Bicycle

Started by KK0G, June 08, 2014, 08:03:44 pm

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KK0G

June 08, 2014, 08:03:44 pm Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 08:05:40 pm by KK0G
Friends that have known me for many years will probably think that hell has actually frozen over........ I started riding a bicycle! 8)

If you ever drove with me down a county two lane highway during the summer you just might get the impression I'm not a fan of bicycles. On the contrary, what I'm not a fan of is following a cyclist in my car up a hill that's not safe for me to pass, at a pace I could easily walk, while said cyclist refuses to MOVE OVER! Hence the hell has frozen over comment. I'm proud to say I did not impede the flow of normal vehicular traffic and got on the shoulder when needed, as much for courtesy as the fact I understand the physics of a large mass moving at high velocity impacting a small mass at low velocity.

I decided to start riding so I picked up the bike pictured below a few days ago from a Craigslist ad for $65. So why start riding which I haven't done since I was a kid and got that coveted drivers license? For starters that dreaded stuff called fat is beginning to creep up on me, while I'm no where near obese, I want to nip this problem in the bud before it gets out of hand. Second, there's no denying that a bicycle is one of the most efficient forms of transportation; it allows one to travel greater distances at far greater speed than walking and yet still requires no fuel, electricity, etc which plays right into my prepper/QRP attitude.

This morning I rode over to the neighboring town which is little over 5 miles from me across several long, steep hills. Even being out of shape I was able to make the trip in 36 minutes, walking there would have taken me 3 to 4 times as long.

You know how they say you never forget how to ride a bike? Well that's true, it's been almost 30 years since I rode as a kid and I hopped right on and took off like it was yesterday. What you don't retain is the muscles you had from riding all those years ago......... my butt hurts! :P

So who else rides?

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

mdmc

Every 10 years or so, I try riding a bicycle again with the same results. It really hurts my tail end. Even with a so called padded seat.

Luigi

June 08, 2014, 10:08:47 pm #2 Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 10:13:36 pm by Luigi
It is good to hear that you are riding. It certainly is a stress reducer. Try taking your bike to the office or to the store if you can. It gives your more excuses to ride.

If you can, replace the tires with a smooth tread. It will take away some of the rolling resistance and actually give you better traction on roads (more surface area). Get a gel pad for the seat.

I too love to ride. It can be hot, cold, sunny or rainy. Usually I take my radio and chat. In this configuration (photo), I have one radio for ARPS and the other for voice. Usually an earpiece is a good idea. In larger packs of riders, we use a shared GMRS/FRS channel. This gives the unlicensed folks a way to chat. Many areas here up in the foothills are not covered by cellular service, but have pretty good repeater coverage.
I call in as bicycle mobile. 8)

Luigi

KK0G

I may just take your advice about the tires Luigi. I recall as a kid taking my ten speed bike with tires as smooth as a babies butt across lots off terrain they were never intended to tackle on my way to many farm ponds, creeks and rivers on my fishing expeditions. I seemed to manage just fine back then and I can tell by the whine of these treaded tires while going down hill that they're increasing rolling resistance.

Gel pad on the seat? Definitely, my butt confirms that! ;D

Riding to work on the other hand - ain't gonna happen. That's a 70 mile round trip for me, I'm not that dedicated :o . Living in a very rural area has the disadvantage that there's not a lot of nearby destinations to ride to, the town I rode to today is the closest at 5 miles and there's two others at about 13 miles. After those towns the next ones start stretching out to beyond 20 miles and while I could ride that far it'd be more of an expedition than a quick jaunt to the store.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

Luigi

Those smooth tires really make a difference. Also if you are out in a rural area, wear a highly reflective jacket. That makes a difference. On the rural roads ride in the lane. Make cars go around you slightly. If you ride on the extreme edge, you may end up in a ditch. People who are driving misjudge your speed and tend to cut over too soon. Riding with some room between you and the edge of the road gives you some options.

