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  1. #26
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    Very nice thread. Thanks, Dep!

    I commute, ride for fitness and run occasional errands. I generally avoid medium-to-heavy traffic, but dive in and take the arterials when I'm going someplace new and don't know how to navigate neighborhood roads to get there. Know what's surprised me? The less-traveled side streets have generally (but not always) provided shorter routes. Who knew?

    About a year ago, I started commuting again after a break of about 7 years. (I stopped regularly biking to work soon after some idiot threw a soda at me as I was riding down the shoulder of a highway on my then-12-mile commute home.)

    Where I live now, it's a 3-mile ride to work. To start with, I rode the sidewalks along arterial streets. With the help of what I read here and on other Web sites and with the example of bike commuting friends, I moved into the streets. Depending on the situation, I will still act more like a driver sometimes and more like a pedestrian other times. I think I'm more thoughtful and careful now about when to do each.

    I slow down for but ride through stop signs and red lights when no traffic is coming in any direction. When there are cars, I stop and wait my turn like everybody else, and I take the lane. (I will move over to let a right-turning car get by me if the turn signal is blinking and I'm the only thing keeping them from turning right. Seems to help keep tempers down.)

    My biggest peeve is drivers who pull around to pass me right at a stop sign, so that we both come to a stop together, only to both pull into the intersection together. (Out of fear of right crosses, I hang back until I know they're not turning.)

    Anyway, thanks to all who have posted good advice here. And to everyone who's passionate enough to argue. I came to learn, but I stayed to watch the throwdown debates.
    1989 Fuji Absolute
    2006 Fuji Crosstown

  2. #27
    Road Runner PDay's Avatar
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    I ride soley for fitness and as a supplement for running. I usually utilize my school's campus to get to where I need to go, since the speed limit its 18 (for Archie Manning's jersey number). When I get to the rural roads, the speed limit is 45-55 depending. I ride basically like a car when Im in town, and my biggest peeve is when Ive taken the lane and someone STILL passes me on the left. Cant stand it.

  3. #28
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
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    Great thread idea.

    I live in a small town about 18 km outside of Waterloo Ontario. I do 3 kinds of riding primarilly: "fitness" or "training" rides on my cyclocross bike (with slicks, not knobbies) - not sure what I am training for since I don't race - must be the endorphin rush or something; commuting rides that average 25 to 30 km each way on the cross bike - put a rack on it, add the bags and some lights, and presto, a nice fast commuter; and mtn biking off road at one of the best bits of single track I have seen in a while (lovingly maintained by the WCC - yay team!) on my approaching ancient (for a mtn bike) old specialized s-works hardtail mtn bike. The majority of my riding is on the road. I find it helps make off roading so much more fun since the legs, lungs, and heart are in such better shape. During the winter, I get out when I can. This year riding was limited not cause of cold, but cause of the amount of snow and pack ice on local roads. I wont risk a tangle with the kind of snow plows we have here.

    The bikes:

    2005 Kona Jake the Snake: all stock but tires which are specialized armadilos this year. Planned upgrades include: mavic wheel set, and sealed cartridge bearing (chris king maybe?) headset and a lighter seat.

    1998 Specialized S-works hardtail: hot-rodded with mavic wheel set, ck headset, xt bottombracket, and time pedals. Conti traction pro dual compound tires are on it atm, and are great if the trail is wet, and ok if dry.

    Cheers, and have fun
    1998 Specialized S-works Hardtail - hotrodded
    2005 Kona Jake the Snake cyclocross

  4. #29
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    Well I ride for recreation...I should start riding to school sine it's only about 2 miles from my house...so only 4 round trip.

    Anyways I ride through town which is mostly just regular village roads there are sidewalks but most of them are all broken up or there aren't any in place. Then I ride mostly country highways I guess you could call them. There's speed limits of 55 and 45 in some areas, they usually have have 4' shoulders roughly. So it's nice riding. That's about all I ride cause there's not much else around here. There are some off road dirt trails that are a lot of fun to go on. I have a specialized hardrock from like 1989 that I ride.

