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MYVISTA's Photo MYVISTA Posts: 86
3/8/07 5:35 P

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Flat tires are caused by some general things that can mostly be avoided. One is a pinch flat where the tube is pinched between the wheel rim and the tire. This is usually caused by under-inflation or not making sure the tube isn't "pinched" when putting your tire on the rim.
Be sure to check your tire pressure before every time you ride. It is also a good idea to check your tires for any forign objects that haven't been driven into the tube yet! This will make a big reduction in flats. Another cause is rubbing of the tube and stem. Again proper fitting tubes and inflation can be a preventative. And of course, a puncture. Glass, a thorn, foreign sharp objects, and the strands of wire on the road used to reinforce vehicle tires can cause a puncture. You can get something called a "thorn strip" or "jiffy strip" that goes between the tube and the tire. They need to be put in place carefully so they don't cause a rub.

For a obvious puncture where I know the exact position and cause of the leak. I just de-flate the tire and take that area of the tire off the rim - pull that section of the tube out - patch it and tuck it back after taking the sharp object out and running my finger over the inside surface of the tire to make sure it is smooth. I put that part of the tire back on the rim and never have to take the wheel off the bike, or the tube off, or the tire off the rim. The whole process takes only as long as it takes for the patch to be secure.
Of course, good tires with good tread, good tubes and proper inflation are very important.
Bob

Do, or Do Not.
There is no "TRY"!
....YODA

It is obvious that we cannot use the same thinking to solve a problem that we have been using to cause it.


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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,462)
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3/8/07 3:31 P

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All I can say is I am having a MAJOR case of envy that you can commute to work. If I lived as close as you do I would do it EVERY day. How about trying out your route on the weekend, the same time you would ride during the week, to get a feel for timing and weather conditions?

I get flats ALL the time! The best advice I can give you is just practice replacing a flat. Pull off your wheel and practice putting in a new tube while you’re watching TV. My local bike shop did give me lesson on hove to change a flat. I have gotten pretty good at changing flats. I even change my husband’s flats when we ride. I have tried the CO2 but don’t use it any more. I found that the CO2 doesn’t hold and I have to re-inflate the tire when I get home. I have a good pump that converts to a stand pump so that helps when inflating the tire. Having good tires help speed up the process. I have an nice pair of Michelins that pop back into the rim with little effort after I have loaded the new tube.

I never used a rear view mirror on my road bike. I was able to glance over my shoulder and get a good feel for the traffic. But I have to use a rear view mirror with the recumbent. There is no way to glance over your shoulder when riding a ‘bent!




Edited by: KJEANNE at: 3/8/2007 (15:36)
Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
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MYVISTA's Photo MYVISTA Posts: 86
3/8/07 3:24 P

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Hi, I don't think anyone mentioned rear view mirrors when riding in traffic. I actually use two at imes. One on the end of each handlebar. I don't think I could feel as comfortable riding without at least one. I have used the eyeglass mounted and the helmut mounted ones also. They take a bit of getting used to, but work well after a while. I like the handle bar mounted ones better.
Bob

Do, or Do Not.
There is no "TRY"!
....YODA

It is obvious that we cannot use the same thinking to solve a problem that we have been using to cause it.


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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/8/07 2:58 P

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Once you try it once, I am sure you'll get over those jitters! I wish I could commute to work, but I have to go through some bad neighborhoods on the 15 mile route, and then I have no showers when I get here. I may see about get a ride in to the office on ocassion and then riding home, once the weather improves (no snow or ice roadside, or blocking shoulders...).

I love the idea to got to the bike shop for a lesson on changing tires/using the pump. You also might want to look at CO2 pumps as an alternative.

SIMSARAH's Photo SIMSARAH Posts: 490
3/8/07 1:40 P

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When I was a kid, my dad taught me to patch a tube and so I don't really have any good concept of how long it takes to become comfortable with it, as I can't remember a time when I couldn't! My boyfriend never really knew how though, and he seems to have picked it up pretty quickly. He gets flats much more often than I do! I'm very lucky because I live in NYC and the route I take to work is never very far from a train stop, so if something signifigant happens to my bike (the day the crank fell off, for example) I just take it on the subway with me!

