Ever Ride in City Traffic?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by NYC XYZ, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    NYC, that is! On a weekday in mid-town Manhattan? I did bike
    messenging for almost two months one summer -- only job where I wish I
    had more time in the day for (second hardest after Army infantry, no
    joke!) -- and now that I'm curious about recumbents, I'm trying to
    picture myself in all kinds of situations.

    How do you lock up a 'bent, anyway?

    Is it good for weaving in and out of traffic?

    Does it brake just like an upright?

    Is it harder to go real slow?

    Ever run red lights with them?

    How would they fare on the sidewalk? How well do they go over curbs
    and speed bumps?

    Ever get mugged on one? (Serious! Twice I had to jet away from some
    miscreants in broad daylight in the parks.)

    And apparently they make lots of squeaky noises??

    And they're actually worse for certain kinds of back problems???
     
    Tags:


  2. rBOB

    rBOB Guest

    Many moons ago, I commuted into NYC on an upright (over the GWB into
    midtown). At the risk of getting flamed, I would not ride a recumbent
    in NYC. The reasons are many: acceleration, jumping curbs and potholes,
    visibility, etc. Maybe someone here will disagree with me and set me
    straight, but that is my 2 cents worth.
     
  3. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

    NYC XYZ wrote:
    > NYC, that is! On a weekday in mid-town Manhattan? I did bike
    > messenging for almost two months one summer -- only job where I wish I
    > had more time in the day for (second hardest after Army infantry, no
    > joke!) -- and now that I'm curious about recumbents, I'm trying to
    > picture myself in all kinds of situations.

    <snip>

    I've never ridden in NYC. As far as major cities go, I've only ridden
    in Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, and Paris, France.

    Paris was easily the scariest. Also, it was my first time riding on the
    streets of a major city ever, so let's throw that one out.

    Atlanta and B'ham: There's no way these towns even compare to the
    ruggedness required for NYC. And I can't even imagine riding a
    recumbent in those places. So NYC just seems out of the question to me.

    --
    Paul M. Hobson
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    http://www.underthecouch.org
    ..:you may want to fix my email
    address before you send anything:.
     
  4. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "Paul Hobson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    >
    > Paris was easily the scariest. Also, it was my first time riding on the
    > streets of a major city ever, so let's throw that one out.
    >


    Yet I loved cycling in Paris - the Parisian rush hour was so easy! Yes, it
    was busy, but the motorists had such an excellent attitude to cyclists,
    giving me loads of room. As well as me cycling, my husband and our then 14
    year-old son cycled said Parisian rush hour, and we all thought the same. At
    the hotel where we were staying was an American (Texan, but no, not that
    one) who was also cycling and he too thought cycling in Paris was fun. Are
    we talking the same Paris? ;-)

    Cheers, helen s
     
  5. Michael

    Michael Guest

    I ride in NYC traffic and I see recumbents from time to time,
    especially with the critical mass groups. Even with the 8 foot flags,
    the fear I have is cars can't see that low.

    I was off the bike for five years and then popped into a shop and test
    rode a carbon fiber bianchi through Times Square in rush hour, I was
    hooked.

    People ask me, but I explain you never forget how to ride, it's just
    like riding a bicycle, you never forget!

    How is that for clever?
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    NYC XYZ wrote:
    > NYC, that is! On a weekday in mid-town Manhattan? I did bike
    > messenging for almost two months one summer -- only job where I wish I
    > had more time in the day for (second hardest after Army infantry, no
    > joke!) -- and now that I'm curious about recumbents, I'm trying to
    > picture myself in all kinds of situations.


    Most of the questions you ask don't have specific answers, because
    'bents are not a single functional class of cycle, just a general
    description of the seating layout. What goes for a BikeE will not
    necessarily go for an Anthrotech touring trike, and what goes for that
    probably has little to do with what will go for an M5 Lowracer.

    > How do you lock up a 'bent, anyway?


    Most have some sort of frame/wheel interface where you do it same as you
    would a DF. But not all of them.

    > Is it good for weaving in and out of traffic?


