Re: Random Notes From The Bike Commute

1

The guy riding no-hands, eating a yogurt with a spoon?

I'm always tempted to do something irresponsible and possibly injurious when I see some tool tooling along riding with no hands (especially on a brakeless fixie). However, I have yet to do so.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:00 PM
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a guy I assume is a professor at Columbia or City College; it's the only profession I can see where a wild Old-Testament white beard would be a likely combination with a spiffy road bike, cycling jersey, and general air of being a serious crouched-over-the-handlebars cyclist

I have a professor who is a serious bike commuter, and also quite a character. (I'm not going to mention his name because he's kind of famous in certain circles, but anyone who runs in those circles will know who I mean.) I suspect this is not an uncommon combination of traits.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:04 PM
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It was a little tempting to swerve towards him, just to see if he'd drop the yogurt to grab his handlebars. But I'm nicer than that.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:04 PM
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1: How do you feel about unicyclists?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:06 PM
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3 was me, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:06 PM
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Seems like it's going well enough; I wouldn't sweat the speed, as the biking isn't really about that, is it?

I'm in awe of your bravery. In all my years in NYC, I never got up the nerve to ride a bike there.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:10 PM
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Also, man are there a lot of pretty young joggers, male and female, on the West Side Greenway. Lots of defined abdominal muscles, if you like looking at that sort of thing.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:11 PM
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Pretty young, or pretty and young? (Or both, most likely.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:13 PM
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6: Oh, I'm terrified of traffic -- I wouldn't do this if I wasn't on a car-free bike path for most of the distance. I have no plans to start biking to destinations far from the bike path.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:13 PM
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8: The latter. You just get this image of the typical New Yorker as a terribly attractive 22-year-old at the peak of physical fitness from looking at a random sample of joggers on the bike path. On the subway, your image of the typical New Yorker is someone mumbling to themselves about the relationship between the Trilateral Commission and their dental prosthesis.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:16 PM
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Did you recognize people on your non-bike commute? I rarely rode my bike in NYC so don't know if I would on that, but on my regular subway commute I recognized lots of people (and could sometimes tell if I was late by who was standing on the platform.)


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:16 PM
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I have in the past -- lately I've been in a headphones and crocheting/tatting rut, where I'm not paying attention to anything on the train. There's a fair number of people I actually know that I run into every couple of days when I'm riding the subway, but not people I only 'know' from the commute.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:21 PM
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1: How do you feel about unicyclists?

I know this question isn't directed at me, and that I have already registered my dissatisfaction in this forum, but I really dislike the unicyclists who ride in heavy bike traffic very quickly. It's not usually a problem when I'm on my bike, but they've come very close to crashing into me while I've been walking multiple times.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:25 PM
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I really dislike the unicyclists who ride in heavy bike traffic very quickly.

I'm kind of amazed that there's any place where this occurrence is common enough to warrant strong opinions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:29 PM
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Oh crap! I clicked post and then got a phone call from eekbeat and didn't notice your post. Basically, what I'm saying is, you can blame eekbeat.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:34 PM
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14: There aren't that many unicyclists here; I think my schedule last year just overlapped with the two most prominent ones (and I'm realizing that I've repeated this comment before as well).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:35 PM
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Are you seeing people in Manhattan at least wearing helmets? The last time I set off on a bike in (admittedly pretty tame but still) Park Slope, I was seriously the only be-helmetted one. And that would be insane here in little city, Virginia, let alone there.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 8:54 PM
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I'm kind of amazed that there's any place where this occurrence is common enough to warrant strong opinions.

So am I, but given that there is such a place, I'm not surprised that it's Davis.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 9:00 PM
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I had a commute once where I'd pass the same person walking the opposite direction on the same sidewalk within a small range of blocks about 3-5 times per week.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 9:57 PM
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I really dislike the unicyclists who ride in heavy bike traffic very quickly

So *that's* where Pink Man got off to!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 11:29 PM
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re: the speed thing, yeah, I think I mentioned a few weeks back that I've recently hit that point myself where I am now riding fast enough* to actually get a bit out of breath. It's been a few months of regular (but not daily) commuting. I'm riding much shorter distances than you, though (3 miles or so, each way).

