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Old 08-05-17, 11:01 PM   #26
rachel120
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August 5th - Well I guess the space aliens decided to set the road contours back the way they were. Today felt normal. But "normal" means I felt like I was dying when I first started out but at some point the brain started churning out those natural opiates and it didn't seem so bad.

I had a weird encounter today. There's a little sidewalk in my apartment complex that I walk my bike along to cut through two parking lots. I actually dismount and push it, literally walking it between the parking lots. Today there were three late teens? young men? on the sidewalk, and one of them had a bike. Not a serious bicyclist, this is one of those teeny bikes that people ride on sidewalks. I smiled and said "Pardon me, sorry" as I went by them, even took my bike off the side onto the grass to pass. As I got farther and farther away one of the boys was getting louder and louder about saying something, to the point of literally shouting when I was almost at the other parking lot. I couldn't make out what he was saying, I have a bit of a hearing problem, but it was clear that he was wanting me to "overhear" what he was saying to his friends. I don't know if they are just weirdos that think they own the sidewalk, or if they are one of the cars that always honk at me and wanted me to know how annoying I am, or something else, but it was strange. If they are frustrated motorists, then I'm glad I keep my bike indoors so no one can identify where I live from where it's parked.

Road construction paved another lane of the cross road, so I no longer have that 2 inch jump. Yay! I was always afraid I'd bounce wrong when I hit it and would lose control of the bike and fall. Or pop a tire, because the max load printed on the tires is lower than the max load listed for the bike. And yeah, when you add frame weight, my more-to-love weight and all the stuff stashed in my backpack my tires probably don't love me. I know that technically I should have stood on the pedals for that jump, but I wasn't sure that I would have the needed control to stay balanced when hitting that jump while standing. Baby steps here, I'm lucky I can stay upright at this point.

The managers forgot that I change clothes in the bathroom after work and I caught one by surprise coming out of the bathroom, I think I about gave him a heart attack since he forgot and wasn't expecting someone. When he was buzzing me out I made a comment about how I was going to go play in traffic again. He mentioned he was worried about me being on the actual road well after dark, and I know he's not the only one. Kinda sweet that they care enough to worry. I was tired though, which worried me a bit. I always feel that after dark I need super high alertness and attentiveness to what's going on around me, higher than during the day, so being even a little tired makes me worry that I won't have the level of alertness and attentiveness that I need.

Last night was the first night I rode home after dark following the disaster with the rack. When I got home, my rear light was off. I remember having turned it on, but I thought that maybe I hadn't hit the button hard enough to actually turn it on. I do have a light on the back of my helmet so it being off was worrisome but not stupid dangerous, but it was weird since that button will turn on if you breathe on it hard enough. Tonight I made sure that I visually confirmed it was on before leaving. When I got to the path, I checked the light and it was off. Huh? Turned it on, it came on. Well, time to troubleshoot. The back and front lights are a set, and I have both lights on or off at the same time. I keep the back light flashing and the front light steady on, so in theory if it's a battery problem, the front light should have problems first. The batteries for both lights came out of the same unopened package, so it's not an older set in the rear light. Batteries all but ruled out, continued on troubleshooting. When I put the light back on, I reversed it. No biggie since it wraps around the seat post (or it should, but I'm so dang short there's not enough seat post to do so, so it's partially on the seat post, partially on the frame opening for the seat post). But the wire for the back brakes runs really close to the button now. Maybe when I'm hitting the brakes the wire is brushing the button? The button is so sensitive brushing it would trigger it. I tried the brakes a couple of times, didn't do anything, but I also wasn't on the bike and in motion. So I took the light off and turned it the other way and fought the light until I could get it refastened. Doesn't sound hard, but since it's not placed fully on the seat post the rubber has to stretch a lot farther than intended to fasten it securely. Went on my way and checked the light again before merging back into traffic and success! It was still on.

While I was traveling on the path I found I wasn't alone for once. First I saw some pale patches and I was wondering what the heck my light was catching. Is there a person standing on the side of the path? Got closer and I realized that I was seeing a deer that had his back to me but had turned his head to watch me. The pale patches were his tail and his ears. I was scared. I know that when it's deer vs. car, far too often the car is the loser, so I really don't want a scared deer to bolt in such a way I can't avoid hitting it on a bicycle. I'd probably end up trampled to death and I don't want my family deciding "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" is the perfect song to play at my funeral.

