Instructables
So yet another cycling 'ible from me, this one's been prompted by the fact that I've taken up having a daily cycle in my free time while the weather's good.

The idea is to get a nice daily cycle route, just for the sake of cycling, for both leisure and fitness, cycling's a great way to relax and is also great cardiovascular excercise, better than running, which is bad for your knees over time, that and it's better because you can travel further and have more variation and sceneray changes than from running...
 
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Step 1: Thinking about where to go.

have a think about all the places around you that you could gor for a good cycle, think about cycle paths, parks and forests.

Along with this think of ways to get there and have some recce cycles for your ideas, try new routes for a while until you find one that you really like.

Things to consider are:
*Parks
*Forests
*Cycle paths
*Safe roads
*Distances
*Your own fitness (start simple and build up your fitness as you go along
*Free time (If you don't have alot of it then this can hamper you, making free time is always good though)

Step 2: How are you getting there?

Not by car.

Now that you've got an idea of where you want to go you can start thinking about how to get there.

For example I take a very indirect route, up the road, on to the cycle path for around a mile and a half, up another half mile or so, back in to the park, down through, down through another park, down the road and into stormont, rather than through a street and up the road, I end up coming down towards, it's an enjoyable route with lots of nice places to cycle along the way and everchanging scenery...

You're looking for a route that you can change as you go along to keep things interesting, mine allows me to just choose a different turn and go a completely new way...

About ways to make things more interesting...
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twocvbloke5 years ago
If I weren't such a chubby weakling, I'd do a daily cycle, my last ride was 15 miles (plotted on Google Earth and measured through a tool online that google should have put into GE), and I felt great afterwards, well, aside from the sore backside, aching legs and sore neck (I have a poor nerd's neck (crooked, hunchback-like), looking upwards for that length of time hurts), but it was great... :D
killerjackalope (author)  twocvbloke5 years ago
Try a daily cycle, work up from maybe a couple of miles, you'd be surprised, start with what's easy and build up...
I could but I have other medical problems, so daily cycling can end up being too painful... :( But I do try to get out when I can, just need to get a seat that doesn't leave me feeling like a prison b*tch... :S
Sounds like my first ride the weekend after I picked up my new bike. First ride in 20+ years. The basic seats are MURDER on the backside, aren't they? Legs & back didn't enjoy it. I found something for the sore backside - fairly cheap and should be easy to find. A gel-pad seat cover. I picked one up for A$16 the other week. Just slips right over and unless you go riding for a 7 hour session on the 4th time out since getting the bike, your backside will be much happier.
killerjackalope has the right idea - ease yourself into it. Let your body adjust and the medical issues will have time to get used to it & not play havoc. And get the gel-seat-cover. Believe me, was worth the money.
Oh, and maybe adjust your seat & handle bars - if you have to turn your head up too far, it's going to be agony fast.
I tried a gel saddle cover, but it felt like I was sitting on, erm, "filled underwear", and the side-to-side movement caused a blister to form in the worst place, so, I replaced the whole seat, it's got a wider back end, there's a space for the ol' urethra (pee pipe that leads to your manhood) to sit comfortably, and it's comfortable, doesn't leave me feeling like I've been through three rounds with Mr. Big from C wing like the basic seat did... :P

I keep adjusting things on the bike, handlebars, seat post, brakes, chain, lights, cables, and then back to the beginning again, one day I'll get the combination right, but not at the moment cos I hurt my left knee pretty bad on a long walk, so cycling's off for now... :S
Hrm, I wonder if maybe a recumbent would be more comfortable for you? Though personally, they make me nervous just watching them. Probably because my balance sucks at the best of times. A recumbent trike, that has potential
I guess gel seats aren't for everyone. Mine has fairly firm gel, if that makes sense. Plus my butt's well padded to start with (another reason for getting the bike in the first place). Glad you found a bike that's comfortable, at least.
My bike wasn't adjusted correctly at the start - was hunched over. Between that and not being used to it, the first couple of rides left me almost crippled.
Hope that knee feels better soon.

hrm... singe person "steamroller", hand cranked - wish I had the space to make one (and post it). Ideal for leg injuries and balance challenged
Oh I have the same bike, I've just worked on it over the past 2 years so it's tailored to fit me (despite my brother's attempts at altering it when he decided to "borrow" it and break it), and I replaced the seat of course, greased and oiled the right parts, replaced the wrong parts, fitted a more comfortable handlebar & hand grips, but I'm just one of those that can't leave things alone so I keep fiddling with it.... :)
Databanks3 years ago
I like the packed food & drink idea. Recently bodged together a rear tray to ockystrap an Esky on the back of my bike. The kids & I can pack sandwiches and some cold water for a lunch break after spending the morning in the saddle.

