Bike Forums

Bike Forums (http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Commuting (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/)
-   -   Advice for New Commuters (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/90213-advice-new-commuters.html)

schlaefer88 12-18-06 07:39 PM

Rear View Mirrors
 
Hi All, My commute is 24miles round trip, 4 to 5 days a week in Northern California. As I just started committed commuting last earth day, this is my first winter and I am still working on my rainy weather gear. However my question is regarding rear view mirrors. I went back and read this entire string and noticed lots of mention of helmet mounted rear view mirrors and handlebar mounted mirrors, but none of glasses-mounted ones. I have been using the Take-A-Look eye glass mounted mirror for three months now and am very pleased with it. It is made by the Bike Peddlar in Greeley, CO and is available at REI and other bike shops.

One nice thing about this mirror is you don't have to cut a hole in your helmet cover on rainy days as you would with a helmet mounted mirror.

vrkelley 02-23-07 12:06 AM

Remember that new parts tend to loosen (and even fall off) after a few hundred miles. Be sure to retighten everything.

HardyWeinberg 02-23-07 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vrkelley
Remember that new parts tend to loosen (and even fall off) after a few hundred miles. Be sure to retighten everything.

That's a good one. I think it's worth replacing bolts that don't go all the way through w/ longer ones if needed, also. (like, through rack, fender, and all the way through eyelet, but not so far as to hit moving parts obviously). You want max thread engagement.

vrkelley 02-23-07 01:13 PM

Adding to previous tip; When you hear something fall off while you're in traffic, the first instinct is to stop suddenly or swerve (alarming those around you). When attaching an accessory, try to have a secondary strap or means of attaching the thing in case the first fails -- if possible.

Phantoj 02-23-07 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
That's a good one. I think it's worth replacing bolts that don't go all the way through w/ longer ones if needed, also. (like, through rack, fender, and all the way through eyelet, but not so far as to hit moving parts obviously). You want max thread engagement.

If you are buying fasteners for your bike at the hardware store, get the stainless ones. Also, the nuts with the nylon inserts are good to prevent loosening.

Daily Commute 02-25-07 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vrkelley
Adding to previous tip; When you hear something fall off while you're in traffic, the first instinct is to stop suddenly or swerve (alarming those around you). When attaching an accessory, try to have a secondary strap or means of attaching the thing in case the first fails -- if possible.

Zip ties are great emergency fasteners. I try to keep one or two in my saddle bag at all times.

Michael H 02-26-07 09:43 AM

I've read every post in this whole thread - I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that has contributed. I will be starting my commute once the road conditions clear up around here, and this thread has really helped me out a lot. :)

einv 02-28-07 04:06 PM

neon by day, reflective by night
 
[/QUOTE]- Those hideous neon yellow jackets seem to really increase your visibility. In fact, I suspect that if you wear one, the old "Officer, I just didn't see him" excuse won't hold up.
.[/QUOTE]

hi all, first time post to this forum. having recovered from a horrible accident in which an old lady sped out of an intersection and hit me last april, on "earth day", i have become exceedingly scrupulous as to visibility. at the time of the accident, i was wearing a reflective vest, the kind that looks like nylon netting with reflective strips. turns out this is better for nighttime, because those reflectors work best when a focussed light beam is shining on them.

during daytime, solid (i.e., non-netted) neon type vests work best. i use an orange deer hunting jacket (cheaper than fancy bike store neons) over my netted reflective vest during the day, while at night i interchange the position of these vests, keeping the reflective over the neon.

neon jackets are not visible easily at night! my friend who followed me in her car to test my visibility at various angles of viewing said reflective vests and the strips i wear on my ankles to keep the long pants from getting caught in the chain are the most visible features. she claims the red rear reflector is only rarely visible.

when she approached me sideways, she found that the spoke mounted reflectors on the front and rear wheel caught the headlights best.

fortunately, my accident has made me a more dedicated cyclist, and also switched me from the "vehicular camp" to the "invisible". that is, i bike assuming that no car will ever recognize my existence, while at the same time being as visible as possible. i might have back pain for a long time due to the compression fractures, and arthritis from the right scapula break, but otherwise i am whole and healthy, in fact healthier as i swim twice a week as a form of physical therapy. the insurance co. also bought me a new trek 6500 in place of the totalled bianchi lynx. yes, i use a MTB, call me a wuss, but i like the fact that fat tires do not get as many flats. i hate fixing flats, those ridged tubes cannot hold a patch! i simply change the tubes whenever i get a rare flat, maybe once or twice a year on average, not bad given that i do about 3000 miles per annum!

