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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-17-04, 01:04 AM   #1
kurremkarm
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Bike=transportation?

I get annoyed when people I know describe me as an avid cyclist. True, I love the freedom that the bicycle represents for me in financial terms as well as independance from a car, but an avid cyclist? I don't own a car which is one of those alltime good moves that i made, like when i quit smoking 4 years ago.

I had high cholesteral, road rage, and a severely restricted income due to the economy and trying to support gas+insurance+repairs on my car. Got rid of the car more and more until November of last year, when i got rid of it for good. Winter, snow, and my bike was such a great combination. It proved to me that if I could make it in the winter i could make it period without a car.

So anyway, I love my bike, don't get me wrong, but I hardly ride the thing! I ride it a couple miles back and forth from work, to the store, to a friends house, wherever i need to go. No fitness, no fun, just basic transportation man.

Anybody else like me or am i alone here?
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Old 08-17-04, 01:07 AM   #2
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Most days I get probably less than 10 miles in. No car. It's transportation for me too... But everyone at work thinks I'm hardcore because I'm almost always right on time no matter what the weather is, which is pretty cold out here sometimes.
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Old 08-17-04, 03:32 AM   #3
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how did you quit smoking? I urgently need to kick the habit

When I started messengering, I was unfit, slightly overweight and on prozac after 4 years with various ****ty 'new economy' it companies. Now I utterly love my life, income levels have nothing to do with job enjoyment. Altough I'd very much like a campy/phil equipped titanium serotta track bike, thank you very much
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Old 08-17-04, 05:53 AM   #4
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"Avid cyclist" is a phrase used by people who are complete morons. These people are also called journalists, sometimes. Others of this ilk use the word because these journalists had said it in their presence. They know not of what they speaketh. Ignore them. You will be a happier man.
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Old 08-17-04, 06:35 AM   #5
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Who cares what they call me,,,,,,just don't call me late for supper!!!
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Old 08-17-04, 06:45 AM   #6
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Definitions of avid on the Web:

(often followed by `for') ardently or excessively desirous; "avid for adventure"; "an avid ambition to succeed"; "fierce devouring affection"; "the esurient eyes of an avid curiosity"; "greedy for fame"

No your not avid. My truck failed inspection in April so it sits in my yard. I use it still to take trash out illegally but F'em. I commute 10 miles to work.
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Old 08-17-04, 07:09 AM   #7
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kurremkarm,

I'm with you 100%. I too made the great decisions to 1) get rid of car due to expense and 2) kicked the smoking (partly due to expense). Both were surprisingly easy - cold turkey on both. I'll grant you that it was probably the 5th + time I quit smoking, but it stuck this time. Regardless, kurremkarm, I'm glad you said it. I love riding my bike, but I'm not one to turn down a lift from a friend and I'll take the train across town rather than biking all the way (unless it is just a beautiful and I want to be outside, i.e. multi-tasking).
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Old 08-17-04, 07:20 AM   #8
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When I quit smoking cartons of cigarettes were 20 dollars. I used to wake up every morning with a cough and this sort of constant need to clear my throat. I did try to quit many times over the years but when I finally decided to quit and to do it for myself it was easy. I remember feeling the cravings which were quite strong after 15 years of smoking and saying, man i want a cigarette. But i would always reply to myself, it doesnt matter because you aren't going to smoke, reguardless.

That was how i quit. I wanted to. I acknowledged my cravings. I said I won't smoke anyways. Oh yeah, and use a patch.

Getting rid of the car was the same sort of positive affirmation of life that quitting smoking was, it was a longterm view on life that was all about me.
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Old 08-17-04, 07:25 AM   #9
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Same here. Although I am hoping for a bit of wieghtloss to come with it. My car stopped running due to a batterie issue last December and I just 'never got around' to fixing it. Starting taking the streetcar to work more, then I got my bike about 4 months ago. Commuting about 3-4 miles each way, more on monday, thursday and Saturday when I go to the bike project. Some of my coworkers think I'm hardcore too, especially when i got my gloves.
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Old 08-17-04, 07:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurremkarm
When I quit smoking cartons of cigarettes were 20 dollars. I used to wake up every morning with a cough and this sort of constant need to clear my throat. I did try to quit many times over the years but when I finally decided to quit and to do it for myself it was easy. I remember feeling the cravings which were quite strong after 15 years of smoking and saying, man i want a cigarette. But i would always reply to myself, it doesnt matter because you aren't going to smoke, reguardless.

