Bicycle commuting

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lightheir
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by lightheir »

johnny847 wrote:Lots of good discussion here.

I'm a bike commuter, and I'd like to chime in with this suggestion: Get a bike horn. Like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Airzound-Bi ... 000ACAMJC/. It's a air canister connected to a horn. The canister can be pumped with a normal bike pump (Schrader valve). It's rated for about 30 half second uses on a full canister.

It's as loud as a car horn.
I don't think a horn is useful on the bike, honestly. You will rarely need a horn on the bike, and in situations where you do need to get someone's attention in a car, they will be close enough to you to shout out at them pretty easily.

Visibility is the key to coexisting with cars on the road. If you're riding in dusk/dark, get the brightest rear light you can afford, and make sure those batteries are topped off. Hi-vis clothing or preferably riding in groups during daytime to add visibity.
johnny847
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by johnny847 »

lightheir wrote:
johnny847 wrote:Lots of good discussion here.

I'm a bike commuter, and I'd like to chime in with this suggestion: Get a bike horn. Like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Airzound-Bi ... 000ACAMJC/. It's a air canister connected to a horn. The canister can be pumped with a normal bike pump (Schrader valve). It's rated for about 30 half second uses on a full canister.

It's as loud as a car horn.
I don't think a horn is useful on the bike, honestly. You will rarely need a horn on the bike, and in situations where you do need to get someone's attention in a car, they will be close enough to you to shout out at them pretty easily.

Visibility is the key to coexisting with cars on the road. If you're riding in dusk/dark, get the brightest rear light you can afford, and make sure those batteries are topped off. Hi-vis clothing or preferably riding in groups during daytime to add visibity.
You can dispute this with me all you want, but when you're going downhill at 25mph and a car on the other side of the road attempts to turn left in front of you, you're not going to be able to attract their attention by shouting or waving your arms. You're too far away for them to hear you. And you shouldn't be waving your arms when your priority should be to hit the brakes.
I put the bike horn on the right side of my handlebars. My left hand is for the front brake, so I slam that and honk my horn. Afterwards, I engage my rear brakes with my right hand.

This was in broad daylight. I had a bright blinking light out front.

The problem here is NOT visibility, it's that a driver who has never cycled before can't fathom that a bicyclist can hit 25 mph.

Furthermore, you preclude the possibility that the driver is listening to music and hence can't hear you shouting.
McCharley
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by McCharley »

I commute by bike 4 days a week, 5 miles each way. :beer

I ride a 59 pound Dutch Bike:
Image

Panniers keep the load low and off your back.

Upright, slow bicycles are a lot safer than the racing types. They are also more comfortable, although you have to get used to people passing you. :happy
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telemark
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by telemark »

TimeRunner wrote:My wife commuted 50 miles a day, 5 days a week, for a year before she burned out. I would take Weds PM off and ride up to her work and then ride home with her as my empathetic contribution. A daily bike commute is doable, but 25 miles each way is kinda hard-core. :)
50 miles a day isn't commuting, it's training. :shock:

When I was a college student, many decades ago, I rode a bicycle everywhere, all the time. These days I commute in the way that makes me happiest, and trying to bicycle in the traffic where I live is just too stressful.
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chonp3
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by chonp3 »

60 lbs :shock:
Here's a stock photo of my steed (~25lb), except I have a rear rack and panniers mounted. It's slightly more upright than my racing bike, but still somewhat of a hunched position. A change in stem size would be easy if I wanted to be more upright

Image

A third bottle cage is available on bottom of downtube, perfect place for the air horn cannister :) I like that idea.

50 mi a day is a pretty heavy training load!
oragne lovre
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by oragne lovre »

Any Bogleheads ride folding road-bicycles with regular wheel size? If you do, please let me know its pros and cons. I contemplate buying a folding roadbike that I can use in next inter-state driving trip.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Epsilon Delta »

McCharley wrote: Upright, slow bicycles are a lot safer than the racing types.
Unlikely to be true. By most accounts pedestrian fatalities per mile are either much greater or comparable to cycling fatalities per mile. A cyclist at walking pace is less nimble than a pedestrian, so is unlikely to be safer.

