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  1. #1
    get down!
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    Idea! THOUGHTS: one week of living a bicycle committed lifestyle

    My life has been crazy lately and I have to get some thoughts out, bare with me.

    For the past year I have been commuting from Topeka to Lawrence to go to college at KU(jayhawks). Recently my car broke down, a 95 civic hatchback, and it wasn't worth getting fixed. I decided, to the dismay and confusion of my friends and family, that this was a sign and instead of me getting a new car that I would instead move to Lawrence and get an apartment. Making a commitment to ride my bike everywhere I need to go...even when it gets cold.

    I pulled the racks off the car, took the cd player out, the speakers and anything else worth more than the 75 dollars I sold the car for and called state farm to cancel my insurance. On Sunday I moved to Lawrence and began my new life.

    So far, it hasn't been bad, I've realized a few things. I would like to have one of those big ass messenger bags for getting grocerys, even if everyone on campus has one. I need a set of fenders so I don't ruin my clothes. Even if my pant leg is tied up, somehow I still get grease on it. Sometimes, I can't help but feel like a homeless bum, riding around town catching stares from the something-about-mary-rotissere-sorority-chickens, other times I feel above everyone because I'm free from the bs. Moving to a new town where you only know a couple heads is hard, especially with the aforementioned crap coupled with the fact that I'm unemployed and the bike shops here aren't hiring because of the winter coming.

    So as I watch my bank account steady decrease, I hope a job will come so I can afford the second payment on my Wily when it gets done. I sit in a computer lab, dreading the ride home to an apartment with no furniture, cable, phone or internet...and the roommate that I don't yet know or care to. But when I think that in a year and a half I will graduate and begin my goal to learn how to weld bicycle frames for all of us and put my dream into motion, I can't help but smile even if it's raining, my fat laced adidas are grease stained and there is a brown streak down my back that the girls behind me in class think is disgusting.

    holler at your boy!

  2. #2
    giddy up!
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    Alrighty, here's a couple a thoughts..

    While I still own a car, I commute to work on most days, and do almost all of my grocery getting on two wheels. Here's my findings..

    Get the largest timbuk2 bag. Doesn't matter if everyone else has one, they're functional. Buy the shoulder pad too, you'll be glad you did. Get the largest bag you can find...you're gonna need it if you're grocery getting and all that.

    Get some fenders. Full coverage with mud flaps. No THE motocross fenders. This things will make life alot easier.

    Roll your pant legs up to the knee instead of strapping them back. No grease stains. Or put a chainguard on there.

    Stick with it..

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  3. #3
    get down!
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey

    Get some fenders. Full coverage with mud flaps. No THE motocross fenders. This things will make life alot easier.

    B

    thanks for the advice, I'm going to see if Santa will bring me one of those Timbuk2 bags

    what kind of fenders would you recommend? I'm looking at the Planet Bike fenders...it's a 26 inch cruiser bike, singlespeed of course with a coaster brake Nashbar also has some topeak fenders for 15 bucks.

  4. #4
    giddy up!
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    I've had a few sets of the planet bike fenders...they work as good as any, and they're pretty cheap. Just make sure and get the widest ones that you can.

    I haven't seen the topeak ones, but they could be nice as well..

    Check ebay for crumpler bags......similar to timbuk, but they seem to pop up on ebay for a good deal once in a while..

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  5. #5
    ¡Manos arriba!
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    Consider a Burly trailer

    A Burly trialer is ideal for hauling a weeks worth of groceries or a few cases of beer home, and has an added bonus that drivers will not try and squeeze you off the road because they think you have a kid in there.

  6. #6
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    You will remember these days fondly...

    I lived the college commuter lifestyle for three years in Stony Brook, NY ten years ago.
    I can still remember how much fun it was even when it sucked (hot, cold, rain, wind, cars, mechanicals, dark,tired...)
    I rode all year long, commuting 20 miles a day, riding singletrack on campus between classes, big weekend rides and NORBA racing...
    I had dirty/smelly clothes, a Jannd Mtn. gariel messenger bag, Oakley ski goggles, a beard, nightsun lights, fenders, and home made studded snow tires. I always carried a towel in winter to soak my thawing beard water of my desk...
    I broke campus rules everyday by bringing my Cannondale F-1000 into classes and riding down staircases. I wrote my Sociology thesis on my "Deviance as a Cyclist" . I hit many parties on my bike and would often get a free lunch pint of Guinness from the Checkmate bar. For food I relieved my friend Lee at his hot-pretzyl stand so he could pee, party or get some coed lovin' while I ate my pay.
    Long story short, I will always remember those days. Be cool and careful, get a job in a bike shop if you can, drink a lot of beer and have fun
    Jefe', BA,MS,MTB
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  7. #7
    Who are the brain police?
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    FUGLY? There's that Fugly that connects to the downtube. Seems like that would block more of the spray from the front tire that typical funders wouldn't reach. Maybe run a funder / fugly combo?

