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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-28-06, 11:33 PM   #1
attercoppe
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Especially if you are car-free, or very car-lite (in other words, you depend on your bike), what do you ride for everday use - commuting, grocery runs, etc? I know several have their bikes in their sigs, but I'm wondering if members' high-end bikes are generally reserved for specialty cycling (touring, MTB, etc) or if they get used for mundane riding.

Mine's a 1989 Schwinn World. Basic roadie bike, gets me around, but nothing special. I've added a rear rack, and have a Wheele trailer for hauling. I ride almost exclusively on streets and highway for my leisure cycling, and never have to go far running errands (small town), so the Schwinn is all I need for both.

I also recently bought a used Huffy at the thrift store to use as a snow bike, but we haven't had enough snow yet to really need it, and without that motivation, it's not even completely finished (i.e. fenders etc - it's built). I may repurpose it as a practice mountain bike for some beginner singletrack riding.
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Old 01-29-06, 12:38 AM   #2
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KHS folder (18" wheels) for short trips. I'll use it mostly for rides of 10 miles or less. It has a rack. I like it because it's compact and very maneuverable. The maneuverability is important because in my neighborhood I use some local short cuts through moderately rough areas with lots of fist-size rocks. It fits every bus bike rack I've ever tried. If the racks are full (not uncommon) I can fold it and take it on the bus.

My backup bike is an Electra Townie with rack and panniers. I use it for longer distances and bigger loads. It's got heavy duty tires & tubes because of all the tire puncturing debris I encounter when I get out of my neighborhood. It'll stand a direct hit on a pothole that would destroy my 18" folder. I bet the Townie would take a total load of five or six hundred pounds. That's the bike I took last year when I spent a week exploring unpaved back roads in two East Texas counties. But it's a very heavy bike and it doesn't fit the bike rack on some of the city buses. My avatar is a pic of me on the Townie riding about 15 mph straight at my son who was working the camera, he jumped out of the way at the last instant, we were on an overnight tour to the next county.
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Old 01-29-06, 01:07 AM   #3
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1985 Schwinn World Sport here, converted to flat bar, single speed. Uglified with an orange basket, stickers, and carefully placed frame mud. Truly a work of art in my humble estimation.
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Old 01-29-06, 01:57 AM   #4
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New Trek 7500 fully loaded, not sure if it is a 05 or 06 but I am going to find out soon. It is helping me become car light at a rapid pace.

I kind of have this strange thing about me; if someone buys me something as a gift unless I really like it the item in question often gets little or no use. However when I purchase something with my own money for some reason it gets used to hell and back and I will keep it long after the point it becomes functional. I still keep my Next Avalon even though I have not put 5 miles on it since I got the 7500.
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Old 01-29-06, 08:17 AM   #5
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Hey Mtn Mike, this is OT but how do you attach the milk crate to your rear rack? Sometimes I would like to throw a crate on mine but haven't found a good way to get it secured.
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Old 01-29-06, 09:05 AM   #6
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To the beach and back,21 miles.
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Old 01-29-06, 09:38 AM   #7
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My daily rider is a late-80s Bianchi Axis cross bike with fenders and rear rack.
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Old 01-29-06, 10:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by attercoppe
Hey Mtn Mike, this is OT but how do you attach the milk crate to your rear rack? Sometimes I would like to throw a crate on mine but haven't found a good way to get it secured.
Zip ties are the secret to my success, both for the crate and the make shift rear fender
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Old 01-29-06, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by attercoppe
Hey Mtn Mike, this is OT but how do you attach the milk crate to your rear rack? Sometimes I would like to throw a crate on mine but haven't found a good way to get it secured.
I don't know how Mtn Mike does it, but 6 or 8 zip ties should take care of it. Works for me on all my bikes that have a basket on the rear rack. Rubber straps/bungee cords can be useful for tie downs, or in my case for stabilizing a top heavy load like an otherwise swaying light pole.







