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What you got from BF transportation forums?

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What you got from BF transportation forums?

Old 12-03-14, 06:53 PM
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gerv 
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What you got from BF transportation forums?

I often recall how BF played such a vital part in getting me out on the street and in better health.

I started riding to work in 2005 and I can honestly say it would have been much harder -- if not impossible -- without Bike Forums.

The Commuting forum was so full of great information on putting a commute together. Worth several years experience. Later on , Winter Cycling got me riding over ice and snow. If I needed some information, it was almost always there.

But LCF was my favorite. It got my imagination working overtime... how things could be!

What about you? What role did BF play in getting you out on two wheels?
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Old 12-03-14, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
What about you? What role did BF play in getting you out on two wheels?
I started off riding folding bikes to use them in conjunction with buses. I never knew that folders existed if it weren't for this forum. Guess what? I think I've boarded the inside a cabin with a folding bike maybe once! LOL!

I was only using the bike at first to go crosstown where the bus did not travel. Then I started using the bikes in conjunction with trains where I found the real power of multimode travel. In fact, I never used the commuter tains at all in my first 35 years on this planet! It wasn't until I loaded my bike on board on Amtrack that I began using passenger trains. I have to thank getting on two wheels for that major discovery.

There was a time after going carfree of buying a car. With the bus/train/bike at my disposal, there's no way I'm going back.

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Old 12-03-14, 07:27 PM
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I was a bike commuter and walked everywhere way back in 1983 during my high school days, no internet to motivate me, I just did it for fun... I started commuting again in 2007, I didn't even know about bikeforums until 2008, that's when I signed up.
These forums are fun and entertaining but I can't say I learned anything new from these forums. I like to learn through experimenting and trail and error.

Last edited by wolfchild; 12-03-14 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 12-03-14, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
What about you? What role did BF play in getting you out on two wheels?
BF has played an incredibly insignificant role in getting me out on two wheels.

What did influence me to get out on two wheels were my parents. I grew up in a cycling family ... both my mother and my father cycled. Our house was always filled with bicycles, bicycle parts and equipment, bicycle magazines and books, etc. etc. When my brother and I learned to ride at a fairly early age, we started cycling together as a family ... both recreationally and for utility purposes.

I learned to ride a bicycle in 1973, and started commuting to school that year. Home computers were in the imagination of sci-fi TV shows back then.

My cycling kind of dwindled off in about 1984 ... but then resurged in 1990 and I have been cycling avidly since then. In 1990, I did have a home computer, but no internet. I got my cycling information from the library. I read every book they had on cycling. I also dug through some of my father's old Bicycling Magazines. My bicycle was too big for me, but I set it up as best I could based on what I read in the books and magazines. I didn't have much money, so I went to the local Canadian Tire and got helmet and panniers. A friend gave me gloves for Christmas. I picked up cycling shorts for about $10 in a basement clearance area of the local Co-op grocery store. And I was off!

Right from the beginning my main focus has been on long distance cycling, but I've combined that with commuting, general utility cycling, short tours, recreational cycling, and a dabble into "training".

I got into racing in 1998 and raced for 3 years. I may have been venturing into the internet then, but still wasn't on Bike Forums. So again, I got my information from the library and magazines ... and also my coach and other members of my cycling club.

I also started commuting regularly, just about every day, in 1998. And in 1999, I went car-free.

In 2001, I started randonneuring ... still no forums. For that, I got most of my info from my fellow club members. There wasn't much about endurance cycling in the library and my club was small ... so there was a lot of trial and error.

It wasn't until sometime in 2002 that I got onto Bicycling Mag's forum ... and then found this one in 2003. One of my first posts here was a question about the 2003 Paris-Brest-Paris 1200K event in France which I was preparing for. Rowan answered. We chatted very briefly, and then I returned to Bicycling Mag's forum.

I didn't really get involved in Bike Forums until somewhere around 2005, when my cycling declined a little bit because I returned to university to get another degree. Full-time uni + part-time work didn't leave me as much time as I would have liked for cycling.

For me, BF is mainly entertainment and a little bit about connecting with others who enjoy cycling. Occasionally I'll acquire information ... just yesterday, for example, I asked about ideas for raising my handlebars on our tandem in the Tandem forum.
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Old 12-03-14, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I often recall how BF played such a vital part in getting me out on the street and in better health....

What about you? What role did BF play in getting you out on two wheels?
I have been an avid cyclist, as a lifestyle since about 1972; self-described year-round commuter, occasional centurian (in-training during the nice weather), and former cycle tourist, including a cross-country ride…”Road Warrior” is my self-applied nickname. I happened serendipitously on Bike Forums in 2008, and it was frankly incredible to find a community that shared so many concerns I had kept to myself as a lone cyclist.

