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bicievino
Feb 5, 2015



Killswitch posted:

Yea, the commute exercise is great. Honestly my mental health is suffering a bit these days with WFH, the daily exercise was really helpful and I’m too lazy to just “go ride” in the mornings

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Mauser
Dec 16, 2003

Weird. Very weird.
It's weird in here.


You just gotta schedule it after work and take days off when it's lovely outside. It's pretty great going and getting sweaty right after logging off the for the day and then coming home and relaxing with an all too frequent beer now that we live on hell world that will never end

spwrozek
Sep 4, 2006

Sail when it's windy



I have been doing tuesday/thursday mountain bike rides, it is awesome. Start at 5:45 and back and working by 8.

Also on the 11 mile commute I think that is a pretty solid use case for an e-bike.

cebrail
May 9, 2014



I don't really see the point of that $6000 Trek thing for an 11 mile commute though. For that money you can get a Vespa Elletrica. Or a cheaper electric scooter AND an e-bike.

e.pilot
Nov 20, 2011

MR.FUSION
#TEAMTRASHMILES


Killswitch posted:

Yea, the commute exercise is great. Honestly my mental health is suffering a bit these days with WFH, the daily exercise was really helpful and I’m too lazy to just “go ride” in the mornings

I’d be going crazy if I couldn’t get out on a bike and forget about how hosed everything is for a few hours.

Mauser
Dec 16, 2003

Weird. Very weird.
It's weird in here.


Honestly, if I didn't have my bike to take out on 3+ hour rides while I was unemployed refreshing the same three orgs pages that do what I do, all pre-pandemic, I would have gone insane

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

The things that I like about the Allant are that it has integrated wiring, a beefy battery, and pedal assist instead of a throttle. I want to be moving while on the bike, which I found I liked more when I tried out other ebikes. I don't think I need to carry too much stuff but I already have a selection of panniers and other miscellaneous bag mounts to go off of. I should be clear here that I'm not specifically looking to buy the Allant, but I did have another goon that works on ebikes as his main bread and butter recommend its predecessor, the Super Commuter, a while ago.

I found as a bike commuter I had a clearer head coming into the office and a more relaxed and restful evening coming back. Yeah, it had its literal ups and downs, but I'd like to get back to that again as much as I can while also not completely gassing out from a double-length commute. 20 to 23 miles a day in hill country with pedal assist I think is pretty doable.

Since others were balking at that price point, I'm open to other suggestions, but I am not interested in buying an electric scooter. I already have a car and a motorcycle for if I want to get to work via fully motorized transit.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


One of the few small perks of still working from my office is that I still get to ride to/from my office.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






XIII posted:

One of the few small perks of still working from my office is that I still get to ride to/from my office.

this is my sole consolation about going back to work soon. otoh all the streets are going to be packed with campus reopening, so I lose my spacious empty streets.

Guinness
Sep 15, 2004



Test rode the new Vanmoof S3 today. It was... mostly good. Honestly I really wanted to like it more than I did.

I get what they are trying to do with the slick design, but you can tell why it “only” costs $2000. The automatic transmission mostly works but clunks around a fair bit and doesn’t inspire confidence in its longevity. I would worry about all of its proprietary parts over the long haul for that matter. Also the built in electronic bell is atrociously bad and obnoxiously loud.

But drat I still like it just because it mostly looks like a normal bike, rides pretty well around town with good assist, is relatively light, and isn’t an awkward goofy looking thing.

If I were still commuting I’d be more tempted than I am.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


Fitzy Fitz posted:

this is my sole consolation about going back to work soon. otoh all the streets are going to be packed with campus reopening, so I lose my spacious empty streets.

From what I've observed (having ridden to work every day since all this started), they're largely back to normal anyway

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






XIII posted:

From what I've observed (having ridden to work every day since all this started), they're largely back to normal anyway

Probably in most places, but I work on a college campus and live directly next to it, so the streets I'm riding change significantly once the students move back. I think I'm going to have to shift my commute to earlier in the morning just so that I'll have a chance to get on the street.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


I work on a large campus that's shared by three colleges and live across town next to a fourth, separate college, so HA

Al2001
Apr 7, 2007

You've gone through at the back


Guinness posted:

Test rode the new Vanmoof S3 today.