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Old 01-29-06, 10:56 AM   #10
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since i've convinced them at work to let me go run errands, i've had to add fenders and a rack, but here's my daily rider/workbike-
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Old 01-29-06, 11:34 AM   #11
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I used my Schwinn World Sport for everyday riding. No use putting a bike out there that will tempt people to steal it. I have had time where I did not lock the bike after 5 hours, still there. I think its too ugly for people.
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Old 01-29-06, 12:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pakole
I used my Schwinn World Sport for everyday riding. No use putting a bike out there that will tempt people to steal it. I have had time where I did not lock the bike after 5 hours, still there. I think its too ugly for people.
I've been trying to get someone to steal that bike for two years...I leave it unlocked overnight outside my house (in the carport), and even in front of bars. Last week a drunk guy wanted to steal my helmet, which was in the basket, however, he asked my permission first ...my friends got a good laugh out of that one. No luck on getting the bike stolen though.
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Old 01-29-06, 12:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Hey Mtn Mike, this is OT but how do you attach the milk crate to your rear rack? Sometimes I would like to throw a crate on mine but haven't found a good way to get it secured.
I use part of a milk crate as a platform on which to put stuff. Mine is secured not with zip ties but with
hose clamps.
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Old 01-29-06, 01:48 PM   #14
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I ride a Specialized Hardrock MTB, steel frame, no suspension. It was built in the 1990s, but never ridden until I bought it in a pawn shop for $100 (sweet deal, I thought). I took everything off it except for brakes and gears. No fenders, racks, fuzzy dice or even water bottles. I use studded tires in the winter and street slicks for the rest of the year. It looks like a beater now since I put more than 15,000 miles on it so far, but I keep it very well maintained.

I also have a Fuji road bike from the 1980's that I keep up north and use only for rec riding when I'm up there. It's totally rebuilt and in very good condition.
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Old 01-29-06, 11:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shokhead
To the beach and back,21 miles.
That's rideR, not ride. Seriously, did you not notice that the others who answered before you (not to mention my OP) were talking about bikes, not bike rides? Did you even read the OP? I thought it was pretty clear...
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Old 01-30-06, 02:16 AM   #16
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woo woo hold on. Let's not be to mean. It may be OT, but we do not have to be rude either.
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Old 01-30-06, 11:24 AM   #17
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For the last month and a half my daily rider has been a new Specialized Tricross. I commute on it, run errands, and ride it recreationally on the weekends. It's a very versatile bike as I have ridden on dirt trails and fire roads, ridden on road groups rides, and someday I'll tour on it.
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Old 01-30-06, 11:59 AM   #18
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My daily rider is a Schwinn Cruiser Deluxe. Have been riding it this winter which i have never done before. I bought a Trek 7300FX with disc brakes for winter riding last spring and was assured that i could put full fenders on it. The local bike shop lied. And i have been sold road and mountain bikes by LBS with frames too big. They lied. I hate LBS but i love my Schwinn. Big fenders that work,easy shifting at stoplights with the internal hub. Smooth ride with the springer front end ,cruiser seat and balloon tires. Great curb basher. Every day that i ride it i like it more.
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Old 01-30-06, 07:04 PM   #19
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Mine is a Nishiki... don't know what model it is. Haven't really been able to ascertain that, but fortunately, that detail is unimportant to me. Very few of it's parts are original (Both wheels, both cranks, pedals, the front sprocket, and rear deraileur have been replaced). I just added the fenders today (this morning they were red, so I stripped them down, primed them, re-painted them, and put on a gloss coat to finish. I did manage to scratch some of the paint off on the side facing the tire, and on the top a bit... oh well). I also added the basket in the back (I saw Mtn Mikes and decided to follow suit. Tried it out, works nice). I've gone through a lot with this bike, and love it. Now that I've got a basket, it ought to be much better suited to running errands, etc.

