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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 10-16-13, 03:25 PM   #1
ChrisIIDX
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Do you use your commuting bicycle for errands?

I recently moved and am now about 3 miles away from the downtown area where I run errands. I'd like to ride my bike there and lock it up, but I realized that I'd have to remove a trunk bag, lights, frame pump, and other things from the bike. It would also be irritating to have to redo all the work of upgrading parts again if it got stolen.

I'm considering picking up another basic/used bike and putting easily removable lights on it to take care of these short-range trips.

So what about everyone over here? Do you have a secondary bike that you're more comfortable locking up or using on errands? Or do you use your commuting bike for everything?
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Old 10-16-13, 03:31 PM   #2
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in CPH, i have a proper citybike, which eliminates all of the problems about which you speak.

in the UK, i currently run a SS with backpack and just pop the KNOG lights and cycloputer off in 10 secs and jump into the store.
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Old 10-16-13, 03:31 PM   #3
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I do. But it is a bit inconvenient and is just something I have do and remember that it's better than driving. You still need to carry stuff home when running errands, so you need the racks, etc. And you might get caught out after dark, so the lights need to stay on... I haven't had much luck with some quick release lights (the mounts get loose, they pop off, they're not very bright, etc).
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Old 10-16-13, 03:54 PM   #4
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My commuter is my most comfortable bike, so I ride it most places. However, it has disk brakes, and that interferes with the hitch on my grocery trailer. When I'm grocery shopping, I take a different bike. I always have a lock with me. The longer I'll be away from the bike, the bigger the lock I put on it.
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Old 10-16-13, 06:07 PM   #5
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I use all my bikes for errands. Have to. I haven't owned a car for 15 years.

When I'm only going to be a few minutes--bank, utility company, post office, etc.--I just lock up and leave everything. If I'm going to be longer, I'll sometimes take a roadie since there's less to strip when I lock up.

One thing I've done on all my bikes is ditch the QRs. It makes me less nervous. My errands are mainly in the daytime, so I leave my battery lights home and just use the dynamo ones, which bolt on. Unless I'm stopping on the way to work (I start just after lunch time), then everything is on them, sometimes even full panniers.

I've never had a problem here, but I also understand that it's not the case in other areas. It's one of the beneficial side-effects of there being near-zero "bike culture" here.
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Old 10-16-13, 06:12 PM   #6
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I usually use a different bike for errands - either the Xtracycle for grocery shopping or maybe my son's school bike because he has a big basket. Sometimes another one. This is partly because I get bored riding the same bike everyday .
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Old 10-16-13, 06:30 PM   #7
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My commuters are theft-bait so I only make quick 5-10 min max stops with them (always locked with a u-lock or two). I have an ugly mtb shopper with panniers for extended trips. I hate riding that bike.
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Old 10-16-13, 06:36 PM   #8
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We live only about a mile from a shopping center with a grocery store, restaurants, a drug store, and the place where I get my hair cut. I ride over on little errands pretty often. I always take the panniers with me when away from the bike, and if I'll be away for more than a few minutes, I take the lights too.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:03 PM   #9
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I only have one bike, so the choice is easy.

I usually leave my lights and frame pump on the bike unless I am away for long. That's not a safe practice, but I'm just too lazy to remove them and throw them in my bag every time I leave my bike alone.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:19 PM   #10
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I try to bike for errands as much as possible. It's often faster overall than driving, less wear on the car, less fuel, good exercise...I can go days and days w/o driving...heck, I can go days and days w/o leaving the house!
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Old 10-16-13, 07:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisIIDX View Post
I'm considering picking up another basic/used bike and putting easily removable lights on it to take care of these short-range trips.
Sounds wise. My commuter and errand bike is a 25 year old Specialized Hard Rock. I have a cable lock and a Ulock for it, depending on how much danger I judge its in. I almost always have a SunLite Grocery Getter pannier on it, and just unclip the lights and toss them into it. Then it becomes my shopping bag.
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Old 10-17-13, 07:25 AM   #12
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When I'm not biking in the dark, I keep all my lights in a pannier. I have two bikes, and I use them both for both for everything. I always lock the frame, wheels and saddle when I leave them outside.
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Old 10-17-13, 08:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisIIDX View Post
I recently moved and am now about 3 miles away from the downtown area where I run errands. I'd like to ride my bike there and lock it up, but I realized that I'd have to remove a trunk bag, lights, frame pump, and other things from the bike. It would also be irritating to have to redo all the work of upgrading parts again if it got stolen.

I'm considering picking up another basic/used bike and putting easily removable lights on it to take care of these short-range trips.

So what about everyone over here? Do you have a secondary bike that you're more comfortable locking up or using on errands? Or do you use your commuting bike for everything?
I have a small bag where I keep spare tyre, basic on-road repair tools, lights (LED), pump, patches. I keep it in my backpac, panniers, whatever I take while on the bike. When I leave bike, it always goes with me. When I change bikes, I just put a different spare tube in the bag, replacing the previous one.


So yes, my commuter bikes are my errand bikes. All except one are ugly, cheap looking, nice riding, with racks that can carry panniers, backpack etc.
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Old 10-17-13, 02:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Sounds wise. My commuter and errand bike is a 25 year old Specialized Hard Rock. I have a cable lock and a Ulock for it, depending on how much danger I judge its in. I almost always have a SunLite Grocery Getter pannier on it, and just unclip the lights and toss them into it. Then it becomes my shopping bag.
Mine's a 1990 Rock Hopper, picked up at a yard sale for $40. Best bike value ever.
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Old 10-17-13, 04:25 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone! There are lots of good suggestions here that I'll keep in mind.
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Old 10-17-13, 05:18 PM   #16
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My puncture repair kit and spare inner tube are in an upper pocket of one of my panniers, so it comes with me when I take it off to bring into a store. I don't bother to bring the pump with me, it isn't that expensive and most people don't even seem to know what it is anyway. The headlight doesn't take long to remove, the tail-light just stays on.
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Old 10-18-13, 08:40 AM   #17
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Tend to run errands/shopping on 2 of my bikes because they are better equipped with racks/panniers, etc....
My #1 commuter/tourer gets used for everything and most often, front and rear racks, Ortlieb Shopper panniers, quickly unclip from rack to clip on sides of grocery cart....they are my grocery bags.
My monster cross/touring rig is also equipped with racks and Racktime/Ortlieb panniers.
My roadie commuter has a light, narrow rack and can accommodate panniers and light loads, if needed.

We also keep a rather (mechanically) nice 2000 med size Specialized step through mtn bike with Wald baskets, front and rear, nice Abus combo lock. Any store, any bags will do.
Anyone in the family can jump on it for shopping and errands. It stays in the bike rack on my front porch, ready to roll, 24/7.

Last edited by AusTexMurf; 10-18-13 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 10-18-13, 08:58 AM   #18
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I do use my commuter bike for errands, but I live in a pretty rural area. If I lived in the city, I'd definitely be using a bike that was less dear to me.
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Old 10-18-13, 09:16 AM   #19
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Sometimes I use my commuter for errands but I have to be choosy because, even with panniers, the load (and I'm talking groceries) has to fit: going to Costco for toilet paper would likely put me on the Google Images search like this guy.

I'd like to get a trailer so that I don't have to be selective about grocery trips (Costco for toilet paper continues to be excluded).

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