Those nearby towns that you have are about the right distance. A good expedition is an early morning ride to a breakfast resturant. It is a good workout and a meal followed by another good workout.

Pretty soon you may be sending cw on your rides...
Luigi

KK0G

Oh man, what have you gotten me into now Luigi? 8)

Update:
I wanted to change to semi slick tires like you suggested.......... so I bought another bike :o . I know, it sounds rather drastic but, I found a used Trek 4500 in good shape for dirt cheap and I couldn't pass it up. This thing is magnitudes of orders better quality than the POS I had previously.

Now back to the tires - the Trek also came with lugged traction tires which I've been riding on for several days. I ordered a set of Kenda 883 slicks and installed them a few hours ago, WOW, that made a significant reduction in pedaling effort. Its also nice that the tires are now almost dead silent with no vibration when rolling down the road, especially going high speed downhill where the lugged tires would really start singing. Thanks for the advice.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

Luigi

It is nice to read that you are experiencing a good ride. Nice to hear there a big difference. Enjoy the rides. Be prepared. Have an extra set of tubes just in case.  Lots of weird things on the road can puncture your tires. This is one of the reasons to stay off the extreme side of the road.

As you ride more often, you will be surprised at the things you will find on the road. I found a new craftsman torque wrench on the side of the road one night in Wisconsin about 10 years ago.

Keep it up. Enjoy
Luigi

KK0G

I made my first long distance trip yesterday; I rode the 11 miles into Winterset plus another 2 miles beyond that out to the airport. Adding  that 26 miles of round trip to the running around town I did while going to the restaurant for lunch, convenience store, ice cream shop, etc came to a total of 30.7 miles for the day. My average speed according to my cycle computer was 8.1 MPH, about four times my average walking speed.

I did learn a few things on the trip such as:

I can go longer distances and at higher speeds than I initially thought I could when I started this little "experiment."

Now that I have the seat up high for efficient pedaling, I need just a little more rise in my stem to take some pressure off my hands.

Ice cream gives you super energy. ;D

The other thing I learned (actually more like reaffirmed what I already knew) is that it gets damned hot in the afternoon here in Iowa during June. I left in the morning while it was still relatively cool and just cruising around town in the early afternoon I didn't really notice how much the temp had risen, but a few miles into the return trip home and I definitely noticed it. Other than to just take more breaks in the shade to cool off, which is what I did on the way back home, I don't see much of a solution to that problem........... if you pedal when it's hot, it's gonna be hot.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

Luigi

8 mph is a good rate. Stay hydrated in the heat. Set your seat high enough so that your leg is very slightly bent at the knew when the pedal is in the lowest position. Your will get more power and less strain on your knees.

Ice cream = "Alternative fuel".

KK0G

Valuable lesson learned today: wind SUCKS!

Since it was too windy to fly today, this morning I did the same 13 mile ride to the airport that I did last weekend. I had a nice tail wind on the trip in but the headwind on the return trip was brutal. I never thought wind could have that much effect on riding a bicycle but trust me, it does. Unless it was a very steep hill, I had to downshift and pedal at a fairly good rate when going downhill or the wind would slow me to a crawl. Uphill was a grueling test of my stamina, sheer willpower is about the only thing that got me to the top. The next time my flying lessons are canceled because of high winds, my bike rides are also canceled. :P
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

RadioRay

Wind IS tough on a bike.  BT&DT in an earlier age, when I commuted to work on a bicycle. 

THIS is what you need:




>de RadioRay ..._  ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

KK0G

Quote from: RadioRay on June 28, 2014, 11:29:59 pm
Wind IS tough on a bike.  BT&DT in an earlier age, when I commuted to work on a bicycle. 

THIS is what you need:




>de RadioRay ..._  ._


That would definitely help in the aerodynamic department, of course the aerodynamic effect may be slightly outweighed by the solar oven effect. 8)
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

Luigi

Bike wraps are nice until you get a nice crosswind.