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Topic: Bicycling (Read 3190 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.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #25
No space for bicycles in this town, but I will be brave
I'm certain you'll be.
Forget those highways, the natural place for bicycles are secondary roads. Physical and mental liberty.
Silence while moving, moving "at the speed of silence".
  • Last Edit: 2016-11-08, 22:39:52 by Belfrager
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #26
Bicycling in Stockholm right now.



  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #27
Better to wait for spring.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #28
My current bicycle is 15 years old. I don't mind doing repairs and buying accessories to it, but looks like with my neglect of updating the V-brakes the wheel rims (the part on the wheels that V-brakes contact when braking) have become seriously damaged. These wheels possibly won't survive next winter.

I guess I should buy a whole new bicycle with disk brakes. It does not make sense to replace V-brakes on my current bicycle with disk brakes. And when you need to replace the wheels, better replace the whole bicycle.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #29
I'd say 15 years is a respectable age for a vehicle.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #30
My uncle rides a bicycle that is certainly fifty years old. Actually, it is such a ship of Theseus by now that only the frame and the front fork are original, while everything around, such as the ball rings in the pedalling mechanism, chain, wheels, saddle, etc. have been replaced a few times over, by himself. Then again, he is a repairsman and mechanic, and he is willing to scavenge junkyards for free parts, so it is his natural behaviour, while I am a calcified office rat.

And thinking about disk brakes a bit more: They get disfigured easily when you fall on the bicycle, expensive to replace and very difficult to repair. And I certainly plan to fall several times when it's snowy winter. Perhaps I should just take a better care of V-brakes.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #31
only the frame and the front fork are original
Exactly. ;)

But my newish bicycle from last year is lighter, has better gears, better light, better brakes, better everything than the one I bought used in '04 for not all that much less (especially when adjusted for inflation). And in any case it paid for itself within half a year.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #32
But my newish bicycle from last year is lighter, has better gears, better light, better brakes, better everything...
I was looking at some full-beefed bicycles, e.g. this one.

Nicely equipped, but I would certainly replace at least the light. I use my own flashlight that beats all other lights out of water in terms of strength (lumens), width of cone, and weatherproofness.

And I have learned to pay attention to
- Pedals: If they are of metal and sharp, better replace them with something rubbery or plastic in order to spare your footwear (and feet, if you are on bicycle barefooted)
- Handlebars: If you have longer highway rides, it is good to be able to have a lower grip; the best handlebar seems to be of the cross/racing type, which is not available on city/hybrid bicycles and must therefore be obtained separately


And in any case it paid for itself within half a year.
How does a bicycle pay for itself? Are public transport tickets so expensive over there? Over here, new bicycles are expensive. Things I would like start at above 400 e, the one pictured above is over 800 e. My current bicycle, Merida Crossway 8300, was less than 400 e and it has a saddlepost shock absorber which the pictured bicycle does not have.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #33
How does a bicycle pay for itself? Are public transport tickets so expensive over there?
Here in Belgium public transit is still reasonably attractive, though they've been working on some pretty big price increases with the excuse that it's still cheaper than in neighboring countries.

There's a tax free cycling compensation of up to 0.23 cents per kilometer. It's up to the employer whether they want to give it to their employees. For me that averaged at about a 100 to 120 per month.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #34
How does a bicycle pay for itself? Are public transport tickets so expensive over there? Over here, new bicycles are expensive. Things I would like start at above 400 e, the one pictured above is over 800 e. My current bicycle, Merida Crossway 8300, was less than 400 e and it has a saddlepost shock absorber which the pictured bicycle does not have.
A bicycle like the Scott pictured above has to live for 10 years or plus with just minor maintenance. That makes 80 euros per year, less than 8 per month to take you anywhere with no gasoline, no transit.

And don't you forget the most important factor you can't price - the pure JOY of riding it.  :)

A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #35
There's a tax free cycling compensation of up to 0.23 cents per kilometer. It's up to the employer...
Oh, so I choose a bicycle and my employer pays for it. Great :idea: Let's try!

A bicycle like the Scott pictured above has to live for 10 years or plus with just minor maintenance. That makes 80 euros per year, less than 8 per month to take you anywhere with no gasoline, no transit.
But for that price (800 e) some people buy cars. At least I could get a brand new quadbike for it.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #36
That makes 80 euros per year, less than 8 per month to take you anywhere with no gasoline, no transit.
True, but then it'd still take some two or three years to pay for itself compared to public transit and up to a year compared to a car. I was talking more literally. :)

Not that an extra 100 a month would be enough to motivate me to cycle some 22 km daily. I would've gone for the bike regardless, and the fact that it paid for itself in about 4-5 months was a nice bonus.
But for that price (800 e) some people buy cars. At least I could get a brand new quadbike for it.
I'd much rather cycle for 40 minutes than be stuck in a car for 30, maybe even up to 40 too. Sure, it'd only be 15 minutes outside of rush hour but that's hardly a relevant metric.