I find having a cycle computer is quite good fun as a way of driving that process: you have average and max speeds to aim at.

* not fast at all by 'roadie' standards, but I'm averaging about 17-18mph on the flatter sections, and about 10-14 on the hills. Frustratingly my 'max' speed on the flat bits has never really exceeded much over 20mph. Old men on proper road bikes would cruise past me.**

** also, changing tyres made a huge difference.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:04 AM
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You want to get out of breath, just ride up hills. This ride's intermediate route (I'm certainly not up to the advanced route) is good for a nice aerobic thrashing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 1:39 AM
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having a cycle computer is quite good fun

Maddeningly, Buck got me one (which does sound fun) but it can't be installed on the folding bike -- the cable from the sensor gets messed up in one of the joints.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 5:28 AM
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re: 23

You can get wireless ones. They are cheap. The sensor clips on the wheel, but there's no cables to get entangled.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 7:12 AM
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Are you seeing people in Manhattan at least wearing helmets?

60/40 helmets/no helmets, maybe?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:03 AM
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LB, are you still getting off and walking up the one big hill?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:16 AM
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I had a commute once where I'd pass the same person walking the opposite direction on the same sidewalk within a small range of blocks about 3-5 times per week.

When I lived in Cambridge I'd run around the Charles on a regular basis. Once I was stopped at the light at Soldiers Field Rd and Western and made eye contact with a beautiful woman in a convertible, also stopped in the traffic. The light changed, we went our separate ways, no big deal. The next day at about the same time I got stopped at the same light, and there she was in her convertible, except with some prepster Ken-doll-type guy in the passenger seat. This time she and I laughed and waved, and Ken-doll looked annoyed. Then the light changed and I started running again, undoubtedly because it was so important that I keep to my blazing 9 min/mile pace.

It would be great to report that the next day, we met again and drove off in her convertible to Cape Cod for the weekend, but no such luck. I was amazed that we even saw each other two days in a row.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:22 AM
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26 seems like a rather personal question.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:22 AM
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29

Ken's karma needed some adjustment.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:24 AM
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28: No judgment! I've gone up 2 or 3 gears on the bridge in the last month (from low-low-low to medium-low), so maybe LB has advanced from "get off and walk" to "huff and puff on the lowest gear"?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:27 AM
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LB, I think it is great that you are enjoying the ride. The strength is already coming; but, as you say it is, gradual. Here's something fun to shoot for: Bike New York's 5 Borough Bike Tour. It is a nice ride and not very strenuous. I have seen kids do it. Also, it is great fun being on the road without worrying about cars.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:31 AM
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26, 28: But nonetheless, one I'm going to answer at great and boring length. The bad hill has two parts -- it's very steep at the bottom for a bit, then it flattens out and does a switchback, and then it gets really crazy steep for about twice as long as the first steep bit.

I started out walking up both steep bits. I'm biking up the first one mostly, now, but if someone gets in my way on the way up I stop and can't restart -- say, four out of five days I bike it. The second one is hopeless. There's no way to build up any speed before it, and it gets steep enough that in my lowest gear, by the time I'm about a third of the way up, I can stand on the pedals and my weight won't turn them. To get up it I think I'd need to use my arms, pulling on the handlebars to push my feet down harder than my weight alone, and I'm not much with the upper body strength.

There may be some clever hill-climbing technique that I'll figure out at some point, but short of that, or of a bike with a lower bottom gear, I'm not expecting to get up that hill. I've been stopping at pretty much exactly the same point for a month now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:32 AM
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26, 28, 32:

LB:
You might want to celebrate AFTER you make it to the top of the hill. You could probably ride up the hill if you dont burn off your energy huffing and puffing before the ride up.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:35 AM
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Husband: Why don't you ever tell me when you walk up the big hill?
Wife: Because you're never around.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:44 AM
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35

Come to think of it, are there clever techniques for getting up steep hills beyond shifting into low gear and standing up?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:49 AM
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34:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRGZ_hNroSU


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:50 AM
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35:

No.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:51 AM
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35: Nice thighs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:51 AM
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Gripping the handlebars, standing bent over with center of mass forward, and using arms and stomach for leverage to push down harder on the pedals is the way to exert the most force, I think. Hard to sustain for long, obvs.