This enthusiasm has definitely increased my enjoyment of cycling. As far as improving it, what I have gotten directly from BF are:
  • the motivation and tips to ride in rain, and wintry roads, i.e. studded tires
  • the Fifty-Plus Annual rides that motivate me to train in the nice weather
  • the safety tip to watch the front wheels of a car rather than the body or hood to anticipate what the driver is going to do
  • the opportunity to post and literally "journal" my thoughts and activities about cycling and lifestyle (even if nobody else reads them), but which I wouldn't write down otherwise.
So thanks for the opportunity, gerv.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-03-14 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 12-03-14, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I often recall how BF played such a vital part in getting me out on the street and in better health.

I started riding to work in 2005 and I can honestly say it would have been much harder -- if not impossible -- without Bike Forums.

The Commuting forum was so full of great information on putting a commute together. Worth several years experience. Later on , Winter Cycling got me riding over ice and snow. If I needed some information, it was almost always there.

But LCF was my favorite. It got my imagination working overtime... how things could be!

What about you? What role did BF play in getting you out on two wheels?
BF played a big role for me. I searched the web for information before I even resumed cycling about 12 years ago. BF was one of the first sites I stumbled across. I learned how to ride safely in an auto-centric world, and was inspired not to feel like a second class citizen. There were many important practical lessons too, like learning to use lights on my bike, maintenance, and how to select a good used bike and save hundreds of dollars.

LCF is where I found a community of people who might disagree about a lot of details, but who shared a basic dream of a better way to get around in this big bad world.
[HR][/HR]

ETA: I notice that I put that last paragraph in the past tense. I hope that's incorrect!
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Old 12-04-14, 09:32 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
What about you? What role did BF play in getting you out on two wheels?
I started regular bike commuting in 1992 after trying it a couple of times in 1991. I was somewhat inspired or at least aided by a bicycling "bulletin board system" (BBS) (*) in Toronto called One Less Car.

By the time I discovered BF in 2005 I had been commuting for 13 years so I didn't learn the basics from the site, but it has probably helped inspire me to take on more advanced repairs and maintenance like repacking hubs, re-truing minor rim deviations, replacing bottom brackets and so on, that I never would have thought of doing in the earlier years. As well it has probably helped keep me motivated to continue riding consistently. Also,like Roody, I probably got better at selecting used replacement bikes.


(*)For the youngsters, bulletin boards systems were an early form of asynchronous online communication, before web forums fully came into their own. They were run by amateur hosts on home computers, and might only serve their own city, but sometimes a few BBSs in different cities would linked to each other through the phone lines.

So as a user you would dial into to your local host's site, download the latest information, then maybe disconnect to read the latest articles and posts, and compose your replies offline, and then reconnect and upload your replies to your local host. If there was multi-city network, then every few hours or every night the software would send updates around the network to all participating host sites, so the next day you would again download the updates from your local host to your home computer and see everybody's replies, and respond and so on.

Last edited by cooker; 12-04-14 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 12-04-14, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
BF has played an incredibly insignificant role in getting me out on two wheels.…I didn't really get involved in Bike Forums until somewhere around 2005, when my cycling declined a little bit because I returned to university to get another degree. Full-time uni + part-time work didn't leave me as much time as I would have liked for cycling.

For me, BF is mainly entertainment and a little bit about connecting with others who enjoy cycling. Occasionally I'll acquire information...
Same here. Much of my day, well over eight hours, is doing pretty intense and focused mental work at a computer terminal, which also cuts into my cycling time. I previously mentioned,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… what I have gotten directly from BF [includes]:
  • the opportunity to post and literally "journal" my thoughts and activities about cycling and lifestyle (even if nobody else reads them), but which I wouldn't write down otherwise.
Besides the opportunity to mull over the myriad issues expressed on the Forums, posting is also a form of entertainment / recreation:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…A favorite lifestyle commentator (Dennis Prager) once remarked that one should take a vacation everyday. Not necessarily to go away, but at least do something different to invigorate and re-energize. For me, posting to various Forums is that activity I can access during the workday.

Sometimes out on the Road, I encounter other cyclists and I bring up Bike Forums. I occasionally get a smarmy reply like, “Well, I’d rather be riding my bike than writing about it.” I reply, “Well, I post about riding my bike when I’m working and can’t be riding.”
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Old 12-04-14, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I started regular bike commuting in 1992 after trying it a couple of times in 1991. I was somewhat inspired or at least aided by a bicycling "bulletin board system" (BBS) (*) in Toronto called One Less Car.
This brings back fond memories of a bulletin board from Toronto called Canada Remote Systems... late 80s mostly. My long distance charges went through the roof, but the sound of the modem connecting was like a hit of euphoria.
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Old 12-04-14, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Same here. Much of my day, well over eight hours, is doing pretty intense and focused mental work at a computer terminal, which also cuts into my cycling time.
Afraid I am a desk junkie too. Someone on commuting forum used to say, "Work... an 8 hour break between rides."
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Old 12-04-14, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
This brings back fond memories of a bulletin board from Toronto called Canada Remote Systems... late 80s mostly. My long distance charges went through the roof, but the sound of the modem connecting was like a hit of euphoria.
I started calling BBS back in 1984 with a Commodore computer. Those were the days when CompUServe ruled the world!! LOL! I had a subscription with QuantumLink before it became American Online. You would pay $9.99 a month for basically nothing! Lets not forget, who didn't have a subscription to AOL!