Also the built in electronic bell is atrociously bad and obnoxiously loud.

Yep, the bell and using an app to turn the lights on and off are such stupid decisions, it can't help but make you worry about other aspects of the bike.

Giant Metal Robot
Jun 14, 2005




Taco Defender

I'm replacing a stolen commuter hybrid and doubled my budget so I can add all the accessories on day 1. Didn't realize how much I put into that bike until I started building a cart for racks, fenders, light mounts, bottle cages, wheel reflectors, etc.

But hey, turns out I have a bit of extra cash left over. Time to prep for winter commutes and loads of questions about studded tires.

Would I just swap the tires on when the season changed?

Are studded tires tubeless compatible? If they're not, I have an idea of building up tubeless wheels for my spring commute and committing the default rims to a winter wheel set.

Finally, if I'm lazy, and only swap on one studded tires, is it better to be front or rear? Or is that worse than doing nothing?

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






XIII posted:

I work on a large campus that's shared by three colleges and live across town next to a fourth, separate college, so HA

Can I move there

We have a seriously impressive bus system here, but thousands of students still commute by car every morning, clogging up the roads. Just a solid wall of cars driven by people who are hungover and late for class.

Anachronist
Feb 13, 2009




Giant Metal Robot posted:

I'm replacing a stolen commuter hybrid and doubled my budget so I can add all the accessories on day 1. Didn't realize how much I put into that bike until I started building a cart for racks, fenders, light mounts, bottle cages, wheel reflectors, etc.

But hey, turns out I have a bit of extra cash left over. Time to prep for winter commutes and loads of questions about studded tires.

Would I just swap the tires on when the season changed?

Are studded tires tubeless compatible? If they're not, I have an idea of building up tubeless wheels for my spring commute and committing the default rims to a winter wheel set.

Finally, if I'm lazy, and only swap on one studded tires, is it better to be front or rear? Or is that worse than doing nothing?

https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.php

This page is quite useful for many questions about studded tires (although it doesn't answer all of yours about tubeless compatibility). I would swap them on when the season changes and just leave them until it stops snowing for good. It's okay to ride them on bare pavement it's just a little slower. Better to put one on the front first but having two is way better.

Giant Metal Robot
Jun 14, 2005




Taco Defender

Amazing page, thanks!

Looks like tubeless studs aren't a thing. Page implies that tubes are installed in a few spots. I thought that would be the case, but now I don't feel the need to test it out.

spwrozek
Sep 4, 2006

Sail when it's windy



Fitzy Fitz posted:

Can I move there

We have a seriously impressive bus system here, but thousands of students still commute by car every morning, clogging up the roads. Just a solid wall of cars driven by people who are hungover and late for class.

The obligatory sorry man Colorado is full.

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



Last Fall I bought a ~$400 commuter bike just to get to the gym and back. I didn't use it a ton last year, and then Covid happened so I had nowhere to ride it, so there it's sat. I walk a lot, and have been running for about a month but do no cycling. 5'8M and ~160 pounds with a belly so while I'm not super fit I'm not in bad shape either. The gym is finally open again and I biked there last week and holy cow it was so hard on my legs. Only 3.8 miles according to Google. Also I feel like I'm really slow. I know it's a commuter bike so it's not going to be super fast, but along my way a very overweight man absolutely flew by me and it made me wonder how much of my slowness is the bike itself VS me not being a strong cyclist?? I'm sure it's a combination, but drat I was really surprised at how quickly that dude was going. I found out my local bike shop rents bikes for only $15/hr so I think this weekend I'm going to rent a road bike and time myself doing a lap VS on my commuter bike.

It's a Jammis Commuter 1 for whatever that's worth

But the real reason I'm posting ITT today: Does anyone have any advice for storing a bike outside? It's a pain carrying it in and out of my apartment, and I don't really have anywhere good to put it so it's just been awkwardly chilling in my living room. My back yard is basically just a cement square so I was thinking just a tarp should be fine? Should I also spray it occasionally with some sort of insect repellent so no jerk spiders set up shop under my seat or whatever?