From earlier tire discussion, I gave in and shelled out for a Schwalbe Marathon tire, which costs as much as a cheapo alloy wheel. Rides great, hope it lasts.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:54 AM
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30, 32: Sigh. I didn't actually think there was anything wrong with the asking whether LB dismounted to climb the hill. I was just trying to be funny because you used the "getting off" phrasing, which, if memory serves, is often used colloquially to refer to the achievement of sexual satisfaction. And see, it would be a little bold to ask LB in this public forum if she was still "getting off" in that sense.

But clearly I am just not funny. Back to the removal statute for me...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:55 AM
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35. Jetpack.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:57 AM
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42

I am, in fact, a hopelessly clean-minded dimwit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 8:58 AM
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re: 39

I bought a set of Panaracer Crosstowns. So far they seem excellent. They are fairly heavy/rigid tyres, I think, but a massive improvement in ride quality and speed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:07 AM
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So, LB, what about your orgasms?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:07 AM
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40, 42: And now I'm reminded of the joke about two nuns bicycling back home to their convent in Rome. One said "Follow me, I know a shortcut", and led the other down a narrow, badly paved alley. They jolted down the alley, bouncing from one paving stone to the next, until the second nun, shaken to the point where she could hardly keep her bike upright, shouted the question "Do you come this way often?"

To which the first nun, smiling demurely, said "Uh-huh. It's the cobblestones."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:12 AM
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I die a little on every hill I ride up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:19 AM
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47

I got it Di. Never back off your jokes. Being understood by people who don't get jokes isn't worth it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:23 AM
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Thankfully I only have a couple of small hills on my route. Moderately steep but only a couple of hundred metres at most.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:23 AM
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35: pedal as slowly as is compatible with not falling over.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:26 AM
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Being understood by people who don't get jokes isn't worth it.

Your youth is showing. Wait a few years, let your humor become a little more idiosyncratic, and you will be saying: Being understood by people who don't get jokes isn't worth it.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:27 AM
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I'm not much with the upper body strength

I thought you were, like, some kind of serious weightlifter. Am I misremembering?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:27 AM
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47, 50: IO just want to make sure you all know how bitterly misunderstood I feel.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:32 AM
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And while 28 wasn't exactly hilarious, it's utterly incomprehensible to me that it managed to fly over anyone's head.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:32 AM
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47: Are Will and I fucking chopped liver here? Oh, wait, that was Portnoy, and it wasn't chopped.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:32 AM
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I can be both serious about lifting when I'm doing it and pathetically weak. And I alternate between talking big when I'm feeling my oats, and attacks of modesty.

Mostly, I haven't been lifting for a year or so, and while I can see that in theory I could use my arms to pull myself down on the pedals with more force, I can't quite figure out how to make that happen in any genuinely useful manner. I'm not sure if this is weakness, poor technique, or that the hill is just ridiculous given my available gears.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:33 AM
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46, 54 -> 52, 53.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:33 AM
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Come to think of it, are there clever techniques for getting up steep hills beyond shifting into low gear and standing up?

[Insert obvious misogynistic joke here.]


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:36 AM
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55: Does your lowest gear that has a ratio less than 1?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:38 AM
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55: how many gears do you have?


Posted by: Brock Laners | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:38 AM
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54: I rather like chopped liver, actually.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:38 AM
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55: that has have


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:39 AM
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I have six gears, and I have no idea what the ratio of the lowest gear is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:39 AM
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This page gives the gear ratios, but I don't understand the units.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:42 AM
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I expect the problem isn't really the gears, but my general patheticness. But blaming it on the gears makes me happy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:44 AM
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65

One would think that ratios would be unitless.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:46 AM
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Sounds like only one front sprocket. So you probably do not have a very low gear. Number of teeth on front divided by teeth on the biggest sprocket on the back.