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Old 12-04-14, 10:43 PM
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BF, and in particular this sub-forum, significantly aided my transition to what is hopefully long term (as opposed to intermittent) car-freedom. There were a few situations that I worried about in the long term - especially living in an area without particularly practical public transport, cab service, etc. - and people on here had some amazingly good solutions.

Before joining BF I'd been lurking for a number of years, and before that, I was already riding on a regular basis. I occasionally find something useful on the winter forum, but I really have the Icebike listserv to thank for most of my introduction to the wonderful world of winter riding.
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Old 12-04-14, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Lets not forget, who didn't have a subscription to AOL!
I never did go with AOL. They sent heaps of CDs out in the mail trying to encourage people to sign on, but I never did. The CDs, however, made great windshield sc****rs in the winter.
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Old 12-05-14, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Afraid I am a desk junkie too. Someone on commuting forum used to say, "Work... an 8 hour break between rides."
"Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides."

It'sJust Me from Michigan. I have exchanged a couple of PM's with, presumably, him, addresssing him as "IJM," amd signing my notes as "JIM." (He) seems to be a partcularly stalwart, year-round commuter, with lots of good advice.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-05-14 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 12-05-14, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
BF, and in particular this sub-forum, significantly aided my transition to what is hopefully long term (as opposed to intermittent) car-freedom. There were a few situations that I worried about in the long term - especially living in an area without particularly practical public transport, cab service, etc. - and people on here had some amazingly good solutions...
FYA, just a few minutes ago, I posted on the Commuting Forum about all the alternatives to cycle-commuting available to me here in my close-to-ideal urban situation:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My job requires that I reliably show up for work, sometimes quickly under urgent circumstances, 24/7 when on call, and I live 14 miles away…When I was hired, 32 years ago, I offered the information that I would commute via bike and train (Commuter Rail station about 0.2 miles away from work, and about 2 miles from home). My employer looked dubious, but might have been desperate.

Besides the train, we do have a car and it’s a reverse commute from downtown to the suburbs. There is also (slow, but regular) bus service; cruising taxis are readily available round the clock in my neighborhood ($70 fare to work), plenty of convenient car rental agencies near home and work, Zipcar service in the neighborhood, and I have a place to stay at work comfortably overnight.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I think of my commute in terms of satisfaction:
Cycling >>>>>Train>>>>>>>>>>>>>Driving,

But another dimension is time:
Driving>>>>>>>>>Train (scheduling)>>>>Cycling.

Then there’s Focus (concentration):
Cycling>>>>>>>>>Driving>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Train

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-05-14 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 12-05-14, 06:39 AM
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@Jim from Boston, I bet nearly everyone on the Commuting forum thinks they have the best commuting rides! I know mine are pretty good.
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Old 12-05-14, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.

Originally Posted by gerv View Post
@Jim from Boston, I bet nearly everyone on the Commuting forum thinks they have the best commuting rides! I know mine are pretty good.
Well, read about all the problems posted there. Besides the above transportation alternatives (“train…car…reverse commute…bus…taxis…car rentals…Zipcar...place to stay comfortably overnight…”),

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…an ideal destination for a cycle commuter. I bring the bike inside near my office, and have a place to hang my cycling clothes and a table fan to dry them off. For the most part I wear surgical scrubs all day so I don't necessarily have to clean off on arrival (I shower at home before the ride). I do have shower facilities though, as well as a coffee shop and cafeteria on site.

Finally, almost all my personal service needs like barber shop, dentist, dry-cleaner/tailor, supermarket and drugstore, and good take-out restaurants are all within walking distance [of work], or a short hop on the bike.
And I cycle a nice distance of at least 14 miles through one of America’s most charming, interesting, and historic metropolises on residential and light commercial roads (and partially on a bikepath in a park) in the reverse commuter direction early in the morning, during all four (pleasant to tolerable) seasons. For training purposes, I can expand my routes to encompass popular high-level cycling outer suburbs (e.g. Dover, for the cognoscenti).

Respectfully (and humbly) “submitted for your approval”

Jim from Boston

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-05-14 at 10:52 AM.
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