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  1. #1
    One Hep Cat Joe Dog's Avatar
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    Tips for Happy Riding (Kinda Long)

    I was on the Rivendell website (http://www.rivbike.com) and re-read the "tips for happy riding" on the site. With all the attention we BF'ers devote to fashion, gear, carbon fiber bling and 400 watt output, I thought I would post this to remind us that it's really supposed to be about the fun and practicality. Feel free to add other points:

    Thanks, Rivendell!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Learn right away that the front brake is the most effective one, and to never lock the front wheel in dirt.

    Learn how far you can lean over without scraping a pedal.

    Learn to keep the inside pedal UP when you corner, and learn to ride safely in all conditions. Signal your approach to pedestrians, especially if theyíre old, and a bell is better than ďOn your left!Ē If no bell, try clacking your brake levers. If all you got is ďOn your left!Ē thatís fine.

    At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves.

    Sometime next month, put some double-sided cheap-style pedals on a good bike and ride in non-cycling garb.

    Carry an extra tube you can donate to somebody with a flat tire and just a repair kit.

    If youíre a guy, donít try to be a mentor to every female cycler you meet.

    Donít ride in shoes you canít walk through an antique shop in.

    Donít wear clothing that makes your sweat stink even more.

    Donít think youíll go faster in a significant way if you and your bike become more aerodynamic.

    Put a $20 bill inside your seat post or handlebar and hold it there, somehow.

    Donít ride until youíre confident you can fix a flat.

    If you ride more than one bike, have a set of bring-along tools for each one.

    Learn how to remove your rear wheel (put the chain onto the small cog, etc.).

    If you ride in a group, bring food for you and somebody who forgot to.

    Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because itís good to be really cold on a bike every now and then.

    Never blame your bike or your health or anything else if youíre the last one up the hill or in to the rest stop.

    If your brake hoods are black, wrap your bars with a different color tape.

    Never let your chain squeak.

    If you pass another rider going up a hill, say more than ďHi,Ē but if itís a woman and you arenít, donít assume she wants to chit-chat. If youíre a woman and itís a guy, you can chit-chat all you like.

    If you see another rider approaching you from the rear, trying to catch you, let it happen. Fun is more important than fast.

    Donít put any cycler up on a pedestal, except Lon and Freddie.

    Sometimes, bring normal food on your ride.

    Shoot photos on your rides and give them away.

    Feel comfortable mixing high tech and low tech, old and new parts and technologies, and donít apologize to anybody for it.

    Compliment other peopleís bikes, especially if theyíre new.

    Buy the cheapest helmet that fits well.

    Try seersucker shirts for hot weather riding, and long-sleeved ones are best.

    Donít underestimate fig bars.

    If you get a new widget and like it, donít ďswear by it.Ē

    Donít always shop by price and never ask for discounts at your local bike shop.

    Every time you go into a bike shop, spend at least $2, and if you ask a question and get good advice, spend $5 (get a cable).

    If you buy a rack, donít ask for free installation.

    Donít assume your bike shop is making money.

    Ride only when you feel like it.

    If you know a fast new rider, donít say, ďYou really ought to raceÖĒ

    If you see a stocky woman rider, donít suggest she race track.

    Have at least one bike you feel comfortable riding in a downpour.

    Ride in weather that keeps other cyclers indoors.

    Never keep track of your pedaling cadence.

    If you have a normal loop or ride, count the number of times you shift on it; then the next time you ride it, cut that in half and see if it makes any difference.

    Learn to ride no-hands and to hop over obstacles, but not simultaneously.

    Never hit a pedestrian.

    In traffic, be visible and predictable.

    If you have several bikes, set them up with different equipmentÖbut always ride the saddle you like best.

    Donít try to keep up with faster descenders if youíre not comfortable descending.

    Never apologize for buying something thatís not quite pro quality by saying, ďIím not going to race or anything.Ē

    If you buy a stock bike, do something to it that makes it the only one exactly like it in the world.

