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Old 07-25-2005, 02:47 AM   #1  
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Default I bought a bike!

I have been walking to work. It's 4.5 miles each way and lots of steep hills. On the weekends, I've been taking a racewalking class (yes, the one that makes you look like an idiot). It's been interesting and exhausting. Two weeks ago, I got injured. Injured? WALKING?!? What the heck is wrong with me? The Cute Boyfriend is kind enought to point out it was not ordinary walking. Anyway, I stopped to heal and tried again - reinjured. I even tried easing back into it. Nope. I've done something to my hip (think ball and socket area) and it needs real time to heal.

In the meantime, what to do? I'm tired of the gym - I freaking live in southern california, I don't need to be inside to exercise!

So, I bought a bike for the commute. It works an entirely different set of muscles and my hip isn't even complaining.

For anyone who is interested in buying a bike and thinks they're too big or too heavy to find one that will be comfortable, I have the bike for you. I bought a Specialized Crossroads. It cost $300 and it's a mix between a mountain bike and a road bike. Here are some of the reasons I love it:
  • Big, huge seat. No "thong" style up-the-butt seat for me! (and it came with it!
  • Upright seating. Your weight is on your butt, not on your hands in a forward position (like on racing bikes)
  • Great suspension. (from the part mountain bike design)
  • Hearty frame (I don't feel like it will wilt under my weight).
  • Flexible. Because it's a hybrid, it's meant to be driven on the road, with potholes and traffic and curbs!

Anyway, I thought if anyone had advice for a newbie bike rider - I'm all ears!

My first commute to work is tomorrow. I'm a little nervous because it's right through downtown.
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Old 07-25-2005, 03:14 AM   #2  
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How cool! I love bike riding (though we haven't been since my DD was born - always a delimma of what to do with the kiddos ).

Good luck on your commute!
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:24 AM   #3  
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I also just bought a bike and I love it! I got a hybrid too, Trek, and since it had been over 12 year since I rode a bike, I was suprised by all of the advantages that you pointed out especially in regards to being more upright, and feeling secure etc. I have been riding around my neighborhood testing out gears and stuff and hope to make it to one of our city's trails at some point when the temperature goes below 100! I like riding in the evenings, after dinner, to sort of kick the metabolism in gear before going to bed. I wish I could commute to school/work but I have to cross a highway and I'm not ready for that...yet! Plus, I'd have to find a way to carry a laptop!

I did go "all out" aceessorizing and have added a spedometer that tracks speed and miles and an under-the seat pouch to carry essentials. And, since it already came with a little bell, I guess I only really need some streamers now!

Good luck with your commute! Don't forget your helmet!

Toni
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:28 AM   #4  
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Congrats on your new set of wheels, Jessica!

Shoot, why CAN'T adults have streamers on their bikes? And remember those brighly colored straw-like things that slipped over the spokes? (Or did we use actual straws?) And a safety flag sticking up behind the seat? *sigh* Yeah, I loved my bike.
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:53 AM   #5  
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Those are fantastic bikes! Congratulations!

Which model and color did you get?
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Old 07-25-2005, 08:45 AM   #6  
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Ooh, bikes are the best. I miss mine (soooo dangerous to ride in Manhattan) -- the feel of the wind streaming through your hair as you zoom down a hill... it's really just the best!!!!!

Congrats, Jessica! I'm sure you're going to have so much fun with that thing (and it sounds like a GREAT bike, too!). I bet you get to work in half the time.
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:18 AM   #7  
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Good Move Jessica!

Buying a bike was possibly the best decision i made this year. I commute to work 3-4 times a week. I can only find benefits: I save on gase, improve my cardio, and my legs are becoming concrete!!!
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:21 AM   #8  
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Biking is awesome! I hope you enjoy your new bike!
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Old 07-25-2005, 10:12 AM   #9  
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Thank you for writing this!! I've been considering a bike, but Thefatgirlinmyhead says I'm too heavy. A couple months ago I actually tried riding my husband's old bike around the block a few times. Riding for the first time in 20 years, at almost 300 pounds, on a rickety old bike... well, I got around the block twice, and really felt accomplished. But if I want to continue riding I really need to find a bike better suited to me.

You've given me hope that I might be able to find something that will meet my needs. Thank you.
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Old 07-25-2005, 11:31 AM   #10  
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That is aweseom GJ. I'm sure you'll have tons of fun and whatnot with your new mode of transportation. I can't wait to hear about your first trek to work.
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:04 PM   #11  
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Happy new bike, Goddess!

I couldn't live without mine as it's my only method of transportation. I brought my hybrid with me, complete with its wicker basket on the front, when I emigrated from England, and I bought a covered child trailer (it was on mega-sale, of course) for carrying bulky/heavy stuff. No gas-guzzling truck for me! I even take it out over the winter (the only time I wish I had a mountain bike as I haven't been able to get snow tyres to fit my weird thing), but cut back a bit on that after I hit a huge snow rut and fell off. I never thought I'd be able to say I'd biked in a -48șC wind chill! Still, I doubt the weather will present quite the same problem for you in Cali.

My advice:
  • invest in a side mirror and expect car drivers to be less than courteous--many will pleasantly surprise you;
  • check the tyre pressures regularly;
  • keep the chain well greased;
  • enjoy yourself!
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Old 07-25-2005, 05:54 PM   #12  
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Thanks for all the support! I was so excited last night setting my alarm clock to get up and bike to work (it means sleeping in just a bit for me!) that I forgot to turn the alarm ON. I know, what an airhead! Anyway, I'll have to give you my update tomorrow!

tlcstar - I bought a the eco rack (see here: http://www.planetbike.com/racksncages.html) for all my bags and such. You can strap down about anything with a couple of bungee cords. Of course, there are saddle bags that are much cooler (and a bit more expensive) for commuting with a laptop.

GardenWife - My bike shop sells all of that for adult bikes. I found some pink handlebar streamers that I came THIS CLOSE to buying. They were so cool!

Barbara Ann - Oh yeah! Here's a picture of my bike: http://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/...ort_Char_l.jpg

Frenchie - I'm so glad to hear that! I always feel like I'm the only one.

Synger - Oh yay! You made my day! I felt the exact same way. In fact, when I walked into the Trek store, I was treated the way I felt and that put me off buying a bike. But this store was awesome and VERY encouraging.

Toofatfish - I wanted a wicker basket but they didn't have any in the store. I thought about getting the child trailer eventually for the dogs but I don't think they'll have anything to do with it. I can't BELIEVE you biked in the snow. What kind of superwoman are you?? Thanks for the advice. I have been looking at the mirror thing because it's hard to know when someone is approaching. Glad to hear someone else's perspective on it.
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Old 07-25-2005, 06:00 PM   #13  
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You can get little clip-on sideview mirrors for your glasses, too.
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Old 07-25-2005, 08:11 PM   #14  
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To all those who think are too heavy to ride bicycles; think twice!

Before setting my mind on a custom made bike, from a Montreal Shop, i also considered this NYC based manufacturer who specializes in extra heavy-duty bikes.
http://www.worksmancycles.com/
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:59 PM   #15  
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Jessica-

Thanks for the rack info. I was joking with friends that while I may drive a 1996 car with well over 200,000 miles on it....my bike is stylin'!!

Riding does make me feel like a kid again! So much so I'm thinking of making some of those ramps with bricks and old boards! We used to litter our street with them in my neighborhood while growing up...nothing like being airborne on two wheels!

Good luck tomorrow!
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