That was how i quit. I wanted to. I acknowledged my cravings. I said I won't smoke anyways. Oh yeah, and use a patch.

Getting rid of the car was the same sort of positive affirmation of life that quitting smoking was, it was a longterm view on life that was all about me.
thanks for the inspiration. I plan to quit next week. I hate waking up in the morning with mouth tasting like vultures arse. Car drivers beware, there's one angry twitchy messenger about next week...
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Old 08-17-04, 07:35 AM   #11
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My car gets driven once or twice a month.

As for quitting cigs... there's no cutting back IMO. you just have to wake up one day and say you're not smoking again. Find something to replace the cigs with... for me, it was exercise, for some (unfortunately), it's food.
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Old 08-17-04, 07:56 AM   #12
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It's basic transportation for me, too. The main reasons I bike:

1) I am extremely impatient and hate waiting for buses or rides--I like the self-sufficiency it allows
2) I don't want the expense or responsibility of a car
3) The state of my mental health seems better when I'm biking as opposed to busing or driving
4) I don't exercise otherwise
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Old 08-17-04, 08:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurremkarm
I get annoyed when people I know describe me as an avid cyclist. True, I love the freedom that the bicycle represents for me in financial terms as well as independance from a car, but an avid cyclist? I don't own a car which is one of those alltime good moves that i made, like when i quit smoking 4 years ago.

I had high cholesteral, road rage, and a severely restricted income due to the economy and trying to support gas+insurance+repairs on my car. Got rid of the car more and more until November of last year, when i got rid of it for good. Winter, snow, and my bike was such a great combination. It proved to me that if I could make it in the winter i could make it period without a car.

So anyway, I love my bike, don't get me wrong, but I hardly ride the thing! I ride it a couple miles back and forth from work, to the store, to a friends house, wherever i need to go. No fitness, no fun, just basic transportation man.

Anybody else like me or am i alone here?
yes I know what you mean- I prefer cycling somewhere rather than just cycling for its own sake (though I do cycle at the weekends just for fun). No one says "you are an avid car driver" just because you drive a lot. Cycling is just seen as a bit eccentric and nutty and the word avid just reflects this. I have a car but lately I have considered going carless. I hate driving the car in the city. If it wasn't for the shopping I would have ditched the car long ago. The car is very nice though for hitting the supermarket and filling up the back with a ton of groceries. Just a shame that it costs so much just for a few shopping runs but I can't think of any really practical alternative.
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Old 08-17-04, 08:49 AM   #14
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I also quit smoking after 15 years. Cold turkey. One of the best, if not the best decision I've ever made. Buying a bike was up there on that list of good decisions too. As of now I aspire to be car free. I use my bike as much as possible but I still need to be more confident that I can do it. I estimate a year or two before I sell my car and use the profit on a hottie track bike.
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Old 08-17-04, 09:45 AM   #15
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Most of my bikes ( 5 ) have Avid brakes, so I must be an avid cyclist.
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Old 08-17-04, 09:56 AM   #16
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"Just a shame that it costs so much just for a few shopping runs but I can't think of any really practical alternative."

what would a cab cost for those few shopping runs? I suspect less than your car payment/insurance/gas/maintenance per year.
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Old 08-17-04, 10:00 AM   #17
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I ride, fix, talk about, read about bikes whenever possible. Due to my work hours and long commute, free time is at a minimum. Family comes first. I wake up early My wife complains about my obsession with bikes. People at work know me as the bike expert, even though I am not one. Does this make me an avid cyclist? Maybe. Do I care? Not really. At least they're not calling me an avid couch potato of which some of my coworkers secretly aspire to be.
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Old 08-17-04, 10:04 AM   #18
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I've been car-free for almost a year now. I found that the key to doing so is getting a trailer. I have a BOB - they're about 300 bucks, but well worth it - cheaper than keeping the car around. The BOB can carry a lot of stuff despite its size - I've violated the 70lb limit several times.
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Old 08-17-04, 11:06 AM   #19
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Ditto what gilby said!