The units they are giving is distance traveled per each revolution of the pedals. In the lowest gear you go 2.63 meters. NOt sure where that falls. Will look now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:46 AM
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Hey, I have no solution for your steep hills, but just curious (and you've prossibly covered all this on one of your previous bike-commute threads, not all of which I'm sure I've read*): where do you park your bike? are you riding in your work clothes or changing at work? (if changing: do you keep clothes at work or carry them with you on your bike somehow? if riding in work clothes: how do you deal with rain?)

(*Come to think of it, you might even have answered these questions already in response to my asking them, but if so I've forgotten your answers. If that's the case, sorry.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:46 AM
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65: Yes, the ratio I generally used was pedal revolutions to back wheel revolutions. But the circumference of the back wheel is part of the overall equation and the "metric" ratio adds that factor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:48 AM
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28: I think you're funny, Di.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:48 AM
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Is it comfortable to stand on the pedals and lean forward a little on a mild uphill incline? The way to exert the most torque on the pedals feels like you're going to pop a wheelie-- did you do that as a kid ever?
Lean forward partly to keep that from happening and partly to keep gravity working for you on the hill. Definitely an exertion, not comfortable to sustain. I'm not sure exactly which muscles get worked-- shoulders, maybe triceps, upper abdomen. Oh, not sure how the foldie geometry makes this easier or harder-- I ride a road bike, am tall. Easier on a small bike, definitely.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:49 AM
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where do you park your bike?

Next to my desk. That's why it folds.

are you riding in your work clothes or changing at work? (if changing: do you keep clothes at work or carry them with you on your bike somehow? if riding in work clothes: how do you deal with rain?)

Changing at the gym, near work. I ride in shorts, with work clothes in a bag, shower, change, and walk the block to work. (The bike is locked up outdoors during my shower.) This is simplified by the low esthetic standards of my workplace, and the fact that in the summers I tend to wear cotton dresses that can be rolled up in a bag fairly easily. I'm going to have to revert to wearing more clothes fairly soon, and I'm not quite sure how it's going to work out.

(To forestall the next question -- if I have court in the morning, I wear a suit and take the subway. If something requiring me to look like a grownup happens unexpectedly, I change into the emergency suit hanging in my office.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:50 AM
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But the circumference of the back wheel is part of the overall equation and the "metric" ratio adds that factor.

So is the circumference through which the pedals travel. See.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:52 AM
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72: Yes. Sheldon Brown is the little bitch of bicycle gear ratios.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:54 AM
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70: Yeah, I stand on other hills, and I know what you mean about the 'about to pop a wheelie' feeling -- you're sort of pulling the handlebars back and up toward you. This hill, though, I'm in that same position and nothing happens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:54 AM
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Gear Inches - One of the three comprehensive systems for numbering the gear values for bicycle gears. It is the equivalent diameter of the drive wheel on a high-wheel bicycle. When chain-drive "safety" bikes came in, the same system was used, multiplying the drive wheel diameter by the sprocket ratio. It is very easy to calculate: the diameter of the drive wheel, times the size of the front sprocket divided by the size of the rear sprocket. This gives a convenient two- or three-digit number. The lowest gear on most mountain bikes is around 22-26 inches. The highest gear on road racing bikes is usually around 108-110 inches. Unfortunately, the handwriting is on the wall for all inch-based measurement systems.
Development - Development (also known as rollout), is one of the three comprehensive systems for numbering the gear values for bicycle gears. Development is the distance the bicycle travels for one crank revolution, and is usually measured in meters. Development can be calculated by dividing the chainwheel size by the rear sprocket size, multiplying the result by the wheel diameter and by pi (3.1416). See also gear inches and gain ratios.
Gain ratio - One of the three comprehensive systems for numbering the gear values for bicycle gears. It is the only system that takes crank length into account, giving a true value for the relative leverage of different gears on bicycles with different size wheels and cranks. Gain ratio has the further advantage of not needing any units. It is a pure ratio, and is the same whether you use metric or inch-based units to calculate it. See also gear inch and development.

