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by 540air

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The Times Cities fit for cycling
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I was running late this morning (no change there then), but managed to set a new fastest time for my ride in. Now down to 22 minutes.

Geodyne says:

Well done, you!

11th Aug 2008, 16:13

mat says:

Get yourself a road bike with nice thin, low-friction tyres and no massive lumps of suspension-steel up front and you'll take another five minutes off that time, easy. :)

Oh, and invest in some toeclips. I really can't understand how people ride bikes (for transport, not for tricks) without them.

11th Aug 2008, 16:23

Geodyne says:

I'll second eveything Mat said. Strongly.

11th Aug 2008, 16:42

mat says:

I had a trip computer which told me if I was going at, above or below my average speed. That was the best incentive I had for going faster - it was a battle to keep the arrow always pointing at "Above".

Just as a matter of interest, how long does it take you to drive to work, rather than cycle? My commute used to be 45 min by car, or 17 by bike..

11th Aug 2008, 17:30

Toddy says:

Good lad, always a great feeling.

I used to take 15min in a car but can make it in 11 on my bike :-)

11th Aug 2008, 17:51

540air says:

I did think long and hard about getting a road bike, but it was a huge leap for me to go from a BMX to a mountain bike. I've always ridden BMX since the late 70's, early 80's and even on my commute I spend time doing wheelies and look for things to jump. I'm not sure I could ride for any great length without doing something like that, it's what I'm used to. But you never know, the "must beat the previous time" part of me may change all of that :)

11th Aug 2008, 17:52

540air says:

My drive is 11 minutes if you have zero traffic or junction stops, but on average about 14 minutes I reckon. My going home fastest time currently stands at 29 minutes. It's slightly more uphill on teh way home.

The trip computer seems like a good idea, I think I might have to look at getting one of those.

11th Aug 2008, 17:54

Dhamaka says:

that bike looks too clean to have commuted

11th Aug 2008, 18:25

a trip computer is a good thing to have, and they're pretty cheap these days. you would shave a lot of minutes off by using a road bike, but it is a different ride. a sports hybrid might be your next step - check out the trek soho for a nice urban commuter bike (complete with insulated cappucino mug for your daily starbucks and rubber side panels on your top tube to prevent scrapage from tethering to railings/lampposts), for more sportiness, but with straight bars check out the specialized sirrus. seriously nice bike.

12th Aug 2008, 00:18

and cleats are waaaaay better than toeclips.

12th Aug 2008, 00:18

Geodyne says:

Hobo - so very much. We put cleats on the tandem for me recently, and we've shaved something like 4 minutes off the ride home, just with that. I'm thinking about replacing the clips on my solo with cleats now.

We hit 32.25 mph on the tandem last night. It starts getting a bit scary once you're at that speed.

12th Aug 2008, 10:15

540air says:

Insulated cappuccino mug? That's just daft :)

I think I prefer pedals to the alternatives, but then that's just what I've always known.

32.25 mph is a pretty mean speed to hit on a tandem Geo, that's for sure!!

One thing that has struck me though, aside from the fact that cyclists are a more civilised bunch and generally give a nod of acknowledgement to riders travelling in the opposite direction, is that a lot of them wear the lycra shorts etc. Why? I'm not sure I'd feel entirely comfortable in that sort of get up.

12th Aug 2008, 14:37

Geodyne says:

You're right about the speed, 540. You can't do much about stopping if things go wrong at that speed!

Lycra: there are three reasons for me. The first is comfort - you definitely notice the difference the padding gives on a long ride, even with a good saddle.

The second is because the lycra hugs your muscles and keeps them warmer than loose shorts. You work better because they're not chilling as much.

The third, for me, is survival: because I'm cycling on country roads with no verge, I'm cycling in the lane with cars. I rely on their good will, and I've noticed that I'm definitely treated with more respect if I'm cycling at full blast in the lycra kit. No-one wants to kill the next Olympic hopeful!

If you don't want to look like the total prat I do, though, you might want to look into 'cycling shorts' - these look like normal men's shorts, but have a clip-out padded lycra cycling short inside. Or just try lycra shorts under baggies. But be warned - once you have, you won't feel right cycling without them!

12th Aug 2008, 15:00

540air says:

I won't? Blimey!! I might give that a try under my baggies. I have a pair that I wear under my football shorts to limit muscle pulls etc, so I could always try it with them.

12th Aug 2008, 15:27

once you start cycling you should abandon any remaining shreds of dignity. embrace the lycra, it is a comfort thing, and, should it rain, it dries in seconds once you've got over the embarrassment of wearing what looks like a rubber nappy, you'll wonder how you ever survived without one!

13th Aug 2008, 22:09

540air says:

hahaha oh dude, that's a hilarious thought!! :)

13th Aug 2008, 22:16

Dhamaka says:

I like lycra but sometimes it's impossible to change / inappropriate to turn up somewhere dressed like that.. however most of my leggings are made of stuff that dries out quickly and I don't really need padding for rides of less than 90 minutes so I do OK

14th Aug 2008, 14:44

540air says:

I think the footy ones under my normal shorts will most likely be the way ahead for me :)

14th Aug 2008, 15:58

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