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cant really drive. is 70mi a day doable.

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

cant really drive. is 70mi a day doable.

Old 06-09-16, 11:37 PM
  #1  
longdistancecy
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cant really drive. is 70mi a day doable.

so ive never been a good driver. Ive been in more wrecks in a few years then i can count on one hand wit all being my fault. As a result my insurance is about 130 a month and i dont dare drive without full coverage so it costs me about 220. Plus i can't afford more then a thousand dollar car and i have to save back about 150 a month for repairs in case something goes wrong with my thousand dollar humpty. A few years back i bought a hundred dollar bike and rode 33 miles. took me forever and i had to walk some of it cause the handlebars came loose but i did it. I now weigh 300 but im looking to get back into biking and was wondering if 70 miles a day is acheivable. i would need to be able to do about 20 miles an hour to be able to ride to work one way college and then to mow some yards every few days. i realize this wont happen overnight with me weighing 300 pounds but i figure i could start off with like 12 miles a day and go up a mile a week or so. i know its possible to do 20 miles an hour because lance armstrong does well above that in his races.....just not every day. It may end up being more like 55 miles a day or 60 miles a day i need to do. But for a year or so i only need to be able to ride 30 miles a day to get to work and my yards. So i have a while to get up to 60 miles a day.
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Old 06-10-16, 12:15 AM
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i figure i could start off with like 12 miles a day and go up a mile a week or so
I'd focus on just this part if I were you. Start small, and increase gradually. Don't focus on long-term objectives like 20mph or 70 miles a day. Those will seem quite unattainable until you are in excellent riding condition.
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Old 06-10-16, 12:20 AM
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Yes, a person can get to the point that s/he can average 20 mph on a bike. However, for most people it's going to take a few years of dedicated training and decent equipment. Youth is a big plus as well. In my twenties, I could easily ride double centuries in less than ten hours and even did one in eight hours, but it would require more training time than I'm willing to devote to it now to be able to do that again.

Typical newish riders roll along at around 10 mph. At higher speeds, wind resistance becomes a much bigger factor, so it takes a lot more than twice as much power to go twice the speed. Add in hills and we have a whole new game, particularly for someone tips the scales more than a typical super-model. If you absolutely need to travel at 20 mph, your best bet is probably an electric assist bike. Good luck.
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Old 06-10-16, 12:33 AM
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Yeah, I was going to suggest an e-bike, but a system that will give you the speed and range at your weight is going to be rather spendy...
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Old 06-10-16, 01:05 AM
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I'd evaluate a bit what caused all the car wrecks. Safety on a bicycle becomes a major issue when you don't have 2 tons of steel surrounding you. Be careful and keep vigilant.

Yes, Armstrong was able to ride significantly above 20 MPH. But, it was a team sport, so much of the time he was drafting. And not every average Joe should compare themselves to the fastest rider in the world.

Anyway, be a little more realistic with your speed goals.

As far as 70 miles in a day commuting. So, maybe 30-35 miles each way. That becomes quite significant, but certainly would be possible.

Some people supplement their cycling using mass transit. So, ride to the bus stop. Ride the bus. Then ride from the bus stop to work.

Also consider choosing housing close to the office if at all possible. 10 miles each way is much more practical than 35 miles each way.
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Old 06-10-16, 01:39 AM
  #6  
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Too far. Move closer to work, use public transit for at least part of the commute or get an ebike--if that's an option for someone of your weight. Are there no buses where you live?
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Old 06-10-16, 03:04 AM
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Your goal of bike commuting 70 miles per day everyday is unrealistic. Move closer or drive.
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Old 06-10-16, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
I now weigh 300 but im looking to get back into biking and was wondering if 70 miles a day is acheivable.
Eventually ... maybe. But not in the first year or two. Probably not in the first 5 years. And maybe not even then.


Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
i would need to be able to do about 20 miles an hour ... i know its possible to do 20 miles an hour because lance armstrong does well above that in his races.....just not every day.
Lance had help.

Many of the rest of us don't average 20 miles/hour even though we've been cycling for years. That's fast. Maybe you can do it, but I wouldn't count on reaching that speed for years.


Start with something you can handle and build up from there. Keep at it. Be consistent.


Meanwhile, look into public transportation.

Last edited by Machka; 06-10-16 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 06-10-16, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I'd evaluate a bit what caused all the car wrecks.
Yes, I'd recommend a complete medical.

Were the accidents because of dizziness? Mini-blackouts? Poor vision? Some musculoskeletal difficulties?