So it's in gain ratio. The tall gear on your bike is 7 meters (roughly yards) per crank turn.

Aha, Ben beat me out with the link.

max
['Whee.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:54 AM
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Next to my desk. That's why it folds.

Sorry, I meant when you're home.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:55 AM
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Next to a bookshelf, behind the ratty chair the dog likes to sit in and that we need to throw out shortly because after a decade of the dog sitting in the chair, it looks like hell.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:56 AM
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This hill, though, I'm in that same position and nothing happens.

What's the gradient of this hill? (estimated, obv.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:57 AM
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77: Interesting. Doesn't it track in a lot of dirt?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 9:59 AM
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From earlier tire discussion, I gave in and shelled out for a Schwalbe Marathon tire

I bought a set of Panaracer Crosstowns.

Woo Hoo -- I'm an advocate of mountain bikes set up as commuters. Not as good for a long commute as a road bike, but it can be very fun and comfortable.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:00 AM
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Oh, geez, I dunno. Ridiculous -- like, a car street at this gradient, they'd give up and make it a staircase instead. Going down it, at the steepest point, one feels as though there's a perceptible danger that you're just going to tip over forward.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:01 AM
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LB, is there room on the hill for you to zigzag back and forth across the line of the slope?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:03 AM
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79: (a) The part of my earlier comment about the dog and the chair should indicate how much we worry about that sort of thing but (b) not really -- I fold it outside and carry it in. So it's as dirty as you'd expect a bike to be, but it's not rolling through the apartment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:03 AM
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82: I don't think usefully -- while it's paved, it's not very wide. But maybe. I'll try that today.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:04 AM
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re: 80

Yeah, my MTB isn't that MTB-y either. Rigid forks, no suspension, fairly light. Now with the 1.5" road tyres at a fairly high PSI it rides pretty nicely on the road.

http://www.bikes2udirect.com/bikes_html/images/items/B2329.jpg

I put some mudguards (aka fenders) on it, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:06 AM
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75: For going up the hill, the important number for LB's bike is the 2.63 meters for the lowest gear (yes, crank length ignored for this measurement). It seems that most mountain bikes get down to 1.6 to 2.0, so that would be a significant difference.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:12 AM
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81: But I shouldn't overstate it --people do ride up it. I'm far from alone in walking up, but people who make it up on their bikes aren't all that unusual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:13 AM
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one feels as though there's a perceptible danger that you're just going to tip over forward.

Yikes--I'm not sure I've ever experienced this on a paved bike path. Only on dirt trails on mountains. (And mountain bikes are generally going to have much lower lowest gears that what you've got.) Walking up sounds like the right approach to me.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:18 AM
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If I only could, I'd be running up that hill.


Posted by: Kate | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:24 AM
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You jog around there?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:29 AM
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No.


Posted by: Kate | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 10:32 AM
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LB, because the smaller wheels mean your bottom bracket is lower to the ground, your options are limited, crank-wise. But you could easily swap out sprockets to give yourself an easier gear or two. Alternatively, and more expensively, you could change the rear wheel hub to a geared version (that's what I have on my foldie, a 7-sprocket cluster on a 3-speed hub).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:14 AM
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Eh, walking the hill isn't a hardship, it's not long, just steep.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:16 AM
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But walking one's bike is for sissies.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:23 AM
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that's what I have on my foldie, a 7-sprocket cluster on a 3-speed hub

Complicated!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:28 AM
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Not! It eliminates the need for multiple chainrings and a front derailleur.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:32 AM
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But if you also had chainrings you could have, like, 63 speeds.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:33 AM
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True. That would be complicated, but also awesome.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:37 AM
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Jesus, I can't remember -- do you have a Bike Friday? I'm drooling over them and thinking about saving up for one to replace my Dahon and go touring on.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:40 AM
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98: Then you could add an onboard computer to constantly calculate the optimal gear out of those 63 to choose at any given moment.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:41 AM
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99: I do, a New World Tourist, and I love it. You might want to start looking at the used models on their website; there are quite a few, and they're substantially cheaper. Also, I'm pretty sure you can take a test ride at the same shop where LB got her bike.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:47 AM
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Do people who use folding bikes get fenders for them? I used to commute on a women's bike, and I needed fenders for the rain. (It was that or drive, since the buses sucked.)

