Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Help Needed!

Old 10-26-09, 03:22 PM
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jpmw
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Help Needed!

Hi,
Just a quick intro as Im a newbie to this site as well as pretty much cycling.

Well up until Aug this year, I have a great job, good money and lots of perks including a fully funded company car. All of a sudden, Im made redundant. I have been lookingo for jobs for nearly three months but an not getting anywhere fast. Im now in a situation where by I have to take a lowered paid job. A lot lower infact - and after deductions I can afford to run my car to work daily, or indeed even insure it so its comming off the road.

I need to commute to work mornings, days and nights on a bicycle. I have a budght of no more than 500 and to top it all off - my daily commute is going to be 60 miles mainly on a dual carrigeway.

I know your all thinking i'm mad but I have a family to support and unless i do this , even for the interm, i'm going to loose the house. Ill need to buy the bike in the next week or so.

I'm blinking unfit - I have heard about electric bikes but then I have heard about some pretty good old style racing bikes as wellAn any one and strat me on on what to look for, points to consider? etc

Thank You

JP
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Old 10-26-09, 03:27 PM
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Where are you and what type of roads will you be riding on. Flat smooth, hills, day or night or both?
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Old 10-26-09, 03:30 PM
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Sorry - not got to doing profile yet - I'm in the South West of U.K - roads are a mixture but hills cover at least 2 3rds of the journey. Ill be on a dual carrigeway, sppeds for cars are set at 70mph but there are a few cycle paths along the way. Ill be riding in all conditions and all lighting senarios - daylight and darkness.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:34 PM
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Start by looking at what bike shops in your area have to offer - you'll get an idea of what your money will get you.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jpmw View Post
Sorry - not got to doing profile yet - I'm in the South West of U.K - roads are a mixture but hills cover at least 2 3rds of the journey. Ill be on a dual carrigeway, sppeds for cars are set at 70mph but there are a few cycle paths along the way. Ill be riding in all conditions and all lighting senarios - daylight and darkness.
I would think a small motor bike would be best for you because of the distance and hills, and the highway speeds.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:56 PM
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yes - I thought of that already but the costs involved even make that prohibitive for me at the moment.

I have my foldaway bike that I bought for just under 500 in the summer but like most, I never really got round to using it and its just been sat in the rear of my jeep since picking it up. I guess if I use that as a trade in I could make my money go a litter further.

At the moment - the only advice I have has is to think about the Kona Dew Drop 2009, purely because its a bit of a hybrid, fits into my price range and should be able to take my weight as Im a tad on the larger side.

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Old 10-26-09, 04:01 PM
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60 miles on a road bike , if you were in shape would take you about 4 to 5 hours.
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Old 10-26-09, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
60 miles on a road bike , if you were in shape would take you about 4 to 5 hours.
Yep thats what I thought - a couple of hours too work and a few back. Ok Initially longer to get into shape etc but thats not a bad thing either for me.

I know the the last 10 years - I was communiting for 3.5 hrs both ways daily in a car which was a nightmare. The only saving grace to me might be that I would work 3 days on and three days off so I would have a reasonable amount of rest inbetween
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Old 10-26-09, 05:02 PM
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Blimey! That distance with no alternative to cycling in all conditions is quiet daunting. Especially for a novice. Are there buses going that way? If there are, keep a slush fund to cover the fare in an emergency (40 mph winds and driving rain).

Don't forget to budget for all weather gear and very good lights - plus spare tubes and bike-tool etc.

I'm a big Kona Dew fan (I've got one) but with that distance, a proper road bike or a tourer might be the best option. The Kona - even with drop bars - still has you sitting quite upright and for that distance, pitching yourself forward will be the best thing for wind resistance etc. They're quite expensive compared to the Dew Drop so second hand might be a good bet if you know what you're looking for and looking at. If you've got time, it might be worth contacting local cycling clubs (not the road racing type, something like the affiliated groups of the CTC www.ctc.org.uk) to see if any members have bikes for sale.

As for the distance - eat/drink carbs during the journey - you don't want to 'bonk' half way there (use up all your body sugar).

I know this is a cycling commuter forum but have you thought of a very cheap 150 banger with 3rd party insurance? Fuel costs could suck up a lot of money though...

Sounds like a worrying time - good luck - and keep hunting for local work too. I know its a bit rude to publicise other bike forums, but there are some very busy UK specific websites that cover UK commuting and there may be someone on there in your area with a bike to sell. Check out bikeradar.com and cyclechat.co.uk.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by g00se View Post
Blimey! That distance with no alternative to cycling in all conditions is quiet daunting. Especially for a novice. Are there buses going that way? If there are, keep a slush fund to cover the fare in an emergency (40 mph winds and driving rain).

Don't forget to budget for all weather gear and very good lights - plus spare tubes and bike-tool etc.

I'm a big Kona Dew fan (I've got one) but with that distance, a proper road bike or a tourer might be the best option. The Kona - even with drop bars - still has you sitting quite upright and for that distance, pitching yourself forward will be the best thing for wind resistance etc. They're quite expensive compared to the Dew Drop so second hand might be a good bet if you know what you're looking for and looking at. If you've got time, it might be worth contacting local cycling clubs (not the road racing type, something like the affiliated groups of the CTC www.ctc.org.uk) to see if any members have bikes for sale.

As for the distance - eat/drink carbs during the journey - you don't want to 'bonk' half way there (use up all your body sugar).

I know this is a cycling commuter forum but have you thought of a very cheap 150 banger with 3rd party insurance? Fuel costs could suck up a lot of money though...

Sounds like a worrying time - good luck - and keep hunting for local work too. I know its a bit rude to publicise other bike forums, but there are some very busy UK specific websites that cover UK commuting and there may be someone on there in your area with a bike to sell. Check out bikeradar.com and cyclechat.co.uk.


gOOse

thank you of your tips and advice. Im going to look into it seriously as I really don't have an alternative as no busses run in the area of devon that I live in to get you to work at a sensible time and the cost is generally as expensive for us down here as it would be to use your own car.

Thanks again bud, appreciated.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:29 PM
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Have a look at: http://www.ctcdevon.co.uk/

Cheers
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Old 10-26-09, 06:00 PM
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Wow. Road bike with drop bars for that distance (30 miles each way correct?) A used touring bike (to allow for fenders) would be good, cycling specific shorts also critical. You will be fit pretty fast...but the first few weeks will be slower.
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Old 10-27-09, 06:08 AM
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From what you're saying, it sounds like your dual carriageway is our highway. Investigate on Google Maps whether there is an alternate route. YOu may even find a route on small streets that's as direct as the carriageway, but less/slower traffic. Things like speed bumps and roundabouts don't really slow you down on a bicycle.
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