    Someone post about these things (w/ links) in the last day or so. If you're interested, use the search feature for "fugly" on this website (could be "fugley").

    Good luck--- I'd love to be car free.....but I'm ________ (insert word of choice here).

    p.s. When I went to UMass Amherst, I worked on a farm one semester to make ends meet. I had little to no time between work and class so I'd ride my bike straight from the farm to class.. and uh, I smelled like a farm. Festering manure smell never scored me points with the ladies..
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  8. #8
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    Go for the Planet Bike fenders.

    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed
    thanks for the advice, I'm going to see if Santa will bring me one of those Timbuk2 bags

    what kind of fenders would you recommend? I'm looking at the Planet Bike fenders...it's a 26 inch cruiser bike, singlespeed of course with a coaster brake Nashbar also has some topeak fenders for 15 bucks.
    I went to both places, Nashbar didn't have the Topeak fenders in their online catalog. So I'm assuming they are out of stock on them.
    The planet bike ones look durable. Just make sure that you have the mounting holes for the rear fender stays down by the rear dropouts. If not, you'll have to go with the clip-ons.

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  9. #9
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    SKS fenders are nice too. Otherwise, the rest of donkey's comments are right on the money in my experience. Especially the big a$$ Timbuk bag.

    On a side note, what are you going to school for? Where will you go to learn how to weld bike frames?

    Good luck with all. I remember those days well... In fact, I worked at a 'low impact' recycling center where cyclists pulled 8' trailers behind their bikes around town to pick up recycling. It was lots of fun in the winter. It wasn't good money, but it afforded me time on my bike and kept me out of debt.

    Anyway, good luck!

    dd..'''

  10. #10
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    I wish I could do more right now. I am working on it, but still trying to find out how I can make it work. I have a nasty road to travel to get into town. If I can find away around it, I will probably start

  11. #11
    kung food
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    i salute you. and as for huge arse messenger bags, if you don't mind garish, and can track one down...this is the best deal going: http://chromebags.com/kozmo.html

  12. #12
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed
    thanks for the advice, I'm going to see if Santa will bring me one of those Timbuk2 bags
    CHROME!!! Everyone I know who owns a Chrome far prefers it to the similarly sized Timbuk2. I ride 30 miles a day with mine (to and from CU), and have NO complaints. That, and you see far fewer of them on campus!

    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed
    what kind of fenders would you recommend? I'm looking at the Planet Bike fenders...it's a 26 inch cruiser bike, singlespeed of course with a coaster brake Nashbar also has some topeak fenders for 15 bucks.
    I'm going to make some fenders out of veneer that bolt to my brake bridge (I commute fixed). If it works out, I post some pics and a template (or what have you) here. It shouldn't be too tough, and should be light and woody to boot!
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


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  13. #13
    giddy up!
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    [QUOTE=SDizzle]CHROME!!! Everyone I know who owns a Chrome far prefers it to the similarly sized Timbuk2. I ride 30 miles a day with mine (to and from CU), and have NO complaints. That, and you see far fewer of them on campus!

    Man, I want to like the chrome bags, but I just couldn't get used to how high the stabilizer strap sits in you armpit. I guess I'm just used to my timbuk and how it fits.

    I definitely prefer the pockets and zippers and what not on the chromes.....maybe I'll get used to the strap if I ride with it for a few days...

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    CHROME!!! Everyone I know who owns a Chrome far prefers it to the similarly sized Timbuk2. I ride 30 miles a day with mine (to and from CU), and have NO complaints. That, and you see far fewer of them on campus!
    Man, I want to like the chrome bags, but I just couldn't get used to how high the stabilizer strap sits in you armpit. I guess I'm just used to my timbuk and how it fits.

    I definitely prefer the pockets and zippers and what not on the chromes.....maybe I'll get used to the strap if I ride with it for a few days...

    B
    Agreed, I have both a Timbuk (BIG) bag and a Chrome(MEDIUM). If I am carrying groceries, I find it much easier to use the Timbuk because it can sit horizontally across my back like a big old tub. I also like this in the summer when it is hot to help keep me cool (i.e. by staying off my back). However, if the weather is cooler, I like using my Chrome to carry books/cloths back and forth to school. It seems that it is less likely to migrate to one side or the other. (Of course, this is just my opinion.)

    In the end, I think you can adapt to either bag. They are both quality products.

    dd..'''

  15. #15
    I am the owl
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    Another vote for Chrome. As far as the stabilizer strap goes, mine has two options, the high armpit option and a lower option. Bigger loads I use the lower option. The pad design and fit is just much better than the T2 on this bag.

