## Re: Bikes Are Mysterious. Who Knew?

1

I envy a man whose job involves writing sentences like "Trousers are extricated slowly and painfully".

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:00 AM
2

Did you know that according to the laws of phsyics, bees can't ride bicycles?

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:17 AM
3

And I can't spell.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:17 AM
4

You can apparently get gyroscopic "training" wheels. They have a built-in flywheel with adjustable rpms--it allows you to range from extra extra stable to regular. Can't find it on youtube, but it's dreadfully amusing.

Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:35 AM
5

Trail has been a hot topic in certain biking subcultures for a while now. Everyone wants a low-trail, front load carrying bike. The trail of 'typically around 6 centimeters' mentioned in the diagram is actually considered quite high. You can get much lower trail by having a lot of rake (curve) in the fork; the trail is measured by the extension of the main fork line (the steering axis), not the raked part.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:36 AM
6

At the recent Rolling Thunder there were more three-wheelers and side cars than I'd seen in previous years. Either because the trend is moving in that direction or because the Thunder are getting so large they can't balance on their bikes these days.

Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:37 AM
7

I understand the urge to figure out mathematically why bikes act as they do, but I don't imagine it's going to produce a significantly better bike design. I also find this part funny:

Down the road I hope someone will be able to say 'this is what makes a good bike - a bit of being nearly self-stable, this amount of effort to make it turn...'

How are you going to decide what the optimal amount of effort is? A bike that one person finds squirrely is going to be the perfect amount of responsiveness for another person (or for a different use).

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:42 AM
8

I saw an article on these dudes last year some time, along with commentary (which made sense to me) along the lines of what Blume is saying; people have known this (that the primary component of stability is not the gyroscopic effect, but is the self-righting effect of round wheels hinged to each other) for years, if not decades.

Also, per Blume, why would you need to build a better bicycle when mine, specifically, is perfect?

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:56 AM
9

Also, I haven't read too much of it yet, but this book that Blume picked up looks pretty awesome thus far, if you're into that kind of thing.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:07 AM
10

No more masturbating to Jack Kevorkian.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:11 AM
11

I had a book that totally blew my mind as a kid (called something like A Child's Guide To The Future) that talked about then-new-and-exciting developments in fully faired recumbents, and extrapolated that the future would bring human powered vehicle lanes on freeways, complete with fit, cheerful future people getting traffic tickets for going 80MPH. Now, it is possible to go 80MPH riding a fully faired recumbent on flat ground, if you're in really excellent shape, but unfortunately it turns out that recumbents are incredibly dorky and bad at turning and climbing. Not to mention being big and hard to store and too low to see easily around cars.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:12 AM
12

If you want a really fun bicycle physics debate, check out the internet bike nerds that Blume runs with (I can't handle 'em; so grouchy!) discussing whether fatter tires make you go slower or faster.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:13 AM
13

Of course the whole point of NMM, as I recall, was the concomitant morbidity, so was masturbating to Kevorkian ever in bounds by that aesthetic?

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:15 AM
14

Another cool bicycle physics tidbit: bicycles can't hydroplane (at least at normally achievable speeds). The round tires and relatively low speeds keep water from getting trapped under the wheel, even if you have no tread at all.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:17 AM
15

I pretty much just want to talk about bicycles, so even though nobody else seems to, I'm going to keep doing it. Also, it keeps me off other threads where I'd be nothing but trouble.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:18 AM
16

No more masturbating to Jack Kevorkian.

Did anybody give him a hand?

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:18 AM
17

Recumbent bikes hold a speed record? I didn't know they were fast at all, but the only dude I see on one is an Environmental Science professor who commutes to school through my neighborhood.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:20 AM
18

This magazine preaches the low-trail gospel. The top photo on the homepage shows a guy with the requisite handlebar bag and Gran Bois Hetres 650b x 42mm tires. (Red, of course!)

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:23 AM
19

And his commute seems not very fast, I should add. But there is a big hill. Plus he's old, so, you know, off to Fukushima any day now.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:23 AM
20

17: That's about right. There are more of those dudes in Cambridge, as you can imagine, though recumbents still aren't super common.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:23 AM
21

17: they're much more aerodynamic than regular bikes -- when you add a fairing they can get pretty close to aerodynamically optimal. They hold the record for unpaced cycling, but you can obviously go much faster (even on a regular bike) with a motorcycle blocking the wind for you.

