Bike ridin’

My first ride on my new (to me) bike was short and interesting:

Riding in traffic is hard.
It’s tough to get used to cars whizzing by while I’m trying to avoid a panic attack.

Bike shorts might be a good investment.
I went only about 2 miles, but my taint is killing me.

Shifting.
It’s not as easy as I thought it would be.

I’m going for it again this weekend, so wish me luck.

Comments

  1. 1

    Tom Fitzpatrick spews:

    Hey Will, what did you end up riding? Yes, get bike shorts. And a rear view mirror. And a helmet. And eye protection (specs, shades or cheap safety glasses all ok). And gloves. Wanna try mountain biking? Much more strenuous, but no cars!

  2. 3

    spews:

    @ 1

    A used mountain bike.

    @ 2

    I live downtown, so when I leave my apt on my bike, I have to ride OUT of downtown to find a more secluded training area.

  3. 4

    spews:

    Will – as far as the pain goes:

    1) Until you are a more frequent rider you will probably experience discomfort.

    2) You may want to invest in a more comfy seat.

    I hate riding in traffic too.

  4. 5

    Another TJ spews:

    Will,

    Glad to hear you’re giving it another go. I assume you’ve lived where you are for a little while – long enough to have a fair idea of the traffic patterns, specifically with respect to the times when traffic is “best” (least) on the weekends. Definitely try your route(s) when you’ve got a little room to breathe.

    It can be intimidating, and I’m glad you’re giving it a shot, but, seriously, your safety is most important. If you just don’t think you can do it safely all the time, then only commute on those days when you can expect your risks to be minimized. But you’re a bright guy; you’ll figure it out… if you survive that long. ;-)

    Anyway, congrats on the new bike and the new “lifestyle.” I hope it works out for you.

  5. 9

    spews:

    Good luck. Ride safe!

    Funny how many people never heard taint before… Bikers are all too familiar with the word.

    I’d recommend the biking shorts that don’t look like biking shorts. They are way less awkward than spandex.

  6. 11

    Puddybud spews:

    Will please help Darryl.

    Darryl: Where are the 9 posts I identified last Tuesday?

    Still waiting Darryl the Dolt!

  7. 12

    Puddybud spews:

    Will, start on the side streets and don’t weave in traffic. Don’t wear earphones like I’ve seen some people do. It distracts you from your number one concen, your safety.

  8. 13

    drool spews:

    Dude, get some shorts. I have several pairs but these are my favorites: http://jensonusa.com/store/pro.....horts.aspx I have two pairs I like them so much. Lots of pockets and you don’t end up Dressing like Lance Armstrong. You can shop around on line for a good price. Sizes are correct.

    You may need to change saddles. This is a very personal thing (not all taints are created equal). Finding a saddle that works is literally a pain in the ass. For distance riding I ended up with the good old Brooks B-17 (pre-aged). Expensive, heavy, not sexy, ancient looking but I can ride all day on it. I use a racy dinky saddle (WTB Rocket V) for single track or anything under 20 miles.
    You can try one of those cushy saddles. They’re inexpensive and once you get some miles under you it will piss you off and then you can go looking for a real one.

    If you’re in traffic do you have lights yet?

  9. 14

    Libertarian spews:

    Why can’t they design a bicycle seat that’s comfortable and doens’t kill your butt after 15 minutes of riding?

  10. 16

    Daddy Love spews:

    The president asserts that the entire executive branch is free to commit crimes at the whim of the president.

  11. 18

    Daddy Love spews:

    Occupying Iraq isn’t working, and can’t be made to work; the fact that more tragic days are likely ahead for the Iraqi people is no reason to stubbornly continue a failed policy.

  12. 19

    Daddy Love spews:

    Almost all Democrats and progressives agree with the vast, growing majority of the American public who want US Troops out of Iraq’s Civil War as soon as possible. George Bush, Dick Cheney, most Republicans, and a dwindling minority of grass root conservatives want to keep our troops stuck fighting, bleeding, and dying in the Iraqi cross-fire forever. Vote for the ones you agree with. It really is that simple…

  13. 20

    Libertarian spews:

    drool said:

    “BTW, they’re called “saddles”. ”
    ===

    That might account for some of the discomfort!

    Haven’t seen any of the Brooks seats, but they are certainly worth a look. Since my left foot is causing problems, I may have to switch to biking and swimming instead of the StairMaster or the Nordic Track.

    Thanks for the tip!

  14. 22

    Truth to power again spews:

    Wow, a 2 mile bike ride in traffic. I used to ride 4 miles to elementary school on Ventura blvd (one of the busiest streets in the san fernando valley).

    One thing is clear, someone like you could never make it in the army. You’re reenforcing the stereotype about liberals.

  15. 24

    Godot spews:

    #22 “Wow, a 2 mile bike ride in traffic. I used to ride 4 miles to elementary school on Ventura blvd (one of the busiest streets in the san fernando valley).

    One thing is clear, someone like you could never make it in the army. You’re reenforcing the stereotype about liberals.”

    Dear god, Will does something good for his health and the environment by bike commuting, and all you can do is use it as an opportunity to denigrate him by comparing your amazing bike prowess to his?

    Seriously, you’re the one who’s reinforcing stereotypes about liberals on this thread. Smug, self-righteous posturing like this is really infantile.

    Good job, Will! Your taint will toughen up.

  16. 25

    Poster Child spews:

    Saddle choice is fairly personal, and a pretty hot topic in the b-sphere lately…

    http://www.fatcyclist.com/2007.....d-changes/

    Brooks saddles are hardcore old school cycling gear – from the days when cycling shorts were made of wool, Lib., and if you’re complaining about discomfort generally, they’re probably not for you, as there’s an extended “break-in” period. As Will is learning, the break-in doesn’t only happen to the saddle.

    You probably better get some fenders too, as it looks like summer is over!

  17. 26

    drool spews:

    Oh yeah Will, I presume your bike is a “hard tail” (no rear suspension). You can get suspension seat posts to help with a bit of the shock….or a Brooks sprung saddle (very cool old school).

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ha.....flyer.html

    Here’s some more saddle info:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

    http://sheldonbrown.com/leather.html

    BTW Poster Child, Some of the Brooks saddles come “pre-aged”. Very comfy from the git go.

    Don’t give up on finding a good saddle that works. I run a really narrow one on my full suspension bike http://www.westernbikeworks.co.....TRVG-1.jpg and people wonder how I can take it. The bike came with what I call “Satan’s Codpiece” which I couldn’t ride two miles. It took a lot of testing and returning saddles before I settled on that one too.

  18. 29

    Ben Schiendelman spews:

    That’s fantastic! I’m glad you’re riding. :)

    If you want any tips, I’ve been riding to/from work periodically for years, and I’d be happy to chat about your experiences.

  19. 30

    Good for you spews:

    Glad tto see you exercising. Maybe practice riding in an empty parking lot to get a feel for the bike, learn how to shift so you won’t have such a panic attack. That’s what my father did with me when I first learned how to ride a bike. The most important thing is don’t give up, it gets easy, much easier. Hell, even Bush can ride a mountain bike.