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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 07-22-08, 08:33 AM   #1
viplala
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Commuting tips from the Netherlands ;)

Hi and greetings from the Netherlands!

I was reading some of the posts in "Tips for new commuters" thread and couldn't help laughing
What a difference in biking culture: wear this, always carry that, that brand bike/messenger bag etc.

Here are some commuting tips from the country where just about everyone is born with a bicycle between his/her legs

Any 10-15 year old bike will be just fine. It should be not flashy/expensive or this will happen:


Maintenance. What maintenance? Yer ol' Batavus will cope with daily abuse just fine, squirt some WD40 or whatever happens to lie around when the creaking of the chain becomes too annoying and thats it, good enough for a decade or two.
Back wheel has six missing spokes? No problem, that badly overweight friend/girlfriend can still get a ride on the rack..

Special biking clothes? You got to be kidding! Your three piece suit/high heeled Prada's will do fine. Take it easy, don't work up sweat. That way you will be sitting at your office desk sooner than that spandex-wearing, aggressively riding fanatic who has to shower/change clothes first. Not to mention that taking it easy is also a lot safer.




Those cheap Cheng Shin tyres (or "tires" as you say) will grip just fine:



You are a smoker? Why not save time and have one while on the bike?


Need that special messenger bag/backpack for some shopping? Nope, plastic bags from the supermarket will do.


Happy cycling!
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Old 07-22-08, 08:36 AM   #2
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Fantastic!

Thank you.
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Old 07-22-08, 08:38 AM   #3
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We don't wan't to ride your dorkbikes, eurotrash.
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Old 07-22-08, 08:39 AM   #4
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i love the smoker on a bike. Honestly I want to take up smoking just because it would be fun to do while riding.
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Old 07-22-08, 08:41 AM   #5
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If only...
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Old 07-22-08, 08:51 AM   #6
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I ride my IF while smoking Montecristo's and talking on the cell
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Old 07-22-08, 09:06 AM   #7
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I LOL'd!

You have taught me two things:
1. It takes all kinds
2. I need a skirt guard
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Old 07-22-08, 09:23 AM   #8
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But I don't want to wear a tie to ride my bike!
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Old 07-22-08, 09:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by envane View Post
We don't wan't to ride your dorkbikes, eurotrash.
Speak for your self...

I embrace the culture that doesn't have to wear spandex in order to get to the office on a bike. Utility cycling is the piece that Americans seem to be missing.

Cycling is regarded as a sport, so everyone has to have the newest, shiny, uber lightweight, titanium, sugar coated bicycle to ride down the bike path.

Marketing rules the American way of thinking....And they are pretty good at it

Go Euro's ! Someday we might catch up.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:28 AM   #10
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I know this is selfish, but I would hate to putter along in a crowd of bicycles, going 10 mph (that's 16 kph viplala ) Fewer bikes on American roads means I can go just as fast as I please.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:32 AM   #11
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Yeah but the thing you guys seem to be missing is that going fast is fun

We have plenty of people in Toronto who ride these old creaky bikes at very casual pace and more power to them. Different riding styles for everyone
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Old 07-22-08, 09:33 AM   #12
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I hate dutch cycling utopia posts. BTW I don't think I'd call a Giant Hybrid flashy.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by envane View Post
We don't wan't to ride your dorkbikes, eurotrash.
You don't speak for me, either.

There's the spandex crowd who thinks these are dorkbikes, and there's the non-cyclists who think the spandex crowd are the dorks.

I give props to them all. Love the mom's riding with kids and packages. It's fun to see bikes used as a way of life--it keeps people fit and connected with outdoors. Props to the century riders, too.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
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We don't wan't to ride your dorkbikes, eurotrash.
Foolish one, you speaketh for your self only (and about yourself) on what "we" want.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
I know this is selfish, but I would hate to putter along in a crowd of bicycles, going 10 mph (that's 16 kph viplala ) Fewer bikes on American roads means I can go just as fast as I please.
You think we have bicycle traffic jams?
Nooo, you can go as fast as you want/can
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Old 07-22-08, 10:00 AM   #16
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Hello from the german neighborhood,

I did love that!
When I was in Amsterdam this April - yes, my bike, a cheap but fairly new Dahon Vitesse was stolen within 3 hours in the City, so I will never ever again take a bike younger than my grandma to Amsterdam City.

Do you also have a foto with one of those nice bakkerfiets? That was the biggest difference to Germany - kids not carried in trailers or backseats but in those funny bikeboxes.

I love those sturdy Gazelle Impalas. On my last day in Amsterdam my landlady lent hers to me and I toured North-Amsterdam and went to Monnickendam, did love that. But it was hard to have only one brake, and that being a back pedal brake....

Suse
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Old 07-22-08, 10:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
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We don't wan't to ride your dorkbikes, eurotrash.
ups. Is this the normal welcome to newbies on this forum?

Suse
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Old 07-22-08, 10:03 AM   #18
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We don't wan't to ride your dorkbikes, eurotrash.
I, for one, welcome our new chain-smoking, suit-wearing, grocery bag-carrying, bicycle-riding Dutch overlords.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:13 AM   #19
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You can't ignore that our situations are very different though. Riding bikes in amsterdam is safe/easy/normal, while in the US (unless your somewhere special like portland or boulder) urban commuting requires you to be part dare-devil to put up with the terror and excitement of it all. No time to smoke a cigarrette while there's a bus, SUV mom, and an ugly intersection bearing down on me. So its quite a different experience here, and I think it comes through in our average choice of clothing and bikes. If commuting becomes more normal and safe here you will see what our average biker wears and rides change accordingly.

That all said, i do love me some amsterdam/copenhagen/stockholm. I hope we get a little closer to those biketopias.

Last edited by eAspenwood; 07-22-08 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by envane View Post
We don't wan't to ride your dorkbikes, eurotrash.
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyfrog View Post
I, for one, welcome our new chain-smoking, suit-wearing, grocery bag-carrying, bicycle-riding Dutch overlords.
Glad I'm not the only one who saw the sarcasm in Envane's post, harleyfrog. It's a joke people...he jokingly criticized us, the joking criticism came back at him. Get a sense of humor.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:21 AM   #21
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What I want to know is, do they wear wooden cycling shoes in Amsterdam?
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Old 07-22-08, 10:30 AM   #22
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What I want to know is, do they wear wooden cycling shoes in Amsterdam?
That firm sole is very important for efficient power transfer.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:36 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyPC8MyBrain View Post
Speak for your self...

I embrace the culture that doesn't have to wear spandex in order to get to the office on a bike. Utility cycling is the piece that Americans seem to be missing.
Cycling is regarded as a sport, so everyone has to have the newest, shiny, uber lightweight, titanium, sugar coated bicycle to ride down the bike path.

Marketing rules the American way of thinking....And they are pretty good at it

Go Euro's ! Someday we might catch up.
I'll think about that when I'm making my trip to Target and the playground with my daughter...on my creaky little hybrid bike, pulling a trailer, in street clothes.
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Old 07-22-08, 11:29 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by SuseAnne View Post
Hello from the german neighborhood,


Do you also have a foto with one of those nice bakkerfiets? That was the biggest difference to Germany - kids not carried in trailers or backseats but in those funny bikeboxes.


Suse
You mean these?




U can get pissed as well, and yes, you do have to pedal:
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Old 07-22-08, 11:47 AM   #25
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Is that a bicycle bar?

What good does patron pedaling do? Does it help move the bar?
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