Ride More- Drive Less

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by [email protected], Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Driving has become too expensive, and I'm looking for an alternative,
    get some things done and get some exercise in the process...

    I live in the Northeast PA Endless Mountain Chain, home of many two
    lane roads, and very small towns, and very little room on the shoulders
    of roads to ride on without maybe getting run off, either by some hick
    who doesn't like you, because you are riding, or isn't paying
    attention to what (s)/he is doing
    and there are lots of up and down hills to deal with.

    I am at the top of a hill, and have 300+ feet of a half mile dirt road
    to go down before I hit the "country road"

    What I'd like to do with a bike:

    Go on errands... Without using my car and paying 3+ a gallon for gas.

    The nearest towns are 7 and 8 miles away. I'd like to do some small
    shopping and come back with the groceries.
    I'd probably need some sort of "carrying case" for food to bring back
    home (might encourage me to stop buying cans and get items I can cook,
    like dried beans, or such), or a larger backpack....
    Go for longer rides, or visit friends in the area.

    Just getting away and riding, is probably invigorating.
    Unfortunately, both of my friends in the area live up on a steep
    street. I have this suspicion that I would not make it up that hill.

    I don't have a problem with the hill portion, as long as I get a bike
    where I can ride up one, and not be dead tired after it (I know to use
    lower gears to ascend, pedal fast, move slower)
    Is this the proper way to tackle areas that have a lot of hills?
    So many of them discourage me a bit.. Maybe, you can offer some tips on
    how to "tackle them better"


    I am in pretty good shape (have been running for 6 years or so)

    It's been suggested that I get a mountain bike... but I'm not sure what
    type to get, or how much to spend if I plan to do more riding and less
    driving.
    Unfortunately, reading these boards, especially about getting run off a
    deserted mountain road, and having your bike stolen doesn't sound like
    a really good option (unless I get a small pistol to guard against such
    things)

    I'm open to any ideas. The sooner I get out of my car, the happier
    I'll be.

    Dave
     
    Tags:


  2. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On 19 Apr 2006 09:22:33 -0700, [email protected] wrote:

    >I'm open to any ideas. The sooner I get out of my car, the happier
    >I'll be.


    Critical factors as I see them:

    You must be able to ride on a gravel road; this indicates that fatter
    tires are a better choice than skinny ones.

    You need to have low gearing available for climbing hills; this
    mitigates in favor of the mountain bikes as a class.

    You will spend a substantial portion of any trip on a paved surface;
    this mitigates against tires with a knobby main tread area.

    I'd go with a suitable-size mountain bike, equipped with the type of
    tires that have knobby edges but a smooth-ish center to the tread. A
    front suspension fork would be a good thing in my opinion; rural roads
    tend to be a bit bumpy, and the gravel sections certainly will be.

    Given the gravel roads that you mentioned will need to be ridden, I'd
    recommend carrying a spare tube, a patch kit, tire levers, whatever
    tool(s) may be required to remove and install the wheels (if there's
    no quick-release on the hub) and a tire pump. Pinch flats on gravel
    roads are going to happen once in a while. In what amounts to your
    driveway, this isn't a big problem; your flat repair stuff will
    presumably be close at hand. Away from home, it's best to be
    prepared.

    You might consider a rear rack to hang saddlebags from when making a
    grocery run, but a backpack for the more fragile items is a good plan
    in my experience; be sure to include something in it that can keep
    things like a carton of eggs from getting crushed. (Grapes can be fun
    to carry home in a backpack. I built some collapsible boxes from
    coroplast roadside signs for this sort of thing; I used velcro on the
    flaps.)

    Given the relatively short distances involved, I think you will find a
    bike quite useful for much of your running, at least in spring, summer
    and fall weather.
    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  3. Leo Lichtman

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    "Werehatrack" wrote: (clip) I'd go with a suitable-size mountain bike,
    equipped with the type of tires that have knobby edges but a smooth-ish
    center to the tread. (clip)
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I use Avocet Cross tires for this type of mixed riding. The profile of the
    tire is essentially smooth, with a zig-zag inverted tread. It rolls like a
    smooth tire, but grips pretty well on dirt.