Sab669 fucked around with this message at 21:18 on Aug 6, 2020

aparmenideanmonad
Jan 28, 2004
Balls to you and your way of mortal opinions - you don't exist anyway!

Fun Shoe

Giant Metal Robot posted:

I'm replacing a stolen commuter hybrid and doubled my budget so I can add all the accessories on day 1. Didn't realize how much I put into that bike until I started building a cart for racks, fenders, light mounts, bottle cages, wheel reflectors, etc.

But hey, turns out I have a bit of extra cash left over. Time to prep for winter commutes and loads of questions about studded tires.

Would I just swap the tires on when the season changed?

Are studded tires tubeless compatible? If they're not, I have an idea of building up tubeless wheels for my spring commute and committing the default rims to a winter wheel set.

Finally, if I'm lazy, and only swap on one studded tires, is it better to be front or rear? Or is that worse than doing nothing?
If you're going to be riding in a lot of salty slush with temps within a few degrees of freezing, a separate winter beater with studded tires is really nice if you can make that happen. I know cheap bikes are nonexistent at the moment though, so that might be something to keep in mind for later.

DELETE CASCADE
Oct 25, 2017

i haven't washed my penis since i jerked it to a phtotograph of george w. bush in 2003


Sab669 posted:

Last Fall I bought a ~$400 commuter bike just to get to the gym and back. I didn't use it a ton last year, and then Covid happened so I had nowhere to ride it, so there it's sat. I walk a lot, and have been running for about a month but do no cycling. 5'8M and ~160 pounds with a belly so while I'm not super fit I'm not in bad shape either. The gym is finally open again and I biked there last week and holy cow it was so hard on my legs. Only 3.8 miles according to Google. Also I feel like I'm really slow. I know it's a commuter bike so it's not going to be super fast, but along my way a very overweight man absolutely flew by me and it made me wonder how much of my slowness is the bike itself VS me not being a strong cyclist?? I'm sure it's a combination, but drat I was really surprised at how quickly that dude was going. I found out my local bike shop rents bikes for only $15/hr so I think this weekend I'm going to rent a road bike and time myself doing a lap VS on my commuter bike.

It's a Jammis Commuter 1 for whatever that's worth

But the real reason I'm posting ITT today: Does anyone have any advice for storing a bike outside? It's a pain carrying it in and out of my apartment, and I don't really have anywhere good to put it so it's just been awkwardly chilling in my living room. My back yard is basically just a cement square so I was thinking just a tarp should be fine? Should I also spray it occasionally with some sort of insect repellent so no jerk spiders set up shop under my seat or whatever?

overweight people can actually be really strong. after all, his muscles have to carry that extra weight around all the time. and you can't see how much muscle he has because of all the body fat. that said, your bike is definitely more of an upright geometry, made for comfortable commuting rather than pure speed. imo the easiest way to make it go faster would be to change out the tires from 38 to like 25 or 28.

i've never had a bike i stored outside stay nice, but the tarp should work i think. if you hose it down once in a while that should keep the spiders at bay

Mauser
Dec 16, 2003

Weird. Very weird.
It's weird in here.


Just a word of warning if you live anywhere in a reasonable sized city. I've had friends who had their bikes stolen off of balconies and locking up outdoors in the same spot for an extended period of time could lead to something like that. On the other hand, the neighborhood I just moved to 5 miles away lots of people lock their bikes up on the front porch and have been doing it for a long time.

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



Yea I live in the city, but it's a pretty nice area. That said a former roommate did have his bike nabbed off the front stairs, once. I would keep it in the back yard behind a tall wooden fence, so it's relatively "secure" in that it's not right out in the open. And while I would be extremely mad to have a $400 anything stolen... At the end of the day, it's just a toy to try and keep me healthy so it wouldn't be the end of the world if it got picked up. I'm not actually using it to get to work or anything.

Previously the higher gears felt too tough but I forced my way through it tonight and it actually wasn't much harder than I thought, so I was a bit faster today. Actually timed myself and it was ~12mph going to the gym, and about ~10mph after 90 minutes of climbing. My friend said his road bike "15mph is effortless" but I guess if I'm only going 4 miles then going 3mph faster isn't really saving me any time

Mauser
Dec 16, 2003

Weird. Very weird.
It's weird in here.


I would say 15mph is pretty easy to get to, but in a city with a lot of stops it's going to be hard to get that speed and maintain it based on a simple distance/time calculation. When I do that after a ride around town I probably average around what you're getting

spwrozek
Sep 4, 2006

Sail when it's windy



DELETE CASCADE posted:

imo the easiest way to make it go faster would be to change out the tires from 38 to like 25 or 28.

I would not do this but I like fat tire commuters. 32 min, 40's are much better.


Sab669 posted:

But the real reason I'm posting ITT today: Does anyone have any advice for storing a bike outside? It's a pain carrying it in and out of my apartment, and I don't really have anywhere good to put it so it's just been awkwardly chilling in my living room. My back yard is basically just a cement square so I was thinking just a tarp should be fine? Should I also spray it occasionally with some sort of insect repellent so no jerk spiders set up shop under my seat or whatever?

Your bike is fine for riding around a few miles. Keep your bike in your apartment, mount it on the wall, hang it, etc. Ride more and your climbing will get better. so win win.

Anachronist
Feb 13, 2009




Keep it inside if you can. A hook on a wall to keep it vertical or something might be nice for getting it a dedicated space. Don’t get smaller tires but do make sure you’re filling them up regularly. Under inflated tires will not be fun to ride. There are charts online with recommendations for pressure. What it says on the tire itself is not a good choice, usually.

Going 15 mph is easy, averaging 15mph on your whole trip is sometimes less so. If you’ve got stoplights and stuff on the way that will bring your average speed down quickly. (Substitute whatever speed you care about / can achieve above)

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


kimbo305 posted:

Calling all posters who got their start in this thread: please consider writing a blurb on how you managed to get bike commuting to work for you in the new thread:
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3933970

One success story that came immediately to mind is Leng, but I'm sure there's others. Who should pop out of the woodwork in this hour of need.

Hello new bike commuting thread! Took me a while to find it since what with lockdown and everything I've been working from home since...mid-March and doing zero regular bike commuting since my new commute is now a 20m walk from the bedroom to the dining area. I'm seriously missing my commute on many fronts - not only from the convenience, the feeling of freedom and getting in regular physical exercise to boot, but from a mental health perspective as well. The bike commute was a really good part of the ritual kicking off and ending the work day and helped me 1) get energized for work and 2) relax and disconnect.

I started looking into bike commuting back in April 2018. Here's where I started from:

Leng posted:

Hello bike thread - I'm looking for some advice on how to get into commuting to/from work, hope this is still the right place to ask! Here's some info on my situation - hopefully I've provided enough details:

Current bike:
An old hand me down Panasonic hybrid (I think? I have no idea what model it is, I can post a pic if it will help). At one point (maybe 5-6 years ago) I put new tyres on it that some cycling savvy friends picked out. It hasn't been serviced since my uncle left it in my parents' garage (at least 10 years ago). For the last couple of years when I was moving around a lot, my parents kept it outside under a cloth on the covered porch. (I know I know ><)
Other equipment:
A helmet that a serious cycling friend has loaned me because he upgraded. I don't have anything else.
Riding experience:
Casual ad hoc cycling only. A while back (~5-6 years) I'd go riding around the suburbs for fun with some friends every weekend, just on quiet streets, in parks or cycleways. I'm not confident riding directly on the road with anything other than early Sunday morning traffic. I'm ok riding on a shared bike path or on a dedicated cycleway. The extent of my knowledge on gearing is "shift into a higher gear if you're struggling to pedal up the hill" - if it's a steep hill, it usually ends up with me hopping off the bike halfway and walking the rest of the way. I have no idea of how to patch a flat or any other bike maintenance stuff.
Location:
Sydney, Australia
Commute length/type:
The route between home and work is 5-6 km of shared bike paths/cycleways in the inner city, with pretty flat terrain (Google Maps elevation profile says 50-60m). There are a few breaks between some of the bike paths/cycleways - my current plan is to just get off and walk the bike across busy roads/intersections. I could also bike the 15 min walk to the train station via shared bike paths then jump on a 15 min train ride but I feel like it's not worth getting the bike out for such a short ride.
Why I want to try commuting:
I'm sick of being stuck on the bus in the parking lot that is Sydney rush hour traffic (a 6 km commute takes me 40 mins and costs $30/week, ugh) and I'm not getting any exercise otherwise.
Other stuff:
Our kid is almost 11 months old and is not a fan of car trips. We went to a local cycling event, tried out some bikes and she really enjoyed it, so we'd like to ditch the car for short trips on the weekend (e.g. to the grocery store, or if we're going out for brunch or to the beach) and do more family cycling outdoor fun stuff when she's older.

