Beginning

The weather’s better, you’re burned out on traffic, and you hate the gym. You hear it’s “Bike Month” and an idea forms in your head. Could you bike to work? Maybe it’s not that crazy. It might solve some problems. But not before presenting some challenges. So you decide to get some information.

Bike Month

You seek out people who can give you advice.

Bike Month

But they may not have all the answers.

While there’s plenty of knowledge and resources available, no one will be able to give you the exact advice that’s right for you. In the beginning I looked for someone to teach me. I imagined someone who would tell me exactly what I wanted to know, someone like this:

Bike Month

Which was pretty specific to me.

Ultimately everybody’s biking needs are unique. So do research and get advice, but eventually you will learn more by doing. It’s actually not that scary but it takes time.

 

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37 Responses to “Beginning”

  • Great as usual. Thanks, Bikeyface is beautiful.

  • David

    “YUM!” LMAO.

    Brilliant…….(-;

  • dukiebiddle

    Not even a fantasy Tina Fey knows how to transport cupcakes on a bike without destroying them.

    • KYouell

      Bakfiets. Put a towel down in the bottom of the box so the tray doesn’t slide around.

      I didn’t say it was a cheap solution, but your cupcakes will arrive unscathed as long as the kids stay buckled and don’t eat them up on the way.

  • As always, your stuff is right on the mark!

    At last, folks are designing clothes, albeit very expensive clothes, that can be used for semi-casual business bike work wear… 95% cotton/5% spandex lets you move on the bike, but still look cool – Check out http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/bikes-and-gear-features/betabrand-bike-work-khakis-reflective-inner-cuff

  • I love the woman covering her daughter’s eyes! So funny!
    I would love to go on a ride with Tina Fey.

  • Seriously, I have so many lady friends looking to learn to ride and I want to host a “How do ride a bike to work in a skirt and look perfect upon arrival” class.

  • dr2chase

    Takes money too, unfortunately. That’s one reason you’d like to get moderately good advice for a start. (Fat slick tires, fenders, hub dynamo, low stepover is good for guys, too, think seriously about IGH+chaincase, think somewhat seriously about cargo bike. You could do worse than starting with an Africabike and upgrading from there. Or maybe a Sun Atlas Cargo.)

    What IS the answer to the lady-parts saddle question? I assume there is more than one, because even us differently-parted-people don’t agree on the One True Saddle.

    • In general, a good womans cycling seat (good as in, gets good reviews), is the answer. It’s very common for women to neglect buying one for some strange reason. And it’s also very common to hear them say how numb their lady parts are after 20 miles. GET A SEAT!!! The Bontrager Inform RL wsd is normally a $100 seat but can be had for $30 these days.

    • pocky

      The answer is to take a couple of days to a couple of weeks to try as many saddles as possible (for multiple rides of the type you plan on doing most) and keep the one that fits you best, and return the rest. Find a local bike shop that will let you do this. Most mail order shops will let you do this too, though you’ll pay for shipping back the ones that didn’t fit right.

    • Warren

      A wonky seat that only supports the sit-bones and is open-concept other than that is http://www.spongywonder.com – a New Brunswick business where you talk to the owner, and the kit is less than a lot of pretentious Chinese vinyl pods with ‘ergonomic styling’
      I’ve owned mine for seven years and being bony, would use nothing else.

    • The Ultimate Answer to “seat issues” of any kind is The Recumbent. A close second is a seat that was actually made for humans to sit on, rather than designed to “look cool”.

  • JP Gal

    Brilliant and wonderfully funny, as always! I’m forwarding the link to Tina Fey.

  • When I started commuting a couple years ago I took a *free* class through MassBike. It was very helpful. I also talked with a couple folks who had been commuting for a while, and they gave me a bunch of great pointers.

  • There’s a real person in Atlanta like your bike shorts guy in panel #1–except he’s not a cycling instructor. I don’t even think he’s a cyclist. He just stands on the corner of Ponce de Leon and Briarcliff. I always thought he was waiting on a bus, but that’s not the case according to this low-rent documentary about him: “Mr. Understood: The Willy Terry Story.” He’s a really famous street character; I don’t even think Baton Bob has a documentary and he has a unique outfit and he twirls a baton!

  • Aerosoles boots – Lasticity are the best superhero business boot for biking around LA or most major cities. You can do 14 hours at a festival in them and still look hot, or put a pair of pants on top and go all Clark Kent on them. Other heels will get stuck in most pedals or gnarled on a chain.

    Nice art bikeyface. We do custom LEDs for bikers and sell kits so you can add some light to whatever riding outfit you choose. I’m designing new coats and jackets programmed for easy visibility for those of us who commute around LA yearround and want to stay out past 8PM while looking sexy enough for red carpet moments.