If, for example, you're experiencing mini-blackouts because of narcolepsy ... and that's what's causing the accidents ... you don't really want to be cycling with that.
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Old 06-10-16, 07:54 AM
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If you have that many car wrecks, it might be unsafe for you to ride a bike as well. I agree with others that you should get a thorough evaluation to see if you have vision problems or other issues that make you such a bad driver. You can get hurt very seriously or killed riding a bike if you can't see well or have poor safety habits.
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Old 06-10-16, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Your goal of bike commuting 70 miles per day everyday is unrealistic. Move closer or drive.
Yep.

Riding 70 miles in a day is perfectly reasonable... if that's all you're planning to do that day. Riding 35 miles, working for 8 hours, and then riding another 35 miles -- every day, regardless of weather -- is a different thing entirely!

----------------

OP, that's not to say you shouldn't ride a bike -- you absolutely should ride a bike! However, trying to ride 70 miles every day is not the right solution to your problem, and neither is trying to drive 70 miles, for that matter. Forgive me for being harsh, but the facts that you're 300 lbs, have severe money problems, and waste way too much time (let alone money) on transportation indicate to me that the real issue is that you need to dramatically change your lifestyle.

How should you do that? Start here. Then read the other articles linked from that one, and maybe post a "case study" in that site's forums to get additional non-bicycling-related help.

I do have some specific advice:

1. Move closer to work/college -- much closer, like within easy walking distance (or at least easy cycling distance, or sub-30-minute-one-way transit distance). Five miles should be about the upper limit (or less if there aren't good, safe, cycling routes).

2. Ideally, sell the car entirely. Otherwise, drop your insurance to liability-only, regardless of how bad a driver you think you are. In order for full coverage to be cost-effective, you'd have to be totaling your $1000 hooptie literally every five months, on average (assuming you have a normal $500 deductible).

3. You mention that you bought a $100 bike and the handlebar came loose when you rode it. Did you buy it new, or used? If it was $100 new it's not a good bike, so you might consider replacing it with one that costs about $100 to buy used (see this post) for better long-term reliability. However, that's not a high priority -- worry about that only after you've got your housing and car situation sorted.

Good luck!
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Old 06-10-16, 09:40 AM
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How fast can you ride now? 10 mph? 12 mph? And for how far? 10 miles? 20.? it it possible to ride 70 miles/day but averaging 20mph? Even in the rain, snow, wind, heat? Up hills? And you weigh 300 lbs? It would be a reasonable short term goal to ride 70 miles a week, not a day. That you should be able to do within a few months.
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Old 06-10-16, 10:05 AM
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I'm not going to address whether you should ride a bike since you can't drive a car safely, you need to figure that out yourself... As to riding a bike 70 miles every day... That's easy, I wouldn't. Can it be done? Yes it can, by a very dedicated person who's goal is riding 70 miles a day, not I suspect by someone who needs to because of your reasons... JMO One thing I would do, is ride a bike to a bus stop up to 10 miles and ride the bus as close as you can get to work and ride the bike the rest of the way up to 10 miles, 40 or less miles a day is much more doable in my book...
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Old 06-10-16, 12:17 PM
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i rode 33 miles my first day when i bought my hundred dollar bike. i was 160 then. I did about 10 miles an hour. The handle bars came loose because it wasn't assembled tight enough. so i had to walk like 7 miles to get home. Even though im 300 lbs im not in the worse shape. I dont really excercise but i walk every now and then and i can easily walk 7 miles in 2 hours 20 minutes. Takes me about 20 minutes a mile. I have schizophrenia and a majority of my accidents are from me bumping or crashing into people on accident. I bumped into the back of 2 people. accidentally pulled out in front of one person. and then very stupidly forgot to take my stick shift out of first when jumping my car so when i started it it leaped foward and crashed into a parked car at a gas station. i have schizophrenia so i feel like that plays a major part in it. I dont think i would have as many accidents on the bike as i wouldn't be in traffic changing lanes and looking over my shoulder. Rather it would be cars jobs to pass me on the shoulder of the road. I'm also looking for bike recommendations in the 300-400 dollar range. I think my other thread on it got deleted.

