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Killerjackalope's guide to urban cycling

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Ok whether it be simply for work or play a bike is great way to get around town, as always there are innumerable risk factors and both upsides and downsides...

This is just a basic guide to help you:

*Choose your bike for town
*Help you keep safe
*Get around fast
*Learn a few tricks and tips I've collected over my years of urban cycling (since I was 11 and we had no car)

Well I'm going to go ahead and dive in, first up: choosing your bicycle...

Now out from me, basic cycling tricks and skills

Also this is entered in the bike month contest and it would be pretty cool to get votes and ratings if you like my 'ible...
 
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Step 1: Choosing the right bicycle for urban happiness

First of all before anyone sticks their nose up at the idea of riding a lesser bicycle let it be known that having a really expensive bike for pootling or hurtling about town is a bad idea because:
  • It's very possible it could get stolen
  • If you have a bump or a car parks on it you'd be pretty sorry
  • You're quite unlikely to use it to it's full potential

If that isn't reason enough well...

In terms of pricing I would suggest that £200 is a safe number to aim for, if you decide to go over this consider bicycle insurance which I recommend anyway.

You need to figure out how you ride your bike in town, if you are riding on the road permanently then a road bike is probably a good option, they're light, capable of maneuvring on roads well and they're generally better value for money at the bottom end of the scale.

On the other hand a more off road style gives you more options, a good cross country bike can be had for a fair price and holds alot of good qualities in terms of ridability, it'll survive a bit of curb hopping and give you distance. Also no matter what someone tells you a cross country bike will go through a downhill course, I won a competition between some local riders on my old bike. Another good point about both road and cross country bikes is that you'll be a bit higher up in traffic naturally and way more visible due to this.

Of course if you're friendly with a bicycle shop owner there's absolutely no need to go pre-built at this price range, by carefully selecting parts on their differing qualities and prices a really sweet bike can be had for little money and he even put it together since we were giving the other one an overhaul, I went for:
The lightest frame within reason (pricewise)
24 speed shifter set and such
Simple powerful V-brakes (these are more likely to survive a crash and actually suit me better than discs, which also scream 'Steal me!')
The prescribed forks for the frame (way cheaper as you're not buying them separately)
Standard seat for the frame (it's comfy, otherwise I was getting a crappy one and making my own cushion)

Basically what I got for £180 was a great bike which suits me well and though being a bit on the prebuilt side the little touches like extra gears were worth the bother, and minus the disc brakes it ended up a cheaper bike...

Next up is more on choosing your bike, going in to the tasks.
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jthompson-52 years ago
The best thing to do is this. Get yourself some kinda smallish cart, you can throw one together with a sheet of thickish wood a brace in the shape of an X underneath secured in the corners, some handrail type shizzle (leave the back open), and some wheels of some sort. The rest I leave to you.
(Tip: If you live in America, armour (armor for you yanks (:) is recommended. Put industrial metal plate on the sides and top of the cart, maybe at least 2-3cm thick, double layer it if you have loads of thin bits.)
Next, get a machine gun with a tripod mount on it. Stick yourself a pole into your floor (armour the floor for mine and turd protection), and whack a MG mount on the end of it. If you plated the cart, cut a hole for the gun to point through at the back. Then by some arcane magik, attach it to your bike (this is urban warfare, use your ingenuity to survive).
Get a friend to ride with you through rough areas, and have them sit in the cart to man the gun. You'll also needs bullets, leg strength, and a license to kill. Tenacity helps too, seeming as being up there as the engine means you're gonna get shot out. You could make an armoured shell for your bike too if you like, and maybe add a pair of guns to the front, (with gears and rope you can make easy access trigger pulls to fire at the front).
Good luck surviving the hoods brothers.
maneter1123 years ago
the white van man in our neighborhood sells stolen items and burns things all kindsof things
bendog384 years ago
 Dogs are NOT "quite squishy"  I happen to own a dog and he is not at all squishy.  In fact, a large dog could probably kill or at least seriously injure you if you don't respect their instincts.
killerjackalope (author)  bendog384 years ago
The squishy bit was a joke, in reference to little dogs...
 in that case,  the small ones are very squishy   the small ones are also quite fat
"the small ones are very squishy   the small ones are also quite fat"

