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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Post Your Pearls That "Most" Others Don't Know or Do

Old 04-29-20, 09:52 AM
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datlas 
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Post Your Pearls That "Most" Others Don't Know or Do

On today's ride, it struck me that there are sometimes "quirky" things we cyclists do that are a good idea (possibly) but not commonly known or done.

Here is one of mine:

After riding near glass or even shardy looking grit, I reach down with my hand and briefly brush off the front and rear tires. This loosens any sharps before they get into the tread and, I believe, reduces the risk of flat tires. The down side is you may wear out your glove or even slightly injure your hand (if you use direct skin contact) but for me it's worthwhile.

I don't ever see my friends do this. It's a habit I picked up from my cycling days in Baltimore back in the 1980's where broken glass on the streets was common.

Feel free to critique and/or post your own gems of wisdom that are not commonly known.
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Old 04-29-20, 09:53 AM
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^^^ I do that, too, though gingerly if I'm not wearing gloves.
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Old 04-29-20, 11:57 AM
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COOL thread!
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Old 04-29-20, 12:40 PM
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Wrap your vest with a piece of latex tube.

Makes a smaller package, and helps to keep it from coming out of the jersey pocket.

Also useful have on hand for other lashing/emergency situations.


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Old 04-29-20, 01:34 PM
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If you get soaked while riding, often the most problematic thing is getting your shoes dry by the next day's ride.

When you get home, immediately take the insoles out of your shoes and lay them out to dry. Fill the shoes with crumpled up newspaper. Leave them sit like that while you shower and so on. Change the newspaper an hour or two later, then again before bed, and you'll likely have decently dry shoes the next morning.
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Old 04-29-20, 01:37 PM
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Keep a roll of toilet paper in your car or gear bag. You never know when you'll need it or if the Porta-Potty has any.
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Old 04-29-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
On today's ride, it struck me that there are sometimes "quirky" things we cyclists do that are a good idea (possibly) but not commonly known or done.

Here is one of mine:

After riding near glass or even shardy looking grit, I reach down with my hand and briefly brush off the front and rear tires. This loosens any sharps before they get into the tread and, I believe, reduces the risk of flat tires. The down side is you may wear out your glove or even slightly injure your hand (if you use direct skin contact) but for me it's worthwhile.

I don't ever see my friends do this. It's a habit I picked up from my cycling days in Baltimore back in the 1980's where broken glass on the streets was common.

Feel free to critique and/or post your own gems of wisdom that are not commonly known.
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
^^^ I do that, too, though gingerly if I'm not wearing gloves.
I use my bottle.(Bidon?) ^^^^^

I cut up an old tube to length, and put Co2 cartridges in them so they don't rattle.
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In other news, to effect quick passes of other cyclists out this morning, I did dial it up to 400w to pass several times. It doesn't actually feel like much of anything for that duration. Not sure what that guy was on about.
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Old 04-29-20, 01:42 PM
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When I come up to a stop sign that I want to actually be completely legal at (eg: cops may be in the vicinity) I'll slow way down and stand up and lean back a bit, just as I get to the line I'll tap the brakes and bring the bike itself to a complete stop for a microinstant (that's 1 millionth of an instant for you non-imperial unit users out there) while I allow my body to continue moving forward. As I release the brakes I've already got my foot on the power part of the stroke and accelerate out of the intersection. The bike stopped, I didn't.

This is something most cyclists on this forum will know, but I'm continually surprised by how many folks I've ridden with who have no idea about gearings and differences in cassettes, cranksets, etc. They might be struggling up a climb and I ask what cassette they're using and they have no idea. It's just whatever the bike came with. No idea that there are different cassettes with different gearings, some of which may be better suited for what they're doing, but they don't know this, and don't realize that swapping a cassette is like a five-minute job with just two inexpensive tools required. They'll just take it in and pay someone else to do it, and that's if they know it's even something that can or should be done.

I guess the same could be said for the number of folks I've ridden with who have no idea that a chain can be removable, and that a removable chain is a joy to work with.

I've used my hand to swipe debris off at least the front tire too, before, but I've also gotten lacerations in my gloves doing this, and thanked my lucky stars I was wearing gloves in the first place.
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Old 04-29-20, 01:46 PM
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Put a pair of nitrile gloves and a couple of cotton balls in the seat bag. The gloves are great for any repair on the road so you don't get the bars/hoods all nasty from chain grease afterwards and the cotton balls are useful for finding small things on the inside of the tire that may have cut your tube but that you can't see with your eyes. You could also feel the inside of the tire with your finger, but that can lead to cuts.
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Old 04-29-20, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
On today's ride, it struck me that there are sometimes "quirky" things we cyclists do that are a good idea (possibly) but not commonly known or done.

Here is one of mine:

After riding near glass or even shardy looking grit, I reach down with my hand and briefly brush off the front and rear tires. This loosens any sharps before they get into the tread and, I believe, reduces the risk of flat tires. The down side is you may wear out your glove or even slightly injure your hand (if you use direct skin contact) but for me it's worthwhile.

