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Old 09-17-13, 01:23 AM   #1
StreetPizza
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Howdy from Staten Island (also: advice please)

Hey there, folks. Texan-turned-Staten Islander and new rider here. By new rider, by the way, I mean I have been biking for about... a less than a month now. I have a crappy little I-don't-know-what that I picked up for $120 at a Target that I had to fix up right from the get-go because a bunch of parts weren't aligned quite right, but anyways, enough about me.

Here's my question:

Some of the roads where I am (especially the ones closest to me) are single-lane, congested, and devoid of sidewalks, so how good of a biker would I have to be before you could seriously recommend me getting on to those roads? What skills should I have before I get on the road? Is it even possible?

And also, even though it's the law for bikers in New York to ride on roads instead of sidewalks, is it practical to follow that law in Staten Island, the least New York-ish part of New York?

Cheers!
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Old 09-17-13, 07:30 AM   #2
10 Wheels
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Welcome to Bike Forums from a Texas road rider.

Watch this with the sound Off....Has a few F words in there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0npCFw9TEnA
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
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Old 09-17-13, 10:37 AM   #3
Lacumo
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Welcome to BF! I'm a Bronx native who migrated to upstate many years ago. My take on those one-lane, one-way, congested, no-sidewalk streets is that I'd avoid them like the plague. The overall NYC environment isn't extremely bicycle-friendly and you need to be very, very careful down there. A lot of NYC motorists have an attitude toward bicyclists that's a lot like the attitude that deer hunters have toward deer on the opening day of deer season. I'm admittedly spoiled by the pastoral "country riding" of upstate, but you couldn't pay me enough money to get me to ride on (what I think are) the homicidal streets of NYC. Others will differ emphatically from my opinion, and that's fine--it's one of the things forums are for. If I was back in NYC, I'd be sticking to bike paths and lesser-used city streets. I'd also have a small fortune worth of mirrors and reflective tape plastered all over my bike and my helmet. Best wishes, best of luck down there, be careful and stay safe!
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Old 09-17-13, 06:40 PM   #4
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So, I've been checking out a few of the other introduction threads and I saw that some of them included bike pics, so here are mine.

What I meant when I said that I had to fix this thing up from the get-go was that, for one, the handlebars weren't properly aligned--that is, not quite perpendicular--with the rest of the frame, so I had to allen key that up, and for two, as you can see from the third picture, I had to turn the handlebars upside-down because if they were rotated any other way, they would eventually slip to that upside-down position anyway (and probably to the side too), no matter how I much would tighten the bolt.

Some of the welded portions of the frame (whose names I don't know) are just irrevocably borked. Is that going to be a problem for balance and control, or will experience eventually teach me to compensate?

Also, I'm watching the Line of Sight movie right now. They all seem pretty good--I guess they'd have to be to ride like that. How many years of experience would you say they have? Since I have less than a month's worth of experience right now, should I just take the movie as sort of a what-not-to-do guide for now?
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Old 09-20-13, 08:00 PM   #5
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Use your peripheral vision as much as possible, always make eye-contact with other drivers who may get in your way, stay alert and drive defensively. Doing those things keeps me from getting hurt. Go to an open area and do some things that you are not comfortable with like stopping fast, or turning quickly, that will help you in those split-second events and can really save you.
- Aaron
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Old 09-21-13, 08:09 AM   #6
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You'll be okay for now. You are just starting out. After a while of riding I think you will be able to figure out your specific needs. I started out my adult riding on a $59 bike my friend passed along to me. When I realized how that bike just wasn't for me, I went on my search. Trust me, you will realize when it's time.
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Old 09-21-13, 02:03 PM   #7
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You'll be okay for now. You are just starting out. After a while of riding I think you will be able to figure out your specific needs.
This^^
Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it eventually, sooner or later. With experience comes preferences and knowledge of needs/ wans. Things will fall into place.

Enjoy your stay. We're here to help.
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