I stopped by the expensive bike shop the other day for a tube. I was like "$8 for a tube?!" The sales dude quips, "find another sport!" fluk that, this is my transportation!

I'm all for more people biking, but it really doesn't help "the cause" to be a purely recreational cyclist. Be happy in the margin and that's where you'll stay... choking on exhaust or getting smacked by an SUV

--orange
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Old 08-17-04, 11:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by orange
Ditto what gilby said!

I stopped by the expensive bike shop the other day for a tube. I was like "$8 for a tube?!" The sales dude quips, "find another sport!" fluk that, this is my transportation!

I'm all for more people biking, but it really doesn't help "the cause" to be a purely recreational cyclist. Be happy in the margin and that's where you'll stay... choking on exhaust or getting smacked by an SUV

--orange
yeah, tube-shock. they seem to have goten super expendsive. 5 bucks on average. after living in the city with (nyc) no bike for almost a year (no funds), i had to wqalk/subway, but mostly walk everywhere. when I got a beater, it changed my feelings about the city. now keep the beater, with the largest wald basket locked outside, and my fixed inside. ride fixed to work and for fun, as for everything else, i;m on the beater haulin stuff. you can fit an amazing amout in those baskets. once had an oll cast iron sink and pedestal in it (at least 100lbs). running a big ol ritchey moby bite with somewhat low peressure (too low), and it was pretty sketchy, but the basket and the tire held up.
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Old 08-17-04, 11:31 AM   #21
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Ditto what gilby said!

I stopped by the expensive bike shop the other day for a tube. I was like "$8 for a tube?!" The sales dude quips, "find another sport!" fluk that, this is my transportation!
$8?!~?!!~?

tubes at my shop are $3.95 for normal tubes, presta, schraeder, any size, and $5.95 for long-stem presta tubes...$4.95 for the stupid 24x3.0 electra fatti-O tubes that we had to special order, and that i'm almost certain no one will ever buy.

oh yeah, i use my bike as my primary transportation as well, but i see no reason why i can't get out on the weekends for long, relaxing, get-away-from-the-freeway-ridden-smog-infested-go-go-fast-fast-now-now-now-world rides.

GF has a car. been telling her lately that she needs to stop driving it, because she's always so worked up and grumpy when she gets home, and that's not good for her. but she needs the car to get to school (school in SF, we live in berkeley, and BART is a tremendous pain in the ass, plus it's like, $10 round-trip to get from our house to her school, 5 days a week, from august to may...) she does carpool though...

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Old 08-17-04, 12:15 PM   #22
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I don't care if someone called me a avid cyclist. I generally don't ride for the sake of riding. However, I wonder how "good for the cause" avid cyclists are. Basically, I'm talking about the folks all decked out on their expensive bikes, road or mtb. Not that I'm really criticizing them, but I think that sort of rider simply reinforces the notion of bicycles being only recreational toys. And a bit of a uppity recreation, at that. The vast majority of bicycling commuters I see ride very cheap *mart bikes, and do so because they have no choice. Once in a while, I see a commuter who could probably afford a car (and probabaly has one), but chooses bike. But these folks are definitely a minority.

Basically, I think the serious biking community speaks out of both sides of it's mouth. On the one hand it wants bicycling taken more seriously. At the same time, it still treats biking as a largely recreational luxury activity/conspicuous consumption activity. I suspect all those bicycling commuters on *mart bikes are working hard to not be in any part of a bicycling community.
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Old 08-17-04, 12:24 PM   #23
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on expensive tubes....redrill your rims for schraeder. buy tubes at the hardware store (walmart for the suburbanites). 3 bucks
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Old 08-17-04, 12:26 PM   #24
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"plus it's like, $10 round-trip to get from our house to her school, 5 days a week, from august to may"

that sounds like a tremendous bargain; cant understand how she can drive for less that that...
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Old 08-17-04, 02:14 PM   #25
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Where you people buying your tubes from?! I think the local bike shop charges $5 - including labor - for the tube plus installation.
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