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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 05-09-14, 06:46 PM   #1
dracmas
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starting commuting by bike

Greetings. First post in the forums but second time commuting by bike after a few years of driving. Basically cutting car bills and the need to buy another car after some idiot rear ended me at a stop light. Could have cried watching my old car get towed. I dont make much and have been staying with relatives to get by, so also just wanted to stop relying on others and get back to doing things on my own. Not being a bum lol.

Just bought a Giant Excape 2 today after testing it out. Didnt want to go cheap on a walmart bike that would break after first usage. Got a rack on it right now and deciding what to hold on the back of it for lunch, drinks, and ect. Still need rails? Ugh not familiar with bike terms. The guards that go over the tires. No lights yet either so that will have to come soon as well. One extra tube on hand and a patch kit with 6 patches and a pump on it. Hated spending money on a helmet that fits my noggin. Wanted the cheap 30 dollar one but had to get the 70 dollar one to where I wouldnt be annoyed with the tightness by my temples.

The ride to work is around 6.4 miles long where im at with relatives going to work. Google maps with bike directions says it will be around 35 minutes one way to work. Itd be nice to know estimate time on that from anyone who rides that distance. Not really hilly or anything. My last time commuting was a about a mile away so couldnt say much about the ride lol. This ones more in a country area. Could cut it to 4 miles but I'm detouring to avoid 55mph road with fast crazy drivers on it.

Will be getting an apartment one town over in the next month, but awesome thing is I can take a bike route for most of the trip and only worry about cars once in town to where ill be working.

Hope to get to know you all on here better soon.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:54 PM   #2
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Welcome to BF!

I'm sure you'll find commuting fun, exciting, and economical.

Looking forward to sharing with you!
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Old 05-09-14, 07:24 PM   #3
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I have a bike with a rack. Actually all my bikes have racks. I use a pair of Ortlieb back rollers which I bought back in 94 to haul my laptop, clothes and lunch. I have some tools and patch kit in there too. I have about 7.5 miles to commute one way but I am not sure if I would spend the time to fix a flat on the road or call my wife to pick me up. Fortunately It has not happened yet.
My reason for getting back riding my bike because I was getting too fat. Sorry I don't like these "politically correct" word like obese. I am fat. Period!! lol
I need to loose lots of weight and commuting by bike is the best solution for me. Not as boring as a stationary bike and it saves on gas too.
Good luck and hope you have fun.
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Old 05-09-14, 08:24 PM   #4
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How ling does it take you to commute? Trying to plan ahead incase I I run into trouble so your experience there would be helpful.

My bike is my transpiration now so the rack is a must. Just have the keys back to my uncle for the van he was lending me. It's more of a smart money decision for me, but like you said the exercise from it will definitely get me back into shape as well. Do you just commute or bike for fun too? I looked at some of the lbs events they had going and would be tempted to join one if I wasnt out of shape. Have to start somewhere.

One thought randomly thought Oh man there is no way you're catching me in those tight biker clothes. Grew up a teen in the 90s with the loose fit comfort styles and it just looks weird to me. Closest I'll come to skin tight is a wet tshirt. Work uniforms changed at work solve the problem if I arrive drenched from the rain or sweaty.

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I have a bike with a rack. Actually all my bikes have racks. I use a pair of Ortlieb back rollers which I bought back in 94 to haul my laptop, clothes and lunch. I have some tools and patch kit in there too. I have about 7.5 miles to commute one way but I am not sure if I would spend the time to fix a flat on the road or call my wife to pick me up. Fortunately It has not happened yet.
My reason for getting back riding my bike because I was getting too fat. Sorry I don't like these "politically correct" word like obese. I am fat. Period!! lol
I need to loose lots of weight and commuting by bike is the best solution for me. Not as boring as a stationary bike and it saves on gas too.
Good luck and hope you have fun.
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Old 05-09-14, 08:55 PM   #5
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Ugh not familiar with bike terms. The guards that go over the tires.
Fenders?

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The ride to work is around 6.4 miles long where im at with relatives going to work. Google maps with bike directions says it will be around 35 minutes one way to work. Itd be nice to know estimate time on that from anyone who rides that distance.
My commute is about 6.5 miles. On a good day, half an hour. Usually a bit more. You could try the route to work on the weekend to get an idea of what it's like without the pressure of getting there on time.
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Old 05-09-14, 09:03 PM   #6
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Fenders. I do car maintinance at my job and amazingly enough I forget proper names there as well. Luckily I know what everything does so I can usually describe the item when I can't remember the name. I'll be leaving tomorrow at 6 and dont have to be there until 730. I figure doing it this way I can peg how long it takes without getting into trouble. I'm an all or nothing kinda guy. Its also why I gave the van back to my uncle. Dont want to be tempted when I know after a few weeks ill have a routine set.
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Old 05-09-14, 09:13 PM   #7
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How ling does it take you to commute? Trying to plan ahead incase I I run into trouble so your experience there would be helpful.

My bike is my transpiration now so the rack is a must. Just have the keys back to my uncle for the van he was lending me. It's more of a smart money decision for me, but like you said the exercise from it will definitely get me back into shape as well. Do you just commute or bike for fun too? I looked at some of the lbs events they had going and would be tempted to join one if I wasnt out of shape. Have to start somewhere.

