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  1. #1
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Things I learned on Bike Forums

    I recall a number of things I've learned here on Bike Forums... I mean things that are not specifically bike related, but somehow tangentially connected.

    Some of you will probably admit Bike Forums was your first exposure to ..say... Peak Oil, James Howard Kunstler, street scenes of Amsterdam, Ciclovía, Complete Streets, space-age ultralight backpacking gear (at least for me...), navy showers (you probably heard of them, but it was here on BF that you finally found people who actually indulge...), cagers.... the list goes on.

    Anyway, a couple of days ago, I was lurking on the Touring Forum and read a number of posts about Eating well while camping..

    Once again, new ideas. This time it was thermos cooking. I never knew this, but apparently, you can cook many foods with a thermos of boiling water. I particularly like steel-cut oats in the morning, but it takes 35 minutes to book. With the thermos, you can add the oats and boiling water the night before and when you wake next morning, it hot and ready.

    Have you learned anything new just by hanging around Bike Forums?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Titmawz's Avatar
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    Mainly about parts, got some cool ideas for putting together a new bicycle. Read cool articles and spoke to a lot people that actually ride.

  3. #3
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    I did actually learn about Peak Oil here, and about the carfree cities movement, but mostly I've learned more nuts and bolts bicycling things, like the fact that older Kryptonite locks can be picked with a Bic pen. Other bicycle-related things I've discovered on BF include:

    - That bicycle maintenance book by Howard Zinn (easily the best book ever written on the subject);
    - Surly bicycles, especially the LHT and Cross Check;
    - The existence of IGH bikes (not many bike shops I've been to are very enthusiastic about them, and won't even mention them unless you ask);
    - when I started out, a whole lot of advice on how to negotiate traffic, recognize my rights & responsibilities as a cyclist, etc.
    - That I'm not the only bicyclist who thinks that Critical Mass rides are often very counter-productive.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Around town, I'm seen as the bike fanatic who cycles everywhere, all through the year. On this forum, I've learned I'm not the only one who prefers cycling for transportation and I've learned my car-light lifestyle pales in comparison to many here who have achieved car-free living. The spirit of solidarity has been the most important part of this forum. There are many of us.
    Life is good.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Picked up bits and pieces of odd information along the way. I am an information/trivia junkie so it works for me.

    Biggest thing I have probably taken away from here was a renewed interest in reading and re-reading the classics as well as some newer books. This is mainly due to Roody's book threads and his constant recommendation to read Thoreau.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  6. #6
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    I learned a lot about Safety & Advocacy, vehicular cycling, commuting, and got some really great ideas from the car-free forum. The actual nuts-and-bolts bike stuff I pretty much already knew, but there aren't many cyclists in my town, so I enjoy learning new things about practical, every day cycling (not just weekend recreation).

  7. #7
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    I've picked up so much from Bike Forums, where to start?

    The Classic & Vintage forum has been so helpful with identifying/learning about various bikes and finding older parts...

    I first heard of several good books here, including "How to live Well Without Owning a Car". I found that book very inspiring, as is this Forum in general.

    I've heard about good , cheap lights, like these...
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  8. #8
    Mystery Meat gitarzan's Avatar
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    I learned that the more you learn, the more you realize that you don't know much at all. Things like how parts from year to year won't work together. It reminds me of photography, you think you know it all, then suddenly find out that you've only seen the tip of the iceberg.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    Is a ukulele player in a mandolin town and banned from all bars by the chief of police unless he leaves his strings and gravy at the front door.

  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I've learned that it's perfectly sane to be crazy about bikes. And I'm not the only person who could have a car but doesn't. Also, so much inspiration--people who sit down and decide how they want to live their lives, and then do it. (Which, aaron, is what Thoreau is all about!)


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #10
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I have found out about many shiny parts and items (for instance my Winkkus and my steering atabilizer). I was talking with one of my coworkers about my bike, I told them that if it wasn't for the internet I wouldn't have the bike that I do. I have learned that there is no right or wrong way to enjoy bicycling from bike forums.
    I learned that I permaybehaps I could have put a little more thought and research into buying my bike, before I bought it.
    I also really like the fact that disagreements here don't generally degenerate into name calling (like some of the other forums, that I have seen)

    Another great source, believe it or not, is the Yehuda Moon comic (the comments section).
    2008 Kona Fire Mountain/Xtracycle
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    I void warranties.
    Cycling well IS Cycling Advocacy
    Originally Posted by Steely Dan: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  11. #11
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    Another great source, believe it or not, is the Yehuda Moon comic (the comments section).
    Oh yeah, I learned about yehuda moon on BF. And now I've learned about the comments section!

    While I'm at it, I learned about Ken Kifer and Sheldon Brown here, and that alone was worth the price of admission.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  12. #12
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    I had discovered Ken Kifer and Sheldon Brown before coming here. Both are valuable sources of information. Kifer's approach and life philosophy is not mainstream among cyclists, but he clearly articulates views that become more common among car-free cyclists. Brown's repair help is one of the most valuable resources on the Internet.
    Life is good.

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    I had discovered Ken Kifer and Sheldon Brown before coming here. Both are valuable sources of information. Kifer's approach and life philosophy is not mainstream among cyclists, but he clearly articulates views that become more common among car-free cyclists. Brown's repair help is one of the most valuable resources on the Internet.
    Ken also has an entire annotated Walden on his web site, which definitely ties in with carfree philosophy!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  14. #14
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    I wasn't really thinking about all the bicycle-related information I've picked up on BF. Even listing it would probably take 50 pages. I'm pretty sure I would have had a much steeper learning curve for my early attempts at commuting and I can't image how I would have drummed up the courage to ride in winter.

    But the not-directly-bike-related things were just as important. I recall reading posts from people who regularly took "navy" showers as a means of saving money and resources. Last time I'd heard about it was in the later 1970s I think. I tried the technique out and found it quite functional...

    Some the ideas were truly life changing, too. Using the bicycle as a tool rather than a toy. Posts about the evil of gas lawnmowers and, in general, the concept of lawns. Living low to the ground. Human-powered transportation. Climate change. Peak oil. New urbanism....

  15. #15
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    All good points, Gerv. Sometimes I think the Living Car Free part of the forums is too much about theory and not enough about the practice of car-free and car-light living. But the theoretical parts they are becoming realities, at least in some areas. So maybe this forum is really about hope.
    Life is good.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Titmawz's Avatar
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    Just to clarify I learned a lot from other cycling related forums but each one has something more to offer and different people to interact with

  17. #17
    nashcommguy
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    My experiences since discovering BF have been admonition and correction when needed, affirmation when deserved and more out loud belly laughs than I've had in many a year. The video links are always spot on and informative. The sense of community has been life changing. This is from one who started cycle-commuting in 1987. There wasn't a time when I didn't feel like some sort of oddball or freak until landing here. It's like a support network. Gives me a sense that what I'm doing regarding cycling actually means something. While not being car-free yet I take great satisfaction in having averaged over 7500 bike miles and under 5000 car miles for the last 3 years. People on this site know how difficult that is to achieve in this bike-distaining culture.

    All that being said I'm about to take the next step to becoming car-lite and selling my pick-up. It's 16 miles to the nearest grocery store, and I'm in the process of re-thinking my rigs. I'll be haunting these threads as well as the utility sub-forum. It's scarey, but exciting as well.

    Btw, I agree about Sheldon Brown's website. What a gift to the world he was...sorely missed. I learned a ton from him and he took the fear out of doing my own mechanical work. And between his knowledge and a friend I've learned to build and true wheels...would've never have done it if it hadn't been for discovering SB's website on BF. My goal over the next year is to spend more time on my bicycle(s) than on BFs.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    I've Learned Some Things

    Simplified lifestyles is the main thing I've learned about here that I hadn't known much about. I knew what it was but there weren't any people in my life that applied it. Ken Kifer was one part of it and the people commenting here and on other forums contributed to my education.

    Just today I went through the possessions I want to sell and totaled the expected sales prices. I could maybe get $2000 for them. If I could liquidate everything I don't want it might add another few hundred dollars. The thing is, the remainder of those possessions are quite numerous and of little value. It might be better to just give those things away.

    About once a year I review the "How Simply Do You Live Thread" just for inspiration.

    Bicycle forums are my link to sanity and hope for the world. They're also a reminder of how much more society needs to change before the world will be working smoothly with more environmentally conscious behavior.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    All good points, Gerv. Sometimes I think the Living Car Free part of the forums is too much about theory and not enough about the practice of car-free and car-light living. But the theoretical parts they are becoming realities, at least in some areas. So maybe this forum is really about hope.
    You have to advance the theories so they can become reality...

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  20. #20
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    I went through several heavy runs through various forums, as my needs and interests changed. I focused on Clydes, then Commuting, then Long Distance, and finally here. I get some level of entertainment and inspiration from them all. A big plus is the discovery of unknown (to me) bikes, equipment, training methods, etc. It's enlightening to talk to someone who is a step ahead of you, and rewarding to encourage someone a step behind.

    The forums, like cycling, are a 'boil the frog' experience for me. You make small increases that accumluate to big gains; you learn many small things that add up to a useful level of knowledge at some point.
    Campione Del Mondo Immaginario

  21. #21
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    The simple living thread is great. There's some good advice in there.
    Life is good.

  22. #22
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    The most important thing I learned here is....there is no one answer to the dilemma of actually being able to live "Car Free" in a car loving world. It is a beautiful ideal, for all, but the temptation to "backslide" back to primary car usage is still very strong even for the most determined of us here.

  23. #23
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    BF has made me a much more savvy cyclist, letting me be in far better touch with current cycling info than if I had to rely on it locally.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 10-20-10 at 09:56 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ezdoesit's Avatar
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    Before coming to BF I was just riding around and now I am more informed as to being more efficient with my bicycle.
    Until I clicked on Living Car Free I didn't know about it and I have learned about it.Bought the book living car free and love it. Most people think I am a Little off (LMAO) they are the one's missing out not me.
    Sadly I have to take my car in for service tomorrow and will hopefully have it fixed and store back in my garage and use my bicycle as much as possible.
    I am tired of all the expenses of car(s) and their repairs-money-money and more money would rather spend it on my bicycle.
    Just set up my touring bike with new Pannier's front and back as well as new racks front and back so now I am ready for shopping,groceries and of course the laundry.CIMG0005 (600 x 450.jpg
    So I am going car lite as much as the weather will allow me meaning I live on top of a big hill as a matter fact lot's of big hills like 9% grades so as long as the snow isn't on the ground I will be riding.
    Remember it's mind over matter
    if you don't mind it doesn't matter


    Ride more and drive less.

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