One of our regular commenter DeepWater offered some really good tips on cycling in the recent Street Harassment thread that I would like to break out to shear with you all and to gather more advice and ideas.
“Oh, yeah, I live, die and breathe on my the iron horse, bicycle. I’m in great shape and bypass these fools. I know everybody for varying reasons can’t ride a bike but if you can get one, a decent one. If you gotta a small apartment/place, go Seinfeld on ’em, get some brackets and stick the bike on the wall, saves from theft outside, space, and can take it when you need it. Get your stamina up, get in shape, and chuck dem deuces at them fools (in the meantime, lol).”
Cycling to avoid “street creeps” is not a bad reason to look into taking up the sport nor is it the only reason. It is great for fitness, it’s green and it is a relatively cheap, easy and convenient way to way to get around. I have a bike. I also have a trike with a basket for shopping.
I like things simple and really cannot hassle with shifting gears. So I ride a Land Rider.
This bicycle has an auto shift that takes care of the gear shifting for you. The bike is very comfortable and easy to ride. Some models even have a step through frame. Great for the older rider or someone getting back into cycling after a long break from it. I.E. ” I haven’t been on a bike since I was a kid.”
DeepWater also added some really important tips re. street cycling gear as follows.
“Side Bar / Public Service Announcement:
For those interested in getting a bike (bicycle not motorcycle), you need to invest in (due to early Winter darkness) so that cars may see you and your avoidance of jerks lol:
a) a Cat Eye, front light or a miners’ hat light.
b) a back light (behind and under bike seat).
c) a helmet.
Cycling, to a degree, is a lifestyle.
Just wanted to mention that in that after work or school it will be dark and one needs to be prepared as much for whatever.”
I agree with all points here but would add mounting a horn on the bike so that people can hear you coming up from behind.
My second bike is a trike, which to be honest, I have yet to ride. Part of the problem I have is with the steep hills where I live and with attempting to haul groceries up them. That may be a challenge for me so hubby and I are planning to motorize it.
This is the set up we have decided on:
Clean Republic Hill Topper Electric Bike Kit https://www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx
You can install this on any bike and this may be an option for those of you who want to get out there but may be concerned about tackling the hills along your route. Check it out.
DeepWater rounds out her comments with this piece of advice:
“Lastly, in direct relationship to street harassment, I would be remiss in not mentioning a few things about bike (bicycle) ownership.
Due to apartment complex ownership one might not be able to apply brackets into wall, without that being taken out of ones’ security deposit should you move.
In our modern day, there are now stand alone bike stands (which I want as a Christmas gift but am blessed with a large enough home to place bicycle in) so as not to damage your place (Seinfeld had a professional do his wall brackets I’m sure).
Where your NodicTrac or treadmill is (instead of using it as a clothes s hanger, lol) one can place the stand alone and place bike onto it, saving a ton of space and something you will actually use (talk with your local known and certified bike shop, not Kmart, Costco and them, they just sell bikes and are not bicycle service providers).”
Excellent advice. Since hubby and I both have bikes we have a stacking bike stand. One you may consider:
THULE Bike Stacker
This stand is well balanced and we have never had a problem with the bikes tipping over or damage to our floors.
We keep the trike outdoors chained up to an earth anchor with a cover over it.
I also second Deep’s advice to consult with a cycle shop got the best information of check out any number of cycling sites and blogs.
“Invest strongly into a bike lock, it is imperative, that you have one, preferably a combination lock in that while some fool is tryin’ to drum up conversation you’ve unlocked the bike and you’re off. A “key lock” takes a moment of time, gotta get it from ring and unlock bike, takes a few minutes. Whereas a combination is off in seconds (because only you know it) placed back onto bike and you’re good to go.”
Now here I have to thank Deep for the tip. I am currently in the market for a lock for the trike. It is under cable and key lock when on the property but I will consider a combo lock when I take it shopping. Great advice.
A final word:
“(Among many) the reason I began riding strongly was because of “The Gauntlet” of “Hey, baby, let me hit that” and such other nonsense while living in major cities (when I was a “hot young thing”, roflmao).
Though not Lance Armstrong (doping, fakin’ the funk, lol), bikes can cost as much as cars – shocking but true – Kevlar, Titanium and such, whole bikes (frame, wheels, handle bars and, maybe, extras can weigh as little as ounces these days).
Investigate for yourself, it’s not deep, get what you want and use all road safety measures, worth the time for your mental health from “crazy” while conducting your business, end of public service announcement, roflmao (but true).
I nominate Deep’s comments for Gem of the Comment Section. Great advice all around. Many thanks. Do any of you ride and have any tips, tricks and suggestions to help up enjoy this great sport? Let us know.