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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 10-27-07, 07:10 PM   #26
Schwinnrider
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I was "forced onto the bike" last year. The clutch went out in my car, and I didn't want to sink the money into it. I rode for 6 months straight, averaging 4 days/week, until I got hit by a truck and entered the strange world of bike replacement. The looks I got from people were quite telling. When I was on my Gunnar and wearing bike clothes, I was looked at like a yuppie who was using the road as my own personal exercise track. When I was on my nerdy grocery bike, I was looked at like I had a DUI.
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Old 10-27-07, 07:51 PM   #27
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I know I looked like a drunk today, I went shopping and bought more then expected and more that would fit in the panniers. haha you should of seen the guy in the bmw stairing at me trying to tie a bag with a loaf of bread and a bag of rice to my handlebars.
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Old 10-27-07, 08:00 PM   #28
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You should have seen the stares when I was at IKEA.



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Old 10-27-07, 08:19 PM   #29
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I was responding in agreement with lil' brown bats post about "these people" posts. What is that? Are those of us who ride what we call "responsibly" becoming some new form of Puritan. Soon we'll have stockades along every bike path and roadway for cyclists who don't conform- and that I find counterproductive.
Regardless of the reason, I can say I wouldn't have minded a bit of advice when I started commuting. Might have saved me some dangerous situations and one brain-cramp crash over a curb.

I think bat's point is a bit simpler - it might not be a stretch to consider that DUI offenders might bring the same approach to general safety when biking. Is that anyone's business? Could be, if it puts others at risk.

I think you're right in general that no one's going to be interested in a lecture on biking from a judge. But they might be interested in getting hooked up with a local community who can help them out with goodies like a lock, lights, etc, and who might be able to offer some pointers on bike commuting in their area. What's wrong with that?

As an aside, the 'I can't afford a lock' hardship sounds like bull. How about the gas you won't be buying? And if you're that poor, who's buying the booze that earned you the DUI?
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Old 10-27-07, 08:38 PM   #30
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I have two 'friends" that have lost their licences because of DUI's, they both now ride their bikes to work and to there local bar :-0

I can only hope they stop the bar scene, but chances are the only folks they will hurt will be themselves.


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Old 10-27-07, 09:37 PM   #31
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Regardless of the reason, I can say I wouldn't have minded a bit of advice when I started commuting.
There's an easy solution to that dilemma- just ask a cyclist. Friends and people I work with ask me for biking advice all the time. Just today someone asked me about what to wear for the winter when biking. I've been stopped by cyclists to ask where I got a reflectorized t-shirt, how I've attached my milk crate etc... And I've asked people about things like certain kinds of taillights or panniers.

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I think you're right in general that no one's going to be interested in a lecture on biking from a judge.
Actually, my post must have been unclear. I think a DUI deserves any lecture the judge wants to give them- and one about biking safely might be just the thing. For example, a reminder that riding responsibly with lights on the bike at night so that some drunk doesn't run them down with their car seems appropriate.

Where I think it's inappropriate is when it is unsolicited and often self-righteous "advice" from cyclists who feel they are entitled to tell others how to ride.

Certainly a cyclist is entitled to offer advice if the dangerous behavior affects them personally either directly or in some cases indirectly. But if truth be told, after 37 years of commuting by bike to various jobs I usually just shake my head and mumble to myself after near collisions with wrong way cyclists, cyclists without lights, reckless jerks on the MUP or whatever.
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Old 10-27-07, 09:59 PM   #32
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But if truth be told, after 37 years of commuting by bike to various jobs I usually just shake my head and mumble to myself after near collisions with wrong way cyclists, cyclists without lights, reckless jerks on the MUP or whatever.
I'm pretty much the same way after 1 year of it. Now, I may rant to my friends about this moron that I saw later on, but I don't bother telling people how it "should" be done.

My commuting buddy always slaps his helmet and hollars at cyclists without skid lids. I'm usually embarrassed by him when he does it. I'm like "dude, what the hell are you getting all worked up over?"
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Old 10-27-07, 10:30 PM   #33
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It's a limited license when you've lost your regular one. It generally only allows you to drive to and from work.

Here's info. from my state's website. Other states' policies differ.


wow, just..... wow
*shakes head in disbelief*
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Old 10-27-07, 10:50 PM   #34
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wow, just..... wow
*shakes head in disbelief*
American driving culture is ... interesting.
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Old 10-27-07, 10:54 PM   #35
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American driving culture is ... interesting.
Yeah, but I don't think we're much different.... except that you guys drive on the wrong side of the road
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Old 10-27-07, 11:48 PM   #36
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I think you might be a tad stricter with your licensing.
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Old 10-28-07, 12:08 AM   #37
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So what do we think? Is any bicycle on the road something to be commendable? Do we hope these people have epiphanies and come to love traveling by bike? Do they do the vehicular cyclist commuters a disservice by setting a bad example to drivers? Is their view of the bicycle as a last resort detrimental to bike culture? I'll stop there.
Who is this "we" and "bike culture" that you think you speak for? The relative handful of cyclists who would identify themselves as "vehicular cyclist commuters"? Maybe you are the one in need of an epiphany about commendable reasons for bicycling.