Farther along were a group of people, two young boys and either an older boy or a really small young man. They all had bikes and apparently there was a problem with one of them, as all bikes were lying on the path and all three kids were around one of the bikes with a flashlight. I asked if they were okay, they said they were fine but thanked me for my concern. It was not on the deserted area, it was only a few feet from the townhouses, so I felt they were in a safe place, didn't need a babysitter. I had to go off the path to safely get around them, first time I've ridden my bike on the grass, and I am proud to say that going off the path, riding along in the grass and getting back on the path, all of this on a hill, and my control of the bike didn't waver in the slightest. Maybe I should take advantage of having a mountain bike and find a place where I can go off-roading.

I've fallen enough the same exact way that when I decide to stop, I slow down but the last little bit is a sudden stop. Once my balance is affected I need firm footing and my left foot dragging just a tad is always what has triggered falling. I'm not talking something major, but probably roughly 3mph to zero immediately. I always worry about traffic behind me though. Plus tonight someone was behind me the last little bit of where one lane is closed and while I scooted over to the right as far as I could once in the parking lot, we ended up in a little dance where I was slowing down so he could go around and he was trying to pace me so he wouldn't hit me when he made a right turn I suspected he was going to make. I would love to have a lighting system in place where when I squeeze the brakes some auxiliary lighting behind me turns on, like a car's brake lights. I'm going to ask in the General forum if anything like that is commercially available, or if I'm going to have to think about jury-rigging something.

And, home, the rear light was still on. It must have been that brake wire brushing the button.
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Old 08-06-17, 01:48 AM   #27
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I posted something on the Commuting forum encouraging them to read your blog.
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Old 08-06-17, 03:22 AM   #28
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Rachel, this is a great write-up of what it can take to get back into cycling again. Thank you for the time spent on describing your experiences.
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Old 08-06-17, 06:23 PM   #29
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Rachel, your determination and fortitude are inspiring. You seem to have thought most things out very well with regards to safety and logistics. I understand and honor your wish to not divulge your location (which I don;t know anyway), but I am curious about what bike you are riding. As far as your gear indicators, what gear would you ride in if you had no indicators and couldn't see the gears? After a while you will get the feel for what gear you want, and recognize the gears by feel so that the indicators are not necessary. In fact, my old road bike has friction shifters on the down tube with no indicators. And on my 2-year old bike, the indicators are mostly unreadable from scuffs from them resting on pavement when I filp the bike over to fix flats, change tires and adjust brakes.

Good luck and continue to ask questions. It will take a quite a few weeks for your body to adjust to riding, but after it does, you should feel better than you've felt in years.

Be smart, be safe and go, Go, GO!
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Old 08-06-17, 09:49 PM   #30
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You all are making me blush. Thanks for all the encouragement.

So I highly recommend LG phones. Highly, highly, highly.

Anyway, on to the evening's entertainment.

August 6th - Started out same as any other day. Got on the street, caught a red light at the first light. I was busy guzzling water and the light changed faster than usual so I was cramming my water bottle back into its holder really quick. I'm not quite at the point where I can drink while in motion, though having a bottle that holds an entire quart is probably not the easiest of water bottles to juggle while in motion. I'm kinda glad that I chose not to get the 40 ounce water bottle, I have enough problems fitting this one on the bike.

Another strange encounter today. I was admittedly taking my sweet time today, not bothering to push beyond 11-12mph, simply because my best is 14-15mph and there's not much difference between the two. I left in plenty of time, I didn't need to rush, I felt really chilled in my mind. Someone with a bicycle, I think the guy I saw riding against the flow of traffic one time, was crossing the road soon after the light. He wasn't on the bike, he was pushing it. He was paused in the concrete median, he waved, I waved and then as soon as the cars cleared he started pushing the bike across. Woah, even at my slow speed I had more momentum than he had walking speed and I actually did have to veer to the left a bit to keep from hitting him. Once he was on the sidewalk he started saying something really loud and pointing in the direction I was going. No shoulder, 4 inch curb right next to the white line, no nearby side streets to pull in, stopping at that point would have been crazy stupid. So I have no idea what he was trying to tell me. And no, there wasn't a cop farther down, which was my first thought.

