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Article: 12 steps to get your bike commute started



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 29th 08, 05:58 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Ablang
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Default Article: 12 steps to get your bike commute started

12 steps to get your bike commute started
By Jenny C. McCune Bankrate.com

Need some guidance to get started on your eco-friendly commute?

http://www.bankrate.com/nltrack/news...20060531b1.asp

Biking to work
Follow these 12 steps to ensure a safe and comfortable ride to work.

Tips before getting started
1. Start off easy
2. Don't feel you have to go the distance
3. Figure out your route
4. Test it before you commute
5. Find a bike buddy
6. Learn the rules of the road for bicycles
7. Investigate parking
8. Devise a cleanup plan
9. Carry flat fix essentials
10. Learn emergency adjustments
11. Inspect your bike before every ride
12. Perform routine maintenance

1. Start off easy
Instead of going from driving your car every day to exclusively riding
your bike, commute by bicycle on a part-time basis, maybe once or
twice a week, and only in fair weather.

Even cycling to work one day per week can substantially decrease your
car usage, says Arthur Ross, the pedestrian-bicycle coordinator for
the Traffic Engineering Division in Madison, Wis.

2. Don't feel you have to go the distance
If your commute is a long one, you may want to ride part of the way
and then finish your commute by bus or train. Many municipalities,
including Seattle; Salt Lake City; Austin, Texas, and Eugene, Ore.,
have bike racks on their mass transit buses or allow bikes on trains
to help facilitate partial bike commutes.

3. Figure out your route
Think like a cyclist, not a motorist. That means that the shortest
route -- especially if it is on a major highway -- is probably not the
best idea. Look for streets with bike lanes, and avoid high-speed
routes with no shoulders. To find good routes, check your city's Web
site. Many bike-friendly municipalities have maps that show
recommended routes. Also consider when the best time to travel is and
whether it makes sense to leave earlier or later to avoid rush-hour
traffic. Finally, have a "Plan B" route in your back bike jersey
pocket in case there's an accident or construction delay.

4. Test it before you commute
Give your route a trial run on the weekend so you can work out the
kinks and get an idea of how long it will take you. Then make
adjustments as you go. For example, you may wish to find a different
route when you discover "pinches" -- overpasses, for example, where
there isn't a shoulder to ride on.

5. Find a bike buddy
Safety in numbers definitely applies to cycling -- plus getting
someone more experienced to show you the ropes is always a good idea.
"Even if you only ride halfway together, having a bike buddy can
really help you break into riding," says Elizabeth Preston of the
League of American Bicyclists, a bicycle advocacy group based in
Washington, D.C.

6. Learn the rules of the road for bicycles
Most states have a department of transportation, which offers
information on traffic laws, including how they apply to cyclists.
Sometimes you can get the lowdown simply by visiting the DOT's Web
site. Most states classify bicycles as vehicles, which means that bike
riders must follow the same rules as motorists (riding in the same
direction as other traffic, signaling turns, etc.).

7. Investigate parking
Some cities, including Washington, D.C.; Santa Barbara, Calif., and
Seattle, offer or are in the process of setting up "bike stations,"
secure parking stations for bikes, as well as other amenities.
Otherwise, a simple bike rack at work may suffice. If there isn't one,
see if your employer or the owner of the building is willing to put
one in. Sometimes municipalities or local bike shops offer free (or
subsidized) bike racks. Also, if office space is ample, you may be
able to find a spare corner where your bike can stay while you're
working.

8. Devise a cleanup plan
Does your employer offer shower facilities or a discount on a health
club membership? If you can't shower on the premises, you may be able
to shower at a nearby health club or bike station. If not, you can use
a restroom's sink to do quick a splash bath (clean up after yourself
if you want to be welcome a second time). Depending on how hot it gets
where you live and how long your commute is, you may find that you
don't require a massive cleanup to be presentable.

9. Carry flat fix essentials
If you ride regularly, sooner or later you may get a flat tire. Always
bring along a spare tube, tire irons and a pump. Before you have to
change a tire out in the field, practice at home. Have a more
experienced rider or your bike mechanic show you how to do it.