    As above, /very/ much implementation dependent. A compact city 'bent
    like the HPVel Spirit, pretty good, a lowracer or a long wheelbase
    tourer will suck at it Bigtime.

    > Does it brake just like an upright?


    Most of them brake considerably better. With a lower centre of mass
    there's far less tendency to disappear over the bars, so usually a skid
    is the worst you can manage. Being usually pricier, 'bents are
    typically aimed at a market who appreciate more expensive things, like
    hydraulic disc brakes, and that can be a factor too.

    > Is it harder to go real slow?


    On a bike, as a rule of thumb the lower the seat is the harder really
    slow travel is. On a trike, you can do an indefinite track stand if
    you want to.

    > Ever run red lights with them?


    Same as on an upwrong, something that is possible, but I don't do,
    'cause it's Very Dumb.

    > How would they fare on the sidewalk?


    Same as on an upwrong, depends on the other population and not something
    I go in for.

    > How well do they go over curbs and speed bumps?


    You typically can't hop the front wheel, so going up kerbs is a question
    of wheel size and suspension. Going down them isn't really a problem
    IME. Speed bumps will also vary with wheel size and suspension, but you
    won't go over the bars if you hit a nasty one unexpectedly.

    > Ever get mugged on one? (Serious! Twice I had to jet away from some
    > miscreants in broad daylight in the parks.)


    I haven't been...

    > And apparently they make lots of squeaky noises??


    Oh. Mine doesn't. No particular reason they should be squeakier than
    any other bike AFAICT.

    > And they're actually worse for certain kinds of back problems???


    For /some/, yes. But probably a typical upwrong crouch will be worse
    for rather more. If your back problem is made worse by a recumbent
    position then something /really/ upright (maybe a Pedersen) would be a
    possibility in the other direction worth considering.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  7. Jeff Grippe

    Jeff Grippe Guest

    "NYC XYZ" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > NYC, that is! On a weekday in mid-town Manhattan?


    I've lived in and around NYC all my life. When I was riding into Manhattan
    on a regular basis it was always on an upright. I would be willing to do the
    occasional ride or even commute but I wouldn't want to spend my days zipping
    through midtown traffic on a 'bent. For bent riding I'd limit myself to the
    extreme west side, extreme east side, and Central Park.

    I manage to piss off enough drivers in the 'burbs by taking up a lane of
    traffic on my trike. I could only imaging how the Manhattanites would find
    it.

    >
    > How do you lock up a 'bent, anyway?
    >


    I use a lock that is shaped like a large pair of handcuffs and I use a
    supplimental cable to go through the wheels. Still I wouldn't lock up my
    bike or trike in NYC where it wouldn't be in my constant view.

    > Is it good for weaving in and out of traffic?
    > Does it brake just like an upright?
    > Is it harder to go real slow?
    > Ever run red lights with them?
    > How would they fare on the sidewalk? How well do they go over curbs
    > and speed bumps?


    I think that for this type of riding an upright is going to be better.

    > And they're actually worse for certain kinds of back problems???


    That is what I've heard although I don't have back problems. I ride them for
    comfort. If I were working on my bike in NYC I doubt it would be a 'bent.

    There have recently been a lot of Pedicabs in NYC and they are almost all
    upright. I think you want the kind of power and control afforded by an
    upright when you are trying to get through traffic. Bikes are not well
    respected by either pedestrians or drivers in NYC.
     
  8. NYC XYZ wrote:

    > How do you lock up a 'bent, anyway?


    U-lock around the frame or steering riser

    > Is it good for weaving in and out of traffic?


    Depends on the bike. The Speedmachine I use as my #1 commuting bike (in
    central London) is not very good at this; the Kingcycle I ran for many years
    was almost as handy as an upright.

    > Does it brake just like an upright?


    Better.

    > Is it harder to go real slow?


    Not with practice, though track-stands are out.

    > Ever run red lights with them?


    No. Nor on an upright bike or in a motorcar.

    > How would they fare on the sidewalk? How well do they go over curbs
    > and speed bumps?


