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Topic: Bicycling (Read 1062 times)

  • ersi
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Bicycling
Bicycling is not a hobby for me. It's a mode of transportation, after having tried cars for a decade and not being able to handle them. Bicycles are manageable. They are portable even in the other main mode of transportation I use, namely trains.

Inside a small apartment, a good way to store a bicycle is on the ceiling.



Unfortunately, the walls of my apartment are more sand than cement. so I cannot fix anything on the walls, much less into the ceiling. Luckily I have a tiny cellar space that is just big enough for two bicycles side by side, but then nothing else fits in the space.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #1
Oddly enough, I only have a barely functioning bike at the moment. I was forced to park it outside at my last place and some asshole(s) managed to take it from a fun repair project into better to just get a new one territory. I'm not sure if they pushed it while its front wheel was in the rack or if they drove a car over or at it but having to bend your bike mostly straight while you're in a hurry is way less fun still than having a flat (because that's an easy fix).

Public transit + walking is mostly time competitive and I believe that walking is better for the body than cycling because it subtly works just about all muscles in your body rather than primarily your legs. Still, the very idea of not having a proper bicycle at my disposal is absurd and on a day like today (public transit strike) borderline indispensable. A car would be utterly useless. Any place that's within about 40 minutes walking distance can be reached faster by not using a car. Plus a car is extremely unhealthy. You're forced to sit still, you're forced to breathe fine particles and other junk, plus you're getting stressed from traffic. It's hard to think of a worse way to get around than by car.

I'm considering to get some kind of mountainbike instead of a citybike because of the lovely cobblestones all over the city. I can handle them just fine by standing up (as opposed to using the seat) but my bike literally falls apart under me, even without any asshole vandals helping the cause.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #2
When spring arrives everybody wants to ride a bicycle.  :)
A bicycle is, in first place, a spiritual attitude.

Electric bicycles are the future for city transportation. Much, much faster than regular bicycles unless you are Lance Armstrong.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #3
Spring is the worst time to ride a bike. Insects galore.

Electric bikes apparently only supply augmented power up to 25 km/h, so just when you're starting to get going they cut off, meaning you've just got more weight to lug around.[1] I guess they're better if you're out of shape or something.[2] Someone like Lance Armstrong averages at over 40 km/h.
Also, going 50 on a bike is quite scary. My personal top speed on a bike is something like 55 or 56 (according to the computer thingy) and I simply quit trying to go faster because I thought it was frightening. And this is on our flat land. I don't even want to know what it's like going 80 down a mountain.
Also, on my as-good-as-broken bike I guess augmentation would make it feel more as if it were in top-top shape.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #4
Any place that's within about 40 minutes walking distance can be reached faster by not using a car. Plus a car is extremely unhealthy. You're forced to sit still, you're forced to breathe fine particles and other junk, plus you're getting stressed from traffic. It's hard to think of a worse way to get around than by car.
All true. And I knew it before I began using cars. However, I had to go through the experiment with cars for various family reasons. And my father, a professional truck driver, never had a single accident throughout his life, so I was interested in seeing if this could be the single thing I possibly inherited from him. It turned out that no, I have inherited absolutely nothing from him.

I'm considering to get some kind of mountainbike instead of a citybike because of the lovely cobblestones all over the city.
I can warmly recommend the hybrid type of bicycles instead. More often people need to ride on asphalt for tens of kilometres than in an outright forest. A hybrid bicycle does both highway and forest reasonably well, even a pure citybike does both types of terrain reasonably well, but a mountainbike is a total waste of nerves on a smooth highway.

The thing pictured in the first video is a hybrid bicycle.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #5
I can warmly recommend the hybrid type of bicycles instead. More often people need to ride on asphalt for tens of kilometres than in an outright forest. A hybrid bicycle does both highway and forest reasonably well, even a pure citybike does both types of terrain reasonably well, but a mountainbike is a total waste of nerves on a smooth highway.
Mountainbikes are also somewhat annoying because of the lack of chainguards. By "hybrid," do you mean the kind advertised as trekking or something else still? I suppose I meant something like that rather than an actual mountainbike, seeing how those overly wide wheels would only give you more rolling resistance in probably all normal scenarios.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #6
As marketed here, a hybrid bicycle is something between a mountainbike and citybike. Perhaps simplest described as a citybike with shock absorbers.

Ah, Wikipedia seems to recognise the term https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_bicycle

My bicycle is Merida Crossway, the most popular bicycle in Estonia. It has been working for me for ten years now. Prior to this I had a Soviet citybike.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #7
Perhaps simplest described as a citybike with shock absorbers.
Sounds exactly like what I need. :) However, it looks like it's mostly the forefork that has the desired effect while it seems to me it's the back of my bike that can't stand the shocks.

