OK, I've taken up Ari's challenge and created a group for bicyclists.
I've been an avid cyclist most of my adult life, at various times my bike has been my principal transportation, though now since I work from home, my cycling is for recreation.
Hi folks. I've been cycling since I was about ten, my father got me into it as he is a lifelong cyclist.
My current cycles are a Dawes Republic 24 speed hybrid which is my daily ride. When I go travelling I sling a Montague Paratrooper folding mtb in the boot of the car.
I am also a member of the CTC which, alongside many other benefits, gives me automatic third party insurance cover.
OK... I'm in. not that I cycle that much these days, but I should. I did a 20 mile ride with my daughter on the weekend and I am only a little surprised that I survived. The thing is... ad the speed she rides, my heart was pumping way too hard to hold a camera steady when we stopped. (sheesh) When I was finishing University, I worked at a farm that was 15 miles from my house. I don't think my boss got his money's worth, as by the time I got to work I needed a nap.... but 30 miles a day did wonders for my heart (and my calves... heh heh)
Right now, there is no way I will be using my bike for commuting, as I work over 30 miles from home. I know for some of you that might not pose a challenge, but I think I'll pass.
As you guys know, I am new in the game. I got a relatively cheap hybrid and still trying to work out the gear changes and seat height. But so far I love it! I can move around in the city with little trouble so far and my goal is to be able to go to the beach and cinema, which I hope to be able to do in a couple weeks. The feeling is a cross between walking and driving, like riding a silent motorcycle powered by your legs.
In urban settings, you can often get to places faster on a bike than in a car, since you can pretty much go door to door.
Pedaling is most efficient with the ball of your foot on the pedal, which makes the proper seat height one with your leg straight or nearly straight when the middle of your foot is on the pedal. That efficient position is hard to maintain without toe-clips or cleats though.
As for gearing, I'd recommend a gear that's slightly easier than what you think you need, and pedaling at a cadence that seems slightly fast. As you get used to that, you'll find that you can go farther and be less tired, than if you used higher (harder) gearing.
I drive http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=32296 and have few gadgets, but nothing fancy (pump, bottle, light, tool for tighten screws...). I use it almost exclusevly for going to work. My first impressions is after bike, most important thing is clothing. I just get to work and 50 meters before firm building sudden and hard rain started. Fortunatally, I allways carry on basket on front of my bike backpack with waterproof clothing (pants and jacket), so will keep me dry when go from work. And plain, humble, plastic bag to cover bike saddle when raining and you are not on bike it grat help, as I just discovered yesterday Gloves are help for drive and for carry bike in hands when must.
I actually prefer higher gear, fast turning of my legs in low gears makes me tired sooner and more than force needed to use higher gears. But as I drive only for about 4 months (after 20 years of not driving bike), I could find I was wrong.
Worst thing driving bike here is that this society has no bike culture, so no bike tracks, parking places suitable for bikes, etc...
I used to cycle quite a lot. My first real bike was a Carlton Flyer which was a fixed wheel track bike I used on road. I then had a falcon road racing bike which I used a lot until it was stolen. After some years I bought a mountain bike but never got into that but I still have it in the garage. I keep meaning to get it out and start again but I never quite make it. Note to self. On your bike...
Like Andy, my father also got me into cycling. He was (and still is) a member the Vectis Cycling Club on the Isle of Wight. He is now their treasurer and is still an active cyclist at 67.
When I was a child, money was tight so my father got a couple of bikes for my brother and myself which were being thrown away. He refurbished and repainted them and we used them for quite a while.
We used to go on cycle club rides. These rides were usually about ten miles but we had to cycle eight miles to the start, do the ride then cycle the eight miles home again. On single speed bikes.
I don't get out on my bike as much as I should as I also enjoy walking. I try to do six miles most evenings. This recent talk of bikes has got me thinking about cycling sometimes instead.
My current bicycle is a GT Agressor which I didn't pay anything for. I swapped it with a friend for a valve microphone pre-amplifier I built. I don't think I spent more than £5 on parts so it was quite a good deal. My friend thinks that he got the good side of the deal too though so we are both happy with the arrangement.
I have been off the bike for about a year. The hub had metal fatique and so I had loose spokes. took it to my trek dealer and found out the rim was under warrenty even after 1800 miles on the bike. Thats good since I found out a new set was $900.00. So tonight I take the bike over and have them work on it and hopfully I will be back in the saddle in a couple of days. The bike is a Trek Modine 5.2......
I am seriously considering a Pashley Moulton TSR27. Anyone have any experience of the TSR? I looked at Brompton too but am not keen on the styling. I emailed Pashley asking about maximum rider weight/height but am still awaiting a reply.
Andy, folders are very popular in the San Francisco Bay Area, they are allowed on BART (subway) with no restrictions. Full size bikes are only allowed on the last train and not allowed at all during rush hour.
Anyway, I hope you all don't mind if I join your group, I promise to play nice and if I don't I give you permission to tie me to a rack and poke me with soft cushions.
The TSR27 is not a folding cycle but you can specify it with a separable frame.
Andy, my mistake, no hinges but a removable connecting rod that splits the bike into two halves. Years ago I looked into getting an Alex Moulton bicycle as my traveling bike.
Bike Friday's seem to be popular, for travel/compact bikes, but the styling is similar to the Brompton.
I'd go for the Pashley Guv'nor though.
What an interesting group on a photography site.
While I have been known for my activities on motorized two wheel vehicles, prior to that I had experience also with the do-it-yourself two wheel vehicles.
First bike of any consequence was a Raleigh Sport with the Sturmey-Archer AW three speed hub. Wore the tread off four sets of tyres on that bike. Next major purchase was an Avanti that I used in club racing around the Washington, D. C. area. Brought that with me to the Pacific Northwest, but it was a casualty of the death of a marriage. Have a mountain bike now that was a gift from a fellow who moved to Hawaii. Use it mainly on the streets locally in the housing development and for trips to the grocery store. Still enjoying it. Do not yet have the calves and thighs I did while actively campaigning back in the 1960's.
Bikes and photography make a nice mix, though I'm not sure what the core connection is. The late Sheldon Brown discusses (discussed?) his interest in photography in his web site that's otherwise devoted to bicycles. A few months ago I stopped in a small camera shop in Costa Mesa CA which was half bicycles and have (analog) photography. His bikes were mostly fixed-gear machines. A lot of the cameras were all mechanical workhorses.
On the bike I love the mix of aesthetics and mechanical precision, and the same kinds of things make lots of cameras a joy to use.
I think it is the enjoyment of simple, efficient machines. Cameras and cycles have a lot in common. Both are mechanical (I'm talking proper cameras here!), the best are usually the simplest and it is simply enjoyable to use them.
Thats my (simple) take on it anyway!
Ps. What better way is there to get to a place than with a bike? No parking to worry about, no traffic, and you get fitter into the bargain!
Especially if one has sitting day job, bike is great. My main reason to get it, after hours in front of computer, bike riding is resting.
Speaking of which, you guys probably know the cyclist Sheldon Brown.
He worked in a store with others and one of them, Elton Pope-Lane, has the nickname "BigNegs45" and a website with his photography work.
I am a BOB. I have a Bridgestone RB-1, I have one of these:
And until just now I did not know that iBOB existed, thank you Ari, you have no idea how much this means to me.