The people who like them like them in part because they're more efficient on flat ground, especially if you don't have any friends who want to ride with you.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:24 AM
22

They can also be a lot more comfortable for people with back or knee problems.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:27 AM
23

Holy shit, 82 mph?! On a bike?

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:28 AM
24

23: the same dude went 60MPH for an hour, on a bike.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:35 AM
25

A somewhat interesting series of photos on the bike he used.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:37 AM
26

The visibility thing on a recumbent would freak me out. I really like to see and be seen when biking (and running). People in cars (myself included) act crazy.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:43 AM
27

I agree. I also feel like the manueverability is hugely important when riding in traffic -- much more so than absolute efficiency. Also, it's not like regular bikes are terribly inefficient or uncomfortable.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:46 AM
28

Nothing in the linked article or the Science abstract is new to me, and the last time I spent significant amounts of mental energy on the subject was over seven years ago. This "OMFG we've totes figured out the quantum string spacetime bicycle thingy" seems to recur about every ten years or so.

Back when I thought I'd have time, money, and a space to work I dreamed of building a unicycle/ekranoplan hybrid, where forward motion was driven by the wheel in contact with the ground, but much of the weight was supported by ground effect, and steering was aerodynamic. The physics is the same as hydroplaning, only with air as the fluid instead of water. It would be a hella fun ride, but not really all that practical.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:52 AM
29

The visibility thing on a recumbent would freak me out.

What you'd want ideally is a recumbent with an immense streamlined dorsal fin on top, about 10 feet high. With holes in it, obviously, otherwise it would catch the crosswinds.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:52 AM
30

28 is an incredibly neat idea. Presumably it would be powered? It would be hard to reach ground-effect speeds by pedalling, 82mph records notwithstanding. How would you deal with pitch stability? Some sort of Segway gyroscope thing?

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:54 AM
31

29: in practice, people attach orange flags on long flexible posts to their recumbents, which isn't so different, really.

30: well, there are bicycle powered airplanes.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:00 AM
32

30,31: The airplane was the initial inspiration. Cheat on the lift by using ground effect and cheat on propulsion efficiency by using a wheel which means you have to have some weight on it to give you traction - tadaa! The Ekranocycle!

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:10 AM
33

31.1: I know, I've seen them, but a) they're much less visible than a giant dorsal fin towering over your car and b) they look a bit silly.

32: the problem might be that the faster you go, the more lift you get from the ground effect, which means there is less weight on the single wheel, which means less traction. I am not sure about the advisability of a vehicle that becomes rapidly less controllable the faster it goes (I mean, to an even greater extent than most wheeled vehicles).

You could put moveable spoilers on the wings to disrupt the airflow and keep the lift constant whatever the speed - or do the same thing with a simple variable-pitch wing.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:32 AM
34

go for it togolosh! I, personally, am more astonished by the idea that blume, of all people, hangs out with grouchy internet nerd friends. she seems so cool.

Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:32 AM
35

33: since the rolling resistance of bike tires is so low in any case (the aerodynamic resistance is a much bigger problem) I think the real benefit of the wings is going to be in providing yaw stability. As such, even better than fixed wings would be wings that the unicyclist could manipulate to control stability in a much finer-grained way. Like so.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:40 AM
36

33.2 That's the main issue I see with it (traction). The fact that the control laws change with speed is also bad, but you might be able to adjust for that so the change-over is smooth. The traction thing is a killer unless you go to a propeller and then you have major efficiency losses, wings get bigger, everything gets heavier, and pretty soon only huge-thighed young bucks can ride it. Fuck those guys. If crotchety old codgers can't ride it I'm not interested.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:43 AM
37

Also, it's not like regular bikes are terribly inefficient or uncomfortable.
My gooch would like a word with you.
I don't understand the obsession with efficiency: one of the reasons I bike is for exercise. Competition?

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:45 AM
38

Ah, good point. You'd always have lower traction than a normal bike, whatever the speed, because the weight on the wheel would be less.

Come on, this must be solvable.

You could use big wide tyres to give you a larger contact area, maybe?

