Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 45
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    New to cycling, and I'm soooooooooo frustrated!!!!!

    I planned to save a few dollars, reduce green house emissions, and better my health. I bought a $500 used road bike, and planned to commute to work a lot.

    Immediately I realized that the roads are taken care of like crap. On one steep hill I have to take a lane to avoid potholes. I was going 20+ mph in the lane, and a car tried passing me driving over the solid-double-yellow lines. Then oncoming traffic made the car push me over. Going 20+ over bad potholes...got a flat rear tire.

    Then traveling down a steep hill, only doing about 15mph (got the brakes on a bit, kinda scared of the last time...) and someone flies past me in a pick-up, hits the breaks hard, and takes a right-hand-turn, right in front of me. The car behind him locks up not to rear end him. I slow down as quickly as I can, stopping 2 feet from his truck. He stops completely, parked, for a few seconds, staring at the car that almost hit him. I wait a second, expecting him to give a I'm-sorry-wave to me, or something. But he then gets on the gas and continues, never even realizing I existed.

    I've put less than 70 miles on my bike.

    Money savings: I spent more on gas because of the broken bike than I saved riding it.
    Environment: See above.
    Health: I have slightly reduced my chance of heart attack, but greatly increased my chance of death-by-auto (not to mention the stress).

    I'm frustrated.

    --Jalak

  2. #2
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    5,844
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You could let whoever is responsible for road maintenance in your neck of the woods know about the road hazard (potholes), but even if they react to that, it'll probably take some time. Idiot drivers - not much you can do about them. Do you have an alternative, quieter commuting route you could take? Doesn't matter if it's a bit longer route, as one of your stated goals is health improvement.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


    Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
    Community guidelines

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That is the quieter AND shorter route (there's really only two routes). I live in the city, so even the quiet roads are not quiet.

    I will be submitting the tire repair bill to the city, along with a letter describing where the potholes are, but they will probably use it to line the garbage can, since I told them a few months ago about a missing water drainage grate, and they did nothing. (I wonder when the first child will fall into that...)

    In all practicality though, what do other city-cyclists do to avoid this crap? Do you get used to it and swerve a lot? I don't want to give up just yet, I'm just frustrated.

    --Jalak

  4. #4
    Senior Member abracapocus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    My Bikes
    '95 Specialized Hard Rock, '03 (?) Fuji Finest
    Posts
    250
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't give up! I'm commuting spectacularly crappy city streets. Bomb proof tires help. I'm riding a mountain bike with Continental Travel Contacts. I've rolled over all manner of crap with them. If you haven't done this yet, practice your commute route at a low traffic time. For me it was early Sat & Sun mornings. Then you'll know where the potholes are so you can anticipate and avoid them.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm kinda wishing I bought a hybrid.

  6. #6
    Where's my dinner? SickAsAParrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Stafforshire, UK
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You learn to anticipate it with experience, it doesn't take long but you'll just have to grin and bear it at the start.

    You get to know the bad roads and you can usually tell by ear when something is coming up behind you what kind of driver it's going to be, how close he's going to be and even if he's likely to pull a ridiculous stunt. Anticipation, experience and defensive riding will keep you safe (by defensive I don't mean slow and timid, you can be defensive and still hare along like a mad thing).

  7. #7
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    5,844
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It seems I live in cycling utopia with (relatively) good road maintenance, (relatively) light traffic and (relatively) well designed MUP network. We have our share of idiot drivers though.

    One thing, if the drivers in your area are generally oblivious to other traffic, I've heard the AirZound pressurised air horn is good for yanking them back into this reality, even for a moment. Make sure you have good lights / reflectors too.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


    Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
    Community guidelines

  8. #8
    Senior Member SouthFLpix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Miami, FL
    My Bikes
    2007 Giant Cypress DX, Windsor Tourist 2011
    Posts
    988
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Go with wider tires on your road bike to help with the rough roads. Get a rear view mirror and a good tail light and headlight combo for dawn / dusk or inclement weather riding. The rest will take care of itself, just keep riding.

  9. #9
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In The Wind
    My Bikes
    GTO
    Posts
    25,729
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthFLpix View Post
    Go with wider tires on your road bike to help with the rough roads. Get a rear view mirror and a good tail light and headlight combo for dawn / dusk or inclement weather riding. The rest will take care of itself, just keep riding.
    Very Good Advice......
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  10. #10
    Senior Member Thomas Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    My Bikes
    2007 Trek 7.3FX
    Posts
    187
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As everyone else will tell you, Jalak, you'll have days like that...