Also from that page:
Quote
A trekking bike is a hybrid with all the accessories necessary for bicycle touring - mudguards, pannier rack, lights etc.

I guess I should just go by the bike shop at the other end of the street some time.

Edit: reading on
Quote
Using a sturdy welded chromoly or aluminum frame derived from the mountain bike, the city bike is more capable at handling urban hazards such as deep potholes, drainage grates, and jumps off city curbs.
Boy, American roads must be awful. Deep potholes? What do they think a city is, a warzone? :P

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #8
Mudguards, pannier rack, lights etc. are called accessories. It's standard practice here, most likely there too, to change and add some stuff upon purchasing the bicycle. For example, I changed the sporty metallic pedals for city-like rubber pedals, because the sharp teeth on the sporty metallic pedals destroy the soles of ordinary footwear. You cannot pedal properly barefoot on metallic pedals. Then I added mudguards, rack, lights, bell, lock, and helmet, where each thing cost extra.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #9
Mudguards, pannier rack, lights etc. are called accessories. It's standard practice here, most likely there too, to change and add some stuff upon purchasing the bicycle.
Maybe for hybrid bikes, but for a standard citybike I really wouldn't consider that an accessory. An accessory is something like the little computer that can tell you your speed that you always leave at home anyway because otherwise it'd get stolen off your bike. You quickly forget where you even put it. But a bike without lights -- that's practically the same as a bike without brakes. A bike without that stuff is roughly the practical equivalent of a two-seater sports car.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #10
But a bike without lights -- that's practically the same as a bike without brakes.
Why? Where I live, it hardly gets dark during the bicycling season, day or night. Maybe you need lights to signal your presence to cars and people around the street corner? I use the bell for that, and my squeaking saddle also does a good job lately.

Instead of actual lights, I have the following thing on my bicycle.



This is to hold my flashlight, when I need an actual light on my bicycle, but this rarely happens.

Edit: PS. According to traffic code, reflectors are mandatory. Lights are not. I have reflectors as required. Reflectors are routinely added to bicycles upon purchasing, without extra cost, so I forgot to mention them earlier.
  • Last Edit: 2016-05-24, 15:20:26 by ersi

  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #11
Electric bikes apparently only supply augmented power up to 25 km/h, so just when you're starting to get going they cut off, meaning you've just got more weight to lug around.[1] I guess they're better if you're out of shape or something.[2] Someone like Lance Armstrong averages at over 40 km/h.
Nope. You go at 25 all the time, that's what makes the difference in terms of average speed.
Of course you live at a billiard table so you don't have such problem, I would like to see you going up to the Castle at 25 just with your legs. :)

So called Dutch Bikes are seen nowhere else in the world, a 30 kg plus trash thing made for 2 meters tall Dutch girls to ride at flat terrain. Forget it if you need/want a decent bike.

Do you have Decathlon at your city? they have the best price/quality ratio at a very complete range of bikes.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #12
So called Dutch Bikes are seen nowhere else in the world, 30 kg plus trash made for 2 meters tall Dutch girls to ride at flat terrain. Forget it if you need/want a decent bike.
What is a decent bike? (apart from something with an electric engine)

It so happens that Estonia is also a flatland, particularly the part where I live. But it's also densely forested, at least used to be, so at times I have to lift my bicycle over fallen trees when I take the forest path. My current bicycle is just right for anywhere I choose to go, even though the roads here, particularly in the cities, are specifically designed to disallow bicycling.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #13
Nope. You go at 25 all the time, that's what makes the difference in terms of average speed.
Of course you live at a billiard table so you don't have such problem, I would like to see you going up to the Castle at 25 just with your legs.  :)
Fair enough.

So called Dutch Bikes are seen nowhere else in the world, a 30 kg plus trash thing made for 2 meters tall Dutch girls to ride at flat terrain. Forget it if you need/want a decent bike.
So basically your definition of a "Dutch bike" is one that was first manufactured over a century ago? :) And you can get bikes in all sizes last time I checked. Incidentally, 1911 style Dutch bikes are immensely popular all over the world for some reason, from Indonesia to the Americas. Also, they're apparently actually an 1890s English design. In any case, a bike without at least a modicum of gears is significantly less useful. When I spoke of attaining 50+ km/h I meant on the fifth and highest gear on a regular citybike; on the 1890s single-gear design that'd never be possible. Similarly, a one-gear bike is impossible to use against strong headwinds -- quite a frequent occasion where I grew up.

Do you have Decathlon at your city? they have the best price/quality ratio at a very complete range of bikes.
I imagine so, because among the pile of ads there was one of theirs today. I'm more concerned about matters like location and service though. A quick check suggests they're off in the north somewhere, so utterly impractical.

