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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 06-07-14, 02:55 PM   #76
noglider 
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[MENTION=95183]JoeyBike[/MENTION], you are one monster cyclist!

I don't like that kind of music except in your videos. I love your videos.

I cannot get used to using a flashing headlight. It distracts me, reflecting off stuff. That's just a matter of taste. If I die because my headlight doesn't flash, so be it.

Are you using some kind of software that displays your speed in the video automatically? I imagine GoPro could do that, but I don't know if they do.
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Old 06-07-14, 05:09 PM   #77
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I'm riding a hybrid. I was just hoping that I'm not like a major slow poke.
You know who you're riding faster than? Every single person sitting in their car on the way to work!

I use Strava every time I ride. People set up "segments" and whenever you ride one of these segments, it shows you how you did in relation to everyone else. When I first started riding I was near or at the bottom of every segment I rode. I felt ridiculously slow. But I decided to take it as a challenge.

Now I often place in the middle of the pack, rather than the bottom. Speed will come. Just get out and ride. The more you ride, the faster you'll get. But either way, you're still faster than the people who are sitting in a car for the ride to work!
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Old 06-07-14, 07:09 PM   #78
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Speed will come. Just get out and ride. The more you ride, the faster you'll get.
Only if you want it to, and work for it. Easy to hit a comfortable plateau.

(Then you use that as an excuse to buy a faster bike, right? Am I approaching cycling correctly?)
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Old 06-07-14, 10:33 PM   #79
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Are you using some kind of software that displays your speed in the video automatically?
I have a bike computer mounted to my handlebars on a little rod that puts it in the bottom right corner of the wide angle video frame. This video is not HD but most of my vids clearly shows the numbers on the display. I got tired of some BFers always telling me how fast I am NOT going in my vids.

I am glad you are entertained by some of the videos. Thanks for the kudos!
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Old 06-07-14, 11:27 PM   #80
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Here is a short video shot from a handlebar cam that illustrates my sprint from stop in traffic. If I just made claims in words somebody here would call B.S. and I would have to post the vid anyway.

[video=vimeo;70162109]http://vimeo.com/70162109[/video]
I wanna see you get a speeding ticket sometime... if you can pull that off, I'll pay the fine for you
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Old 06-08-14, 12:22 AM   #81
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I wanna see you get a speeding ticket sometime... if you can pull that off, I'll pay the fine for you
The cops here wouldn't pull you over if you rear-ended their cruiser doing 45 down a hill in a school zone. Granted there are no hills here.
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Old 06-08-14, 07:09 AM   #82
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I wanna see you get a speeding ticket sometime... if you can pull that off, I'll pay the fine for you
HaHa! I tried a few months ago. I was visiting friends who work at a LBS and they just got in the new Specialized Turbo electric assist bike in stock (Specialized Turbo Electric Bike Review - YouTube). They forced me to take a test ride and advised me that if the high speed on the computer was not at least 30mph when I returned they would make fun of me big time. So they set it on the fastest mode and sent me out the door. Within a few blocks I got the feel for the thing and saw a cop turn onto a cross street with a 20 MPH speed limit. So I thought "let's see if I can at least get pulled over". I turned on the street behind them and put as much power on the pedals as I could. I FLEW past them. I was actually scared on the thing. It was REALLY fast. But alas...no lights or sirens.

When I returned to the bike shop they checked the speedometer high speed. 40.0 mph! No one made fun of me. I gave the Turbo five stars.

20mph over the speed limit used to warrant a felony charge in Louisiana. Might still be in effect but i can't find Internet evidence. So I am happy I didn't get stopped.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-08-14 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 06-08-14, 07:30 AM   #83
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I cannot get used to using a flashing headlight. It distracts me, reflecting off stuff. That's just a matter of taste.
Yeah, that reflection almost got me crushed once. I was in a bike lane which makes all of the traffic ahead appear to be giving right turn signals. One day an old 1970s SUV was actually giving a right turn signal and whatever brain cell is responsible for "seeing" that just assumed it was my headlight reflection. Added to that the sun was positioned directly over the roof of the car in the late afternoon making it hard to see in the first place. The tail light from that era were tiny and maybe they also had a short in the wiring. Anyway, I would have sworn it was a no-signal right-hook until I got home and watched the video.