    But then you'll have days where (in my case, anyway) you'll catch the rising sun hitting the river at just that perfect angle and the world lights up and then you'll see a great blue heron or maybe a snow white egret or a pelican fly across the water and then you'll see a rabbit cross in front of you and a small herd of deer skitter into the woods...

    The good days out-power the bad, even if they don't outnumber them...

    Advice wise: Definitely get the wider tires. I run 700 x 32s on my 7.3fx and haven't had a pinch flat in 5000 miles. Get a great set of lights if you're in traffic a lot.

    Definitely contact your local municipality about the road surfaces. They may have an in-house street repair team (Jacksonville, NC does) that can make some minor repairs. Don't just "fire and forget" either. Keep at them. If the municipal staff doesn't respond, contact your elected representatives at that level. Show up to the public meetings and speak during public comment time. You'll be surprised how much that works!

    Good luck and keep strong!
    Read my blog.
    Twitter: @ThomasBrock

    2007 Trek 7.3 FX

  11. #11
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    40205 'ViLLeBiLLie
    My Bikes
    Sngl Spd's, 70's- 80's vintage, D-tube Folder
    Posts
    7,906
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Im sorry your comeuppance was harsh, Jalak..
    Maybe you should put where you live under your avatar so
    people who light live in that area can offer you advice specific to that area.
    I have found with bikes, the first one you start out on usually isnt the the one
    you end up working with when you first start communing. I think you are finding
    out why now, so I dont need to dwell. But, there are things you can do to lessen the
    ruff ride and make more bomb proof, tires being the biggest item right from the start.
    As others have said, a mirror is a necessity ! Cant be stressed enough !
    When you start to ride you see a whole different side of (in)humanity than you ever
    imagined. The sight of a bicyclist enrages lots of people and if the cyclist should have the
    audacity to make the vehicle slow for 2 or 3 seconds...WOW, ugliness happens !!
    Time and miles will make this a non-factor. Until then, its not easy. Just ignore them.
    Its hard now, but it will become easier if you stick with it

    Be safe !
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  12. #12
    thompsonpost
    Guest
    Welcome to the world of bicycling.

  13. #13
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Gunnar Crosshairs, De Bernardi SL
    Posts
    6,349
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    The commute will get better. You've got a steep learning curve the first few months, but then it will be fine. When you first start cycling, you have to figure out what tires, gear, clothes, etc. are best for your conditions. You also need to learn how to ride safely in traffic. One of the most important things is route selection. Have you picked the safest roads to travel on? When driving, you usually take the fastest, quickest route. But on a bike, take the safer route with better roads, wider shoulders, less traffic -- even if it makes your commute longer.

    When driving to work, I take a busy 6-8 lane highway with tons of traffic and lots of debris on the shoulders. I would never cycle on that road, however. My bike route is about 2 miles farther to work, but it travels through neighborhoods and suburban streets with good pavement and relatively light traffic.

    Despite the roads, you always have to be vigilant for inattentive and rude drivers. I was actually right-hooked by an EMT (emergency) vehicle last week that wasn't on a call. Another day last week, a driver backed out of his driveway without even looking, but I had seen him and anticipated his move. So I avoided an accident by switching to the other side of the street, and the dufous probably never knew he almost ran me down.

  14. #14
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2012 Stumpjumper FSR Comp...2010 Scott CR1 CF...2007 Novara FS Float2.0...2009 Specialized Hardrock Disc...2009 Schwinn Le Tour GSr
    Posts
    1,807
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Adaptation will be your key for survival in the big city. When I started commuting, I was getting honk like every 5th block or so and they comes along with some verbal remarks. Comparing today and back then, I hardly ever get honk at. Same city, route, and bike. What changed is how I adapted to my given situation. I got to know the behavoir of motorist at various location and react accordingly. On some intersection where I know the driver is likely to speed up at the change of a green light, I will slowly ease into the intersection and try to drift into the crosswalk to allow as much cars to pass before taking the lane.

    There's also the topic of equipment. I learned that some congested area of the city, it is harder for drivers to see you in the middle of all that traffic. They get frustrated of trying to keep an eye on you along with other cars especially if they did not see you well in advance. I found out that a good reflective vest was really beneficial after when I was driving one day and snuck up on a cyclist out of nowhere. Later that same day, I saw a cyclist from a diistant and I was able to plan accordingly by changing lane well before I was behind him. This cyclist was wearing a class2 vest that stood out like a sore thumb. Even a blind bee could have spotted him. So you might want to consider one if those.