    But, if you want cheap grocery hauling options, grab a detachable Wald basket from Rivendell (www.rivbike.com)

    As far as the greasy leg, switch to a wax base lube like White Lightening and kiss that problem good-bye!
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed
    My life has been crazy lately and I have to get some thoughts out, bare with me.

    For the past year I have been commuting from Topeka to Lawrence to go to college at KU(jayhawks). Recently my car broke down, a 95 civic hatchback, and it wasn't worth getting fixed. I decided, to the dismay and confusion of my friends and family, that this was a sign and instead of me getting a new car that I would instead move to Lawrence and get an apartment. Making a commitment to ride my bike everywhere I need to go...even when it gets cold.

    I pulled the racks off the car, took the cd player out, the speakers and anything else worth more than the 75 dollars I sold the car for and called state farm to cancel my insurance. On Sunday I moved to Lawrence and began my new life.

    So far, it hasn't been bad, I've realized a few things. I would like to have one of those big ass messenger bags for getting grocerys, even if everyone on campus has one. I need a set of fenders so I don't ruin my clothes. Even if my pant leg is tied up, somehow I still get grease on it. Sometimes, I can't help but feel like a homeless bum, riding around town catching stares from the something-about-mary-rotissere-sorority-chickens, other times I feel above everyone because I'm free from the bs. Moving to a new town where you only know a couple heads is hard, especially with the aforementioned crap coupled with the fact that I'm unemployed and the bike shops here aren't hiring because of the winter coming.

    So as I watch my bank account steady decrease, I hope a job will come so I can afford the second payment on my Wily when it gets done. I sit in a computer lab, dreading the ride home to an apartment with no furniture, cable, phone or internet...and the roommate that I don't yet know or care to. But when I think that in a year and a half I will graduate and begin my goal to learn how to weld bicycle frames for all of us and put my dream into motion, I can't help but smile even if it's raining, my fat laced adidas are grease stained and there is a brown streak down my back that the girls behind me in class think is disgusting.

    holler at your boy!
    AppleSSeed,
    congradulations! You've been liberated. A few things that I have learned after 3 blissful, car free years: You mentioned always getting grease on your pantlegs. There is really no remedy for this that I have found. Wear shorts, always. If you pedal hard enough your legs will be warm and you won't have dirty pantlegs to worry about. If it's cold were you live do not skimp when you buy riding clothes and equipment. You are saving money now that you're not paying for insurance, car payments, repair bills, gas, etc. so you might as well invest some of it and keep yourself happy. Buy yourself some good lights, gloves(mittens are actually preferable if you have a SS and don't have to worry about shifting) and some good, warm shoes. Another trick that I have learned, to avoid looking like a homeless bum, pedal fast. You don't see alot of bums hammering around town weaving through traffic. Besides it's funner and you will get strong. It's funny now, it's wierd to think about owning a car. Life would almost seem to easy and boring.

  17. #17
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by STrackMike
    I went to both places, Nashbar didn't have the Topeak fenders in their online catalog. So I'm assuming they are out of stock on them.
    The planet bike ones look durable. Just make sure that you have the mounting holes for the rear fender stays down by the rear dropouts. If not, you'll have to go with the clip-ons.
    I've got the Planet Bike fenders. Got 'em cheap because they didn't come with all the mounting hardware. I used zip ties to the chainstay bridge and the seatstay bridge and its rock solid.

    I also second riderx's comment on detachable baskets, although I've got some $12 jobby from Nashbar. I wouldn't want to go touring with it, but for a trip to the grocery store it works just fine. I bet the Riv version is much better.

    With apologies for gearie content:

    <img src = "https://forum.bikemag.com/photopost/data/500/1212stumpcommute-med.jpg">
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  18. #18
    Waiting to exhale.
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    dude,
    appleSSeed.
    you got my respect. Its not easy doing what yur doing. but I think your attitude is right on. F**ck a car! F**ck those preppy Mocha Frapuccino drinking bimbos! just keep on keeping on.
    Quite possibly the slowest single speeder on earth.
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  19. #19
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    Just for some added insight.

    My family of four doesn't own a car, but we've got a fleet of bikes and all the fixins. Bob trailer, kid trailer, a mess of messenger bags, etc...

    If it works for us, it could work for anyone.

    Of course most folk are to prone to wither without being coddled by leather and cooled by the ozone depleting AC in their Land Rover, but that's how folks are theses days

    You can do better than them.

  20. #20
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    Another vote for Chrome. As far as the stabilizer strap goes, mine has two options, the high armpit option and a lower option.
    I ditched my strap on day one - I, too, never liked the placement. I got used to packing the bag right and riding with it as is, and I don't even wish for such a strap. I always planned on relocating the strap, but only remember once in a blue moon, and only then when I'm on my bike. So, my positive reviews are totaly sans-strap - the bag works perfectly with just one contact point - my back.
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


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  21. #21
    get down!
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    wow! thanks for all inspiration and the replies...I knew posting this would help keep my head up and lift my spirits(no not the flask of old crow).

