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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 10-21-04, 10:38 PM   #1
Ronocerous
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Errands (rant alert)

My rant is actually quite short: why does everything have to be so detachable? There, that was it.

What do you folks do with all your stuff when you're running errands?

Commuting to and from work is ok, I suppose, but sometimes I need to get stuff. For example, I may leave work and go to Wal-Mart for diapers, then to the beer store for, well, beer, then to the video store for a movie. Each time I leave my bike I have take off a bunch of stuff: front light, battery for front light (water bottle battery, I use a Planet Bike Insight 15w), back light (sometimes I use two), water bottle, computer, seat bag (I bought a pump small enough to fit in the seat bag so it's no longer a separate detachable thing), and then the stuff in panniers, usually the day's clothes.

I wrote to the poor folks at Nite-Hawk about a commuter light and they were kind enough to respond, but everything is detachable. So, I thought I'd try to build a geek light so that I only have to remove the battery - the front and rear light would be perm. mounted.

Then I thought I'd sew a little pocket on inside of one of my panniers to house my pump and tire repair stuff. The panniers are locked to my rack right now. I'd try to rig it up so that it wasn't really visible and wouldn't be accessible without unlocking the panniers.

Any other thoughts or suggestions? I'd really like to hear what you do for these multiple-stop rides.

Maybe I'm just carrying too much.

Thanks

R
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Old 10-22-04, 12:18 AM   #2
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i usually ride with a rack trunk, and that has all of my tools, clothes and other stuff in it. When I stop I put my front light (a small "look at me" light) and my cyclocomputer in the bag and take it into the store. I dont' bother with water bottle, if someone wants to take it, they can take it and i'll get another. Havn't lost one yet.
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Old 10-22-04, 05:32 AM   #3
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If I know I am going to be stopping somewhere that this is a concern I go ahead and take everything off before I leave work and stick it in my bag then put it all back on when I get home.
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Old 10-22-04, 06:06 AM   #4
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It seems like you have a whole bunch of stuff there.
My solution is to travel a bit lighter so it's just front light, back light & water bottle on the bike and everything else (pump and toolkit, that's about it) in my bag.

I usually screw this up by forgetting my lock though :-)
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Old 10-22-04, 07:02 AM   #5
DanFromDetroit
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I ziptie the pump to the frame. I have a small wedge frame bag that carries disposable tools, tire levers, and a spare tube.

I use a baby bottle insulating bag to hold my SLA battery in the water bottle cage. This insulates it from the cold in winter, providing better performance, and gives me someplace to stow the light head and harness when I get off the bike. I stuff it all into the bag and put the bag in my backpack or messenger bag. My taillight is bolted to my rack with a bracket.

Dan
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Old 10-22-04, 07:32 AM   #6
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Internal hub generator, no computer, nutted wheels, no water bottle, no pump, no panniers, no seat bag, no quick releases. Everything is permanantly mounted, and I don't carry any stuff.

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Old 10-22-04, 08:34 AM   #7
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I've thought about this myself. My solution is going to be an errand bike. A bike only for running to the store and the like. It'll be a single speed, no shifters to attract attention. It'll have a rack on the back with a milk crate zip tied to it, for carrying things. No quick releases anywhere, slimed tubes (less need for pump) and no bike computer, lights, or anything. The lock will be just a long chain and a master lock.
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Old 10-22-04, 08:42 AM   #8
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I carry everything in a rack trunk. My rear light is screwed on to a bracket on the rack, and I usually just leave the front light on the bike (it's a Cateye EL100, worth maybe $20 including the rechargeable batteries, so I'm not really worried that someone's going to grab it).
If I'm taking a short stop, I'll leave the rack trunk too, and just grab my wallet and keys out of it.
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Old 10-22-04, 09:16 AM   #9
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I rarely go anywhere without one of these trailers attached to my bike:

http://www.bikerev.com/

The trailer locks to the bike, and the trailer itself locks closed. When you stop, just open the trailer and dump everything into it and lock it shut. Of course, this is on my all-around/commuter bike (recumbent). You barely notice the thing is back there, even when carrying a load in it, and it seems to have the added benefit (for some strange reason) that cars give me a little wider berth when I'm pulling the trailer...don't know why? On my road bike I don't carry anything extra and only ride that when I'm out for a ride only.



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Old 10-22-04, 10:53 AM   #10
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Generator lights rarely get taken. I use a front Lumotec lamp bolted to the fork, powered by a 6v lead acid battery inside an old waterbottle.
I usually tie a plastic bag over my saddle and rear light. I used to remove the blinkie but I don't bother now.
Everything else goes into the pannier or backpack.
Quick release = quick steal, so I use bolts.
I can't see the point of buying a lightweight seatpost and saddle, then have to faff around removing it each time you stop. I bet the journey would be faster with a low grade , leave-in-place rig.
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Old 10-22-04, 02:01 PM   #11
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Anyone here tried using tamper-proof mounting hardware? I've thought of using, I think it's called Security Torx harware. It's just like Torx but with a peg in the middle. I have a set of these bits for repairing a microwave oven. I think it would be a rare thief who would have the tools to remove these.
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Old 10-22-04, 06:54 PM   #12
Michel Gagnon
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I am like PaulH and MichaelW.