    Remember that adaptation stuff I mention? It works both ways. Those same cars who used to buzz by me like they did not see me is now slowing down and some even have conversation with me at the lights. They have their routes just like you and after a while, they will adapt to your presence. Many have told me how appreciative they are to see me making myself so much more visible on the road.

    It's a trial and error phase, but it does gets a lot easier over time.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  15. #15
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Houston we have a problem
    Posts
    2,911
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You're in the discovery/experimentation stage.
    Pretty much no one gets the "right" bike the first time out, but you've got to start somewhere. You're starting to get an idea of the limitations of your bike in your environment. This will lead to either changes to the current bike, or a new bike all together.

    And like someone else said, my ride to work is longer than my drive to work to avoid certain roads.
    2008 Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen
    Pics and Specs Here!

    2010 Specialized Rockhopper 29er

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,861
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jalak View Post
    That is the quieter AND shorter route (there's really only two routes). I live in the city, so even the quiet roads are not quiet.

    I will be submitting the tire repair bill to the city, along with a letter describing where the potholes are, but they will probably use it to line the garbage can, since I told them a few months ago about a missing water drainage grate, and they did nothing. (I wonder when the first child will fall into that...)

    In all practicality though, what do other city-cyclists do to avoid this crap? Do you get used to it and swerve a lot? I don't want to give up just yet, I'm just frustrated.

    --Jalak
    There are only 2 roads in your city Maybe you need to point out to the powers-that-be this oversight

    I live in a major metropolitan city (even though we have an inferiority complex) and there are literally hundreds of routes to use for me to ride to and from work. Some are longer, some have way more traffic than I'm comfortable with...and I have a very high tolerance for traffic...and some are better than others. You are new to this and are still looking at routes with car eyes. Look at routes using a good on-line mapping program like this one and ride some of them on the weekends to get a feel for where they go and how long it will take you to ride into work. As a motorist, you already have a feel for the roads that are not good for automobiles, i.e. to slow or too many stop signs or not efficient enough routes, etc. A bad motor route can be a very good bicycle route.

    As for potholes and road hazards, you've already learned one lesson: Don't ride your bike into them! You need to look further down the road as you ride so that those holes don't jump out and surprise you. You should also get a mirror so that you can see traffic behind you. If you can see where the traffic is behind you, you can plan where you are going to ride to avoid the potholes.

    If you are listening to music while you ride, stop it! You want to hear and listen to the motors around you. The pickup probably reved his engine as he accelerated to make the turn. The motor noise can tell you a lot about what cars are going to do. If I'm coming to an intersection, I pull away from the curb and more into the lane so that cars can't go around me. If I hear an engine pitch increase during acceleration, I'll speed up so as to keep the person from trying to pass me...especially if I'm very near the intersection. It takes some nerve and a thick hide but realize that there is a whole bunch of paperwork involved if you run over someone. Most people will go out of their way to avoid it

    If you can't avoid the potholes, learn to ride softer. Stand up as you go across the pothole with flexed arms and legs and your feet parallel to the ground. As the bike takes the impact, let you arms and legs absorb the blow. The bike will move upward and your body will stay pretty still if you do it right. Damage to the bike is minimized.

    A great way to learn this technique is to learn how to mountain bike. Mountain biking exposes you to all kinds of stuff that you'll never run across on the street but it also teaches you how to avoid damaging you and your bike.

    Good luck and keep it up. It does get better...or at least your level of tolerance increases
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  17. #17
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cary, NC
    My Bikes
    1983 Trek, 2001 Lemond, 2000 Gary Fisher
    Posts
    3,068
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No matter what the tire width, be religious about tire inflation. Under-inflated tires will pinch flat very easily on poor roads. Expect to top off narrow tires with the pump every couple of days. Some cyclists do it every ride.

    I've been cycling for over 30 years and pinch flatted just a week ago when I forgot to inflate my tires (that needed it) and crossed some railroad tracks.

    Wider tires will help and are a good deal if you ride mostly short distances.

    As you gain experience you'll get better at knowing when and how to merge farther left into the lane to avoid the right hooks and squeeze-by passes. Ride near the center of the lane where approaching intersections or where the lane is too narrow for same-lane passing. If there is only one lane in your direction, you can ride on the right edge of the lane to facilitate easier passing when passing is safe, but if the lane is too narrow and there is oncoming traffic, you'll want to take control of the situation by moving into the center of the lane until it's safe to pass.

