GRA
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:48 pm

mwalsh wrote:I may change out to some street tires when these are worn out, but for now I like the fatter tires for precisely the reason GRA points out - burning more calories! :D

Just depends on what you enjoy. Personally, I find riding off-road tires on pavement so much less pleasant than street tires that I'm less motivated to ride, and so do less of it. Right now, I've got an 'all-terrain' tire on the rear, because that's what the bike had when I bought it (used), and the slick on the front (replaced the other A-T tire when I had a blowout on that). I find this combo provides more than adequate grip and control for the occasional dirt trail (not steep single-track), without giving me the noise and vibration that I hate from a full knobby. Once the rear wears out I'll replace it with another slick, as I rarely ride dirt - I prefer hiking on trails where a mountain bike would be appropriate, although if I were riding in someplace like southern Utah my druthers would be different.

As to safety, I've been riding and commuting in heavy street traffic since I was nine or so, and I guess I'm inured to the danger, but I keep a very close eye on traffic (especially since I can't hear it coming now, as I ride without my hearing aids), and ride defensively, making use of hand signals, making eye contact, and generally riding very predictably while not putting myself in situations that are risky. OTOH, distracted/inattentive drivers have become a much greater risk since the advent of cell phones, and especially smart phones.

I started riding a lot at a time ('70s) when John Forester's "Vehicular Cycling" was the done thing (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicular_cycling), and while that's been mostly discredited as a way to get mass ridership, there are times when 'taking the lane' is entirely appropriate. At night I'm wearing a neon-green reflective vest plus two rear blinkies, one blinking headlight, plus side, front, rear and pedal reflectors. I find that constant-on lights are too hard to see against the background of urban light pollution, especially when coming up a line of cars between them and the curb where they're unlikely to be looking in any case. Learned that lesson after a guy right-hooked me while I had my headlight constant-on, but I saw him start to crank his wheel and yelled before he could move too far, so he only sideswiped me a little.

I don't need a headlight strong enough to light up the street as it's plenty bright to see the road in the typical city, just one that allows me to be seen. I've also used head-mounted lights at times so I can shine it directly at a driver, but don't use one at the moment.

Fortunately, the Bay Area has a strong cycling community and there are many cities here with good cycling infrastructure, although mine lags a bit when it comes to things like parking-protected bike lanes, and either those or separate bike paths are what's needed to get large numbers of riders other than fit young males (or fitter older males like me who've been doing it since we were young males) riding. Still, we do have bike lanes and some marked bike streets/boulevards.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

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LeftieBiker
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:09 pm

...there are times when 'taking the lane' is entirely appropriate.


I call it "Carpe Lane-Um". ;-)

Accessories that used to be optional but are now mandatory for safety:

* Rear view mirror. Too many distracted and drunk drivers to do without one.

* Headlight (unless you never ride before 7:00am or after 4:00pm).

* Taillight with flashing option - even if you do only ride in full daylight. I never use anything but the flashing mode.

* Horn. Bells are ineffective. I use an electronic horn that sounds like an angry squirrel - a 300lb angry squirrel, with rabies.

* Helmet, of course. I never used one as a kid or even young adult, but now I'm reluctant to ride two blocks in my suburb without mine.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

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KeiJidosha
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:54 pm

Riding 55 years now, it always feels like freedom to me. I try to ride 3-4 times a week, normal ride is 18 mile round trip with ~800 vertical feet of climb/descent and a few sprints. I consider riding my medical plan :) (Stay fit, Relieve stress). Have a Trek flat-bar hybrid that’s good for street and packed dirt or gravel trails, but upright enough to stay alert to traffic. Looking at electric bikes, but waiting till I “need” the boost. Have a folding Dahon with Nexus7 hub for away riding. My Fit EV did not have a hitch option, so bike went inside the car. I can also take it in the plane or on a train/bus/subway. New Bolt EV has a hitch so I now can take either bike. Like others I’m always watching traffic for the distracted. I pass 2 ghost bikes on my route as reminders to pay attention. Even so, I always enjoy being on the bike. Best rides I’ve been on where with my niece and nephew ‘s 5th grade class riding and camping from Yuma, AZ to Oceanside, CA over 5 days. Bikes are a great way to explore as they can go almost anywhere at a pace to let you take it all in.
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ENIAC
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:43 pm

