This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beginning biking 3.0

   As I was telling a friend earlier this year you have to be reasonably careful in choosing the bike you would like.  It should match your intended use, not your self image.  There are a lot of people who suffer buyer's remorse because they either bought a cheap throwaway model at a discount store, or spent way too much at a bike store for the "latestgreatestthingevertheyrodeintheTourdeFrance" which is only good for riding around in circles real fast.  Something in between works a little better, from what I see in the past 5 years the biggest jump in quality is between 500-1000 dollars. Spend less and you will likely regret it, spend more and you will be paying for small refinements.   To a non biker that sounds like a lot, but remember what it will do if you are really substituting your bike for your car.   In the example I posted previously, 4 trips a week for 8 months will give you a net savings of 12-1500 dollars.  In other words, if you use it, it will pay for itself.  If you spend a little on a cheap piece of crap at a discount or big box store, you will get something thrown together in the backroom by the stockboy which probably doesn't fit and will cost twice the price in service in the first year.  That is if you ride it!   It will more likely frustrate you and end up decorating the rafters in the garage.
    Usually some type "hybrid"(between a mountain bike and competition road bike) is what most people need.
This is an example:
of a hybrid which is intended for city use.  With fenders, a light system, baskets for shopping and built in lock, this bike retails around $950, and it is as simple as get on and ride in any clothing.   I even added a coffee cup holder for my ride across town.  I'm not a big fan of aluminum frames, but they are practical for this type of bike, where a little larger tire keeps one from feeling the constant vibration which aluminum doesn't absorb.  You will notice the lack of frame suspension which a lot of beginners think they need.  The frame suspensions were developed to protect the frame from violent impacts that occur during extreme mountain and off road competition.  They do little if any good for somebody on the city streets.   With this you are ready for "preferred parking" closer than the handicapped spots.

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