    I have these on two bikes, one of which is a loaner. We have never had a
    flat on either one.
     
  4. I'm doing the same thing here in town.

    Some suggestions, from my experience (very flat, windy city):
    - you'll want fenders on your bike, especially on rural gravel roads (a
    wet stripe down your back is bad, a mud stripe down your back is worse)

    - I'd go with paniers (saddle bags) if you can. A backpack is nice but
    it makes your back sweaty on hot days and raises your centre of gravity
    (not a pleasant thought on hills)

    - if you opt for a road bike, avoid tubeless tires - I've found them to
    be far more prone to puncture than tubed tires

    - plan your trips well. Cycling takes longer than driving, but if you
    plan well (which is less of a necessity when driving), combining trips,
    etc, the extra time can be minimized.

    - even if you are fit, you will be sore the first few times you cycle
    because you use your muscles in different ways than you are used to.

    Focus on the positives of cycling and enjoy it. Listen to the birds
    chirping as you cycle along. Take in the scenery. Cycling really lets
    you use your senses for things other than listening to the radio and
    watching the moron drivers around you.

    Jeff
     
  5. Simon Cooper

    Simon Cooper Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Go on errands... Without using my car and paying 3+ a gallon for gas.


    I managed to get through all of Feb and March without buying gas this year.
    What you're leaning towards is perfectly feasible.

    > The nearest towns are 7 and 8 miles away. I'd like to do some small
    > shopping and come back with the groceries.
    > I'd probably need some sort of "carrying case" for food to bring back
    > home (might encourage me to stop buying cans and get items I can cook,
    > like dried beans, or such), or a larger backpack....
    > Go for longer rides, or visit friends in the area.


    I've recently picked up a couple of pairs of panniers (bike bags that hang
    either side of the rear wheel) for shopping, they're good. One pair is
    cheaper but bigger, the other pair are small, but top quality, and I much
    prefer to use them.

    > Just getting away and riding, is probably invigorating.
    > Unfortunately, both of my friends in the area live up on a steep
    > street. I have this suspicion that I would not make it up that hill.


    Small gears aren't a bad thing. If it's really steep but short, there's not
    much shame in getting off and pushing...

    > I am in pretty good shape (have been running for 6 years or so)


    Good place to start.

    > It's been suggested that I get a mountain bike... but I'm not sure what
    > type to get, or how much to spend if I plan to do more riding and less
    > driving.


    You need to get something you'll be comfortable with over reasonable
    distance. Mountain bikes will generally have the gears to deal with hills -
    but almost any bike can be had with low gearing for big hills. The fat
    tyres are a disadvantage (heavy, lossier) when on roads - if you'll mostly
    be on roads, look at touring bikes (dedicated ones are expensive) and hybrid
    bikes - both these have more emphasis on load carrying than light weight,
    lighter road bikes will be troublesome to mount racks and bags on. Flat vs
    dropped handlebars is a choice - drops offer more places to move your hands
    for comfort, they've also been a theft deterrent for most of the last 20
    years.... I find my flat bars just as comfortable really.

    > Unfortunately, reading these boards, especially about getting run off a
    > deserted mountain road, and having your bike stolen doesn't sound like


    Bikes get stolen where there's opportunity. In rural areas, I'd have though
    it much less likely that local kids would molest even an unlocked bike
    outside a store, a locked one should be just fine. I get a few people
    (usually passengers) once in a while leaning out their car windows and
    shouting various meaningless things (usually can't hear it anyway), but
    hey - they noticed you. Being seen is important.
    Can't believe you'll get PA rednecks trying to run you off the road without
    provocation.
     
  6. Bill Baka

    Bill Baka Guest

    Leo Lichtman wrote:
    > "Werehatrack" wrote: (clip) I'd go with a suitable-size mountain bike,
    > equipped with the type of tires that have knobby edges but a smooth-ish
    > center to the tread. (clip)
    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    > I use Avocet Cross tires for this type of mixed riding. The profile of the
    > tire is essentially smooth, with a zig-zag inverted tread. It rolls like a
    > smooth tire, but grips pretty well on dirt.
    >
    > I have these on two bikes, one of which is a loaner. We have never had a
    > flat on either one.
    >
    >

    I can't resist.
    MTB.
    I can go anywhere in town, hop curbs, hit potholes, and even take it in
    most stores. Gas is $3.00 a gallon here, but I don't care. The only time
    I get in a car is when a friend who doesn't ride decides to pick me up,
    usually for a shopping trip to Fry's Electronics to get computer goodies.
    Bill Baka
     
  7. bill

    bill Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Driving has become too expensive, and I'm looking for an alternative,
    > get some things done and get some exercise in the process...
    >
    > I live in the Northeast PA Endless Mountain Chain, home of many two
    > lane roads, and very small towns, and very little room on the shoulders
    > of roads to ride on without maybe getting run off, either by some hick
    > who doesn't like you, because you are riding, or isn't paying
    > attention to what (s)/he is doing
    > and there are lots of up and down hills to deal with.
    >


    For safety, you want to be visible. But you also want to learn to
    anticipate problems. For example, car drivers almost never slow down
    for bikes--even if they have to pass on a blind hill or curve. This
    can lead to catastrophe when the car driver is in the middle of passing
    you (by going into the opposing lane), and then suddenly has to get out
    of the way of oncoming traffic. Guess who loses? SO you learn to pay
    attention to terrain. If you see a car coming from behind that is
    going to arrive abreast of you in a dangerous spot, then stop and get
    to a safe spot.

    Use your ears. Use your brain. Assume that people do not see you. Be
    sure you have an "out". Do not attempt to share the road if there is
    no safe "out". Do not crowd to the right--use the road so that you
    have space. People will have to adjust to you, but do not lose your
    nerve--hold your ground. Pay attention to sounds. If you are taking
    the road, and you hear a car coming from behind, but you do not hear it
    slowing, take a glance and make sure they see you. Remember, where
    there is poor visibility to the fore, stop, get off the bike and yield
    the whole road until the traffic clears.

    Drivers tend to find it psychologically difficult to run bikes over
    ditectly--but a sideswipe somehow doesn't bother them (had that happen
    twice--from being too far over to the right).

    > I am at the top of a hill, and have 300+ feet of a half mile dirt road
    > to go down before I hit the "country road"
    >


    300 feet is nothing on a bike :)

    > What I'd like to do with a bike:
    >
    > Go on errands... Without using my car and paying 3+ a gallon for gas.
    >
    > The nearest towns are 7 and 8 miles away. I'd like to do some small
    > shopping and come back with the groceries.
    > I'd probably need some sort of "carrying case" for food to bring back
    > home (might encourage me to stop buying cans and get items I can cook,
    > like dried beans, or such), or a larger backpack....
    > Go for longer rides, or visit friends in the area.
    >


    Panniers are the most versatile efficient method for all but the
    largest loads, for which a trailer is necessary. But hills are no fun
    with a trailer. For really little loads, you can use a pack--lighter
    than panniers.

    8 miles will take you an hour if you are going uphill, 1/4 hour if you
    are going down.

    > Just getting away and riding, is probably invigorating.
    > Unfortunately, both of my friends in the area live up on a steep
    > street. I have this suspicion that I would not make it up that hill.
    >


    So walk it if you have to. I once walked in a race--and passed people!


    > I don't have a problem with the hill portion, as long as I get a bike
    > where I can ride up one, and not be dead tired after it (I know to use
    > lower gears to ascend, pedal fast, move slower)
    > Is this the proper way to tackle areas that have a lot of hills?
    > So many of them discourage me a bit.. Maybe, you can offer some tips on
    > how to "tackle them better"
    >


    Pace yourself. Keep your RPM no less than 70. If your gears aren't low
    enough, walk.


    >
    > I am in pretty good shape (have been running for 6 years or so)
    >


    You'll have lung power.

    > It's been suggested that I get a mountain bike... but I'm not sure what
    > type to get, or how much to spend if I plan to do more riding and less
    > driving.


    Mountan bikes are awful for climbing, especially the new ones without
    the bar ends. A drop-bar on a road frame is far more preferrable.
    Lighter, better climbing, and better handling. Smoother tires are less
    prone to following cracks and causing a crash.

    > Unfortunately, reading these boards, especially about getting run off a
    > deserted mountain road, and having your bike stolen doesn't sound like
    > a really good option (unless I get a small pistol to guard against such
    > things)


    I've only had theft issues in the city. If you are really worried
    about it, use a lock. Forget the gun. That won't make friends.
     

  8. > no safe "out". Do not crowd to the right--use the road so that you
    > have space. People will have to adjust to you, but do not lose your
    > nerve--hold your ground. Pay attention to sounds. If you are taking
    > the road, and you hear a car coming from behind, but you do not hear it
    > slowing, take a glance and make sure they see you. Remember, where


    This is in my opinion the most important thing to remember when riding
    on lightly traveled narrow roads that have drivers not accustomed to
    bikes. Claim a good chunk of the road so drivers are forced to do a
    distinct passing maneuver to get around you. Otherwise they just try to
    squeeze by invariably right where there is poor visibility and luck has
    an oncoming car to further complicate things. Staying too far to the
    right also makes it easier to ride off the road inadvertantly and
    perhaps crash when trying to steer back onto the pavement, perhaps
    right under the wheels of a lone car! Sometimes wind/noise from a
    passing car or tractor can be quite unsettling, and if you are startled
    being too close to the edge of the road can be quite unpleasant and
    dangerous.

    If you are in a rural area that has few people, the drivers will get to
    know you after a while, so train them well from the get-go!

    Have fun!

    Joseph
     
  9. In article
    <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] wrote:

    > > no safe "out". Do not crowd to the right--use the road so that you
    > > have space. People will have to adjust to you, but do not lose your
    > > nerve--hold your ground. Pay attention to sounds. If you are taking
    > > the road, and you hear a car coming from behind, but you do not hear it
    > > slowing, take a glance and make sure they see you. Remember, where

    >
    > This is in my opinion the most important thing to remember when riding
    > on lightly traveled narrow roads that have drivers not accustomed to
    > bikes. Claim a good chunk of the road so drivers are forced to do a
    > distinct passing maneuver to get around you. Otherwise they just try to
    > squeeze by invariably right where there is poor visibility and luck has
    > an oncoming car to further complicate things. Staying too far to the
    > right also makes it easier to ride off the road inadvertantly and
    > perhaps crash when trying to steer back onto the pavement, perhaps
    > right under the wheels of a lone car! Sometimes wind/noise from a
    > passing car or tractor can be quite unsettling, and if you are startled
    > being too close to the edge of the road can be quite unpleasant and
    > dangerous.
    >
    > If you are in a rural area that has few people, the drivers will get to
    > know you after a while, so train them well from the get-go!
    >
    > Have fun!


    Good advice. Have you lived there long? Do you know
    people? Even if a car driver is naughty or abusive,
    respond with a smile and a wave. Be pleasant. People
    usually respond in kind.

    If the car driver persists in his aggression, then you
    will have time to gather a description and the
    registration tag number.

    --
    Michael Press
     
  10. Michael Press wrote:
    > In article
    > <[email protected]>,
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > > > no safe "out". Do not crowd to the right--use the road so that you
    > > > have space. People will have to adjust to you, but do not lose your
    > > > nerve--hold your ground. Pay attention to sounds. If you are taking
    > > > the road, and you hear a car coming from behind, but you do not hear it
    > > > slowing, take a glance and make sure they see you. Remember, where

    > >
    > > This is in my opinion the most important thing to remember when riding
    > > on lightly traveled narrow roads that have drivers not accustomed to
    > > bikes. Claim a good chunk of the road so drivers are forced to do a
    > > distinct passing maneuver to get around you. Otherwise they just try to
    > > squeeze by invariably right where there is poor visibility and luck has
    > > an oncoming car to further complicate things. Staying too far to the
    > > right also makes it easier to ride off the road inadvertantly and
    > > perhaps crash when trying to steer back onto the pavement, perhaps
    > > right under the wheels of a lone car! Sometimes wind/noise from a
    > > passing car or tractor can be quite unsettling, and if you are startled
    > > being too close to the edge of the road can be quite unpleasant and
    > > dangerous.
    > >
    > > If you are in a rural area that has few people, the drivers will get to
    > > know you after a while, so train them well from the get-go!
    > >
    > > Have fun!

    >
    > Good advice. Have you lived there long? Do you know
    > people? Even if a car driver is naughty or abusive,
    > respond with a smile and a wave. Be pleasant. People
    > usually respond in kind.


    I've lived here about 4 years now. I've only been riding again for 1.5.
    In a previous life I lived in NYC where I was quite comfortable in
    heavy traffic. But rural riding is a different animal. The cars go so
    much faster and there is less room. And the cars are so infrequent it
    is hard to get into a "groove".

    Most rural drivers take care to give me more than enough space. Mostly
    as a way of communicating as they pass, "I saw you, and I realize that
    you could be killed by my car" while some drivers give just enough
    space, seemingly under the misapprehension that they are in complete
    control. But what if I get a blow-out just as they pass? These drivers
    I give a hint by putting my hand out to the side with a mime-like
    pushing motion in hopes that they see me in their mirror and realize
    they were too close. Or perhaps a following car will see my motion and
    get the message. And some drivers come too close either because they
    are out of it or are immature kids. Only very occasionaly is someone a
    jerk on purpose.

    > If the car driver persists in his aggression, then you
    > will have time to gather a description and the
    > registration tag number.
    >


    It might be worth talking to the police beforehand to get them to
    invite you to report dangerous behavior, etc. They like being
    consulted, and they may be more receptive to later complaints if they
    know you as a responsible person who came in before rather than some
    crazy guy on a bike complaining about cars.

    Joseph
     
  11. Hi,

    most has already been said, so I just summarize some ideas:

    - I prefer a Trekking bike with steel frame and no suspension - get one
    which enables you to mount fat tires (50mm plus, think of spike tires
    for the winter)

    - get panniers, they're real good (but don't get the real cheap ones)

    - also get lowriders and front panniers (when you're loaded and go
    uphill it's much better to also have weight on the front wheel!!!)

    - get a hub dynamo and a good lighting system (including reflectors!)

    - look for a gear shift which has very short gears (for climbing) as
    well as some very long gears (for speeding downhill - you want to use
    the speed to ease going up the next hill ;-)

    - I personally prefer a Brooks leather saddle, the first few hundred
    miles are horrible, but once it's broken in it's wonderful

    - get mud guards - the long ones! and an extra mud flap for the front wheel!

    - keep a small pouch with chewing gum, a small knive, first aid kit
    (plaster strips, spray-on plaster, small pliers, needle), some Kleenex,
    some tools (allen keys 4,5,6mm, flat screwdriver - best in form of a
    mini-tool) and a set of patches, glue, tire levers with you. Mine is
    little bigger than a human fist and there's always someone needing
    something out of it.

    - get tubes with car valves or with Sclaverland valves (in the latter
    case get an adapter to be able to pump at a gas station and put it in
    your tool pouch)

    - don't try to save weigth with expensive but light bike components -
    look for parts which are stable ;-)

    - be prepared to stop by your bike dealer rather often during the first
    two months until everything is fine

    Have fun ;-)

    Ciao.
     
  12. i lived above williamsport, regulary drove down country to the
    flatlands over backroads inmuh 544 volvo - 4' wide/13' long.
    then i added a 401 CI '63 Buick LeSabre - leading arms/coil
    springs/imitation alfa brakes - good god almighty that sucker would fly
    however - said Buick was at least 7' wide and 23' long
    and god help you dude if urine on the side of my lane me coming around
    a streamside corner at xxx mph with the local dump truck acoming the
    other way.
    forgetabboutit!
     