I have a hub generator and Lumotec headlight, which are permanently attached to the bicycle. As for taillights, I have one Planet Bike or Vistalite (depending on bike) permanently attached, and I add more for longer rides.

In my main "basic" pannier, I have my food, extra clothes (raingear, sweater...), pump, tubes and tire patch kit, so all come in a single piece when I arrive at the office.
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Old 10-22-04, 07:11 PM   #13
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Is theft really such a universal problem? I usually leave everything on my bike & only use a cable lock in the downtown area where there are a few transients who might be interested in a 20 or 30 year old road bike. Never have had a bike stolen or lost any parts (Brooks saddles, headlights, blinkies, frame pumps etc) I did lose a new frame pump on my commute home the other day & couldn't find it when I re-rode my route so I guess a pump lying in the bike lane is irresistable . Don
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Old 10-22-04, 11:33 PM   #14
Ronocerous
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These are some good suggestions. Thanks. I've always gone with the locked on panniers for some reason. Maybe its time I looked into a detachable one so I can just haul that in. Maybe a rack trunk.

I did replace the quick releases with bolts when I bought my bike - this taking off the front wheel and seatpost thing would have driven me nuts.

I thought about a perm mount for my rear light, but wouldn't the battery go bad in the cold weather?

Each suggestion helped and I'll keep working on my gear and routine.
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Old 10-23-04, 10:19 AM   #15
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Well I have a Nightrider that just pops on and off with a thumbscrew. I'm not sure how the PB light is setup, but I imagine its somewhat similar. I leave the battery because I doubt anyone would:

a) want just a battery with a proprietary connector
b) would even know what it is w/o the light present

For rear lights, they just clip onto my messenger bag so they are always with me and not attached to the bike.
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Old 10-23-04, 10:45 AM   #16
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I have a plastic shopping bag that slips under my wedgie bag. When I leave the bike that bag will hold the wedgie, my gloves, the water bottle and the cyclocomputer. My pump is in the pannier, which can also hold my helmet.
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Old 10-23-04, 10:50 AM   #17
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Wow 1/2 these words are foreign to me...I think I need to school myself a bit.
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Old 10-27-04, 01:52 AM   #18
iceratt
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Um, how about just dumping everything into a panier that easily clips on and off. Or move to Minneapolis, where crime is almost nonexistant. I never remove my clip on stuff, unless I'm in a poor or hip neighborhood, and I've not had any problems.
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Old 10-27-04, 02:31 AM   #19
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In the 4 1/2 years that I've had my current bike and riding around town (mostly Uptown) and stopping for things, I've not once had anything stolen off my bike. I simply lock the frame and front wheel to something, go do my thing, and come back to everything as I left it.
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Old 10-27-04, 11:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca
In the 4 1/2 years that I've had my current bike I've not once had anything stolen off my bike. I simply lock the frame and front wheel to something.
And I have the same record, but for 20 years. I'm sure we coldn't get away with this if we lived in NYC.
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Old 10-27-04, 11:25 AM   #21
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Leave the beer behind and nobody will mess with the bike stuff!
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Old 10-27-04, 11:02 PM   #22
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I like the idea of zip tying the pump on.
I carry everything in a carradice saddle bag, that comes with me.
My home made light is held on to the handle bar with a screw, but you need a screwdriver and its obviously home made. I just leave the battery on the bike, nobody seems too interested in it. I have one of those euro-style locks on the seat stay, it keeps anybody from hopping on the bike and taking off - good for short errands. If I am going to be longer I use a cable lock.
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Old 10-27-04, 11:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceratt
And I have the same record, but for 20 years. I'm sure we coldn't get away with this if we lived in NYC.
Most likely true.
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Old 10-28-04, 12:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren
I rarely go anywhere without one of these trailers attached to my bike:

http://www.bikerev.com/

The trailer locks to the bike, and the trailer itself locks closed. When you stop, just open the trailer and dump everything into it and lock it shut. Of course, this is on my all-around/commuter bike (recumbent). You barely notice the thing is back there, even when carrying a load in it, and it seems to have the added benefit (for some strange reason) that cars give me a little wider berth when I'm pulling the trailer...don't know why? On my road bike I don't carry anything extra and only ride that when I'm out for a ride only.



-Darren
Have you had any experience with the pet trailer? I bought a kiddie trailer for my dog but she won't sit still.
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Old 10-28-04, 02:08 AM   #25
catatonic
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i just leave my seatpost bag...why should i worry bout a tube, some levers, and a gel pack...the tools in the bag do end up in my pocket though.

lights come off, bottle stays, wheels are nutted.
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