  5. #30
    Newbie La Chaton's Avatar
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    When i ride I think I'm probably much more responsible than my friends, who like riding in the middle of the street and stuff.

    I live in a smallish town so there's not much traffic, the village roads have sidewalks but I live about a mile or two outside of the village so there's no sidewalks. The speed limits are about 30mph but there's generally large shoulder's I can ride on. I always try to stay as far from the cars as possible but sometimes I can't help it. and i like to ride fast; need for speed and with my worn out breaks I should be more careful on the buisier streets but somtimes I find myself weaving throuhg traffic.

    When I'm offroad though I'm kind of crazy, although i never go alone and I have my "saftey pack" as I like to call it. So somtimes I'll take extra risks knowing that even if I hurt myself I probably won't die. I live across the street from a huge gorge with a large creek (almost a river) in it. So if I go the half mile ride down the street there's this really long bike path i liek to ride on. It has tons of trees and rocks and big hills so I just freak out and go as fast as I can without busting myself or my bike. The only time I slow down is next to the gorge. It's like a 80-100 foot drop and in some places you're on this wicked trail about a foot from a sheer drop. That's major freaky.

    When i ride I always have my helmet and there's refelctors on my bike plus I wear gloves to stave off the blisters that alwas come with lots of hard riding but I really should get one of those reflective vests for days when it's not so bright outside.

    Personally, I like to build my muscles a lot, so i keep it on a high gear to keep my legs (and somtimes my arms on rough terain) burning. But I also liek to go fast so somtimes on the roads I slip into a lower gear and just go as fast as my legs can move.

    For some reason I never seem to get out of breath like my brother, which I guess means I've been getting a good cardio workout like I want to but I still can't run more that about 3/4 of a mile without wishing I was dead. I'm probably just out of shape after the winter though because I used to be able to go a lot farther last summer, but I still don't know.

    I ride both for excersice which I desperatly need after sitting all day and being bored and I also do it for recreation because I'm a seriously stressed out person (anxeiety disorders run in the family) so when I ride it's the only time I can relax and stop worrying about this and that.

  6. #31
    Senior Member Todzilla's Avatar
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    I have a short commute (2 miles each way). It's barely enough to wake me up, but short enough to ensure I commute probably 200 days a year.

    My commute to work drops about 40 feet vertical, so it's the easier ride. Downside is it's toward the East, so I'm riding into the sun both directions.

    I bought a Breezer villager a year ago, which I like a lot, although it's a little more pedestrian than I'd like. Then again, I'll turn 50 this summer, so perhaps it's more atuned to reality than I am.

    I found a dry cleaner that will deliver and pickup to my office. I also bought two shopping bags that will fit on my bike rack for when I need to transport cargo.

    I hate helmets, but with 3 kids, I feel obligated to wear one. My family insists I wear blaze orange vest with reflectors on it, so angered motorists can aim for me with greater accuracy. The little generator light on the Villager is nice too.

    Certain stop signs I run, but always after checking their conditions. I'm bad that way, but I cherise my momentum and would prefer to stop only for safety reasons.

    They are building an organic grocery store a block from my office, so I imagine I will be carting lots of grocs soon.

  7. #32
    Junior Member mod-eddie's Avatar
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    I commute 1-2 days a week, 22 miles round trip in phx, az, plus short-distance errands and visiting friends (within 3 miles), and more random pleasure riding in central phx. I plan to increase the days commuting to 2-3+ a week. The commute is mostly on quiet residential streets, or low speed limits, 25-35 mph, or sometimes along canals. I always wear helmet and gloves, flashing lights front and rear at night, with lights in front to see as well as be seen and lots of reflective stuff. Given my careful route selection (and good luck in the points A and B that I move between) I almost always ride in the street. When I have the slightest doubt, I shamelessly ease onto sidewalks or make left turns pedestrian-style. When moving cars are nearby, I wait at red lights and stop signs like any other schmuck. When absolutely alone, I adapt the law to move things along. I always decline the courtesy of car drivers who waive me through stop signs when they were there first, by planting my feet on the ground and looking away. I have a voice which projects though urban noise, and I've admonished--with all the eloquence I can muster--boorish louts in cars, after making a judgement about *** ownership and planning escape routes. I've been lucky and aware enough to evade careless drivers, so far; my closest calls have come from wrong-way road cyclists, or oblivious sidewalk cyclists (I work at a university, to put this in context.)