One thought randomly thought Oh man there is no way you're catching me in those tight biker clothes. Grew up a teen in the 90s with the loose fit comfort styles and it just looks weird to me. Closest I'll come to skin tight is a wet tshirt. Work uniforms changed at work solve the problem if I arrive drenched from the rain or sweaty.

For me it takes about 45 min one way. I use neighborhood streets. I am not racing. I have a European style bike where I sit upright and cruise along. And I don't use multi-lane roads with traffic. Never.
I bike to commute and for fun. I always liked to use the bike for commuting and I was never into fast road biking. I am still not into that. I am kind of the person you would see in the Netherlands cruising the streets to get to work.
And I don't wear biker clothes either. I just don't want to look like a sausage which is going to explode soon. Still too fat.. lol... I wear shorts, T-shirt and sandals. But I think I need to get some more visible clothes with bright color. Just for safety.
At work it needs to be business casual. Since I can't wear the bike clothes at work I pack my office clothes, shower and change at the office.
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Old 05-10-14, 02:19 AM   #8
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Welcome aboard! Please feel free to ask any questions and explore the other forums!

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Old 05-10-14, 03:22 AM   #9
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Welcome aboard! Please feel free to ask any questions and explore the other forums!

- Andy
Thank you.

First morning getting ready for work. Already feeling buyers remorse over the helmet. Should have gotten visible white instead of black that matched the bike. I won't be on any major roads, but think I'll do ok. I'll have to see if the lbs shop will let me swap out helmets. A bit chilly but going light on clothing as I'll be working up a sweat. Bright white long sleeve tshirt with a constriction yellow vest on top and jeans. Looks visible enough for the day I think. Duffle bag doesn't strap down right on my rack so I'll have to get something more road worthy in the future.

... and now I hear rain outside. Lmao. +rain jacket. Going to get soaked!
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Old 05-10-14, 03:32 AM   #10
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I do have one question I've been thinking about though. Bycicle dynamo hubs. How good are they for lights and usb charging devices such as an android phone. Lifetime expectancy? It also made me wonder when the hub does finally go bad, does it lock up the wheel? Walking a few miles after that wouldn't be hard but might be annoying. Having a constant supply of charge would be nice for days ill be in other towns using nthe local bike trail. Connects between all my favorite towns to go to.
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Old 05-10-14, 03:46 AM   #11
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I do have one question I've been thinking about though. Bycicle dynamo hubs. How good are they for lights and usb charging devices such as an android phone. Lifetime expectancy? It also made me wonder when the hub does finally go bad, does it lock up the wheel? Walking a few miles after that wouldn't be hard but might be annoying. Having a constant supply of charge would be nice for days ill be in other towns using nthe local bike trail. Connects between all my favorite towns to go to.

My new ride has a hub dyno from factory and i'm all ready loving it. It is not set up to charge devices, though i'm sure a re-wire may change that. It, combined with a proper headlamp & tail stand light take so much stress off of riding twilight to sunrise.

If you are serious about charging devices and lights, i'd go with havng a local shop set it all up for you using same rim & tire you have now and all the wiring and such. You could get a handlebar bag & charge your phone etc in there, on top of that you could have another line run to a rear rack that you can detach & use to charge things you put in bag on rear rack like flashlight or additional mobile devices.

- Andy
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Old 05-10-14, 04:22 PM   #12
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Ah I'll have to ask my lbs later on. They're only open half the week. I do see allot of stores around here with no bike parking while going out. Was nervous about going inside any stores since I haven't bought a lock for my bike yet.

Did clock my times twice today. Main route took me about 45 minutes and taking the longer back roads with no traffic was about 1 hour 20 minutes. I'll start by taking the main route, less Hills, and will have to work up to the back route going both ways. It had quote the few Hills so I was extremely grateful for the lower gears. Was thinking of when I want to take something with me on the rack and I can see how it'll make the journey more difficult. Lol I know you regulars wouldn't bat an eyelash at 6 miles, but I'm completely out of shape, thankfully though not too much overweight. Going to church tomorrow morning so probably will have an hour and a half ride going there. Really need to get a lock getup going though so I don't end up coming outside one day and find it gone. Garage at home keeps it safe there. Locked door.

Last of which it was really nice outside today. Sunny with a slight breeze. Couldn't help but cruise slowly in town watching the rat race ruining around like mad lol
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Old 05-11-14, 02:12 PM   #13
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Second day of really riding my bike. Put in 10 miles. Not so much breaking in the new bike, but it breaking in me. Couldn't sit well the first mile because it hurt after yesterdays 12 mile ride. Stopped by lbs to get a chain and u lock for work tomorrow. As well as a set of lights. I didn't get the higher end ones because I'm saving up for the dyno hub I had asked for. Also a safety vest I picked up at Lowes so I can wear mostly whatever I want. Fenders will be in on Wednesday.

Two questions though. Not looking for expensive but something that works decent enough though. I need a good bag or something to go on my rear rack. Must be able to fit a bag of groceries and taking lunch to work. Maybe a canteen for coffee. The other thing I'm looking for is what do you wear in rainy weather. Plastic looks like it wouldn't be durable to last long on a bicycle.

Last edited by dracmas; 05-11-14 at 02:13 PM. Reason: phone typing isn't easy
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