    So, I'm going for the planet bike fenders and the biggest messenger bag the local lbs has.

    I'm going to school for business administration and accounting and will be going to UBI after that to learn anything they can teach me...then hopefully going to intern for some company like Brew ( i read in bicycle retailer that they teach welding anyway) Waterford, IF, Seven, basically anyone that'll have me and teach me the ropes of the business. If that doesn't work I'll fly to Italy or France and learn how to build lugged 29ers with EBB's from some old man with a big grey mustache . haha, after that I'll branch out on my own and start making my own name.

    thanks again to everyone for the positive comments and peoples opinions on the messenger bags, mtbr is dope, it's like my home away from home..on the internet

  22. #22
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    i have a couple of comments.

    first, good for you for taking the plunge and being car free.

    second, why not just get a commuter bike for commuting?

    my commuter has full-wheel-covering fenders(they cover the sides/most of the spokes too), a full chain guard, front and rear light, and a sturdy box mounted on the back that is big enough to carry a case of beer (a german case of beer is 20 500ml bottles > 25 lbs ) or my work junk. with all of this i can still wear a suit and pedal to work without worrying about getting greasy or splashed with water or mud. your commuter doesn't have to be expensive. mine cost me nothing, cuz i am a dumpster diving freak, but there are other inexpensive alternatives.

    third, another option to consider is a change of clothes. i am luckky in that i have a decent office where i can store a change or two of clothes and i have access to a shower. this makes those nasty weather (too hot, too cold or too wet) commutes a little more bearable. see if the university has this option. perhaps you can rent a locker?

    finally, dont take this as dig, but realize that there are people all over the world to whom a 'bicycle committed lifestyle' is nothing special, in fact, it's the norm in many parts of the world.

    stick to it guy.

    (btw, i am totally not anti-car. in fact i love cars in a cylinderhead-all-the-way-through-ackerman-angle tweakin-kinda-way, i just hat the change that comes over peoples' personalities when they plop their fat, slim, sexy, fit or ass-whooping asses behind the wheel.)
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  23. #23
    pepito
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    Good job!

    you're living my dream dude. if my son's daycare wasn't so damned far out of the way, and the roads around here were safe enough to haul a child trailer, i'd be sans car too. you're lucky enough that you can fully commit to the car free lifestyle. take full advantage and enjoy it.

    the_dude

  24. #24
    try driving your car less
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    I'll second that you will remember these days...
    I bought my first car at about age 25 or so, I still drive as little as possible.
    What the others said: fenders and racks and lights. Don't worry about looking cool. Don't spend a lot of cash. You can make fenders out of soda bottles and crap like that. Get furniture on 'big trash' day. And I love jandd grocery panniers. Performance makes some rip-offs of it. Just carry it into the store and fill er up, attach to rack and ride away!.
    I lived my car-free days in Berkeley, so the weather was nicer. I had a cruiser bar schwinn collegiate in a metallic flake orange with these metal basket racks on the back that would fold out and exactly fit a paper grocery bag. I was a sailing instructor, so I actually tied the rack on with kevlar line. It would sway a little when filled with henry weinhards...

    I ended up hooking up with a group of like-mided bicycle folk who really hooked me up. Provided a lot of my gear needs and also provided a social network of people who bike to a bar, get lit and then go ride around.

    I justified a lot of my commuter purchases by planning an epic bike journey (or two or 3) after college. So it was a travel expense! So fix up the rig with a journey in mind. When I was riding around during daily errands and commutes, I just envisioned the Baja all around me. Over winter break, I popped my ride onto a Greyhound to Tijuana, and headed south from there! Also ended up pedaling on a few other continents: Europe and Africa.

    Ahh... and I still have grease on my pants. Just roll them up and wear some tall socks.
    Only boring people get bored.

  25. #25
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    Commuting gear...

    I've been real happy with a set of Headland fenders i picked up at my LBS. Never thought two pieces of plastic could make such a difference in my quality of life. Some impressive " Velorutionaries " on here, family of four - no car?! Wow.

  26. #26
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed
    a 95 civic hatchback, and it wasn't worth getting fixed.
    one last thing, chicks dig a bike WAY more than that piece of crap you were driving. at least some chicks. the cool ones.
    Only boring people get bored.

  27. #27
    Recovering couch patato
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    I have this 26" bike I once used for going to school, work, Beach races, and such. Heavy frame, stiff, big. And as it's 26", pretty much useless now. I put in a Cross-Check 700c fork, 700c front wheel with 2.0" slick, and it passes.
    rear rack with a small plastic crate, good for half the weekly groceries. My try bar can take a plastic bag with a wkee's load of pre-baked bread.

    I bought a check DH wheelset recently, 36h, Deore hubs, stupid Vuelta rims. Perfect for the rear of my Ugly Bike (which it is).

    I can't afford a car, I'm in Europe. Daily commute on the Ugly Bike is 2x11mi and change, I'd rather use my SS Cross-Check, but it's cross season...
    In my defense, I'm only using 2 or 3 cogs, so the chain skips violently when I use a headwind gear now.

    Good for you, following your dreams!
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  28. #28
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    for a big indestructable bag i highly recommend

    http://www.luggagepoint.com/luggage_...77&prod_id=673

    this thing is HUUUUGE! and where the stuff in my timbuk2 used to get a little damp when it was really pouring this one has never even gotten close to being wet inside.

    warning it is THICK and HEAVY and probably wieghs a good four pounds..... but it is the best i have ever had and makes my old timbuk (while really nice still) look like a little light weight prissy bag

  29. #29
    try driving your car less
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    and another thing: for drinking at home, I suggest switching from beer to hard alcohol mixed with a powdered drink mix or concentrated juice. Screwdrivers!
    Only boring people get bored.

  30. #30
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    Sweet!

    Right on! I had no car in college either but sadly find myself driving more than I like now. Struggling to recommit to 4x weekly bike commuting. There are some inspiring stories out there and Dirt Rag has printed some good commuting lit. I copied them and reread them for inspiration:
    http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/arti...egory=features
    http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/arti...egory=features
    there's another commuting one I like but it's at home. I'll repost the issue#.

    Fenders: SKS for me. Unless you're ready to lay out for some sweet Honjo hammered aluminum. Make a mudflap for the front: old water bottle, plastic milk bottle, rubber flooring sheet. Mudflap means the difference between wet and dry feet. If you want to go cheap (free) it's the right time of year: election time. Those political signs are often made of coroplast and they apparently make sweet fenders.
    Check it out: http://www.mile43.com/peterson/FendForYourself.html

    Rack and panniers are sweet. Summertime I get by with a backpack or Mbag but in winter, I'm packing more clothes and like to switch to panniers.

    I also echo those who recommend leaving the bike set up for commuting. It's mentally much easier to roll out in crappy weather when the bike is already setup w/ fenders, racks, lights, etc...

    Good luck,
    B

  31. #31
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Okay, forgive me for asking these beginner questions about not owning a car...
    1. How do you manage to live the life a productive adult w/ a job and a family without a car?
    2. How do you manage to not have a car and not become a complete burden on everyone you know with a car?
    3. How do you bring home a Christmas tree? Pumpkins?
    4. How do you make a run to Home Depot for 4 bags of sand, 1 bag of cement, 16 2x4's etc?
    5. How do you venture a significant distance from your home?
    6. How do you get any decent rides in that begin many miles from your house...offroad?
    7. How do you take your girlfriend out for dinner?

  32. #32
    Recovering couch patato
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    1- Perhaps in your eyes, only car owners do
    2- I try
    3- Don't like traditions, prefer peaches
    4- I can afford a car, OR a huge garden-attick to give a make-over
    5- Train, or set priorities
    6- See 2.
    7- We have cities here, lots of restaurants there at walking distance. I get to her by train, which does suck.

    I either put myself on a 2-bikes-per-decade diet and get a car, or I don't get the car, and be financially safe to buy myself whatever I need. My cycling needs are very cheap compared to a car. My last 4 bikes were singlespeeds, and they're all ready to roll.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  33. #33
    try driving your car less
    Reputation: jh_on_the_cape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Okay, forgive me for asking these beginner questions about not owning a car...
    1. How do you manage to live the life a productive adult w/ a job and a family without a car?
    2. How do you manage to not have a car and not become a complete burden on everyone you know with a car?
    3. How do you bring home a Christmas tree? Pumpkins?
    4. How do you make a run to Home Depot for 4 bags of sand, 1 bag of cement, 16 2x4's etc?
    5. How do you venture a significant distance from your home?
    6. How do you get any decent rides in that begin many miles from your house...offroad?
    7. How do you take your girlfriend out for dinner?

    all great questions. the family one is a HUGE toughy, and impending for me and so we purchased a station wagon to haul the baby. You can't carry a newborn in a BOB trailer. ANd you can't do it in the New England winter! I can answer most of the others with a couple of responses:

    Not everyone lives in Southern California, where you really need a car. At the other end of the spectrum, a place like Manhattan people do all of those things without a car just fine. Most of us live someplace in between. For the rest of us, it's about using a car as little as possible. I drove mine about 3k miles last year. If you think about your questions above, how many miles did you drive doing those things (except #1)? Most miles are commuting to and from work for most people. And if you work more than 10 miles from home, you are spending way too much time in your car. You chose to live that way, no one forced you.

    My older brother has never owned a car. He lives in Boston and is hyper productive guy in his business and family, and he doesnt even own a bicycle! He rents a car quite often and uses zipcar.com. There is this other thing called 'public transportation' that people use. You can take a taxi, a subway, a bus, and even an airplane and go great distances. Even crossing oceans!

    So in short, yes most people have cars and they are super useful, I just think they become a crutch and use them too much. If you can manage less than about 5k a year on your car, your car will last 2-3x as long, less gas, less maintenance. And more biking!

    I really like the car-free days or bike-to-work days that are on. Loads of people at my office biked to work for the first time and thought afterwards: 'Wow, that wasn't such a big deal, and it was kind of fun'. I encourage folks to try to bike to work at least one day per week. It's a HUGE challenge to bike everyday. I don't do that. But a couple of times a week is great.

    That was long-winded, but I just get frustrated with people making excuses not to bike more and drive less. It's just easier for people. Laziness... like TV
    Only boring people get bored.

  34. #34
    Dain Bramaged
    Reputation: Dijridoo's Avatar
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    Commute by Bike - it's not just a thought, it's a command!

    This taken on the sidewalk outside my building at lunch. I live in a conservative little 50,000 person college town in North Dakota - this kind of public outcry is refreshing to say the least.
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  35. #35
    mtbr member
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    ride on

    I've been car-free for for a few months now and it's not quite as "bad" a lifestyle as one might imagine it from a car-dedicated perspective. I go to school at the U of A in Fayetteville, AR, which means I get an assload of climbing in everyday. It seems in Fayetteville you are always going up or down a hill. I live on top of Markham Hill, one of the steepest and longest climbs in town. I now schedule my day around hills: "If I go to x place, I must climb y hills to get there and z hills to return. For instance, my lady friend lives at near the bottom of Fayetteville's topograhpy. Going to her house is easy enough - down, down, down. But if I need to go back to my place, it's a long-ass grinding climbfest.

    Your social status as being car-less depends on the people you hang out with. Fortunately, Fayetteville is town populated with hippies and outdoorsy people, so not having a car is not a stigma.

    Anyways, I got to get to class. Just wanted to say more power to ya.

    Hank

  36. #36
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    ... and if we just ...

    Ahhh. Good answers.
    But as mentioned by JH, I think, much of this depends on your type of job.
    If you wrench on bikes, feel free to ride in and be sweaty and disgusting and not shower.
    If you work in a bank, that's not as easy.
    If you are an engineer who sits alone at a desk w/ only a monitor for company? Easier.
    If you can't shower at work? Much harder.
    If your job entails you driving to different locals? ALOT harder.
    Oh yeah, and don't try and talk to me about baby-wipe showers etc, that just doesn't cut my kind of stink/sweat.

    So, what you guys are saying is....
    1. I have to move out of the OC.
    2. Move either to New York or a podunk college town.
    3. Make sure never to have a child.

    And not owning a car is no problem!!! Whew!!!

    All that said, I try to drive as little as possible. And when we do, if we can, we take my wife's car that gets 35mpg.

  37. #37
    Recovering couch patato
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    Such a hilly town sounds great to me! But doesn't getting groceries on the singlespeed require a 1:2 gear as opposed to 2:1?
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  38. #38
    pedalphile
    Reputation: BontyRider's Avatar
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Right on...

    Man I *wish* I could commute by bike. Keep it going!

    For me, getting to/from work involves one of the tree following options:

    A - Drive the whole way
    To work: 1 hour drive if leave before 7am. 2 hours + if leave later. $$ toll, $$$ gas
    To home: 1:30 at least. Infinite if leave before 6pm

    B - Drive half, train half
    To work: 20 min walk to train, 40 min train, 45 min drive. $$$ train, $$ gas
    To home: reverse. Drive sometimes takes 1 hour

    C - Mostly train
    To work: 1 hour train ride, 10 minute drive. $$$$ train, $ gas
    To home: reverse.

    For option C, I could ride my bike for the last part if I take it on the train. As a matter of fact I think I'm going to do that on Monday. Oh, and I'm quitting my job.
    now the world is gone i'm just o n e

  39. #39
    Bryn Mawr Borracho
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    Have you tried an Xtracycle?

    Padre,
    www.xtracycle.com has all the answers to your car-free questions.

    Meanwhile, check out this tune from Radiohead.