  13. i stand uncorrected -
    fully loaded log or 20t coal truck aheadin in before closing
    and take it from me bro - inmuh county was least 20 national drivers.
    hell, i wuz told imuh top 20 POR (but short lived) and ide get passed
    by old women in ' 64 darts atop the snow.
    the road type picks the winners and losers here
    depends
     
  14. bill

    bill Guest

    Bernhard Agthe wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > most has already been said, so I just summarize some ideas:
    >
    > - I prefer a Trekking bike with steel frame and no suspension - get one
    > which enables you to mount fat tires (50mm plus, think of spike tires
    > for the winter)


    I agree except the tyre width--50 mm is excessive for anything other
    than off road. A frame that can take these wide wellies is basically a
    mountain bike.

    Remember, he is climbing mountains--wide heavy tyres will do him a
    dis-service.
    >
    > - get panniers, they're real good (but don't get the real cheap ones)
    >


    I agree with this.


    > - also get lowriders and front panniers (when you're loaded and go
    > uphill it's much better to also have weight on the front wheel!!!)
    >

    also agreed--depending on how much stuff you will lug.

    > - get a hub dynamo and a good lighting system (including reflectors!)
    >


    I disagree. Hub dynamos are HEAVY. You are climbing MOUNTAINS. Use
    alkaline battery powered lamps as required. (Don not use
    rechargables--the charge crashes suddenly when you are 1/2 way home.
    Utterly useless idea). You can leave them home when it is not dark.
    Wear a LOT of retroreflectors and pepper your seatstays and front forks
    with 3M retroreflective.


    > - look for a gear shift which has very short gears (for climbing) as
    > well as some very long gears (for speeding downhill - you want to use
    > the speed to ease going up the next hill ;-)
    >


    OK here.

    > - I personally prefer a Brooks leather saddle, the first few hundred
    > miles are horrible, but once it's broken in it's wonderful
    >


    Brooks saddle is for somebody who already has the experience of miles.
    We don't want to turn him off, do we? Just don't get a wide, squishy
    saddle--these types are comfy on the showroom floor, but hell to
    actualy ride--they cause friction, and impede leg action. A Sell Italia
    "Rolls" is a very good safe choice. A preferred saddle in the TDF.

    > - get mud guards - the long ones! and an extra mud flap for the front wheel!
    >


    Again, a good idea, but consider weight. Are you really going to ride
    in bad weather? You plan to keep your auto for that, yes? Fenders are
    more weight.

    > - keep a small pouch with chewing gum, a small knive, first aid kit
    > (plaster strips, spray-on plaster, small pliers, needle), some Kleenex,
    > some tools (allen keys 4,5,6mm, flat screwdriver - best in form of a
    > mini-tool) and a set of patches, glue, tire levers with you. Mine is
    > little bigger than a human fist and there's always someone needing
    > something out of it.


    Gum: no
    small knife, maybe
    1st aid: ok on a cdouple band-aids--no more
    mini tool, ok
    tyre repair, ok
    Rest of it, forget.
    Take a real pump. That is more important than anything other than the
    tyre repair.
    >
    > - get tubes with car valves or with Sclaverland valves (in the latter
    > case get an adapter to be able to pump at a gas station and put it in
    > your tool pouch)


    Shraeder (car) valves are a no-no--you can't get good equipment that
    accomodated them. There are no gas stations in the mountains. Carry a
    good frame pump (spend $30 or more for it).
    >
    > - don't try to save weigth with expensive but light bike components -
    > look for parts which are stable ;-)


    I disagree--get the lightest good stuff you can afford. Good stuff
    *is* light--iot is the crappy stuff that weights a ton. You are
    climbing mountains not for pleasure but for transport--you'll save real
    time for every pound you save.

