Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Commuter Tips

From Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips


Just about any bicycle will work for commuting. I've traveled to work on a mountain bike, a road bike, a hybrid, and even a fat-tired cruiser. The important thing is to get a bike you feel comfortable on. Find a reputable bike shop, consult with the sales staff, think about how you might use the bike, how far you'll be going, what you might need to carry, what conditions you'll be riding in, and so on. My present commuting bike is a hybrid, which I'd recommend for most everyday urban riding needs.

In much of the world -- in such countries as Japan, Denmark, France or Holland -- the bicycle is valued as a utilitarian vehicle. And bikes sold in those countries come equipped with fenders, bells, lights, kickstands, racks, and, very important, chainguards.

In the US the bicycle is generally considered a toy, a recreational device, or as exercise equipment. Something you load on top of your car, like skis or a surfboard, and travel to some remote area to "play." That's why bike shops are filled with mountain bikes. They thrive on selling the "sport" of cycling. Travel they leave to other vehicle retailers, i.e. auto dealerships. This is a big mistake.
read more tips here


beardsarefun said...

"They thrive on selling the "sport" of cycling." I'd like to know how he came to this conclusion which seems ridiculous to me. People come to a shop because they want to get a bike. As an employee of a shop, we explain the pros and cons of different types of bikes to let the customer make an informed decision and answer any questions they may have. I think many people choose mtb's (which i usually discourage) to ride on the road because they, like so many ignorant americans, want that SUV for "what it" scenarios that rarely play out. They also romanticize mtn biking with no idea how rough and technical it really is, merely fascinated with the notion.

Also the term "hybrid" means about as much as saying you listen to "alternative" music. Is he talking about a comfort bike, a fitness bike?, a flat-bar road bike...? If you look at many of the posts on here (and other blogs), you will see many people say they dont feel safe riding in town because of reason ______. Ever think that's why people load them up on their cars to escape? Yes I think its ironic but we're not going to change the bulk of these peoples minds any time soon.