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Source: (consider it) Thread: "My chain fell off.....": A cycling thread
Qoheleth.

Semi-Sagacious One
# 9265

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About ten years ago, I suffered a herniated L5/S1 disc/k prolapse with L side sciatica, after sneezing whilst leaving a top bunk bed. (Don't ask!) Everything eventually resolved under gentle and skilled physiotherapy without surgery and it's not given me much grief since, unless I try moving pianos.

I now want to improve my general fitness by taking up cycling again, and I wondered if Shipmates had any useful experience they could share, please? Posture? Hardware? Set-up?

<USUAL DISCLAIMER STUFF> The Ship is not the place to offer medical advice to the unknown and unseen. Please share experience and information, not advice. Thank you.

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Posts: 2532 | From: the radiator of life | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
venbede
Shipmate
# 16669

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Love the title.

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Posts: 3201 | From: An historic market town nestling in the folds of Surrey's rolling North Downs, | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Surfing Madness
Shipmate
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No advice, but I sold my car and got a bike a month ago, and am already aware of improving fitness levels. [Yipee] Still got someway to go yet, but I am really enjoying it which is a good thing.
My best piece of advice is go to a proper bike shop, where they love bikes and chat to them.

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Posts: 1542 | From: searching for the jam | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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You might go back to the doctor or therapist who treated you, and ask whether cycling would be a good idea.

Moo

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
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I was told by the physiotherapy person, when she helped me (after when crossing the road I was hit by a motorbike suddenly going down the wrong way in that road) that exercising my legs helped my back to recover and definitely on the bike, using my legs was very useful for our fitness. I have a Dutch bike that is one where you are sitting high up and looking properly. I reckon it's a really good, useful, safe bike.

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Posts: 11224 | From: London - originally Dundee, Blairgowrie etc... | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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I've not been able to cycle for 2 months but hope the Dr will agree, when I see him later today, that I can start again in the next few weeks.

I suggest that unless you live in a really hilly area, which I don't really think you do, you don't need masses of confusing gears, a few will do.

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Darllenwr
Shipmate
# 14520

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My only word of advice - unless you are confident that you know everything there is to know about bicycle doctoring and have the appropriate tools, do not buy from the internet. Yes, I know the prices are better etc, but unless you know exactly what you are getting, it is likely to come as a shock [Paranoid]

I would tend to avoid Halfords as well, though that is largely down to prejudice on my part. Strike up a working relationship with a back-street cycle shop - they will be able to give you sound advice based on working experience and pick up the bits when something goes twang. Sure, you will pay a little bit more, but isn't personal service worth that little bit extra?

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
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I have arthritis in one foot and cycling is a great way of getting exercise without the constant pounding against the ground that makes up walking (or even worse running). (Swimming is good too, I just prefer cycling.)

But before you decide to take up cycling ask a doctor who will advise you as to whether cycling is compatible with your condition.

If you do take up cycling here is the advice.

Get the right bike for the job.

Mountain bikes are designed for ... well ... mountains. If you do not intend to go off road do not get a mountain bike.

Racing bikes are designed for racing. Do not get one unless you intend to race. Find something more comfortable.

BMX bikes are for doing stunts. If you intend to ride the half pipe, fine. Otherwise avoid. (We have a guy at work who commutes by BMX. Crazy.)

So now having discounted 90% of bikes in the shop that leaves hybrids, folders and tourers. Which you go for depends on how you are going to use it.

For long distance riding get a tourer, shorter distances (under 10 miles each way) hybrids are better IMO and if you take public transport and want to ride from the station then a folder may be best.

Make sure the bike is the right size. You should be able to stand over the top tube with both feet on the ground, and when riding the legs should be almost straight when the pedal is at its lowest. Here is useful advice on sizing.

Gears. If you have hills in your area, a condition which means you will stay in the saddle most of the time or like me both then you need gears. Lots of them. I have a 9 speed block at the back and a triple front changer making in theory 27 gears, though not all are usable.

Waterproofs. Get some!

Mudguards. Get some!

