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Basic help

Old 05-02-20, 11:51 AM
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jorey
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Basic help

I live in an over-built, over-populated, poorly planned city in a tropical, developing country. We have bike lanes here and there. There are alternative routes to my office so that I don't have to bike along major roads. My home is around 12km away from my office. I have access to a shower at my office, so that part is covered. I can arrange my own work schedule as long as I put in 6 hrs a day, 2x a week.

Given the above, I'd appreciate tips / articles or links to tips / articles about bike commuting in a busy city. I want to ease into biking again because I'm over 55 and while I exercise regularly, I could do better. It's probably not wise for me to start commuting tomorrow but I'd like to prepare for it while I get in better shape.
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Old 05-03-20, 09:52 AM
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Pugs2xLove
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For starters, bike on the weekends so that your body gets accustom to the activity and then slowly ease the commute into your routine. Maybe do a test run or two on the weekend and what routes work best before you commit to it. Also, plan an alternate route in case of weather or construction. Where I live the nearest bike trail is about 5 miles away and my town is slowly working on bridging that gap but for time being, I have to deal with road traffic to get to that trail. It's a small town so I'm lucky that there aren't an abundance of vehicles on the roads and people are nice enough to avoid me when I'm on the roads.
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Old 05-03-20, 06:53 PM
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wsgts
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You have a great situation there. Like Pugs2xLove wisely says, route planning is just about everything. Try your planned route on a less busy day, or drive it in an automobile to make absolutely sure it's the best way to get to work. Remember you should plan your route to avoid automobile traffic and/or have a dedicated bike lane or path. Once you ride your planned route a month or so, you will very likely change it up some.
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Old 05-03-20, 07:54 PM
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Most of our entertainment here in the commuting forum derives from watching our northern friends brave the snow and ice. Is your climate desert or jungle?
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Old 05-03-20, 10:23 PM
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jorey
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Definitely more jungle-like. We have 2 main seasons: summer and rainy (meaning typhoons). We do have an unofficial cool period but that only lasts about 2 months and the coldest temperature is the equivalent of an average Spring day. During typhoon season, some of our city streets can get really flooded -- knee to chest high -- so there's no getting about either via car or bike.
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Old 05-03-20, 11:54 PM
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Thanks Pugs2xLove and wsgts . These are helpful tips. I'll have a look at google maps for the routes and ask a biker friend who lives in my vicinity how she gets to the uni where I work.
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Old 05-06-20, 07:04 AM
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Moe Zhoost
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I would like to reinforce the recommendation to do trial runs during low traffic times. As you do these test rides, take note of areas that may be problems during higher traffic. For example, road constrictions, complex intersections, areas of road surface deterioration, etc. Test rides also help to get your timing right.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-13-20, 11:30 PM
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esteli
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make sure you have a good loud bell, and bright colored clothes! lights help too even during the day.
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Old 05-14-20, 12:46 AM
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jorey
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Just placed an order lights, a bell, spare inner tubes, basic tire repair tools & locks.
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Old 05-14-20, 02:38 PM
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davei1980
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12kM is a great distance. You'll get a workout but nothing out of reach. If you take it slow then even better.
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Old 05-14-20, 04:36 PM
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Bike commuting has done my body and soul a lot of good. Some tips
1) Eye contact is key. I've ridden in Yangon before with good results but you really want to see the eyes of drivers to get a sense of how observant they are and make sure they see you before you cross their path.
2) Fenders are very helpful on a commuter bike.
3) If you can put your bike indoors at your workplace that is best. Locking outside can work if the security of the environment is good.
4) Agreement with others - 12km is a great distance; good routing is so vital to safety and enjoyment.
5) It's worth having tires that are puncture resistant to avoid having to change a flat on the way in. Continental and Schwalbe have some that have layers built into the tread that fight cuts.
6) If you get off the side of the road to a parallel sidewalk or other alternate side-of-the-road path, know that you have left the radar of cars and you need to be extra cautious at any driveway or intersection
7) I use a "take-a-look" brand mirror on my glasses to see behind me continuously
8) Having spare pants and socks at work is good. In tropical rain probably having a complete spare change and access to a dryer is good. )
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Old 05-14-20, 07:36 PM
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12km is a nice distance. The nice thing about commuting is its generally nicer in the morning and by the time you get to work you are only halfway through your riding day. You might be a bit tired on the way home but you can usually take your time. Maybe a nice detour.

If you are looking for a route check out the strava heat maps. They are full of great data for about everywhere, except best Korea. Even Antarctica. See where people around you ride and you might see something you weren't aware of.

Add suggested above try to dry run the commute, at least 1 way if you aren't familiar with the route.

Have fun!
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