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My first utility ride

Posted: 28 Nov 2008, 8:45pm
by Dee Jay
I'm feeling quietly pleased. After ten months of leisure cycling with my family, my children, my friends, the cycling club and on my own, today I finally made my first utility journey by bike.

I was invited to a celebration lunch about five miles away. I took my dress, shoes and a present for my hostess in my new pannier.

I inadvertently had another personal best too ... the last - and first - time I did this journey it took me one hour and five minutes. Today, I did it in 35 minutes!

Now, I call all *that* progress!

Posted: 28 Nov 2008, 9:48pm
by paulah
join us, it's only a matter or time until you get a hub geared ladies bike, then you can cycle dressed up

Posted: 28 Nov 2008, 11:10pm
by Dee Jay
Hi Paulah,

I'm afraid you've just introduced terminology unknown to me?? :D

This type of bike will help .... how? Not getting a skirt caught in moving parts or remaining non-mud-spattered? Or both?

I am planning a new bike as soon as my daughter grows into my current one :D ... any month now. :roll:

Posted: 29 Nov 2008, 10:38am
by random37
At http://www.instructables.com there's a woman who made skirt guards out of fabric, stretched across her mudguards.
Stupidly, they're really expensive in this country. Dutch bikes are much better thought out, and have it as standard equipment.

Posted: 29 Nov 2008, 11:00am
by Biscuit
Yes, go Dutch! No ther's acountry that knows how to travel by bike........

Posted: 29 Nov 2008, 4:34pm
by yoyo
I have a Dutch bike but I don't trust the chain and skirt guards sufficiently to wear my long flowing skirts or coats. I did road test a Gazelle in a flared short skirt and I have cycled to work in 'ordinary clothes'. If I were to cycle to lunch/ dinner I would still carry dress and shoes in a pannier - you never know what you might put your foot in if you have to suddenly come off the bike. If you are looking for a new bike I would certainly recommend the Batavus Alamo which offers the best of touring and comfortable commuting, I think.

Posted: 29 Nov 2008, 5:07pm
by paulah
Dee Jay wrote:Hi Paulah,

I'm afraid you've just introduced terminology unknown to me?? :D

This type of bike will help .... how? Not getting a skirt caught in moving parts or remaining non-mud-spattered? Or both?

I am planning a new bike as soon as my daughter grows into my current one :D ... any month now. :roll:


Hub gears have all the gearing enclosed in a unit around the rear axle so there's no bits on the outside to get caught up in, add a chain guard and you can just pooter about on it wearing civvies.

Posted: 30 Nov 2008, 12:57pm
by jan19
Dee, thank you for your post as you inspired me to attempt my first utility cycle. Nothing as glamorous as a meal out, just a need for a loaf of bread....

my regular weekend cycle takes me reasonably close to a large garden centre which has a bakery. So I diverted from the route (a big thing for me as I'm very much one for familiar territory) rode into the garden centre and bought a loaf which came back in my rack bag.

I was given a large number of very funny looks while queuing for the bread - not least by some very well manicured and made up ladies in the queue (it was raining so my hair was plastered onto my head) . I just felt so superior! Arrived under my own steam, no cost for petrol, no CO2 emissions and an hour of exercise.

reality did strike on the way out - this particular centre is very busy and you don't see many bikes (I had to chain mine to a post for an exhibit) and a car pulled out on me coming out. Luckily I was looking!

a very small first, but a first none the less.

Jan :D

Posted: 30 Nov 2008, 2:22pm
by james01
Not so long ago the bicycle was a staple means of personal transport, people went about their daily business by bike. My parents have informed me that I was delivered (at home) by an immaculately-uniformed midwife who had arrived from her home 3 miles away, did the necessary with me, & pedalled off to another appointment 4 miles away. This was during the 1940s, and completely unremarkable then. She'd probably make the national press now!

Posted: 30 Nov 2008, 6:37pm
by pioneer
Or, the uncontrollable monster known as "health and safety" would stop her saying it was dangerous. I believe that quite recently, a district nurse was actually stopped from doing her rounds by bike.
No doubt by shiny-ass office-wallahs who wouldn't recognise real health,safety and exercise if it jumped up and bit them.

But yes, for general utility,pootling about and easy relaxed cycling, a Dutch-style bike is the way to go.

Posted: 30 Nov 2008, 7:52pm
by jan19
Lets hope eileithyia reads this thread - I expect she'd have a bit to say about midwives on bikes!

Jan

:D

Posted: 1 Dec 2008, 11:42am
by EdinburghFixed
Well done!

It's the thin end of the wedge, you'll be riding everywhere soon :)

I almost wimped out due to the amount of ice on the road this morning, but the thought of spending £8.80 plus taking *longer* to get to work on the train outweighed the risk!

Posted: 1 Dec 2008, 2:50pm
by Dee Jay
jan19 wrote:Dee, thank you for your post as you inspired me to attempt my first utility cycle. Nothing as glamorous as a meal out, just a need for a loaf of bread....

<snip>

a very small first, but a first none the less.

Jan :D


Hi, Jan,

Well, reading your post thrilled me almost as much as doing my first utility ride! So, well to you. It feels like such an achievement, doesn't it?

:D

Posted: 1 Dec 2008, 3:13pm
by Dee Jay
yoyo wrote:If I were to cycle to lunch/ dinner I would still carry dress and shoes in a pannier - you never know what you might put your foot in if you have to suddenly come off the bike. If you are looking for a new bike I would certainly recommend the Batavus Alamo which offers the best of touring and comfortable commuting, I think.


Thank for the heads-up re: Batavus Alamo. Will be investigating this one when the time comes.

At the moment, I could never cycle and then go somewhere where I had to look presentable. Apparently, I need full-mudguards (what can I say ... it's such a learning curve!! :roll: ). But, the point you make, Yoyo, about footwear, is applicable. I cycle along very rural Devonian lanes and I often find myself avoiding puddles, mud, dung, manure whenever I need to put my foot down. ... every time a tractor/horses/herd/milk transporter came past (more frequently than you'd think). At one point on Friday, I was practically standing in the field!

Edited for clarity, spelling, syntax and punctuation!

Posted: 1 Dec 2008, 3:15pm
by Dee Jay
paulah wrote:
Dee Jay wrote:Hi Paulah,

I'm afraid you've just introduced terminology unknown to me?? :D

This type of bike will help .... how? Not getting a skirt caught in moving parts or remaining non-mud-spattered? Or both?

I am planning a new bike as soon as my daughter grows into my current one :D ... any month now. :roll:


Hub gears have all the gearing enclosed in a unit around the rear axle so there's no bits on the outside to get caught up in, add a chain guard and you can just pooter about on it wearing civvies.


Hmmm. Thanks for this, although you will see in my previous post that I shall need a bit more than this ... at the moment! But, it certainly seems like the way forward ...