Lights. Get some! Though a friend has a torch gaffa taped to his handlebars,

A rack for carrying luggage. Again get one. It is better to carry goods on the bike than on your back.

Cost. Do not buy cheep. My commute would be over £1,200 by public transport. So £700 for a bike and all the bits above that will last over six years at under £100 per year maintenance is not expensive.

Most important for journeys other than commuting, get someone to ride with. It's more fun that way.

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Posts: 9049 | From: Hen Ogledd | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
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Also, if you buy from a local bike shop they will continue to help you with spares and often have a repair shop. The bike shop locally did an annual check up and repair on my bike (until it was nicked) and sold spares and parts.

Yes, I can repair and strip down bikes, I went to the right evening classes, but ... I don't have a spokes jig and doing that one by hand is a nightmare, I have no desire to strip out and clean bearing races on my sitting room floor (I live in a flat) or downstairs on the pavement outside with the help of the neighbouring children. Some of those jobs are seriously fiddly and messy and I'd rather pay someone else to do them. (Yes, I know you shouldn't need to, but actually commuter riding on country lanes does mean the bearings need cleaning regularly).

Secondly - stolen bikes - there are too many people around looking for scrap metal because it's worth real money at the moment, that bikes are walking, even when tied down. Mine walked out of a padlocked fenced in area, inside which it was had a bike cable chaining it to the wall on a steel block - on a figure of 8, so both wheels and the frame were held to the wall. Whoever did it took a panel of fencing out and took all the decent bikes in the area. Can you keep your bike safely at all destinations?

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Posts: 13794 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
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I am a bike widow.

My husband is in training to cycle from Seattle to Boston next summer to raise money for the charity he works for.

His bike is worth a fortune - so it has the garage in place of the car (It's a small garage with two lathes and a couple of circular saws so the car didn't get a look in anyway)

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Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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Balaam's advice on the types of bike makes a lot of sense to me. I also put a lot of faith in going to a proper bike shop, as having the bike properly fitted is really important both for safety and comfort. When my middle brother went to buy a bike for commuting the seller actually steered him away from an expensive bike he was looking at to one that was more appropriate for his needs, so when I went to buy a bike I went to the same shop. Also your local shop should be able to help with advice on places to cycle, safer routes etc.

In NZ wearing a helmet is compulsory, although opinions differ as to whether that is a good idea or not. High visability gear is a good idea though, and although it might make you feel like a dork, you'll be a safer dork [Biased]

I own two hybrid bikes, although the first one is closer to a mountain bike with heavier duty tread on the tyres, and the second is closer to a road bike, with smoother tyres, larger wheels and is a faster ride. Both have been designed for women, the second, and more comfortable, for short women. (The owner of the shop had met the designer and said she was about my height).

I don't know where you live, but there is a book I borrowed from the library entitled "Bike" by a woman who commutes in London that had some useful information on biking - though her writing style annoyed me (I can't remember her name).

Just as an aside, I currently have over 30 bikes in my garage - no I'm not a bike thief, but the local cycling advocacy group refurbishes bikes and either sells them cheaply, or gives them away to those in need. My contribution to this is storing the bikes.

I hope you find a bike that suits your needs and that you enjoy riding.

Just a last minute thought though, if weightloss is your aim, walking burns more calories than moderate cycling- however cycling gets you further faster.

Huia

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Posts: 10382 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Chamois
Shipmate
# 16204

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As others have said, do check it out with your doctor first.

I cycle regularly, have done for years, and I love it. BUT I have an intermittent lower back problem and much as I hate to admit it, cycling definitely makes it worse. When my back is OK I'm fine to cycle, but when it's not I have to stop for a while.

So do talk to your doctor or, better still, your physio (because physios really do know more about this sort of thing), before you start.

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Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Loquacious beachcomber
Shipmate
# 8783

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Just to sound a slightly different note...
I went to a WalMart on a trip to Forida and got a Mongoose bicycle for $220; saw the same model in a bikeshop back home for over $1500.
If there are trails fashioned from former railway lines, use them; trains have a low tolerance for hills, so it will be a smooth, level grade.
On such a trail, no one will open a car door in front of you, but watch out for low-hanging flora and wandering fauna.

Wear a bike helmet, and watch out for the senior's hiking club; they may hear your bike bell, but will think it is a bird singing!
Bike at least 20 Kilometres a day, more if you can.
Get a small water bottle holder and wear it on your belt loop.
Don't bore your friends with biking tales; apparently, it gets old really fast.

[ 01. October 2011, 19:08: Message edited by: Silver Faux ]

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Posts: 5954 | From: Southeast of Wawa, between the beach and the hiking trail.. | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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I have to admit I'm like many bikers in London - I don't wear any of the various types of safety head covers.
But I do wear my specs - I only need them for distance and that's essential for safety on the bike, noting and seeing what's coming and who's about to cross.
Also we've been told to ring the bell on the bike, particularly when we're on the canal walking and biking area, when people are fairly close to us and may not notice us getting close to them. And also when there are children and when there are animals with people.

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Posts: 11224 | From: London - originally Dundee, Blairgowrie etc... | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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I can't remember where you live (though I seem to recall that it's not Westphalia...), but if it's somewhere fairly flat something like daisymay's "Oma Fiets" is ideal. Wonderfully relaxed riding position, you feel as though you could cruise gent;y round all day - until you find a hill where you feel as you are about to fall off forwards/backwards depending on which way the hill is... You can also get a crate of beer on the carrier, which is pretty damn civilised.

So long as you combine it with some walking (it does do funny things to your hamstrings), I've found that a brisk commute by bike is pretty good for fitness (mind you, I'm slim and have no concept of taking it easy, YMMV). Just be aware that any trousers you now have may suddenly start getting tight round the cheeks as the muscles firm. It's also fast enough that you can go places - here in Famous University City it's by far the easiest, and often quickest, way to get anywhere within the city ring piece - sorry, road.

Hope the vet says your back will survive it!

AG

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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There is a sign at the beginning of the hiking/biking trail near me which says,

CYCLISTS, WHEN OVERTAKING PEDESTRIANS, CALL 'ON YOUR LEFT!'

The sound of a human voice calling is more attention-grabbing than a bell.

Moo

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Posts: 20365 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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Good point, Moo... I used to commute along a canal towpath and one morning almost collided at a blind bridge with someone who, instead of a bell, had sounded a huge airhorn on his handlebars. Yes, I heard him... but I assumed it was a boat. Had he sounded as I'd have expected a bike to sound, I'd have been looking for one.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
There is a sign at the beginning of the hiking/biking trail near me which says,

CYCLISTS, WHEN OVERTAKING PEDESTRIANS, CALL 'ON YOUR LEFT!'

The sound of a human voice calling is more attention-grabbing than a bell.

Moo

I'm a great believer in the power of the human voice. Bells aren't compulsory here and I don't have one, but I think people are more attuned to hearing voices anyway. And a scream is really effective if someone begins opening a car door as you go past [Hot and Hormonal]

Another thing I do is indcate my thanks when a motorist has shown me a courtesy, even if they have given way when they are legally required to do so. There is a certain amount of tension here between cyclists and motorists and a smile helps diffuse that.

Huia

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Posts: 10382 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
moron
Shipmate
# 206

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Bicycles are remarkable propulsion vehicles. I used to ride a great deal, although very rarely lately.

Sounds simple but assuming you've had a good 'set up', make sure your tires are always well-inflated and carry the means to patch them.

And, assuming exercise is a goal and depending on gearing/terrain, IMO 'spinning' the chainring at 90 RPM* is a good target to get your heart working. IME a higher spin rate also creates less probability of injury from straining but of course YMMV.

(*Especially if you do it on a 30 inch gear up a 10% or so grade. [Biased] )

Have fun.

Posts: 4236 | From: Bentonville | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
blackbeard
Ship's Pirate
# 10848

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Just a bit of advice on kit from me as motorist and occasional cyclist.
Round my way it seems normal to ride a bike at night without lights and while wearing dark coloured clothing. Almost invisible when seen through a windscreen (even a clean one).
Please PLEASE wear something bright (preferably reflective) at night. As well as having lights.

Posts: 823 | From: Hampshire, UK | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Qoheleth.

Semi-Sagacious One
# 9265

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Thanks for all the advice so far, folks.

My physio was in a different life and a different part of the country, so not available for easy consultation. So I borrowed a bike from Geeky Cyclist Friend and we tried a gentle 'dry run' this afternoon. It's true: you never forget how to ride a bike. Fantastic to get that wind-in-the-hair feeling again. [Yipee] Apart from an embarassing gastro-internal spasm (don't ask #2), there seem to have been no ill effects. I'll see if I feel ready for cycling on Monday morning; Monday evening may be a bigger ask!

GCF has a good relationship with the local independent bike shop, so we'll certainly be shopping local for any bits we need - like a handlebar stem extender to get my pelvis tipped further forward.

Looks like I've caught the bug again!

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Posts: 2532 | From: the radiator of life | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
marzipan
Shipmate
# 9442

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If you are wanting a bike to commute with, see if your employer is interested in the Bike to Work scheme (article here, there's various different websites about it).
It's a scheme in the UK and ireland, not sure if it's anywhere else but basically your employer pays for the bike (and accessories like helmet, lights etc), you have it and pay back out of your salary (before tax) so you save quite a bit and also as it comes out of your salary before you get paid, you don't notice as much.
Anyway that's how I got my folding bike, the Boy has just got himself a bike on the irish version of the scheme.

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Posts: 917 | From: nowhere in particular | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ophicleide16
Shipmate
# 16344

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If it's been a while since you last cycled, you might consider trying a static excercise bike, the sort you'll find in a gym, so as to be sure you wont do yourself an injury.

I ride a nice road bike with well sized handlebars which makes for a nice relaxed posture.

Posts: 79 | From: London | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
Surfing Madness
Shipmate
# 11087

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This seemed to be the place to ask a couple of questions.
1) without going to the gym ways to keep the muscles which I use to cycle working when it is too icy to cycle?
2) Anyone know good online route planners for cycling?
Thanks

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Posts: 1542 | From: searching for the jam | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Ophicleide16:
...a static excercise bike...

Boring boring boring! Just get on a bike and ride. Its fun. You get to move around and see things. No need for special clothes or gear. Just do it.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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quote:
Originally posted by Surfing Madness:
This seemed to be the place to ask a couple of questions.
1) without going to the gym ways to keep the muscles which I use to cycle working when it is too icy to cycle?
2) Anyone know good online route planners for cycling?
Thanks

1. My bike geek father has a bike trainer that he puts his ultra-nifty carbon fiber Trek on during the winter so he can "ride" and listen to NPR in the garage before his morning oatmeal. While I'd suggest better taste in . . . well, many things, this is a good way to avoid both the gym and bad weather, while still using your happy, lovely bike.

2. Google maps, in some areas at least, has a bike option. Like most routers, though, it doesn't take into account shortcuts and options that are obvious on the ground (curbs, crossing the 40-foot patch of grass between the path and the road rather than going a mile out of your way, "secret" waypaths used by locals, etc.).

And, like everyone else, I'd like to second the "get to know your friendly local bike shop" advice. One of the bike shops in my area does potluck dinners on a regular basis that, if I were a more serious biker, I'd probably go to, and becoming friends with the owner and mechanics of some locals will mean that they'll share their beer with you.

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

Posts: 6849 | From: The People's Republic of Balcones | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Coffee Cup
Shipmate
# 13506

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quote:
Originally posted by Surfing Madness:

2) Anyone know good online route planners for cycling?

I'm not sure where you're based, but I use the cycle streets journey planner which is brilliant for the city I live in, and fairly good for the town my parents live in. Because there are options for fast, balanced and quiet routes, you can pick the option which corresponds to your level of confidence/need for speed/strength of deathwish....
Posts: 66 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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I am off to my friendly bike shop to have proper mudguards fitted - the kind that don't leave mud splattered up my back [Mad]

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10382 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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In the non-snow months here, I am a dedicated commuter by bike, except for a few years when the children were small and I was too tired to do any exercise than a rocking chair with one of the wee parasites.

Recommend:

-helmet of course, whether required or not by law.

-gloves. if you ever fall off, will save you 'road rash' on hands.

-lights, more than are legally required. I have front and back on the bike and on me - helmet. Blinkity ones on the back might make me look Christmas tree-ish, but that means I'm noticed.

-take more time than you might: I have been hit by cars twice in 35 years or so, both times was able to see it happening due to defensive cycling, and walked away from. Bike sacrificed is better than person sacrificed.

-get saddle bags (panniers) and put things in them versus a backpack, which can get sweaty on warm days. Always pack a rainsuit - jacket and pants - and assume the weather with be changing.

-I carry basic tools, a hand pump and tubes. Consider a basic kit for repair if having someone drive and rescue you might be difficult. Rescuing others who haven't such equipment is a great way of meeting friends.

-see if there is a local cycling advocacy group, and join if they are helping to make cycle lanes, paths, and safer cycling.

-check the laws, but if you must take up a traffic lane, do it. Law be damned. It is safer to take up a lane than be squished. A Loud horn is your friend in such situations (I have a 100 db air horn myself.) Lights on the bike are your friend in such situations also. If it is ultimately too dangerous to ride on the road, by all means go onto the sidewalk. It does not matter if the law says not to, you want to live. Be prepared to yield to pedestrians and slow down, explain yourself to the police if stopped, and discuss your affiliation with cycling advocacy. Generally you can get court help and a group together to help if your violation is to ensure your safety. I've never had a ticket for anything with such approaches. And I do block a traffic lane daily and also must use the sidewalk for a stretch daily.

-cars are bigger than you. Never get angry, and never speak to drivers who yell. Act like nyou love everyone. Cycle like Jesus would. There are plenty of idiots in the world without becoming one yourself.

-take license numbers of drivers who endanger cyclists and do other risky things. Report them to the police. Police in most cases will record the info, and may in some places visit the driver if there are repeated reports. The cycling advocacy group may help with this also.

-if you are older, don't have the stamina, see if an electrically assisted bicycle is legal in your area. I've had one for 7 years now, and it encourages my commitment to cycling tomorrow if there's a headwind today. I am also arthritic and have low bone density

-infinity L/100km or mpg is cool. Tell that to anyone with smarty pants comments!

Good luck and enjoy!

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11498 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
aj

firewire technophobe
# 1383

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A good local independent cycling store is a good thing, and they need all the support they can get.
Don't dismiss Halfords before paying them a visit. I was speaking with a colleague about cycling and he said what a good relationship he had with his local outlet for bike stuff. The whole `chain store' (no pun intended) thing can, but needn't necessarily, suggest inferior service. I expect there are plenty of horror stories, and on the other side of the coin; there's a posh independent bike store in my town, and apparently they're very snobby unless your bike is all carbon fibre, your socks are teflon, and you use the word `cadence' more than most people.

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if there's no god, then who turns on the light when you open the fridge?

Posts: 2994 | From: ...on location | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
aj

firewire technophobe
# 1383

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quote:
Originally posted by Welease Woderwick:
I suggest that unless you live in a really hilly area, which I don't really think you do, you don't need masses of confusing gears, a few will do.

Good suggestion! Although it can be hard finding a newer bike with just a few gears. Single speeds and `fixies' have something of a cult following especially with those in the city commuter and courier scene.

Gears are a tricky issue. Hub gear systems are superior in many ways - you can shift when stationary, there's just one lever to operate, maintenance is generally less of an issue as they're a sealed unit, and - this is significant - you get the ratios you need and not too many more.
Derailleur gear systems are what a huge of proportion of bikes use, and the very nature of this design results in more theoretical ratios than you might actually use. It's no use though, saying "what's the point of 24 speeds if you're not going to use them all?", because they're only 24 theoretical ratios which come as a result of multiplying the number of cogs on the front with the number on the back. A bike with three cogs on the front will probably have a good low `granny gear' for climbing steep hills, but these considerations come back to getting good advice from a bike shop as has been mentioned numerous times already.

