As a newb I must say...

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Awesome Jenn, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Awesome Jenn

    Awesome Jenn New Member

    Aug 24, 2009
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    I'm not sure how to start bicycling xD I've learned that just throwing myself at it might not be the best idea. Due to transportation situation, I have decided to start biking to work everyday (making the total journey about 6 mi). To all you experienced people, that may seem like nothing, but for me, a nerdy girl who has a sedentary job, it's pretty straining...I was wondering if you guys would help me by saying what I should do to make the trip a little easier!

    What I know from day one:
    -Don't wear jeans =3=
    -Drink and eat before you go
    -Stretch before you go biking?

    Any advice is appreciated =3


  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Oct 6, 2003
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    Be prepared for weather changes, maybe you are using a backpack but if not you can always roll up a raincoat, windbreaker etc and stash it in your bottle cage in a cut off water bottle or plastic bag. .
    Eating before is optional for me depending on the ride.
    Get yourself a few tools including tire levers,an extra tube,a hand pump or co2 cartridges,a pouch to carry them in and most of all learn to use them and change a tube.
    Six mile a water bottle is optional but you need a helmet unless you have a very hard skull.
    Keep your chain and gears clean and lubricated and your tire pressure up.
    Maybe I will start a thread with tips for mewbies that everyone can contribute to.;)
  3. Doc R

    Doc R New Member

    Feb 17, 2009
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    All good advice. I like the term "mewbies." I'm going to use that.

    I leave my best pair of dress shoes at work and bring a change of clothes with me. My commute is only 3 miles, but you can still get pretty sweaty in that distance. It all depends on how nicely you have to dress, I suppose. I also keep a towel at work for that reason.

    Make a practice run or two with everything you think you need for work. You don't have to go the whole distance, but I'd try it with no backpack just to check the route and then with everything. You also have to remember that traffic may be very different in the mornings/evenings than when you're doing the practice run.

    Do a couple (or more) longer rides during the week or on weekends to get in shape if necessary. This will do more towards increasing your enjoyment of bicycle commuting than anything. Or at least it will mitigate any hatred of bicycle commuting.

    Make sure you have a good lock and know the best parking places (well-lit, etc.). I keep a braided cable lock wrapped around the headtube of my commuter bike, with the key in the lock at all times except on the rack so I never have to remember it.

    Carry a cell phone in case one of the aforementioned problems does happen so that you can get in touch with bosses and let them know you're running late. Better yet, make sure you have the number of an administrative assistant in your phone, and have that person notify everybody if necessary.

    Buy the best/highest quality/lightest commuter bike that you can afford. In fact, buy the one that is just above the best one you can afford. You will not continue to commute by bike if you're riding a 45 lb monster, or if it won't shift and the chain comes off three times every ride.
  4. guidosan

    guidosan New Member

    Mar 2, 2004
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    It has already been mentioned before, but be prepared. It is best if you can ride the route on a day off or weekend. This will help you to be ready for tight traffic situations, or funky intersections that you may encounter. But on a work day, you should expect traffic to be busier and even faster as folks are racing to get kids to school and themselves off to work.

    This way you can see if you are set to carry the stuff you may need. Things like lunch, change of clothes, tools and flat repair kit with pump. Will you just ride in and go to work, or will you change your clothes at work? I leave a stash of clean clothes and shoes at work. We have a shower so I clean up, change and off I go. Then change back to cycling friendly attire and off to home at the end of the day. The days I drive, or on the weekend, I will exchange the worn stuff for clean clothes for the next week.

    Also, do you know where you will leave your bike? Depending on your situation, you can have it with you at your desk, or you may need to lock it up at a bike rake. How is security where you work? I leave mine in a stair well and this hasn’t been any issue. I guess a lot of folks just don’t take the stairs these days, so they never realize a bike is there.