Besides which, just car insurance alone easily costs you over 600 per year[1] and then we haven't even talked about maintenance, gasoline, health, and the fact that driving (during rush hour) just feels like even more work as opposed to being relaxing in any way. It easily takes over 20 minutes to creep up to the tunnel while you nevertheless have to keep paying attention to traffic... no thanks. On the tram you can usually read a book or if desired just zone out, and while cycling you can relax and/or have some fun.

I pay a base price of € 3 / month for the privilege of having a car at my disposal, and I figure about € 20 / month on average for actual car use. That's because I use it about once a month for bigger purchases and a few times a year for medium distance recreational use. If this were the '80s chances are I'd have had a cheap car of some sort for the convenience of it, but as far as that goes it's nice to live in the 2000s.
They say the average car owner spends about € 400 / month on the thing but I'm not sure if that includes some metric of the base cost of the car or if it's really just insurance + gasoline + maintenance.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #37
Electric bicycles are the future for city transportation.

I guess they're better if you're out of shape or something
Electric *kick*bikes seems to be the trend, institutionally supported no less, while electric bicycles are indeed a luxury item for the extra lazies. I hate them both. Bone-and-muscle driven bicycle is the right way, properly environmentally friendly and healthy and all that.

Spanish cities grapple with invasion of electric scooters. Waverboards are of course the worst of them all.
  • Last Edit: 2019-09-14, 17:54:33 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #38
Last year I was already surprised at how many of those "electric scooters" I was seeing.

Nice topic you dug up. I'd been thinking about buying a new bike for a few years before I did, but I forgot I'd written down some thoughts in progress. :)

Bone-and-muscle driven bicycle is the right way, properly environmentally friendly and healthy and all that.
I can see one of those "speed pedelecs" being attractive for larger distances though. Since they go up to 45 if I'm not mistaken, it's basically like a medium speed scooter. I'm not sure how much you gain from the leg movement but I figure it's got to be better than holding them still.

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #39
I can see one of those "speed pedelecs" being attractive for larger distances though.
I see more attraction in a quadbike or a motoroller for larger distances. Or why not a motorbike or a car. But to make those things electric-driven? Batteries are still an ineffective technology and a hugely wasteful industry. I don't know why it is not evolving despite the billions put into it.

My distances to work and back are fairly large, so I cover them with train+bicycle. Luckily all I need in life is along the railway. The bicycle saves me from having to buy the city public transportation tickets, but I need to have the train tickets. I am somewhat of a celebrity passenger on the trains, as I have been riding trains almost daily since the 80s, but they have not given me the free VIP pass yet.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #40
I see more attraction in a quadbike or a motoroller for larger distances. Or why not a motorbike or a car.
By "larger" I still mean less than 20 km, maybe up to 25-30 km. Time-wise you should about equal out with a car by that point; the question is if it's nicer. And we should also consider that it's more environmentally friendly and still a lot cheaper.

A motorbike requires a different license. You can't just do it tomorrow. Some loonies go at what seems like quite high speeds through traffic jams but that just seems wildly unsafe. On a motorcycle you have to take car routes. But sure, for the 20-60 km range a motorcycle is probably a great choice.

Also you can't run engines through the pedestrian tunnel, the most effective route for many things. Of course local conditions down to the neighborhood and where you work make certain modes of transport more or less attractive.

Not unimportant, in the case of a "speed pedelec" you've got those 23 cents per kilometer going; you won't get that with a means of transport that isn't classified as a bicycle. So if you have to travel 20 km to get to work, you can effectively choose between 200 extra per month or a moped/motoroller/whatever it's called. Unless you have a very strong preference for mopeds, speed pedelec it is. And in any case I strongly suspect the leg movement to be nicer than just sitting still, even if it seems a bit silly. Some of my colleagues were very enthusiastic about their electric bicycles (not speed pedelecs).

  • ersi
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Re: Bicycling
Reply #41
A motorbike requires a different license. You can't just do it tomorrow.
My sister did all the driver's licence categories at once, from A to E or whatever it is. Doing just B and then maybe some day considering also A is for weaklings.