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if there's no god, then who turns on the light when you open the fridge?

Posts: 2994 | From: ...on location | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Auntie Doris

Screen Goddess
# 9433

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Before we moved back to The Rock we visited Halfords and bought a couple of bikes from there. One assistant was completely useless, but the other one was very helpful and we are pretty happy with the bikes that we bought.

Auntie Doris x

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"And you don't get to pronounce that I am not a Christian. Nope. Not in your remit nor power." - iGeek in response to a gay-hater :)

The life and times of a Guernsey cow

Posts: 6019 | From: The Rock at the Centre of the Universe | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Shipmate
# 9110

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Lovely thread. Qoheleth, my best advice is to move to Norfolk. Not too many hills ...

We got one of these off-road bikes for our grandson when he comes to visit us. At twelve, he's now the same height as me (looks to be heading towards 2 metres) and I have permission from him to use it when he's not around.

It's fun. I quite enjoy fiddling around with the 18 gears, not that you need them in Norfolk but it's nice to know they are there. I have fairly modest targets e.g. to the local supermarket and back, but one of these days I may try to ride to Cromer and back. Maybe ...

Enjoy, Qoheleth!

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Carys

Ship's Celticist
# 78

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My favourite thing about my bike is my hub dynamo and shiny lights. I bought this online from Germany because the price in Euros for hub dynamo, front and back lights and two sets of security skewers was the same as the price in pounds for the dynamo and front light from an English supplier! The thing I love about it is that the lights are very bright (visible on the road even under street lights); the batteries never run out; and the lights are fixed to the bike so they're always available.

It's my major form of transport and a great way of getting exercise.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise

Posts: 6896 | From: Bryste mwy na thebyg | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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Footpaths - use them. Not pavements, that's illegal but unless the local council has passed a byelaw to close the path to cyclists then it is not illegal to use them, no cycling signs notwithstanding.

quote:
“If any persons shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers... Highways Act 1835
Note the words I've put in bold, "by the side of any road," If it isn't alongside a road it isn't illegal to ride it. But a warning, people on foot have right of way on footpaths.

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blog

Posts: 9049 | From: Hen Ogledd | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
Shipmate
# 10942

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quote:
Originally posted by Balaam:
Footpaths - use them. Not pavements, that's illegal but unless the local council has passed a byelaw to close the path to cyclists then it is not illegal to use them, no cycling signs notwithstanding.

quote:
“If any persons shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers... Highways Act 1835
Note the words I've put in bold, "by the side of any road," If it isn't alongside a road it isn't illegal to ride it. But a warning, people on foot have right of way on footpaths.
With the exception of areas where there are 'no cycliing' or 'cyclists dismount' signs of course. Just because pedestrians feel free to use veloways from which they are banned doesn't make using pedestrian-only spaces a good move.

Linear parks with shared tracks in the Adelaide area have the following five 'rules' on signs...
1. Keep left.
2. Cyclists, ring your bell before overtaking.
3. Cyclists, give way to pedestrians.
4. Pedestrians, be aware of your surroundings.
5. Dogs to be kept on leashes at all times.

The unofficial rule you have to remember is to always assume every pedestrian is a complete moron. Give your bell a good workout and give them a lot of room when passing. If there are small children or dogs, only pass them once the adult has become aware of your presence and has brought them under control. If they are wearing earphones feel free to "accidentally" snag the cord so it's pulled out of the ear and they can then be more aware of their surroundings.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
Shipmate
# 10942