A second line of argument is that single bike accidents are rare -- the energy the cyclist carries in to a collision rarely results in a fatality, so reducing that does not matter.
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TimeRunner
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by TimeRunner »

telemark wrote:50 miles a day isn't commuting, it's training. :shock:
She is (still) at 53 a high-performing triathlete and runner, so when she took that job and the (on-campus) parking and local traffic was difficult and expensive, she opted to get bike lights, staff gym locker, bike locker, and go for it. About 2/3 of the commute was open streets with relatively low traffic, and 1/3 was Class 1 bike path. The commute was still too long, and of course took about 1 hr 45 minutes at full hustle, each way. In Winter the temps in the morning could still be numbing in Central coastal California. After a year she opted for a job 5 miles away so she can swim Masters or run at lunch. It's good for me in many ways! :)
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Alex Frakt
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Alex Frakt »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
McCharley wrote: Upright, slow bicycles are a lot safer than the racing types.
Unlikely to be true. By most accounts pedestrian fatalities per mile are either much greater or comparable to cycling fatalities per mile. A cyclist at walking pace is less nimble than a pedestrian, so is unlikely to be safer.

A second line of argument is that single bike accidents are rare -- the energy the cyclist carries in to a collision rarely results in a fatality, so reducing that does not matter.
I ride both a 35 pound upright city bike and a 25 pound mountain bike upgraded for commuting duty. I have to admit that the city bike does feel safer. The upright position definitely gives better visibility and the slower speed obviously increases the time you have to react. Bike share riders as a whole have better safety stats than the general bicycling population. http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150210 ... data-shows There has been no fatalities and only one very serious injury (rider in coma) among Chicago bike share riders. The serious injury was to someone who rode onto an 8 lane highway where bicycles are forbidden.

I'm not sure how much of that is due to the type of bike, but it can't be dismissed as a factor.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Alex Frakt wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:
McCharley wrote: Upright, slow bicycles are a lot safer than the racing types.
Unlikely to be true. By most accounts pedestrian fatalities per mile are either much greater or comparable to cycling fatalities per mile. A cyclist at walking pace is less nimble than a pedestrian, so is unlikely to be safer.

A second line of argument is that single bike accidents are rare -- the energy the cyclist carries in to a collision rarely results in a fatality, so reducing that does not matter.
I ride both a 35 pound upright city bike and a 25 pound mountain bike upgraded for commuting duty. I have to admit that the city bike does feel safer. The upright position definitely gives better visibility and the slower speed obviously increases the time you have to react. Bike share riders as a whole have better safety stats than the general bicycling population. http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150210 ... data-shows There has been no fatalities and only one very serious injury (rider in coma) among Chicago bike share riders. The serious injury was to someone who rode onto an 8 lane highway where bicycles are forbidden.

I'm not sure how much of that is due to the type of bike, but it can't be dismissed as a factor.
Generally studies of cycle club members who commute by bike show show fatality rates orders of magnitudes better than the national averages. This might be because the studies actually have reliable mileage data, but it's probably because commuters are generally not looking for drama. I'd expect both of these to apply to the bike share accident data.

The divvy bikes are also equipped with lights and rakes which avoids two type of stupid crash. That would be down to the bike, but not due to the weight of the bike.

The sit-up-and-beg position is probably does give better visibility for many people, but for people who have been riding for long term and have adequate neck and hip flexibility visibility is not a problem.

Having said that you pretty much can't rule out anything in bike accidents. The data just doesn't exist. That doesn't stop people trying to sell pet theories. Every couple of years some idiot legislator introduces a bill to have cyclist ride against traffic. Fortunately that's one thing there is convincing data against.
skepticalobserver
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by skepticalobserver »

As a boomer physical fitness is an important part of my life. I think biking is great, but not on roads that have to be shared with motor vehicles.