    When I first bought a bike, two years ago (I'm of a certain age), it was just for the pure fun of riding. Gradually, it's replacing my car, mile by mile--even in the brutal summers here and despite phx's bike-unfriendly reputation.
    Modern Phoenician

  8. #33
    Senior Member Jolt's Avatar
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    I've just recently started riding for utility purposes and for recreation; a lot of my errands are short trips so doing them by bike seemed like a good way to get extra exercise and release pent-up energy (and to have some variety in my exercise routine besides just running) as well as pollute less. I'm not really comfortable in heavy traffic yet, so I seek out lower traffic routes or at least roads that have a decent shoulder or a wide lane if they're busy (and will probably continue to do so even as I get more experience as I just think it's safer). The roads I ride on generally have low speed limits (30 mph) but I'm nowhere near that fast, especially given how hilly the area is, so I stay to the right as much as is safely possible to show some consideration for other road users; I will take the lane if I have to because there are parked cars etc. on the right side of the road but I much prefer it if there are not such obstructions and I can just stay out of the way. I would be reasonably comfortable on a faster road if there is plenty of room to stay to the right. I think it is important to be as visible as possible when riding, so I always wear something bright such as my fluorescent yellow vest with reflective stripes. And yes, I wear a helmet--even if the benefits may have been overstated, as many people seem to believe, it still helps and certainly can't hurt.

  9. #34
    half way commuter
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    I live in Balikpapan, Indonesia, and I ride to work most of the time, except on heavy rain. Working place is about 12 km away, and I can reach it in 30-35 minutes time in the morning.
    Going home is longer, I ride at night, it is uphill, and to avoid long turn around, I need to cross a main road on pedestrian crossing, so I get off the bike. Obviously I put lights on my bikes, often in flashing mode and I will reach home after 35-40 minutes.

    I have two options for the bike, one is a 700C road bike and the other is 16" folder. I rarely use my folder for commuting, but it comes out handy in the rainy season, it happend few times my wife drives me to the office with my folder on my car trunk, and I ride the folder later to go home.

    I can chose the route to commute, and I tend to avoid steep climb.
    No bike lanes here, so cyclist mixed up with everything else, cars, motorcycles, carts and rickshaw etc. Like everywhere, traffics are dense and crowded in the peak hours, and roads are not nice. I have to aware of potholes, motorcycles, sudden stop and go taxis, parked cars, street vendors,...etc.

    We have British style traffic, so cyclist suppose to ride on the left most side of the road space. But riding on the most left side we have to be aware of motorcycles, especially in the double lane roads with separator in the middle, a lot of moto riders were ridding against the traffic to avoid U-turn !!!!,...sure it is illegal, but you will not win unless policemen are around,.....

  10. #35
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    I bike in urban Seattle. I got my first road bike, a 65cm, unidentified make (it was painted when I bought it--people guess all kinds of things: "European," English, Schwinn... I don't know, but the only parts on the bike that might be original are the shifters, which are vintage SunTour...) steel touring bike with 700x28 wheels and 18 (now 24) speeds. I started riding from the dorms to the opposite side of campus two years ago. I moved off campus and started biking the less than one mile to campus, in any weather except icy roads, and even then sometimes. I decided to do Seattle to Portland last summer and started riding around Lake Washington for practice; did STP in one extremely long day (16:49) and have been hooked since. I don't go on recreational distance rides nearly often enough, but love it every time I do.

    Now I work as a "messenger," ie. I deliver sandwiches in a ~20 block radius. I get paid to ride my bike, and I love it. I ride pretty rudely while I'm working, but I'm always paying more attention than anyone else on the road and have yet to have a collision or even a particularly close encounter while working. I generally don't respect traffic signals, but heavily respect several thousand pounds of steel. The main thoroughfare on which I ride has pretty slow traffic (20mph when there's no traffic) and heavy bus traffic, so if there's no oncoming traffic and everyone is stopped behind a bus, I'll jump into the wrong lane and be 3 blocks away by the time the bus moves. I'll run red lights, but only if I know I'll be out of the intersection for at least ten seconds by the time the next car comes.