I knew so little about bikes that I did not know my uncle had left me a legitimately cool classic bike until the bike thread told me:


Getting into a regular habit of riding was pretty intimidating - and it was hard to get going but ultimately very rewarding. Here are some pictures from my old commute, when I was getting started:



My new commute is longer and has two long climbs that I hate, but also takes me past a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge:



Being on a bike is just way more fun than driving or taking public transport. You get a totally different experience and a better sense of your surroundings. Also, you get a lot of freedom as a result. Here's a pretty apt comparison of what bike commuting vs not bike commuting is for me:

Leng posted:

Thanks. I really wasn't expecting that riding my bike around would make me so happy. This morning it was raining when I left, so I took the bus. I am half convinced that Bad Things happen when I take the bus:
- left my lunch behind in my hurry to get out the door (and yep, the cat ate it he was watching me leave too and didn't say a thing )
- missed the bus by 1 minute so had to wait 10 mins for the next one
- street sweeper came by while we were waiting and...splash! Yuck
- the next bus came tearing around the corner so fast there was no chance the driver could have a) checked to see if passengers were waiting, b) changed lanes in time if he did and c) stop in time. He just assumed there couldn't possibly be anyone at the bus stop so just sped right past and didn't bother
- had to wait another 10 mins for the next bus, so now instead of being nice and early I'm late and fuming that if I were on a bike I'd be halfway to the office by now
- got to the office and the rain had cleared up

You can even take your pet(s) with you!

Leng posted:

We used the bikes to ferry stuff to the local park (a 5 min walk away) to celebrate our daughter's 1st birthday. Since the whole family was gonna be there, we thought it'd be cruel to leave the cat at home. So, here's a cat on the Mountain Cat:


CantDecideOnAName posted:

I know some people asked for updates, so here goes. Oliver and I went on a little bike ride yesterday, just a short one around the block to get him used to the basket. It's an Axiom dual function pet basket that can go on the front or back, and my only gripe about it is that I can't have both the basket and my panniers on the rack at the same time. I'm gonna have to get a small bag of some kind to keep the essentials in.




He only tried to jump out of the basket once, and that was when I had stopped the bike a while to take these pictures. As you can see, there's a small leash attached to the basket that clips onto his harness to prevent just that. He was very curious and seemed to enjoy just looking around; I have a lot of pictures where he's not looking at the camera because something else caught his interest. I'm planning on doing more small rides with him before doing any long rides on the multi-use path just to get him used to being in the basket. The blanket that you see is actually a no-sew fleece bag that I made with a strip of fabric so that on colder rides he can snuggle up inside, and also have a place to hide if he gets too overwhelmed. Ultimately I would like to get a cover of some sort to keep rain and excess sun off but that's not in the budget at the moment.



I had a LOT of questions about how to actually start and people gave me a lot of good advice in the previous bike threads. Here's a summary of what I learned from them and my own experiences.

Should I consider investing in a new bike, or should I make do with my current bike for a little while?
If you have a bike in reasonable condition and it fits you reasonably well, then :justride: (with all the other variations of please someone make this). You will only get to know your bike (and what you like/don't like) by riding it. Technically my bike is slightly too big for me (I can't stand over the top tube flat footed) but I was able to ride it well enough and I am now fairly attached to it because it's pretty fun.

