Newbie looking to commute to work

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Ruadh495
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Re: Newbie looking to commute to work

Postby Ruadh495 » 11 Oct 2016, 10:28am

If you do carry a spare tube make it a Gaadi. This is a tube with two sealed ends rather than a continuous loop, so you can thread it round the wheel without removing the wheel from the frame. You have to cut the old tube off (unless it's already a Gaadi), so I'd carry a patch kit as well. You can patch without taking the wheel out and only use the Gaadi if it doesn't work. That way you can avoid the greasy bits.

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TrevA
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Re: Newbie looking to commute to work

Postby TrevA » 11 Oct 2016, 11:41am

eileithyia wrote:Tourist, commuter, audaxer, Racing cyclist for over 30 years.... I only use a helmet when required, ie when out with local Go-Ride junior club, when I have ridden road or velodrome events, and more recently when time trialling and then principally for the aero-dynamics of the silly pointy helmet.

To me cycling is an inclusive activity and should never be viewed as an exclusive activity requiring all sorts of specialist kit, you should be able to just get on your bike and ride 2-3 miles to the shops, park, work etc...... Specialist kit is a deterrent to that ideal...

I've had numerous broken bones; collar, scapula (same accident), radial head (x3 1 was on foot the other 2 caused by 2 dearly beloveds when they took me off my bike, separate incidents), wrist, hand (out of the saddle climbing a hill and a broken chain caused me to be dumped into the road), and thumb.

You will be travelling at a relatively quietly time of day, so decide for yourself. Being alert and watchful is as important as wearing helmet .... watch for those turning left out of side roads or at roundabouts as they tend to give a cursory glance down the road. Watch for those who might turning right across your path into a side road..... you get an instinct for what they likely to do and try to make eye contact with those at junctions.... if they have not made eye contact... or don't appear to have looked at you.... don't trust them and be ready to brake or take evasive action.


I wholeheartedly agree with this. One of the things that put ordinary people off cycling, is the perceived need to get dressed up like an imperial storm trooper before you set off, with helmet, hi viz, special shoes, clothes, etc. I think we are guilty on this forum of perpetuating this attitude.

Cycling a short distance should be a normal, everyday activity undertaken in normal, everyday clothes. I often cycle to the shops in my village - just over a mile each way, I just go in my jeans, trainers and never wear a helmet.
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andrewk
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Re: Newbie looking to commute to work

Postby andrewk » 12 Oct 2016, 12:17am

TrevA wrote:
To me cycling is an inclusive activity and should never be viewed as an exclusive activity requiring all sorts of specialist kit, you should be able to just get on your bike and ride 2-3 miles to the shops, park, work etc...... Specialist kit is a deterrent to that ideal...


I wholeheartedly agree with this. One of the things that put ordinary people off cycling, is the perceived need to get dressed up like an imperial storm trooper before you set off, with helmet, hi viz, special shoes, clothes, etc. I think we are guilty on this forum of perpetuating this attitude.

Cycling a short distance should be a normal, everyday activity undertaken in normal, everyday clothes. I often cycle to the shops in my village - just over a mile each way, I just go in my jeans, trainers and never wear a helmet.


+1

Vorpal
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Re: Newbie looking to commute to work

Postby Vorpal » 12 Oct 2016, 8:27am

PH wrote:I'm not sure I'd be too bothered with a puncture kit on a 3 mile commute, if the tyres are kept inflated properly they're going to be pretty rare and two out of three are going to be within a mile of either home or work.

I probably wouldn't bother with it either. 3 miles isn't a huge distance to walk and chances are low that the OP would have to walk more than half of it.

Zimatrix: if it were me, specifically with regard to punctures, I would:
-Leave an extra 15 minutes or so early each day, and have a cup of tea if I got there early (at least for the first few weeks, so I knew what was the longest time it took me, how likely problems wer, etc.)
-Keep some inner tubes and a small pump (or check if there is pressurised air or a pump?) at work in case I had a puncture on the way, or discovered a problem at home time
-carry a bit of money (and a phone number) in case I needed to call a taxi when it really goes wrong and walking isn't an option (getting sick, major mechanical problem and something important at work, first thing, etc.)
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eileithyia
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Re: Newbie looking to commute to work

Postby eileithyia » 12 Oct 2016, 9:41am

Reading back, sorry the list of injuries was not to put you off but to balance the idea of NEEDING a helmet, not in any of those injuries would a helmet have made the slightest difference, so you can judge for yourself the necessity of a helmet. I ride 8-10,000 a year in a variety of disciplines / circumstances.
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mjr
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Re: Newbie looking to commute to work

Postby mjr » 12 Oct 2016, 12:15pm

Vorpal wrote:I probably wouldn't bother with it either. 3 miles isn't a huge distance to walk and chances are low that the OP would have to walk more than half of it.

3 miles is far enough that it's an annoying walk, especially pushing a bike, so a good small pump, patch kit and knowing how to use it seems worthwhile to me. I think you need to puncture within about a mile of the destination for pushing to be faster than repair (for a simple one, at least - I did once walk about 5 miles after a tyre's rubber came away from its fabric, as that's the sort of freak incident that you can't repair with most travel toolkits).
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Vorpal
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Re: Newbie looking to commute to work

Postby Vorpal » 12 Oct 2016, 12:57pm

I think it depends on circumstances, but if it's cold and wet, I'd rather walk and keep warm than stop long enough to fix a puncture. If time is critical, I might fix it instead. It can't hurt the OP to carry the stuff. I was just saying what I would do. ~3 miles is on the edge of what I would do frequently without a spare inner tube & pump.

Where I live is about 2,5 miles from the town centre, and I seldom carry any tools or spares when I'm about town, unless I'm hauling something heavy in the trailer.

Going to and from work, I carry tools, a spare innner tube, a power link, and a few other things, but that's 10 miles, some of it rural.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom