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  1. #1
    aka Erica the Hon
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    Ride observations & questions....

    So I'm following advice and riding as much as possible, which really means every 2nd day during the week and both days on the weekend.

    I've noticed a few things along the way.

    1st) Sidewalks make you work ALOT harder than pavement does. Yeesh, that'll encourage me to increase my precentage of time on pavement.
    2nd) I have a knack for picking the days with a solid headwind. Yay me
    3rd) My seatpost seems to be slipping along the ride. I've tightened it up today but that quick release mechanism doesn't seem to be working in my favor.
    4th) I'm getting some wobble in the bike when I'm cruising along at a decent clip on pavement(usually on the downhill ) I'm not making any big moves and its happening when pedaling or coasting. Is there anything I should be adjusting/checking/changing? Tire pressure is solid. I'm running 1.95" wide semi-slicks on 26 rims. Suggestions?


    Tomorrow should be fun, I'm bringing the bike to work for lunch time riding.
    Erica

  2. #2
    BTV 75 Seahorse Elwoodab's Avatar
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    I would get your wheels and spokes looked at by a bike shop. You shouldn't be getting any wobble. Sounds like your on the right track though, keep riding, but get the bike looked at by someone who knows about em.

  3. #3
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Replace the Quick Release with an Allen or Hex bolt. Add a wee amount of Grease, just enough to barely coat the surface of the seatpost, as it will keep the post from binding and believe it or not, prevent slippage (Counterintuitive, I know ).

    Also have your wheels trued and tensioned properly.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  4. #4
    atop a blazing saddle idig's Avatar
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    Depending on the model, your quick release may take a hex wrench on the non-lever side, allowing you to tighten the clamp beyond what you can do with the lever. Of course if the threads are worn from constant adjustments, it's time for a new clamp.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    So I'm following advice and riding as much as possible, which really means every 2nd day during the week and both days on the weekend.

    I've noticed a few things along the way.

    1st) Sidewalks make you work ALOT harder than pavement does. Yeesh, that'll encourage me to increase my precentage of time on pavement.
    2nd) I have a knack for picking the days with a solid headwind. Yay me
    3rd) My seatpost seems to be slipping along the ride. I've tightened it up today but that quick release mechanism doesn't seem to be working in my favor.
    4th) I'm getting some wobble in the bike when I'm cruising along at a decent clip on pavement(usually on the downhill ) I'm not making any big moves and its happening when pedaling or coasting. Is there anything I should be adjusting/checking/changing? Tire pressure is solid. I'm running 1.95" wide semi-slicks on 26 rims. Suggestions?


    Tomorrow should be fun, I'm bringing the bike to work for lunch time riding.
    Erica
    Okay, lets deal with these 1 and a time:

    1) STAY OFF THE SIDEWALK, sidewalks are for walking, they are actually much more dangerous then the road, sight lines are often no where near as good, and drivers are not expecting anything coming on the sidewalk at more then about 5MPH or 8km/h, which is easily exceeded on a bicycle. While on the road, stay about 1m (or 1yd) from the edge of the road and get a mirror (either bar, helmet or glasses mounted). Also if passing a parked car, not closer then 1m from the side of the car, this keeps you reasonably out of the door zone, so that you can easily get around a suddenly open car door. If passing a row of parked cars, hold your position until past all of them, don't weave in and out. If there is too much traffic, then wait behind the parked car until clear.

    2) Head winds are actually good for you, they are like climbing hills, they make you stronger.

    3) Get an Allen head seat post binder bolt, and throw away that quick release, the only thing a seat post quick release is good for, is the bloke who wants to steal your saddle, can pop the quick release and take the saddle and post. Pull out the seat post, wipe off all of the grease and crap that is on there, wipe around the inside of the seat tube as well, now apply a very thin layer of grease, to the post where it fits inside the tube, take the proper size key, and crank that sucker down as hard as you can.

    4) Check your front wheel, the cone could be loose in the hub, or the wheel could be out of true, or the headset could be a little loose, all of these can cause a wobble. A good mechanic can check all three in under a minute.

  6. #6
    aka Erica the Hon
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    Point taken re: sidewalks.
    I'm only using them where I can't avoid super busy streets. (my condo bldg is at a MAJOR intersection in Toronto) That said, I'm also being EXTREMELY careful with intersections and slowing to walking speed, if not dismount and walk across, so that I can triple check what's going on. Its only the first 2 weeks of this, I don't want a serious bobble at start or stop to be my last.

    Got the mirror already. That's taken care of

    Going to pick up the allen seat bolt, good suggestion there.

    Also going to check from the front wheel all the way up. There may be some loosening already from the preliminary rides. I had to tighten the brake cables yesterday since they'd stretched a bit. If I don't see anything, I'll haul it into a bike shop to have them look at it.