In my 20's when I was in school and didn't own a car (actually, I owned one, but couldn't afford to fix it) I traveled everywhere on a bike. What learned I from that experience is that drivers a) are not expecting you b) are not looking out for you c) don't have not a clue as to how to safely maneuver around you and d) sometimes do a little "cat and mouse" thing with you. Between a biker and a car there is no, none, nada margin for error. To compound the problem many cities have created fantasies called "bike lanes, " many of which would challenge a tightrope walker.
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black jack
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by black jack »

Epsilon Delta wrote:By most accounts pedestrian fatalities per mile are either much greater or comparable to cycling fatalities per mile.
I'd be very interested in seeing those studies; I've never seen any studies that even tried to estimate the miles traveled by pedestrians and by bicyclists.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Epsilon Delta »

black jack wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:By most accounts pedestrian fatalities per mile are either much greater or comparable to cycling fatalities per mile.
I'd be very interested in seeing those studies; I've never seen any studies that even tried to estimate the miles traveled by pedestrians and by bicyclists.
IMO the key paper is:

Making Walking and Cycling Safer: Lessons from Europe
John Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra

The data's from c. 2000 so it's a bit long in the tooth, but so am I. I keep a cursory ear to the ground and haven't heard of anything more up to date. Most of the data sets are US Census surveys that are updated regularly, but as far as I can tell nobody's bothered to analyze them. An academic library should be able to find papers that reference Pucher & Dijkstra, but that will probably lead you so deep into the helmet wars that you'll lose the will to live.
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black jack
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by black jack »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
black jack wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:By most accounts pedestrian fatalities per mile are either much greater or comparable to cycling fatalities per mile.
I'd be very interested in seeing those studies; I've never seen any studies that even tried to estimate the miles traveled by pedestrians and by bicyclists.
IMO the key paper is:

Making Walking and Cycling Safer: Lessons from Europe
John Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra

The data's from c. 2000 so it's a bit long in the tooth, but so am I. I keep a cursory ear to the ground and haven't heard of anything more up to date. Most of the data sets are US Census surveys that are updated regularly, but as far as I can tell nobody's bothered to analyze them. An academic library should be able to find papers that reference Pucher & Dijkstra, but that will probably lead you so deep into the helmet wars that you'll lose the will to live.
Thanks for the reference. In looking for that one, I found a more recent one:

Walking and Cycling in the United States, 2001-2009: Evidence from the National Household Travel Surveys, by Pucher, Buehler, Merom, and Bauman.

The data comes from responses to a national phone survey (landlines only) over the course of a year (April 2008 - April 2009 in the most survey) asking people how often, how far, and for how long, they walked and biked in the previous week.

The resulting estimate is that, on average, each person (age 5 and older) walked 112 miles, and biked 24 miles, over the course of the year.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)
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g$$
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by g$$ »

Haven't read the entire thread... but here goes:

I've been commuting in SF on a bike for about 6 years. I love it and I don't own a car.
1) fun
2) exercise
3) faster than mass transit
4) I can leave when I want. No need to worry about a 20 minute wait for the next BART
5) cheaper
6) environmental benefits (probably negligible, but it still makes me feel good).

I try not to be too religious about it. If it looks like it might even kind of rain then I will skip the bike. I also don't try to carry too much either way.

Suggestions:
Get a good helmet. One that is comfortable and you don't mind wearing. It sounds silly, but having one that "looks cool" makes it so much more enjoyable.
Try different routes. Mix up the commute to keep it interesting.
If you can, leave a little early or a little late to avoid rush-hour traffic.
Swing by the grocery store every time you rent a car. Carrying a gallon of milk in a messenger bag is not fun.

Good luck!

-g$$
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JupiterJones
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by JupiterJones »

oragne lovre wrote:Any Bogleheads ride folding road-bicycles with regular wheel size? If you do, please let me know its pros and cons. I contemplate buying a folding roadbike that I can use in next inter-state driving trip.
My folder has 20-inchers, so I can't help you there. I will say that plenty of people have done "road bike" type rides on folders with smaller wheels. While the full-size folders are definitely cool, I don't think you necessarily have to restrict yourself to considering only them.

