Just put on your big boy pants and get over it!
Trying to parse out your scenario...
You need to merge left into car traffic due to construction? Do this gradually by taking the lane and stay there. I usually align myself dead center to the car in front of me so that traffic behind me knows my intention and doesn't try to sneak past.
Yes, use hand signals, but don't expect the people in the cars to understand them.
- all conditioned forms decay, seek liberation diligently -
- all conditioned forms decay, seek liberation diligently -
How is a singlespeed not 'efficient' for a 5 mile commute in Cali? Please explain.
- all conditioned forms decay, seek liberation diligently -
I didn't say all single-speeds are inefficient, I said my single-speed beach cruiser was inefficient for my commute on a regular basis. Guess the bike is geared too low, my legs go 'round 'n 'round real fast but my speed doesn't get any faster. I've done the same commute on a 20-something speed Fuji and and made better time with far less effort. Can't think of a better definition for efficient than making better time w/less effort.
Thanks for the advice. Luckily they took down the construction cones, which made people slow down around me (odd). So I keep going straight and they (usually) slow down to get into the right hand turn lane. Every once in a while there is someone in a huge hurry to get past me. I may start carrying rocks to throw.... Maybe
After watching joey bike's videos I have to ask...isn't it very dangerous to run red lights and pass cars on the right side, especially on a one way street that is very tight. I mean you could get doored right?
My kids have held the local bi-weekly paper route on our street for 15 years, delivering to about 40 customers by wagon. I tried to deliver a few myself from my bike, with a newspaper bag around my neck -- I thought it was very dangerous. Forty papers in a pannier -- I don't know about that -- each Sunday paper with ads weighs about a pound -- that's forty pounds. I can't imagine trying to haul two hundred on a bike.
Schwinn - World's Finest Bicycles.
Cargo bikes come in a multitude of configurations. In general, the load is either carried in front of the person, or behind. Good examples can be found at www.clevercycles.com
Two brands that easily come to mind are www.xtracycle.com, and http://www.larryvsharry.com/english/
Here's some more...
And of course....
Also consider using a trailier. For example, child trailers on average are rated for 75 lbs. Most have covers, and can be purchased used from a lot of sources.
Rehabbed a kiddie trailer
Last edited by Silverexpress; 10-13-08 at 09:32 PM.
When in doubt, slow down. It's a lot faster to drop from 15 mph to 10 mph and accelerate a few seconds later than it is to try to stick to 15 mph, slip, and have to start again from zero.
Also be very careful at crosswalks; cars never stop trying to turn.
JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".
I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!
Ok I am sure my answers are in this forum somewhere but I figure no reason not to just ask and see if anything new is said.
I have a 10 mile eastward downhill ride to work, paved but some parts have heavy traffic. I then have to go north 8 miles to get to class in an hour. (biggest fear is security at school!!) Then I have to go southwest about 9 miles home, uphill dark. Advice?
Sounds a lot like the cross country commuting we see in England. Some people where I live commute across dark common land [offroad gravel, cattle, horses, lakes, riverbanks, etc etc etc]. We do feel that at times they put themselves at risk. My best advice is firstly, be seen as much as you can with bright clothing and good lights. Secondly, cycle with a friend or twelve if you have to ride anywhere off of the main street. Thirdly, adjust your pace to the environment, don't be afraid to get off and walk across busy streets, and use the pavement/street as is safest for you, take water and a snack because it sounds like you'll need it! Fourthly, keep your communications open, so tell someone when you are due home so they know if you are late [yeh it's a pain!], charge your mobile/cellphone, keep cash/coins for payphones, know how far it is to the next/nearest gas station. Lastly, if your good at mechanics carry a couple of tools [but never overload the bike or your backpack!!!] and a spare inner tube to fix any minor problems [at a safe place like], oh oh did I say to maintain your bike and make sure your have the right tires/tyres [street/offroad]??? ... gosh sounds like there is so much to just what should be a simple cycle! In summary, be seen, buddy up, and stay in contact! I hope I didn't get too far away from the question
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Tip: Traffic pattern changes can be subtle. Bike defensively. Re-check visibility from time to time
I'm pretty lucky in my situation right now. I go to school about a mile away, so I can go in my regular clothes (sometimes I ride in my sheepskin slippers ha) I can shower/swim after the 6 miles to work, and hop on a train if my bike gets messed up or the weather is too intense afterwards. My parents threatened to kick me out if ride after dark without some serious lights for my bike!
I would agree with an earlier poster's comment that every situation is different.
As for me, the only equipment I keep at work are my work clothes. Since it's a utility uniform, it needs to be washed only once a week (though the underclothes are washed daily )
As for cycling equipment, I have the following:
- LED headlamp - MUST brighter than any halogens on the market! (LEDs have come a long way, folks), and it goes through batters, like... hardly at all. Certainly a lot more economical than my old halogen.
- Rear blinker - also LED, again, it's a battery-miser
- spoke reflectors
- reflector tape - I put stripes along my frame to outline the fact that these blinkling lights ahead of the driver is a bicycle.
- water bottle
- two composite tire irons (super lightweight, but two make taking off your tire a piece of cake)
- spare tube
- portable pump
- multi-tool (good for gooseneck, pedals, crank, calipers and shifters - the wheels and seat are quick-adjusts)
- tube repair kit - minimal, really - just a rougher, a bit of rubber, and some glue
Throughout the week I'd wear the same underwear and socks at work that I'd wear while riding to work. On rainy days I'd carry a spare set as both would get soaks. For cooler/colder days I'd underlayer with Duofold's Duomax top and bottom - super lightweight and about 90% as effective when wet as when dry.