    I'm very familiar with the streets I act like a jerk on, so I know how cars move around here, I know the hidden corners and driveways, I know how long it takes a car cresting the hill to get to intersection x, and I know how the drunk frat boys get home when the bars close. I've never been fleet of foot, so it's pretty exhilarating being nimble on these streets.

    I always wear my helmet and always wear front and rear lights at night, and typically wear a bright red and black jersey for work.

    I also now ride a single speed Schwinn that I plan on re-converting to a fixed gear when I have the money to get a flip-flop hub and the time to build up a wheel for it. For the time being it's just a cruiser bike, but before I stripped some threads off the hub it was a fixie that I rode a bit for work. I don't ride it much as a single speed so I'm eager to get that fixie wheel built.

  11. #36
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    I ride for exercise and utility to and from all of my daughters' practices, plays, rehersals,games and matches. I also ride some to the grocery store, and for errands.

    I ride mainly in a very conservative small town, where half the speed limits are 25, most of the rest 15 and one that is 35. The speed limits are very aggressively enforced. Riding on sidewalks is illegal for adults and somewhat enforced. The school system has no busing, so there are alot of children on bikes. The community also has quite a few adult cyclists, from old people on cruisers, to errand runners, and alot of people on road bikes. At times in the evening there are as many bikes on the road as cars. People are extremely courteous, and I have very, very few problems.
    Not too much to say here

  12. #37
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    I live in Atlanta, the least bike friendly place I've ridden in.

    I commute to work. Its about 3 sketchy miles each way. I ride in cycling clothes and carry a change of clothes and lunch in with me. I ride mostly in the road but hop up on the sidewalk to get through a dangerous intersection.

    I've just set up my bike for grocery shopping. I've got a rack, bags, and a Yak. Still trying to figure out a good way to lock up the trailer.

    I manage to find time for a recreational ride once a month or less.

    I ride an older Trek mtn bike set up for road use.

  13. #38
    back in the saddle bent-not-broken's Avatar
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    I bike in a small town in central Wisconsin. I biked a little in college and then took off about 25 years with other interests. I took it up again 4 years ago to control my weight (or at least hhelp contol it). I started with a yard sale 12 speed road bike and now have nine bikes ranging from recumbents to four commuter bikes. All but one of the bikes were used as I just can't pass up a deal. My yearly mileage has increased from 500 that first year to 4500 last year.

    I have evolved from a fair weather commuter to a 'dedicated' commuter with over 200 10 mile round trip commutes last year. My cummute is through a small town, with half on 25 MPH low traffic steets and half on a MUP which is lightly used early in the morning, but can be a pain on nice summer afternoons. I commute in the summer on one of 2 - 1980's road bikes with a flat bar and a trekking bar. In spring, fall, and bad wheather I have a full fendered hybrid tank of a bike. In winter I switch to a mountain bike with studded tires and chloroplast fenders. My commutes are mostly uneventful and only occasionally do I get a "get off the road" yelled at me. I treat stop signs as yields as the roads are so lightly traveled. If I must drive for a work related remote meeting I really mis smy commute.

    The other half of my miles come from touring the local rural roads on my short wheel base recumbent. The local wisconsin roads are lightly traveled and most vehicles I meet are very curteous. I also occasionally ride the local bike paths with my wife. I enjoy solo rural rides of 30-60 miles but my wife prefers paved bike paths, and can't cope with even the light traffic.
    Bent

    When the earth is covered with 2/3's beer, then I'll buy bottled water!