another thing to watch out for: some oncoming motorists give the turning signal way in advance, while they do not intend to turn until the intersection below yours. they will also slow down as they approach you, because they may have just seen you. this combination of circumstances can cause you to imagine the car is going to be making a turn at your intersection. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO CROSS AHEAD OF THE VEHICLE. i saw a close call in front of me when a cyclist assumed that the vehicle was slowing down to turn, but then went ahead to the next intersection. fortunately, the guy had the sense to jump his bike and avoid being hit.

Joshua88 03-01-07 04:47 PM

I am fed up with gas prices, so I a, refusing to drive my car anymore. I am starting to commute to school now (about 10-12 miles) and this thread has helped a lot for me to get prepared. I am a senior in high school, so I bike to school, not work. Luckily I have gym first block, so I can shower when I get to school. The only thing I hate is the weather. Today there was about 2-3 inches of slush on the ground, it was raining, and it was about 35 out. I ride an old diamondback master tg centurion. I have a clip on fender in the back, and I rigged an old water bottle to my downtube to protect me from spray off the front tire. I am planning on buying some full fenders. I have no rack, but I have a waterproof messanger bag that I keep everything in. I also wear a bright jacket. Thanks for all of the advice. This has helped me very much. I plan on continuing commuting, because this gas bussiness is quite a load of crap. Thanks for the help.

caloso 03-01-07 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joshua88
I am fed up with gas prices, so I a, refusing to drive my car anymore. I am starting to commute to school now (about 10-12 miles) and this thread has helped a lot for me to get prepared. I am a senior in high school, so I bike to school, not work. Luckily I have gym first block, so I can shower when I get to school. The only thing I hate is the weather. Today there was about 2-3 inches of slush on the ground, it was raining, and it was about 35 out. I ride an old diamondback master tg centurion. I have a clip on fender in the back, and I rigged an old water bottle to my downtube to protect me from spray off the front tire. I am planning on buying some full fenders. I have no rack, but I have a waterproof messanger bag that I keep everything in. I also wear a bright jacket. Thanks for all of the advice. This has helped me very much. I plan on continuing commuting, because this gas bussiness is quite a load of crap. Thanks for the help.

Good job, Joshua. And welcome!











(Who says kids today are no good?)

Helmet Head 03-01-07 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by einv
having recovered from a horrible accident in which an old lady sped out of an intersection and hit me last april,
...
fortunately, my accident has made me a more dedicated cyclist, and also switched me from the "vehicular camp" to the "invisible". that is, i bike assuming that no car will ever recognize my existence, while at the same time being as visible as possible.

Glad you've recovered.

Is there a thread where you describe what happened in the crash, and why you apparently think being in the "vehicular camp" includes assuming you are noticed by someone upon whom your safety depends without verifying that they have indeed noticed you?

If not, I for one would be interested in getting the full story on these two points.

vrkelley 03-02-07 08:39 AM

Quite a few students post on the commuter forum perhaps you all can post your cheats. When you commute to school, you can park closer and bypass those expensive parking permits! But bike theft is something to consider.The cops prevented somebody from stealing mine right out of the rack.

MikeR 03-02-07 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joshua88
I am fed up with gas prices, so I a, refusing to drive my car anymore. I am starting to commute to school now

Good for you! Welcome. Now when a teacher starts making some speech about saving the environment you can point out the difference between her SUV and your bike. :)

Joshua88 03-02-07 12:12 PM

Thanks everyone for the welcome. I use a long chain and pad lock, so I wrap it very well through my bike and the rack. I haven't had to worry about my bike being stolen yet, but I live in a small town right now. Next year I'll be living in Milwaukee, so then I might have to be a little more wary about leaving it out. Thanks again everyone.

einv 03-05-07 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Glad you've recovered.

Is there a thread where you describe what happened in the crash, and why you apparently think being in the "vehicular camp" includes assuming you are noticed by someone upon whom your safety depends without verifying that they have indeed noticed you?