I find that making certain public transit connections is a real pain, and I'd love to have a bike so that I could skip some of them and get to the buses which run more frequently.

Does anyone have experience using them where one doesn't have an office. I have doctors' appointments fairly frequently and would like to be able to go to the hospital on them. I don't know whether I'd be able to lock it up outside or just walk into the hospital carrying it. I think I'd feel kind of comfortable doing that in psych, but less so with neurology, primary care and the ob/gyn.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:48 AM
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Mine came with fenders. If you were going to run errands on it, I'd get a lock -- it's not terribly heavy, but it's not a handbag. Schlepping it into and out of doctors' offices would be difficult and annoying.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:51 AM
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||

My gym got these new machines called "The Wave." They seem kind of freaky. I tried it yesterday and couldn't figure it out.

The people at the fitness desk just sit around talking and don't seem to like it when you interrupt them. So annoying, but it's near me and not hugely overpriced for this area.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:53 AM
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104.2: don't seem to like it when you interrupt them

Maybe they're negotiating with the Russian embassy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 11:57 AM
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106

I have fenders on my foldie.

IME, foldies are a little more annoying to lock up than full-size bikes, but just a little.

101: Thanks. I think I will go take a test ride one of these days. It's the NWT that I'm interested in. I figure I could use it around town and also start getting into touring, which is something I've always wanted to do but haven't made happen yet.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:00 PM
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I have fenders on my foldie.

I'm imagining this being said Ringo-in-"Helter Skelter" style.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:07 PM
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108

You mean Paul, right?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:08 PM
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109

Or—the internet perhaps indicates—John.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:09 PM
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Hm, there seems to be a great variety of opinion on this matter. But it doesn't sound a thing like Ringo. I had always assumed Paul, since he plays the guitar solo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:09 PM
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106: I got mine around the time I stopped touring, and in retrospect I might have gone for the racing/road version instead, which was really fast and responsive in a test ride. If you're going to be doing mostly city riding, you might want to get the thinnest, highest-pressure tires the NWT can accommodate (I can't remember if they offered different rim widths).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:10 PM
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Huh. I had assumed Ringo, but I realize that's only because a local band tend to cover that song and their drummer does the "blisters" line.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:10 PM
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113

+s


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:11 PM
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Wikipedia says it was Ringo After the eighteenth take, Ringo Starr flung his sticks across the studio and screamed, "I've got blisters on my fingers"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:14 PM
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115

YOU TALKIN' TO ME???


Posted by: OPINIONATED CHARLES MANSON | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:16 PM
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One consistent thing that I've noticed about my bike commute - I tend to get pretty angry/irritated quickly with the other people on the road in all forms. Which feels bad on a bike because I'm also aware that I'm more vulnerable. Also, they can actually hear the dirty things I'm calling them. (I'm usually a really easy-going person but apparently driving and biking bring out my nastier sides, as they do with so many. I don't have full on road rage, just the grumps.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:42 PM
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I haven't gotten mad at cars yet. I get cross at inconsiderate pedestrians/rollerbladers/skateboarders/people trying to do tricks on their bikes, who are taking up the full width of the path and not allowing people to pass. But I do get cranky, certainly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:45 PM
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I used to get quite annoyed at car drivers when cycling back home in Scotland, but not so much in Oxford. I think it's partly because drivers here are just used to the roads swarming with bikes, and also partly because by far the worst road users in Oxford are other cyclists and pedestrians.

Luckily, about 50% of my commute is along a quiet towpath, and the other part is a straight busy road, where I just speed along at the same speed as the cars.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:52 PM
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Everyone pisses me off. Pedestrians least of all. Other bikers, quite a bit. One of the things that I dislike about them is that very frequently they blow stop-signs,* etc, which just makes everything worse for the rest of us; cars are nervous/antagonistic towards bikers and don't know how to treat them because the bikers here don't reliably follow the rules of the road.** So you end up getting delayed as any such stop turns into a stalemate, or you end up getting almost hit, or just frustrated.