  14. #39
    Lone Ranger Minerva's Avatar
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    I'm new to the commuting thing - this is my third year, but I would consider my commute a technical challange for me. I'm on a Trek hybrid. I live/work in an urban/suburban area, and my 20 miles round trip commute ascends 213 feet. When planning my route, I have to take into consideration getting across two rivers and two major highways (which don't allow bicycle traffic). I live in the most densely populated county in the most densely populated state, and yet, I'm managed to find joy in the many VC challenges that I face during my ride. I start out on a long and steep hill, hit the bike path through the park and head over the first bridge. All of my intersection turns on the commute in to work are left turns, so I've gotten very accostomed to merging left and turning at lights, which was scary in the beginning.

    After the bridge, I have to go through a very hilly city with truck traffic, narrow roads, no shoulders and street parking. I usually take the lane and ride with traffic and try to make eye contact with drivers to let them know what I'm going to do. I haven't had any problems with the drivers behind me, mostly I worry about the drivers running stop signs on the cross streets. Taking the middle of the lane helps a great deal in this regard, because the other drivers can more easily see you coming, and I then have more time to react in case they don't. After I leave the city, I end up on a 45MPH road with two hard merges coming from my right. I try to slow down and merge across the off-ramp to the right, but sometimes the drivers get confused when they see me coming up on their left and either speed up or slow down. This is when eye contact and definitive hand signals help to clarify the situation. A mile or two up and down this hilly highway and I have to merge left two lanes to make a left into a suburban development. I have the common issue of not setting off the light sensors, so if I'm unlucky enough not to have a car behind me, I have to pedestrian cross or else wait until a car pulls up. Once in suburbia, I can relax a bit and enjoy the scenery. A couple more lights, and a harrowing municipal street with terrible potholes and debris and I end up on the one stretch of road that gives me the most trouble. It's 40 MPH and no shoulder. I stay as far right 'as practicable', but with traffic as it is in the morning, grumpy drivers don't like having to merge left for me. I've gotten yelled at, honked at and almost hit here several times. I've actually changed this part of my route last week, and added two extra suburban miles to avoid this short stretch of road.

    At the end of my route, I cross a large mall parking lot which has fantastic roads and no traffic in the morning, and pull up at the door of my office across the street, reading for anything!

    We have a few bike paths where I live, but no bike lanes, and many roads without even sidewalks or shoulders, so I have no choice by to ride vehicularly. I find it safe as long as my actions are predictable, and I can negotiate with drivers. I handle the angry driver issue by making eye contact whenever possible, smiling and waving when drivers do the right thing, even if they are supposed to - I want drivers to have a good experience with me as a bicycle commuter so that they treat other cyclists with respect. I try to avoid being confrontational as much as possible, but I don't hesitate to yell out if someone is compromising my safety.

    I wear a flourescent yellow jersey and have blinkers for going under bridges and overpasses. I don't ride at night, and usually only in good weather, so I haven't invested in a reflector vest. When in doubt, I slow down and think about how to negotiate traffic. I don't run stop signs or red lights, even if I'm the only person there. I think that I get more respect from drivers when they see that I don't take short cuts. There are times that I must do a pedestrian crossing, and I always walk my bike across the cross-walk. If I lived in a more rural environment, I might be a little less stringent, but there are too many people are cars where I am to chance it.

    As far as other uses for the bicycle, I do enjoy grocery shopping and running errands, though I can't say I've made the jump to hard-core year round riding. Hopefully, as I gain more experience I can continue to reduce my dependance on a car.

  15. #40
    Senior Member AtomicCactus's Avatar
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    My commute to school is 20 km (one-way; 40 km RT), consisting of about 1 km residential, 7 km suburban, 4 km residential/light commercial, and 8 km industrial/commercial. It's pretty level for the most part, save a "valley" and an underpass. Once I get into the latter 12 km (res/light comm, comm/indust), the roads are absolutely piss poor, which makes me thankful I have a mountain bike. I ride a 2001 CCM Heat MTB with fat uber-knobby tyres.

    On a good day (no 30-40 km/h winds facing me) I can sustain about 35-38 km/h. Facing those winds, my speed drops to about 27-30 km/h. Before I used to be all about the large gears and low rotation, a la Ullrich. I've definitely changed, and now pedal at quite a fast cadence. I used to primarily use 6th gear, but that has dropped to 4th (facing wind) or 5th/6th (not facing wind). Despite that, my speed is quite a bit faster and my legs recover better. My HR is also higher, but it feels good. (Bike has a 7spd cassette).