I realize it sounds bad saying i wont get in as many accidents on my bike. Even just 1 could do really bad damage. And i live in the perfect spot. i live downtown and if i ever move i would move 2 miles away where its still downtown. the bus station is 4 blocks away but the buses that go by the college dont run but every hour and a half. i dont even think they run by the university i want to go to. so if i could get up to even 15 miles an hour i could ride to the college catch the bus home then hop on the 30 minute bus to my job then ride home. (its about 18 miles away but the problem with moving to it is its a small city and there are not many job. The part that makes it where i need to be able to go 55 or 60 miles is on the days i mow yards. they can be anywhere from a few miles apart to 15 miles apart.

Last edited by longdistancecy; 06-10-16 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 06-10-16, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
i rode 33 miles my first day when i bought my hundred dollar bike. i was 160 then. I did about 10 miles an hour. The handle bars came loose because it wasn't assembled tight enough.... I'm also looking for bike recommendations in the 300-400 dollar range.
You might want to go through it and make sure all the other parts are tight too. Even then, looking for a better replacement is a good plan. However, rather than look for a new $300-400 bike, I still recommend going for one that was $300-400 (or more) when new but is now ~$100 because you're buying it used.

Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
Even though im 300 lbs im not in the worse shape.
Good! Still, if you used to be 160 (and weren't underweight at that size) then you should consider what it is that caused you to gain the weight, and whether you can do something about it. I'm not trying to shame you or anything, just saying there might be some room for optimization. (I'm also not suggesting you "go on a diet" since that isn't sustainable. I'm suggesting that if you modify your habits to have less stress (money-related and otherwise), be more active, not routinely eat fast food (if that's something you do), etc. -- all of which both cycling and the other blog/forum I linked to before can help with -- then you might start losing weight without specifically trying.)

Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
I dont think i would have as many accidents on the bike as i wouldn't be in traffic changing lanes and looking over my shoulder. Rather it would be cars jobs to pass me on the shoulder of the road...

I realize it sounds bad saying i wont get in as many accidents on my bike. Even just 1 could do really bad damage.
If you are cycling appropriately you will be in traffic! Even if you normally try to ride on the shoulder, you'll still have to deal with cars turning across your path as well as changing lanes to make left turns yourself.

Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
And i live in the perfect spot. i live downtown and if i ever move i would move 2 miles away where its still downtown. the bus station is 4 blocks away but the buses that go by the college dont run but every hour and a half. i dont even think they run by the university i want to go to. so if i could get up to even 15 miles an hour i could ride to the college catch the bus home then hop on the 30 minute bus to my job then ride home. (its about 18 miles away but the problem with moving to it is its a small city and there are not many job. The part that makes it where i need to be able to go 55 or 60 miles is on the days i mow yards. they can be anywhere from a few miles apart to 15 miles apart.
Despite all that, I still think you should move to the vicinity of the university when you enroll, and then you can always move back downtown after you graduate. Even if there aren't "many" jobs near the university, all you need is one (or zero, if you save up beforehand or get loans -- not that I recommend the latter). Either that, or go to a college near downtown, or do online learning, but I can see how the university might be preferable.

Also, would it be possible to restrict your lawn care business to a smaller geographic area while still retaining sufficient numbers of customers?
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Old 06-10-16, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
I dont think i would have as many accidents on the bike as i wouldn't be in traffic changing lanes and looking over my shoulder. Rather it would be cars jobs to pass me on the shoulder of the road.
You absolutely have to pay attention to vehicles around you.

Ok, I don't use a mirror, but I look and listen for cars behind me, and adjust my lane positioning when they approach. But I also watch cars approaching from the side, or pulling out in front of me. I've had numerous occasions when I had to do pretty serious evasive maneuvers to avoid cars pulling out in front of me.

And, I always look behind myself before changing lanes. I certainly don't expect cars to slam on their brakes so I can make a left turn without looking.

And, the faster you go, the worse it is. So, ride 20 MPH, and expect the occasional skid stop to avoid an accident.

As far as the lawn care business. How are you getting the lawn mower from place to place? I've built up enough cargo capacity that I could do it (clippings?), but pulling 50 or 100 pounds behind me slows me down further. Just another consideration.

If you move closer to campus, there should still be professors near the university that require yard maintenance. Even campus housing might use it. You'll just have to get out and find new clients.
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Old 06-10-16, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
I think my other thread on it got deleted.