I don't ever see my friends do this. It's a habit I picked up from my cycling days in Baltimore back in the 1980's where broken glass on the streets was common.

Feel free to critique and/or post your own gems of wisdom that are not commonly known.
I just use tire savers for this, I figure the small amount of energy lost is worth the pain of booting a tire and replacing the tube (the one bike that doesn't have them, I had to do just that a couple weeks back, so it's getting the tiresavers installed soon). I had the bike at the shop a couple of weeks back and the mechanic called and asked what they wire things near the brakes were and if they were just there to make noise.
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Old 04-29-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
On today's ride, it struck me that there are sometimes "quirky" things we cyclists do that are a good idea (possibly) but not commonly known or done.

Here is one of mine:

After riding near glass or even shardy looking grit, I reach down with my hand and briefly brush off the front and rear tires. This loosens any sharps before they get into the tread and, I believe, reduces the risk of flat tires. The down side is you may wear out your glove or even slightly injure your hand (if you use direct skin contact) but for me it's worthwhile.

I don't ever see my friends do this. It's a habit I picked up from my cycling days in Baltimore back in the 1980's where broken glass on the streets was common.

Feel free to critique and/or post your own gems of wisdom that are not commonly known.
Sounds like an injury or infection is down the road for you. Microscopic bits of glass can be embedded in your skin, not to mention doggy do.. Just saying. I'll take the flat and a break while I patch it.
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Old 04-29-20, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
After riding near glass or even shardy looking grit, I reach down with my hand and briefly brush off the front and rear tires. This loosens any sharps before they get into the tread and, I believe, reduces the risk of flat tires. The down side is you may wear out your glove or even slightly injure your hand (if you use direct skin contact) but for me it's worthwhile.
A good way to get a sliver of glass or a piece of wire through your glove. You'd be better off stopping and brushing it off with something else.

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

I keep a cotton ball in my saddle bag so when I get a flat, it's a easy way to find if there's something stuck in the inside of the tire that will puncture the new tube.

I also have a expired driver's license in my saddle bag since I don't carry a wallet when I ride. That way I do have ID if needed, besides a BikeID on my ankle with emergency phone numbers.I once got stopped by a cop and harassed because i didn't have ID. (long story).
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Old 04-29-20, 02:06 PM
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On cool mornings (vest temperature) where I know it will be warming up quickly, I use a plastic shopping bag layered between my base and my jersey. It gives me wind protection on my torso, but it's easier and quicker to remove than a vest, and takes up less pocket space. The bag layer also works for cool descents after a long climb.
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Old 04-29-20, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Sounds like an injury or infection is down the road for you. Microscopic bits of glass can be embedded in your skin, not to mention doggy do.. Just saying. I'll take the flat and a break while I patch it.
Lol - yeah, you tell that guy about his risk of injury and infection. What is he thinking?! He's sure to end up in the doctor's office.


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Old 04-29-20, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
On today's ride, it struck me that there are sometimes "quirky" things we cyclists do that are a good idea (possibly) but not commonly known or done.

Here is one of mine:

After riding near glass or even shardy looking grit, I reach down with my hand and briefly brush off the front and rear tires. This loosens any sharps before they get into the tread and, I believe, reduces the risk of flat tires. The down side is you may wear out your glove or even slightly injure your hand (if you use direct skin contact) but for me it's worthwhile.

I don't ever see my friends do this. It's a habit I picked up from my cycling days in Baltimore back in the 1980's where broken glass on the streets was common.

Feel free to critique and/or post your own gems of wisdom that are not commonly known.
I think it was the legendary Jobst Brandt who commented that by the time you are able to reach down and place a gloved hand onto the tire, it’s made many, many revolutions and whatever puncture is going to happen, has. Stopped doing this maybe 15 years ago, but then I cannot recall the last time I had a front flat.

My only gem is if you are out to dinner (remember going out to dinner ?) and the they give you those packaged hand wipes, as for some extra, stick in your seat bag to clean your hands after a mechanical.
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Old 04-29-20, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
My only gem is if you are out to dinner (remember going out to dinner ?) and the they give you those packaged hand wipes, as for some extra, stick in your seat bag to clean your hands after a mechanical.
Thanks.... I think I have just enough room for that.
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Old 04-29-20, 02:42 PM
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Hmm, I brush tires, too. Been doing it since I started around 1982.
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Old 04-29-20, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I think it was the legendary Jobst Brandt who commented that by the time you are able to reach down and place a gloved hand onto the tire, it’s made many, many revolutions and whatever puncture is going to happen, has. Stopped doing this maybe 15 years ago, but then I cannot recall the last time I had a front flat.
Yes, indeed. Jobst Brandt was a very smart fellow. It never occurred to me to question the received wisdom of wiping tires on the fly, learned from older riders back in 1965, until I read his comments on the topic (from this page):

Wiping tires is an old trick that riders did when they had nothing
better to do while cruising along. If you observe the ritual, it
should be apparent that it serves no practical purpose because between
the time the hazard is run over and the wheel wipe, two or more wheel
revolutions take place. Anything that's going into the tire is in by
that time although the tube may not be punctured yet.

