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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-03-01, 04:06 AM   #1
mike
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Yesterday I was biking to work and I see some guy on a brand spanking new Cannondale cross bike. He didn't have a helmet and his cadence didn't look pro, so I figure it was some weekend warrior trying out his new wheel.

I had to carry a bunch of stuff that day, so I was riding my 1973 Huffy three-speed granny-bike freighter with wire rear-baskets loaded with stuff.

Swoosh, I passed him just cruising at my normal speed.

Well, you know he couldn't stand for that, so next thing I know, he passes me. Just for fun, I gave it a little more gas and passed him again. The race was on.

He was mashing his peddles, so I gave it more gas, riding just behind him so he couldn't see me standing on my peddles to keep up. My basket was clanking against the sides of my bike the whole time telling me "hey, man, this 'aint normal, what's up?".

He probably thought he had left me in his dust, but when we came to a stop, there I was! I looked cooly over at him and gave him the old, "Hi, there fellow biker" nod. He was sweating like a wet rag, but I was cool as a cucumber (trying not to breath hard of course).

The fun I was having was trying to give this fellow the impression that I was just pleasantly cruising along on my loaded down old granny-bike while he was killing himself on the new Cannondale. That is why I let him mostly lead.

We kept this up for about five miles. I finally wizzed by him and turned off. I looked at him through my rear-view mirror and saw him stopped at the corner leaning on his handle bars and watching me continue on my merry way.

It was hilarious. I hope to see him today as well, but he probably brought his bike back to the dealer already and complained that the bearings weren't greased or something.
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Old 05-03-01, 06:04 AM   #2
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Its not about the bike. Its about the legs.
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Old 05-03-01, 09:10 AM   #3
mike
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You said it, TriBob an Ol' Mr. Mike has some nice stems thanks to daily bicycle commuting.
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Old 05-03-01, 08:46 PM   #4
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All show and no go, eh Mike?
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Old 05-04-01, 04:36 AM   #5
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Well, I can't fault the guy. He looked like he was about fortysomething and probably didn't spend a lot of time on his bike.

I wasn't trying to prove anything as much as I just wanted to have some fun with his head. I am about the same age as that rider and I tried to look like I was leisurely keeping up with him on my granny-bike despite his efforts on the new Cannondale. In fact, I had to breath through my smiling teeth to keep a cool composure. It is good evidence that biking every day - even just commuting to work - pays off.

The look on his face was worth a million bucks, though. I still chuckle.

I didn't see him yesterday. Maybe today?...
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Old 05-04-01, 09:01 AM   #6
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Mike! I'm suprised at you! I have a few choice words to say to you, along the lines of, "shooting fish in a barrel..." But since I have my own story to tell from yesterday, your's must wait.

On my way home I stopped at the light. I hear voices behind me, so I checked it out. Sure enough, two "Lycra Weenies," and me in my soccer shorts, $15 shoes, tee shirt (picture of Tazmanian Devil eating dynamite), and plastic whistle (no, not "butt whistle"), stuck for so long in my teeth I'm afraid to take it out for fear of extracting a long string of spit. Knowing my place, I let them go ahead.

After 3/4 mile of riding behind them and braking while they chat, I think I need to go ahead and pass. But now Judgement is about to fall on me, or maybe just a little "purge."

Once past them, my immature Pride seizes hold and won't let go. I am pedaling full-power like I do this all the time. I'm afraid to look back, they might see me. I guess they weren't interested in lowly me, because they never caught me (they were chatting, you know).
At least, not until one of them (the other must have turned off) rolled up at a light. But Judgement caught up with me for my Pride, and as I stopped, my front wheel lost traction--FLAT!

"Need help?" Asks the unhelmeted, lycra clad fellow who is certainly much younger than I. I straightened up, chest high, chin out. "I got it," I bellowed, projecting the deepest voice I could manage. And so, he left me, without even trying to soothe my ego; just as I would have wanted it.

And yet, after Judgement (or "purge") comes Mercy. Two more cyclists, one on a bike and the other in a convertible, offer to help. The world can be a gentle place for Repentant Sinners.

I have learned my lesson: avoid equipment failure at all costs!
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Old 05-04-01, 09:13 AM   #7
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Pride goeth before a flat, Pete.
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Old 05-04-01, 12:23 PM   #8
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Sounds like the flat saved you from a heart attack, Pete.

Anyway, if the guy I was teasing had a flat, I would have helped him fix it - even if it would make me late for work.

Funny thing is that among other things I was carrying in my rear carrier was a set of rims with tires on them that I was carrying to work for a friend. I truly could have fixed a flat if he had one!

It gets more funny as I think about it. I must have looked like a junk collector with my old bike and the rear carrier loaded with two bike rims, lunch, briefcase, etc. Who knows, maybe he wasn't trying to outpace me. Maybe he was trying to escape me!

Last edited by mike; 05-04-01 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 05-04-01, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike
Sounds like the flat saved you from a heart attack, Pete...
Wow! You're right! Think of how stupid THAT would have looked...
Quote:
...It gets more funny as I think about it. I must have looked like a junk collector with my old bike and the rear carrier loaded with two bike rims, lunch, briefcase, etc. Who knows, maybe he wasn't trying to outpace me. Maybe he was trying to escape me!
I see it all too clearly now, Mike. "True Cyclists(R)" do not want to be associated with "Real Bicycle Commuters" (e.g., you and I). I mean who wants to be associated with someone who looks like they HAVE TO bike it, when you cycle because you DON'T HAVE TO?

I have to admit, Mike, you really let me down this time. You had the opportunity, but you did not extend the Arkansas Handshake to our Newbie friend! Next time, I will slow down and let them offer me the ArkanSaS handshake...

Last edited by LittleBigMan; 05-04-01 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 05-04-01, 05:42 PM   #10
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GO MIKE!!!

Yes, it feels good doesn't it. Some of those "road warriors" can be real snobs on their ultra-spanky, ultra-expensive bikes. I remeber one of them even refusing to talk to me at a red light a few months back, then when it changed he tried to speed off and leave me behind.

I just gleefully got in his slipstream and let him do all the work, then passed him after I'd had my little rest. Man it was good!

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Old 05-04-01, 05:48 PM   #11
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Chris, sounds like you understand the Heee heeeeee I am talking about.

Pete, I DID extend the new bicycle greeting (the Arkansas handshake), but he must be too new to bicycling 'cause he didn't get it. The greeting didn't seem to slow him down any! The more I greeted, the faster he went. Go figure...
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