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Thread: Bike Question

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Bike Question

    I have a bike frustration question... I rode bike to work today, and I was in shock at how little cars pay attention to bikes. I had to ride on the sidewalk (only on one side of the street) because there is no bike path, bike lane, or a shoulder on the 45 mph posted limit road. I have helmet, but I only wear it when I know I can take a shower afterwards, because it tends to get warm. It is vented and all, but it still gets hot, and well, in a shirt and tie, that is not such a good thing.

    What to do you do to provide for safety for your self, yet still be able to maintain a professional business appearance when you ride your bike to work? Further more, what infrastructure does your community have to bicycle commuters?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Mike,
    All good questions to which a plethora of solutions have already been developed. My favorite suppository of bike lore and knowledge can be found at: www.bikeforums.net.

    Now, Iím going to get preachy: Wear your helmet sonny. If you go down at 10mph you can wake up as a vegetable or even worse a Democrat, so please protect that noggin.

    My Reader's Digest List of Biking Good Things.

    1. John Forester - Effective Cycling - Buy it, Read it, Live it. If you really want to do this the book is the best investment you can make.

    2. Your Drive to Work route is likely not your Cycle to Work route Ė Explore the back roads. It is better back there.

    3. Get a rear view mirror for your helmet Ė use it.

    4. High visibility jackets or shirts are your friend.

    5. Maintain your bike and carry a pump, spare tube, tire tools and multi-tool

    6. Ride like a car Ė be predictable Ė donít be intimidated.

    7. Return driver hate with love Ė it pisses them off and screws with their minds.

    8. The more miles you ride, the confidence more you will gain.

    9. If it looks dangerous it is.

    10. If you arenít sure, wait.

    11. Take time to look around, listen, and smell the flowers Ė you see, hear, and smell way more at 15 mph than at 45.

    12. Wave and smile Ė youíre an ambassador for the sport/activity of cycling and all cyclists every time you ride.

    13. Help other riders that break down

    14. Donít worry about the snotty uber-riders that donít acknowledge your existence. They are pricks and nothing you do will change that.

    15. Take the lane when your safety depends upon it.

    16. Be conscious of other drivers and if you are unduly delaying them cut them a break and pull over every now and them.

    17. Find a bike store that loves biking Ė not just commerce. Then patronize them for every thing they sell, even if it is 20% cheaper at Wal-Mart*. You will find the average Wal-Mart employee clueless when it comes to anything bike related, so understand you are investing in your local bike knowledge base when you support your local bike store. You need them just as much as they need you.

    18. You can have just as much fun on a $50 garage sale bike that was once a good quality bike as a new $2500 bike. It is not all about keeping up with the Jonesí

    19. Teach a kid or two after you learn it your self. Spread the addiction.

    20. Ride Often.

    *Wal-Mart, K-Mart Bikes and some Target bikes SUCK. Don't Do it. Sure they look cool - but they are mostly heavy junk.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    The bike/ped guy at our MPO gives a class on bike/auto compatibility for bicycle commuters that involves 1/2 day classroom and 1/2 day on downtown roads. One of our engineers is trying to arrange for him to come to our area to teach one.

    I'll see if I can find out more, i.e. if it's a course offered nationally.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo

    Now, Iím going to get preachy: Wear your helmet sonny. If you go down at 10mph you can wake up as a vegetable or even worse a Democrat, so please protect that noggin.
    The more I know about you, the more I like your way of thinking!
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
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    guapos got great advice there. There's really nothing I can to it. Just ride! The more you ride, the more confident you'll become, as well as more aware. You'll tune your brain to listen for cars coming up from behind, and 'see' more of your surroundings. Its wierd the way that works.

    As for my commute. Its 12 miles, on country roads with a gravel shoulder almost the whole way. Some semi traffic and auto traffic, but they're pretty courtious and move over as far as they can. Once I get to the city, the streets are so wide that it doesn't matter if there's cycling lanes or not. I wear cycling gear simply 'cause it is a long ways. I'm lucky though and work in a building with showers and a locker room to change in/freshen up. I carry my work clothes in a messenger bag on my back. I'm bald, so my hair doesn't get messy.
    You're more boring than you know.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by martini
    I'm lucky though and work in a building with showers and a locker room to change in/freshen up. I carry my work clothes in a messenger bag on my back. I'm bald, so my hair doesn't get messy.
    I can't imagine riding to work in our 100+ degree heat. A shower would be required.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Yeah, definitely wear the helmet, and beware the door zone. :-0

  8. #8
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Live in a small town where kids and adults still ride bicycles for leisure, shopping, and work.

    Choose your domicile based on the bike ride to work.

    Otherwise, believe everything EG says (except the Democrat part).

  9. #9
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Stinky Ride

    Yes, I agree a shower would be required. It is for this reason, someone should suggest that showers and a dressing room be provided for workers. Perhaps a requirement for construction of an office building over so many square feet..... Hmm El Guapo, maybe that's a bit to "Democratic :d: " an idea for you to swallow :-E ? eh? I agree that using back roads whenever possible will most likely save your life over the long haul.....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    Now, Iím going to get preachy: Wear your helmet sonny. If you go down at 10mph you can wake up as a vegetable or even worse a Democrat, so please protect that noggin.
    I question if you crash you turn into a democrat bit

    but you should wear a helmet any way to protect
    the education investment in your head,
    not to mention maintaining your potential/ability to work or post on cyburbia.

    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    My Reader's Digest List of Biking Good Things.
    I like it, nicely stated, good work.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Hmm El Guapo, maybe that's a bit to "Democratic :d: " an idea for you to swallow :-E ? eh?

    You all know I was just kidding, right? A real hard blow to the head would surely render one a Naderite.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    Another option

    Or you could pack up everything and move to the Netherlands or Denmark! In some cities the bike commuters outnumber cars, there are bike routes everywhere, safely distanced from the roads. They're really set up for it. The train stations have large bike parking areas. Its really great.

    I love dispensing useless advice. But for the love of God, wear that helmet. The son of a lady I know was killed while working as a bike messenger in NYC. Some of those NYC bikers are really militant. I've seen a few accost drivers who cut them off to give them a good tongue-lashing.

    We still have a lot of work ahead of us in making our towns more bike-friendly. Its one of my personal missions.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    MOD HAT ON - The bicycle helmet debate was split from this thread. Click here to go there to debate that question.

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