    I neither know nor care, coz I ride on the road.

    > Ever get mugged on one? (Serious! Twice I had to jet away from some
    > miscreants in broad daylight in the parks.)


    No.

    > And apparently they make lots of squeaky noises??


    No.

    > And they're actually worse for certain kinds of back problems???


    Can't say I've noticed...

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Apparently Guy has now got a Brompton. I'd never have guessed.
     
  9. On 17 Jul 2005 17:33:54 -0700, "NYC XYZ" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >How do you lock up a 'bent, anyway?


    I use a Master Street Cuff round the main tube behind the steerer.

    >Is it good for weaving in and out of traffic?


    Not particularly, a higher bike, maybe with USS, is probably better
    for that than a sports bike like mine.

    >Does it brake just like an upright?


    Much better :)

    >Is it harder to go real slow?


    Not really.

    >Ever run red lights with them?


    I imagine it's not different than running them on a wedgie, but no I
    don't (on either)

    >How would they fare on the sidewalk? How well do they go over curbs
    >and speed bumps?


    I have no idea, I have never felt the slightest urge to find out!

    >Ever get mugged on one? (Serious! Twice I had to jet away from some
    >miscreants in broad daylight in the parks.)


    No. I've never met anyone who could keep up for long :)

    >And apparently they make lots of squeaky noises??


    LOL! So do any bikes if you neglect them! Mine runs pretty much
    silently

    >And they're actually worse for certain kinds of back problems???


    Allegedly.


    Guy
    --
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    "Let’s have a moment of silence for all those Americans who are stuck
    in traffic on their way to the gym to ride the stationary bicycle."
    - Earl Blumenauer
     
  10. I'll go out on a limb here and volunteer the name of a very nice gentleman
    who runs a messenger service in downtown Manhattan that you could talk to
    and possible test ride one of his several recumbents.
    Shelly Mossy [email protected]
    I borrowed his EZ1 last August for the day
    Any *head first* style vehicle is out of the question for this person no
    matter what the reason.
    LWB oss works well in the tight confines of NYC, SF, Seattle, L.A., Indy
    and Portland
    the only big cities I have had the chance to ride.
    Speedy

    NYC XYZ wrote:

    > NYC, that is! On a weekday in mid-town Manhattan? I did bike
    > messenging for almost two months one summer -- only job where I wish I
    > had more time in the day for (second hardest after Army infantry, no
    > joke!) -- and now that I'm curious about recumbents, I'm trying to
    > picture myself in all kinds of situations.
    >
    > How do you lock up a 'bent, anyway?
    >
    > Is it good for weaving in and out of traffic?
    >
    > Does it brake just like an upright?
    >
    > Is it harder to go real slow?
    >
    > Ever run red lights with them?
    >
    > How would they fare on the sidewalk? How well do they go over curbs
    > and speed bumps?
    >
    > Ever get mugged on one? (Serious! Twice I had to jet away from some
    > miscreants in broad daylight in the parks.)
    >
    > And apparently they make lots of squeaky noises??
    >
    > And they're actually worse for certain kinds of back problems???



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  11. I never owned a recumbent, not because of any adversity to the design,
    but because I wouldnt like riding that low in traffic. Even with a flag,
    you are even more invisible, and in NYC, this would be like lying doun
    in the middle of the street. IMO

    - -

    "May you have the winds at your back,
    And a really low gear for the hills!"

    Chris Zacho ~ "Your Friendly Neighborhood Wheelman"

    Chris'Z Corner
    http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  12. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "Chris Zacho "The Wheelman"" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I never owned a recumbent, not because of any adversity to the design,
    > but because I wouldnt like riding that low in traffic. Even with a flag,
    > you are even more invisible, and in NYC, this would be like lying doun
    > in the middle of the street. IMO
    >


    What I've found with my 'bent is that even though I'm lower, I'm a lot more
    visible due to the "What the F*** Is That???" factor at work :)

    Cheers, helen s
     
  13. Slugger

    Slugger Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, NYC
    XYZ <[email protected]> wrote:

    > NYC, that is! On a weekday in mid-town Manhattan? I did bike
    > messenging for almost two months one summer -- only job where I wish I
    > had more time in the day for (second hardest after Army infantry, no
    > joke!) -- and now that I'm curious about recumbents, I'm trying to
    > picture myself in all kinds of situations.