And i live in the perfect spot. i live downtown and if i ever move i would move 2 miles away where its still downtown. the bus station is 4 blocks away but the buses that go by the college dont run but every hour and a half. i dont even think they run by the university i want to go to. so if i could get up to even 15 miles an hour i could ride to the college catch the bus home then hop on the 30 minute bus to my job then ride home. (its about 18 miles away but the problem with moving to it is its a small city and there are not many job. The part that makes it where i need to be able to go 55 or 60 miles is on the days i mow yards. they can be anywhere from a few miles apart to 15 miles apart.
What school are you wanting to attend? Also, do you have any college credits already? I ask because more and more of the larger schools require entering Freshmen to live on campus or school owned property near campus. Living on campus would solve part of your problem- then you'd just have to find additional revenue streams to replace those you are currently in jeopardy of losing .

Oh, and your other thread wasn't deleted- I moved it from Road to Clydes last night (and I see that you found it already, so I won't bother posting a link to it).
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Old 06-10-16, 03:59 PM
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ill try to address everyone. I plan on buying mirrors to watch traffic behind me as that makes me nervous. Cops here will pull a bike over if you ride against traffic so i dont plan on doing that. Im going to buy multiple used mowers and store them at the clients houses. I have previous clients all over the city from when i mowed before that i have a relationship with that i would trust leaving a lawnmower at their house. I will get my money back after a month. theres about 6 months in the mowing season here so there is still potential to make a profit. i also plan to pass out flyers in my moms neighborhood and primarily focus on that area. I've had a really good response with flyers so if i flyer every 6 weeks i should be able to get full time work in just her neighborhood. Im hoping at least. But that could take me till next year since im getting a late start.

I plan to go to college at rose state college in midwest city. I still owe 300 from when i went before but i should be able to start in august. some of the classes are online which will help alot but i have to go in to take tests and stuff even on the online classes. But i've never had any luck applying for jobs in that city and i've passed out plenty of applications in the past. All my jobs have been like 16 to 20 miles away in okc. its about 4 miles wide but when i was 18 i had to commute like 20 miles to walmart to work as the walmarts close to me didn't give me a call and every other place i applied passed me up. They dont have on campus housing.

i went ahead and went to my bike shop and got a bike. They recommended the sun atlas x type bike for 380$. Its a single speed and i was weary about getting a single speed at first cause i thought it would be harder to ride long distance but i saw another thread of people riding single speeds for 70 miles and touring up to 170 miles. Granted they were probably in better shape then me but its shows i could build up to it. They just had the correct gears lined up. Also i thought it would prevent the chain from slipping. The chain could have a habit of popping off but they offer lifetime tuneups at this bike shop for free or reduced price plus it comes with a warranty so i went ahead and got it.

The reason i gained so much weight is i was walking 10 miles a day to and from work and i mowed 24 yards a day (with a 3 man crew) for a lawn company. So i averaged walking 15 miles a day. I developed a healthy appetite that consisted of sweets mainly as thats what they sold at my job (muffins, chocolate pies, ect.) Well i lost my job and started mowing on my own and only did a couple yards a day and i stopped walking 15 miles a day and still ate the same food. Cookies and chocolate milks. Well i started gaining about 10 pounds a month and i was so good at losing weight that i didn't worry about it. Fast foward a year or so and i weigh 310. I can still walk long distances and ive cut out sweets so i havent gained weight in 2 years. ive actually lost about 50 pounds but i stop dieting and i gain it back. But i think once i start biking again i will lose weight rapidly. Ill make a journey thread once i know im committed after a month. But thats the main reason i have gained weight is i haven't been walking everyday and riding my bike everyday. i think i addressed everybody.
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Old 06-10-16, 04:09 PM
  #19  
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It's unhealthy to gain OR lose weight at that rate. When you see yourself steadily gaining or losing weight rapidly it's time to reevaluate and change your intake and/or what you eat.
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Old 06-10-16, 04:38 PM
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Hmmm....

I think you need to be a bit realistic with the goals. Personally I can't say where I'd cut things off at. I'd be comfortable commuting 15 miles. And, probably 20 miles. 30? Hmm... 35? But, I don't think you're ready for that either. But, you might be able to get there quickly, especially if you can ease into it.

But, start with a bike. I wouldn't consider it to be a "forever" bike.

How flat is the area where you are at.

I'd get something like an older non-suspension Hardrock.
https://oklahomacity.craigslist.org/bik/5629456986.html

If it breaks, wears out, whatever, they are cheap to maintain, and easily replaced.

If you can drop to say below 250, then start thinking about a road bike, or touring bike for cranking out the miles.
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Old 06-10-16, 04:39 PM
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EMBARK Route 015 connects MWC with downtown OKC- and Rose State is one of the stops served. The problem you'll probably encounter is that the timing may not be favorable for you- OK isn't known for stellar transit options.