... Spoken with such eloquence! As for your logic, all big dogs kill and all small dogs are fat, simply seamless.
killerjackalope (author)  smilet1na4 years ago
You trying hauling an 8 stone husky out from a hedge between two fences and you might agree, to be fair he's a big softie, just a bit thick.., 
lol, fair enough :)
killerjackalope (author)  bendog384 years ago
Often is the case... Jack russels and those mutant chihuahuas being the exceptions... 
bendog384 years ago
 you should not get a chain lock or a cable lock as these can be cut with cheap bolt cutters.  I suggest a bar lock meaning a bar with a key and a U shaped bar.
I also suggest not using a combination lock because these can be easily broken with just a hard hit from a large hard object like a pole, hammer, or some times another lock
(removed by author or community request)
killerjackalope (author)  DELETED_rbhays5 years ago
I was pretty sure I mentioned them, I'll have a quick check and add it if not...
 you also need gloves, sunglasses and id.  plus some money and a phone
Glockenator4 years ago
the only problem with all those locks is you have to go to wherever you wan a dah early to put them all on
rambertron4 years ago
Even if you cycle well, if you are on the road, a collision with a car is inevitable at some point. Sometimes it is alot safer to get off you bike and cross roundabouts like a pedestrian rather than going round, drivers can't judge the cyclists speed and will just pull out. Make sure you well in the lane near schools too, one incident is where a child jumped in the road when i was cycling, luckily the was no car nearby because i had to swerve hard.
Speed is everything.
zoltzerino4 years ago
 Bloody white van drivers. Why do they sell white For Transits to people like them???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
 Ford*
An Villain4 years ago
your brothers bike is cool, other than the seat which is known as an abomination, we have a bike that has a horizontal pipe for a seat, that is painful. but your bike is pretty cool too.
heavydeath4 years ago
Other cycle path tips: *Stick to the same side as you would on the road, public mentality means most people do *Don't be afraid to go off the beaten track to avoid someone *Don't be rude to other users of the track, they're likely to ride that path frequently *With a clear path feel free to charge along as fast as you like but always be alert *Relax on the cycle track, it's a place to enjoy cycling
sharlston4 years ago
hi did you do an ible on cleaning and lubricating a bicycle becuase i cant find it please post a link
theburn75 years ago
I have the bigger version of the GIANT bike, but mine is what I assume as a larger wheel diameter
Me too, but I have triple-layer tires.
theburn75 years ago
Where did you get all of those bike locks BTW
ledzep5675 years ago
i cant believe you didnt mention fixed speed bikes. maybe the fad is just in america send me a PM
npa48635 years ago
you could use mechanic's gloves, those are thin and easy to put on and take off, there pritty cheap too...
Nate956 years ago
When dogs chase you how do you know if its just a friendly barking chase or if they actually mean to hurt you?
AS IVE RIDDEN BOTH & PUSHBIKES MOST OF MY LIFE I FIND JUST STOPPING & ATTEMPTING TO SETTLE THE DOG DOWN IS MY BEST MOVE AS I HAVE NEVER BEEN BITTEN ON THE ROAD ..IF FACT EACH YEAR IN OCTOBER IN SYDNEY THE SYDNEY SPRING CYCLE IS HELD & THE RIDE PASSES RIGHT THROUGH < IF YOU LIKE DOGS A PUPPY SCHOOL WELL KNOWN FOR THE AMOUNT OF PUPS / DOGS IN ONE PLACE SAME TIME I USUALLY PLAY WITH THEM > & IF THEY LUCKY I MAY EVEN HAVE SOME BISCUITS WITH ME BUT NEVER FEED A DOG WITHOUT THE OWNER KNOWING THIS PLACE IS CALLED > C A F E DE BONES >> IN WELL KNOWN LEICHHARDT SYDNEY IN SHORT MANS BEST FRIEND CAN BE A DOG EVEN IF HE IS NOT YOUR DOG
WAHT!!!! I CANT HEAR YOU, SHOUT LOUDER PLEASE!!!!!11
dude its called caps lock its very usefull (sarcasm)
fwjs28 shveet5 years ago
duh, everybody knows that!
automatically assume its to hurt you, for good safety, unless you know the dog isnt like that
killerjackalope (author)  Nate956 years ago
It's almost never an attack on you but they chase you the same way they chase cars and balls. Most of the worries with dogs is if they are in front of you or running beside you, if one gets a paw stuck in your rear sprocket you're going down and the dog's going to be hurt badly as well. The worst dogs for this are probably pitbulls, they just don't like moving for you or possibly the likes of alsatian and wolfhounds, which are fast enough to follow along... Terriers are of no problem, you can actually bunnyhop over them if they bounce in front of you..
Thank you for answering because i was chased by 4 dogs and I didn't really mind. Then i was riding a bike down a road that i probably shouldn't have been riding and a rotwiler (i dont know how to spell that ) chased. That sorta creeped me out a bit.
killerjackalope (author)  Nate956 years ago
Unless they're jumping up and snapping at you I wouldn't bother worrying about it all...
eric depic5 years ago
killerjackalope, you seem like a wealth of information, I've been working on my bunny hop, I can barely clear two soda cans stacked one top of eachother, but not and inch more. You got any tips?
killerjackalope (author)  eric depic5 years ago
I also did an 'ible on basic tricks... Try getting used to lifting the front up higher and when you go up curbs do so at speed and get used to lifting the back wheel up quite high by lifting your weight up, I found it easier to get better at bunnyhopping after mastering those motions, one thing people are afraid of is their feet coming off the pedals when they lift the back up too much, also ledzeppies video on bunnyhopping is pretty good, with those two it might help...

for a second at the start I thought you were about to say I seemed wealthy, that would have been amusing...
Nate956 years ago
I didn't have money for a lock so when my school (I was home schooled before and after that terrible year of sixth grade) gave us free gun locks i just used to lock my bike up.
killerjackalope (author)  Nate956 years ago
If you can lock it to something and the bike then it's a lock I suppose... Schools wouldn't be too bad for it as well....
Nate956 years ago
used two to lock my bike up (sorry)
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