    I wear looser biking shorts and a t-shirt, along with my backpack, helmet with mirror, glassess (or sunglasses, depends), bike gloves, and stiffer shoes. I have front and rear blinkies that I use on overcast days, or at night. I ride on the road for 19 of the 20 kms, where there's 1 km of bikepath that links the suburb to the main part of the city. I usually ride 15-60 cm from the curb, though if I'm riding in the parking lane, I'll ride in the middle as there usually isn't anyone behind me, and I have to change lanes to pass parked cars. I make sure I'm out of the door range. I always, always, always stop for red lights. It's a pain though, as they're not synchronised all that well for bikes. I stop for 85-90% of stop signs; others I roll through after I've made sure there's no one around. I follow traffic laws as I would with a car (save the odd stop sign).

    Today, I raced a couple busses. I totally won. With one bus, it was a 5 km race, and I beat the bus by a few minutes. During times of congestion, it's just beautiful passing all the cars... I enjoy seeing commuters on my route; there's a real sense of brotherhood. Even if I'm faster.

    Other than commuting, I ride a bunch in the city. My preference has changed from trail biking to road biking. I still do some trail biking, but lately the weather has not been great for it. Sooo much rain...last comple times I tried going, I got totally swamped. There's a nice gravel trail that's pretty decent in the rain.

    I'm saving up for a road bike (Giant OCR A1), so hopefully I'll be able to make my commute even faster! Ah, the woes of tuition...

  16. #41
    Senior Member
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    I probably would be considered a terrible rider by car drivers and the police, I tend to go what I consider the best way. There are several streets that are not safe to be in traffic on, with intersections too dangerous to even try. So,I find it better to get across many of these streets in mid block and get on the sidewalk.
    My other transportation is a Harley and an 89 Chev 1 ton with very low miles. I ride either a vintage race bike or my pawn shop mountain bike 95 percent of the time.
    My friends think Iam crazy and a very poor car driver "all true".

    Don

  17. #42
    Senior Member striegel's Avatar
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    I ride for recreation and fitness. My only bike is the Paris Sport that I bought over 30 years ago while I was in high school. It's a 10-speed with drop bars and very narrow 27 x 1 inch tires that I keep inflated to over 110 psi, so I never ride it off of the paved surfaces (at least not intentionally). Since it has no fenders, I try not to ride unless the roads are dry.

    My home is in semi-rural Russell Township, which is in the next county east of Cleveland, Ohio. There are no sidewalks, ditches alongside all roads, and mostly light traffic when I ride on weekends and evenings. Although some of the state highways have speed limits up to 50 mph on them (2-lane, undivided), I ride even there to the left of the white line. My natural tendency is to keep an eye on the rear view mirror but most passing drivers give me plenty of clearance as they go by.

    During good weather I put my bike in the trunk of the car for the drive to my office. I love taking high speed rides during my lunch hour. My office is in an industrial park in Solon, Ohio with wide concrete streets that are in horrible condition for a bike like mine (lots of uneven joints and broken pavement). There are very new sidewalks on both sides of most of the streets on my way to the nearby metro park but I never ride the sidewalk if I can help it. It's around 2 miles from my office to the park entrance so it's short enough to just put up with it.

    The park has multi-use paths lining the roads but I no longer ride on them as I once did, letting the walkers, joggers, and slower bike riders live in peace. I generally average between 16.5 and 17.5 mph for the 14+ miles of hills in my regular circuit so I think I'd be a hazard to them as well as myself.

    Most of the time I'm a well-mannered rider, obeying the traffic laws. I do travel more as a motor vehicle would, taking the left turn lane in one really big intersection rather than trying to wait for a couple of walk signals.

  18. #43
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    I ride for fitness and to be extremely car-lite.