    There is a documentary called "Pedal" about the messengers in NYC. An
    odd group of people to be sure. (crackheads, one legged riders, jesus
    preachers) I recommend it to anyone that rides a bike. One fellow in
    the movie rides a BikeE for his messenger work.
    Some ride track bikes. Which to me seems completely crazy because these
    track bikes typically don't have brakes. So if you think riding a bent
    in NYC is crazy, there are far crazier bikers on the road than a bent
    rider.
     
  14. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

    wafflycat wrote:
    >
    > "Paul Hobson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>
    >> Paris was easily the scariest. Also, it was my first time riding on
    >> the streets of a major city ever, so let's throw that one out.
    >>

    >
    > Yet I loved cycling in Paris - the Parisian rush hour was so easy! Yes,
    > it was busy, but the motorists had such an excellent attitude to
    > cyclists, giving me loads of room. As well as me cycling, my husband and
    > our then 14 year-old son cycled said Parisian rush hour, and we all
    > thought the same. At the hotel where we were staying was an American
    > (Texan, but no, not that one) who was also cycling and he too thought
    > cycling in Paris was fun. Are we talking the same Paris? ;-)
    >
    > Cheers, helen s
    >
    >


    I'm sure I'd love Paris now. But riding from wherever the hell I was to
    Le Louvre was scary as hell for a 17 yr-old kid who had never ridden a
    road bike before and had zero experience riding on streets (my hometown
    has a series of golfcart/bike/ped. paths that connect the whole town).

    Looking back on it...I'd eat all up now :)

    --
    Paul M. Hobson
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    http://www.underthecouch.org
    ..:you may want to fix my email
    address before you send anything:.
     
  15. Edward Dolan

    Edward Dolan Guest

    "Jeff Grippe" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "NYC XYZ" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >>
    >> NYC, that is! On a weekday in mid-town Manhattan?

    >
    > I've lived in and around NYC all my life. When I was riding into Manhattan
    > on a regular basis it was always on an upright. I would be willing to do
    > the occasional ride or even commute but I wouldn't want to spend my days
    > zipping through midtown traffic on a 'bent. For bent riding I'd limit
    > myself to the extreme west side, extreme east side, and Central Park.


    I am not sure about either the extreme west side or east side either.
    Perhaps at some times of the day, but not at other times of the day. Central
    Park would work, but how to get you and your bike to the Park would be the
    problem.
    [...]

    > There have recently been a lot of Pedicabs in NYC and they are almost all
    > upright. I think you want the kind of power and control afforded by an
    > upright when you are trying to get through traffic. Bikes are not well
    > respected by either pedestrians or drivers in NYC.


    The very best way to get around New York City is via the subway and then to
    walk. New York is a walker's paradise. I used to walk from one end of
    Manhattan to the other end on weekends many times and I never got bored. I
    truly do not think there is another city in the US that is as interesting or
    as exciting to walk about as is New York.

    When I lived in Brooklyn Heights, I use to take the subway for about 10
    cents (this was back in the 1960's) and travel to a jumping off point in the
    City. From my jumping off point I would walk and walk until total exhaustion
    set in. It never even occurred to me at the time to get a bicycle. In fact,
    I don't even remember ever seeing any bikes, but maybe that was because I
    wasn't looking.

    Now that I am coming to the end of my life I am getting back to walking
    again. Unfortunately, I now have to do it in my small town here in the Upper
    Midwest. It is not New York of course, but still, walking is walking and you
    always feel better after having done it.

    We humans are actually designed for walking, not biking. If I still lived in
    New York, I would want to walk and would not even consider a bike.