If not, I for one would be interested in getting the full story on these two points.

that was my first post on this forum. if this had better be posted in some other area of the forum, the moderators can please feel free to move it.

i made the mistake of using visual cues. the car was stopped at a stop sign, but it was driven by an 85 year old person with cognitive disconnect. she apparently did not even see me coming down the main road. she was stopped, the windows were down, and she was staring straight in my direction. under normal circumstances, during commutes you have a pretty fair idea of when the driver is being impatient, or when he will wait your passage. well, in the 3 seconds it took observe her, and the second it took to cross her path, four seconds in all, every cue was in the direction of the driver who awaits your passage.

of course it is absurd for me to pretend to noticing more details than i actually did see. time has a way of strengthening your position, and adding details that a normal human, in the course of a commute cannot at all notice. in the course of my commute, i pass roughly a hundred cars, and 40 turn situations such as that one. 12 years of commuting went by without incident. that's tens of thousands of cars passed. so focusing on one driver is not only inaccurate, but unproductive. the woman's fault was "failure to yield" but i have met over a hundred such cases, and anticipated them all, some close shaves. it is just that the cues here mislead me, and caused the accident. if i did not rely on visual cues at all, it would render me the invisible cyclist, a person who does not place his welfare upon being treated as a visible vehicle, aka car.

the vehicular credo is to drive your bike as though it were a vehicle, following the rules of a vehicle. i think this is the single most dangerous thing that caused my accident, because i assumed a person who stared straight at you, and who was waiting at a stop sign, therefore wanted you to pass in keeping with your status as a vehicle.

as it happens, she did not see me at all. it took me a long time to believe her side of the story, but after talking to a number of people with aged relatives, i have come around to it. (it is all too easy to play the victim, and say you were targeted, that old people behind wheels are nasty, etc. plus the fact that i am non-white got me thinking in certain less wholesome ways.) it turns out that psychological studies confirm that when old people see, they sometimes do not notice, and a fixed pleasant smile in your direction should be no guarantee that they acknowledge your existence.

i now believe that a cycle is not a vehicle like a car. i think that it is better to behave as though you are never noticed, except when the motorist actually calls out your name. (a wave is insufficient, as they could be waving at someone else, or waving a fly off their face.) i follow the rules of the road, but when it becomes clear that my welfare is at stake, i feel free to become less assertive as to my lane, or rights of way. basically, my mantra is "right of way does not exist for a bicyclist---believe it does at your own peril".

Russ 03-10-07 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by einv
i now believe that a cycle is not a vehicle like a car. i think that it is better to behave as though you are never noticed, except when the motorist actually calls out your name. (a wave is insufficient, as they could be waving at someone else, or waving a fly off their face.) i follow the rules of the road, but when it becomes clear that my welfare is at stake, i feel free to become less assertive as to my lane, or rights of way. basically, my mantra is "right of way does not exist for a bicyclist---believe it does at your own peril".

I'm currently (re)reading "The Art of Urban Cycling - Lessons from the Street" by Robert Hurst. This book makes essentially the same point, and should be required reading for bike commuters, IMHO.

Russ

TheBrick 03-14-07 04:07 AM

Don't ride a bike like most people drive. i.e

Look far ahead if the next traffic light if red no need to race towards it cutting other cyclists up.

When at a a set of traffic lights there is no need to filter past the cylist that over took you a few min ago and sit infront of him /her for not reason then get in thier way when the light turn green.

Reverse if you ride on the right hand side of the road.
When there is a junction on your left, a que of traffic going along the road with a lorry just infront of the junction to gether with a cylist waiting in the cycle lane by the junction DO NOT blast through. Vechals turning into the side road from the other direction can not see through lorries, they can not see you. Last summer I would see an ambulance at one junction nearly every week becuase of this. Once the idiot had been culled it was fine. Now the nice weather has come people are blasting through this junction agiain.

http://thomasbrickell.googlepages.co...road-large.jpg

vrkelley 03-16-07 03:15 AM

+ 1 While waiting for turning traffic, it's helpful to position the back tire so idiot bikers cannot squeese between you and the curb. That prevents them from tangling with you if you need to pull closer to the curb for some reason.