Here is the vid. The incident I mentioned is the second one in the video.
[video=vimeo;70010913]http://vimeo.com/70010913[/video]

Otherwise the daytime flashing headlight has made a huge difference in my safety. I think many motorists assume I am a cop or something because crossing traffic literally freeze like the proverbial "deer in headlights". I also use a Dinotti flashing tail light that can be seen from outer space even during daylight hours. The Dinotti is my answer to overtaking cars with distracted (on the phone) motorists. Both lights have been very effective.
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Old 06-09-14, 06:05 AM   #84
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It will be interesting to see if the specialized turbo makes any splash in the market.

I made one myself (for 1/10th of the price). It is tons of fun and addictive. Unlike the poster above, I find it a problem averaging 25mph, as cars are constantly pulling out in front of me with a look of surprise that all the sudden I'm there. I can do 25 on my road bike (with a tail wind!) but usually cruise at 20 - don't seem to have nearly the issue of cars pulling out in front of me at that speed.
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Old 06-09-14, 06:16 AM   #85
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Joey,

You are a strong biker. Keep up the good work! Commuting daily can do wonders to get you in shape.

I find that I can accelerate as fast as the typical car up to about 20+ mph. Maybe 25+ if I'm drafting them, the slipstream does make a difference. Strava clocked me at 30 (in front of the traffic) on a couple of sprints commuting last week, but that did send my heart rate through the roof!

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File Type: jpg sprint.jpg (10.9 KB, 8 views)
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Old 06-09-14, 06:28 AM   #86
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What's the fastest you go on a flat from a stop?
Very slow. I stop and patch it.
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Old 06-09-14, 07:35 AM   #87
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When I go on a "road ride" where there are few stops, I can average 17-18mph with decent climbing (500-600' per 10 miles). If I'm in a race I can average 20.

Commuting to work there are more hills than home (380' vs 250' over 7 miles). To I average anywhere from 11 to 14. Home 15-17.
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Old 06-09-14, 07:58 AM   #88
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I apologize if this has been said, but the right speed is that which gets you there comfortably. Whatever average speed you achieve is fine if it meets that goal. You could probably ride faster, but you'll arrive sweated up, and probably continue to sweat for a while when you arrive.

That, the mos efficient way to ride is similar to the rules for saving gas in a car. Be patient and accelerate slowly except for initially starting from a stop. Climb hills steadily trying to carry your momentum to the top. On longer hills settle into a comfortable sustainable gear and work it so you're not shot when you reach the top.

Also, try to ride as much of the time at or near your average speed. The wind resistance is proportional to the square of speed, so riding faster has a big penalty in energy needed. Someone who does half the trip at 10mph and the other half at 20mph, works much harder overall than someone doing the whole trip at 15mph.

So use hills to advantage, especially long shallow grades, but otherwise work on getting your slow speed faster, rather than trying to see how fast you can go for short stretches.
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Old 06-09-14, 08:38 AM   #89
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Joey,

Strava clocked me at 30 (in front of the traffic) on a couple of sprints commuting last week, but that did send my heart rate through the roof!
You don't think 30mph effects my heart rate? And try hitting 30 on a day that is 95* and 90% humidity, then catch a red light in direct sunlight. One of the many reasons I don't stop for many red lights if the coast is clear.
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Old 06-09-14, 08:50 AM   #90
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Getting in better shape is one piece of the puzzle. A bike that fits you properly is a huge piece. Technique is also large. I see so many strong, in shape riders grinding the wrong gears at the wrong times. Once you get all of that stuff accomplished then perhaps a pair of dedicated cycling shoes for better efficiency of your new-found fitness and technique. You don't really need to train like a racer, just ride a lot.



ALL of this is on flat land:
- On cross country bike tours with loaded panniers and wide open spaces I average 13mph. I am not in a rush when on vacation.
- On city streets I try to stay at or above 20mph as I find motorists treat me more like "one of them" if I can stay above 20. I have cut across town for 7 miles at 23mph average - by far my best time ever catching mostly green lights and running a red or two.
- Twice a year I do a 150 mile day ride. My average speed is 16 mph. So I assume this is a fair guess at how I would act if I were not keeping up with cars in the city grid. 16-18mph - depending on wind direction - is very comfy for me.



Here is a short video shot from a handlebar cam that illustrates my sprint from stop in traffic. If I just made claims in words somebody here would call B.S. and I would have to post the vid anyway.

[video=vimeo;70162109]http://vimeo.com/70162109[/video]
Who'd call BS? "In a 90-sec effort, I averaged 26 mph and held 30 mph for 20 sec or so."

Just guessing on the average speed, though 26 seems reasonable.

I was kinda disappointed you didn't try to pass that pickup truck when he braked.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:02 AM   #91
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...
Also, try to ride as much of the time at or near your average speed. The wind resistance is proportional to the square of speed, so riding faster has a big penalty in energy needed. Someone who does half the trip at 10mph and the other half at 20mph, works much harder overall than someone doing the whole trip at 15mph...
He's also only averaging only 13.3 mph AND working harder. The trick to conserving energy for a given overall speed is realizing that it's the low speed sections that count. Top speed doesn't matter.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:24 AM   #92
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He's also only averaging only 13.3 mph AND working harder. The trick to conserving energy for a given overall speed is realizing that it's the low speed sections that count. Top speed doesn't matter.
Yes, that's essentially what I said in the last sentence of the post you partly quoted.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:33 AM   #93
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I have a short 5.5 mile, flat, with very little traffic, and no red light commute. On a good day, on my road bike, I can average 17 driveway to driveway. My record is 18.1 but even averaging 17 hurts my legs as I don't get to warm up and I seem to need that. My top speed on level ground is 30 but I can't hold it any longer than to see it on my Garmin.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:01 AM   #94
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A general nice thing to say when leaving some one you met Wishing you Have .. Good Speed ..

maybe a derivation of "GodSpeed "..




But in General if you arrive on Time, when you Get there in the Morning ,

Ready to do as tour job requires, then you are doing good, speed wise.

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Old 06-09-14, 10:58 AM   #95
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Yes, that's essentially what I said in the last sentence of the post you partly quoted.
True, but I felt it needed clarifying that in addition to increased drag, it's the simple mathematics of averaging the speeds.
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Old 06-09-14, 12:15 PM   #96
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He's also only averaging only 13.3 mph AND working harder. The trick to conserving energy for a given overall speed is realizing that it's the low speed sections that count. Top speed doesn't matter.
good reason to ride Fixed Gear and never slow down!
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Old 06-09-14, 12:15 PM   #97
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I was kinda disappointed you didn't try to pass that pickup truck when he braked.
You been watching that French guy's commute in the other thread below? Thad dude takes no prisoners...
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Old 06-09-14, 03:09 PM   #98
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Very slow. I stop and patch it.


JoeyBike, you are a good man for admitting fault in that near-accident.

For the time being, I will keep my lights in steady mode. I am open to a mind change.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:31 PM   #99
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Otherwise the daytime flashing headlight has made a huge difference in my safety. I think many motorists assume I am a cop or something because crossing traffic literally freeze like the proverbial "deer in headlights". I also use a Dinotti flashing tail light that can be seen from outer space even during daylight hours. The Dinotti is my answer to overtaking cars with distracted (on the phone) motorists. Both lights have been very effective.
I do get a kick out of cars that stop when they see me coming up behind them with a flashing headlight. I can only imagine the reaction when they realize: Sh*t, its just a bike - I thought it was a cop!
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Old 06-09-14, 03:39 PM   #100
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I do get a kick out of cars that stop when they see me coming up behind them with a flashing headlight. I can only imagine the reaction when they realize: Sh*t, its just a bike - I thought it was a cop!
That makes it sound like a bad idea.
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