    Find me @amoration and @toyshoppe if you want LED love.

  • Ha! the first image is SO perfect. :)
    I really think the cupcake tote for bikes should be invented. I mean, they already have 6 pack totes and stuff…
    Happy Bike Month!

  • Tomboy business casual…is cool these days. :) I remember being slightly horrified when I left a large sporting goods store that is part of a national chain where they also sold bike clothing, accessories and bikes. One store clerk was urging the other store clerk who was interested in cycling that she MUST: have a pair of lycra tights, shorts, rain jacket, helmet, and 6 other things. Totally intimidating and costly that would put anyone off.

    I would have advised the person just to get a bike helmet, bell and bike light..if they had a bike already. Then later, they can buy other stuff over time.

  • Cinegirl

    My bike commuting savior has been clothes specifically designed for hiking and/or travel. Companies like Ex Officio and Royal Robbins make really cute women’s clothes (including skirts and dresses) that wick sweat and have other technical features that make them comfortable for riding to work. People at my office are always impressed when I ride in wearing a skirt (especially when I show them I have spandex short-shorts underneath so I don’t have to worry about giving everyone on the street a free show if the breeze flips my skirt up while I’m riding).

  • MT Cyclist

    Hey, Bikeyface!
    Remember me???
    The hairy-legged dude who inspired for your llittle blogpost?
    Nice job of capturing my bum’s perfect curve. (I’m still waiting for my check.)
    BTW, if you’re ever doing a post that involves hairy shoulders, I’m your guy.

  • Helena

    So I have read your entire blog from the beginning and I love it, deffinitelly will keep coming. Your drawings are really great, keep ut the good work!

  • GRJim

    Answers: kids – longtail or box.
    suit – seersucker or lightweight wool.
    lady bits – see LB blog.
    paintings – longtail
    cupcakes – keep them in the tin, loosely cover the top. secure. do not put on front rack – they will jump all over.

    I only pretend to know everything on the net.

    • somervillebikes

      GRJim:

      Answers: kids – longtail or box.

      Meh. Your way they don’t do any work. Here’s how you transport kids while making them work:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/7516215@N03/7190884856/in/photostream

    • KYouell

      As the mom of a kid with special needs who can’t do that yet, I’m glad the bakfiets lets us be a biking family instead of a driving family. It takes all kinds of bikes to get all kinds of kids out on bikes. Not that I don’t tell everyone who comments that I’d prefer that they were pedaling and that our rig is Heavy. Still, it’s lighter than a car!

    • somervillebikes

      You make a good point, and sometimes a box-based bike is the best solution. But all too often I see people spending thousands on bakfiets to cart their pre-pedaling toddlers around, then have to sell those bikes at a great loss once the kids outgrow them (honestly, who wants to do all the work carting around 120lb worth of kids?). I almost never see tandems or trailercycles mentioned for toting kids around, and I’m a little puzzled by that. My kids developed some serious leg muscles by pedaling on the bike train, and that no doubt helped accelerate their transition to their own bikes. Heck, they can pedal their single-speed bikes up any hill that I can manage to climb on my own bike.

    • KYouell

      Agreed. I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to change things up so that they are active participants instead of sitting. I’ve got my eye on a trail-a-bike for the girl and after that a Wee-hoo for the boy, but for now that’s not possible. Besides, I am the beneficiary of a daughter that was tired of sitting and wanted to ride her own bike; we got our bakfiets from Craigslist for almost half the price of new. I guess from your handle that you aren’t in Portland (Oregon) like we are? Yesterday was the first Sunday Parkways of the year and there were more kids pedaling or at least helping in one way or another than there were sitting like mine. Progress is happening. I don’t think that it’s an epidemic of kids sitting in bikes instead of in front of tvs. :-)

    • somervillebikes

      We’re in Somerville, MA.

      Warren, the trail-gator looks awesome.

    • Warren

      Our friends are a bike-based family, and are wondering how to get their near-biking family around.
      We swear by our Trail-gator (http://www.trail-gator.com/)
      - we can tow our girl (and she can pedal-assist as she likes, useful on the big hill)
      - then we un-dock at our destination and she zooms around on her trainers.

      With two adult hitches, my wife and I can alternate pickup and drop-off at school when she moves to her new school in September – which is on our bike routes to work for both of us!

  • National Bike Month is awesome because there are almost inevitably opportunities for free breakfast foods and t-shirts, which are some of this life’s greatest joys. But National Bike Month with Tina Fey leading the way with cupcakes and high heels?! Now we’re talking!

  • let’s see if i can move my name out of my comment…

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