    >
    > - be prepared to stop by your bike dealer rather often during the first
    > two months until everything is fine
    >

    OK.

    Riding mountains makes you appreciate weight a huge amount. Save weight
    wherever you can--that leaves you with more capacity to haul the stuff
    home from the store.

    In the end, especially if you are going to keep to fair weather, you
    will find that a real road racing or light touring bike (Campagnolo
    Record or Chorus equipped) will be the best choice. But shimano 105
    will be more than adequate to get you started. Light wheels are more
    valuable than light frame.
     
  15. [email protected] wrote:
    > Driving has become too expensive, and I'm looking for an alternative,
    > get some things done and get some exercise in the process...
    >
    > I live in the Northeast PA Endless Mountain Chain, home of many two
    > lane roads, and very small towns, and very little room on the shoulders
    > of roads to ride on without maybe getting run off, either by some hick
    > who doesn't like you, because you are riding, or isn't paying
    > attention to what (s)/he is doing
    > and there are lots of up and down hills to deal with.
    >
    > I am at the top of a hill, and have 300+ feet of a half mile dirt road
    > to go down before I hit the "country road"
    >
    > What I'd like to do with a bike:
    >
    > Go on errands... Without using my car and paying 3+ a gallon for gas.
    >
    > The nearest towns are 7 and 8 miles away.


    This reply is not really for you. It's for the next person thinking of
    moving to the boondocks.

    When you get way out into the country, you're enslaving yourself to
    your automobile. Yes, cycling for utility is possible - but it takes
    great dedication, and most people with almost always take the car.
    Even with gas at $6 per gallon.

    Bike access is something to put on your checklist _before_ you decide
    where to live.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  16. Hi,

    most of the below depends very much on personal preference ;-)

    >>- I prefer a Trekking bike with steel frame and no suspension - get one
    >>which enables you to mount fat tires (50mm plus, think of spike tires
    >>for the winter)

    >
    > I agree except the tyre width--50 mm is excessive for anything other
    > than off road. A frame that can take these wide wellies is basically a
    > mountain bike.
    > Remember, he is climbing mountains--wide heavy tyres will do him a
    > dis-service.


    Yeah in some way you're right - but as I mentioned the Op may want to
    accomodate spike tyres - and there are Cross- and Trekking-Frames out
    there which can do 50mm if you want. Depends.

    >>- get panniers, they're real good (but don't get the real cheap ones)

    > I agree with this.


    >>- also get lowriders and front panniers (when you're loaded and go
    >>uphill it's much better to also have weight on the front wheel!!!)

    > also agreed--depending on how much stuff you will lug.


    Yep.

    >>- get a hub dynamo and a good lighting system (including reflectors!)

    > I disagree. Hub dynamos are HEAVY. You are climbing MOUNTAINS. Use
    > alkaline battery powered lamps as required. (Don not use
    > rechargables--the charge crashes suddenly when you are 1/2 way home.
    > Utterly useless idea). You can leave them home when it is not dark.
    > Wear a LOT of retroreflectors and pepper your seatstays and front forks
    > with 3M retroreflective.


    About the reflectors - agreed. About the lights - personal preference
    again... Good battery lights with batteries and everything weigh only
    slightly less then a generator-driven lighting system (keep in mind the
    spare batteries ;-) My personal experience is that battery lights are
    less reliable than a generator (either my batteries were empty in no
    time or I forgot to take them) but there may be good ones out there.

    >>- look for a gear shift which has very short gears (for climbing) as
    >>well as some very long gears (for speeding downhill - you want to use
    >>the speed to ease going up the next hill ;-)

    > OK here.


    >>- I personally prefer a Brooks leather saddle, the first few hundred
    >>miles are horrible, but once it's broken in it's wonderful

    > Brooks saddle is for somebody who already has the experience of miles.
    > We don't want to turn him off, do we? Just don't get a wide, squishy
    > saddle--these types are comfy on the showroom floor, but hell to
    > actualy ride--they cause friction, and impede leg action. A Sell Italia
    > "Rolls" is a very good safe choice. A preferred saddle in the TDF.