In any case, the folder section over at bikeforums is going to be your best bet for info:

http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/
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hexagon
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by hexagon »

JupiterJones wrote:
oragne lovre wrote:Any Bogleheads ride folding road-bicycles with regular wheel size? If you do, please let me know its pros and cons. I contemplate buying a folding roadbike that I can use in next inter-state driving trip.
My folder has 20-inchers, so I can't help you there. I will say that plenty of people have done "road bike" type rides on folders with smaller wheels. While the full-size folders are definitely cool, I don't think you necessarily have to restrict yourself to considering only them.

In any case, the folder section over at bikeforums is going to be your best bet for info:

http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/
I did a ride in the Maritime alps that included https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col_de_Braus on my Brompton folder (16 inch wheels I think) when I was on a work trip to Antibe. The bike fits in a regular large suitcase so no fees. It fits a very wide range of riders so it has been nice to have and it is surprisingly comfortable on long rides, but I do think I would probably prefer more of a road bike geometry if I had to do it over again. The main issue with smaller wheels is that they are stiffer. The Brompton has some built in suspension to help with that, but larger tires will also help. I would definitely consider something like one of the bike Fridays.
blurryvision
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by blurryvision »

For a while, me and my wife both biked to our offices (6 miles each way for me, and 5 miles each way for my wife). Since there are a lot of hills in our area, we biked around 2 to 3 days a week.

During this time, we got plenty of exercise and felt really healthy. It would take my wife 20 minutes to get to work instead of a 10 minute drive. It would take me 30 minutes to get to work instead of a 15 minute drive. Everything was great while it lasted.

One morning a driver making a left turn did not see my wife on her bike, and he ended up plowing into her, causing her legs to get twisted up and her back to get injured as she ended up on the hood of this negligent driver's car. Luckily the driver was speeding up from a complete stop before making his turn, so I don't think he gained that much speed before colliding with my wife on her bike. No broken bones, but she was in a great deal of pain and could not work for a couple of months, had to go to physical therapy for half a year and experienced chronic back pain for several months after her therapy.

This whole experience traumatized my wife - she never rode again and made me promise never to ride my bike to work, only on trails.

For those who are bike commuting - be careful out there. I would recommend getting a tire repair kit or going tubeless to prevent getting flats on the road. It's no fun pushing your bike home with a flat tire for 2 miles on a hot and sunny day. My biggest mistake when I used to bike commute. :oops:
randomguy
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by randomguy »

blurryvision wrote:For a while, me and my wife both biked to our offices (6 miles each way for me, and 5 miles each way for my wife). Since there are a lot of hills in our area, we biked around 2 to 3 days a week.

During this time, we got plenty of exercise and felt really healthy. It would take my wife 20 minutes to get to work instead of a 10 minute drive. It would take me 30 minutes to get to work instead of a 15 minute drive. Everything was great while it lasted.

One morning a driver making a left turn did not see my wife on her bike, and he ended up plowing into her, causing her legs to get twisted up and her back to get injured as she ended up on the hood of this negligent driver's car. Luckily the driver was speeding up from a complete stop before making his turn, so I don't think he gained that much speed before colliding with my wife on her bike. No broken bones, but she was in a great deal of pain and could not work for a couple of months, had to go to physical therapy for half a year and experienced chronic back pain for several months after her therapy.

This whole experience traumatized my wife - she never rode again and made me promise never to ride my bike to work, only on trails.

For those who are bike commuting - be careful out there. I would recommend getting a tire repair kit or going tubeless to prevent getting flats on the road. It's no fun pushing your bike home with a flat tire for 2 miles on a hot and sunny day. My biggest mistake when I used to bike commute. :oops:
If your wife would have been in a car accident and developed issues, would you also give up driving? Granted riding is something 5x more dangerous per mile than being in a car but you also have accept that bad stuff happens and not let fear rule your life. That being said I pretty paranoid about where I bike ride.
randomguy
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by randomguy »

JupiterJones wrote: And an interesting post on bicycling safety:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/ ... portation/
got to love creative accouting that make an activity that is 6x as dangerous the right choice to make if you are in favor of doing it. Turns out you can justify anything if you really want to.:) I will leave it up to you if you think those assumptions make sense or not.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by JupiterJones »

blurryvision wrote:It's no fun pushing your bike home with a flat tire for 2 miles on a hot and sunny day.
Luckily, my town has Uber. When last I got a flat, I snagged a ride home for a few bucks, then picked up my bike later in my car, at my leisure. :sharebeer
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SamB
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by SamB »

chonp3 wrote: I've done some simple math and concluded I've saved over $500 on gas alone, but that is negated by the cost to fuel the extra 600 cals a day :).
I would be interested to know how you came up with 600 Kcal/day. 3500 kcal/pound has never been confirmed by any starvation or overfeeding study. In fact, it is not even close. At 9kcal/g for fat you cannot even arrive at the 3500 kcal figure (4086 kcal). Even with various estimates for triglyceride in adipose tissue you can't get to 3500kcal /lb because it varies. In fact, the 9kcal/lb varies.

Whatever assumption you are making about your burn rate the big one is probably basal metabolism, and how your hormones are affected by exercising - you may be using more energy while you sleep!

Basically I think equating gasoline consumption to food consumption is pure folly. There are many good reasons to commute by bike or just walk if you can do it. But calorie consumption is not one of them. I know the exercise industry and all of the electronic devices people put their faith in are very popular now, but basically they are all frauds. There is no study that has ever been done that demonstrated the validity of that 3500 kcal/lb number. In fact, some nutritionists think that it came from a diet book written in the early part of the 20th century, and it had just as much validity then as it does now, which is none.
halfnine
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by halfnine »

JupiterJones wrote:
oragne lovre wrote:Any Bogleheads ride folding road-bicycles with regular wheel size? If you do, please let me know its pros and cons. I contemplate buying a folding roadbike that I can use in next inter-state driving trip.
My folder has 20-inchers, so I can't help you there. I will say that plenty of people have done "road bike" type rides on folders with smaller wheels. While the full-size folders are definitely cool, I don't think you necessarily have to restrict yourself to considering only them.

In any case, the folder section over at bikeforums is going to be your best bet for info:

http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/
I can't help you much with regular wheel sizes either. We have a Brompton (16 inch) and a Dahon (20 inch). But, for years now, I've been thinking of getting a Xootr frame (20 inch wheels) and building it up. While it doesn't have the best fold, the bikes geometry is similar to full size bikes and the bike can be customized with your favorite parts. This isn't true for most folding bikes with smaller wheels and I am assuming that folding bikes with full size wheels will be limited in how they can be customized as well.
stoptothink
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by stoptothink »

SamB wrote:
chonp3 wrote: I've done some simple math and concluded I've saved over $500 on gas alone, but that is negated by the cost to fuel the extra 600 cals a day :).
I would be interested to know how you came up with 600 Kcal/day. 3500 kcal/pound has never been confirmed by any starvation or overfeeding study. In fact, it is not even close. At 9kcal/g for fat you cannot even arrive at the 3500 kcal figure (4086 kcal). Even with various estimates for triglyceride in adipose tissue you can't get to 3500kcal /lb because it varies. In fact, the 9kcal/lb varies.

Whatever assumption you are making about your burn rate the big one is probably basal metabolism, and how your hormones are affected by exercising - you may be using more energy while you sleep!