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Oh man....I hear ILIKETOBIKE coming....
You too a member of the OP's exclusive "bike culture" clique? Already had the vehicular cycling epiphany? Then just do what the other BF "Wise Men" do, boast about ignoring any opinion or idea that is not in agreement with your own, and then brag about your own ignorance.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-28-07 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 10-28-07, 07:22 AM   #38
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oh god, he has arrived!
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Old 10-28-07, 08:42 AM   #39
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Awesome.
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Old 10-28-07, 09:30 AM   #40
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I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post this, but it has to do with commuting:

DUI. Poverty. Car crash. All the less than desirable reasons people look to bikes for transport. This particular breed of bicycle commuters isn't out on two wheels because they want to be, it's because a bike is the only option left to them. More often than not, these are the people riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road, or at night without lights, commonly on a bike that is not remotely fit for them and causes handling dangers.

So what do we think? Is any bicycle on the road something to be commendable? Do we hope these people have epiphanies and come to love traveling by bike? Do they do the vehicular cyclist commuters a disservice by setting a bad example to drivers? Is their view of the bicycle as a last resort detrimental to bike culture? I'll stop there.
I can't imagine that this represents even a small portion of the cycling community. Certainly not enough to cause detriment to bike culture as you put it.

Also, the people I see setting a bad example to drivers are generally the more committed cyclists. I've seen plenty of roadies and guys on MTBs run red lights and blow stop signs.

BTW-I'm a bike commuter and a roadie. I've never had a DUI and I do own a car.
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Old 10-28-07, 10:03 AM   #41
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Maybe the better question is not "are these people to blame for the poor image of cyclists" but "Why don't cycling advocacy groups do more to educate these people on proper cycling safety and help them find suitable yet affordable bicycles to use for transportation?"

For instance, a cycling advocacy group could team up with the local court system to provide information and even donated bikes to folks who lose their licenses. Similar things have been done to get drug addicts and alcoholics into rehab programs.

I think this is an awesome idea. It would probably also help lower the number of bikes stolen in this area, since I know first hand that bikes around here are stolen and then "sold" to the homeless, drug addicts, etc. I was lucky enough to recover mine when it happened to me. The big question I have is how to get it started? There is definately a need in the area, but I don't believe it's currently being filled. Are there successful programs like this that I could contact to help learn what the right channels are to move it forward? And then I'd have to figure out how to move it forward with local government. But I think that if bikes came with a good strong lock, lights, a helmet and some instructions about safe riding, it could be very successful.
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Old 10-28-07, 12:04 PM   #42
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I'm slefish. I want more cyclists on the road but only so that drivers are use to seeing them and thus don't cut me off as much. However I'm also extremely self centered and critical, so, while I don't really care why people are riding a bike, I do care a) if that bike is maintained (damn those squeakers!) b) If it's a department store bike. The dual bedspring models particularly push my buttons. And most importantly c) that they are cycling in a competent manner.

The last one is the one the only one that is actually "important," but we're all irrational beings, right?
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Old 10-28-07, 04:53 PM   #43
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.

Also, the people I see setting a bad example to drivers are generally the more committed cyclists. I've seen plenty of roadies and guys on MTBs run red lights and blow stop signs.
I agree with this statement. Before I started cycling, if someone pulled out in front on me on a bike in spandex, then I blamed it on "those damn bikers". And it made me disgruntaled against cyclist.

But if someone that looked like he had a DUI or was poor, I just blamed it on the fact that I thought he was a drunk and/or a bum.

FWIW, I had a DUI when I was 17, of course I was too "cool" to ride a bike so I made my mom and dad take me everywere
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Old 10-28-07, 06:34 PM   #44
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That's a great idea! I've wondered how to address that very issue for the past year. I see so many 'bike riders' putting their live in danger through ignorance. Historically, when offered advice on safe commuting, a helmet (no helmet/anti-helmet flames please), etc. they are not very interested. While I don't envision creating an army of inner-city roadies (imagine the kits!), it would be nice to have law abiding 'bike riders' to help the image of all cyclists.
I don't see the AAA wringing their hands over speeding and reckless car drivers hurting the image of motorists.
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Old 10-28-07, 06:43 PM   #45
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I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post this, but it has to do with commuting:

DUI. Poverty. Car crash. All the less than desirable reasons people look to bikes for transport. This particular breed of bicycle commuters isn't out on two wheels because they want to be, it's because a bike is the only option left to them. More often than not, these are the people riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road, or at night without lights, commonly on a bike that is not remotely fit for them and causes handling dangers.