bbunk 03-16-07 10:04 AM

- Those hideous neon yellow jackets seem to really increase your visibility. In fact, I suspect that if you wear one, the old "Officer, I just didn't see him" excuse won't hold up.
.[/QUOTE]

hi all, first time post to this forum. having recovered from a horrible accident in which an old lady sped out of an intersection and hit me last april, on "earth day", i have become exceedingly scrupulous as to visibility. at the time of the accident, i was wearing a reflective vest, the kind that looks like nylon netting with reflective strips. turns out this is better for nighttime, because those reflectors work best when a focussed light beam is shining on them.

during daytime, solid (i.e., non-netted) neon type vests work best. i use an orange deer hunting jacket (cheaper than fancy bike store neons) over my netted reflective vest during the day, while at night i interchange the position of these vests, keeping the reflective over the neon.

neon jackets are not visible easily at night! my friend who followed me in her car to test my visibility at various angles of viewing said reflective vests and the strips i wear on my ankles to keep the long pants from getting caught in the chain are the most visible features. she claims the red rear reflector is only rarely visible.

when she approached me sideways, she found that the spoke mounted reflectors on the front and rear wheel caught the headlights best.

fortunately, my accident has made me a more dedicated cyclist, and also switched me from the "vehicular camp" to the "invisible". that is, i bike assuming that no car will ever recognize my existence, while at the same time being as visible as possible. i might have back pain for a long time due to the compression fractures, and arthritis from the right scapula break, but otherwise i am whole and healthy, in fact healthier as i swim twice a week as a form of physical therapy. the insurance co. also bought me a new trek 6500 in place of the totalled bianchi lynx. yes, i use a MTB, call me a wuss, but i like the fact that fat tires do not get as many flats. i hate fixing flats, those ridged tubes cannot hold a patch! i simply change the tubes whenever i get a rare flat, maybe once or twice a year on average, not bad given that i do about 3000 miles per annum!

another thing to watch out for: some oncoming motorists give the turning signal way in advance, while they do not intend to turn until the intersection below yours. they will also slow down as they approach you, because they may have just seen you. this combination of circumstances can cause you to imagine the car is going to be making a turn at your intersection. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO CROSS AHEAD OF THE VEHICLE. i saw a close call in front of me when a cyclist assumed that the vehicle was slowing down to turn, but then went ahead to the next intersection. fortunately, the guy had the sense to jump his bike and avoid being hit.[/QUOTE]

Nothing works as good for nighttime visibility as lights. Get some good ones and use them, they work.

windywheels 03-22-07 08:59 AM

Hi all!
I am new to commuting as well and I am in my first week. So far so good!
I am in process of buying all the equipment as well.
I didn't read anything about powered solar red blinking lights. Do you have any comments regarding this one?
Thanks.

Jeprox 03-28-07 05:08 PM

I had a rear flat tire the other morning. I was glad I always have my topeak flash stand with me. I did not have to lean my bike on its side while I made my repairs. If one does not mind the extra 1.10 lbs of load, this is good to have. BTW, to keep the chain from dangling, my bike frame comes with a chain hook. This you don't find in newer frames.

http://www.topeak.com/2007/products/...flashstand.php

MikeR 03-29-07 02:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeprox
I had a rear flat tire the other morning. I was glad I always have my topeak flash stand with me. http://www.topeak.com/2007/products/...flashstand.php

That looks interesting. Is it possible to prop the front wheel with it?

Jeprox 03-29-07 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeR
That looks interesting. Is it possible to prop the front wheel with it?

Works like a tripod, the fork ends will have to rest on the ground while the front wheel flat is being repaired.

MikeR 03-30-07 02:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeprox
Works like a tripod, the fork ends will have to rest on the ground while the front wheel flat is being repaired.

I was thinking more of truing the front wheel while on the bike. Maybe weight the back wheel so the front is in the air?

nakedsushi 03-30-07 12:04 PM

Hi guys, this might be the wrong forum for this, but considering I'm going to be commuting on my bike, I might as well post it here. I'm not sure if this is what it's called, but how do I do a running mount?

I don't see it too often around here in LA but in China, it seems like the default way people get onto a bicycle. It looks like they're running next to their bike and pushing it and all of a sudden, they step one foot on the pedal and next thing you know they're sitting on the bike and pedaling at a higher speed than if they were just to straddle the bike and start from a stop there.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:47 AM.