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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 09-01-09, 10:16 PM   #1
landesb
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First day of Commuting could have gone better...

I embarked on my first day of bike commuting and had mixed results. The ride into work started fine and thankfully is a slight downhill most of the way. I was going well until a few blocks from the office my pants cuff got caught in the chain. Very little damage and I learned to tuck my pants into my socks.

On the way home I got a flat a couple of blocks after leaving work. Stopped by the bike shop between work and home and to get a new tube, picked up a couple ahead too and walked the rest of the way home.

I'm hoping to have better results tomorrow.
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Old 09-01-09, 11:47 PM   #2
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Your next ride will be better. You'll see. Keep it up.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:21 AM   #3
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Ah, bum deal. Least it happened heading home. A co-worker my wife had quit bike commuting after a flat, sounds like you're not so easily defeated.

Def pack a flat repair kit, chain breaker plus a couple extra chain links, and a tire boot. Ya can ride on nearly anything but a flat, broken chain, or badly cut tire.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:29 AM   #4
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Congrats on your first commute! Flat tires happen and I am pretty sure that socks are made to the length they are so you can tuck your pant leg into them.
You could also take the bad tube and cut a piece of it to use as a trouser band to show the other tubes what you are capable of if they fail.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:32 AM   #5
RiverCityCyclis
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Don't sweat the small stuff :-) How far is your commute round trip?
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Old 09-02-09, 02:25 AM   #6
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Congrats on your entry to bike commuting. Trial by fire (or flat), eh? It gets better, keep it up!
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Old 09-02-09, 02:27 AM   #7
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Experience aint easy. Hang in there.
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Old 09-02-09, 05:53 AM   #8
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Just don't wear pants, problem solved. You may get some funny looks, but you're the guy riding a bike anyway (joking). Unfortunately flats happen no matter how vigilant you are. I'm surprised your LBS didn't fix the flat for you, unless you wanted to do it yourself.

Also congratulations on taking the first step into commuting .
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Old 09-02-09, 05:59 AM   #9
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Keep it up and get some tools, don't need many. My small seat pack holds everything I need plus room for a phone.
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Old 09-02-09, 06:36 AM   #10
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Couple suggestions:

1)Look into ways to keep the pants from flapping. I roll mine up or (when it's cold) wear a strap over the cuff. A chain guard is another option, not one I use myself but other people do and love it.

2)Flats happen to everyone, but they happen for a reason. Often the cause of a flat points to something you could have avoided or prevented, if you had known about it. Many people are surprised to find out that many flats originate from the inside, as it were: a burr or spoke hole on the rim, or underinflation causing a pinch flat. If something like that was the cause of your flat, it'll happen over and over again until you fix the cause. Even a puncture from the outside can point to something you need to change: a lot of new commuters are pretty casual about riding through debris until a flat teaches them otherwise. Some tires are more tolerant of road junk than others, but avoiding debris (or even areas of the road where small not-very-visible debris can accumulate) is a good habit.

Happy riding!
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Old 09-02-09, 07:49 AM   #11
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When first starting out, it took me several days to get the bugs out and commute efficiently, especially in colder weather.
Read the forum stickies + several days of trial and error = smooth commuting in no time flat. (did I say flat?) In a short amount of time.
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Old 09-02-09, 07:52 AM   #12
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Wow. That's really bad luck. Yes, make sure you follow lil brown bat's advice and figure out what caused your flat before you start out tomorrow again.
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Old 09-02-09, 07:55 AM   #13
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Glad you're not quitting!
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Old 09-02-09, 08:00 AM   #14
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Congrats! I got a flat on my 1st commute as well - actually two, because I didn't check the tire when I fixed the 1st one. It gets easier.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:25 AM   #15
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Keep it up. It can be trying. I got my first flat last week after 5 months of commuting (some kind of contruction-style staple made its way trhough the tire and poked a couple holes in the tube). I've suffered a few broken spokes, too (clyde here), over the months, though it's gotten much better since I got a new wheelset and a spoke wrench so I keep my spokes tight and wheel pretty trued up on my own. The spokes have bothered me a lot more than flats. All the little repairs become annoying at times, but I still love cycling to work. I think you will, too. Keep at it!

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Old 09-02-09, 09:16 AM   #16
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been there, done that ... welcome to the pack
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Old 09-02-09, 09:57 PM   #17
landesb
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I made it through day two. I made my way into work in surprisingly quick time and with no issues (other than the late afternoon heat). I think I could get used to this.
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Old 09-03-09, 02:39 AM   #18
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So as a new commuter, how far are you riding each way Landesb???
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Old 09-03-09, 05:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landesb View Post
I made it through day two. I made my way into work in surprisingly quick time and with no issues (other than the late afternoon heat). I think I could get used to this.
Congrats on sticking with it. At least you got all the bad stuff out of the way on your first day!
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Old 09-03-09, 10:44 AM   #20
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I also began commuting recently.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=577406
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=579479

Sign up here for Contra Costa bicycle commuter goodies 511.org.
http://www.511contracosta.org/apply-...s-to-go-green/

I flatted during a race on the Iron Horse Trail without a pump, tube or anything. And had to walk a couple of miles, not knowing that I walked passed REI and Sports Authority.
http://www.ebparks.org/parks/trails/iron_horse
Since then I figured I needed a tire patch kit with levers, spare tube, CO2 inflater, and a pump. I also read up on the best puncture resistant tires for my bike and pay attention more to the glass, etc. in the roadway.
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Old 09-04-09, 07:27 AM   #21
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When I'm wearing long pants, as you apparently were, I use a leather thong to tie my cuff around my ankle and prevent contact with the chainring. Works quite well. Some folks use velcro bands, but I already had some leather scraps and didn't want to spend money.
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