Basically I think equating gasoline consumption to food consumption is pure folly. There are many good reasons to commute by bike or just walk if you can do it. But calorie consumption is not one of them. I know the exercise industry and all of the electronic devices people put their faith in are very popular now, but basically they are all frauds. There is no study that has ever been done that demonstrated the validity of that 3500 kcal/lb number. In fact, some nutritionists think that it came from a diet book written in the early part of the 20th century, and it had just as much validity then as it does now, which is none.
This.
wesgreen
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by wesgreen »

Another 20" folding bike fan here. I've recently managed to put a new Pletscher Athlete 4B luggage rack for commuting on to my 20" Dahon folding bike. Cost twice as much, and took hours to get just right, but seems much stronger and more versatile than the original rack, even though it doesn't weigh much more. Does not interfere with the fold.
Dandy
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Dandy »

Certain parts of the country may seem bike friendly but the US isn't like Europe. I am amazed at some bikers - about half are riding with dark clothes and little or no reflections on roads that are barely wide enough for cars. The cost savings are nice but the health benefits might be offset by a careless driver. Lots of those as they seem to be texting or calling -- and their cars tend to wander a bit.
blurryvision
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by blurryvision »

randomguy wrote:
If your wife would have been in a car accident and developed issues, would you also give up driving? Granted riding is something 5x more dangerous per mile than being in a car but you also have accept that bad stuff happens and not let fear rule your life. That being said I pretty paranoid about where I bike ride.
You make a good point randomguy. However - chances are if either of us got into an automobile accident, the safety features of our cars would protect us much better than a bike helmet.

I do wish our city would create more bike lanes. It's tough trying to share the road with cars. I used to get yelled at by drivers telling me to ride on the sidewalk :oops: People are not aware that you are not supposed to bike on a sidewalk.

I miss bike commuting considerably. But as they say, happy wife...
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JupiterJones
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by JupiterJones »

blurryvision wrote: People are not aware that you are not supposed to bike on a sidewalk.
That actually depends on the local codes. For example, around here it's only illegal to ride on a sidewalk "within a business district". Otherwise, sidewalks are allowed with certain caveats (giving right-of-way to pedestrians, etc.)
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Epsilon Delta »

blurryvision wrote: I do wish our city would create more bike lanes. It's tough trying to share the road with cars. I used to get yelled at by drivers telling me to ride on the sidewalk :oops: People are not aware that you are not supposed to bike on a sidewalk.
I wish our city would stop putting in bike lanes and remove the ones it has. They are uniformly awful. I would guess that whoever designed them has never ridden a bike.
Faith20879
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Faith20879 »

I’ve been biking to work for about 12 years except when it poured or had snow/ice on the ground. I have a pretty good route, 4.6 miles each way in Maryland DC Suburb, 1/2 on neighborhood streets and 1/2 on multi-use trail/sidewalk.

During the summer I always wear long-sleeve UV shirt no matter how hot it gets. In the winter I use a 9-leds front lamp, a flashing rear light, a 5-leds helmet lamp, a flashing wand that I carry in my hand, and another flashing light attached on the back of my orange safety vest. There is no such thing as too much lights where I live. Lately I have been wondering if I need to add some lights on the sides of my bags. Since most of my lights are facing either front or rear, cars coming from the side can’t really see me and I’ve had some near misses.

Regards
johnny847
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by johnny847 »

Faith20879 wrote:I’ve been biking to work for about 12 years except when it poured or had snow/ice on the ground. I have a pretty good route, 4.6 miles each way in Maryland DC Suburb, 1/2 on neighborhood streets and 1/2 on multi-use trail/sidewalk.

During the summer I always wear long-sleeve UV shirt no matter how hot it gets. In the winter I use a 9-leds front lamp, a flashing rear light, a 5-leds helmet lamp, a flashing wand that I carry in my hand, and another flashing light attached on the back of my orange safety vest. There is no such thing as too much lights where I live. Lately I have been wondering if I need to add some lights on the sides of my bags. Since most of my lights are facing either front or rear, cars coming from the side can’t really see me and I’ve had some near misses.

Regards
For light coverage from the side, I bought these LED lights for my front wheel: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GT86H68
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chonp3
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by chonp3 »

stoptothink wrote:
SamB wrote:
chonp3 wrote: I've done some simple math and concluded I've saved over $500 on gas alone, but that is negated by the cost to fuel the extra 600 cals a day :).
I would be interested to know how you came up with 600 Kcal/day. 3500 kcal/pound has never been confirmed by any starvation or overfeeding study. In fact, it is not even close. At 9kcal/g for fat you cannot even arrive at the 3500 kcal figure (4086 kcal). Even with various estimates for triglyceride in adipose tissue you can't get to 3500kcal /lb because it varies. In fact, the 9kcal/lb varies.