  18. #18
    Senior Moment bikegeek57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    My Bikes
    Fuji Absolute 4.0
    Posts
    1,004
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    as for alternate routes? city? there are always other ways to get around. I go a mile or more out of my way just to avoid bad traffic zones. more miles means less me weight wise that is. works better all the way around.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Speedtrap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    My Bikes
    Specilized Hardrock, Electra Townie, Pegasis Folding Bike (1970's)
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I understand where you are; I am new to commuting this year too.
    The first day I tried it I had to have my wife come pick me up on the way home because I could not make it. I thought there were limited routes to my work (9 miles/15km one way) but in time I have found many routes and I use them to change things up.
    In time you will learn to anticipate bad drivers, I know I have and it only took me getting hit by a jerk in a BMW. Lucky for me it was low speed (No injuries) and the only damage was to the BMW.
    Don’t give up!
    I know there were several days I just wanted to pack it in, but now I am faster than ever, I can ride in traffic like a pro and feel better than I have in years.
    As for your comment about saving money, I think it is myth. I have spent more on gear than I would have on gas and added a few more bikes to my now growing fleet but the real benefit is your health, who can put a price on that.
    Keep going, in time you will get it all figured out and enjoy the ride.

  20. #20
    GATC
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    south Puget Sound
    Posts
    6,617
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Fat tires, pay attention to your route (slalom around the hazards), learn to fix flats, sadly (or bike along bus routes that will take you and the bike to a shop to fix flats for you). Get a feel for tire pressure, make sure your bike is staying at the tire pressure you want, and pump it up as often as you need to keep it there (could be daily, could be monthly).

    Once you get past the obstacles you realize they're just obstacles you can overcome, they're not existential barriers forbidding you from biking. My wife keeps quoting Yoda 'there is no try, only do'

  21. #21
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,075
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jalak View Post
    In all practicality though, what do other city-cyclists do to avoid this crap? Do you get used to it and swerve a lot? I don't want to give up just yet, I'm just frustrated.
    Take the lane, my friend.

    It's legal, it gets you away from the poorly maintained shoulders and out of the dangerous door zone, and it's part of helping you avoid right hooks.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  22. #22
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, DE
    My Bikes
    2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker, 1999 Jamis Exile
    Posts
    2,851
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The more you ride the easier and more accustomed you become to the potential hazards.

    And sometimes traffic has to get accustomed to that strange thing on the road with two wheels, crazy lights, and a human-like creature astride it. I swear officer, it came out of nowhere and just seem to glide along the pavement. It didn't make a sound at all. I had to swerve into oncoming traffic just to avoid it. I didn't want to start an interstellar war or anything. What could it have been?
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lynchburg, VA
    My Bikes
    2008 Gary Fisher Marlin Disc with slicks until I get a road bike
    Posts
    98
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bikegeek57 View Post
    as for alternate routes? city? there are always other ways to get around. I go a mile or more out of my way just to avoid bad traffic zones. more miles means less me weight wise that is. works better all the way around.
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    There are only 2 roads in your city Maybe you need to point out to the powers-that-be this oversight
    I don't know where the OP lives, but this is quite possible as it is the case in my city. I am separated from my work by an Expressway and railroad tracks. There are only 2 roads that cross these.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Burnaby, BC
    Posts
    4,144
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tough tires, lights, take the lane and ride like you own the road. Cuz you do.

    There are some tough days. It gets better.

  25. #25
    Goathead Magnet aley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Cannondale Caffeine F3
    Posts
    670
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you flatted because you hit a pothole, your tires were underflated. A properly inflated tire will bend the rim before it pinch flats. Trust me on this - I've run the experiment multiple times.

    Learn to change your own flats - it's an essential skill for commuting.

    With time and practice, driver behavior that at first seems completely unpredictable turns out to be easy to see coming. I was nearly right-hooked during my first week bike commuting - some idiot pulled into the left lane to go past me (I was taking the lane at a stoplight), then turned right at the light from the left lane. It hasn't happened since, partly because I've become more savvy about the finer points of lane positioning and partly because I've become more adept at recognizing what most of the idiots are going to do and planning accordingly.

    With practice, it all gets easy, and bike commuting gets to be fun.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •