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bicycling to work thread

Discussion in 'Automotive' started by guignol, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Brabantse Nachten...

    Brabantse Nachten... New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see cycling is especially enjoyed while either calling or text messaging. :p

    Oh.. and we do not believe in helmets!
    More can be found on the url in the previous post: http://www.ski-epic.com/amsterdam_bicycles/
     


  2. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    mermoz-les-boss
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    Olympique Lyonnais
    Country:
    France
    thank you, thank you so much for the vid but especially the website. it made me, well, homesick; i have tears in my eyes right now!

    i love france and would never live anywhere else, but i lived a year and a half in holland and... ik heb mokum zo verdraaid lief...

    i had a lot of comments to make about that website, but they're all the same as those by "Val" near the bottom. but one i want to insist on is about helmets and safety. i get into this here when people say that bikes are dangerous... no you numbskull, it's the CARS that are dangerous!
     
  3. Black Label

    Black Label New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Location:
    Utrecht
    That site is just hilarious!
     
  4. Own Goal Hat-Trick

    Own Goal Hat-Trick Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Location:
    ColoRADo
    funny stuff.

    I have to admit, I don't wear a helmet when I ride around the city, and I more or less look exactly like a bike messenger when I ride. Mountain biking, thats another story. And using a phone, be it to talk or text, while on a road bike (those in the picture look more like my bar cruiser bike, though not customized. hehe, they need to sit lower, and have bigger, ape hanger handle bars), when you're doing 30-35 mph, is quite scary.
     


  5. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    mermoz-les-boss
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    Olympique Lyonnais
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    France
    these pictures are taken right in town where bikes are mixing with pedestrians and are riding very casually. i wonder if amsterdammers phone when riding in big bike lanes like on the nassaukade or the maarlemerweg... it's like US101 for bikes! and of course you always have to look out for this fellow... stommeling!!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    mermoz-les-boss
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    Olympique Lyonnais
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    France
    here's a good white van man story that happened to me this morning...

    [​IMG]

    i'm stopped at the right side of an intersection rather like this one, a couple meters ahead of all the cars waiting for the light (to stay away from their exhaust fumes).

    traffic coming from the bottom is stacking up behind a left-turner.

    white van man (ab)uses the right turn lane to go try to go straight on, but can't turn tight enough to get by me.

    i pretend i don't see him. so he honks. i pretend like i don't hear him (not very believable since he's right beside me, about a meter away). so he slowly inches up on me and starts pushing!

    i can't very well pretend i don't feel the grill of his van on my arm! :eek:

    he's getting irate now because traffic's cleared out and if he had just been a nice boy and stayed in his lane he'd be through the intersection already.

    so i give him the peace sign and ride off.

    quickly. very. :D
     
  7. kcscsupporter

    kcscsupporter Member

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    D17
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    Sporting Kansas City
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    United States
    i'd have chosen a different hand gesture... one more appropriately deserved. gutsy of you to stand your ground while he's nudging you with his van, though.
     
  8. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    mermoz-les-boss
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    Olympique Lyonnais
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    France
    i find the peace sign is what ticks 'em off the most.

    and the next time someone starts getting in your face, don't get heated. just smile, stay calm and pleasant... that's my secret weapon, and it's dangerous. you can give people heart attacks that way!
     
  9. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Reminds me of what crown princess Maxima answered when asked what her first impressions of Holland were: "I saw a mother on her bicycle transporting two small children and holding a large shopping bag in each hand, and I was saying to myself, I'll never be able to do that"

    She's from Argentina,to those of you who don't know her.
     
  10. apqjr

    apqjr Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    PB Gardens, FL
    Glad I found this thread, I have actually been contemplating biking to work for the last week. It's about 6 miles each way. I am badly out of shape and I think this would help tremendously.

    All that's left now is actually getting a bike! :) From the very basic research I've done, it seems like a "hybrid" is what I'm looking for. I would love any insight or recommendations.

    Thanks!

    -ari.
     
  11. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    i'm not sure what you mean by hybrid, a quick googlage suggests multiple definitions, but here are some ideas:

    6 miles is a decent trek, so you'll need something that can get out of its own way. sit-up-straight amsterdammer types, though they're super in town, are out.

    the lighter the bike the better? sure, but no need to spend lots of money to get a 10kg bike! if you're like me better to get one 14kg and lose the 4 kilos elsewhere!

    C700 wheel size isn't really necessary either; 26' tires, tubes and rims are cheaper maintenance.

    if your itinerary is urban and all paved, semi-slick tires are a must. when i changed over it was like gaining 4 sprocket teeth (2 speeds). in the same vein, keep your tires well inflated.

    if you're going to have to jump any curbs, front suspension is nice, but otherwise unecessary. and rear suspension is a counterproductive gimmick for this kind of riding: it just sloughs off energy and is one more thing to break.

    if you're going to ride in all weathers a front disc brake is worth considering if you have the budget.

    again, if it's a relatively flat urban ride, there's no need for 27 or even 21 speeds. i only use 3 of mine 99% of the time. so if you have the possibility of getting an in-the-hub system as opposed to derailleurs, the ability to change speeds at standstill is much more useful than a 28-tooth chainring for climbing pike's peak!
     
  12. apqjr

    apqjr Member

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    Location:
    PB Gardens, FL
    Thanks so much guignol!

    I will definitely take your advice to heart! By "hybrid" I meant a bike that is built for the road (paved) and light off-road. That's the term one of the bike-sales people used. Since I love being a poseur, I am now using this term at every opportunity!:D

    This is similar to what I'm looking for:
    [​IMG]

    It's part of the "Globe" line from SPECIALIZED bicycles.
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?sid=08Globe

    I'm excited!! :)
     
  13. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    that's a nice bike and perfectly suited to the chore. you'll really enjoy that hub, i'm going to spring for that kind of technology on my next bike.

    double wall rims which i had forgotten to mention, but on a bike of that class it's a given.

    the tires are nice too, made for asphalt, with excellent puncture resistance, one VERY important thing i neglected to mention. but they are pricy... $40 apiece. my 26" michelin country rocks are less than half that, and them's bodacious tires. the good news is that skins like that seem to last darn near forever, mine are still NEW after about 1500 km, and a guy i play football with has probably 10 times that on his and they look only about half cooked.

    now it's up to you. just keep at it, don't submit to the temptation to be lazy, and before you know it it will be EASY. i bike very day, even in the rain or snow... my colleagues think i'm super gutsy, but shucks, ain't nothin' ma'am!
     
  14. apqjr

    apqjr Member

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    PB Gardens, FL
    That's my weakness right there. I'll be so excited about something for about 2 weeks, and then I'll take a break for a couple of days...next thing you know, 6 months have passed by. :eek:
     
  15. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    i swear it gets easy though. it can be 3° with driving rain and a headwind, and i just put on the rainsuit and go.

    paradoxically it's driving that seems like hard work now. just the idea of finding my keys, putting on my seatbelt and backing the car out the gate i find unbearable.
     
  16. Own Goal Hat-Trick

    Own Goal Hat-Trick Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Location:
    ColoRADo
    I find it fun to ride around town when it snows, wearing my snowboard pants and goggles...
     
  17. Kazuma

    Kazuma Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Detroit
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I wouldn't mind biking to school, but given that I live in the Detroit area, trying to get to places that I need to get to is a chore. That and winters are harsh (30 minutes from Canada eh?).

    That said, I've always been an advocate of public transport, walking, and biking to places.
     
  18. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    this thread was brought to mind a few days ago and i saw something on the way to work this morning worth posting about:

    a guy talking on his cellhone and eating something (perhaps a pain ai chocolat but looked more like an egg mcmuffin).

    his mother obviously didn't teach him it was impolite to talk with your mouth full...

    and worse to talk with your mouth full while driving your car in the bike lane!
     
  19. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    May 2, 2001
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    The Electric City
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    Chicago Fire
    Pennsylvania Passes New Bike Safety Law

    Most bicyclists who ride in traffic have experienced the chilling sensation of a vehicle speeding past them just inches away.