    Donít think itís important to match front and rear hubs or rims.

    If you borrow somebody elseís bike, for a short test or a long ride, say something nice about it.

    Always bring a pump.

    Build at least one wheel.

    Wear out something.

    Donít ever describe any bike, no matter how inexpensive or dilapidated, as ďa piece of crap.Ē

    If you get a fancy bike assembled by somebody else, allow them a scrape or two, especially if the bike is really expensive.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I just went out for a 14 mile ride wearing plain baggy street shorts and an old rock band t-shirt with several holes in it on my road bike. Kinda felt nice looking normal on a bike for once. I still rocked the Sidis though.

    OCP club membership status: suspended until further investigation.

  3. #3
    negligent. slynkie's Avatar
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    great list!

    If you have a normal loop or ride, count the number of times you shift on it; then the next time you ride it, cut that in half and see if it makes any difference.
    This one makes me really curious, I'll have to try it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dog
    At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves.
    Why in the world would you want to do that?

  5. #5
    Recumbent tricyclist nkuvu's Avatar
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    This article was linked on Reddit recently, and figured there would already be a thread on the topic. Sure enough, search pulled up this thread from last year. Apologies for the resurrection.

    If your brake hoods are black, wrap your bars with a different color tape.
    I have no idea why you'd want to do this. Just style? Some sort of functional difference?
    Quote Originally Posted by gfspencer View Post
    Why in the world would you want to do that?
    My guess is that it's another tip meant to do two things. One, make it clear to others that you don't always need the perfect equipment to ride a bike. And two, to make you appreciate these things more.

    Similar to the "ride underdressed" tip.

    (yes, I know it's a year and a half old comment, but...)

  6. #6
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    I won't ever ride without glasses of some sort. When I used to, I'd get bugs in my eyes. That's NOT fun. Neither are the saddle sores I get if I don't wear appropriate bike shorts.

    Actually, there are a lot of things on the list that aren't fun for me. That said, the gist of it is good. Have fun when you ride!
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  7. #7
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dog View Post
    I was on the Rivendell website (http://www.rivbike.com) and re-read the "tips for happy riding" on the site. With all the attention we BF'ers devote to fashion, gear, carbon fiber bling and 400 watt output, I thought I would post this to remind us that it's really supposed to be about the fun and practicality. Feel free to add other points:

    Thanks, Rivendell!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves.

    Sometime next month, put some double-sided cheap-style pedals on a good bike and ride in non-cycling garb.

    Donít ride in shoes you canít walk through an antique shop in.

    Donít wear clothing that makes your sweat stink even more.

    Donít think youíll go faster in a significant way if you and your bike become more aerodynamic.

    Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because itís good to be really cold on a bike every now and then.

    If your brake hoods are black, wrap your bars with a different color tape.

    Never let your chain squeak.

    If you see another rider approaching you from the rear, trying to catch you, let it happen. Fun is more important than fast.

    Sometimes, bring normal food on your ride.

    Ride only when you feel like it.

    Ride in weather that keeps other cyclers indoors.

    Never keep track of your pedaling cadence.

    Donít ever describe any bike, no matter how inexpensive or dilapidated, as ďa piece of crap.Ē
    I feel like the points above are either highly questionable or a matter of just a personal taste, or what you want to use your bike for.

    And the OP saying "it's really supposed to be about the fun and practicality", I would say, "To each his own!" Some people like the athletic aspect of cycling, pushing themselves and going through some amount of punishment. There's nothing wrong with that.

  8. #8
    Fred Zen Kabloink's Avatar
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    They left out the most important tip for happy cycling:

    Get rid of your bike computer or cover the screen while riding.
    Everyone is a Fred in their own special way

    I'll tell you the meaning of life, but first you have to promise not to laugh... "Frank & Earnest"

  9. #9
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kabloink View Post
    They left out the most important tip for happy cycling:

    Get rid of your bike computer or cover the screen while riding.
    Gotta agree here. I don't bring a computer or GPS on my commute anymore.