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And one more thing - thicker puncture-resistant inner tubes and/or kevlar-belted tyres may add a little bit of extra weight to the wheel, but it is well worth it compared to the inconvenience of doing repairs on the road. The inner tubes on my bike (a lightweight hardtail MTB that I've fitted with slick tyres for mostly road and some gravel track/road use) have done about 7,500 km now without a single puncture. Combined with using Maxxis Overdrive tyres (slick tyre with a small contact patch for low resistance, kevlar belts and blingy reflective sidewalls!) this ensures that I wear out tyres before puncturing them.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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Is there a recognised maximum speed for cycleways, especially those which are shared with pedestrians?

nb: When on pavements round Newport I take the view that any adult cyclist on a pavement should be treated as a disqualified driver.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

Posts: 24276 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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Term starts here on Monday. Last Thursday, I hit my first student of the term... They simply stepped across from the footpath into the cycle lane, and in that instant I was tongue-tied, thumb wasn't on the bell... Thankfully I was already moving right myself and just snagged his sleeve with my brake lever, so no damage to either party other than underwear, but BE CAREFUL out there if you're on foot where there are bikes, or vice versa!

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

Posts: 3574 | From: The wardrobe of my soul | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Its not helped around here by the fact the council put a cycle-path on a wide pavement, then found the pavement area too narrow so widened part of it, but re-installed for that section the cycle-path/footpath division the other way around. So now you get a concrete panels about a foot wide at which pedestrians and cyclists are supposed to swap lanes in order to be legal! I kid you not. Is it a wonder that both get confused.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

Posts: 20894 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
Shipmate
# 10942

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Is there a recognised maximum speed for cycleways, especially those which are shared with pedestrians?

The received wisdom here in Australia is that unless otherwise signposted they follow the normal 'default' speed limits which apply when not otherwise signed. These default speed limits are 50km/h in built-up areas and 100km/h outside of built-up areas. In areas that are enclosed by main roads with "40 Area" signs on every street leading away from the main roads the limit would be 40 km/h.

I don't know if the UK has 'standard' speed limits like this or a specific cycling speed limit.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
Shipmate
# 10942

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Its not helped around here by the fact the council put a cycle-path on a wide pavement, then found the pavement area too narrow so widened part of it, but re-installed for that section the cycle-path/footpath division the other way around. So now you get a concrete panels about a foot wide at which pedestrians and cyclists are supposed to swap lanes in order to be legal! I kid you not. Is it a wonder that both get confused.

Jengie

I missed the edit window here, but I have a big question: what is wrong with a simple keep left routine rather than attempting to split cyclists and pedestrians? It works reasonably well most of the time here, is it just that the English exported their intellectuals as well as their convicts to Australia?

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Its not helped around here by the fact the council put a cycle-path on a wide pavement, then found the pavement area too narrow so widened part of it, but re-installed for that section the cycle-path/footpath division the other way around. So now you get a concrete panels about a foot wide at which pedestrians and cyclists are supposed to swap lanes in order to be legal! I kid you not. Is it a wonder that both get confused.


Jengie

I missed the edit window here, but I have a big question: what is wrong with a simple keep left routine rather than attempting to split cyclists and pedestrians? It works reasonably well most of the time here, is it just that the English exported their intellectuals as well as their convicts to Australia?
When cyclists or pedestrians are moving towards each other, things aren't so difficult (other than contention for space). Problems arise when stealthy cyclists pass pedestrians. I would have thouight Australians could have worked that out.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

Posts: 24276 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
aj

firewire technophobe
# 1383

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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
The inner tubes on my bike (a lightweight hardtail MTB that I've fitted with slick tyres for mostly road and some gravel track/road use)

Fitting slick-type tyres to a mountain bike makes a huge difference to ease of riding on paved roads, and you can get away with them on some rougher stuff too. A MTB with slicks may well be a better buy for urban riding than a so-called `hybrid' bike which can end up trying to be too many things in one to be comfortable.
The big knobbly tyres that mountain bikes come with have a lot of rolling resistance and this makes riding on sealed roads hard work compared with smoother tires (and slicks spray less rain onto your backside).
I used to be a semi-serious road rider, but right now can only have one bike, and it needs to serve more than one purpose, and I don't like mountain bikes, so I've got a cyclocross bike, which is kind of like a rugged version of a road bike - but still more `roadie' than a hybrid.