Whatever assumption you are making about your burn rate the big one is probably basal metabolism, and how your hormones are affected by exercising - you may be using more energy while you sleep!

Basically I think equating gasoline consumption to food consumption is pure folly. There are many good reasons to commute by bike or just walk if you can do it. But calorie consumption is not one of them. I know the exercise industry and all of the electronic devices people put their faith in are very popular now, but basically they are all frauds. There is no study that has ever been done that demonstrated the validity of that 3500 kcal/lb number. In fact, some nutritionists think that it came from a diet book written in the early part of the 20th century, and it had just as much validity then as it does now, which is none.
This.
Ya I was just being light spirited and silly, sorry if you took it personally.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by JupiterJones »

Epsilon Delta wrote: I wish our city would stop putting in bike lanes and remove the ones it has.
Or better yet, put in real, segregated (i.e., protected) bike lanes rather than just painting a stripe down the road and calling it a day.
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Fallible
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Fallible »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
blurryvision wrote: I do wish our city would create more bike lanes. It's tough trying to share the road with cars. I used to get yelled at by drivers telling me to ride on the sidewalk :oops: People are not aware that you are not supposed to bike on a sidewalk.
I wish our city would stop putting in bike lanes and remove the ones it has. They are uniformly awful. I would guess that whoever designed them has never ridden a bike.
Not sure why you would want bike lanes removed since in my neighborhood they seem to be working well, including keeping bicyclists off the sidewalks where they can collide with the many walkers and runners.
Last edited by Fallible on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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stoptothink
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by stoptothink »

Our offer on a home that is .5 miles away from my office and 3.5 away from my wife's was just accepted. Excited that we can go back to bike commuting very soon...as long as there isn't snow.
feh
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by feh »

I commute via bike when the weather allows. That means not raining, and above 35 degrees. Where I live, that makes my commuting season April through October. 20 miles round trip.

Been doing this for 10 years now. This year (this is probably my last week) I hit 1700 miles.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Fallible wrote: Not sure why you would want bike lanes removed since in my neighborhood they seem to be working well, including keeping bicyclists off the sidewalks where they can collide with the many walkers and runners.
Right angle turns, blind driveways, lanes to the right of right turning traffic (and even the left of left turning traffic), wheel eating pot holes, no trash clean up, parked cars, garbage totes and piles of leaves in the lane, get off and push signs, wrong way cyclists, zero priority at intersections. You name it if it's in the "don't do this" section of the bike lane guide they do it. Incremental improvement has too far to go. They need to be nuked from orbit and redone from scratch.

As for cyclists on sidewalks, and wrong way cyclists for that matter, I don't see bike lanes solving that. At least round here the frequent discontinuities in the bike lanes lead to kids hopping onto and off of the sidewalk more or less randomly. These are education and enforcement problems, it's almost impossible to design a sidewalk that a kid on a BMX can't ride on, so if they get enough training not to ride in the road they will be on the sidewalk. So the first thing to do is to stop teaching kids that bikes do not belong on the road.
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by Fallible »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Fallible wrote: Not sure why you would want bike lanes removed since in my neighborhood they seem to be working well, including keeping bicyclists off the sidewalks where they can collide with the many walkers and runners.
Right angle turns, blind driveways, lanes to the right of right turning traffic (and even the left of left turning traffic), wheel eating pot holes, no trash clean up, parked cars, garbage totes and piles of leaves in the lane, get off and push signs, wrong way cyclists, zero priority at intersections. You name it if it's in the "don't do this" section of the bike lane guide they do it. Incremental improvement has too far to go. They need to be nuked from orbit and redone from scratch....
But redone from scratch in what way?
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chonp3
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by chonp3 »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Fallible wrote: Not sure why you would want bike lanes removed since in my neighborhood they seem to be working well, including keeping bicyclists off the sidewalks where they can collide with the many walkers and runners.
Right angle turns, blind driveways, lanes to the right of right turning traffic (and even the left of left turning traffic), wheel eating pot holes, no trash clean up, parked cars, garbage totes and piles of leaves in the lane, get off and push signs, wrong way cyclists, zero priority at intersections. You name it if it's in the "don't do this" section of the bike lane guide they do it. Incremental improvement has too far to go. They need to be nuked from orbit and redone from scratch.

