a gallon. I'm thinking about getting a mountain bike and only using my car to get groceries. When you think about it most people drive very short distances every time they hop in the car. It is costing me two hundred a month to goto work and I only live about three miles away.

Some say that with the traffic and lights. If you are driving in city streets you get to the destination at the same time by bike as you do by car.

Edit Added:

I think I will buy some books and learn to to keep my bike in shape on my own. That seems not bad if you have the bucks to spend, but then in this messed up economy where the unemployment rate is rising faster then any history, who has the money to blow?

[edit on 8-6-2008 by MrMysticism]



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 03:37 PM
link   

Originally posted by MrMysticism
Gas at 4.50 a gallon. I'm thinking about getting a mountain bike and only using my car to get groceries. When you think about it most people drive very short distances every time they hop in the car. It is costing me two hundred a month to goto work and I only live about three miles away.

Some say that with the traffic and lights. If you are driving in city streets you get to the destination at the same time by bike as you do by car.

Edit Added:

I think I will buy some books and learn to to keep my bike in shape on my own. That seems not bad if you have the bucks to spend, but then in this messed up economy where the unemployment rate is rising faster then any history, who has the money to blow?

[edit on 8-6-2008 by MrMysticism]



I'm lucky to be living in an area where everyone is within close proximity so I can see myself after the Summer semester (July) to be using soley my bike. I mean I would obviously have to use my car to get to Coronado or Mexico from where i'm at but thats only once in a while!
You bring up a good point though if only people used their odometer once in a while to see how little they drive, I know I have!



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 05:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by MrMysticism
I think I will buy some books and learn to to keep my bike in shape on my own. That seems not bad if you have the bucks to spend, but then in this messed up economy where the unemployment rate is rising faster then any history, who has the money to blow?

[edit on 8-6-2008 by MrMysticism]


Just a thought, because I have never looked, but I am more than sure that all the information you need on bicycle maintenance is probably available free online or just by visiting bicycle forums. I know I read some how to's on lacing up spokes on wheels and how to true them, so I am sure simple things like brake, bearing, and derailleur adjustments are also. Simply Google bicycle repair.



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 06:13 PM
link   
I have a bike, and i ride it everywhere...

But in this city, everyone rides a bike...

And if you drive a car, the uber-libs will heckle you...

"Carbon waster!' and i drive a civic... i cant imagine what they say to people pickups...

So yea, bike= good...

Uber-libs= Scarey....



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:09 PM
link   
Here you go, no need to take your bike to the LBS. Everything you need to know and save money doing it:

Bicycle repair guide



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join