    Now that's illegal in Pennsylvania.

    A state law that took effect at Sunday requires motorists who pass bicyclists to give them at least 4 feet of buffer space. If they cannot do so safely, they must wait to pass. The measure also prohibits what bicyclists call the "right hook" — a vehicle making a sudden right turn directly in the path of a cyclist.​


    I actually walk to work. It's a shade over three miles and I can get it done in 45 minutes or so. Since I have to walk through a wooded area, it's been pretty muddy since january, but I bring my clothes and work supplies in a backpack and change in the locker room. Most days, my commuting clothes dry out before I head home.
     
  20. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    i walked to work when we first moved to lyon because my wife was afraid to have me cycle, but it was too hard on my knees.

    laws like pennsylvania's been the rule in europe for years: in france it's 1m (3.2 ft) in town and 1.5m (approx 5 ft) elsewhere; in spain and germany it's 5 feet everywhere, in england it's 3 feet everywhere.

    frankly i'd rather have 3 ft that was respected than a law saying 5 that no one obeys. almost every day i get some jackass overtaking within 20-30cm of my handgrip but that just blends in with all the other great joys of cycling next to french drivers.
     
  21. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

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    Hanover
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    Hannover 96
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    Netherlands
    Bike lanes are the way to go. It's great that we have them here!
     
  22. JeremyEritrea

    JeremyEritrea Member+

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    Jun 29, 2006
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    Takoma Park, MD
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    DC United
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    There are a lot more of them in DC these days.

    I ride to and from work (about 10 miles, 20 miles round trip) at least 3 days a week. And since I work at home 1 day every week, that's 75% of the time :)
     
  23. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    there are a lot more in lyon than when we arrived 20 years ago and more every year; the mayor has a clear agenda on the subject. the problem now isn't their number but:

    1) their coherency : the network is not continuous and the the points where you get on or off are often poorly thought out, both materially (curbs to jump, bottlenecks) and it terms of location: some of the most useful paths, taken to the very end, dump you off at some infernal intersection or boulevard no sane velocipedist would ever consider cycling on; you've been ambushed. contrarywise there are some very nice paths that effectively lead nowhere.

    2) their design : there are almost as many types and styles as paths, which is understandable as the designers a) have to adapt to the particular site and 2) are still learning best practices. but some mistakes are so obviously stupid that no engineer should be guilty of them: two-way paths with metal barriers erected at intervals between lanes; the only possible reason could be some misguided attempt to prevent bike><bike head-ons but the barriers themselves are a danger hundreds of times greater. another imbecility, almost endemic to the most lavishly designed paths, is decorative bordering of tile or polished granite, slippery when dry and murderous when wet. for this there is even less excuse: cyclist groups, routinely consulted in the design process these past few years have repeatedly underlined this particular problem, but once a landscape architect gets an idea in his head about what he thinks is pretty, there's no shifting it.

    3) most important, their respect by other roadway users. when simply painted on the street (which is otherwise not only the cheapest but the BEST solution) automobilists tend to use them as 20 min. parking places, when they aren't simply drifting over the line absent-mindedly. when on the sidewalk or in greenbelts it's pedestrians who wander into them; in fact for some strange reason, on a 5 (or even 8 or 10) meter wide sidewalk, if you pave a 1m strip red (and even paint bicycles on it every 20m) 90% of pedestrians will channel themselves onto that.
     
  24. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

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    Albany, NY
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    --other--
    funny to see this thread. I am sitting in my bike clothes at my desk right now. I try to ride as much as possible. About 5 miles each way. No bike lanes and not everyone really obeys that personal space thing. But it still beats driving.
     
  25. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    funny? by my green candle i'll give you funny!

    [​IMG]
    alfred jarry (illegitimate father of père ubu and that most honored and discombobulated of all velocipedists)

    by the 'pataphysical calendar of his invention today is friday the 13th of clinamen, feastday of maldoror the golden haired corsair.

    i wish you all a good one.
     

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