Beyond that, my tire wiping friends had no less flats than the average
but that proves nothing because I also have friends who never find
tools or money on the road, and they get lots of flats... but that's
because the are not especially observant. Any sharp object that
enters the tire is usually in on the first contact and is definitely
in with its protruding end trimmed by the third. Puncture vine is the
most insidious offender and it takes only the first contact to penetrate.
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Old 04-29-20, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Hmm, I brush tires, too. Been doing it since I started around 1982.
If you believe the above quote, we are both fools.

I have not seen any actual evidence for or against. Just opinions.
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Old 04-29-20, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Put a pair of nitrile gloves and a couple of cotton balls in the seat bag. The gloves are great for any repair on the road so you don't get the bars/hoods all nasty from chain grease afterwards and the cotton balls are useful for finding small things on the inside of the tire that may have cut your tube but that you can't see with your eyes. You could also feel the inside of the tire with your finger, but that can lead to cuts.
I love the idea of the cotton balls. I'd never have thought of that.
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Old 04-29-20, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Yes, indeed. Jobst Brandt was a very smart fellow. It never occurred to me to question the received wisdom of wiping tires on the fly, learned from older riders back in 1965, until I read his comments on the topic (from this page):

"Beyond that, my tire wiping friends had no less flats than the average
but that proves nothing because I also have friends who never find
tools or money on the road, and they get lots of flats..."
I don't flat all that much, but then again I've got an entire collection of tools that I saw, stopped for, stuffed into my jersey pocket, then continued the ride. My best find to date was a really nice set of lineman's pliers. I've also got someone's hammer, a couple of screwdrivers, a hedge trimmer, and an array of various sockets and other miscellaneous tools. Who knew that being a tool spotter would also reduce flats? Having a little situational awareness definitely pays off in cycling.
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Old 04-29-20, 03:23 PM
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Here's another one: I put my full name and some other identifying information on the lock screen of my phone*. They won't be able to unlock it, but just looking at the screen they'll know who I am if they're trying to ID me.

*this one worked for me during a military deployment once too. I had my phone in my pocket and went to take care of some business, ahem, and about 20 minutes later I got an email from someone saying they had my phone. It had fallen out of my pocket while my pocket was, uh, lower than it's usual level.
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Old 04-29-20, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
I don't flat all that much, but then again I've got an entire collection of tools that I saw, stopped for, stuffed into my jersey pocket, then continued the ride. My best find to date was a really nice set of lineman's pliers. I've also got someone's hammer, a couple of screwdrivers, a hedge trimmer, and an array of various sockets and other miscellaneous tools. Who knew that being a tool spotter would also reduce flats? Having a little situational awareness definitely pays off in cycling.
I've collected a high-quality tape measure, needle-nose pliers, Vice-Grips, and about two dozen forks, knives, and spoons in various stages of two-dimensionality from being run over. But the best find was on a ride on one of my track bikes: found a 15-mm combination wrench, which immediately replaced the annoying Park crank bolt tool I'd been carrying for years for unscrewing the track nuts.
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Old 04-29-20, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
I've collected a high-quality tape measure, needle-nose pliers, Vice-Grips, and about two dozen forks, knives, and spoons in various stages of two-dimensionality from being run over. But the best find was on a ride on one of my track bikes: found a 15-mm combination wrench, which immediately replaced the annoying Park crank bolt tool I'd been carrying for years for unscrewing the track nuts.
Oh yeah, that reminds me, I've got a nice roadkill tape measure I found once as well. I did the Whisky 25 MTB course with a friend the same day the pros raced it, but we didn't sign up, we just rode the course a couple hours later. I found a really nice Crank Brothers combo tool that's in my saddlebag as we speak, plus a nice pair of sunglasses, and I could have had about a zillion water bottles if I'd been inclined to pick those up.

I don't always stop for a socket, though I often do. Depends on what my goals are for a ride. If I'm trying to hold a particular pace for a long time I might just blow by, but if I'm just taking it easy I'll stop and pick it up. Anything bigger than a socket though is coming home with me. I have no idea who's out there losing all these tools on the roads I ride, but with all these workmen with toolboxes strapped to the sides of their truck, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised some of these tools pop smoke and seek out a new owner from time to time.
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Old 04-29-20, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
On today's ride, it struck me that there are sometimes "quirky" things we cyclists do that are a good idea (possibly) but not commonly known or done.

Here is one of mine:

After riding near glass or even shardy looking grit, I reach down with my hand and briefly brush off the front and rear tires. This loosens any sharps before they get into the tread and, I believe, reduces the risk of flat tires. The down side is you may wear out your glove or even slightly injure your hand (if you use direct skin contact) but for me it's worthwhile.

I don't ever see my friends do this. It's a habit I picked up from my cycling days in Baltimore back in the 1980's where broken glass on the streets was common.

Feel free to critique and/or post your own gems of wisdom that are not commonly known.
I do that
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