    I forgot my GPS on my last long ride. The miles seemed to go by faster than I've ever seen them, and I was riding fairly slowly.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  10. #10
    It's faster than the bus Catgrrl70's Avatar
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    "Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because itís good to be really cold on a bike every now and then."

    Um, no thanks. Brrrrrr. I find that when I get cold, my concentration goes to what's cold on me to what's happening around me. Brrrrrr.

  11. #11
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    They also forgot my favorite tip:
    Don't read anything from Grant.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Febs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dog View Post
    At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves.
    Quote Originally Posted by gfspencer View Post
    Why in the world would you want to do that?
    (Febs looks down at his really pale hand and really tan arm, and the stark contrast of the line separating the two, and thinks he understands why.)

  13. #13
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Some of these are really smart and others are quite dumb. And I say that as the weirdest of hybrids: a commuter with a racing license who subscribes to Velonews and the Riv Reader.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Some of these are really smart and others are quite dumb. And I say that as the weirdest of hybrids: a commuter with a racing license who subscribes to Velonews and the Riv Reader.
    That's what I thought too. Now here's where it gets interesting - I have a significantly different background than you. Might be interesting to compare which ones we each thought were dumb.

  15. #15
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dog View Post
    I was on the Rivendell website (http://www.rivbike.com) and re-read the "tips for happy riding" on the site. With all the attention we BF'ers devote to fashion, gear, carbon fiber bling and 400 watt output, I thought I would post this to remind us that it's really supposed to be about the fun and practicality. Feel free to add other points:

    Thanks, Rivendell!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Learn right away that the front brake is the most effective one, and to never lock the front wheel in dirt.

    Learn how far you can lean over without scraping a pedal.

    Learn to keep the inside pedal UP when you corner, and learn to ride safely in all conditions. Signal your approach to pedestrians, especially if theyíre old, and a bell is better than ďOn your left!Ē If no bell, try clacking your brake levers. If all you got is ďOn your left!Ē thatís fine.

    At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves.

    Sometime next month, put some double-sided cheap-style pedals on a good bike and ride in non-cycling garb.

    Carry an extra tube you can donate to somebody with a flat tire and just a repair kit.

    If youíre a guy, donít try to be a mentor to every female cycler you meet.

    Donít ride in shoes you canít walk through an antique shop in.

    Donít wear clothing that makes your sweat stink even more.

    Donít think youíll go faster in a significant way if you and your bike become more aerodynamic.

    Put a $20 bill inside your seat post or handlebar and hold it there, somehow.

    Donít ride until youíre confident you can fix a flat.

    If you ride more than one bike, have a set of bring-along tools for each one.

    Learn how to remove your rear wheel (put the chain onto the small cog, etc.).

    If you ride in a group, bring food for you and somebody who forgot to.

    Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because itís good to be really cold on a bike every now and then.

    Never blame your bike or your health or anything else if youíre the last one up the hill or in to the rest stop.

    If your brake hoods are black, wrap your bars with a different color tape.

    Never let your chain squeak.

    If you pass another rider going up a hill, say more than ďHi,Ē but if itís a woman and you arenít, donít assume she wants to chit-chat. If youíre a woman and itís a guy, you can chit-chat all you like.

    If you see another rider approaching you from the rear, trying to catch you, let it happen. Fun is more important than fast.

    Donít put any cycler up on a pedestal, except Lon and Freddie.

    Sometimes, bring normal food on your ride.

    Shoot photos on your rides and give them away.

    Feel comfortable mixing high tech and low tech, old and new parts and technologies, and donít apologize to anybody for it.

    Compliment other peopleís bikes, especially if theyíre new.

    Buy the cheapest helmet that fits well.