Is walking the route without a bike first a good idea? Should I skip the walk and just try and ride the route early on a Sunday morning?
This is really about wayfinding and building confidence in your knowledge of the route. Unless your commute is a super uncommon one, as a starting point for convenience, I'd check the suggested bike route on Google maps and skip "walking it" in favour of just zooming along using Google Street View (which will pretty much let you look around to see bike paths, etc). Generally the default Google Maps bike routes are fine (at least in Sydney anyway) but I would also double check it against what people are logging in Strava or similar apps as there might be a nicer/safer way to go. Facebook also generally has local bike groups (some will be general, others may be specific to commuting) and it's a good idea to join one because 1) you can find a commute buddy 2) people will post there about random changes to local bike routes (e.g. road/civil works, etc) and how to deal with it.

If you are not a confident cyclist like me, doing a dry run of your commute at a quiet time is the best thing you can do to build that confidence. Better yet, talk a more experienced/confident cyclist to go with you. It's more fun and there's a bit of safety in numbers.

Also don't feel discouraged if your dry run takes significantly longer than you thought it should take. My first successful dry run took me an hour (Google said 30 mins and I was allowing 40 to be safe), but after about 3 weeks of commuting, I got it down to an average of 20 minutes door to door (depending on how many traffic lights I hit along the way). You will get better and more confident the more you ride - just give it time!

Do I need to go on some defensive cycling/bike maintenances courses before I do anything else?
The OP has really good info on the key things to remember but if you are new to commuting riding/not a confident rider, then a cycling skills course is a good idea. The City of Sydney subsidises a "Cycling in the City" course run by a group called Bike Wise. I did the course with my husband because we thought a) it'd be fun and b) we were thinking of ditching the car completely, which meant it would make sense to invest more in bikes. These were the key messages from the course I did:



I've found the advice to be pretty solid and the course was really practical. Your local area may have something similar, either run by local non-profits or maybe your local bike shop.

On bike maintenance courses, I think it comes down to how isolated your commute is. If there's a good chance of getting stranded if you're unable to ride due to mechanical issues, then you should do one (or watch a lot of YouTube videos and practice). To this day I am bad at bike maintenance because my husband enjoys this sort of thing so he does all of our bike maintenance. The only things I know how to do are to pump up my tires and wrangle my chain back on if it's somehow detached itself from the gears. I still have no idea how to patch a hole in an inner tube or temporarily fix my chain if it snaps, even if my husband has equipped my bike with all the necessary things. However, I'm never more than a 10 minute walk from a bus/train or at worst a 2 hour walk from my destination at any point along my route. If worst came to worst (which has happened), I leave my bike locked up and come back for it later.

If your commute is not isolated and you can cope with the worst case scenario of walking your bike to get home/to a local bike shop (i.e. my situation) then you can probably get away without as long as you're proactive about maintenance and prepared to take the time penalty in the event you do get a flat/snapped chain.

Is there gear that I should pick up at minimum before I go on the road?
The OP covered this pretty well, though here is what I would add:
- All bikes are required by law to come equipped with reflectors and a bell. If you have a hand me down or are buying one second hand, double check the bike still has these.
- If you're in Australia like me (or New Zealand and a few other countries I can't remember), then helmets are also required by law and this is enforced by police.
- Regardless of whether you know how to do emergency bike repairs, you should carry a repair kit with the minimum things in the OP, which will deal with flats. The only other thing that I would suggest in addition to the OP is a chain tool and a super/master link, which will help if your chain snaps. This then gives you the option to summon help either by calling someone or flagging down another fellow cyclist who's able and willing to help you.
- Unless you live in Japan (cycling in Japan is so awesome), you should get a U-lock at minimum and I would second the cable recommended in the OP. Sometimes U-locks are really finicky and sometimes the objects you have to lock up to are too large for the U-lock so the cable gives you more flexibility on locking up.

