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Old 04-25-13, 08:21 AM
Maud Magnet
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 765

Bikes: 2012 Specialized Allez Comp, 2001 Kona Stuff

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Welcome to the forum.

I'd say you'll really enjoy it and learn, but as I'm sure you can already tell, the crowd can be kinda tough in here.

Irreverent posters (myself included occassionally) aside, there are in fact many helpful members and advice - you'll figure out who to pay attention to and who to add to your 'ignore' list.

For your questions:
  1. You will be hard pressed to find a decent road bike for under $250, even used. If you double your budget, you'll have a good chance at finding a very good beginners bike from REI or Performance Bikes, with a manufacturer's warranty, satisfaction guarantee, and free tune-ups. Plus, for both of those stores, you'l receive a 10% rebate if you join their clubs, which you can use for other purchases (and there will be other purchases).
  2. If you want to be safe, you must wear a helmet. Practice riding on low-traffic neighborhood streets. Avoid riding in traffic until you are confident on the bike and understand the rules of the road relative to cycling.
  3. Honestly, you can wear anything you want. You'll want to avoid jeans. You will be most comfortable in cycling-specific, close-fitting, sweat-wicking clothing (shorts, jersey, padded gloves, socks, etc.)
  4. Familiarize yourself with the rules of the road relative to cycling. Are you a good & safe driver? If so, you'll likely be a good & safe cyclist.
  5. Don't worry about traffic so much. Once you are comfortable enough to start riding in traffic, avoid busy roads with high traffic speeds. You will occasionally come across temperamental drivers. It's best to just ignore them.
  6. Unless you really antagonize someone, it is highly unlikely that a driver will deliberately try to 'ram' you. Just be polite on the road, even if someone else pisses you off. You don't need a video camera. I don't personally know a single rider that has one.
  7. Never walk away from something you own that you aren't willing to lose. Of course, geography plays a role. If you live in the inner city, an unattended bike, locked or not, will be stolen. If you're isolated in the boonies, then maybe not.
  8. Learn how to change your tubes & tires and how to properly adjust your derailleurs and brakes.
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