Somewhere else in the forum today someone had a thread about some kind of tax law that offers $20 a month to bicycle commuters. Someone responding to that thread mentioned that it had been talked about before, suggested using the search function for old topics, but I'm glad it was reposted because I never in a million years would have thought such a thing exists. I asked about it at work, they told me to call corporate, but it sounds like there's a chance I could get that. The woman at work I spoke with said that someone else had tried to get it but the rules were really tough, which sounds like my work participates. Goodness knows I've got a million witnesses there to attest that I rode my bike every day I was scheduled last month, minus three days that I caught rides.

There must have been a ghost car at work today. There is actually a stoplight at the entrance to work, but as expected the road stays green except when a car triggers the sensor. So I'm pedaling up to the light, figuring that I'd have to stop as usual before turning right, when the light changed. There were no cars, and I was so far back it wasn't me tripping the sensor. I hit it just as it turned yellow, though I was well in the road before the cars behind me got the green light.

Now for why I highly recommend LG phones. I have a cell phone holder, pretty nice in my opinion. There's the holder clamped to the bike, a plate that releases from the holder when I push a button, and the cell phone holder part that clips to the plate. That last connection is the typical three prongs that you push down to secure but can come apart. I guess I hadn't pushed the three prongs as tightly as I should have and I hit one bump too many tonight. My cell phone flew off my bike, hit the asphalt, the holder and phone separated (probably landed on the button that opens the clamps gripping the cell phone) and my phone bounced again and landed on its face and slid several feet. I stopped, picked it up knowing the screen had to be shattered...and it was fine. Perfectly fine. Now that I'm home I can see a few faint scratches but the bulk of the damage is the plastic at the top of the phone, that's pitted and gouged. I can't explain it. How can a phone fall onto asphalt at roughly 10-11mph, bounce a couple of times and slide 4 or so feet screen down and not have a crack???

I think I saw the deer again, but if so he was several feet back and my light didn't reflect off him. But there was a strange shape on the side of the road. Could have been a fallen stump though, if the stump started off five feet high.

I was tired tonight near the end of the ride and I made the stupid mistake of thinking like I was in a car. Light turned yellow and I thought to myself "Well if you are in the intersection before it turns red, you legally aren't running a red light" and I kept going. And in my tired mind I didn't think about speed or lack thereof and it turned red when I was literally at the yellow line dividing the direction of travel on the cross road. Those cars were probably not very happy with me. Oops! Lesson learned. Stop for all yellows.

(And as far as not legally running a red light, I witnessed an accident once in my rearview mirror after I ran the red light by just a couple of seconds. I stopped and gave my name as a witness, and when the police called, I told them it turned red just as I entered and said I expected to get a ticket from my statement. The cop told me that no, as long as I'm in the intersection when it turns red, it's not legally considered running a red light so legally I was in the clear.)

And one correction, I checked Waze today when I was doing my last second sudden stops. I'm actually coming to a dead stop at roughly 6mph, give or take a mile. That might be a tad fast if there's a car behind me. I might have to rethink how I stop. But I'm scared. All my falls since getting the bike happened when I stopped and I didn't land my foot right. On the bike I'm on ballerina tip toes so to even get my toes down securely for an extended stop I have to lean. If my toes don't get purchase because I'm still rolling a little, my lean turns into a fall on my left side with the bike falling on me and I'm terrified of that happening when stopping for a traffic signal. It nearly did once. That's also why when I stop now I stay in the ballerina tip toes state a few seconds before leaning for either an extended stop or for dismounting. Well we all have our fears, I just have to work on this one I guess.

Getting home was an adventure all on its own. One of my cats used to be a darter and will still take advantage of a door left open too long, even though he's 14 now. Usually he just looks longingly at the open door when I'm wrestling with my bike, but if forced to move because he's in the bike's path, he'll go for the door. That happened tonight. He actually made it out this time because the rear wheel was in the wrong place for me to quickly shut the door, I dropped the bike and it was a grand chase around all the bushes outside. I finally caught him, he yowled in protest, we got in and I started assessing damage to the bike. I had seen it fall on the side with the mirror and I was worried that the mirror was broken. Turns out when I dropped the bike the front wheel and handlebars spun completely around, so while the bike fell on the left side the handlebars landed on the right side, preserving the mirror.

I don't know what I did that was so positive and outstanding, but karma has definitely rewarded me something big tonight. Phone fine, mirror fine.
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Old 08-07-17, 05:31 AM   #31
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Rachel, this is a great write-up of what it can take to get back into cycling again. Thank you for the time spent on describing your experiences.
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Old 08-07-17, 07:53 AM   #32
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That darn cat! lol
Better your bike falling on the left than the right side.
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Old 08-07-17, 11:29 PM   #33
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I am up way too late so I will type the day's adventures tomorrow. But I was slightly wrong about my phone. Today I was showing my phone off to someone while telling the story and I noticed that one of the faint scratches wasn't a scratch. I actually do have a cracked screen, one split going from the left to the right, but it can only be seen when held at an extreme angle. Still, considering the phone fell, bounced twice on asphalt and slid on its face several feet, only one crack that can't even be seen is beyond belief for how minimal the damage is.
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Old 08-08-17, 12:39 PM   #34
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Another sub-forum had a thread for something called Bicycle Commuter Benefit, I asked my work about it and they don't offer the benefit, darn it.

August 7th - I was riding in the rain to work. Quite an adventure.

I had bought a bright red-orange rain poncho a few weeks back, tried it out when it was sprinkling and all I did was make a circle in the parking lot to see if it affected my ability to ride, which it didn't. During the test ride I was wet from mid-thigh down but the rest of me stayed dry.

I knew it was raining off and on so I made sure I had my plastic bags for my seat and carried my bike out. There were a few drops and I was concerned about getting my phone wet so I was wrestling with getting it into a sandwich bag, which didn't work. The drops became stronger and more frequent and I grabbed a bigger bag that it would fit in and then I told myself that I don't really need the phone during the ride and I put it in my backpack. I dug my poncho out at that point, got the backpack on and the poncho on and left.

As I was riding the rain got a lot stronger. And I found out quickly that the poncho was worse than useless. It billowed out so it obscured my mirror, it made loud flapping sounds that made it hard to hear traffic and every part of me got wet. Water went into the arm flaps and under the bottom edge. Yes, my chest would have been soaked without it instead of just wet, but the rest of me was soaked. I had my work pants and shirt in my backpack but no other changes of clothes (like underwear).

I also found that I slide in the rain. Every time I tried to stop it felt like I had an ABS system on the bike. Thud-thud-thud. I was giving myself plenty of room to stop, started off braking slowly, but when I had to do the final stop for lights, thud-thud-thud. Luckily after I turned into the parking lot my sliding got so bad it felt like I wouldn't be able to stop as my ability to slow down was so impaired.

While I have seen worse, the rain was coming down really hard. To get my bike lock out I had to remove my backpack and place it on the ground. I also tried to cover my seat with my poncho while digging out my plastic bags and that didn't work out so well. I was streaming water when I got inside. Got into the bathroom and I was very, very glad that work uses heated dryers instead of paper towels. I spent about 20 minutes trying to dry the clothes that I had worn for the ride, all of them if you get my meaning. Luckily the combination of poncho and backpack had kept my work clothes dry.

And of course when I walked out of the bathroom I looked through the glass doors and what rain? The ground had standing water but nothing coming down from the sky.

After work, I dug my cycling clothes out of my backpack and found that my attempts to dry them had left them quite damp. Wiggling into wet compression leggings is not easy. I think they were a little more dry going into the backpack, but the outside of the backpack had also gotten wet. That makes me wonder if that wicked some water back into them. And when I took the bags off my seat...well I should not have bothered putting them on. The rain had been so hard while I was securing my bike that the short time the seat was uncovered was enough to turn my memory foam cover into a sponge. Starting off there was no rain and the road was almost dry but a sprinkling started near home.

I did have a momentary scare which is going to make me reevaluate personal safety. I passed a guy walking on the path towards me and I realized that if someone walking where he was even so much as stuck an arm out I was going down. I'll really have to think about things.

I did see the deer again and a friend of his, they were both moving back into the trees when I passed. And I saw a small bicycle wheel on the ground, I guess those three kids from the other day gave up on fixing the bike with the problem.

Post rain analysis, no more poncho. I'll take the soaking. I'll get those huge Zip-lock bags designed for clothing because the backpack will get soaked and I will keep not just my work clothes but a complete change of clothes. I'll take my second pair of leggings and a second tank top so I'm not squeezing into wet spandex again. Definitely a couple of pairs of dry socks, but carrying a second set of shoes would be just too much weight. I'll wrap my bike lock around something on the bike so I don't have to put my backpack on wet concrete.

