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Old 03-01-08, 11:30 PM   #1
tplano1
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Hello from Plano, Texas!

Not the ideal bicycle commuting community, but I've managed to make do.

I'm a 34-year old new father with a 6-month old daughter and a 9-month old bicycle commuting habit. I'm a software developer, and my commute is roughly 8 1/2 miles in each direction.

I ride a crappy Mongoose hybrid mountain bike. I've picked up a bunch of beginner gear since I started riding - rear rack, plastic fenders, rain-proof panniers, Planet Bike lights for front and rear, etc. Picked up some good cold weather gear for Christmas as well. And yeah, my bike is probably close to 60 pounds fully loaded down.

I've ridden as cold as 29 degrees (F) - and fell flat on my face on some ice that morning. Since then, I keep it to 35 or above. My hottest commute home was about 101 degrees.

As I'm a commuter, I've had a couple tough experiences - nearly been sideswiped by a handful of vehicles, but nothing too stressful.


I'm committed to my commuting habit now, so I'm starting to shop for a bike upgrade, and here I am!
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Old 03-01-08, 11:39 PM   #2
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Welcome to BikeForums! Lots of Dallas area riders here, many who ride with the PBA and several who commute to work as well. The right gear certainly makes commuting a lot easier, got to admit that. I tried to commute to my job (also a software developer, in the Galleria Towers) but the roads around the the mall and the towers were just too dangerous. On top of that there were no bike parking at all, nor anywhere to really clean up or change. Hopefully you've got it a little better.
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Old 03-02-08, 08:27 AM   #3
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Hi tplano1, what kind of upgrade are you looking at? Don't forget to visit the Texas regional sub-forum .


Welcome to BF!

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Old 03-02-08, 11:52 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forums, lots of useful information here.

Plano kind of seems to be the hub of north Texas cycling. I'd be leary about the commuting myself, too many close calls = 1 hit. Good luck with it. Seek out some sidestreets if possible.

Garland here, by the way.
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Old 03-02-08, 11:56 PM   #5
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Welcome Welcome!

Please check out the Plano Bicycling Association "PBA"
PBA - Home

We have organized rides of all levels.
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Old 03-03-08, 09:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the welcome everyone!

cuda2k - I can't say my route is totally ideal, but it's not too bad. I manage to stick to the side streets for about 90% of the ride. I ride from Park and Preston to Addison (Quorum and the Tollway). The only rough parts are crossing the Bush Turnpike, a quarter mile stretch of Preston (before I duck into the subdivision) and a half-mile stretch of Belt Line. I'm lucky enough to have a secure garage at work where I can lock my bike out of the weather. No shower facilities, though, ugh.

East Hill - Well, I'm starting from a poor, heavy mountain bike from a sporting goods store. I need something sturdy enough to handle some minor curb hopping and a light amount of riding on grass, so I'm afraid to go 100% road. I'm an REI member, and I've got a discount that will add up to about 30% off, so I'm shopping the Novara and K2 lines right now for a hybrid in the $500-$700 range.

Hobartlemagne - thanks for the link to the PBA! I've checked out the site, but haven't gone on any rides yet. I'm still a little intimidated by organized riding groups, but hopefully I can get some time to go on a weekend ride some time, I'd love to meet some other enthusiasts, I'm sure I'd learn a ton!
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Old 03-03-08, 09:28 AM   #7
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Might give Ohio / Hillcrest a try instead of Preston. Preston crossing Bush is one area I'd avoid on a bike at nearly all costs. Hillcrest goes right under Bush without an off ramp or signal. Might find it a lot less sketchy.
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Old 03-03-08, 09:36 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forums. I have probably seen you on your bike crossing the Bush at Preston, as my son's preschool is off of Preston at Llyod Circle.
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Old 03-03-08, 11:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tplano1 View Post
Thanks for the welcome everyone!

Hobartlemagne - thanks for the link to the PBA! I've checked out the site, but haven't gone on any rides yet. I'm still a little intimidated by organized riding groups, but hopefully I can get some time to go on a weekend ride some time, I'd love to meet some other enthusiasts, I'm sure I'd learn a ton!
Dont be afraid of the novice ride. It has finally begun for the year. They leave at 7:30am Saturdays from the
NE corner of Independance and Legacy. I think the max they go is 14 miles. Mostly it is on residential streets so the riders can safely learn group road riding. If you see me in the parking lot, say hi. You cant miss my dark red helmet with horns.
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