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if there's no god, then who turns on the light when you open the fridge?

Posts: 2994 | From: ...on location | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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Carys mentioned security skewers. What are they please? I don't think we have them here, and I am becoming increasingly aware that bikes are going missing from out local shops [Paranoid] since the CBD was cordoned off.

AS an aside the author of "Bike", a book I meantioned upthread, talked to a spokesperson for the Metroplitan Police in London, whom she claimed said that none of the bikes that were reported as missing had a basket. Her view was that it was decidedly not cool to fit a basket, which was why those bikes were safe. Unfortunately I don't think I can rely on that degree of sophistcation in suburban Christchurch.

Huia - decidedly uncool

[ 08. October 2011, 20:28: Message edited by: Huia ]

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10382 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
aj

firewire technophobe
# 1383

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Security skewers are fittings that replace the regular allen key or quick release fastenings on wheels, seatposts, etc. with device that needs a key to undo, the idea being that a passing thief can't easily make off with your wheel, saddle, etc. Bike components can be as important to thieves as entire bikes.

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if there's no god, then who turns on the light when you open the fridge?

Posts: 2994 | From: ...on location | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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It is not very easy for bikers to use the roads - not many special places for them to cycle - we need many more, and many bikers cycle on our pavements and go the opposite way down roads - I wish it was more organized for us on our bikes.

Cycling up the canal area, I have been told always to ring to let people know and shift a bit, and also there are plenty of children and animals as you've mentioned and they are also very essential to ring before we're close to them.

My Dutch bike has it's own light, front and back, and also I keep on it and use two lights that flash, makes a difference having both, and when I'm stopped e.g. in front of red light, my Dutch lights also stop - they act when the wheels go round.

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Posts: 11224 | From: London - originally Dundee, Blairgowrie etc... | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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The idea or requirement to ring or honk to peds is of no value when they are iPlodding along, grooving to their thrash metal screemo, oblivious to all environmental sounds.

Pedestrian training should include the simple rule "do not try to dodge out of the way of a cyclist, unless you want to be hit, let the cyclist navigate around you".

As for the legality of cycling on sidewalks/pavements. What may be illegal can save your life. But police can be hopeless in some places. Tell the local council or whomever is the local Grand Poobah to make things safe!

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11498 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Patdys
Iron Wannabe
RooK-Annoyer
# 9397

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Be warned.
Cycling is addictive. I now ride 8000-10000km a year having started in 2007.

The number of bikes you want is always N+1 where N is the number of bikes you have.

The number of bikes you have is N=D-1, where D is the number of bikes that would result in Divorce.

For me, N=4 currently.
(2 roadies= [1 group rides/flats and 1 hill climber], 1 hybrid/commuter and 1 tribike)

The most important thing to decide before buying is 'what do you want to do with it?' Then see a specialist bike retailer to have it fitted to you. It will make a profound differnence to comfort. Be aware that you will want to upgrade within 6-12 months. Seriously, you will.

When you are confidant in purchases, then online is usually chepar for consumables. For Australia, Wiggle, probike Kit, CRC are all UK sites where we avoid VAT and get parts and bikes half the local market price.

To recap,

Get the the bike designed for the purpose you want and get it fitted to you. And be aware you will want to upgrade.

[ 09. October 2011, 00:55: Message edited by: Patdys ]

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Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

Posts: 3511 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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Patdys, there is probably a 12 step programme somewhere for people like you [Biased] I have a brother who would also be a candidate.

I do know what you mean though. I started by using my bike to go into town 5km away, then I shifted to a church that is 10km awayand bike there and back. Similarly I started with a hybrid that was Ok, but with a heavy tread on the tyres, then I fell in love with my newer bike through the shop window. It is lighter so I can lift it onto a bus if I need to and it has semi-slick tyres with 29" wheels so it goes fast . I have gone back to the older one as it handles liquefaction (which dries into a sand finer than flour)and bumpy roads better, but I don't really enjoy it as much.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10382 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged



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