Sifu also has a point: it's not as though the weight on the tyres is a real limit to bike speed anyway.

Unless you want to cycle on mud, or soft sand, or maybe even water I suppose. Hey, that might work. The Ekrano-Amphibio-Bike!

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:47 AM
39

I was just in the Netherlands earlier this week and struck by how comfortable the bikes looked. I've a perfectly decent hybrid, with proper road tyres on it, but the sit-up-and-beg dutch bikes looked near perfect for short city journeys.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:51 AM
40

I, personally, am more astonished by the idea that blume, of all people, hangs out with grouchy internet nerd friends.

They are so grouchy. Also, I would wager the average age on that forum is over 50. Need I say it's mostly men? But I like the general approach to bikes there: steel preferred but not fetishized, a functionality-to-aesthetics ratio that is pretty in line with my own, a pretty high ratio of people who do their own wrenching. And surprisingly, there are even a lot of people there who aren't drinking the Rivendell koolaid.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:58 AM
41

it turns out that recumbents are incredibly dorky and bad at turning and climbing.

I saw a recumbent built for two and I had to use all my adult super powers to refrain from laughing at the riders.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:02 AM
42

37: on the first point, if your bike hurts like that something might be wrong with the fit.

On the second point (why bother with efficiency), how far do you ride? For people with long commutes, or who are relatively old and/or out of shape, or who want to go a really long ways, efficiency becomes more important. It doesn't necessarily have to be about racing.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:03 AM
43

16: If you have direct help, it really isn't masturbating.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:07 AM
44

42: Heh, that's a good point. My commute is a sprint. (A slow sprint)

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:08 AM
45

39: we (Blume and I) recently helped my mom pick out a nice, upright-style bike with fat (road) tires (the ones Blume mentioned above) on it. It's surprisingly fast, if not terribly light, and very comfortable.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:22 AM
46

39: my impression is that Dutch bikes are big and heavy because the Netherlands is so flat that cycling up hills isn't an issue, and it's better to have something that's comfortable, durable, and too clunky to be worth stealing.

Also, no one cycles fast in the Netherlands. They're too relaxed.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:23 AM
47

I personally am excited because I'm closer than I've ever been to being able to ride long distances (longer than thirty or so miles, say) without hand pain (crotchal numbness I have already conquered, you'll all be glad to know).

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:28 AM
48

You conquered crotchal numbness by sitting on your hands?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:31 AM
49

I'm wondering if the confusion inherent in 48 is why Moby is loath to ride a bike to work.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:33 AM
50

Then how did you stop crotchal numbness? And why do your hands hurt?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:36 AM
51

I stopped the crotchal numbness by getting a bike that fits me correctly. My hands (actually, only one hand now) hurt because I don't yet have the handlebars (well, brake levers) adjusted exactly right. But I'm close! One side is perfect; I just have to move the other side a centimeter or so.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:38 AM
52

51: Like I want more ergonomic issues in my life.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:43 AM
53

52: well, first of all, this is really only an issue when I've been riding continuously for more than a couple of hours. Also, don't you run? I find that far, far harder on my body than biking.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:47 AM
54

Yeah, I'm pretty sure my bike is a lousy fit, but on rides of an hour each way I'm not getting noticeable pain from it.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:55 AM
55

I'm closer than I've ever been to being able to ride long distances (longer than thirty or so miles, say) without hand pain

Hand pain? What, like cramp or something? I've never had that particular problem. My legs tend to stiffen up after about mile 60 or so but that's normally time for lunch anyway.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:55 AM
56

55: no, numbness, more like. And sometimes wrist pain. A peculiar set of interactions between my physiology and the bike, I think, but I almost have it beat. On my other bike it was a much bigger (which is to say, not obviously solvable) problem, because that bike is 1. old and 2. built for racing and 3. waaaaay the wrong size for me, along almost every dimension you could measure that. Basically, I ended up putting much too much pressure on (specific parts of) my hands, no matter how I had things set up.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:01 AM
57

re: 45/46

These were heavier and more upright than would be standard in the UK, yeah, but people seemed to be cruising about at quite respectable speeds, while looking composed and comfortable. They also seemd more geared for carrying bags and other commuting accoutrements. Flat as a pancake, of course. I wouldn't want to do a tour of Highlands riding one.

These were fairly expensive bikes, though, I'd imagine they would be well worth stealing. Some were fairly old-school looking in the Pashley sort of sense, but some were more modern but still with a very upright posture and fat tyres.

Speaking of which this one looks like you HAVE to wear a flat tweed cap and plus-fours while riding it jauntily at speed:
http://www.pashley.co.uk/products/guvnor.html

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:01 AM
58

Also, don't you run? I find that far, far harder on my body than biking.

I do, but so far it hasn't been hard on my body outside of the tiredness that is the whole point of it. I had some feet numbness, but I just ignore that because my feet are so far away from my crotch that I don't care.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:08 AM
59

Running worked pretty well for me until sometime last year, when my knee kinda started killing me. I've been wary of doing too much of it since.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:09 AM
60

Arguably, I could try and figure out what was up with my knee, but instead I bought a fancy new bike (and, you know, gained a bunch of weight, but wrong thread).

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:10 AM
61

I find running completely kills my knees. There must be something technique driven about it in part, though, as I am fine doing short sprints when warming up for a martial arts class, or doing brief intervals for HIIT type cardio. But if I jog more than a couple of times in a week I can expect knee and shin pain that might take a week or two to fade.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:11 AM
62

I finally kickstarted my running program (it turns out that hoping to make it home before the next wave of golf-ball sized hail hits is quite the motivator) and then a week later I broke a toe chasing my cat.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:14 AM
63

My big plan for the summer is to do this event without incurring too too much suffering.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:16 AM
64

I know that running is likely to be self-limiting at some point, but I only go 3.4 miles two or three times a week and I stay away from cats. I have reasonable odds of being able to do it for at least another decade as long as I'm willing to tolerate getting slower over time.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:18 AM
65

I went 5 and a half or so miles two or three times a week (and generally didn't run the whole thing). I dunno. I should probably take another crack at it, see how my knee feels. I do like listening to music, which I can't do on my bike.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:21 AM
66

I stopped listening to music for fear of ending my running career on the grill of a Ford.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:23 AM
67

Whenever I run without music I think to myself "huh, I could just stop, right now, couldn't I?", and then I do.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:27 AM
68

you HAVE to wear a flat tweed cap and plus-fours while riding it jauntily at speed

Those northroads bars with a little bit of drop really go a long way to creating to the vintage aesthetic, I think. Like here.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:27 AM
69

I bought realflex reeboks for running recently and loooooooooove them.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:31 AM
70

Anyhow, biking is funner than running. That's my larger point.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:34 AM
71

On long enough rides, everything ends up hurting or going numb. Crotch, hands, knees, feet and all your muscles.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:35 AM
72

67: That's a bad thought. I went for a run on Monday because I'd been sitting motionless and typing for two days straight and I was going to seize up in that position, but it was kind of an awful run because it was hot and humid. And I went through that exact thought process, and ended up walking most of the way back home.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:37 AM
73

69: I'm tempted by those, except every Rreebok I've ever bought fell apart very quickly.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:39 AM
74

But wearing out running shoes is a badge of pride, like using up an entire roll of dental floss. They should sell dental floss that only lasts as long as Reeboks.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:43 AM
75

71: I must not be cycling hard enough then. 460 miles and all I got was sunburn.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:45 AM
76

Maybe the problem is I've been buying Rreeboks.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:46 AM
77

75: some people fit better on stock bikes than others, too. You might just be lucky like that.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:48 AM
78

77: true. I am probably a beneficiary of unearned bicycle privilege.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:50 AM
79

Lucky bastard.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:52 AM
80

Actually, did you take breaks? I find that taking a two or three minute break every half hour or so is generally enough to keep me comfortable. But I don't want to do that. I want to ride as fast as I can for a really long time.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:53 AM
81

re: 68

Yeah, they look cool. I don't really like the flat mountain-bike style bars, but I also rarely feel the need for drop bars, so something like that might be fun.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:57 AM
82

81: you could also get something like moustache bars.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:24 AM
83

Looking on wiki I can see they might work, or some of the chopped pursuit style bars.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:35 AM
84

Oh, some of the Davis people were at Maker Fair with posters and various prototype bikes, both of the 'strangely rideable' puzzle kind and ones optimized for various rides or riders.