I ride a Gary Fisher Sugar 4+ I bought new 13 years ago. It's got a lot of mountain trail miles on it. I've rebuilt it three times. The frame and seat post are probably the only remaining original parts.

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KeiJidosha
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:37 pm

ENIAC wrote:... The frame and seat post are probably the only remaining original parts.

Still have my '96 Marin Pine Mountain. Everything has been replaced/upgraded except the handlebars.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:50 pm

I still have my 1986 "Gemini 18" Taiwan-made mountain bike. Bought it off the Montgomery Wards showroom because I needed a bike for a weekend trip.

A search for this bike will yield various racing bikes. This ain't those.
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The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

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mwalsh
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:15 pm

LeftieBiker wrote: Accessories that used to be optional but are now mandatory for safety:

* Rear view mirror. Too many distracted and drunk drivers to do without one.


Check (though not shown in the picture I posted). Find that I'm no longer supple enough to look over my shoulders.

* Headlight (unless you never ride before 7:00am or after 4:00pm).


Don't.

* Taillight with flashing option - even if you do only ride in full daylight. I never use anything but the flashing mode.


It's loose in the trunk of my car. Does that count?

* Horn. Bells are ineffective. I use an electronic horn that sounds like an angry squirrel - a 300lb angry squirrel, with rabies.


Don't have either, but I wouldn't mind having a small bell for signaling other riders that I'm about to pass them.

* Helmet, of course. I never used one as a kid or even young adult, but now I'm reluctant to ride two blocks in my suburb without mine.


Yes. Bought mine so I looked more like a cyclist and not a homeless person with a bike on the MUT.
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GRA
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:06 pm

Never wore a helmet until one day in 1993, when I was test-riding a bike (Bridgestone XO3 with the mustache bar) I was considering getting, and the bike shop had just that day instituted a policy that all test riders had to wear a helmet. I grumbled while they fit the loaner, and took the bike out. I was still grumbling to myself about it as I was coming down a hill about 15 minutes later, when a guy in a Subaru wagon passed me too close and hooked the end of my left handlebar in the gap between the body and the tailgate, causing the handlebar and the front wheel to immediately spin almost 90 degrees to the right, and arresting the bike's forward progress down the hill; my progress wasn't arrested at all, and I somersaulted over the handlebars, landing on my back and slamming the back of my head into the pavement - or would have, if the helmet hadn't taken the impact. While lying there and watching the bike doing its own somersault (seemingly in slow-mo) above me and wondering whether or not it was going to land on me (it missed), I decided that wearing a helmet was a really good idea. The damage to me was mostly minor other than some nerve damage in one hand that healed in about six weeks, although the bike was worse for wear.

I did wind up getting an XO3, although not that one and had it for a couple of years before it was stolen out of the back of my Subie wagon (never occurred to me that I needed to lock the bike while it was inside the car, and someone broke the back window and yanked it out). I always wear a helmet now, except when making a long slow climb when it's warm as I overheat easily. In that case it's strapped onto the back of my fanny pack, to be re-donned as soon as I reach the top. OTOH, there've been studies that show that drivers tend to pass people wearing helmets more closely, as they consider them more responsible riders and thus less likely to ride erratically; one of the classic studies (in the U.K.) found that looking female (the researcher put on a long blonde wig) also increased the passing distance, presumably for the same reason as not wearing a helmet.

As for bells and horns, I find my voice works fine, and shouts of "don't do it" or "watch it" have prevented many a case of dooring, right hooking etc. Overtaking other bikes, a quiet "passing on your left" still works, although less experienced riders can be startled by it and swerve, so I say it before getting next to them. A bell is probably less startling, and sounds less threatening to some; a loud horn may cause them to crash.

I really should get a mirror, as although I ride a flat-bar performance hybrid now (a used steel-frame Peugeot probably dating from the '90s; for some reason, all my used bikes have been French, two Peugeots and my first road bike back in the '70s, a Mercier) rather than a road bike with drop bars, checking behind me is still a bit of a chore compared to an even more upright riding position. I'm not a big fan of handlebar-end mounted mirrors, seeing them as a potential source of injury, but lean towards the helmet or glass-frame mounted variety. I'm a fan of steel frames for commuting/urban use, as I prefer their ride and the extra weight isn't a big deal for shorter rides.

I've been meaning to replace the flat-bar with a mustache, or at least add some bar-end extensions. but inertia has prevented that to date. I consider the mustache bar the best all-around type for commuting and shorter weekend rides (up to say 30 miles), giving multiple hand positions and allowing you to ride upright in traffic, more aerodynamically when you want to push yourself, helped by a shift in the brake and shift levers from closer to the the bar ends to the forward side of the curve - my 1993 XO-3 also had fake brake levers on the forward side, which gave you even more hand positions. For those who don't have a clue as to what a mustache bar is, this one's pretty close to the shape of the one on my XO-3: https://www.niagaracycle.com/categories/origin8-tiki-handlebars-black?utm_source=TPA%20On%20Google%20Shopping&utm_campaign=Top%20Placement%20Ads%C2%AE%20(SPLA)&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=People%20Searching%20For%20Bike%20Parts&utm_content=Google%20Shopping&product_id=43748&device=c&loc_physical_ms=9032009&gclid=CMvU_dX5hNUCFUtNfgodO_gEFw
Last edited by GRA on Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:38 pm

As for bells and horns, I find my voice works fine, and shouts of "don't do it" or "watch it" have prevented many a case of dooring, right hooking etc. Overtaking other bikes, a quiet "passing on your left" still works, although less experienced riders can be startled by it and swerve, so I say it before getting next to them. A bell is probably less startling, and sounds less threatening to some; a loud horn may cause them to crash.


That's the difference between city/suburb riding and rural riding. No one hears you yell (or scream) in the country. I still have my voice to use when appropriate, but when entering a blind one lane underpass, for example, there is no substitute for loud noise. (Except when a train is going over, in which case it's down to the headlight strobe at night, or dumb luck in daylight.)
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

KeiJidosha
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Re: Anyone into regular cycling?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:55 pm

GRA wrote:I really should get a mirror, as although I ride a flat-bar performance hybrid now (a used steel-frame Peugeot probably dating from the '90s; for some reason, all my used bikes have been French, two Peugeots and my first road bike back in the '70s, a Mercier) rather than a road bike with drop bars, checking behind me is still a bit of a chore compared to an even more upright riding position. I'm not a big fan of handlebar-end mounted mirrors, seeing them as a potential source of injury, but lean towards the helmet or glass-frame mounted variety. I'm a fan of steel frames for commuting/urban use, as I prefer their ride and the extra weight isn't a big deal for shorter rides.


I have about 20 different rejected bar end mirrors. I finally found this "Zefal Cyclop Rear Veiw Mirror" and bought 5 of them as they were going out of production. eBay still shows stock though. Plastic, adjustable, stable, decent convex balance of wide vs. distance. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Zefal-Cyclop-Rear-Veiw-Mirror-Bar-End-Road-Hybrid-MT-Bike-City-Bicycle-Universal-/371138677299?hash=item566996ca33:g:YDsAAOxy4YdTVExA
Last edited by KeiJidosha on Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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- 2013 Ford C-Max Energi > Tesla Model 3 (Reservation)

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