Edit to add: you might look into converting that new SS into a IGH if you find yourself struggling.

ETA 2: You might want to double check with EMBARK on the weight capacity of their bike racks. That Sun Atlas looks to be a hefty critter and might be too heavy...
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Old 06-10-16, 05:08 PM
  #22  
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Don't think it is remotely possible a 20 mile average is very hard to achieve for even pretty fit riders a quick break down lets say u have a half hour of hill climbing on your 35 mile comute and u ride the hills at 10 miles a hour which is a good pace for a decent climb u will ride u would ride 5 miles in that half hour then still need to do 30 miles in about 1 hour 15 min so u would need to do a 25 hour average over that time extremely hard and that is not including any wait time for lights and turns and so on
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Old 06-10-16, 08:14 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
Cops here will pull a bike over if you ride against traffic so i dont plan on doing that.
You shouldn't avoid riding against traffic because cops will pull you over for it; you should avoid it because it's a terrible, dangerous idea! You're much safer acting like a car.

Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
Im going to buy multiple used mowers and store them at the clients houses. I have previous clients all over the city from when i mowed before that i have a relationship with that i would trust leaving a lawnmower at their house. I will get my money back after a month.
I have to say, I'm pretty skeptical about that aspect of your business model. But you're the one with lawn service experience, so good luck.


Originally Posted by longdistancecy View Post
I plan to go to college at rose state college in midwest city.... They recommended the sun atlas x type bike for 380$. Its a single speed and i was weary about getting a single speed at first cause i thought it would be harder to ride long distance but i saw another thread of people riding single speeds for 70 miles and touring up to 170 miles.
According to Google Maps, a route from downtown Oklahoma City to Rose State College is about 8 miles and mostly flat. I think a single speed will be at least adequate for that, if not ideal. Your only problem there will be that a single speed will either have poor acceleration or a limited cruising speed, depending on how you gear it.

I still think you could gotten a better bike for less money, but I guess it's too late now.

...Actually, scratch that: looking at the specs, that's pretty terrible. You could get a much better bike for much less money. The margin is wide enough that I think it's worth returning that Sun and looking for something different. Namely, the Specialized Hard Rock cliffordK posted -- that's the same bike I have, and I can personally attest that it is a great choice. Buy it! Buy it now!

Let me put it this way: if you wanted me to give up my Hard Rock in favor of your Sun, you'd have to pay me to take the Sun. And then I would promptly hock it and buy another Hard Rock instead. It's that much better.

Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
It's unhealthy to gain OR lose weight at that rate. When you see yourself steadily gaining or losing weight rapidly it's time to reevaluate and change your intake and/or what you eat.
+1
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Old 06-10-16, 08:26 PM
  #24  
longdistancecy
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
EMBARK Route 015 connects MWC with downtown OKC- and Rose State is one of the stops served. The problem you'll probably encounter is that the timing may not be favorable for you- OK isn't known for stellar transit options.

Edit to add: you might look into converting that new SS into a IGH if you find yourself struggling.

ETA 2: You might want to double check with EMBARK on the weight capacity of their bike racks. That Sun Atlas looks to be a hefty critter and might be too heavy...

yeah i knew it went by there. its just the hour and a half takes alot of time from my schedule. i guess i wont have a choice seeing as its 18 miles away it would take me two hours if i averaged 10 miles an hour. i hate riding bus 15. its the longest bus route and they only have one out at a time. What is an IGH. Interchangeable gear something?

and i think im stuck with the bike i bought. ill check out the other bike and keep an eye out for one and maybe get one later. The reason im stuck with it is cause they had to order it from the factory and they told me before i ordered they wanted to get it right the first time so they didn't have to take returns.

Last edited by longdistancecy; 06-10-16 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 06-10-16, 08:30 PM
  #25  
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By the way, if you really wanted a cruiser-type single-speed made from heavy, low-quality steel, this $65 one is almost identical in riding style and quality to the Sun.

Or, if you wanted a single-speed that was actually suited to your goal of riding fast, and insisted on buying new with a ~$400 budget, you'd be better off with a #kiloTT (hashtagged, as is the custom in the fixie forum ) and then adding a $20 single-speed freewheel and some brakes to it.

There are also a bunch of other choices on the Oklahoma City Craigslist in the $50-$250 range that would suit your needs better than the bike you bought. Sorry to keep ragging on it like this, but I'm actually kind of offended that the bike shop had the nerve to sell you something so terrible and overpriced.
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