On Mondays I carry my clean coveralls with me in a backpack (less wind resistance and weight than side bags), especially since I always carried the backpack - I'd stop daily for some food. On Fridays I'd carry my dirty coveralls home for cleaning.
I have just two outer layers - a pair of bib shorts, and a full top/bottom set. I'd complement that with a microweight blaze yellow windbreaker, and for colder rain, a waterproof shell, rain pants, booties, and waterproof gloves.
I never needed a balaclava, as with all the other gear keeping my core warm, and my serious pace, I was always toasty, even down to rain at 35 def F.
Any colder in the rain, though, and I'd drive. Or on good days, I'd cycle down to around 25 deg F.
Still, I tried to avoid cycling in the winter months, as this far North that means cycling in the dark both morning and evening, which gets a bit dangers - I was sideswiped three times during the course of a year, after which point I decided to limit my cycling to day ops only.
I commuted by bike for a few months this past summer (~ 8 miles each way). I have since started a new job, which is 26 miles away. After driving to the new spot for a few months now, I'm getting the itch to get back in the saddle. I suspect a hybrid bike/bus approach may work best for me, I'm not ready to commit 4 hours round trip quite yet.
Anyway, just came to say that I read this thread end-to-end, and appreciate all the info that was shared.
Hi guys, this is my first post, thought this would be a good place to start & introduce:
Current commute: I ride every day top wherever I need to go, but when I do work (once a week) it's a 4 mile ride, mostly on quiet back roads and cycle paths. Quite a cruisy ride.
My gear: Currently I am riding a Orbea AOS with a rear and front LED light set which are very bright and a rear fender. I am currently using a 45l backpack to store my gear (such as removable lights and gloves etc), spare clothes for work, locks (in the process of deciding what type of lock to buy, will probably buy a Kyrptonite NYFA U-lock) and anything else I need to stash.
I normally just wear normal clothes, I avoid dark clothes if riding in the dark/dusk, but I haven't stepped up to a high visibility vest, but I might get one for winter as it gets dark by 5pm which is just as I finish work or Uni. The only thing is I wear a backpack and so half the visibility factor is being covered up.
I also am looking to get panniers are many people seem to recommend them, but I am not sure if my bike will fit them or not.
I have been commuting/using a bike as primary transport for over a year now (my last bike, a Giant Rincon, was stolen late November last year ) so here's some advice to share:
Ride your bike with the mindset of a motorist!
Whether you're on the cycle path, sidewalk or street, you are a vehicle so ride it that way!
Be obvious about your intentions if sharing the road with cars, e.g. don't zig-zag around, slowly change lanes, indicate with your hands and give time to make sure people saw, keep eye contact with drivers where possible, ride defensively and have as much light and reflecting gear on as possible- I know as a ex-motorist how annoying it would be with people riding around at dust/night wearing dark clothes and no lights.
Expect the unexpected, if it's winter, but there's no rain, BRING THAT JACKET with you anyway, because chances are that it will be raining a few hours later on your way home (happened to me a few times!).
Sold the car and bought a bike. Good for me, good for society and good for the planet. :)
I've found lots of nooks and crannies where I can slip in and out quickly, avoiding traffic, stop signs, signal lights. I try to find the smoothest pavement/sidewalk to ride on, which is quite a challenge around our area, which is not bicycle friendly at all ...
They were stopped at a stop sign, and should have been looking both ways, but they only looked to the right ... !!! That is scary, and I've seen that happen before, even when people are walking across a crosswalk.
I too pull out to the left lane sometimes to avoid being hit by a car that is ready to pull out onto the main street. Sometimes there is too much traffic, so I just have to stop, or turn to the right, and go down the street or sidewalk a bit, then go back to the main street.
Don't ever assume that the drivers have noticed you, and even you think they have seen you, sometimes they will not yield the right of way ...
I found another place to attach another blinkie -- on my fanny pack! The other day, the blinkie on my helmet fell off when I hit a pretty good bump. I secured the blinkie on my helmet with a zip tie, so it should stay on now.
Here is a picture showing all three blinkies, and four reflectors on the rear. The three bright lights on the bottom, are actually reflectors on my basket!!! I found really good reflectors, both red and amber, at two local auto parts stores (4 3/8" x 1 7/8").
Last edited by vja4Him; 01-31-09 at 08:25 PM.
I started a new job and on Monday (tomorrow) I will be riding about six miles each way. I used to ride about three miles each way before and I know that it isn't a lot, neither is six. It is still important though to map out the way in advance and take the routes that are more bike suitable. Luckily, the one road that I'll be on, Milwaukee Ave in Chicago, has a bike lane the whole way. I'll be sure to dress accordingly as I always check the weather before I go and since I don't have the best rain gear, I'll make sure that I have a couple bucks loaded on my CTA card so I can hop on the bus to save me from getting soaked. I also have a blinkie and a mounted front light. Since it is my first day reporting to work, I'll give myself a little extra time just in case there are any delays. Other than that, I am looking forward to the warm-up we are experiencing as a good way to break in the longer commute. Kudos to those who ride long distances, you are inspiring and a motivator. Happy commuting to all!