Sigh, I've always said that I'm so sweet I'm made of sugar and I'll melt in the rain. I hate getting wet.
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Old 08-08-17, 02:35 PM   #35
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Sorry to hear about your rain adventure. Yeah, a poncho is just about useless and cumbersome when riding. I'm not an expert but I'd try to get a pair of good fitting rain jacket and rain pants for your commute.
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Old 08-09-17, 02:03 PM   #36
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Sorry to hear about your rain adventure. Yeah, a poncho is just about useless and cumbersome when riding. I'm not an expert but I'd try to get a pair of good fitting rain jacket and rain pants for your commute.
Yeah I need to. In the meantime I'm just going to melt in the rain.

The same police officer I met in the bicycle accessories aisle that bicycles 15 miles a day that didn't mention needing a mirror when I asked about safety equipment also was the one to say to get a poncho instead of a jacket because it would be lighter. At this point I'm thinking a) he lied about being a cop and b) he lied about riding a bicycle...ever. I'm really glad he didn't give any other bone-headed advice.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:34 AM   #37
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In my experience any waterproof clothing just causes me to sweat more. Making wet from the inside instead of the outside. You just have to decide which is more comfortable.

Nowadays I keep spare clothing at work. Change clothes when I get there. Costs me some time but it's worth it.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:24 AM   #38
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I posted something on the Commuting forum encouraging them to read your blog.
Yep, that's why I'm here
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Old 08-10-17, 03:25 PM   #39
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I have an Outdoor Research Furio. I bought it pre owned on Ebay for $120. And it can unzip like a poncho. Ride many times in the rain in it. Also try the Realm, and the Helium for hot summer rain. All of these are pricey new.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:46 PM   #40
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August 10th - So I don't know why I had such problems last week from taking two days off, because I had the last two days off and vegged in front of the TV, and today went well.

I had read something about "cadence" on one of the other forums, thought it might be similar to a steady march and figured I'd try it today. Usually I pedal as fast as I can as far as I can and then I just stop pedaling and let my momentum take me forward until I get my breath back and my legs rested just enough to start again. Rinse and repeat, super-speedy and nothing. I didn't have my phone out, still a little concerned about it flying off again, but I'm sure that steady but slower affected my speed. But the really hard areas weren't so hard today and I think I might have been a touch faster on those. Now I don't know whether to do the right thing and go as fast as I can as far as I can, or take the slow and steady pace in return for not feeling like I'm dying on the tough areas.

I almost fell again today. This time it was in work's parking lot which was majorly embarrassing. I stayed upright by hopping on my left foot and pushing on the handlebars to keep the bike upright until I was steady again. But I realized this near fall and the last near fall were different from the previous falls/near falls. My left foot wasn't the problem. The problem is the top of the seat is belly button height and it's hard to get my right leg over it and onto the ground near my left foot. I'm middle age, not a flexible little teenager anymore, and raising my leg sideways to belly button height is really, really hard. Which is why my right leg can get all tangled with the bike, pulling it hard to the side and making it really hard to stay upright. The problem is that I still have a bend to the knee when the pedal is fully down, which means that my seat is too low. So too high to get off of easily but too low for effective pedaling. How do I win?

Coming home from work I had to stop at a stoplight, which is really great as it means I can guzzle water without pulling off the road. I was first at the light, tends to happen at night because I'm the slowest thing on the road, traffic is super light and the lights tend to change after the last car in a group goes through. I look in my mirror to see how close the next guy is and there's no one behind me. But there's four cars in the other lane. Wow, I feel loved. The ironic part? The third car didn't pass me until the other side of the intersection and the fourth car didn't pass me until after I had pulled into the right turn lane in preparation for merging onto the path. Being behind me wouldn't have affected car #3 in the slightest and car #4 would have ended up better off. In general when I'm stopped for a red light, once green I can almost keep pace with traffic through the intersection. Few people in cars just lead foot it from a dead stop but it only takes me about three full pedal revolutions to get near my top speed from a dead stop if I want to throw my all into it.

I finally found out what the guy on the bike had been saying the other day. I ran into him tonight, no not literally, lol. He was pushing his bike on the sidewalk in front of my place. We chatted a bit, and it turned out he had been really concerned about my tire pressure. Since I had been stopped at a red light just before seeing him and wanted to get through the light quickly, the suspension part (fork?) on the front of my bike was still bouncing a bit when he saw me. He thought my tire pressure was way too low, causing the bouncy effect. It was sweet that he was concerned.

I'll try that slow and steady at the worst places a couple more days. If it makes the hard parts easier, that'll give me more incentive to just get out and go because I won't be worrying about those parts of the road anymore.

