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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 06-30-07, 02:51 AM   #1
cradduck
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A possible commuter!!!

My girlfriend and I finally got a place together after six years to get ready for our wedding. After living in the same apartment for a little over three months now she wants to take the plunge and start commuting to work with pedal power!!!

She knows how to ride a bike but her experience riding in bike lanes and contending with traffic is limited. Should I offer to ride with her to work for the first couple weeks? I get home from work about an hour before she leaves so I think it would be a cool way to spend some time together inthe morning till she is more traffic savy.

I am extremely excited that she is going to start commuting by bike.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:23 AM   #2
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Commuting with someone else is a great way to learn the ropes, and get over initial jitters.

Also, point her at: http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm
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Old 06-30-07, 09:02 AM   #3
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seems like you've answered your own question. You'd get to spend more time with your girlfriend AND ride your bike. Why not keep it up even after she's an expert!
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Old 07-09-07, 08:10 PM   #4
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Found a bicycle for her!!!

After searching for the last couple weeks on Craigslist, local vintage/discouunt stores, and even pawn shops, I found this bike just arouund the corner from me. It is a Puegot Cadre Allege 10 speed. I paid $120 which I don't think is too bad considering that here in Orange County people want $100+ for their 2-ton Wal Mart and Huffy Bikes. Plus the savings on gas are immediate and the bike can pay for itself several times over before it ever gives up the ghost.

There is some dirt and grime on the frame but other than that the bike rides perfect. I want to switch it over to a single speed if at all possible to shed some of the weight and reduce maintenance. I have been told that it was a common bike during the "bike boom"(?) but I don't see any like it arouund here anymore.




A possible single speed?


All the decals and badges are in good order


I've never seen textured rims like these.
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Old 07-09-07, 08:38 PM   #5
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Ride with her! I did this with my girlfriend when we both started commuting. We are now both confident on our own but still ride together because it is fun and a great way to bond. She'll gain her confidence and learn faster if she has someone to gain experience with. She'll be more likely to stick with it too.
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Old 07-09-07, 08:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cradduck
My girlfriend and I finally got a place together after six years to get ready for our wedding. After living in the same apartment for a little over three months now she wants to take the plunge and start commuting to work with pedal power!!!

She knows how to ride a bike but her experience riding in bike lanes and contending with traffic is limited. Should I offer to ride with her to work for the first couple weeks? I get home from work about an hour before she leaves so I think it would be a cool way to spend some time together inthe morning till she is more traffic savy.

I am extremely excited that she is going to start commuting by bike.
Riding with a more experienced commuter is a great way to get started, and I'd encourage you to ride with her. Is the LAB Effective Cycling course offered in your area? Taking that course is a great means of getting a fast track to safe and confident commuting, and I think she'd benefit greatly by taking it.
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Old 07-09-07, 08:45 PM   #7
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I have to work tonight but we are going to be taking this bike out on it's maiden voyage tomorrow evening. I am really looking forward to it. Nothing like a beach ride at sunset!!!
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Old 07-09-07, 10:37 PM   #8
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Your bike looks like a great single speed/fixed gear candidate. It's got the horizontal dropouts in the rear. I had a similar idea for my wife, and bought her an old women's Schwinn Worldsport, but she didn't want me to single speed it, plus I was too lazy to restore it, so it's just hanging in my garage now, hehe. Instead I built her an Xtracycle!! I hope she uses it to commute the kids to school on. That's the plan.
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Old 07-09-07, 10:54 PM   #9
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I would really like to keep the rims if at all possible when making the switch over to a single speed. I have never seen textured rims like that and it definately adds to the character of the bike. None of the bike shops around me know too much about single speed conversions so hopefully the guys and gals over in the mechanics forum will be able to walk me through the process.
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Old 07-09-07, 10:55 PM   #10
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Why did your wife resist the move to a single speed, Jinks?
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Old 07-09-07, 11:03 PM   #11
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She's a pragmatist, and doesn't see the benefit of having only one gear when she could have more. I commute on a fixed gear, which completely baffles her, hehe.

I'd also visit the singlespeed/fixed gear forum. That's where I learned to convert bikes into fixed gears, which is pretty much the same thing as what you're doing, except instead of a fixed cog, you'll spin on a freewheel.
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Old 07-09-07, 11:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cradduck
There is some dirt and grime on the frame but other than that the bike rides perfect. I want to switch it over to a single speed if at all possible to shed some of the weight and reduce maintenance. I have been told that it was a common bike during the "bike boom"(?) but I don't see any like it arouund here anymore.
Post these pics in Classic & Vintage. There are a lot of mixte lovers there, and you can get ideas for fixing it up. These are great bikes for commuting.
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Old 07-09-07, 11:55 PM   #13
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I converted my old Centurion over to a single speed but that was super easy. The wheels were shot when I got the bike so I went with a new wheelset and a single speed conversion kit from Performance. I am going to post pictures of the bike in Classic and Vintage when I get home from work. It is absolutely amazing the wealth of knowledge that surrounds that forum.
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Old 07-10-07, 09:04 AM   #14
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Just because you like a single speed doesn't mean she will. Most of the ladies don't have the strength in the beginning to use a single speed so don't force her if she wants to later ok but let her get stronger in her legs before something like that. If she doesn't like single speed the savings in weight will be for naught and you will have lost a rididng partner
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