    Ed Dolan - Minnesota
     
  16. Edward Dolan wrote:
    >
    > We humans are actually designed for walking, not biking.


    :) Oh, I doubt that! If we were designed for walking, we'd have run
    out of ingenuity after we invented shoes!

    In any case, I sure feel like _I_ was designed for biking.

    And as an aside, I've absolutely proven I was _not_ designed for
    running, swimming or (heaven forbid) golf!

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  17. Bill Sornson

    Bill Sornson Guest

    Edward Dolan wrote:

    > We humans are actually designed for walking, not biking.


    You related to [email protected]@n?!?
     
  18. Edward Dolan

    Edward Dolan Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    > Edward Dolan wrote:
    >>
    >> We humans are actually designed for walking, not biking.

    >
    > :) Oh, I doubt that! If we were designed for walking, we'd have run
    > out of ingenuity after we invented shoes!
    >
    > In any case, I sure feel like _I_ was designed for biking.
    >
    > And as an aside, I've absolutely proven I was _not_ designed for
    > running, swimming or (heaven forbid) golf!
    >
    > - Frank Krygowski


    Sorry Frank, but if you belong to the same species as I do then you were
    designed for walking too. New York is just chock full of institutions of
    higher education. Find one and take a course in anthropology about how we
    humans evolved. Such a course is generally labeled Physical Anthropology
    101.

    Walking is the human means of locomotion par excellence. It is only in the
    past few thousand years that humans have been able to invent other ways of
    getting around. However, our anatomy and physiology is the same as it has
    always been. It was and is designed for walking, not biking.

    Ed Dolan - Minnesota
     
  19. jj

    jj Guest

    On Tue, 19 Jul 2005 19:49:14 -0500, "Edward Dolan" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    ><[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >>
    >>
    >> Edward Dolan wrote:
    >>>
    >>> We humans are actually designed for walking, not biking.

    >>
    >> :) Oh, I doubt that! If we were designed for walking, we'd have run
    >> out of ingenuity after we invented shoes!
    >>
    >> In any case, I sure feel like _I_ was designed for biking.
    >>
    >> And as an aside, I've absolutely proven I was _not_ designed for
    >> running, swimming or (heaven forbid) golf!
    >>
    >> - Frank Krygowski

    >
    >Sorry Frank, but if you belong to the same species as I do then you were
    >designed for walking too. New York is just chock full of institutions of
    >higher education. Find one and take a course in anthropology about how we
    >humans evolved. Such a course is generally labeled Physical Anthropology
    >101.
    >
    >Walking is the human means of locomotion par excellence. It is only in the
    >past few thousand years that humans have been able to invent other ways of
    >getting around. However, our anatomy and physiology is the same as it has
    >always been. It was and is designed for walking, not biking.
    >
    >Ed Dolan - Minnesota


    Gee I wonder why they say the human spine was not designed for upright
    locomotion, thus the prevalence of back strains and injuries? <g>

    jj
     
  20. Edward Dolan wrote:
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > >
    > >
    > > Edward Dolan wrote:
    > >>
    > >> We humans are actually designed for walking, not biking.

    > >
    > > :) Oh, I doubt that! If we were designed for walking, we'd have run
    > > out of ingenuity after we invented shoes!
    > >
    > > In any case, I sure feel like _I_ was designed for biking.
    > >
    > > And as an aside, I've absolutely proven I was _not_ designed for
    > > running, swimming or (heaven forbid) golf!
    > >
    > > - Frank Krygowski

    >
    > Sorry Frank, but if you belong to the same species as I do then you were
    > designed for walking too. New York is just chock full of institutions of
    > higher education. Find one and take a course in anthropology about how we
    > humans evolved. Such a course is generally labeled Physical Anthropology
    > 101.
    >
    > Walking is the human means of locomotion par excellence. It is only in the
    > past few thousand years that humans have been able to invent other ways of
    > getting around. However, our anatomy and physiology is the same as it has
    > always been. It was and is designed for walking, not biking.
    >
    > Ed Dolan - Minnesota


    Gee, I see _some_ humans were designed without a sense of humor!

    - Frank Krygowski
     
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