    KILLER CARS-Radiohead

    To hard on the brakes again,
    What if these brakes just give in?
    What if they don't get outta the way?
    What if there's someone overtaking?
    I'm going out for a little drive, and it could be the last time I see you alive
    There could be an idiot on the road,
    The only kick in life is pumping that steel.
    Lock me up in the back of the trunk, packed with foam and blind drunk.
    They won't ever take me alive, cause they all drive..
    Don't die on the motorway,
    The moon would freeze, the plants would die,
    I couldn't cope if you crashed today,
    All the things I forgot to say,
    I'm going out for a little drive, and it could be the last time I see you alive,
    What if that car loses control.
    What if there's someone overtaking.
    Lock me up in the back of the trunk, packed with foam and blind drunk.
    They won't ever take me alive, cause they all drive...
    Killer Cars.. yeah..
    Hey hey, hey hey, hey hey, hey.. hey..
    Wrap me up in the back of a trunk, packed with foam and blind drunk.
    They won't ever take me alive, cause they all drive...
    Killer Cars...
    They all drive... Killer Cars
    They all driiiive....... Killer Cars
    carsrcoffins.com

  40. #40
    Recovering Weight Weenie
    Reputation: Padre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurl
    Padre,
    www.xtracycle.com has all the answers to your car-free questions.
    Meanwhile, check out this tune from Radiohead.
    Wow, do you have to find a bigger apartment after you get one of those? I sure would.
    By the way, when is the next issue of SSO due to drop?

    I see your tune from our right-hand drive brethren from across the pond, and raise you a piece of Canadian-Americana regarding another advantage to owning at least 1 car....without bucket seats...

    CAKE - Stickshifts and SafetyBelts
    stickshifts and safetybelts,
    bucket seats have all got to go.
    when we're driving in the car,
    it makes my baby seem so far.
    i need you here with me,
    not way over in a bucket seat.
    i need you to be here with me,
    not way over in a bucket seat.
    but when we're driving in my malibu,
    it's easy to get right next to you.
    i say, baby, scoot over, please.
    and then she's right there next to me.
    i need you here with me,
    not way over in a bucket seat.
    i need you to be here with me,
    not way over in a bucket seat.
    well a lot of good cars are japanese.
    but when we're driving far,
    i need my baby,
    i need my baby next to me.
    well, stickshifts and safetybelts,
    bucket seats have all got to go.
    when we're driving in the car,
    it makes my baby seem so far.
    i need you here with me,
    not way over in a bucket seat.
    i need you to be here with me,
    not way over in a bucket seat.

  41. #41
    Single Speed Cyclist
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    AppleSSeed, it's a renisance

    You have got to have some doors slammed on you to figure it all out.

    1. Find a girl that rides a bike.

    2. Good fenders will solve the streak up your ass. (Girls who ride bikes will dig the streak)

    3. Rock a waterproof panier bag...so you really look like a freak.

    4. Having a bunch of furniture sucks, cause you will most likeley get kicked out of your apartment and have to move.

    5. Concentrate on school, cause there is a low salary ceiling at most bike shops.

    6. "Keep it tight" Best advice anyone ever gave me.

    Good luck.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MellowCat's Avatar
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    Hurl, me thinks...

    you forget you live in one of, if not the best city to commute in. Try Cincinnati Ohio sometime.... Take your kids on your bike down Colerain Avenue at rush hour, see if you don't commit suicide after your kid gets killed by some moron motorist on their cell phone in heavy traffic. Its just not meant to be around here. I know, move, right? Well I keep trying to, but the family won't have it, and I'm not leaving them just to ride my bike.

    Part of riding your bike everywhere requires you live a life that allows it to work. I would love to commute on my bike, and in a few years after a career change probably will, but for now can't.

    When I see you guys out there commuting I'm envious.

    MC




    Quote Originally Posted by Hurl
    Padre,
    www.xtracycle.com has all the answers to your car-free questions.

    Meanwhile, check out this tune from Radiohead.

    KILLER CARS-Radiohead

    To hard on the brakes again,
    What if these brakes just give in?
    What if they don't get outta the way?
    What if there's someone overtaking?
    I'm going out for a little drive, and it could be the last time I see you alive
    There could be an idiot on the road,
    The only kick in life is pumping that steel.
    Lock me up in the back of the trunk, packed with foam and blind drunk.
    They won't ever take me alive, cause they all drive..
    Don't die on the motorway,
    The moon would freeze, the plants would die,
    I couldn't cope if you crashed today,
    All the things I forgot to say,
    I'm going out for a little drive, and it could be the last time I see you alive,
    What if that car loses control.
    What if there's someone overtaking.
    Lock me up in the back of the trunk, packed with foam and blind drunk.
    They won't ever take me alive, cause they all drive...
    Killer Cars.. yeah..
    Hey hey, hey hey, hey hey, hey.. hey..
    Wrap me up in the back of a trunk, packed with foam and blind drunk.
    They won't ever take me alive, cause they all drive...
    Killer Cars...
    They all drive... Killer Cars
    They all driiiive....... Killer Cars

  43. #43
    Derailleurs owned: 0
    Reputation: c0jones's Avatar
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    Free fenders/chainguard

    I admire what you are doing...
    PM an address and I'll send these fenders and chainguard from my 2003 Trek Clyde.
    They are like new, I removed them the day I bought the bike.


    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed
    wow! thanks for all inspiration and the replies...I knew posting this would help keep my head up and lift my spirits(no not the flask of old crow).