The first pic was taken shortly after I finished installing and testing the fenders, the other was shortly after installing and testing the rear box.
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Old 01-30-06, 08:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pakole
woo woo hold on. Let's not be to mean. It may be OT, but we do not have to be rude either.
You're right, that was rude...it's just that I'm tired of seeing shokead (and to be fair, others) trolling in the LCF forum. If you have something to contribute, great, but don't come in here calling CFers names and posting about how much you love your car and will never ever give it up. Granted, that post was neither of those, but it certainly didn't add anything to the discussion here. Besides, I started this thread.

Sir Lunch-a-lot, that's some nice work on those fenders. Here's a question for both you and Mtn Mike: how do you mount your bike with the crate strapped to the back? Whether I mount standing still or beginning to pedal, I always swing my leg over the back of the bike - if I had the crate on there all the time, I'd be constantly cracking my leg on it trying to mount as I always have.
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Old 01-30-06, 09:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Lunch-a-lot
Mine is a Nishiki... don't know what model it is. Haven't really been able to ascertain that, but fortunately, that detail is unimportant to me. Very few of it's parts are original (Both wheels, both cranks, pedals, the front sprocket, and rear deraileur have been replaced). I just added the fenders today (this morning they were red, so I stripped them down, primed them, re-painted them, and put on a gloss coat to finish. I did manage to scratch some of the paint off on the side facing the tire, and on the top a bit... oh well). I also added the basket in the back (I saw Mtn Mikes and decided to follow suit. Tried it out, works nice). I've gone through a lot with this bike, and love it. Now that I've got a basket, it ought to be much better suited to running errands, etc.

The first pic was taken shortly after I finished installing and testing the fenders, the other was shortly after installing and testing the rear box.
Nice color coordination on that beast!

attercoppe:
...as far as mounting her, err, I mean it...I guess it takes a wide swing of the leg, but it's not too bad when you get used to it.
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Old 01-31-06, 12:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by attercoppe
Sir Lunch-a-lot, that's some nice work on those fenders. Here's a question for both you and Mtn Mike: how do you mount your bike with the crate strapped to the back? Whether I mount standing still or beginning to pedal, I always swing my leg over the back of the bike - if I had the crate on there all the time, I'd be constantly cracking my leg on it trying to mount as I always have.
Thanks. I'm really proud of how the fenders turned out.

How do I get on? Yeah, just swing my leg up high and over. I discovered this morning that it's a bit more difficult with tight, double layer pants. But still doeable. Once I put the crate on, I realised why some people of an older age have "lady" bikes, so they don't have to swing their legs so high.
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Old 01-31-06, 01:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
I've been trying to get someone to steal that bike for two years...I leave it unlocked overnight outside my house (in the carport), and even in front of bars. Last week a drunk guy wanted to steal my helmet, which was in the basket, however, he asked my permission first ...my friends got a good laugh out of that one. No luck on getting the bike stolen though.
Wow, why would you want somebody to steal such a good bike? I really like mine and apperciate it everyday. That is weird about drunk guy.
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Old 01-31-06, 02:27 PM   #24
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Here's mine --> http://users.skynet.be/ppc/retrodirect_drive/. I use it everyday, it's very dependable and it's a great conversation starter. Originally, it was a cheap 99 euro Decathlon Vitamin, a typical Walmart bike, meant to be ridden 50 miles then thrown away. I fixed it up with front and back rack, a new bottom bracket (as the original fell apart after 200 miles), 150mm cranks, a top case to carry my rain gear and groceries, and a custom holder at the front to carry my A3 drawing board. Its name is Robert.
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Old 01-31-06, 10:08 PM   #25
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Here's mine --> http://users.skynet.be/ppc/retrodirect_drive/. I use it everyday, it's very dependable and it's a great conversation starter. Originally, it was a cheap 99 euro Decathlon Vitamin, a typical Walmart bike, meant to be ridden 50 miles then thrown away. I fixed it up with front and back rack, a new bottom bracket (as the original fell apart after 200 miles), 150mm cranks, a top case to carry my rain gear and groceries, and a custom holder at the front to carry my A3 drawing board. Its name is Robert.
That's freakin awesome. Where did you get your idlers?
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