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Old 03-22-08, 11:57 AM   #1
trafficcasauras
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preparing to commute

Hi,

I've been riding for fun since I was really young. Now that I'm out of college, I want to get off my lazy ass and save some money. I've bought the book "Effective Cycling". Building up my pile of gear and exercising before I hit the road. I'm currently doing exercises for my abs and gluts; running, and doing some push-ups.

I'm looking for a psychological edge on the road. Any realworld experience is appreciated.

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Old 03-22-08, 12:01 PM   #2
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Read through the Commuting forum. Then check out the Advocacy & Safety forum. Ignore most of the A & S forum, and pay close attention to the Commuting forum

That'll get you motivated.

Welcome to BF!

East Hill

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Old 03-22-08, 06:12 PM   #3
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Go for it!

Hi Trafficasaurus,

A fellow commuter! Yay! I commute a relatively short route (8 miles one way, 18 if I ride to school after work.) I have been doing this since August, and I LOVE it. I love the freedom, the exercise, the quirkiness of it, plus it pads my pocket book and is a favor to the Earth - it really is awesome all around.

As far as safety goes, I try to stick to residential routes (if you can find a safer way take it, right?). All my experiences on major thoroughfares have been positive. I get the occasional honk or buzz, but nothing serious.

Just remember - you are a vehicle and you deserve to be treated as such - but that also means you must obey the same laws that all other vehicles follow. I think doing this shows others on the road that you are serious and should be treated with respect.

Have fun - and welcome
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Old 03-22-08, 08:05 PM   #4
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welcome!

i have a friend who used to ride/commute in the charleston, sc area (up to and shortly beyond 2006). he stated driver/bicyclist tension as amped, like the f150's saw no place for cannondales. i hope this is not the case from where you ride!

ride your route that you'll take commuting, with-out gear (rack set/panniers) and see how you feel during the weekends. practice your miles!

what is your distance each way? do you vb? helmetted?

good luck, hold your lane, and welcome x2!

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Old 03-23-08, 10:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
Ignore most of the A & S forum, and pay close attention to the Commuting forum
Why ignore most of the A & S forum? I'm new enough that I don't have a ready answer for this.
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Old 03-23-08, 10:26 AM   #6
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Why ignore most of the A & S forum? I'm new enough that I don't have a ready answer for this.

There's some excellent reading in there, actually, but there is a lot of bickering in certain parts (the subforum there in particular).

Take the ideas presented, and filter them through the advice in the Commuting forum. It's the best of both worlds.

The reality in commuting is that you have to be able to ride as if you own the road--because you do have the legal right to be there. A lot of people are intimidated when they first start commuting, because cars are pretty scary, especially when the drivers are not happy to see cyclists.
That's where A & S comes in. It deals with how to avoid certain situations, how to anticipate, how to ride on the road in the safest fashion. The bickering occurs over the 'safest fashion'.

The Commuting forum folks just want to get you there, safely.

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Old 03-23-08, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
what is your distance each way?
its r e a l l y short, only a few miles (depending on which route i take) but i'm setting my goals high because some of my route has heavy traffic. several stop signs and lights keep the traffic below the 35mph speed limit a lot of the time.

Quote:
do you vb?
nope, but it looks like a sweet machine!

Quote:
helmet?
i have the PlanetBike Blaze and Superflash front and tail lights, i'm gonna get a vest and/or jersey, and Of Course i'm gonna get a helmet before i start commuting. i have about a 57 cm, kinda narrow head.
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Old 03-23-08, 01:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by trafficcasauras View Post

(do you vb?)

nope, but it looks like a sweet machine!
VB is symbol for Vehicular Bicycling (follow the rules of the road, same road-same rules).
VB is riding with traffic, stopping at stop signs, signaling directions intended, etc.
It is not riding on the sidewalk, riding against traffic, running through red lights, etc.

glad you ride with helmet and you distance sounds very manageable!

t
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Old 03-24-08, 08:40 AM   #9
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Hello, I too do many exercises and work out on my legs often thinking this will strengthen my legs for cycling. lol I work out on my abs as well. Point being, no matter how much I work my legs out I still have hills that kick my ass! :-) Enjoy your stay here!
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Old 03-25-08, 04:02 PM   #10
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Being new to commuting I don't have a huge amount of advice. One thing I would say is that as a newbie all the gear will seem like it is calling your name but take it slow and figure out what you really need and will use before you go out and spends thousands on accessories.

Right now I have a saddlepack with multitool and spare tube. I also have a pump attached to my frame and front and rear lights. The rear light is a small blinkie and cost about $10. However I ride on fairly untrafficed neighborhood roads. The front light is a 6wt halogen with a rechargeable battery pack which is also strapped to the frame. The light was $80 and the extra piece of cord I had to buy so it wouldn't keep coming undone was $20 but I think it was all worth it.

Good Luck!

N.

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