Why? Where I live, it hardly gets dark during the bicycling season, day or night.
I forgot about the fact that there's barely any night up north. Here it does get dark and there isn't such a thing as bicycling season. But it's true that you're significantly less likely to have to use your lights between April/May and August/September.

Edit: PS. According to traffic code, reflectors are mandatory. I have reflectors as required.
Here lights are mandatory after sunset.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #14
What is a decent bike? (apart from something with an electric engine)
Basically, an instrument of freedom.
You can make around 100km per day if you start riding early in the day. It means you make 700km in a week without anyone even knowing in what direction are you moving. :)
Don't forget to throw yor cellphone away inside some truck going to Germany. Then, ride the oposite direction.

I'd say that a mountain bike frame (not full supension), narrow tires, 9-speed, v-brakes and equipped with a rack and bags it's a very decent machine. That's what I use.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #15
I forgot about the fact that there's barely any night up north. Here it does get dark and there isn't such a thing as bicycling season. But it's true that you're significantly less likely to have to use your lights between April/May and August/September.
You don't have a bicycle season because you don't have proper winter. I don't even try to bicycle in snowdrifts. That's where a mountainbike with chained tires would perhaps work, but such a thing will never be in my plans, because in blizzard it's hard to even walk.

This year I began bicycling in the beginning of March, extraordinarily early. Somewhere along the way we had one more surprising week with subzero temperatures, two snowy days and other irregular weather. To be honest, I had been using an ordinary bicycle light all these years (along with the mandatory reflectors), but in those conditions I decided to upgrade the light significantly, so I bought an overkill tactical flashlight whose strongest mode is as good as a car's headlight. After using it on two occasions I haven't needed it for a month now.

Here lights are mandatory after sunset.
Here cars must have headlights turned on when on the move, anytime all the time. Never bicycles. I must confess I haven't taken a look at our traffic code for about ten years. There was some new traffic law meanwhile, but had this detail been changed, traffic police would have charged me. I see them all the time and that's what they do for living.

I'd say that a mountain bike frame (not full supension), narrow tires, 9-speed, v-brakes and equipped with a rack and bags it's a very decent machine. That's what I use.
Why bags? Because you live on the road? I overnight in the forest sometimes when I feel like it, but always close enough to home, because part of the idea is to have no heavy equipment with me. Just to sleep off some frustrations on plain ground while letting nobody notice that I was away.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #16
You don't have a bicycle season because you don't have proper winter. I don't even try to bicycle in snowdrifts. That's where a mountainbike with chained tires would perhaps work, but such a thing will never be in my plans, because in blizzard it's hard to even walk.
Sure, relatively speaking we don't get that much snow. But for what we do get, the cycling paths are usually salted and plowed just like the roads. And when an excess of snowfall makes it impossible to cycle, typically it almost equally affects other modes of transportation.

I think the most dangerous kind of winter weather (i.e. going a little above freezing during the day and below freezing at night) is something we might even have more of. Simple subzero weather doesn't result in ice forming on the roads, excluding for a second the scenario where it's so cold (-20° or so) that the exhaust from cars can form ice.

Why bags? Because you live on the road?
Bags are for things like grocery shopping. I don't use 'em, but they have definite utility.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #17
Bags are for things like grocery shopping. I don't use 'em, but they have definite utility.
Front basket is for shopping. It of course has the relevant utility, when you go shopping with your bicycle. I try to manage without that basket, because it's girly.



Bags can do the same trick, but are generally for much bigger and whole different purposes than shopping.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #18
Come on, a couple of broccolis and some mushrooms and that basket is full. :P

  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #19
Why bags?
Do you live in this world? where do you put the money from the bank you've just robbed?  :)
I overnight in the forest sometimes when I feel like it, but always close enough to home, because part of the idea is to have no heavy equipment with me. Just to sleep off some frustrations on plain ground while letting nobody notice that I was away.
The idea is to survive, no matter close from home or away from civilization.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #20
Do you live in this world? where do you put the money from the bank you've just robbed?
I live in the kind of world where banks do the robbing.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #21
 :lol:
Indeed.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #22
More bicycles than cars in central Copenhagen http://politiken.dk/indland/kobenhavn/ECE3452090/det-cykler-for-koebenhavn/

Currently I am seriously considering putting budded tires on my bicycle to race through the winter on it.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #23
Winter is no easy thing for bicycle riders. You'll need a lot of stamina for conquest the adverse conditions. Everyday morning.
Impossible for Southerners like me, we're just too lazy, but who knows... maybe you can do it. Go for it, Estonian. :)
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #24
No space for bicycles in this town, but I will be brave.