Recumbents and uprights hurt a lot of people (me, my sweetheart) much less than the diamond-frames designed for racers. 'Bents can be off the ground if you want; I find them too twitchy to ride, but I'm a klutz.

The heavy Dutch bikes have extensive gearing, as a rule, and I asked once if this was for loads or passengers, since it was flat? Good for loads, said the Dutchwoman, but better for riding upwind in winter. I saw a windmill with the span of a 747 and was enlightened.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:36 AM
85

Was Blume this into bikes before taking up with Sifu, or is this his influence?

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:40 AM
86

My hands always go numb when I ride a bike, but I thoughtt hat was because I'm putting too much weight on the handlebars as a novice who isn't balanced perfectly.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:53 AM
87

85: she's certainly more into bikes now than she was before we knew each other (she didn't have a bike when we started dating), but she'll have to address the question of how much that's due to my influence.

86: it might be a little bit due to being a novice, but it's not a balance thing. If your hands get numb there are probably adjustments you can make (raising the handlebars, for instance) that would help.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:04 AM
88

running and knees:

I had knee pain with modest running, then tried IT band stretches, pain gone after 6 weeks.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:06 AM
89

re: 88

Yeah, I've had lots of different things recommended. Both for knee pain and for a chronic hip/hip-flexor injury I have. Stretching doesn't seem to work [I'm actually quite a bit more flexible than the average person anyway]. I expect in my case there's probably strengthening work needed, and weight-loss.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:17 AM
90

"IT band" is a very oblique way to refer to They Might Be Giants.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:26 AM
91

Was Blume this into bikes before taking up with Sifu, or is this his influence?

I'd had bikes in Germany, but biking in the U.S. always seemed like a whole different, scary thing until I had some encouragement. I also learned a ton about bikes from Sifu at the beginning, before I knew enough to take off in some of my own directions.

For instance, I recently learned how to true wheels, and it turns out it is something I both enjoy doing and seemed to have a decent feel for from the beginning. I think Sifu is pretty happy to let me the designated wheel truer for all our bikes.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:28 PM
92

Wheel truing requires far more patient carefulness than I care to muster.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:31 PM
93

I was walking by the bike store the other day, and they had a beautiful bike with some wood trim and all kinds of shiny bits. I could get into that, if I didn't live on a hill and nobody made me true the wheels.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:36 PM
94

I should have probably tried to remember the brand name. Maybe it was Dutch. The back had a shelf that could probably hold a twelve pack if you had some duct tape and didn't live in a state where nobody can sell twelve packs.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:42 PM
95

Biking is apparently the new swimming.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:43 PM
96

There are some beautiful bikes out there, and some really nice racks with wood bits. But without more to go on, I can't tell you what one you were looking at.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:46 PM
97

Blume and I are split on whether this bike is cool looking or kinda cheesy.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:47 PM
98

I've been doing about half my commute recently by these bikes here. They're bulky, heavy, only have three speeds and even those stick sometimes, don't have water-bottle holders, and sometimes I have to walk a ways out of my way to find one when I want it.

Despite all that, I think the program is great. Because it's basically free, at least the way I've been using it, and the minute I park a bike it's not my problem any more. No need to worry about multi-stop trips or leaving your bike in a bad part of town or anything. When I've been doing "about half my commute" this way? I don't mean commuting by bike about half the days. I mean that almost every workday since I started this, I've biked from the station most convenient to my office to a station close to my home. No need to ride a bike in the morning at all if a rental is there waiting for me in the afternoon.

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:56 PM
99

bikeshares are cool. I have no particular need for one, since I own what many people would consider to be too many bikes, but I'm glad Boston's starting one up.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:01 PM
100

97: It's cheesy because its webpage says, "The Belleville rider thinks globally, acts locally, and bikes sustainably."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:01 PM
101

100: yeah, probably for the best not to read the copy on sites that sell euro-y city-y bikes.