From here on, what you need depends on your commute:
- If you will be commuting when it's dark, get a set of lights (front and rear) to help with visibility (both so you can see better and so other people can see you). There are some fancy lights that go on helmets or are integrated into helmets.
- If your commute is long and/or there's no water along the way, you should carry water
- If you need to carry a LOT of stuff (i.e. more than will fit in a backpack), then you should consider front rack vs rear rack, and whether you need basket(s) and/or panniers. There are trade-offs between all of these and unless you have a marked preference for one over the others, my suggestion would just be to try different things until you find the one you like best.
- If you intend to ride rain or shine, then invest in a good rain jacket and make sure your helmet has a visor to help with keeping some rain out of your eyes. Do not wear eye gear for this, in my experience it makes visibility worse.
- If you have sensitive eyes, protective eyewear (sunglasses or just clear glasses) is a good idea, especially if you're in a windy area.

Everything else is something that you will develop your own preference for as you get into riding:
- cameras (front and rear); I don't have these and don't feel it necessary for me (because I ride at off peak times in daylight hours), but I am getting to the point where I feel like it would be worth it to invest in a camera for my husband since he rides more, has a longer commute (part of which is late night) and his route is via bigger roads with more traffic. Sometimes when we're out riding as a family, I feel like it might also be a good investment, because we've had some close calls on the weekend with jerks passing way too close even when we're taking the lane
- dedicated cycling shoes and clothing; I don't have high vis gear or dedicated cycling gear, I just wear yoga pants/leggings and t-shirts. I do recommend gloves for cold weather and reducing soreness
- options for carrying smaller things, like frame bags, bottle cages, phone holders, saddle bags, U-lock mounts, etc. These will depend on what you're using to carry large things.

On my commuter I have a front rack (no basket) which is normally where I stow clothing (including if I need to take off layers as I warm up along the way) and my backpack (and occasionally, breakfast).


I also have a frame bag that fits my U-lock (when not in use), keys/phone (when riding) and gloves (when I'm not riding), as well as a small saddle bag (contains repair kit). I don't have a bottle cage or carry water because my commute is short enough that I don't need to stop for water (and if I did, I pass a bunch of water fountains along the way). You can see the frame bag and the saddle bag in this older pic from before I traded the rear rack for the front rack:


Clothing logistics
- Best way to maintain a required standard of dress at the office? (a.k.a. "I don't want to ruin my nice clothes")
Your choices are:
1) ride in your nice clothes and adjust commuting style accordingly to protect your clothes, or
2) carry and change into nice clothes at the office.

On 1), you basically need to:
a) ride slowly or
b) get an e-bike - in which case you should check out the e-bike thread in addition to this thread; and/or
c) consider additional equipment

If you wear skirts/dresses, know that if you intend to wear pencil skirts/sheath/tunic dresses, you should probably get a bike with a step-through frame of some sort, because your movement will be pretty restricted otherwise, particularly with starting and stopping. Short skirts (depending on the material) may ride up as you ride and may or may not get caught on your seat when you are starting/stopping! Long skirts can get caught in the chain or rear wheel. There are skirt guards for the rear wheel but you probably want to protect it from road dirt/dust so I'd suggest securing the skirt (either sit on it if you're on a cruiser style bike where you can stay seated when stopping, or tie it up).

For pants/trousers, there are like these pant strap/clip things that you basically put on top of the pant legs at/slightly above your ankle to hold the fabric tight.

On 2), I think the consensus in the last thread was to use either a dedicated garment bag transported on your bike (nm recommended Two Wheels garment panniers - https://www.twowheelgear.com/products/classic-3-0-garment-pannier or https://www.twowheelgear.com/products/garment-pannier-classic-2-1-kompakt-rail) or do a non-riding commute to transport all your nice clean clothes once a week. There are also hard shell garment cases that you can use that will prevent your clothing from being crushed - I recently saw one that I liked but having trouble tracking it down.

- What are you doing re: the trade off between sunscreen while riding and makeup at the office? Do you keep a makeup bag at the office?
Thread consensus was to keep a touch up makeup kit in the office.

