Cycling to work - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Cycling to work

Public transport is very expensive in London ... well the tube is at any rate and I hate going by bus (too many 'undesirables' and 'police community officers' - usually about 5 at a time - coming on board every five minutes to arrest or fine anyone who hasnt paid their 90p fare (you'd think they had better things to do but apparently not))

So ... I have a bike. Its a decent one - less than a year old. I've used it for local shopping trips but am now considering cycling to work. Apparently it will take me approximately 45 minutes (according to the London Transport site). I have 'cycling maps' with safer roads highlighted. As you can imagine, London roads are rather busy so this feature is very important.

I'm going to do a test run this coming Sunday. Any tips/comments/ cries of 'you insane woman you are going to get yourself killed on the road" much appreciated. Do other people here cycle a lot?

I dont drive .. never learnt ... but I do know the rules of the road (Highway Code)

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 11:27 AM
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Re: Cycling to work

You insane woman... lol.

Seriously, get some good reflective clothing, lights and a decent helmet. Make sure your bike is well maintained as well. Get a small pump (there are some really good ones out there, very quick) just in case you get a flat. Pumping it up every 10 mins will be better than walking all the way.

Good luck to you!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 12:29 PM
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Re: Cycling to work

Just stay off the main roads, Allie! And get a headlight and tail lights. You'll be more visible, even in the day time. Good luck, and be careful, please!




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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 12:43 PM
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Re: Cycling to work

Unfortunately she might not be able to stay off the main roads (depending on the route). Cycling on the pavements is illegal here. However I have no doubt she'll be a safe pedaller
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cycling to work

I know I have to go down an extremely busy main road but I do it all the time on my short trips. It was a little nerve wracking to start with but one gets used to it

"FIV != PTS"
"SENIOR KITTIZENS ROCK! (between naps)"

Allie and Ridley

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 04:34 PM
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Re: Cycling to work

My husband rides his bike to/from work in good weather. He only has to go two miles but it is on 55mph rural (narrow) roads with no bike lane. He just keeps an eye out for traffic and will pull his bike off into the shoulder until the cars pass or if the shoulder is not bad, he'll just continue pedalling on the shoulder. His bike is classified as a "hybrid" as its a cross between a 10-speed and a mountain bike; mtn bike handlebars, wider seat, heavier frame but lighter tires like a 10-speed, though they have thicker tread nubs for traction on dirt surfaces. It also has fork shocks and a shock absorber under the seat.

Helmet.
Lightweight reflective vest to wear over clothing. (i have one for riding my horse)
Lights, fore and aft, on the bike.
Don't get flattened.



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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 05:05 PM
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Re: Cycling to work

Allie, you will do fine! While I will never claim to have cycled in cities as busy as London, I have been in cities with 4 and 6 lane roads and felt at ease. I have a feeling though that Londoners may be a bit more cyclist-conscious than in the biggest American cities since they have different attitudes towards transportation.

Before I became licensed to drive a car, I rode my bike everywhere in every season. When I rode in winter, I removed my preferred chain lube (80W-90 gear lube) and replaced it with a silicone spray. Gear changes were effortless. And skidding on my bike had a secondary benefit. A bike behaved EXACTLY like a car when it came to fishtailing and skid correction. So getting behind the wheel for my first winter driving was not a problem.

But the point is that if I felt comfortable in inclement weather and heavy traffic, so will you. You will become used to the traffic. While you will always be cautious, you will not find yourself being afraid to ride.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 05:35 PM
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Re: Cycling to work

You can get mirrors for your handlebars and helmet - probably a wise investment. And if you can find a horn to attach to the handlebars, that could come in handy. I ride to work when the weather's nice, and there have been a few times when I would have liked to be able to honk at someone in a car.

Cycling to work is very rewarding, since you get a workout and you save money on transportation. As you ride, assume that the people in the cars are not going to yield to you when they are supposed to, or even bother to look for you. If a driver is waiting to make a turn and doesn't need to look your way for traffic, he/she is not going to, and is very likely to turn and hit you. I was bumped once in that very scenario, and I've learned to look out for it. You'll also notice that some drivers are so paranoid about bikers that they will stop in the middle of traffic and wave you across the road. This is nice, but dangerous - impatient drivers may go around the stopped car, or cars going the other direction aren't going to realize you're there and stop.

Good luck, and I hope it works out for you! Be brave and plan for the worst, and you'll be just fine!

~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 05:47 PM
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Re: Cycling to work

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteKitties
And if you can find a horn to attach to the handlebars, that could come in handy. I ride to work when the weather's nice, and there have been a few times when I would have liked to be able to honk at someone in a car.
That's not a bad idea. Allie, you MAY be able to somehow attach a handheld air horn to your handlebars. Those would be loud enough to be heard inside a car. Just try not to get one much more than 110dB in volume. You wouldn't want a bike horn louder than a car horn!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 06:00 PM
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Re: Cycling to work

Alternatively you could have a stereo strapped to your back with the Ride of the Valkyries playing at full blast, and a blue flashing light attached to your head.
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