I do always allow more time for my bike commute than it strictly needs because then I have the time to patch a flat or change the tube entirely. Taking routes that other cyclists frequent is also a good idea as almost all cyclists will stop to help a fellow (with the possible exception of the crazy bike messengers here - they're more insane than cabbies!)

I'm glad you've decided to commute by bike - it's really a lot of fun, good exercise and very satisfying on several levels. Enjoy!

We are what what we eat eats.


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BLUESOX4113's Photo BLUESOX4113 SparkPoints: (19,751)
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3/8/07 12:14 P

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Jo, you and are in exactly the same boat: I am about to start bicycle commuting for the very first time on Monday. My commute is about five miles one way (I live in Minneapolis). We can get the hang of this bike commuting thing together. I took my old unused bike that had been hanging out in my basement for the past fifteen years to the bike shop and got the brakes replaced, a tuneup, new helmet, lights and lock and back rack and panniers, etc. They said that it was really in good shape. There is a bike rack at my office building, and even a shower if I need it. I went to a bike expo here in Minneapolis last weekend and picked up all sorts of information (maps, local organizations, info about taking the bike on transit if necessary) which I think will prove useful. I do feel really committed to doing this (not the least because my husband is being laid off, and I can't afford to park downtown anymore). I have picked out a route which has bike lanes, but I, too, am rather nervous about getting started.

The thing that unnerves me the most is the thought of getting a flat. I had someone at the bike shop show me how to take the tire off and replace it, but I am not at all confident that I could handle this all by myself if it happens on the way to work. Experienced commuters: how often have you gotten flats while riding to work? How long does it take you to get the hang of dealing with a flat? I also need to still buy a pump, spare innertubes, and a tire repair kit. (Better get that this weekend!)

Jo, here's a website that answered some of my questions:

http://www.runmuki.com/commute/

Edited by: BLUESOX4113 at: 3/8/2007 (12:15)
Not all those who wander are lost.


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JW1096's Photo JW1096 SparkPoints: (7,128)
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3/8/07 1:32 A

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I never even thought of that! Thanks, ill do that today!

Jo x

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MTNBIKENV's Photo MTNBIKENV SparkPoints: (15,447)
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3/7/07 5:26 P

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Do you have a bike shop in your area? Bring in the pump and tires, and have them show you what's going wrong with your pump. Just takes a minute.

Marnie
RENO, NEVADA

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

JW1096's Photo JW1096 SparkPoints: (7,128)
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3/7/07 2:16 P

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Yeah, I ended up getting a colleague to do it because it frustrated me so much!

Im thinking of taking the bike to the petrol station to use thier pump its annoying me so much! Im finding it quite hard to ride because the tyre pressure isnt high enough!

Im sure ill figure out a better alternative soon.... I hope!

JoJo xx


 
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1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (141,767)
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3/4/07 5:07 P

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Yeah...I have one of those pumps and really get upset with it. The lever on mine pushes to a vertical (up) position and you have to really be pushing down firmly on it when trying to latch on. It is the taking off that is the bugger...I always manage to rap my fingers against something because it is imperative to get it off quick so as not to deflate the tire.

I have a little generator type that hooks up to the 12V in the car and that snaps on and off easily but I do use the adapter with this one. This is what I use when the car is around.

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ *Linda¸.•*¨)
2011




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JW1096's Photo JW1096 SparkPoints: (7,128)
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3/4/07 12:33 P

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Thanks for all the advice! The bike did come in a box with some self assembly required which seemed fairly straighforward. I havent taken it outside yet though as Ive bought one of those posh tyre pumps and for some reason I simply cant pump the tyres up!!

Im sure ill figure it out eventually, its one of those 'clever valve' things, and I can pump up fine, it just seems to get stuck while im trying to take it off the valve and then pretty much deflates the tyre for me in the process. Its really annoying though! Ive been wanting to go out all weekend as im supposed to be riding to work on it tomorrow!

Anyone know about these strange pumps and how it works?

