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DACIUS's Photo DACIUS Posts: 1,917
2/23/11 8:38 P

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Great thread...figured I would bump this and add a few of my tips

*most people are afraid of the car behind them when biking on the street. Statistics have proven an overtake collision is the least likely. A vehicle crossing the lane, into a drive way or another road, is actually the most common accident, the second most common is a carulling out of a driveway or road from the right side and into the path of the biker, the third most common is a door opening on a parallel parked vehicle.
*Ride true and straight, give yourself a minimum of three feet of pavement between you and curb/grass line. This keeps you far enough into the lane to prevent the car behind you from trying to squeeze between you and the car going the opposite way. Cause guess which one loses infant driver has to choose? Head on collision with another car going 35mph or push that little cycIist off the road?
* There are two styles of headlights. A be-seen style and a see style. See style allows you to see, but because the cone of light is generally very small, the cars around you don't get much benefit. The be seen lights give a bright diffused light that makes your presence known, but may not show you that black piece of glass on the black road. There are some brands that do both, but you will pay for them. It is my experience that I can buy one of each and save lots of $$$$.
* fenders, fenders, fenders!
* if you do not have access to a shower at work. Take some witch hazel or some wet wipes with you. They chemically eliminate stank crotch and other wet zones that WE ALL GET!
* pace yourself. A lot of my friends race bikes competitively. Unfortunately that method of biking translates into their commutes as well. Inhave to remind them to look up and enjoy the sunsets, the flowers in bloom, the (ahem) attractive jogger, etc... They forget this ride is to get to point A to point B...NO time limit, no clock to buzz by. Enjoy the ride, maybe stop by that local coffee shop you always drove by and wanted to try out.

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BEVPRESLEY's Photo BEVPRESLEY Posts: 17,135
1/18/09 6:57 P

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I have not seen those. I like it much better than the orange ones that stick up. Parts of our rides are on busy roads with narrow shoulders, that would work nicely.

Thanks

beverly

Stash Status Net: July (-6.5 yards)
Aug (-5 yards)
Sept (+10 yards)
Oct (even)
One Day at a Time:
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2) organize something in my home
3) fruit or veggie with each meal
4) sew 1 bobbin full
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BUTTONS29's Photo BUTTONS29 Posts: 4
1/18/09 2:26 P

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http://www.bikecommuters.com/2007/10/09/d-
tour-safety-flag-update/

My husband commutes 12.5 miles to work. Most of his route is pretty nice, but 2 miles is on 55 mph highway with little shoulder. He bought one of the flags detailed in this article & found it works really well!

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BEVPRESLEY's Photo BEVPRESLEY Posts: 17,135
1/17/09 10:18 P

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You are so right, those doors will really get you. We are under the same rules as cars, so be sure to stop for lights. I hate little dogs. The big ones usually just run along side you, but those little ones will cross your path and really get you hurt.


beverly

Stash Status Net: July (-6.5 yards)
Aug (-5 yards)
Sept (+10 yards)
Oct (even)
One Day at a Time:
1) walk/ride 30 minutes
2) organize something in my home
3) fruit or veggie with each meal
4) sew 1 bobbin full
5) make someone smile


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SERPENTINE's Photo SERPENTINE SparkPoints: (0)
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1/16/09 5:22 P

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Maybe I missed it but nobody mentioned DOORS!!!!
Watch for people opening their car doors in traffic! If you don't have time to stop you'll smack right into them and crash. When riding by a lot of parallel parked cars on the street, take your time and watch for people in drivers seats. Getting 'doored' is absolutely my biggest fear, but it's also the most common thing I have heard about happening to cyclists.

Oh, and don't run red lights or stop signs, even if "it looks clear." Just don't. Common sense but i see a lot of people (mostly kids on fixed gears) doing it...

try not. do, or do not. there is no try - yoda

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MEWPOLO Posts: 6
12/4/08 8:45 A

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I have been bike commuting off and on for several years now and I highly recommend getting a rack and saddle bags. I hate having a back pack on, and there are some excellent saddle bags available. My current favorite is something from Arkel called the "Bug" which serves as a saddle bag and converts to a back pack when you take it off the bike. Very versatile.

I also recommend good lights. I have a really bright headlight, which allows me to see all the pot holes on my commute when I commute home in the dark these days, and also lets the cars know I am there. I also have a very bright, flashing, red tail light. For further protection I wear a dayglow yellow wind breaker with reflective strips.

I keep my work clothes (lawyer suits) at my office, and in my dream office I would have a shower.

I absolutely love my bike commute (it is about 4 miles each way) and hate the days when I have to miss it. I would commute everywhere by bike, except I often have to arrive somewhere in a suit (it would be very cool to arrive at the court house on my bike and walk into court taking off my dayglow yellow jacket and helmet).

Anyway. Visibility is really important, but it is also important to pick your battles. Before the days got so short I commuted the shortest route, which included a busy road with a posted speed limite of 35 mph and a number of "S" curves. I had a lot of trouble with cars hugging the shoulder (MY SHOULDER) on the S curves and decided that I needed to change the route when it got dark because cars just don't look for you no matter how well lit you are. It lengthend my commute, but I am much safer!



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KINGTERMITE's Photo KINGTERMITE Posts: 883
10/31/08 11:46 A

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One of my favorite topics. :) I finally am able to commute now that I've moved to a more bike friendly area.

Some tips (some already mentioned):
* Get a rearview mirror for the bike. They make helmet ones too, but frankly those did not work well for me.

* BE VISIBLE. I try to wear high-vis stuff as much as I can. I bought a whole week's set of alert shirts ( www.alertshirt.com ).

* BE VISIBLE. Lots of blinkies and lights, especially this time of year when it gets dark earlier. If you are going to be truly riding when its dark then you need a REAL headlight (one that you can use to see, not just "be seen").

* Ride on roads, not sidewalks. Although its legal to ride on sidewalks in many areas (it is in my area), they are much more dangerous, ironically. Most people believe its the opposite and put themselves in more danger by riding on the sidewalks. Cars don't see you when pulling out of drives and such because they don't think to look at the sidewalks, only the road. A book I had once rated riding on road with traffic the safest, against traffic 2X as dangerous, on sidewalk with traffic 3X as dangerous and on sidewalk against traffic 4X as dangerous. The best line from that book was "if you want cars to see you, you need to be where the cars are looking (the road)".

* Have a good bell or horn to use. Sometimes idiot pedestrians will just step right in front of you without looking. It may be fun to run them over, but less "work" to warn them ahead of time instead.

* Make sure you have repair kits and know how to change your tire and some basic maintenance in case you have to.

* Keep things at work that you will need rather than taking them daily. If you can get a locker at work, then you're in good shape.

* Try a few alternate routes now and then. I didn't have my current route locked in until I'd been commuting for a few months. Know alternate routes too in case something is going on one way and you want to avoid it.

* A good backpack is a neccessity. I typically carry about 2 1/2 days worth of clothes Monday, 2 1/2 days worth of clothes on Tuesday and carry what I wore that day home each night.


That's about all the comes to mind immediately. I hope those help.

"There are no shortcuts to anywhere that is worth going."



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SHANAN's Photo SHANAN Posts: 248
6/15/08 2:58 P

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Also explore alternative routes. There might be one that is 3 miles longer but is much safer, quieter, and more enjoyable.

Life ain't so bad at all...if you live it off the wall


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SIXSTRING25's Photo SIXSTRING25 Posts: 7
6/10/08 7:09 A

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Julie - That sounds cool! No, I have never done a group ride for charity before. I have biked some long treks with a few friends but that's about it. However, I have been looking around to see if there is going to be something like that in the Michigan area. Haven't found anything yet.

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JULJUL13's Photo JULJUL13 Posts: 81
6/7/08 1:54 P

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Thanks Six,
Good tips whether I'm commuting or not. I biked with a coworker who used the mirror on the helmet she would see things out of her range and jerk the bike. So maybe I'll get one for the bike.

We joined a 'ride' on July6 - 31miles. So we've been praciting and averaging 12-15 miles. Tomorrow we're headed for a 20 miler @ Valley Forge park. Have you ridden in a group ride - I don't want to call it a race bc it's for charity and I'm not racing anybody ;) Any tips for that is cool too.

thanks again and good chatting with you.
Julie

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SIXSTRING25's Photo SIXSTRING25 Posts: 7
6/5/08 9:32 P

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Hey Jul,

7 miles, that's a good ride!
I hear you about distracted drivers. Not a good thought as a huge truck blows past you, right?

I think the most important thing is to always know what's coming up ahead of you. Keep your eyes in the direction you are riding. It's a good idea to purchase some kind of rear view mirror so that you can see what's coming up behind you without turning your head. There's some you can buy that attach to your sunglasses I believe.
Secondly, make sure you have a road kit that includes extra tire tubes, a bike multi-tool in case you need to tighten some loose parts.
Finally, make sure you have enough hydration to last your entire ride. Dehydration can set in before you know it.
Does any of that help?


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JULJUL13's Photo JULJUL13 Posts: 81
6/5/08 8:57 P

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Hey Six,
It's about 7 miles to work on 2 lane(1way) roads and the speed limit is 40-50. Basically I'm alittle nervous about the traffic. We took a practice run on Sunday morning and quite frankly I thought the cars were alittle fast bc there was NO traffic.

What do you think the top 3 things I should be aware of? Besides people driving hummers and talking on the cell phone!
thanks
Julie

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SIXSTRING25's Photo SIXSTRING25 Posts: 7
6/5/08 7:33 A

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Yes, there seems to be more and more people biking these days.
How far would you be commuting?
I bike approx. 5 miles to work, not a bad ride. Enough to get the heart pumping.
What would you like to know?

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JULJUL13's Photo JULJUL13 Posts: 81
5/29/08 8:55 P

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Please share your cycling commuting tips here.

I don't have any bc I'm just thinking about doing it. I HAVE noticed many more bikers on the road since gas is climbing!
thanks
Julie

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