You should pick up something like this.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:06 PM
102

101: The one I wanted had great big fenders and a seat that wouldn't go clear up my ass.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:10 PM
103

It cost like \$900, which is one of many reasons I won't actually buy it.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:13 PM
104

Moby, I love my Townie and have gotten up to MSRI and commuted much and toured a little on it. Bikies mock it. Fear them not.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:14 PM
105

Unless you have an ass like goatse, I think you'd be okay.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:15 PM
106

I have a very delicate taint.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:17 PM
107
Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:18 PM
108

Anyhow, my actual advice for you would be to go see these hippies and try and get them to sell you something.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:20 PM
109

and a seat that wouldn't go clear up my ass

That looks like a Brooks Swallow. (I'm showing off here, I know.) I wouldn't get one of those either.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:27 PM
110

That's like two blocks from the food co-op. They also sell parts of people's houses.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:28 PM
111

Here's the Brooks you need, Moby.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:28 PM
112

110 to 108.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:29 PM
113

111: Are you saying Moby is fat? Take it to the stupid women thread, Sifu.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:32 PM
114

Apparently his ass is enormous.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:32 PM
115

Holy shit. I could trade my car for four bike seats.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:34 PM
116

I suppose nearly anybody could do that, but I'd actually have to go hunting for a mark.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:34 PM
117

Unless you have an ass like goatse

Or one of these.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:38 PM
118
Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:41 PM
119
Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:46 PM
120

I could trade my car for four bike seats.

Yeah, but you only need one.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:46 PM
121

I decided that I needed a bicycle NOW so stopped comparison-shopping and bought one at my local store. Having a bicycle was ultimately better than getting the best deal on one never.

Fuji Absolute 2.0, \$665 with a bunch of add-ons (security lock for front wheel and seat, lock, pannier rack, all installed).

I like it pretty well! I ride it. I need some panniers. There's a pair that the guy in the store offered me for \$100, but I don't know if I need that much pannier -- just something I can put a laptop in, maybe a change of clothes. Pannier recs are hereby solicited.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:47 PM
122

Re: pannier recs, I'm a big-time lover of dry (waterproof) bags. I got the cheapo REI brand, and they've done me perfect over the past three years (and cost half as much as the gold standard Ortleibs). The only drawback is there is no pocket organization like a cloth bag, so you'd need a laptop sleeve to protect from internal bag dingage, etc.

Honestly though, \$100 for a pannier pair is pretty darn cheap, even for the Walmart of bike retailers, Nashbar/Performance Bike. (Or you can drink that Rivendell kool-aid and get a Carrandice bag. Might as well get the Brooks Swallow and cork bar tape while you're at it, NTTAWWT.)

Posted by: Boo | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:13 PM
123

Thanks. Is it bad to have only one pannier? Do you feel lopsided?

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:35 PM
124

Is it bad to have only one pannier? Do you feel lopsided?

No, I ride with only one on all the time. It isn't a problem.

Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:46 PM
125

They say Hitler only had one.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:11 PM
126

One lightly loaded pannier. One can ride with one heavily loaded pannier, but you will feel lopsided.

Ortleibs are awesome, but quite expensive. I use them for grocery shopping so I feel like they're worth it. For a laptop and a change of clothes, I just carry a backpack.

Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:27 PM
127

Biking is apparently the new swimming.

In that we have a front page poster and a half a dozen commenters who are passionately interested in it, and that it causes me to delurk, yes.

Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:29 PM
128

125: Canonically, Mussolini bit it in such a way as to impair its proper function.

104: Clew, you may have given me the confidence to brave the bikies and finally buy a Townie.

Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:09 PM
129

127: Much of the same could be said for dinosaurs having sex with cars.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:26 PM
130

I think they're brilliant re-entry bikes, Merganser, whether from klutziness or hand damage (or both, e.g., me). And bikes have reasonable resale value, if you outgrow it you're not stuck.

I have an Ortlieb shopper, but it wore out where I put it down on the concrete -- I can't take it off the bike at the market? wtf? and they were kind of jerks about selling me another bottom-brace to protect it against that. Now I have a \$15 folding wire basket and put a bag in that. For anything but touring, it's spiffy.

If you're getting a lot of baking goods or dishwashing soap, etc, nicer to be balanced.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:50 PM
131

Bikes? Yeah!

I have a Huffy!

Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 2:24 AM
132

Actually, did you take breaks? I find that taking a two or three minute break every half hour or so is generally enough to keep me comfortable. But I don't want to do that. I want to ride as fast as I can for a really long time.