So what do we think? Is any bicycle on the road something to be commendable? Do we hope these people have epiphanies and come to love traveling by bike? Do they do the vehicular cyclist commuters a disservice by setting a bad example to drivers? Is their view of the bicycle as a last resort detrimental to bike culture? I'll stop there.
Hi Ian,

Before we proceed, could you define "bike culture", please? Make sure the definition includes people who ride road bikes in full kit and with shaved legs, people who ride a 20 buck woman's Huffy to work at the supermarket because of DUI, mountain bikers, people who ride their comfort bike once a week on the local path, touring cyclists, the many commuters here on this forum, etc. There are too many "bike cultures" to fall under a single description.

Neil

PS. How is the Surley working out?
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Old 10-28-07, 08:34 PM   #46
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Hi Ian,

Before we proceed, could you define "bike culture", please? Make sure the definition includes people who ride road bikes in full kit and with shaved legs, people who ride a 20 buck woman's Huffy to work at the supermarket because of DUI, mountain bikers, people who ride their comfort bike once a week on the local path, touring cyclists, the many commuters here on this forum, etc. There are too many "bike cultures" to fall under a single description.
That's your definition, which tracks pretty close to mine. Somehow I doubt that Ian's version of "bike culture" (or other posters who glibly talk about "us" and "we" in the same paragraph as "bike culture") is anywhere near as inclusive of cyclists who don't match his own profile, interests and social background.
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Old 10-28-07, 08:35 PM   #47
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Earlier this year in my area, a very drunk woman hit 2 cyclists, killing one. Apparently, she'd started drinking at 7:30 in the morning, drank some more at her job at a bar, went to another bar and drank some more, all in time to kill someone before noon. She was so drunk, the only response she could muster at the scene was fit of giggles. If she'd been on a bike, even going the wrong way, it would have at least been a fair fight.
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Old 10-28-07, 08:53 PM   #48
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That's your definition, which tracks pretty close to mine. Somehow I doubt that Ian's version of "bike culture" (or other posters who glibly talk about "us" and "we" in the same paragraph as "bike culture") is anywhere near as inclusive of cyclists who don't match his own profile, interests and social background.
Perhaps it's best to suspend doubt until the gentleman explains what he means by "bike culture?" I certainly don't mean to flame Ian, who is both a friend of mine and a thoughtful young man.

I agree with you that the phrase "bike culture", when used by a cyclist, often translates to "the sort of cycling I like." My favorite example of this mindset came up in an argument with a roadie friend of mine. I stated that the Tour de France was essentially meaningless to the majority of cyclists. He countered that the Tour and professional racing have tremendous importance to all cyclists because of the major advancements that they brought to cycling. His example of an advancement was carbon fiber. I don't think he understands that many, if not most, cyclists don't need or use a carbon fiber bike.
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Old 10-28-07, 09:38 PM   #49
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Perhaps it's best to suspend doubt until the gentleman explains what he means by "bike culture?" I certainly don't mean to flame Ian, who is both a friend of mine and a thoughtful young man.

I agree with you that the phrase "bike culture", when used by a cyclist, often translates to "the sort of cycling I like." My favorite example of this mindset came up in an argument with a roadie friend of mine. I stated that the Tour de France was essentially meaningless to the majority of cyclists. He countered that the Tour and professional racing have tremendous importance to all cyclists because of the major advancements that they brought to cycling. His example of an advancement was carbon fiber. I don't think he understands that many, if not most, cyclists don't need or use a carbon fiber bike.
Likewise I've gotten into weird conversations with people who are solely transportational cyclists. I have no interest in driving (though it's easy to be without a car as a college student) but cycling is both my primary means of transportation and pretty much my favorite pastime. So I often find myself bridging the somewhat awkward gap between those two groups. I'd build myself a fixie, but that would only complicate matters

Now, I just can't really let it bother me. I like wandering over to the bike shop and oggling the multi thousand dollar machines I can in no way afford, and I very much enjoyed the time I spent at the local co op yesterday stripping donated bikes.

What we need is tolerance, of course. Not that I'm the best at it myself, but at the end of the day we're all just dorks riding around on bicycles, right?
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Old 10-28-07, 10:02 PM   #50
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Ok now why I gotta be a dork... just cus i dress funny and ride 2 wheels w/ peddles!
ROFL!

I see it this way .. almost anyone can peddle.. dont mean they KNOW what there doing.
Same goes for most other forms of transportation.

welcome to life..now deal with it

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