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49

Some important skills for commuters: Looking directly behind you without turning. This is a surprisingly difficult skill to master. When a rider looks directly backwards, it is common to turn in the direction they twisted their head. It takes a lot of practice to make resisting that turning automatic. The importance of looking behind you in traffic should ...


28

I use a sort of wave, raising my hand but with no movement in it (so not a 'Hey buddy' or 'I need help' side to side movement).... it works on my bicycle, on my motorcycle, and while driving a vehicle. It's got somewhat of a dual purpose: acknowledgement that I did something wrong, and/or 'thanks for letting me in' gratitude gesture. The motorcycle I find a ...


25

How to mount a curb. (kerb?) Start with your bike. With enough skill, you can go up a tall curb without damaging the bike. But as novice, make it easier on yourself. Remove extra weight. Backpack, panniers, etc. Remove lose items. Water bottles come to mind. Flat bars are easier. Fat tires protect your wheels when you make a mistake. Prerequisites It ...


24

The question of big box bike quality to one side, the question should be not whether it's "appropriate" to ride this bike, but whether you like it. Are you physically comfortable riding the bike? If so, great! If not, there are several questions here about bike fit that may help you get comfortable on the bike. A bike that doesn't fit you will never be a ...


21

You're talking about a "bunny hop" and it can be done at speed on a loaded bike but it's high risk. You'd almost certainly be better off jumping off the bike and rolling. US Bike Trials call it a "side hop", but in anglonesia I've mostly heard it called a bunny hop. Here's a photo of the 2006 Cycle Messenger World Champion doing more or less that at about ...


17

In my experience, no. The problem is that however polite you try to be you're taking the lane so you're in their way. My commute takes me over a narrow one-lane-each-way bridge that's a bit of a choke point, so it's busy. It's also a raised bridge, so sight lines are very poor. Since I ride it twice a day I've had the chance to experiment with some ...


16

It is all subjective, but I would say that a public place is better (as I have previously answered to a similar question). Most bike thefts are opportunistic; unless you've got an especially desirable bike the theft is not about your bike, it's about stealing any bike. So the key is to reducing the opportunity to steal your bike: as you point out, ...


11

The most common use for "mountain" bikes is city riding. Usually the Walmart variety are a bit overdone with shocks and the like (what the kids like to see), but probably better suited for city riding than actual off-road riding. As stated, if the tires are exceptionally "knobby" you may want to replace them with smoother ones (though not "slicks"). Tire ...


11

There's not much more to say than: tuck your head, protect your face with your arms, relax, and wait for it to be over. Realistically, though, you're not going to remember the contents of this post the next time shit hits the fan and you find yourself tumbling on the asphalt. But if you can manage any of these things, you'll hopefully minimize the chance of ...


11

I suggest following a short course in some martial arts class where you can learn to fall correctly (Judo would be my suggestion) there is nothing you can read that will prepare you for a fall and that will suppress the reflex to stick out your arm to catch yourself (and possibly break it); only practice will have you instead tuck in that arm provide a ...


10

Try driving around bicyclists Now that you are experienced with biking around cars, you know what drivers often do that you hate. Periodically do some driving around bikes, to stay in touch with what drivers are going through. That will help you anticipate driver's behavior when you're on your bike.


10

In the end it might matter more WHO is around the rack (policemen, guards, janitors, public workers, parking lot workers, hot-dog stand owners, etc.) than HOW MANY people. I'd rather, when available, leave my bike under one lonely ever-present alert pair of eyes than in a crowd of anonymous passers-by.


10

The vibrations will be hard on it. The result will not be instantaneous failure, but an increasing likelihood of failure after perhaps several hundred hours of riding. The likelihood of damage can be greatly reduced with a resilient, shock-absorbing mount of some sort (I assume most commercial mounts include some shock-absorbing function). Most important ...


10

For a city commuter bike, don't bother with disk brakes - go for simple rim brakes. You'll want the reliability over all else. You don't need disks for most types of road cycling, as the limiting factor for grip is likely to be your tyre anyway. As regards shifters, go with whatever is comfortable for you. I like the combination of brakes and gear levers in ...


10

Short answer: yes, there is a way to do it. I fully support Mσᶎ's answer and have more to say than will fit in comments. Firstly, regarding the original premise. You happen to look over your shoulder (or in your mirror) and see a vehicle approaching from behind, either fully in the bike lane, or close enough that they can't safely pass. If I'm riding ...


