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Old 09-18-07, 01:04 AM   #1
fuish
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New and curious about riding

Okay so Hi! I'm a 23 year old "housewife"/freelance illustrator. While my husband is at work I often go about town during the day for little errands, taking my car, but I've been wanting to dust off my bike for a LOOONG time and take it about the town, my problem is that I don't know where to start, I know I need new tires *any recommendations?*, and ones that can support my weight until I ride often enough to get in shape.
I'm not HUGE I'm just way outta shape. I guess you could say I'm the "average American" in weight... which is sadly much larger than it used to be. I'd also need a basket to put on the back of my bike, more like a crate so I could carry my groceries. I'm sure I could use my old backpack too. I need a bike lock too. My trek through town would be no more than 6 miles round trip, that's if I go to the bank, 3 miles if just the grocery store, but only one way is downhill... which means the other half is up, the hill is surrounded by large grassy mounds and you can't hardly see what's on the other side and it's steep and cars zip around that corner without looking, it makes me nervous. I almost hit a bike rider that got stranded at the very bottom of the hill one time, I don't want that to happen to me. I live in a hill billy town where not everyone is the brightest crayon in the box and I don't want to get hit by some "joe" that is just not paying attention on that curve, any suggestions are welcome!!

I look forward to getting to know everyone!

Last edited by fuish; 09-18-07 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 09-18-07, 04:28 AM   #2
smkndave
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Hi! I'm not an avid bike rider, but I love to get out and get some exercise on my bike. I'm a bit too out of shape to jog and walking is a little too boring sometimes.
Sounds like you need to blow the dust off the old girl and take her to the bike shop. Hopefully they will be able to set you up with the right tires and maybe give her a tune up. While you're there you may be able to find some safety equipment. They should have helmets, reflectors, flags and even baskets. Good luck and watch out for those hill billies! I live in Chicago and the Yuppies don't drive so well either!
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Old 09-18-07, 04:30 AM   #3
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Hello fuish, there's a utility forum designed specifically for those who aren't car free, but want to use their bike to keep in shape whilst leaving the car at home for short errands. Check out the Utility Cycling forum for more. For tips on how to stand out so that the locals don't turn you into a bike pancake, visit the commuting forum. Lights are good, hi-vis clothing is good too.

The tyres are an easy enough fix, but if you are handy (and it sounds as if you are), you will probably want to lube everything before you take it out much.

I know others will have more suggestions, this is just to get you thinking .

Welcome to BF!

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Old 09-18-07, 07:41 AM   #4
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Hello and welcome,
I would just like to add, always anticipate what a car driver can do (turn in front of you etc.) and get to know your bike very well so you can keep it under control when the unexpected happens.

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Old 09-18-07, 08:57 AM   #5
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Hi fuish, welcome back to cycling.
On dangerous turns take a different route or walk your bike past them. The tire part is easy get some that have kevlar in them. I have never had a flat with a kevlar tire. The getting into shape thing is easy too, just ride and enjoy the rest will take care of itself.
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Old 09-18-07, 09:34 AM   #6
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Fuish, welcome. Tires should not be that hard to find. Either take your bike or a wheel of your bike to the bike store with you, or write down the tire size off the side of the tire. Kevlar is nice to add puncture reistance, as are tire liners. Ask your bike shop what they reccomend, based on where you will be riding. Also make sure to pick up some spare innertubes and/or a patch kit, and a pump or inflator. Make sure you know how to change a tire on the road, by practicing it at home first.

Welcome back to cycling and welcome to the fourms.
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Old 09-18-07, 12:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by smkndave View Post
Hi! I'm not an avid bike rider, but I love to get out and get some exercise on my bike. I'm a bit too out of shape to jog and walking is a little too boring sometimes.
Sounds like you need to blow the dust off the old girl and take her to the bike shop. Hopefully they will be able to set you up with the right tires and maybe give her a tune up. While you're there you may be able to find some safety equipment. They should have helmets, reflectors, flags and even baskets. Good luck and watch out for those hill billies! I live in Chicago and the Yuppies don't drive so well either!
I already have a helmet, albeit it is for skateboarders... should I buy an actual bikers helmet? Does it make a difference?
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Old 09-18-07, 02:30 PM   #8
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Welcome, fuish. A good (and free) start to learning more about how to safely ride in traffic is this PDF version of the booklet Bicycling Street Smarts. If you've got the money to spare, I highly recommend Robert Hurst's The Art of Cycling.
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Old 09-18-07, 03:54 PM   #9
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I'm not really up on bike helmets. If the skateboard helmet doesn't interfere with your vision, then I'm sure it's better than no helmet. Maybe put some reflective tape on it so those crazy hill billies drivers can see you better. If you have a health club in your area, spin classes can be fun. Inform the instructor before class that you're new and ask for some tips. Stationary bikes are a good way to watch t.v. and get some exercise at the same time. Fall is a great time of year to ride outside. Good luck!
Dave
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