I haven't touched the rack in quite a few days, but I might take a couple of vice grips to it tomorrow. All I have to do is get the nuts out of the stripped sections and back onto the threaded sections, so pulling the nut and bolt in opposite directions while turning (lefty loosey) might just do the trick.
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Old 08-11-17, 02:19 AM   #41
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The problem is the top of the seat is belly button height and it's hard to get my right leg over it and onto the ground near my left foot. I'm middle age, not a flexible little teenager anymore, and raising my leg sideways to belly button height is really, really hard. Which is why my right leg can get all tangled with the bike, pulling it hard to the side and making it really hard to stay upright. The problem is that I still have a bend to the knee when the pedal is fully down, which means that my seat is too low. So too high to get off of easily but too low for effective pedaling. How do I win?
This is where a decent step-through (or, low-step) frame design can help. If low enough, it can allow folks with range-of-motion limitations to put the foot through the "low" area instead of hiking it up and over the seat. You can stand in that area while coming to stop lights, too. As you start up again, just push onto the pedal and get yourself up to the saddle at the same time. No need to hike the leg over.


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Old 08-11-17, 12:01 PM   #42
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Vent. Pure vent.

What the heck is it with manufacturers today? I'm a middle age, overweight, out of shape, wimpy woman. And I'm still healing from a torn ligament in the shoulder of my dominant arm. Yet it seems they keep making this stupid a** cheap metal on things that should be able to stand up to an average man's arm strength....but it's too weak to stand up to my arm strength.

After the conversation last night I checked my tire pressure this morning. A little low, nothing major but I decided to pump up the tires to proper PSI. I have a teeny little pump, starts out as a tube but you rotate a couple of parts to make it a functional pump. And after inflating the tires, when I rotated the foot brace back, it had bent and wouldn't fit right. Really? Really??? My arm compressions were so powerful that the upstrokes pulled the pump up far enough to bend the foot brace? And even better, I could bend it back with just my arm strength.

And this isn't the only thing. The bolts on the bike rack. The included Allen wrench when I was putting together the cat tree. Screws that ended up with stripped heads from normal tightening. Drywall anchors ripping out of the drywall. It is literally impossible for me to put too much force into things but the metals are so cheap that my wimpy body can put in too much force.

Better quality metals for little things like screws and bolts and a foot brace that measures 1"x2" can't possibly be so expensive that it's not worth it to make quality parts.
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Old 08-11-17, 01:28 PM   #43
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I have a teeny little pump, starts out as a tube but you rotate a couple of parts to make it a functional pump. And after inflating the tires, when I rotated the foot brace back, it had bent and wouldn't fit right. Really? Really??? My arm compressions were so powerful that the upstrokes pulled the pump up far enough to bend the foot brace? And even better, I could bend it back with just my arm strength.
Might be worth looking into acquiring one of these: Park Tool PFP-8 Home Mechanic Floor Pump.
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Old 08-11-17, 01:37 PM   #44
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Nice The site didn't mention size though.

I got the one I have as my backpack is heavy enough as it is and this was small and light. However if I get a bigger one for home, it's going to be electric. Pumping a tire to 50 PSI manually is for the birds...or the desperate.
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Old 08-11-17, 01:53 PM   #45
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Nice The site didn't mention size though.

I got the one I have as my backpack is heavy enough as it is and this was small and light. However if I get a bigger one for home, it's going to be electric. Pumping a tire to 50 PSI manually is for the birds...or the desperate.
Meh. I used to use an electric (12v) pump. Using it meant uncoiling the cord, plugging it in, attaching to tube stem, turning on/off several times (because the pressure gauge vibrated too much while running to read accurately), and then putting it all away.

I inherited a floor pump about the same time I closed the 12v connector in a car door, and found that it was convenient and faster than the electric one.

Using either one of my two bike-mounted pumps is slow, and a lot of work. Using the floor hand pump takes less time than just getting the electric one out and plugged in.

Just my experience, though.
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Old 08-12-17, 09:52 AM   #46
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Meh. I used to use an electric (12v) pump. Using it meant uncoiling the cord, plugging it in, attaching to tube stem, turning on/off several times (because the pressure gauge vibrated too much while running to read accurately), and then putting it all away.

I inherited a floor pump about the same time I closed the 12v connector in a car door, and found that it was convenient and faster than the electric one.

Using either one of my two bike-mounted pumps is slow, and a lot of work. Using the floor hand pump takes less time than just getting the electric one out and plugged in.