    Try seersucker shirts for hot weather riding, and long-sleeved ones are best.

    Donít underestimate fig bars.

    If you get a new widget and like it, donít ďswear by it.Ē

    Donít always shop by price and never ask for discounts at your local bike shop.

    Every time you go into a bike shop, spend at least $2, and if you ask a question and get good advice, spend $5 (get a cable).

    If you buy a rack, donít ask for free installation.

    Donít assume your bike shop is making money.

    Ride only when you feel like it.

    If you know a fast new rider, donít say, ďYou really ought to raceÖĒ

    If you see a stocky woman rider, donít suggest she race track.

    Have at least one bike you feel comfortable riding in a downpour.

    Ride in weather that keeps other cyclers indoors.

    Never keep track of your pedaling cadence.

    If you have a normal loop or ride, count the number of times you shift on it; then the next time you ride it, cut that in half and see if it makes any difference.

    Learn to ride no-hands and to hop over obstacles, but not simultaneously.

    Never hit a pedestrian.

    In traffic, be visible and predictable.

    If you have several bikes, set them up with different equipmentÖbut always ride the saddle you like best.


    Donít try to keep up with faster descenders if youíre not comfortable descending.

    Never apologize for buying something thatís not quite pro quality by saying, ďIím not going to race or anything.Ē

    If you buy a stock bike, do something to it that makes it the only one exactly like it in the world.

    Donít think itís important to match front and rear hubs or rims.

    If you borrow somebody elseís bike, for a short test or a long ride, say something nice about it.

    Always bring a pump.

    Build at least one wheel.

    Wear out something.


    Donít ever describe any bike, no matter how inexpensive or dilapidated, as ďa piece of crap.Ē

    If you get a fancy bike assembled by somebody else, allow them a scrape or two, especially if the bike is really expensive.
    I marked the ones I thought smart in blue, dumb in red, and I left alone the ones I'm indifferent to.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  16. #16
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    How about; Learn to tune, repair and upgrade your ride(s) yourself. bk

  17. #17
    Recumbent tricyclist nkuvu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I marked the ones I thought smart in blue, dumb in red, and I left alone the ones I'm indifferent to.
    Why do you think "Donít try to keep up with faster descenders if youíre not comfortable descending" is dumb?

    I speak from motorcycle experience, where I was trying to keep up with a faster rider. Rode into a corner faster than I was used to, froze up and drove the bike off the side of the road (no major injuries to myself or the bike, thankfully, but it was a silly mistake to try to keep up).

  18. #18
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkuvu View Post
    Why do you think "Donít try to keep up with faster descenders if youíre not comfortable descending" is dumb?

    I speak from motorcycle experience, where I was trying to keep up with a faster rider. Rode into a corner faster than I was used to, froze up and drove the bike off the side of the road (no major injuries to myself or the bike, thankfully, but it was a silly mistake to try to keep up).
    Because pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will make you a better rider. Now I realize that there's no bright line here: getting a little uncomfortable will make you better, getting so uncomfortable that you freeze up and fly off the pavement is something else. Be comfortable in your uncomfortableness. (How's that for a zen concept?)
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  19. #19
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dog View Post
    Buy the cheapest helmet that fits well.

    I liked that one. Why spend $200 or more on a helmet when a Bell Slant for $25 does the same thing? I wouldn't buy a Walmart special but I can't spend that kind of money.

  20. #20
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    A lot of these are just saying "Get out of your rut", which is good. Of course, some of us don't get in that rut.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  21. #21
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    Gotta look at the source too. It's form the luddites at Rivendell...
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  22. #22
    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I marked the ones I thought smart in blue, dumb in red, and I left alone the ones I'm indifferent to.
    Me too.
    Everyone's a roadie, they just might not know it yet.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I marked the ones I thought smart in blue, dumb in red, and I left alone the ones I'm indifferent to.
    Blue = smart and red = dumb. I like that.

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