Jo x

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WIER_JE's Photo WIER_JE Posts: 441
3/1/07 11:27 P

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To echo the suggestions to seek a less traveled route, I have found that roads just a block off of main thoroughfares are lightly traveled, much safer and go to the same destination.

 
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KEVING10's Photo KEVING10 Posts: 297
3/1/07 11:02 P

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Congrats on your new bike. I commuted for over 2 years and it was awesome. Take time to find the best route and typically it is not the quickest, but also make it the most rewarding. After commuting for a while I started looking for longer and better routes just to get a little more time on the bike. Have fun.

Trying to get going again after falling off the weight loss wagon!!



 
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SIMSARAH's Photo SIMSARAH Posts: 490
3/1/07 10:50 P

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Man, that's no fun! Boo Florida! Here, while it's certainly true that the cabbies are nuts (and don't get me started on the ambulettes), we do at least have some very active advocacy groups looking out for pedestrians and cyclists (probably horses and pretty much any non-motor transit) so that helps a lot. I'm glad to hear that you at least have a nice place to do some distance, even if you have to drive to it!

We are what what we eat eats.


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MYVISTA's Photo MYVISTA Posts: 86
3/1/07 10:26 P

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Don't want to get off the thread of the thrill of an new bike and safe riding, but to answer the question... I live in St. Lucie West. I have been on my bike in many states and I regard Florida as one of the most dangerous. In St. Lucie they voted not to put in sidewalks on some streets to save money. What chances do cyclist have for bike lanes when young mothers etc. are forced to walk the sides of the road? When there are sidewalks and no bike lanes people here ride them. I realise some parts of Fl have some nice trails. I go out on North Hutchenson Island and ride distance. Actually a nice breakdown/bike lane for most of it - and usually light traffic. BUT I put my bike in the Van to get there because the roads to get there are so dangerous - in my opinion.

Edited by: MYVISTA at: 3/1/2007 (22:29)
Do, or Do Not.
There is no "TRY"!
....YODA

It is obvious that we cannot use the same thinking to solve a problem that we have been using to cause it.


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SIMSARAH's Photo SIMSARAH Posts: 490
3/1/07 7:55 P

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Yay Marnie! I take it the new Marin won't be sold at the shop then?

We are what what we eat eats.


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MTNBIKENV's Photo MTNBIKENV SparkPoints: (15,447)
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3/1/07 6:55 P

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If putting a bike together is a bit of new thing for you, and you really want to do it yourself, please at least have a bike mechanic go over it before it you ride it much. I know my boyfriend gets so many bikes in that folks can't understand they they are not riding well, or stopping well, or the derailleurs or whatever the case may be, aren't working right. A bike mechanic has the tools to do the adjustments and make the bike safe. Disregard my ramble if you are experienced at that sort of thing.

My own bike DID come in today, and has been assembled and I took it for a spin, a couple of times. It's heaven to ride. The workmanship is fantastic.

I hope you are happy with your ride, too!

Marnie
RENO, NEVADA

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

SIMSARAH's Photo SIMSARAH Posts: 490
3/1/07 5:42 P

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Hooray for your new bike! That's awesome! What everyone has said about visibility and the basic insanity of all other road residents is pretty on - even pedestrians can be pretty weird. Don't let them worry you overly much though, commuting by bike is wonderfully satisfying and excellent in so many ways! Just pick a lighter traffic route than you might take in your car, especially if there is an available path that includes bike lanes or greenways. (Here the cabs seem to think that bike lanes were put there solely to help them pick up or drop off their fares, but NYC cabbies are notoriously insane.) I'd also recommend riding your intended route first on a day off so you can get a feel for it with no time pressure.

If you've never built a bike yourself, it might be worth taking it to a shop and paying them to do it though, just to be on the safe side.

Have fun!

We are what what we eat eats.


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ABIKER's Photo ABIKER Posts: 981
3/1/07 4:56 P

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ooooohhh new bike. I'm getting new bike envy all around. My best friend just got a new road bike. I shouldn't let my bike hear me say that. I love you little Fuji. Be good to me this year.

