Introductions - I used to ride a bike all the time...
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05-19-07, 03:47 PM
...when I was about 12. :)
So now I'm 40 and I have a nine-year-old daughter. We live within a mile or so of a couple of grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping. I'd like to get us both on bikes for a couple of reasons: I'm not getting any skinnier driving my Accord around, and gas isn't getting any cheaper! And you know, for taking care of the environment--I recycle and keep the thermostat up, I try to do my part, but none of that is FUN. But riding a bike? Much more interesting!
We're in Phoenix, so for the next several months I'm sure the riding will be pretty limited due to the heat, but there's no time like the present. Ideally, this fall I'd like to be able to start commuting to work, about five miles one-way, a few days a week.
It looks like there's a lot of great information here! Glad to have stumbled onto your site.
05-19-07, 04:11 PM
Hello Margie, I know I would be dying of the heat in Phoenix in the summer, but there are tougher souls than I who cope year round (of course, not necessarily with a nine year old). You might want to check in with the Southwest regional forum and see how the locals manage.
Welcome to BF!
05-19-07, 08:33 PM
Hey Margie; welcome to BF. My sister lives in Tucson and there's a great deal of good cycling there, especially near the river and the foothills of the Catalinas. The heat can actually be tolerable as long as you do your cycling in short intervals with constant hydration. Grab a couple of Polar Bottles, fill with ice and water (my preference) or use an ice-filled Camelback.
Welcome we always could use a few more riders. Don't be shy and let us know how it is going.
Here is some of my tips.
0 hydrate well before you ride and rehydrate during.
1 Get a bicycle rack or use the bus rack to motor you around.
2 Phoenix Pool summer memebership is around 20 bucks.
3 Parks use any street map to locate parks. Most parks will have shade and will have water if you scope it out since some drinking fountains don't work.
4 Plan for a slower ride.
5 I myself will use shopping (AC) to cool me down on my routes even if I don't buy anything.
6. Ride in the dark time (only a 100 degrees then) .
Get a bicycle map you can get a free one mailed to you.
Here is a map of water stations and places to camp in the day with water.
05-21-07, 01:32 AM
+1 for wheel's advice.
I also recommend some cycling shorts. They give much more air to your legs and you won't get an embarassing saddle-sweat stain on your butt.
Start riding in the mornings and evenings so you can acclimate slowly. Expect to be absolutely drained that night. It'll pass soon enough and you'll be able to handle hotter and hotter weather. Last summer, I was regularly pushing it to work (only about 8mi) in 110-115º weather. It just takes some time to get adjusted to it.
Drink water, too. You know this, though, as you're from AZ.
EDIT: a sarong or similar wrap is perfect for covering bike shorts in public! Ask your local female cyclist for more info.
05-21-07, 07:29 AM
...a sarong or similar wrap is perfect for covering bike shorts in public! Ask your local female cyclist for more info.
I always wear an elasticised waist pull-on skirt over my bike shorts when it's warm out. It's not necessary when actually riding, but it's not nearly as conspicuous when off the bike :D .
05-21-07, 05:06 PM
Thank you for the warm welcome and the great tips!
I will get that map. I guess they don't include anything on the legend for "has big shady trees," huh? :)
I've only been in Phoenix for a year and a half, and last year I stayed inside most of the summer, so I do have a lot to learn about dealing with the heat.
Bike shorts + sarong/skirt... priceless! This is exactly the kind of thing I need to know. I appreciate you!
05-21-07, 08:16 PM
The satellite view on this route planning page will show here the shady trees are and the shortcuts through school yards etc. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ What does your daughter think about using bikes for transportation? My daughter did a 20 mile bike-a-thon with me when she was 4 yrs old and rode the 70 km Tour de l"ile of montreal from the age of 15 to 19. Now I am trying to get her daughter interested in cycling but she prefers to do it in the trailer behind her mother.
05-21-07, 09:11 PM
Here (http://www.teamestrogen.com/categories.asp?catID=110) is a fine place for skirts/wraps meant for bike riding. Not that you have to buy bike-specific clothes, but I bet they wouldn't wrinkle/show dripping sweat as much.
05-22-07, 01:40 PM
Have lived/cycled in Tucson for 29 years. Summer is a state of mind!
Ride early (at daybreak), wear light colored t-shirts/jerseys, cycling cap/shorts/gloves and sunglasses.
Also a bandana can come in handy. If it gets a bit too 'warm' (never say 'hot', that's self-defeating! ) you can put cycling cap/bandana under a spigot and wear them wet. Sure, they'll be dry in half hour or less, but sure feels c-o-o-o-o-l (just like a swampbox) for awhile.
While shade can be hard to find out of town (no Circle-Ks to duck into) stand in the shade of a telephone pole or even a saguaro for a couple minutes if needed!
Warmest I've commuted in by bicycle: 117 degrees. Fun? Not really, but do-able.
Have you considered buying a used tandem so you and daughter can pedal TWOgether?
While we are neither 12 or even 40 (we're 74/72)we get in 100+ miles a week.
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
05-22-07, 01:54 PM
...Summer is a state of mind! ... While we are neither 12 or even 40 (we're 74/72)we get in 100+ miles a week.
Rudy and Kay/zonatandemGreat advice here, thank you!
And whoo, am I feeling inspired! My mom was a wonderful woman but her body really let her down after she was about 50....her #1 hobby was cooking, you know? She died when she was 83, but by then she'd been hurting and uncomfortable for thirty years, partly from the extra weight she was carrying around. :(
I hadn't really thought about a tandem... If she doesn't seem to be picking up the bike more, or isn't having fun, after I get my skills up a little more maybe I'll look into it.
05-22-07, 01:59 PM
It's folks like Rudy and Kay [zonatandem] who keep me going sometimes! I want to be fit when I get older so that I can enjoy life, not spend the later half of my life being miserable. Life is too short to be miserable, no sense in letting life slip by unnecessarily, you know?
05-22-07, 08:24 PM
I'm quite a bit further north than you along the Washington/Idaho border. My kids and I bike to school every day; they're 5 and 8. We started out with tag alongs, and now they've both graduated to their own bikes--and no training wheels. Our earliest lessons have been learning the rules of the road. We communicate constantly when we're peddaling. We also plan our routes in advance and talk about the reasons for the routes we choose (more sidewalks, more controlled intersections, less traffic, etc.). The kids love it! I love it too. And the more we leave the minivan in the garage, rain or shine, the happier we all are! Happy biking!
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