Update: I just made my first left turn on my bike, at a light!

Apologies for the awkward thread title.

For all of you who helped me in this thread, thank you! I finally made my first left turn at a traffic signal. I picked one that was moderately busy, but not swamped.

I’ve been doing good, following the laws & everything. I picked up a mirror, but I think I need one with a longer reach.

I also picked up a bike cushion. What an amazing thing! It immediately doubled my biking time, up till now I’d been happy with 2.5 miles or so, I literally went 6 miles tonight with no discomfort. My, um, girly-parts are really happy, too. Trust me, there was no bicycle smile.

I’m finding as long as I try to stay visible at all times I’m not having too much trouble with driving on big roads. I’m having a great time!

So thank you all!

Today, a left turn. Tomorrow, a Tour de Cure. :slight_smile:

You’re bu…er… toughing up! :wink:

Oh, you ment a bike with pedals.

Never mind.

Kudos.

It’s just a matter of getting out there and doing it. It’s really not that nerve-wracking. Cars really don’t want to hit a biker.

You need to get a t-shirt that says, " If you can read this, the bitch fell off."

:smiley:
A left turn on a bike with cars all around…I hate doing that in a big truck…I’d rather make a bunch of rights…

Tough enough to kick your ass! Rowr!

Mr. Goob: What did you mean?

It put me in a really good mood, let me tell you!

Mr. Goob thought you were referring to a motorcycle, I’m guessing.

Oh well, that isn’t tough…it goes as fast as a car!

Anaamika, here’s some other hints i’ve found that help in long distance cycling…

increase your bike’s visibility both front and rear by adding some LED flashers to your bike, i just added the Blackburn Mars 3.0/Quadrant lighting combo pack to my commuter bike, the Quadrant is a bright white LED headlight with 3 modes all on, side LED flashing, all LED flashing, the Mars 3.0 has 3 modes, all on, flash, chase

the headlight isn’t powerful enough to use at night on a pitch black road, you need a minimum of a 10 watt Halogen for that, it would be okay to use in a town or city with streetlights though, i use it primarily to increase my visibility to cars, i have both lights set to flashing even during the day, and i’ve noticed traffic passes me with a wider safety margin, oncoming traffic will steer away from me at a greater distance than without the light, same from traffic approaching from the rear…

increase your visibility, during the day wear light/bright clothing, in the evening, have some form of reflective clothing/accessory on you, assume other drivers are; A; idiots, and B; don’t see you, a driver could appear to be looking right at you when in actuality, he’s looking through you and you don’t even register in his mind

stay hydrated, drink water/energy drinks even when you’re not thirsty, the best way to do this is to use a hydration pack (backpack with soft water bottle “bladder” and hose with a bite-valve), the most popular Hydropak is the Camelbak, there are other brands, but i personally like the Camelbak, very well built, solid, and built to take a beating (mountain bikers wear these and have fallen on them and the bladder almost never ruptures, it shrugs off the fall like nothing happened)

i have the Camelbak M.U.L.E. and it’s a great pak, 100 Oz resivoir, and lots of places to store tools/clothing/sunscreen/etc, in it’s compact form, it takes up very little space, yet it expands to hold a lot of stuff, it might be overkill for your ride, but i don’t think it would, really, i started off with the Camelbak Rocket but it just didn’t have the storage space i needed, it barely held my toolkit and a couple of PowerBars/PowerGels…

the Camelbak will also satisfy the “wear a reflective accessory” reccomendation as well, as both the MULE and Rocket have reflective trim on them (i’d assume most 'Baks have reflective trim…)

Carry a set of tools with you, minimum of a patch kit (for flat tires), tire levers (to get the tire off the rim) and a small air pump, i carry a Park Tool mini-kit in the Camelbak, as well as a mini-pump, some sunblock, a first aid kit, some energy bars and energy gels…

i typically carry the following in my 'Bak, as it weighs practically nothing, the water weighs more than the cargo…
outer zip pocket; energy bars/gels, my cell phone when doing road rides
second zip pocket; Park Tool tool kit in nylon zipper pouch, small zip-pocket first-aid kit
mesh netting compartment; Bullfrog 40 SPF pump sunblock
main pocket; spare t-shirt, small towel (never forget where your towel is, very handy for avoiding those trailside Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts and scaring away Vogons) light raingear in “iffy” weather

have a stash of energy bars/gels in your backpack / Camelbak for the long rides to avoid “bonking” or “crashing” (burning thru your energy reserves and running out of energy), also, hide a couple of energy gels behind the CB bladder “just in case”…

and most importantly, have fun, biking to work is something i wish i was able to do

Anaamika, here’s some other hints i’ve found that help in long distance cycling…
Thank you! I’ll take anything. I haven’t built up the endurance yet for really long-distance biking, but every day I increase it a little.

**increase your bike’s visibility both front and rear by adding some LED flashers to your bike, **

Do you think I should do this even though I don’t plan to ever ride at night?