    So, I'm going for the planet bike fenders and the biggest messenger bag the local lbs has.

    I'm going to school for business administration and accounting and will be going to UBI after that to learn anything they can teach me...then hopefully going to intern for some company like Brew ( i read in bicycle retailer that they teach welding anyway) Waterford, IF, Seven, basically anyone that'll have me and teach me the ropes of the business. If that doesn't work I'll fly to Italy or France and learn how to build lugged 29ers with EBB's from some old man with a big grey mustache . haha, after that I'll branch out on my own and start making my own name.

    thanks again to everyone for the positive comments and peoples opinions on the messenger bags, mtbr is dope, it's like my home away from home..on the internet
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  44. #44
    I'm feeling dirty, you?
    Reputation: jonowee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill
    for a big indestructable bag i highly recommend

    http://www.luggagepoint.com/luggage_...77&prod_id=673

    this thing is HUUUUGE! and where the stuff in my timbuk2 used to get a little damp when it was really pouring this one has never even gotten close to being wet inside.

    warning it is THICK and HEAVY and probably wieghs a good four pounds..... but it is the best i have ever had and makes my old timbuk (while really nice still) look like a little light weight prissy bag
    I use a Crumpler Seedy Three messenger bag and I now use it for almost everything even a few off-road MTB rides with reserviour stuffed in. Awesome!

    As seen those Crumpler Bees Knees bags and they're massive, you could jump in the bag. The Bees Knees is their biggest model, I have the mid-low sized Seedy Three, the model that start it all for Crumpler.

    IMO Chrome is the benchmark of messenger bags and the premium on them is well worth it. The attention to detail in key areas like the strap adjustment is the best, and the flap that keeps out crap better than the more 'open' design of other bags.
    TimBuk2 IMO looks too softie and more like urban street fashion bags that get pvssywhipped when we put it through the sh!t.
    I use Crumpler, 1 it's affordable, 2 it's tough as, 3 it's comfortable and 4 it's Australian.

    appleSSeed I wish you good luck with the car-free lifestyle and anyone else that's going down that path.

  45. #45
    Witty McWitterson
    Reputation: ~martini~'s Avatar
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    Second Crumpler. I just picked one up at IB, and I'm impressed. Well constructed, good velcro, big ass, durable zippers, and not every one has one. I like that. And I know you do too.
    Just a regular guy.

  46. #46
    I am the owl
    Reputation: riderx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    By the way, when is the next issue of SSO due to drop?
    Hurl is the captain of the mighty CRC. As for SSO, I head up that publishing empire. Behind schedule as usual but the next issue is in the works and will hopefully be completed soon.
    SingleSpeedOutlaw .com
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  47. #47
    Recovering Weight Weenie
    Reputation: Padre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    Behind schedule as usual but the next issue is in the works and will hopefully be completed soon.
    *waiting... =)

  48. #48
    hispanic mechanic
    Reputation: sslos's Avatar
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    Good on ya!

    appleSSeed- I'm proud of you. Yes, as a few people have bemoaned, not driving requires some sacrifices, and folks who aren't in a position to make those sacrifices will probably slag on you for being a "slacker."
    I don't drive, although we do own a car. If it were up to me, we wouldn't, but I'll go ahead and 'fess up that I'm not willing to make my wife ride a bike everywhere in Sandy freakin' Eggo. So we're moving. Our goal is to put ourselves in a position where we don't have to drive. It might take us a while, maybe even a few years, but that's an ultimate goal.
    I guess that's the thing. In our society, it's tough to just fall into things like not being a mass-consumer. It's a conscious decision- you have to decide to do what's best for yourself, your fellow man, and the planet. Maybe what the corporations tell us is important really isn't...

    I applaud everyone here who, at the very least, makes an effort to not get behind the wheel of a car when they have an option. Railing against our "fast-food-culture," car-lovin', buy-more society isn't going to win me any friends, and probably won't change any minds. I can only hope to help encourage anyone who is physically capable to actually be a "productive adult" and not always depend on transportation that is harmful to this beautiful planet that we've been given.
    Let's try and be good stewards.

    http://www.earthday.net/footprint/index.asp
    http://www.bobtrailers.com/
    the los
    Last edited by sslos; 10-25-2004 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Forgot a link...
    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  49. #49
    mtbr member
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    No Fenders Here

    I recently lost my licence, which at first i thought sucked becasue I am also a college student who commutes to school. I now ride my bike to school every day (35 min ride) and am loving every minute of it. I look at loosing my licnence at a blessing in disguise, its gives me more time to be on my bike. Anyways what I did was I found a place on campus where I could take a shower (every college campus is sure to have one), and I ride in my riding clothes and take a shower when I get there. This elimates the need for fenders, because I don't care if i get my shorts wet. I also use this gary fisher water proof back back which i can fit my books and clothes in easily. I have found this method to work out great.

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