    I use a trek 7.3 fx for fitness rides, in Mississauga and Toronto. I have a 40km circuit in Mississauga which works well for me, I also have a 30km and a 15km depending on how much time I have. I've never done more than 50km solo, although I plan now to start travelling a lot more West of Mississauga into the country roads off Britannia and Derry. I do these maybe once every two weeks, when I'm physically and psychologically up for it, there's perfect weather and I have lots of time.

  19. #44
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    common ground

    I'm new here (as of today), so I hope I might be forgiven for replying to an "old" post. I could not help but notice how many of hotbike's comments also hold true for motorcylists...especially the parts about cars. Any veteran motorcylist learns to ride as if he (or she) is invisible to cars...you just assume that they don't see you. In most car/motorcycle collisions, the car driver exclaims, "I never saw him!" A car driver isn't looking for motorcycles or bicycles as they turn their head to check oncoming traffic...they are looking for cars or other large motor vehicles. Their minds are in such a state that they can literally look straight at you, and yet fail to "see" you. Twice I have plowed into passenger-side car doors because a driver overtook me and made a sharp right hand turn in front of me, such that even strong braking was not enough to avoid contact. Both times the driver swore they never even saw me. Oh, and that was on bicylces...plenty of mishaps about motorcycles and car drivers for some other forum.

    There is a very strong and vocal cycling community here in Austin. It serves us poorly when motorists see someone on a bicycle blow straight through a red light or stop sign...and yes, I do realize it is very tempting to do so when you see that there is no oncoming traffic. But just think about the public's perception the next time we are trying to get a local ordinance passed to protect cyclists' safety.
    Last edited by Slow-Moe; 07-14-07 at 06:09 PM.

  20. #45
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    oh duh...I think I got a little carried away

    My riding style? Well, it's a Raleigh C40, which should say a lot. I did replace the springy seat post for a solid post. Otherwise it is stock condition. I often ride a long lane, "Great Northern" here in Austin, which seems to be very popular with the more serious cyclists, and sometimes they startle me a little as they whip by me going so fast.
    Besides just enjoying my bike for slow, leisurely rides around the neighborhood, I sometimes ride up to the grocery store if I only need a few items. I used zip-ties to secure a large and clunky-looking wire basket to the sleek, high-tech alloy rear carrier. I think about the only other modification I might make to the bike would be pedals with toe-clips, like on my old Schwinn Voyager. I didn't even have a car then, the Voyager was my sole means of transportation, in the early 80's. I loved that bike.
    So far the longest ride I've made on the C40 was down to Zilker Park for the kite festival in March. Long haul for an old man, lol. Sore and chafed, but it was worth it.
    I've probably lost close to 20 lbs since I started riding a bicylce again, and that was without even trying. 99% of my riding is on paved streets. I don't ride the busy roads, I take the longer way around, through quiet neighborhoods. Hey, if I was in a hurry, I wouldn't be riding a bicycle in the first place. Sometimes it is convenient for me to take a short-cut across a drainage easement that cuts through Shoal Creek. The C40 takes this uneven ground with aplomb...I'm sure the bike is capable of much more than I will ever put it through.
    So...that's how I ride my bike.

  21. #46
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    My riding is purely recreational. I own a Trek hybrid bike. I use to ride to work on Saturday's, but since I workout at the local gym at least 4 days/week, I figured it might be a good idea to rest on Saturday's. My riding is mainly confined to a paved rail trail on Wednesday mornings riding about 1 hour 15 minutes. I ride loops from one end to the other and back, about 4.5 miles total/loop. I try to knock out 4 loops during that time period and it's off to work. Basically flat terrain, but a good cardio workout since there is very little coasting involved. Sunday mornings, I head out across the river from my hometown and ride the country roads for upwards of 3 hours or more. I try to get out early around 8AM in order to beat the heat especially during the summer months. Traffic isn't too much of an issue because it's Sunday. I feel much more confortable riding when it's quiet as opposed to heavy traffic conditions. I usually try to ride right on the line or close to it. I probably should have some sort of mirror though either on the helmut or attached to the handlebars. I don't always hear the traffic coming upon me especially if I'm moving at a good clip and the wind is whistling in my ear. I'd rather be safe than sorry, so I take extra care approaching intersections, traffic lights, coming upon people backing out of driveways etc. I figure it's better to be on the side of caution than be a statistic. Besides, god forbid I ever did get in an accident, my wife would probably put an end to my road riding. I think she would much prefer me riding on the off road courses and rail trails.