*I'm talking about downtown, which is basically just a grid with a lot of four-way stops and such.

**I know that Sifu has talked persuasively about times when bikers should just do whatever is safest for them; this, however, is really a very different biking situation than what he was describing.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 12:57 PM
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You don't want Parenthetical pissed off! The baking that ensues is torrential.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 1:52 PM
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I'm a lot like () when biking.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 1:53 PM
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120: Most people mellow out once baking ensues.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 1:56 PM
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Actually, I tend to clean when I'm angry.

Former roommates have abused this.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 2:13 PM
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||
Speaking of NYC, I forgot to post the following in the Cheers-turned-Seinfeld thread. At the Open the other night, a ball boy (actually a pretty old one--it was one of those real late night gigs) took a big tumble, bringing to mind the infamous ball man experiment.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 2:14 PM
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The baking will continue until morale improves.

['Hmm, that one actually works.']


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 2:46 PM
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I just went to the foldie store. They steered me towards a Tickit or a Brompton rather than a New World Tourist -- the last doesn't fold very compactly. They remembered LB and said everyone who gets a Brompton falls in love with it.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 2:55 PM
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The guy who owns the place is very trust-inspiring.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 3:14 PM
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126, 127: Are you sure he's not just a shill for Big Brompton?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 3:15 PM
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Oh, geez, I dunno. Ridiculous -- like, a car street at this gradient, they'd give up and make it a staircase instead. Going down it, at the steepest point, one feels as though there's a perceptible danger that you're just going to tip over forward.

So it's not even a road, then. I say don't bother. Roads were invented especially so as to solve this uneven terrain problem. Like that road in the first picture on the page linked to in 22: see how it goes smoothly around and doesn't go up and down too much. Very nice.

Some freak probably cycled up your problem bluff once, in full view of lots of people happily pushing their bikes, and with that, embarrassment took hold among the bike-pushers.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 3:16 PM
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128: If he is, they should be paying him lots. He effortlessly upsold me from the Dahon to the Brompton, and I don't feel taken even a little.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 3:21 PM
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130: Which foldie store are we talking about?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 4-09 4:06 PM
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Bfold, on thirteenth street between second and third.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:07 AM
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I blow stop signs all the time. Well, "blow" is the wrong word. I slow down and look, then ride through them. I don't even really feel like defending it right now.

Coming back east, I've been running a lot more lights -- I don't really want to, exactly, but everybody else does, and I'd feel like a dork sitting there at a light while three people ride past me. So I go with the flow. But again, hey, I slow down and look.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:17 AM
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Also if I'm sitting there at a light and pedestrians are jaywalking parallel to me, and nobody's crossing perpendicular to me, I feel pretty darn silly. Okay, I'll go!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:20 AM
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I pretty much never run lights, ever. I'm sure there are times when it's safe, but I just don't. I see people doing it all the time and a lot of the time it's very much not safe, and a dick move. But I suppose it's partly about the cycling environment. Oxford is small, the streets are narrow, crowded, and visibility is poor. Running lights is fucking stupid in that environment.* That doesn't stop people, though.

* To be fair, I can think of one set of lights that routinely get run by cyclists where it makes perfect sense that they do so, the way the roads feed together, running the lights when on the left hand side is perfectly safe and probably safer than stopping.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:22 AM
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I've mentioned before, I chased someone once who ran a pedestrian crossing while I was on it. Didn't catch the fucker, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:22 AM
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I mean, I think some of this is the basically lawless road environment in this part of the world. I wouldn't cut in front of a pedestrian, certainly, which puts me ahead of most drivers who are turning.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:25 AM
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Yeah, probably. You get a lot of cyclists ranting about car drivers in Oxford, but, tbh, I think that's pretty unfair. I've cycled in lots of places, and here, they really aren't bad. Taxis and buses are the worst offenders, but ordinary car users here are fairly polite and considerate of other road users, I find. The biggest problem in Oxford is just that medieval city streets aren't really built for cars plus bikes plus pedestrians plus buses, and even the more modern road layouts running out from the city centre are narrowly constrained by surrounding buildings.

