BikeCommuters.com

Commute

Hybrid Hype

A coworker and I got into a debate about hybrid cars. He wants to spend 30k on a hybrid or electric car. His reasoning behind it…”I want to save the environment.” Naturally I said, why don’t you just get a bicycle. He lives close enough to commute. But here’s what he said…

“That is not practical, what if I have to go the grocery store, go some where where I have to pick up things or carry passengers. It doesn’t make sense to ride a bike. I currently use my car(gas powered) in many ways, I don’t see how you can use a bicycle in a ways of a car”

I started telling him about my Xtracycle and so forth, but then he goes off in a tangent about how it doesn’t make sense. By that time other coworkers were saying to him that if he really wanted to save the environment, then he should just get a bicycle. Everyone argued that a bicycle has no emmisions and all that jazz….But this hybrid loving coworker was set on dropping tons of cash just so he could “save the environment.” We all tried to get our point accross about bikes, but this guy was stubborn.
xtracycle

Douche Bag

What’s a Douche Bag you ask? Is it a feminine hygiene product?
douche bag

Well yes and no. In this application, we’re using it to describe…”somebody who you think is a complete retard and doesn’t know anything about what they’re talking about.” (thanks to the Urban Dictionary).

In my commuting adventures, I’ve dealt with so many douche bags on the road. Some threaten, some act like they’re going to get out of a car, but most of the time they’re all talk. Plus they think they are super tough in their car.

One of my favorite douche bags was this fella right here.
douche bag
This guy cuts me off, and when I let him know what he did…I get that! I mean c’mon!

I’m sure each and one of you has had some sort of run in with a douche bag in your days. I’m curious to know who’s story will blow us away.

How to Shop for a Kid’s bike

Here’s some quick tips on figuring out which sized bike to get your child for Christmas.

Children’s bicycles are measured by the size of wheel they have, 16″, 20″ and 24″. So here’s some age appropriate sizes you can use:

16″ 5-7 years old

20″ 8-10 years old

24″ 11-13 years old

Now take those measurements with a grain of salt. Kids tend to grow at different rates…especially when they start hitting puberty. But with my own kids, we saw that Breanna, had a major growth spurt and her 20″ bike was stretched out to the limits on the seat post and stem extension after about a year.

So with that in mind, you may want to consider a bike that will grow with your kid. If you’re kid. For boys usually a 20″ bmx bike will suit their needs for years to come and you really don’t have to worry too much about the fit and geometry. For girls, I’d recommend beach cruisers put out by Nirve and Electa, they tend to be more growth friendly than a 20″ mountain bike.

But before you head out to the bike shop, measure your child, and place an imaginary line against yourself so when you talk to the guys at the shop, you can say, “Billy is this tall” (as your pointing to your imaginary line. Then if they’re good, they can figure out which size to get.

Are recreational cyclists posers?

What is the point of driving to a trail to ride a bike?

That is the question that I put to the BikeCommuters Crew. Most of us happen to enjoy riding to work, but we also enjoy riding the dirt trails or riding organized recreational road rides. So is it OK for us to drive to the trailhead and ride our bikes? Here’s what we think:

Jeff:
I think anything that gets a person on a bicycle is worth it. I think bikes can be used for enjoyment AND utility. Personally I think someone who is anti-recreational cycling has as much of a stick up their butt as a hard-core roadie that doesn’t acknowledge commuters or utility cyclists. In fact, I rode my bike to church yesterday, and was just cruising along on my mountain bike while wearing some khakis and a sweater and passed a hard-core roadie and even though I visibly waved to him, he just ignored me. He probably thought I was just some stupid kid who didn’t know anything about cycling.

The bicycle is one of the most versatile machines available – and that is what makes it so beautiful. Any person can find a reason to ride a bike, and that is a good thing (Just like Martha Stewart says…).

Jack:
I’m mostly with Jeff…there are too many bicycling “factions” these days, and they don’t often acknowledge each other with a friendly wave. Using a bike for only one rigid purpose defeats the whole thing — bikes are versatile and fun.

Despite that, I find it very troubling indeed to have to drive somewhere to ride my bike. My nearest offroad trailhead is nearly 20 miles away, and I cannot stand the thought of loading my bike and hauling it all the way over there to ride! Part of it is laziness, I suppose, but it has kept me from MTBing for a long time.

Lance:
While commuting has opened my eyes to the potential of a car-less life, I still am completely torn on the matter. I’m actually driving 45 miles into the mountains this Saturday to ride a 30 mile trail. Sure driving the vehicle isn’t exactly eco friendly but it’s an indulgence I sure can live with after I’m done with an epic and absolutely beautiful ride like this one will be. Additionally I’ve reduced my driving with carpooling and commuting to about 25% of what it was so I’m okay with driving to trailheads on a Saturday to get my ride in.

Riding pristine singletrack in the mountains and being completely isolated from the rush of the city is something I just can’t pass up. I’ll make my sacrifices elsewhere so I can indulge in that respect.

RL:
Well, I think that no one is a poser just because they like to drag their bike elsewhere to enjoy it.
Sure there’s value to using your bike as means of transportation, but at the same time, there are other ways to enjoy a bike.
Being a mountain biker, I don’t feel that I’m being a poser just because I load up my roof rack with my bike that has a big fork a squishy rear suspension and drive 30 miles away to enjoy the fullest potential of the bike.

My opinion:
I believe that a bicycle is not just a source of transportation, but also a source of enjoyment and exercise. I personally enjoy mountain biking and riding recreational rides. I love riding trails where motorized vehicles are not allowed, I like riding with 1,000 other cyclists for charity purposes, I like riding with my family to the beach and back. Yes, most of these activities do involve me taking my truck and driving to a starting point, but the point is riding a bicycle is supposed to be fun. I also love riding my bike to work, nothing brings me more pleasure than to pass vehicles that are stuck in traffic. But like my tag on thebikegeek.net says: Commute, Road or MTB, it’s all good!

What is your opinion? Do you agree or disagree?