Is there consensus on a good baby seat?
The two I can recommend is the Thule Yepp mini/maxi seat (both front and rear mounted are great) and the Hamax seats. The Topeak ones are really popular but I don't like it because there's less suspension for the kid which is not great when going over bumpy roads and also it's kind of really huge and my kid is on the small side, so we end up having to use lots of blankets and things as padding to get the seat belt tight enough.

Recommendations for good baby helmets?
I like the Lazer helmets - the P'Nut line is an auto-adjusting one which is great for really young kids because you just stretch it over their head and you don't have to fiddle with the dial. There's other brands around as well, the Little Nutty range is also really popular and has fun designs.


I wanted to post more about bike commuting as a family but this post is getting pretty long so I should wrap it up here. But yes, to anyone thinking about bike commuting, go for it - it is loads of fun and opens the door for other fun adventures too!

Leng fucked around with this message at 15:39 on Aug 7, 2020

Oldsrocket_27
Apr 28, 2009


Leng posted:

Lots of great advice!

More great advice!

This is a superb post and I'd like to petition that it be included in or near the OP in some way. At the very least, the pic provided in the quote.

Bud Manstrong
Dec 11, 2003

The Curse of the Flying Criosphinx


That is such a good post.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



I added the graphic to the top of the safety section, and also started a Testimonials section in the OP.

FredLordofCheese
Aug 16, 2005

Hey there, here's your pizza, may I ask why you are wearing that sheer robe?

Bearpope Store is Open!

Check the thread to commute in "style"
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3885509&pagenumber=14#post507178426

uvar
Jul 25, 2011


College Slice

Rookie question, is there common etiquette to get past pedestrians on narrow paths? Bells usually work and every bike here has to have one, but some proportion of people always get spooked by it and I feel like a jerk. And so many people wear earphones now.

I did a little cycle loop of my town on the weekend trying to figure out a good way to ride to work, and unfortunately didn't come up with anything great. Steep road with no footpath, park track that's legal for bikes but feels destined to cause injury, bike-friendly detour that's much longer and still ends up at the same hill. Riding other places is fun, but I might have to get a bit fitter for this trip first. At least going home will be easy!

sweat poteto
Feb 16, 2006

Everybody's gotta learn sometime

If you can't get their attention, pass real slow, like not much above walking pace. And hold your line don't cut right back in front as soon as you're past.

SimonSays
Aug 4, 2006

Simon is the monkey's name

Get your city to put sidewalks next to the bike paths??

Mauser
Dec 16, 2003

Weird. Very weird.
It's weird in here.


Yeah, for children and dogs, just slow way the hell down no matter what. Pedestrians with headphones on are the same as children. Regular pedestrians just slow down and use bell or call out which side you're passing on and give a thanks as you're passing. Slowing down is always the main thing whenever you're sharing space with pedestrians and even then have your hand on the front brake ready to jam it to a stop anytime you have to come within 6 ft of a person.

Edit: and always give priority to pedestrians even when they're doing stupid poo poo

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






I try to treat pedestrians the way I'd want a car to treat me.

Mauser
Dec 16, 2003

Weird. Very weird.
It's weird in here.


Yeah exactly. Never get mad at pedestrians and just assume they're going to change direction at a moment's notice and cut you off and that's their right.

I recently came across at least a hundred people jogging down the street and bike lane while I was going the opposite direction and even outdoors it was really uncomfortable that none of them were wearing masks. I just pulled over and leaned against the wall with my bike waiting for them to pass because mask-less crowds really get my anxiety going as a person who has never really suffered from anxiety beyond what everybody has.

uvar
Jul 25, 2011


College Slice

Thanks for the information, it's pretty much what I was doing but I didn't want to be an inadvertent rear end in a top hat after not riding for a long time. I probably should be more paranoid.

SimonSays posted:

Get your city to put sidewalks next to the bike paths??

I wish, our bike paths are "combined cycleways". They're wide and smooth with no markings so people will walk two or three abreast in conversation and take it personally when I have to interrupt them. But now I'm just grumbling.

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Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehh8ZdIMMj4#t=26s Personally I like this guy's approach

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