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Those other bikes. The ones with peddles and no throttle.
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coyoteran



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 807
Location: X Marks the spot...X stands for danger...two lines crossing over one another means to me...stay away

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:17 pm    Post subject: Those other bikes. The ones with peddles and no throttle. Reply with quote

Hi all.

I have recently taken up the middle age hobby of "Running from Death." I find myself in gyms, weight rooms, and on trails gasping, wheezing and being generally mad at the world just trying to put some distance between me and a hole in the ground.

It has recently occurred to me that perhaps renewing my acquaintance with my old bike might be another way to widen that gap. I have started commuting a couple of times a week on a fairly well built solid frame 21 speed flat bar bike. 8k each way with a mix of city and country roads. Mostly paved.

So, the question for the masses is aside from "The Great and Mighty Google" does anybody have any tips, tricks, good reads, no fail go to info for a burgeoning bicycle commuter. What equipment falls into the "don't leave home without it" list? Bike mods? Anything you wish you would have known about or had when you were stuck 4k from home on a windy tuesday. I plan to ride until the snow flies.

Thanks.

Trevor

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Vy is it vee get too soon olt and too late schmart?
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Yarko



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've commuted in Kelowna for 3 years for about 13 km each day on an older steel road bike and this is stuff I always had in my bag:
- portable pump
- spare tube (sometime 2)
- bike tool
- patch kit
- tire levers
- a good light (I have a Lezyne Super Drive XL)

I would also highly recommend fenders for when the rain strikes. And if you feel comfortable, clippy shoes and pedals.
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coyoteran



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 807
Location: X Marks the spot...X stands for danger...two lines crossing over one another means to me...stay away

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I started moving forward on some of your tips Yarko. Got a rear rack in lieu of a fender. No panniers yet. Might go the way of the Taiwan Top Case, aka Milk Crate for that. Replaced my lost old air pump and added a side mirror. Gotta watch that on the bridge or it will get sheered off.

Already had the bike tool and tube but still don't have a decent way to carry them. My backpack already weighs in a 15 to 30 lbs depending on my work day. Might get my wife to fabricate something I can hang off the frame.

I flipped the stem over to make my riding a little more upright. I had it upside down to make hill climbing a little easier in Italy.

On an unrelated note, the bike shop guy did a soft sell on a fat-bike. Let me burn it around the block. Wow. Nice ride. Not a ton of work like I was expecting and it looked like it could drive across the arctic tundra. Very appropriate for Moose Jaw winters. This running from death thing could end up costing me a few $ but hey, you never see a roof rack on a hearse now do you.

Anybody else have any tips? I am all ears.

Trevor

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redbike



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 1004

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stand by for JC's advice on Phat Bhikes.
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Kevin



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 596
Location: Dovercourt, Edmonton

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kept my bike tools and patches in a baggie that i attached underneath the seat.
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Yarko



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made my own studded winter tires once and that lasted me two winters. Old mountain bike tires + wood screws + old tube to line the inside + proper tube inside that. Needs a bit of baby powder otherwise the two tubes stick together.
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jbcollier



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3696

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stay tuned.
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jbcollier



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3696

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't much experience with fat bikes but the truth is in the telling. If it feels good, it is good. Certainly for winter conditions a fat bike would be a good choice.

General comments on commuting below.

visibility:

- use lights at dawn and dusk as well as when dark.

- always have a bright amber reflector at the back (lights can fail). Round 2.5" DOT reflectors used on trucks are perfect and far brighter than anything else out there.

- reflective stripes and what not = good. Big vest with an "X" on the back less so. Too much like "X" marks the spot.

- solid lights rather than flashing, please. It is impossible to judge distance and closing rate when viewing a flashing light. Also, a few times a year, some drunk piles into the back of a stationary police car with all its lights flashing. Some sort of target-lock voodoo (see also vest with big "X" above).

- White helmet and light coloured jacket/jersey helps as well.

predictability:

- ride in a straight line. Simple really but oh so important. Drivers behind you make decisions based on what is happening in front of them. Keep it steady and they will do their best to avoid you. Move around and they get confused and the good lord only knows what they'll do.


awareness:

- learn to shoulder check, both ways, and still maintain a straight line. Very important and easy to learn.