**i use it primarily to increase my visibility to cars, i have both lights set to flashing even during the day, **
Ok, I see what it says here. Very well, I’ll look into it!

increase your visibility, during the day wear light/bright clothing, in the evening, have some form of reflective clothing/accessory on you, assume other drivers are; A; idiots, and B; don’t see you, a driver could appear to be looking right at you when in actuality, he’s looking through you and you don’t even register in his mind

I always do (wear visible clothing). I don’t ride at night, like I said, but I do ride in the evenings.

**stay hydrated, drink water/energy drinks even when you’re not thirsty, ), the most popular Hydropak is the Camelbak, there are other brands, but i personally like the Camelbak, **

As i said, I don’t do long-distance rides as of yet. I do have two water bottles, when I start riding more I may switch to my SO’s Camelbak, he does have one.

Carry a set of tools with you, minimum of a patch kit (for flat tires), tire levers (to get the tire off the rim) and a small air pump, i carry a Park Tool mini-kit in the Camelbak, as well as a mini-pump, some sunblock, a first aid kit, some energy bars and energy gels…

Ok, will do this no problem.
**have a stash of energy bars/gels in your backpack / Camelbak **

Good idea!

and most importantly, have fun, biking to work is something i wish i was able to do

Haven’t started that yet since it’s 10 + miles over some really busy roads, and I need to build up to it. Plus I work in a business casual environment, so it may never happen, since I can’t really come to work soaked in sweat, and it’s hot these days even at 8 Am.

Getting the callouses (or whatever) on the girly parts are really important. On the last long ride I did (about 60 miles on a bike trail – we hadn’t intended to go that far, but got carried away), my legs were tired, but my butt was absolutely KILLING me. It was a couple of days before all the soreness went away.

I don’t recommend doing that. :smiley:

[QUOTE=Anaamika]

**stay hydrated, drink water/energy drinks even when you’re not thirsty, ), the most popular Hydropak is the Camelbak, there are other brands, but i personally like the Camelbak, **

As i said, I don’t do long-distance rides as of yet. I do have two water bottles, when I start riding more I may switch to my SO’s Camelbak, he does have one.

i once thought like you, that water bottles were fine, but once i tried the 'Bak i never went 'Bak :wink:

the biggest advantage of the 'Bak over water bottles are;
it’s a frell of a lot more convenient to have the bitevalve up close to you, no reaching down to pull the bottle out of the cage, tilting your head back to drink, then fumbling to put the bottle back, with a 'Bak you sip right from the tube and can keep your eyes on the road, it’s safer

water bottles can warm up on summer rides, and if you’re riding in the dirt, they can get muddy and dusty, anyone feel like a swig of warm, dusty, muddy water, sounds refreshing, doesn’t it? :wink:
a 'Bak is insulated, keeps water cold for hours, if you have one with the new “Omega” resivoir, you can actually put ice cubes in it as well, on Sunday, i filled up my MULE with 2 ice cube trays of ice, filled it with water, went out in the 90 degree heat and had delicious, refreshing cold ice water all day long (actually it was ice cold for about 3 hours, just plain cold for the next 4), it was cold all day, bottles would have warmed up in 1/2 hr to 45 min…

the biggest advantage of the 'Bak over water bottles are;
it’s a frell of a lot more convenient to have the bitevalve up close to you, no reaching down to pull the bottle out of the cage, tilting your head back to drink, then fumbling to put the bottle back, with a 'Bak you sip right from the tube and can keep your eyes on the road, it’s safer

This alone is enough to convert me, now that you mention it. I’ll go home tonight and see about using his.

It’s a bit of an exaggeration, though.

He’s got ya tilting your head back and fumbling around with the bottle.

I can reach down, grab my bottle, tilt it up to squirt it into the side of my mouth and put it back in the cage without taking my eyes off the road. At 25mph. In a pack of riders.

But I’ve never used a camelback. I don’t see the need for it, but it seems like a pretty good idea.

As another upstate resident and avid motorcyclist I had to be a smart-alec.

I love my camel bak, I bungee it to my tank bag and can fit the bitevalve under the chin bar of my helmet, brilliant!

IANABiker, but I do know something about warm weather and hydration, and (appologies MacTech, but… ) this is a bad idea. You can drink nowhere near as much “ice-cold” water as you can water that is at or slightly below (heaven!) ambient temperature. It’s extremely easy to dehydrate if all you have to drink is ice-cold water – your thirst is killed after the first few sips, and you just don’t drink enough!

Dani

interesting… <Wayne Campbell> I was not aware of that </Wayne>

so filling up the 'Bak with cold tap water is preferable?, noted and will try that out, it’s just that ice water on a 90 degree plus day tastes sooo good…

yes i did take a little creative liberties in my description of the bottle Vs. 'Bak scenario, but not too badly…

i just think they’re cool is all, heck, i’ll be wearing mine when i’m just out in the yard doing yard work/mowing or weedwhacking the lawn, i’m trying to increase my water intake to help me lose some weight and get in better shape than i am now (hey, round is a shape, right? :wink: ), and the convenience of the 'bak is a definite help

i’ve tried bottles, i’ve tried the 'Bak, and the 'Bak just works better for me, YMMV…