Just my experience, though.
I agree. I have an air compressor but find it much more convenient to use the floor hand pump.
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Old 08-13-17, 09:55 AM   #47
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VI'm a...wimpy woman.
I've been following your blog. You are not "wimpy".

I understand your ligament issue I have two inexpensive Walmart floor pumps. Each will pump my 100psi Airzound Airhorn from 0 to 100psi in 11 pumps. I easily fill my 90psi tires, and 65psi on the big tires is even easier.

I have that twisty toe-hold mini-pump on my main commuter. It does take a lot of pumping to inflate a tire with it.
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Old 08-13-17, 10:47 AM   #48
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August 11th - When I got to work the clouds looked a little funny so I checked the weather forecast. Weather Underground said 20% chance of rain, but it had a warning that there might be thunderstorms after 8:30pm. So I put a plastic bag on my seat. There was a very long-lasting nasty lightning storm. I left work, the rain had stopped, but my bike was just covered in water. Dried it off, removed the bag, and the seat was dry. Yay!

Even though the rain had stopped there was a lot of standing water all over the road. I was very surprised that no passing car splashed me. I had to go through several puddles and my brakes were affected again.

And riding post rain really sucks when you wear glasses, especially if you mouth breathe due to exertion. I spent the whole trip with my glasses either partially or mostly fogged up. I'm still nervous about having to wear glasses, I don't want poly-carbonate shards in my eyeballs. Someone compared it to trying to break a CD. Hate to say but I've broken plenty of those. Just grabbing and twisting is darn near impossible. But when you put your fingers on that one spot you don't need any real force to snap it in half, it just pops. So yeah, comparing the lenses to a CD just made my fear worse.

I swear I get a weird encounter every day. Near the end of the trip, where I merge back into the road right before the construction, that night there was a car really far back. I merged in, knowing the distance was safe. While I was still in the right lane he got into the dedicated turn lane, he didn't even have to slow down for me at any point. While in the turn lane (which is really long) he started pacing me, side by side. I figured he was going to roll down his window and shout at me, but he didn't, he just paced me. He only sped off and made the turn when I moved over to the left lane at the light.

August 12th - Well I proved my wimpiness, lol. Got all ready to go, carried my bike to the front door, opened it....and stared at the rain. I'd say moderate, where you will get a very good soaking just running to the car. I said forget that mess and arranged for a ride instead. An hour later when my ride arrived there was a lot of standing water and my glasses instantly fogged from the humidity but the sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky. But I didn't have the time to ride my bike to work then. Grr.

Work was tough. The day I had to fix both the chain and re-tension a wire I had flipped the bike a lot and the pain level in my shoulder went up. It's been holding pretty steady at a 4 on the pain scale (and 10 for me was severe nerve pain, severe enough I could barely breathe or talk, and no relief for three months) until last night. It pinged an 8 and had me crying by the end of the night. A night's sleep dropped it to a 6 but simply putting on a bra told me I wouldn't make it through work. I went to urgent care this morning. I looked over Google Maps, trying to figure out a good way to ride there, but there would have been no way to avoid the 8 lane highway, so I arranged a ride. Good thing, because the doctor put me in a sling. I did not expect a sling. I can't even drink from my water bottle while in motion, I need both hands to keep control of the steering. Half the time signaling a turn is pretty short because the bike gets shaky. There is no way I can ride a bike with a sling.

The sling is as needed, but today it's needed for sure. So I don't know when the next entry will be. Thank goodness I can type quickly with one hand and thank goodness adjusting to a left-handed mouse configuration takes less than an hour.
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Old 08-13-17, 11:28 AM   #49
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So sorry to hear about your pains,Rachel! Hang in there. I'm sure the rest for your shoulder will help a lot.
Wimpy? Doubtful. The stuff you do with your bike and all is pretty impressive for a rookie.
Take care and looking forward to more of your adventures in the near future.
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Old 08-13-17, 08:31 PM   #50
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Well, it's official. I'm taking time off. Today is the first day in 6 months that my shoulder hasn't hurt. The only time it hurt tonight was when the sling slipped to where my arm angled a bit downward and that caused my shoulder to support a little bit of weight. Could I go without it? Sure. But the first pain-free day in six months...that is far too much temptation for me to turn away.

At least you all will have a good laugh when I get back on and find I lost my conditioning and start posting "I'm dying" again.
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