  7. #7
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    My theory on sidewalks: There ARE some places where they're the best place to ride- specifically, where there are no cross-streets or driveways and where traffic is heavy on the road. Even where there are occasional cross-streets or driveways, you can use them, just be extra wary of cars at those places as if you were crossing a street. In general, though, to be avoided.

    On the Wobble. I've noticed this on my bike, but only when the rear tire was low. I think what it is, is that pedaling action involves moving large weighty things (legs) around, and when the tire is not stiff enough, the back end of the bike can swing side-to-side from that action. I've never noticed it when the tire had proper inflation. I'm riding 26x2.125, and the tire probably had 20 psi or less when I observed that. I normally use 45 psi. It wobbled when I pedaled, and didn't wobble when I coasted.

    Different tires may vary some- I assume thinner sidewalls would hurt. Also, I noticed they had some Armadillo tires that had maximum pressure of like 80 psi instead of 55, and that might help.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I just posted a little photo essay on the local sidewalks:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...90#post6763690
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    Point taken re: sidewalks.
    I'm only using them where I can't avoid super busy streets. (my condo bldg is at a MAJOR intersection in Toronto) That said, I'm also being EXTREMELY careful with intersections and slowing to walking speed, if not dismount and walk across, so that I can triple check what's going on. Its only the first 2 weeks of this, I don't want a serious bobble at start or stop to be my last.

    Got the mirror already. That's taken care of

    Going to pick up the allen seat bolt, good suggestion there.

    Also going to check from the front wheel all the way up. There may be some loosening already from the preliminary rides. I had to tighten the brake cables yesterday since they'd stretched a bit. If I don't see anything, I'll haul it into a bike shop to have them look at it.
    I find that downtown (I am also in Toronto), it's actually easier and faster to bike, then to drive, even on heavy traffic streets like Spadina. Drivers in the inner suburbs like North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke are clueless when it comes to bikes, and sometimes you need to tell them what to do...... When your at the bike shop, ask them if they have copies of the Toronto Cyclng Map, or click the link to get an online copy, this will show you all the suggested routes, bike routes and bike lanes in the city, some of the suggested routes though show that the city planner who drew them up had never been on a bicycle, like Bike Route 35 which North bound climbs the hill on Poplar Plains Rd, it's long and it's steep, but I had occasion to go that way recently and it wasn't steep or as long as I remembered from the previous time.

    It's also illegal to ride on the sidewalk, if your bicycle has a wheel larger then 20" (or is it 16", I forget, this may also be different in different parts of the city, 10 years after the merger it's still 5 separate tin-pot dictatorships). While this, like the flashing red tail light law is rarely enforced, I often think it should be. Then again, I also think that all bike lanes should be immediate tow-away zones, after all it IS a live traffic lane. If they implemented immediate tag and tow in some of the areas where people tend to park in bike lanes, it would make roads a lot safer for cyclists. Then again, city policy should be that when they do major work on a road, sidewalks on both sides and, bike lanes should be the normal policy. Bicycles are the only mode of transportation that is fully sustainable, long term. Although if car drivers behaved themselves properly and according to the law, we wouldn't need bike lanes.

    One thing to remember:

    Side walks are for walking,
    roads are for riding (bikes in the right half of the lane, motorcycles in the left half of the lane)
    junkyards are for cars....

  10. #10
    aka Erica the Hon
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    Ahh a fellow Torontonian.

    I'm in the near vicinity of Kipling and Dixon, which should tell you why I am being EXTREMELY cautious. Someone in the last year tried to skip the intersection by driving from parking lot to parking lot, clipped the gaspumps and crashed into the gas station.

    Between the bizarre driving and the kids shooting fireworks at each other and into traffic, I have plenty of practice keeping my eyes open whether on foot, on bike or in car.

    On the upside, I've almost got my distance up to the Eglinton bike path. Thanks for the Toronto Cycling Map tip. I'll be checking this out. I'm really looking forward to getting my fitness up enough to bike into Toronto downtown from home. I envy the cyclist's freedom from the gridlock. You are right about the sustainability, the current car situation isn't sustainable by any means.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    Ahh a fellow Torontonian.

    I'm in the near vicinity of Kipling and Dixon, which should tell you why I am being EXTREMELY cautious. Someone in the last year tried to skip the intersection by driving from parking lot to parking lot, clipped the gaspumps and crashed into the gas station.

    Between the bizarre driving and the kids shooting fireworks at each other and into traffic, I have plenty of practice keeping my eyes open whether on foot, on bike or in car.