  22. #47
    Two Tired Traveler
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    I commute in and around downtown LA. I use the bike lanes and paths when I can, and the rest of the time I just ride way out in the middle of the right-hand lane. When the motorists honk, I know they can see me, so I pull over to let them pass when it's convenient.

    (I have to admit I get a self-righteous thrill when the occasional aggressive/rude/egotistical driver leans on the horn and makes a jackass out of himself.)

    Even the busiest parts of LA have quiet residential streets with little or no traffic. It's worth a few minutes of detour to keep my life and limbs a few years longer.
    Ride out and meet whatever limits you.

    http://www.bicyclefreedom.com/

  23. #48
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Where I ride

    Penticton is a great city for a car free person. It has all the basic amenities (with the requisite 'big box' stores and chain restaurants, but yet still catering to the eclectic, and downright strange). We have musicians on busy street-corners, and dread-locked fruit-pickers thumbing for rides.

    And I can get from one end of town to the other in 15 mins (10 if the wind is favorable).

  24. #49
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    I race and train on the road. I mountain bike for fun and I commute whenever I can.

    My commute: My ride to work is about 4 miles. It actually takes me about 4 minutes less time to bike it than it does to drive it. My town is about 22,000 people so its not metropolis by any means but it has its challenges. The only bike lane in town is nothing more than a no parking zone with a white stripe on the road that extends for about 4 or 5 blocks in a very low bicycle travel area. It is there because it is part of the Katy Trail that bypasses some active railroad tracks to reconnect with the regular trail just on the edge of town. The most direct route to work has a shoulder along the 4 lane road with a turn lane but the drain grates would swallow most mountain bike tires so its not ridable. Traffic is too busy and the speed limit is 40 mph. The general public is not particularly bike friendly they just don't really want to kill anyone. So they usually give you room but it is not because they know the law or even care too. I cut across a parking lot or two and use the Katy Trail bridge to cross Hwy 50 so I don't have to wait at the light 2 blocks up. Its pretty good really. I don't get too much trouble and I've even met a few people I otherwise wouldn't have. All in all not too bad.

    Training: My training rides usually consist of 2+ hour 30mile and up rides on the various letter highways around the area. My town used to be and still is somewhat of a hub for farming and the railroad so there are unlimited loops you can ride. I usually leave town on one 2 lane highway and connect to another going perpendicular and then catch another highway back to town. You can make these loops as short as 15 miles or as long as you could ever ride in a day. Most of these highways have no shoulder. There are absolutely no bicycle signs of any kind. I've had a few close calls with younger drivers mostly trying to go by me the same time they are meeting a car coming the other way. I've gotten a few honks from time to time. Some times drivers even hong just to let me know they are there. My friend Matt has had one instance of a guy swerving all over the road that threw a beer at him out the window while running him off the road but it was an isolated insolent. The roads are in fair to good condition I wouldn't rate any of them as poor. except for a select few spots.

    Mountain biking: Good old Mid-West single track. Radiant Trail at the Bothwell State Park Sedalia. Cave Hollow in Warransburg MO. Opossum Hollow Knob Noster State Park. Chubb Trail St. Louis. just to name a few.

  25. #50
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Well since moving in to Clinton Ohio most of where i end up riding is on the Ohio Erie towpath trail. Esp good for me as the bike shop where i now work is right off the towpath. Great place to ride regardless of road or trail really. I can safely hit 17ish mph but generally don't as i enjoy the ride and seeing every thing from silly little chipmunks to coyote and deer. On the roads here if i want i can get any sort of terrain i want from pretty much pancake flat to a few grade 18 hills.

    I as a general rule do not play the numbers game very much. I track my averages more than my max etc speed and cadence (when im on a more training type ride). Generally i ride to enjoy seeing the sites most tend to miss.

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