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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 12-21-12, 02:33 PM   #1
chibibike
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rode to work for the first time

I have a modified Trek Utopia and I rode it to work and back today. It was a total of 20 miles on the road with cars! I went in the morning around 9am so there wasn't as much traffic and I hadn't rode a bike in months so I was averaging like 10-15MPH both ways so it took about 45 min each way for me and the way back sucked cause it started to get super windy and it was blowing me so hard right in my face almost the entire time. Last night I used it to go a couple miles down the road to walmart and locked it to those shopping cart cages in the parking lot. I was so worried about it I was like running around the store getting what I wanted and filled up a backpack with groceries and had two extra bags that I put on my handle bars and rode home carefully cause I had eggs. I hardly ever use my bike cause I usually have a car but my hubby took it out of town so it's all i have but it was neat finally really using it for something. Ever since I got it I have wanting to use it for more than just casual riding with friends to justify the 900 I spent on it and extra 600 on upgrades and mods to it. Oh yeah! well when I was on my way back about 3 miles from home I got a flat and didn't have a spare or anything with me so I walked my bike the rest of the way but along the way there was a bike shop so I went in to get another tube but I couldn't remembr what size so I just told them to find out what tires came stock on it cause had those in my storage room so when I got home I put the bigger size tire on the back so now it's got a fat back tire that has those bumpy things on it and my thin fast road racing tire in front. I don't think I like it that way maybe it's good for better traction?

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Old 12-21-12, 02:39 PM   #2
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That is an interesting bike - drops with front shocks. That was also a lot of text to read
Knobby tires aren't useful unless you are off road. Welcome to commuting - its addictive.
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Old 12-21-12, 03:30 PM   #3
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nice bike. May I suggest some sort of rack and rear bag and/or panniers or something to carry groceries, instead of hanging bags off your handlebars?
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Old 12-21-12, 03:37 PM   #4
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i don't wanna big rack. i don't want a log of heavy stuff.
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Old 12-21-12, 03:45 PM   #5
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I don't know, the weight of a load fixed over the rear wheel is going to be a lot more stable than heavy bags swaying around from the handle bars. I know because I used to ride my bike to Walmart when I was a kid and carry stuff from the handle bars that way. It never was very fun.
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Old 12-21-12, 03:47 PM   #6
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yeah but i made it without cracking my eggs
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Old 12-21-12, 04:35 PM   #7
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Congratulations! It's a great feeling, isn't it?

When you get some miles behind you, you'll have a clear idea of what accessories you do and don't need.
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Old 12-21-12, 04:48 PM   #8
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well i don't ride usually just sometimes with friends or husband. I only did this time cause he has my car so I don't think i wanna get a bunch of more stuff like serious bikers get besides the basics cause I don't plan on really using it regularly to commute.
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Old 12-21-12, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chibibike View Post
yeah but i made it without cracking my eggs
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Old 12-22-12, 11:32 AM   #10
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I don't see how that's funny.
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Old 12-22-12, 04:06 PM   #11
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another approach...

you could always get a backpack for use with that (and it folds up and is easy to store when you don't need it...) I actually use my backpack to carry a bunch of stuff even when not commuting...
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Old 12-22-12, 11:37 PM   #12
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i have a backpack and when I went to walmart to get grocery it was packed and prolly like 50lbs cause there was a lot of cans and jars and 2lt soda and 1gl milk. I didn't think i was gonna be able to ride with that plus the one heavy bag on the left handle bar but I did it and it wasn't bad as long as i was moving.
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Old 12-23-12, 10:59 AM   #13
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So you tell us about your commute but you don't want to do it. You tell us about your shopping experience, but don't want to do anything to make it easier. I was all ready to try to encourage you and tell you "Great job?" and it is, but I'm not sure why you posted at all.

You have a perfect distance to commute regularly and save yourself a ton of money on fuel and health expenses. I encourage to keep at it! It does become addictive. I don't want a rack on my bike either, but I can attach my BOB trailer when I need to haul some stuff. I like the convenience of that and with 2 broken collar bones, one with a steel plate, backpacks don't work for me at all. I would find somewhere closer to the entrance to lock up your bike, even if you just take inside the main entry.

And yeah that line about not breaking your eggs made me nearly snort my coffee. That was funny!!
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Old 12-25-12, 07:00 AM   #14
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I would have been extremely nervous parking a bicycle like that in a Walmart Parking Lot, especially on a Holiday season. Commuting with your bike to work is cool as long as you keep your bike secure at all times, if you don't like a rack in your bike with panniers then I guess you don't have any other choice to ride with a back pack and you will limit yourself on getting some other things at the store that you may like to take.

That is why most people here that commutes have more than one bicycle, your bike looks more for training purposes but hey I understand you spend allot of money getting this bike...

I personally have a nice bike like yours, an Italian Bianchy Trofeo and I've made the decision on not using it for regular commutes like going to the store where it could be a target. So I've save money and ended up with a nice Cruiser that I can take anywhere with out worrying to much, I use my other bike when I'm sure is not going to be left out in a insecure place.

And don't getting me wrong I found the line of not breaking your eggs funny too!

Good Luck!

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Old 12-30-12, 02:46 PM   #15
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Congratulations on the commute to work, I want to do that, just haven't crossed the "leaving my bike outside all day/evening" bridge-yet! I work at Walmart-people leave their bikes outside unlocked-no problem! I think, "your bike will not be waiting for you one day/night". I'm a firm believer in locking my bike, perhaps these people have never experienced theft directly or indirectly.

Your work commute, and that you made it back from your grocery run ok with all that weight on your back and the weight on your handlebars-unbalanced, you get an A for your efforts.

You mention you don't want to add all kinds of stuff to your bike, ok. I use my bikes to go to the stores and for riding, but that weight on my back re a backpack-too top heavy for me, I think I'd have balance issues much less the discomfort. I have a basket that attaches to the handlebars-you just hang it-quick release to bring it in shopping, so that helps keep weight evenly distributed and balanced, easier to control and steer your bike. I don't like heavy loads on handlebars at all but if I have to have carry something in front I want the load balanced.

I use a rear Sunlite brand aluminum (black) rack on my Schwinn-no panniers for now-keeping it simple, I just use bungee cords. It's heavy duty, not bulky at all-"lite", works great, has a spring loaded piece for something light (mail, etc.) I'm guessing you used your backpack for the commute? I have a handlebar bag-the round tube type, its an old Bell brand, I keep some tools in there, a rag, a few scott towels, and my water bottle to easily grab a drink while riding, sometimes I'll keep my water bottle in my jacket pocket.

I agree that using your bike for more than casual riding is rewarding, the health benefits from riding are great also. And the eggs? No one is laughing at you, trust me-you get an A+ for that feat, I'll have to try that too, lol. Bravo

Last edited by ko57; 12-30-12 at 03:11 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old 12-30-12, 09:57 PM   #16
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I gave up a 99 Jeep Wrangler, yeah I miss it but it was killing my pocket book, since I started riding my mountain bike I bought good panniers for it and I am getting in awesome shape, and to me the health benefits alone are so worth it, not to mention the money I save, I can afford nice stuff if I want. Riding a bike to work and braving the cars and elements is not for the meek.My hat is off to anyone that wants to think out of the box, and take on the challenge as the reward is great.
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