    On the upside, I've almost got my distance up to the Eglinton bike path. Thanks for the Toronto Cycling Map tip. I'll be checking this out. I'm really looking forward to getting my fitness up enough to bike into Toronto downtown from home. I envy the cyclist's freedom from the gridlock. You are right about the sustainability, the current car situation isn't sustainable by any means.
    Yeah, I can see your not in the best Cycling area, it's an area that was built up during the reign of the car, so everything is car oriented, and there isn't much the city can do right now, other then add bike lanes everywhere, and looking at the bikeway plan, that corner still isn't covered well. I suppose the best solution is to go to the city bike plan, view the bikeway network to find a location that either is currently serviced or shortly will be, then MOVE. If you move to a location that is covered, then great, if it's one that isn't then call your local council member, and bug them on a regular basis, until that service is installed.

    The city really needs to get more bike oriented. I live near Bathurst and Sheppard, and nearly everywhere around here, they are building huge condos, between Dufferin and Bathurst there are 2 large condo developments happening right now, and the question is always, what about all the extra cars, the TTC only has a bus along here, and they can't really widen Sheppard to add a street car line, although that is the medium term plan. I figure that once those Condos are occupied, the street will be in permanent automotive gridlock between Yonge and Dufferin (subway stations).

  12. #12
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    rear view mirrors rarely help and often distract. If you can't look behind while riding you just need more practice (unless on a bent). I may just be jealous, i was never allowed to ride with a mirror because a family member died due to a bike rear view mirror, so my dad never let me have one growing up. it was a handle bar mounted one that hit her in the throat. clearly a one in a million, but i think i would find them annoying anyhow.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heckler View Post
    rear view mirrors rarely help and often distract. If you can't look behind while riding you just need more practice (unless on a bent). I may just be jealous, i was never allowed to ride with a mirror because a family member died due to a bike rear view mirror, so my dad never let me have one growing up. it was a handle bar mounted one that hit her in the throat. clearly a one in a million, but i think i would find them annoying anyhow.
    Here is a question, when looking over your shoulder, what do you NOT see?

    Think about that for a moment before reading on....

    dum de dum, la de la,

    okay your back, lets continue....



    The answer is simple, you don't see where you are going, when your looking over your shoulder you don't see that car door open into your path, you don't see that wheel eating pot hole, you don't see the little old lady with her walker who trotted out without looking, you don't see the tree branch fall into your path. At 15MPH, how many feet do you cover in 1 second? The answer is 22 feet, so in the 5 or 10 seconds your swinging your neck around you cover between 110 and 220 feet, there can be a lot of hazards in 220 feet. Your actually in more danger from looking around, then from a mirror.

    A mirror that doesn't help, isn't set right, the mirror should be set so that in it you see the whole width of the road, like mirrors in cars, you need to check the mirror on a regular but periodic basis. This is actually an easy habit to get into, the only thing you might miss is something narrow that is right behind you, but if it's more then about 10' back, you will see it.
    Helmet or glasses mounted mirrors are probably the most flexible, in that a slight turn of your head will show what is directly behind you, while still allowing you to see ahead in your peripheral vision.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    I have a knack for picking the days with a solid headwind. Yay me
    Seems there's always a headwind, I used to hate the wind. If it was too windy I would not ride. When riding into the wind I would struggle and become angry. Then I made peace with the wind. Now I ride more often...

  15. #15
    aka Erica the Hon
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    [quote=Wogsterca;6770874]Yeah, I can see your not in the best Cycling area, it's an area that was built up during the reign of the car, so everything is car oriented, and there isn't much the city can do right now, other then add bike lanes everywhere, and looking at the bikeway plan, that corner still isn't covered well. I suppose the best solution is to go to the city bike plan, view the bikeway network to find a location that either is currently serviced or shortly will be, then MOVE. If you move to a location that is covered, then great, if it's one that isn't then call your local council member, and bug them on a regular basis, until that service is installed. <snip>QUOTE]


    We just bought our condo 6 months ago. I don't see moving as a solution. Neither is the city councillor, We have Rob Ford of the following quote "I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day"

    Sooo .... I'm going to be keeping my eyes open and attacking the streets with determination.

  16. #16
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    As fuel prices go up, more bicycles will be making their appearances. Make it hot enough for him and he'll reassess his position. Politicians are funny that way.

    [QUOTE=esaunders;6773110]
    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Yeah, I can see your not in the best Cycling area, it's an area that was built up during the reign of the car, so everything is car oriented, and there isn't much the city can do right now, other then add bike lanes everywhere, and looking at the bikeway plan, that corner still isn't covered well. I suppose the best solution is to go to the city bike plan, view the bikeway network to find a location that either is currently serviced or shortly will be, then MOVE. If you move to a location that is covered, then great, if it's one that isn't then call your local council member, and bug them on a regular basis, until that service is installed. <snip>QUOTE]


    We just bought our condo 6 months ago. I don't see moving as a solution. Neither is the city councillor, We have Rob Ford of the following quote "I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day"

    Sooo .... I'm going to be keeping my eyes open and attacking the streets with determination.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

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