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bonoz 04-13-11 06:58 PM

Bike Noob
I didn't exactly have the sort of childhood where I learned things like cycling, swimming, or basketball. However, I'd like to learn it all. I think the best workout is one where you can have fun while doing it. Cycling to me is one of those workouts. Not to mention, it's a great way to commute. In fall, I'll be starting grad school in a country where more people have bikes than cars. I want to prep for that.

If you throw a cycle at my face, I could probably ride it to save my life, but I probably wouldn't be good at it. I'd fall several times, and run into people and cars.

Where do I start? I probably need a bike? Should I go for a cheaper one at first and then upgrade? or just get a nice hybrid for $600ish? I know getting good takes patience and time. I'm willing to do that. I just need a guideline to get started.


10 Wheels 04-13-11 07:00 PM

This may help you.

10 Wheels 04-13-11 07:03 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Dauphine 04-13-11 07:15 PM

three years ago, I was dating a guy who did not know how to ride a bike. I laid down the law with him and told him that he was going to have to learn, or we could not even be friends. I went so far as to buy a $100 vintage sturmey-archer off Craigslist for him, so he could learn on something besides my bike. We have since broken up, but he rides it everywhere! And his parents are super proud of him for commuting by bicycle, (they're Chinese). Moral of the story: He hates me, but he loves his bike (that I gifted him.)

You can do it man!

ETA: if you're moving, then right now all you need is a beater to gain confidence on, try Craigslist, moving a bike internationally is a pain in the bum, and since it's going to be somewhere people ride a lot, finding a new bike won't be hard.

Artkansas 04-14-11 09:33 AM

You might be interested in some of the Traffic Skills for bicyclists classes offered by the League of American Bicyclists. They also offer a commuting class. If you follow the link, you can find classes in your area. That will help you be more comfortable and confident on the road. :ride:

And yes, I'd go for the cheap beater right now. Get the $600 hybrid later as a reward for your progress. You will also be able to make a more informed decision on which bike you'd prefer by then. In fact, I'd wait on the good bike till you get to grad school. That will let you avoid the shipping charges and possible damage in transit. That will also let you get a bike that looks local and will fit in on campus and not catch the eyes of bike thieves.

Congratulations and happy riding.

atallen223 04-14-11 09:45 AM

You gotta keep us posted on your progress too!

bonoz 07-18-11 11:09 AM

Thanks guys!

What kind of bike should I get if I want a real temporary bike for slight commuting and practice mostly?

How about something like this?

dpeters11 07-18-11 01:04 PM

I would also see if there are any League Instructors that can give you some one on one instruction on riding. One helped my wife learn last year from scratch.

As for a temporary bike, just make sure it's the right size for you. It's a lot more difficult, uncomfortable and can be dangerous to ride something that isn't the right size.

BHOFM 07-18-11 02:41 PM

I assume you are in the Washington area? Check the local thrift stores.
I have picked up several real nice bikes at the Salvation Army thrift store
for next to nothing, ten to twenty five dollars.

Like this one for ten, all I did was clean it up and lube everything good.

Monster Pete 07-18-11 03:48 PM

Nice bike :) I'm a great believer in giving neglected bicycles a new life. There are countless bicycles hidden away in garages everywhere. Most of them probably got dumped in there and forgotten about, until the time comes to clear out the garage, by which time the tyres are flat, everything's dirty and stiff. The owner doesn't have the time or inclination to get it running again, so gives it away or sells it for next to nothing. With just a little work, most can be turned back into an almost new state. Revived bikes such as these won't be the lightest, fastest or most advanced, but can still be excellent bicycles for commuting and general transportation.

bonoz 08-22-11 11:54 AM

Got a bike!
I borrowed a bike from a friend. I finally have a bike now. Now let me tell you my level of bycycling capability. I can hop on, start to roll, and ride around fine. I'm just a bit rusty when it comes to launching, turning, keeping it nice and straight (instead of being a bit all over the place), using the brakes, using gears, and other basics.

Like I said above, I can ride it to save my life, but there's room for improvement.

Question: In the 30 days that I have left, what sort of exercises/practices/maneuvers/training/etc. can I do to enhance my biking ability? I want to reach a level where I can commute from A to B with relative ease and confidence.


arej00dazed 08-22-11 01:04 PM

I've been riding since I was 7.......and I still wreck every now and again. Welcome to the world of 2 wheels.

On a side note, I've recently discovered that I can ride hands free! Haven't done that since I've started riding 20"+ bikes. I miss those days of holding a candy bar in one hand and bottle of pop in the other while cruising around my grandfathers neighborhood.

HauntedMyst 08-22-11 01:34 PM

Originally Posted by Dauphine (Post 12503398)
three years ago, I was dating a guy who did not know how to ride a bike. I laid down the law with him and told him that he was going to have to learn, or we could not even be friends.

Finally an ultimatum from a woman that makes sense! Nice job!

bonoz 08-31-11 11:20 AM

So I guess I should just ride it every day for half an hour or so?

Monster Pete 08-31-11 11:41 AM

It's worth practicing basic skills like starting, stopping, braking and turning somewhere away from the road. On the road, start with short distances to get the feel for riding in traffic (ride as if you're on a slow motorcycle) then gradually increase your distance away as your skill and confidence levels build. Push yourself a bit further and/or harder each time you ride, and before long you'll find you can get around town without too much difficulty. Don't be put off by morons yelling at you as they drive past, most people are fairly considerate of cyclists.

SlimRider 08-31-11 12:01 PM

Go to an empty parking lot or school yard playground. Plan on being there at 6am every morning. Practice riding until 7am every morning until you get good enough to ride in the scarcely populated suburbs.
After about a week or two of practice in the playground, riding everyday for an hour in suburban streets will teach you how to ride in the big city.

Get a book on the rules of driving automobiles, so that you will know what various traffic signs mean and what drivers may legally do when driving. Stay in the bicycle lanes whenever possible. Always yield to pedestrians, even when they're wrong, if they're in the street or on the sidewalk (you shouldn't be on the sidewalk).

Good Luck!
SlimRider :)


When you do buy a bike, make certain that it's from a bike shop near your school. That way, you can go to them directly, if there's a mechanical problem and you won't have to ship it or pay exorbitant repair costs.

arej00dazed 08-31-11 12:15 PM

do zig zags and such in the parking lot. get comfortable leaning your bike. feel how your bike reacts to imperfections in the pavement. hell do stupid things on it while in said parking lot. I do this with my vehicles in the winter. I purposes loose traction (when no one is around) so I can get reaccustomed to how it reacts so when it happens unexpectantly, I don't freak out and loose complete control. I've also been doin the same thing with my bike. After a pretty bad wreck a few years ago, it took me the longest time to get used to turns again with out putting my foot down incase I loose control. Now, partial thanks to my improved tires, I feel fine leaning the bike to where my pedals nearly grind the pavement.

Monster Pete 08-31-11 01:05 PM

For the car park practice, a few cones, flags or some other marker may be useful- you can set up little slaloms and other courses to improve your control. It really helps when you suddenly see a pothole on the road and have to avoid it.

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