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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-21-11, 07:52 PM   #1
chefisaac
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Going to Start Riding to Work....

Thinking of starting to ride to work a few days a week depending on if I can find a safe route there. Its about 20 miles round trip and thought it would help me get used to a little distance and such.

Right now, I have a nice road bike that I would rather not commute with (will be for weekend riding and such). Thinking of getting a mountain bike with city slick tires or possibly a hybrid. Not really sure. The reason for not wanting to use the rode bike is for not wanting to use the road bike is because there are parts of the area here that you will need to use the sidewalk and some places of ramps to go up and some dont.

Opinions welcome. I would like not to too much if possible (less then $500) since I spent a lot on my road bike.
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Old 07-21-11, 08:16 PM   #2
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I would get a hybrid bike unless the non-path is TOO rough and if you never plan on actually doing actual trails. I am on my second month of a Cannondale Quick 5, last year's model, and it cost me $350, which is a really good deal. I use it to commute.

I don't know how many miles you are getting in now but if you need to work up to the full commute here is some suggestions:

- If there are places along the way from home to work that you can park and get to the path try getting within 10 biking miles and going from there. When that is no big deal extend that distance and then keep going to where you can fully commute every other day. Then when you are doing it every other day you can then start back at the 10 mile point for the in between days. Work incrementally so you don't burn out and you become consistent.

- On day 1 take your bike to work in your vehicle and ride home. Then the next morning ride in. Then the next day take the bike in again. That gives you one 20 mile ride a day.

- If you don't have a shower at work try to negotiate a "shower only" membership at a local gym. I did that and it is working out well.
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Old 07-21-11, 09:51 PM   #3
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He said 20 miles round trip... 10 miles in isn't too bad, you might be able to mange the sweating depending on how fancy your office dresses.

I don't understand the "need to use the sidewalk" comment... unless you're riding against traffic you should be able to use the street.
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Old 07-22-11, 03:15 AM   #4
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Wonder: geat ideas. I love it!

Trojan: There is one really busy street with narrow lanes, a lot of cars on it with no shoulder. I do agree that a bike should be able to be ridden like a car but the fact is, this area is not the best for biking. There is a sidewalk though which miight be the best bet.
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Old 07-22-11, 04:16 AM   #5
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for much less than $500 you can get a nice rigid mountain bike from the 80s or 90s.. slap on some slick tires and you have a perfect commuter. look for high end mtbs from that era, you will get a lot of bike for your $
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Old 07-22-11, 04:36 AM   #6
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Wonder: geat ideas. I love it!

Trojan: There is one really busy street with narrow lanes, a lot of cars on it with no shoulder. I do agree that a bike should be able to be ridden like a car but the fact is, this area is not the best for biking. There is a sidewalk though which miight be the best bet.
I ride on a street like that on my commute. The shoulder disappears for a mile or so. I ride the mile on my way to work at 10 PM. But in the morning ride back home I have to avoid it completely. I hit the sidewalk for about 40 yards and turn into a residential area.
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Old 07-22-11, 07:47 AM   #7
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10 miles is eminently do-able. I like using a touring bike for its ability to carry the load (I get sweaty enough without a pack on my back), but unless you get lucky, that's out of your price range.

Second best will be a hybrid or rigid mountain bike with slicks (very important for a daily ride of that length!). Go for the racks and panniers -- they're worth it. Have fun!
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Old 07-22-11, 08:01 AM   #8
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Unless the road is narrow, with busy traffic, and a speed limit of 55mph or more, take the lane.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:42 AM   #9
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I think the OP in one of his posts mentioned residing in Cherry Hill, NJ. If so, I agree there may be areas in which a cyclist might be more comfortable using a sidewalk for a stretch of the trip. Especially if he's riding towards Camden.

The OP might want to see if the PATCO elevated line runs near him. They allow bikes on the trains. It might make his commute easier.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:43 AM   #10
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I don't understand the "need to use the sidewalk" comment... unless you're riding against traffic you should be able to use the street.
With me I occasionally use the sidewalk even if it is legal to ride in the street because it is the smart and considerate thing to do especially when the sidewalk is empty. It may not be legal but I'll take the chance when safety and consideration are at stake.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:46 AM   #11
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Wonder: geat ideas. I love it!
I did notice afterwards that it was 10 miles each way. Either way you incrementally add distance until you can do what you want. I'm at the point now that in another few weeks I am going to go beyond my commute distance just to add some miles. Stay on the bike path a little longer, go past and come back, etc.
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Old 07-22-11, 04:00 PM   #12
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Do it! I just started riding towork also, and I've found that it really helps me with getting in my rides. I've actually just started leaving my car at work so if I need it during the day I have it, and can still bike to and from work. This will stop me from finding reasons to not ride.
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Old 07-22-11, 05:07 PM   #13
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For bike suggestions the Mid 80's to 90's rigid MTB's are great commuters . Another thought would be a Vintage Road bike like the Bridgestone, Panasonic, Miyata, and Schwinn.

With either bikes get good puncture resistant tires as well as racks/and or fenders. That will add to both the the versatility as well as utility of the bike.

If you go for the MTB probably look at some bar ends for more hand positions or possibly some trekking bars.
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Old 07-22-11, 09:34 PM   #14
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I feel like I keep saying this lol. Check craigslist, all of these fit in the $500 or under category and all could be made into a decent commuter I believe:

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2502093891.html
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2508143144.html
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2498192841.html
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2507719650.html
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2507504655.html
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2507428083.html
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2507394926.html
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2507332544.html
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/2486502294.html
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Old 07-22-11, 09:58 PM   #15
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Do it! I just started riding towork also, and I've found that it really helps me with getting in my rides. I've actually just started leaving my car at work so if I need it during the day I have it, and can still bike to and from work. This will stop me from finding reasons to not ride.

That's great to hear. I was in a somewhat similar situation in the sense that I would drive to work (I live 30 miles from work) and ride in, but I tried to increase the miles however I could in order to push myself. Sometime, you'll have to find a way to push yourself beyond what you think you can do (with a back-up plan of course) and then you may find that pushing yourself further and further becomes your motivation to ride your bike.
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Old 07-22-11, 10:50 PM   #16
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Do it!!!!
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