The guy I chased at a crossing came through a crowded crosswalk going flat out on a road bike and missed a couple of pensioners by inches. They were really flustered by it. That's quite different from someone slowing down but not stopping at a more or less empty intersection.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:29 AM
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Cyclists in Boston who don't stop for lights when I have to cross opposite them really piss me off. Porter Square can be problematic, but the one that really pisses me off is the intersection of Brookline Ave and Longwood Ave.

I also hate adults who bike on the sidewalk.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:32 AM
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The guy I chased at a crossing came through a crowded crosswalk going flat out on a road bike and missed a couple of pensioners by inches. They were really flustered by it. That's quite different from someone slowing down but not stopping at a more or less empty intersection.

Ay, comity. That also pisses me off. Except here we don't call them "pensioners", we call them "people with health care".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:34 AM
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At the aforementioned crossing, I have every damn right to cross on a diagonal when traffic is stopped on 4 sides. On the plus side, there are 2 emergency rooms close by (well 3, but I don't think that anyone would be tempted to take me to Children's, even if I am small.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:38 AM
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140.last: Or "tomorrow's meat" if Obama can just get this freaking bill passed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:40 AM
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FWIW, BG, it approaches 100% the number of people operating any sort of vehicle (bike, car, those wheelie shoes—you name it) in Boston who have pissed me off due to their stupid behavior.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:44 AM
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143: nobody walking pissed you off? You must not have been here long. Shit, I get annoyed by people standing in place fairly regularly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:44 AM
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re: 144

Shit, yes, in Oxford. There's too many people. Tourists: fuck off, please. If not, try not stepping backwards off the pavement, camera at arm's length, right in front of me when I'm cycling. Or those people who make eye contact with you, and then step right in front of you anyway.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 6:56 AM
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Or those people who make eye contact with you, and then step right in front of you anyway.

Ooh, this annoys me. You see me, you know I'm there, yet you are still walking in front of me. Is the theory that you will make my bike able to stop in time by sheer force of your penetrating gaze?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 7:00 AM
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I do find that I need to put a different mindset on when I'm in or around Boston. I recall driving back from our honeymoon (on the Maine coast) in a mood of peaceful rural bliss and being puzzled by a series of near-misses/driver intent misunderstandings within the space of a few miles. Then it dawned on me that I had entered the Boston Standard Municipal Aggressive Driving Area.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 7:08 AM
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Yeah, I always forget when I don't drive in Boston for a while. Then I get used to it, and ramp up my aggression, and then it doesn't bother me so much. But it takes several incidents of "dude, what the fuck are you doing?" before it comes back to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 7:13 AM
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Right, "Mutually Aggressive Driving Area" would have been more apt. Some day I'll tell the story of leaving the Sheraton Commander at Harvard Square at 6:20 after bad JP/parking attendant communication had left me parked in about 3 cars deep, and making a 6:45 AM flight (only possible back when an air of authoritative urgency could get you through an airport quickly).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 7:24 AM
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149: getting to the airport is much improved since the big dig opened. That would still be tough, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 7:30 AM
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150: Yeah, it was one of those little semi-miracles that it "worked". And really not necessary since it just meant I got back to freaking Houston half a day earlier than if I had missed it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 8:10 AM
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This city has the least jaywalking I've ever seen in a major city. Also, the most car-cutting-off-pedestrians-by-turning-quickly-when-the-light-changes I've ever seen anywhere. These two observations are likely closely related.

Also, people here resort to the horn very quickly.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 1:41 PM
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I recently learned that in Israel jaywalking is a huge problem, to the extent that there are more fatalities from jaywalking than from (other) car accidents, and that there are special cops who do nothing but catch and ticket jaywalkers. I find it hard to imagine how any of this works.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 1:45 PM
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