    Again - personal thing - ask your bottom end ;-) But - a very squishy
    saddle is bad. Better take a harder one (and get a springy seat post or
    a saddle with springs whatever).

    >>- get mud guards - the long ones! and an extra mud flap for the front wheel!

    > Again, a good idea, but consider weight. Are you really going to ride
    > in bad weather? You plan to keep your auto for that, yes? Fenders are
    > more weight.


    Well, even in good weahter cyclists without mudguards look horrible upon
    arrival. Either use short ones which will be clipped on or take long
    ones which mount with some screws and wires. The extra weight in fenders
    is less weight in mud on the rider ;-) Personally I don't think the
    clip-on fenders are really lighter, but that is my oppinion, again ;-)

    >>- keep a small pouch with chewing gum, a small knive, first aid kit
    >>(plaster strips, spray-on plaster, small pliers, needle), some Kleenex,
    >>some tools (allen keys 4,5,6mm, flat screwdriver - best in form of a
    >>mini-tool) and a set of patches, glue, tire levers with you. Mine is
    >>little bigger than a human fist and there's always someone needing
    >>something out of it.

    > Gum: no
    > small knife, maybe
    > 1st aid: ok on a cdouple band-aids--no more
    > mini tool, ok
    > tyre repair, ok
    > Rest of it, forget.
    > Take a real pump. That is more important than anything other than the
    > tyre repair.


    Was just an hint ;-) Remember MacGuyver: you can build a bomb from a
    chewing gum and a piece of conductive paper ;-) So you can repair almost
    everything with gum... *joke* I found spray-on band-aid very helpful as
    bike accidents often leave large wounds which can be easily covered from
    dirt by that spray-stuff.

    >>- get tubes with car valves or with Sclaverland valves (in the latter
    >>case get an adapter to be able to pump at a gas station and put it in
    >>your tool pouch)

    > Shraeder (car) valves are a no-no--you can't get good equipment that
    > accomodated them. There are no gas stations in the mountains. Carry a
    > good frame pump (spend $30 or more for it).


    Agreed. I don't know those mountains exactly ;-)

    >>- don't try to save weigth with expensive but light bike components -
    >>look for parts which are stable ;-)

    > I disagree--get the lightest good stuff you can afford. Good stuff
    > *is* light--iot is the crappy stuff that weights a ton. You are
    > climbing mountains not for pleasure but for transport--you'll save real
    > time for every pound you save.


    Yes and no - save weight where it can be saved but don't over do that -
    some light-weight components tend to fail earlier than
    a-little-heavier-and-cheaper-components. I prefer sturdiness over
    sving-every-gram... The Op should find out if he wants a racer, a
    travelling bike or a mud-jumper ;-)

    >>- be prepared to stop by your bike dealer rather often during the first
    >>two months until everything is fine

    > OK.


    I'm just getting my new bike finished ;-) Took some time and several
    visits to my dealer...

    > Riding mountains makes you appreciate weight a huge amount. Save weight
    > wherever you can--that leaves you with more capacity to haul the stuff
    > home from the store.


    Well, I find the weight of the bike is less concern than many think.
    Last weekend I went out with some friends - I had more luggage than all
    others combined (wanted to test my new bike) but got up the climbs as
    fast as a friend who is well trained. What is more important is:
    - a bike which runs smoothly (no parts rubbing against tyres, chain
    running easily) and
    - finding your own rhythm (cadence, speed, gears).

    > In the end, especially if you are going to keep to fair weather, you
    > will find that a real road racing or light touring bike (Campagnolo
    > Record or Chorus equipped) will be the best choice. But shimano 105
    > will be more than adequate to get you started. Light wheels are more
    > valuable than light frame.


    I got me a steel frame (which has a third tube due to being oversized).
    My bike is not light but a better tourer than my older one which was
    simply inadequate. As stated above, the most important thing is to find
    what suits you.

    Ciao.
     
Loading...
Loading...