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Old 08-20-09, 09:12 PM   #1
mushrooshi
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How have bikes affected you?

Well, first off, for bikes, I'm now more aware of how Walmart puts out terrible bikes, and how this can apply to many of the other things. For example, bike locks. I did not see a single quality u-lock there. There was a Kryptonite and an Onguard U-lock there, but the Kryptonite had only $500 in anti-theft, and the Onguard had none. Infact, the Walmart-version locks are not even listed on there. In addition, I feel more obliged to shop at local businesses too.

As for the actually bicycle experience it self... I haven't started to truly 'commute' yet... all I've been doing in the few days I've had this bike is just taking it for a spin around my neighborhood, and trying to break the law by doing 25.5 mph in my 25mph speed limit neighborhood, and then promptly slow down. I'm still kind of chickening out from riding on major roads; I get worried my 5-10mph uphill speed will anger drivers in a very bike-free city. But so far, this bike of mine kind of gave me a sense of freedom... that now instead of walking 30-40 minutes to the nearest shopping center, I can probably bike there in 10 minutes.
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Old 08-21-09, 01:46 PM   #2
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That's sort of an open question. I was thinking the other day how much I am more "tuned-in" to the weather since I've been bicycling. I will watch the weather channel for a forcast of wind-speed/direction, especially in the spring (I take the prediction as a ball-park figure, usually figuring there will be 5-10 mph more windspeed than predicted and it will probably be a headwind for me (I ride one partial-commute east-to-west, if the wind is blowing much at all it is usually a headwind coming from the west)...also I've learned to respect the "dopler radar" pictures to watch for rain, especially to predict the possibility of rain in the next 1-2 hours. I've even begun to look up at the sky just before a ride and make my own personal forcasts (the "weather" is usually moving west to east, so if the western sky is darkening as if it might rain, I might change my plans, If the sky above me is rainy-looking but I see a brighter sky in the west I might decide to ride. Before I was bicycling I paid very little attention to weather forcasts.
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Old 08-21-09, 05:31 PM   #3
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I have been commuting on my bike since February of this year. On Saturday the 15th I took my bike in for chain slippage, the mechanic told me the entire drivetrain needed to be replaced and that he could not get to it till Monday the 24th. This past week I have been feeling anxious and uneasy (withdrawal?) I hate driving my car to work.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:46 PM   #4
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I can't imagine my life without bikes! when I was a teen like everyone else I rocye union 10spd. I rode as much as I could. when I was about 28 I got my first ever new bike a fabulous (but midlevel) Bianchi and I was hooked!! I own way too many but I love them. I have commuted to work both for exercise and at times simply because I did not have a car. I enjoy working on them building them and selling them. I used to carry one in the big rig with me but I seldom had time to ride I just liked having it there to look at. OH I may need help *giggle*
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 08-21-09, 08:41 PM   #5
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After I bought a good set of bike tools, I started doing some upgrades. Well, I now have a serious case of upgrade-itis. It's fun to do, the bike looks waay better and performs better too. Problem? It never stops. Of course, there are worse diseases out there. bk
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Old 08-21-09, 08:49 PM   #6
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Bikes have not affected my life in anyway. Since being young, I can remember a bike always being around the house whether it be a Schwinn 10 speed, a Huffy BMX, a Huffy Beach Cruiser or Motiv Mountain Bike given by a friend. The bikes were not the best on the market but they worked. They got me to school or work when I had to go. I did not ride for some years and decided to start again by given away one bike and buying another still having 2 bikes here. I now have 9 bikes and can be found using them as much as possible. If not on a bike, I am riding on my scooter to get around. I can't imagine my life without a bike or bikes, at this point but I am sure fortunate to have decent bikes to ride and all of the accessories to use on them.
I will, however, say that at this point in my life and I am childless and never married and have the freedom to do much more on my bikes than before (i.e touring).
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Old 08-21-09, 09:24 PM   #7
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I've been riding a lot. Rode myself into something resembling a fit state, and it helped me lose a bunch of weight. I also do my own repairs and upgrades, so it helps with my mechanical tendencies.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:37 PM   #8
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Bikes have done many things for, and around, me. When I was operating my 'underground' shop (not a store-front operation - the one in my town needed to be run off), I met quite the cast of characters with bicycles that needed work. Some were the routine broken-spoke or "it makes noise when...", others were far more complex in their diagnosis. One in particular comes to mind. It was a kid around 21 years old. He had a red Raleigh 10-spd. and he wanted it fixed-up right as he was leaving town. Actually - he was leaving the country and moving to New Zealand. And he wanted to get around the South Island on it. Did he know what sort of terrain he would be in? He said he didn't, so I took him upstairs in my house and pulled a bunch of books. We poured over the topography (did I mention I have an extensive library?) of New Zealand and, specifically, the South Island. It was mountainous. With sea-level ascending thousand's of feet into the clouds. Closing the books, we went back to my shop.

I made suggestions for the drivetrain on his bike. It was old, but the frame was solid Raleigh and hadn't taken any hits, and he had as much money as would be needed. Being honest as I am, I made suggestions about replacing his bottom-bracket and cranks. The freewheel (1985 was the year of this conversation) could be expanded to higher gears for climbing, and a new RD would be in the works as well. I suggested getting rid of the cheap brake-set. He agreed to anything I suggested. So I started putting together a list of components and so forth materials. He said he might come up a little short of cash, after I showed him the tentative invoice. But he promised to get me all the money as soon as possible. Was he honest?

I first met him in the town forest-land. He'd been running and was out of breath. I asked him why he'd been running: "The cops are after me! I was planting some pot-plants!" I helped him make his escape up a disused fire-road. And he told me his story. He wanted to move someplace saner than here - America - and New Zealand was his goal. NZ had just banned any nuclear-weapon's bearing warships from their harbors. Reagan was threatening them. Cannabis was decriminalized part way - It was perfect! In his eyes. 21 years old and certain. One thing led to another and here I was, covered in grease (bliss!), and was he honest? Yes he was was my decision off-the-cuff.

My shop had comfy chairs, avante-garde rock and roll blaring. Bizarre artwork - some from my customers - adorning the stone walls. People felt comfortable there. So he dropped by everyday and watched as I worked on his bike. I encouraged people to watch, learn, and help. I was doing something I loved in two ways - working on bikes, and sneaking an education into people as well. Finally, she was done! Ready for a shipping container. He was short $60. He would send me the money after he found work and was settled. Fine by me!

Many people with interesting, fantastic sometimes, stories came to know me and the shop and hung around to learn. I was sneaking a number of different lessons into their minds as we talked. A few months had passed and then a thick envelope arrived bearing stamps from New Zealand.

In the letter was the equivalent of $60ish US dollars - which my bank rolled over for me - and a bunch of mint postage stamps from NZ. He'd remembered I was also a stamp-dealer and collector. And a bunch of literature and stickers from NormlNZ.* The story had come full-circle. From meeting - running into - me due to marijuana, he had a job with NORML in New Zealand and things were going great for him, he wrote. And the bicycle was perfect for his new home.

So bicycles broadened my horizons and caused me to meet all sorts of folks. I loved it.

* National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws - New Zealand chapter.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:46 AM   #9
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How have bikes affected you?

See my website: http://www.machka.net/

Highlights:
-- travel to lots of places around the world
-- meeting lots of people
-- a method of transportation
-- a method of attaining fitness
-- allowing me to meet my husband
-- and cycling was even part of our wedding one year ago tomorrow.

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Old 08-23-09, 07:03 AM   #10
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Somewhere in BF there is a thread that holds the story of my first tandem. PM me if you're truely interested and I'll email you the details. The upshot is this:

Bicycles, particularly tandem bicycles, have played a huge part in the evolution of my marriage, my career, my social life and my relationship with my children. Bicycles are also greatly impacting the lives of some of my children.
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Old 08-23-09, 07:42 AM   #11
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I'm not sure how bikes have affected me since I don't really remember what life was like without bikes.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:42 PM   #12
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>>> How have bikes affected you?

Having from my earliest days preferred cycling to driving, I find I'm not plagued with romantic entanglements.
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Old 08-24-09, 04:51 PM   #13
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It's taken 40lbs of chubb off. It's made me more tanned.. farmer tanned anyway. It's made me notice more things around me when i'm traveling. It's made me realize that Los Angeles, while a huge city, isn't as big as it seems... i could probably think of more things, but that's it for now..
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Old 08-24-09, 05:24 PM   #14
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Bikes have allowed me to make new friends,and have given me a way to spend some quality time with my wife.
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Old 08-24-09, 06:09 PM   #15
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Bicycles have been very, very good to me. If it wasn't for bicycles, I would not be riding bicycles today.
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Old 08-24-09, 06:11 PM   #16
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Bicycles have been very, very good to me. If it wasn't for bicycles, I would not be riding bicycles today.


Oh, that's a blast from the past...

Found it! Mild language warning :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L6IeH6KeaY

Last edited by BarracksSi; 08-24-09 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 08-24-09, 06:26 PM   #17
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I'm glad someone shares my sense of humor.
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Old 08-24-09, 06:28 PM   #18
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bikes have helped me develop a thicker skin...at least part of it is thicker...
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Old 08-24-09, 06:43 PM   #19
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I'm glad someone shares my sense of humor.
Or age.

Even though we were just reciting this bit a week or two ago at work, I think I would've spotted it as soon as I read it.

Man... That 5-minute set was a quarter of a century ago and I still almost remember it word-for-word.
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