As for cyclists on sidewalks, and wrong way cyclists for that matter, I don't see bike lanes solving that. At least round here the frequent discontinuities in the bike lanes lead to kids hopping onto and off of the sidewalk more or less randomly. These are education and enforcement problems, it's almost impossible to design a sidewalk that a kid on a BMX can't ride on, so if they get enough training not to ride in the road they will be on the sidewalk. So the first thing to do is to stop teaching kids that bikes do not belong on the road.
+1
Bike lanes are over-rated. My city has put them everywhere, on older roads that do not have the width to support them. The result is a 36" lane next to the bare minimum 10' lane, and larger trucks pass within inches of you. Not to mention all the debris build up and storm grating. The bike lane craze has gotten to a point where at the new mall nearby, there are bike lanes striped through the parking lot, directly behind nose in parked cars that have no visibility pulling out.

Bike lanes and segregated bike facilities also create the sense that bicycles do not belong on the road with other vehicular traffic.
A much better use of money would be painted on sharrows and "Bicycles may use full lane" signs and education. If there is not enough space to share a lane (4 foot bicycle operating space, 3 foot passing, 10' vehicle=17'), bicycles are permitted to use the entire lane and ride center to prevent unsafe passing. Most people are not aware of this and believe riding in the gutter is the safest approach.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by JupiterJones »

Yeah, standard bike lanes in the States are typically considered to be great ideas by people who don't ride bicycles. :D

Here's one article on the subject: http://www.humantransport.org/bicycledr ... politics2/

"American bikeway designs are mostly inferior copies of rather dangerous bikeways in Holland, which were originally created to clear dense bicycle traffic from Dutch roadways for the convenience of motorists. [...] On-street bike lanes were determined to be the least dangerous, but problems still occurred at intersections because the bike lanes often placed straight-traveling cyclists to the right of right-turning motorists, and encouraged cyclists to turn left from the right side of the street. Bike lanes increased the likelihood of left-hook and drive-out collisions because they placed cyclists outside the normal traffic stream. Bike lanes generated build-up of debris, were not designed or maintained to the same standard as normal travel lanes, and were often blocked by parked cars or pedestrians. Some bike lanes forced cyclists to ride next to parked cars, inviting injury when doors opened."
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miles monroe
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by miles monroe »

absolutely not.

while i understand i have every legal right as a cyclist to be on the road, that does not necessarily make it a good idea. next time you are in your car look around at your fellow motorists and see how many have eyes down staring at their stupid phones. i ride my mountain bike in the woods. i ride my road bike on dedicated bike trails. i haven't shared the road with a car for about 10 years and have no intention of ever doing it again.
lightheir
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Re: Bicycle commuting

Post by lightheir »

miles monroe wrote:absolutely not.

while i understand i have every legal right as a cyclist to be on the road, that does not necessarily make it a good idea. next time you are in your car look around at your fellow motorists and see how many have eyes down staring at their stupid phones. i ride my mountain bike in the woods. i ride my road bike on dedicated bike trails. i haven't shared the road with a car for about 10 years and have no intention of ever doing it again.
Yet still, if you look at the actual statistics, bicycle commuting/riding has on significantly increased fatality risk on average. It's certainly true that you are much more vulnerable on a bike to other cars, but it's also true that you are not moving at highway speeds, and often on roads that are lower-traffic (more bike-friendly) since cyclists learn to avoid hazardous roads very quickly.

Bottom line, it's not a 'bad idea' in terms of the actual mortality risk. Even with the motorists on phones out there.
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