No, not really - maybe a stop for a bit of water every 2 hours and a break for lunch, but other than that it was fairly constant. Like I say, privilege. Sorry.

126: One pannier's fine for everyday use (I commute with one; padlock, change of clothes) but, yes, if you carry any more than that you should spread the load otherwise you start to notice the imbalance, especially when you're starting and stopping. Ortliebs are pretty expensive - I'd just get a cheap pannier and line it with a heavy-duty plastic bag. That'll be waterproof enough unless you are planning to get your bike completely submerged.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 2:55 AM
133

You could just get a wire basket if you are going to use a plastic bag anyway.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 4:55 AM
134

My mom got it on Craig's List! It has a bell!

DINGDINGDINGDING! OUTTA MY WAY!

Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:02 AM
135

Kid A goes off to school every day with a ridiculously heavy pannier on one side and hasn't toppled over sideways yet. She doesn't have very far to go though, perhaps you'd notice it more if you did more than a couple of miles.

I've spent ages recently looking at dog baskets to go on bikes.

Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:24 AM
136

I used to have an awesome Huffy.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:48 AM
137

Inspired by this conversation I got my bike out of storage this morning, oiled and pumped up tyres and went for a 20 minute run. All cycling muscles appear to have atrophied [I haven't ridden for 18 months], and my bike seems to have developed a mysterious rub on the rear wheel. Nice, though.

My wife has a wire basket on the front of hers, but I find them off-putting if there's more than just a couple of kilos on them.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:57 AM
138

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:00 AM
139

Purple huffy sounds like something you get if you have glaucoma in a sensible state.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:17 AM
140

"Excuse me while I kiss this bike."

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:27 AM
141

This thread motivated me to see if I could find my first model of bike on the Internet. I think it is this (or something pretty close)--red ~1960 Columbia 26". I may have had a wire basket for a while but I generally kept it very stripped down. Road the shit out of that sucker. Abandoned somewhere on the grounds of DFH college when I graduated in 1976.
</old guy nostalgia>

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:41 AM
142

Pauly doesn't ride a huffy! I wrote that myself!

Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:13 AM
143

||

Cute of the month.

|>

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:34 AM
144

This thread inspired me to drive to the place of the dirty hippies in 108. The bike store was closed, but I like to see the used house parts in that building. Also, I scratched somebody's paint (maybe) in a different parking lot on the same outing. Now I have to see if I'm going to get a call from somebody angry. Thanks biking.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:58 AM
145

Just went on a ten mile ride with my mom, who did great. We'll have her doing our thirty mile loop in no time.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:33 AM
146

I've had to make time to walk regularly instead of biking everywhere, because I was getting knock-kneed and tight in the hips. Moderation in all things! At least I love walking, too.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:25 AM
147

84 The heavy Dutch bikes have extensive gearing, as a rule, and I asked once if this was for loads or passengers, since it was flat? Good for loads, said the Dutchwoman, but better for riding upwind in winter.

Indeed. The downside of being the flattest bit of country in the entire continent, located conveniently where it meets the sea is that there's a great awful lot of wind and nothing much to impede it. Rule of thumb is that if you have the wind against you on the way to work, going back it will have turned just enough to be against you again.

I'm riding a very uncomfortable Raleigh three speed bike myself that looks like it was build before the war and weights about three metric tons, but it rides very well and can hold its own against any kind of wind.

11: it turns out that recumbents are incredibly dorky and bad at turning and climbing. Not to mention being big and hard to store and too low to see easily around cars.

And a pain in the arse for other traffic. Even if you're on a bike yourself it's difficult to spot the feckers coming around and the people that ride them tend to be fairly fanatical about it and somewhat ...inconsiderate... of other road users, shall we say?

Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:41 AM
148

re: 101.last

I missed that link earlier, but that is nice. Not that far off what would be my ideal commuting/tootling-around bike.

I need to read something about bike-setups, and fiddle with the handlebar/saddle position on mine, I think. Weight a little to much on the wrists, and the seat feels just a tad too far forward.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:01 AM
149

148: he's an awesome builder. He built my frame, but it was before he had his own company, so he was constrained in his designs.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 6:04 AM