~~Adam~~ abiker.blogspot.com
'08 cycling : 0/1500 miles
'08 running: 446/1500 miles



1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (141,767)
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3/1/07 10:55 A

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Congrats on the NEW bike! Take care of it and take time to get used to it and what you can do on the road.

As far as safety going to work...search for the safest streets for a bike. I will go out of my way to take a safer route. I do not like riding next to parked cars or where there will be many trucks. I do find old people ( I have white hair...lol) are the least forgiving of space for a biker. I've gone as far as reporting delivery trucks to the company for not respecting my right to the road. Do find a couple routes to where you are going. Sometimes one will be better at a different hour of the day.

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ *Linda¸.•*¨)
2011




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MTNBIKENV's Photo MTNBIKENV SparkPoints: (15,447)
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3/1/07 10:03 A

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Congrats!!! What did you get???? My Marin Rift Zone should be here today, FINALLY. Had some extra paperwork involved so the shipment was delayed a few days, but Fed Ex is showing it to be delivered today. I can't wait... very exciting bike. You're building your own? Done that before? Having my bf build mine up, he could do it in his sleep, so I feel good about that. He's dying to get his hands on it.. he has a similar one, but called an "East Peak", in bright red, coming by Friday.

It's a cold, snowy day and I doubt that bike will be seeing trails right away, but it's so exciting.

Let us know what you think of yours!

Marnie
RENO, NEVADA

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/1/07 9:53 A

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Jo, enjoy the new bike. And I agree with Bob, especially the line:
"I know cyclists have the same rights as motorists, but a car weighs more than we do."
Happy riding!

LISALALA1's Photo LISALALA1 SparkPoints: (46,845)
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3/1/07 9:28 A

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Jo enjoy your new bike. ITA Bob overnight a pedicab was hit by a "little old lady" BTW where in Fl are you? I'm in Orlando

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WIER_JE's Photo WIER_JE Posts: 441
3/1/07 9:12 A

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There is nothing quite like a new bike, Jo. Enjoy! And Bob, everything you said is on the money. My best defense is my visibility.

 
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MYVISTA's Photo MYVISTA Posts: 86
3/1/07 8:03 A

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WoW! A new just out of the box bike. All shiny and new. Take some pictures of the process so you can remember that new bike feel.
Take a little time to get familiar with the feel of the bike, the way it shifts gears, the fit of the seat, the pedals and handlebars etc.

I ride a lot in traffic and I have adopted the attitude that every one is preoccupied with their own commute, possibly "on drugs", and liable to do anything. That is my first rule. The second one is to be very visable. A flag pole with a windsock, bright clothes, a white helmit etc. etc. The last rule is that there are times I need to be aggressive. For instance when I need to change lanes. I need to be bold with my signals, get real eye contact, and be assertive but never forget rule #1.
I know cyclists have the same rights as motorists, but a car weighs more than we do. I think it is more like that cyclists should act like a motorist and not do sudden turns or moves a motorist wouldn't do (unless on drugs.) It seems the unexpected is the worst case on the cyclist or motorist point of view.

In Florida I have had little old lady's pull up beside me at a stop light, nod, smile and then take a direct right turn in front of me. Good old rule #1 again. If they can, they might!
I ride with some very aggresive riders who I consider accidents waiting to happen. Right or wrong cars and trucks and their doors are no match for a bike rider!!

If you are careful you can ride safely. Being too timid is just as bad a being over aggresive in my opinion.
Good luck,
Bob


Do, or Do Not.
There is no "TRY"!
....YODA

It is obvious that we cannot use the same thinking to solve a problem that we have been using to cause it.


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JW1096's Photo JW1096 SparkPoints: (7,128)
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3/1/07 6:21 A

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Morning all!

I ordered a mountain bike for commuting to work and it arrived early this morning (two weeks early actually) in bits ready for me to build. Now im nervous however, the thought of biking to work on the road is suddenly a close reality and im hoping I dont get knocked off at any point! Today I need to go buy a helmet and build the bike, then have a go and see if people really dont forget how to ride a bike.

Fortunatley im off work today and its nice and sunny, wish me luck!

Jo x

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