8

Depends on your standards for 'never being passed by another cyclist under any circumstances whatsoever'. This metric only matters to the competitive part of your ego and if your ego insists on being larger than the whole universe and is not fed by success in other areas of life then it matters quite a bit. If you are able to push your body ruthlessly hard ...


8

I have seen and used a sheepish wave and a shoulder shrug or head bow, never had someone try to beat me up after that.


8

I've seen videos showing people stealing bikes amidst a crowd of onlookers while no one intervenes. Locking in a crowded place isn't necessarily going to save your bike. On the other hand, lots of bikes are stolen from locked garages. I'm not aware of any statistics about what storage method is safer. I've never had a bike stolen, but from what I've heard ...


8

In my experience, things happen so fast it is practically impossible to react with some kind of plan. I have fallen over when I couldn't unclip fast enough (in other words, when the bike was stopped at a light or similar), and those were the only times where I knew I was falling and could actually spend a fraction of a second looking for something to grab, ...


8

The "trick" you're looking for is a side hop. It's really a variation on a bunny hop. Basically, you perform a standard bunny hop but when the handlebars and front wheel reach their zenith, you pull the front end over the obstacle while pushing them forward. The forward motion pulls the rear wheel up, as with a standard bunny hop. However, you additionally ...


7

I would try to avoid rim brakes for a low-maintenance commuter bike, because they're not low maintenance. And they don't work very well in the rain. They're also not much cheaper than cheap disk brakes. It's not worth the price difference. In my experience the roller brakes are less effective than disks or drums. The roller brakes don't bite, they're very ...


7

To some extent, you can actually "learn" to fall. The problem is that the learning has to be "motor learning" and not just thinking about it. In other words, you have to train your nervous system to do it through practice. Some of the best bike handling I've ever seen has been from people who ride single track (mountain biking). This type of riding ...


7

Some tips I've gathered from being on both sides of the fence. Since you're specifically asking riding safely and minimizing motorist antagonism, there are some which will work but might not appeal to your sense of justice/fairness: Even higher visibility. One way of antagonising drivers is to appear at the last moment, since they won't have time to plan ...


6

I've commuted through two winters in the Pacific Northwest and I have learned how to be prepared for winter wet, snow and ice. In general, my advice: fenders...or love your mud stripe, in fact, I extend my fenders with panels cut from milk jugs ziplock pogies if you need them glasses (keeps the rain out of your eyes, and car splash too) a full sized bike ...


6

Both basic and advanced things any cyclist should know are covered in Cyclecraft. The best book on road cycling in the world (though remember non-Brits we cycle on the other side of the road!) http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/ Edit: actually there is a North American edition. http://www.cyclecraft.org/ I am not very happy giving excerpts but I guess the thing ...


6

I would at least put road tires on your mountain bike - they really improve your efficiency on pavement. If your commute is urban w/ lots of stops & traffic navigation, the mountain bike handlebar setup can be more maneuverable for tight situations than a road/touring bike. I do miss the maneuverability of my mountain bike since switching to a road ...


6

1- Disc brakes perform better in wet weather. If you choose rim brakes, aluminum rims offer a better braking surface than carbon rims. Hidraulic brakes adjust for pad wear and both pads move inwards to press against the disc surface. Mechanical brakes push one pad (usually the outer one) onto the disc, and the disc has to flex to touch the other pad. 2.- ...


6

Short answer: Height does matter (in fact, there are multiple "heights" which you can find out about in the long answer's links), but there are a ton of other factors (e.g. top tube length which is probably more important). The bike's geometry is what determines how well it works for you. Long answer: What you need is a bike fit (which can be done at most ...


5

You have a few options. One that has been marketed to cyclists has been the totobo mask which is from what I gather a re-usable N95 mask (although uncertified by any agency) with replaceable filter peices. It's cheap to try, at only $25 or so. The Respro is another option. It seems like a bit more customizable, and looks like the neoprene would ...


5

My advise, buy a suitable commuter bike and keep the mountain bike if you have room. I was in the same situation living in NYC. I found that conversion was not worth the effort and simply switched to a commuter bike. Converting your mountain bike would help but still leave you with some of the drawbacks, such as a heavier frame and shock absorption, which ...



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