10. Learn emergency adjustments
Although flat tires are normally the worst thing you'll encounter on
the road, it's a good idea to know how to perform emergency repairs.
Knowing how to put your chain back on, how to keep your brake from
rubbing and how to adjust your saddle can make the difference between
a good ride and a bad one. Many bike shops routinely offer free
maintenance clinics so you can learn emergency repairs and how to keep
your bicycle in good working order.

11. Inspect your bike before every ride
Check your tire pressure and pump your tires up to the appropriate
pressure, and you'll reduce your risk of pinch flats. Also make sure
the brakes are working and that your bike is shifting properly.

12. Perform routine maintenance
Regularly clean your bike, lube your chain and inflate your tires.
Chains get stretched and need to be replaced. Tires can lose their
treads. Brakes get worn. The wear and tear of riding and hitting bumps
can loosen handle bars and other vital parts. Have your bike regularly
tuned up at a bike shop. How often you get a tuneup depends on how
many miles you are putting on your bike. Try for a checkup every 2,000
to 3,000 miles -- or sooner if your bike stops working properly or
starts making noises that you can't explain.

Back to: "The bike-to-work alternative: Save money and stay fit"
http://www.bankrate.com/nltrack/news...20060531a1.asp
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  #2  
Old November 29th 08, 10:58 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Jorg Lueke
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Posts: 145
Default Article: 12 steps to get your bike commute started

A good article though I am not sure about carrying a tire iron.

On Nov 29, 10:58*am, Ablang wrote:
12 steps to get your bike commute started


  #3  
Old November 30th 08, 01:59 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Leo Lichtman[_2_]
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Posts: 255
Default Article: 12 steps to get your bike commute started


"Jorg Lueke" wrote: A good article though I am not sure about carrying a
tire iron.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
In this context, I am sure that "tire iron" should be interpreted to mean:
any compact, light weight device that will enable you to pop the bead on and
off the rim. OTOH, a heavy tire iron that resembles a car spring or abalone
pry bar might be useful for fending off dogs ;-)


  #4  
Old November 30th 08, 04:40 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Tom Keats
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Posts: 3,193
Default Article: 12 steps to get your bike commute started

In article ,
"Leo Lichtman" writes:

"Jorg Lueke" wrote: A good article though I am not sure about carrying a
tire iron.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
In this context, I am sure that "tire iron" should be interpreted to mean:
any compact, light weight device that will enable you to pop the bead on and
off the rim. OTOH, a heavy tire iron that resembles a car spring or abalone
pry bar might be useful for fending off dogs ;-)


I remember tire irons for bicycles. And that's
what they were indeed called, and made of. Well,
probably steel, but "iron" is more poetic. You
know all that; you've got a few years on me.
But I bet there's a bunch of youngsters here who've
never heard of a tire /iron/, nor used a bumper jack,
whose handle is a combination tire iron/lug wrench.

My dad had a ratcheting screw jack whose handle was also
a tire iron. IIRC, he said it came from a Model T.

I used to have a set of bicycle tire irons handed down
to me from my older brother, but I've lost them somewhere
along the line. I wish I hadn't lost them. I still have
the old cone wrenches, though.

So, I still call 'em tire irons, even though their
made from a different, more plastic-y material.


cheers,
Tom
--
Nothing is safe from me.
I'm really at:
tkeats curlicue vcn dot bc dot ca
  #5  
Old November 30th 08, 05:30 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Jorg Lueke
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 145
Default Article: 12 steps to get your bike commute started

On Nov 29, 6:59*pm, "Leo Lichtman" wrote:
"Jorg Lueke" *wrote: A good article though I am not sure about carrying a

tire iron.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
In this context, I am sure that "tire iron" should be interpreted to mean:
any compact, light weight device that will enable you to pop the bead on and
off the rim. *OTOH, a heavy tire iron that resembles a car spring or abalone
pry bar might be useful for fending off dogs ;-)


I am sure, but I get a much different visual :-)
 




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