- NEVER move sideways in either direction without shoulder checking FIRST. Yes I have been passed on the inside.


communication:

- just point in the direction you want to go. Using the left hand to make a right signal can be confusing for some drivers. Keep it simple: right arm pointed right for right, and left arm pointed left for left.

- many times drivers will yield when you do a shoulder check. Very helpful in winter when perhaps both hands on the bars is more important.

- do not use the "brake" signal, period -- unless riding with other cyclists. Putting your hand down means zip, zero, nada to drivers behind you. The advantage of a bicycle is that they can see around you and, usually, why you are slowing is obvious. Always best to have both hands on the bars when slowing. For the same reason NEVER teach the brake signal to children -- they might actually use it!

More later
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coyoteran



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 807
Location: X Marks the spot...X stands for danger...two lines crossing over one another means to me...stay away

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Copy all. I have a lit reflector on my top case, (yep, milk crated that bad boy) but I will be adding some of that 3m reflector tape to the crate and a semi-permanent tail light as well. I haven't had any issues with the left and right hand signals here in the Jaw. The reality is a lot of the drivers here predate signal lights on cars so there is some knowledge.

Fwd facing light is on the shopping list as well. Fabricated a tool carrier with a poster tube, duct tape, packing tape and a bit of velcro that all fits perfectly on the rack in front of the top case.

Future purchases and upgrades have to be earned. The math goes like this. I save approx 50 cents for every km I peddle rather than drive. That savings is banked for part and bike purchases. 16km/day at 4 days/week is 32 bucks a week that I can spend on parts or upgrades. I have also included times when I just ride to ride as incentive to ride more. We will see how long my motivation holds up.

Thanks for all the advice so far.
T

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Angelo



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 2133

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have dibbs on the P200....
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coyoteran



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 807
Location: X Marks the spot...X stands for danger...two lines crossing over one another means to me...stay away

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angelo wrote:
I have dibbs on the P200....


I will trade you straight across for the GS. The GS is older hence not worth as much so you are getting a deal here. Twisted Evil

T

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jbcollier



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you put it that way, you're very persuasive!
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Angelo



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 2133

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coyoteran wrote:
Angelo wrote:
I have dibbs on the P200....


I will trade you straight across for the GS. The GS is older hence not worth as much so you are getting a deal here. Twisted Evil

T


I would feel awkward and uncomforable following through on the deal, but If you would except some Cash as well I might consider it... Shocked

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- Dustin Kott-
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coyoteran



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 807
Location: X Marks the spot...X stands for danger...two lines crossing over one another means to me...stay away

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angelo wrote:
coyoteran wrote:
Angelo wrote:
I have dibbs on the P200....


I will trade you straight across for the GS. The GS is older hence not worth as much so you are getting a deal here. Twisted Evil

T


I would feel awkward and uncomforable following through on the deal, but If you would except some Cash as well I might consider it... Shocked


Charlene has gotten wind of this conversation and she said if you showed up with a big sandwich, a SanBenedeto iced tea and a pistachio covered canoli from the Italian centre you can take it, no questions asked.

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coyoteran



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 807
Location: X Marks the spot...X stands for danger...two lines crossing over one another means to me...stay away

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So this https://www.niteize.com/product/Helmet-Marker-Plus.asp went on to the topcase tonight and I have the thule pack n pedal handlebar mount and smartphone holder on order from Amazon. Wow have they come a long way in Canada btw. The thule will hold my phone which acts as a full on instrument cluster, gps, entertainment unit, and headlight. Just gotta keep the battery charged and I am gtg.

Getting faster on my commute and I don't feel so beat up at the end of the day. Shooting for 5 days next week. Have to revisit the tool kit as I launched it off the bike at speed after a hard bump on friday. Easy fix and just happy I heard it go skipping off into the gutter.

Still under budget using my mileage calculator. Yay me.

T

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