I noticed Google Maps and Nearmap list bike lanes now - very helpful in planning a route.

Google Maps was used in conjunction with my state transit group to come up with a trip planner - including traffic loads, maximum grade, etc. Quite handy.

Nearmap images are update far more often than Google Maps - gives you a better heads-up about potential closures due to construction zones.

Also, check your local bicycling societies. The group in my state has maps of good cycling trails available and you can probably find books about it (I know over here in Australia there is a series of books with great trails near each capital city marked out)

The bike society idea also has a bonus - club members get insurance included in annual fees.

Hope this is help for someone
Esmagamus6 years ago
You pack lightly. I've heard about always taking a crank puller in the bag! I find the need for it a little absurd, as if your axle breaks, you don't need a crank puller and if it gets loose, you still don't need a crank puller. It's like travelling by car with a jug full of oil to change it at any minute.
killerjackalope (author)  Esmagamus6 years ago
I don't have a crank puller because my cranks are the kind with a big bolt jammed on top of some square axle, making things simpler, that is until the day you knocked the crank clean off because you thought it was a bit wobbly feeling for know apparent reason, wearing the corners off the box bit and necessitating the use of a bleeding allen key every 15miles...
If that's the case, use a piece of small bolt I think they are M6, cut off the head and put two nuts on the threads, one to tighten, one to lock. :-)
and a couple of big washers to clamp against the crank, a bit ugly, but you could make it exciting by using big coins as washers.
xerxesx205 years ago
I quite like "sceneray" while ridin' myself. "A bite to eat" now that is an inspired suggestion! Why the hell don't I remember to take a ruddy drink, let alone anything useful or cool? Coins (mostly small silvers knowing me) and my penknife if i'm lucky. A phone is also handy to carry in case of emergency, just turn off that irritating ringtone! That way you can hear the sounds of nature.
sharlston5 years ago
my bro is ten and rides 3 mile every 3 days is it any good?
once I saw a guy on a microscooter go down it, not that I was him...

So, how fast did you go?
Great instructable. Good job.
killerjackalope (author)  Rock Soldier5 years ago
Not a clue, but fast enough to burn the heels of my shoes rather badly...
ouch.
zzpza5 years ago
good suggestions. :) out of interest, where is this?
killerjackalope (author)  zzpza5 years ago
Parliament buildings, Northern Ireland... Stormont.
Great project. I have been trying to get in a daily bike ride out here in San Francisco. It is a great way to learn the area. I try and make each ride at least 20 miles long, which can be both energizing and exhausting. When I get back from the ride, I plot out the path I took on Google Earth. To determine what ride I should take next, I look at the area on the map that is the least densely covered in path lines, and come up with some route that covers it. The single path is the ride I did this morning, and the image with the other paths are all the rides I have taken since Instructables moved to the city.
bike1.jpgBike.jpg
I find military charts better, but I do live in the countryside.
killerjackalope (author)  Tetranitrate6 years ago
Eh 20 miles is a bit much with my time frame, plus cycling to work and back is about another three, then in to town and backs another six... That's a good idea with google maps, granted I found them to be a bit of a bore when it came to working routes out, they're good but theyre not perfect, also due to the age of the mapping and the new development the cycling path is still a big grassy thing, granted we always has scret dirt trakcs with awsome jumps and a mini lake involved, the lake jump was pretty extreme...
For actual cycling paths most cities put out bike maps (or at least NYC and SF do). They have dedicated bike paths marked, as well as bike lanes in the street, and recommended low traffic street routes. I use google earth for choosing a street only route, and admittedly this has taken me across some really crummy roads. Some of the roads are just poorly paved nightmares while others are just impossible to climb insane hills (There are a many with over an 18% incline in SF). The absolute worst roads though are the really busy / fast moving traffic ones, where none of the drivers are expecting cyclists to be crazy enough to try and bike on them. Biking on those roads has put me in some really precarious situations, including almost being squished between a MUNI street train and a bus while going down a hill at around 25 mph. My favorite is when people on the sidewalk gasp because I do something dangerous / stupid that almost gets me killed.
killerjackalope (author)  Tetranitrate6 years ago
Ah yes I'm just the same, I tend to make people stare in amazement due to our sometimes ridiculous rods and road systems, coming in towards work one day off a giant hill there's a corner at the bottom and I'm doing maybe 35mph the one time the lights actually green I came screaming through it (not literally) and the back wheel caught the manhole, I end up drifting round with the rear about an inch from the side of a bus, parked cars on the inside and a car sitting wating to turn left, somehow and I have not a clue how I swung back in between the wating car and a parked car, in throught eh building site entrance and through there, crossing the street in one big endo stopping right outside the door... My manager just stood there looking at me... The other good one was a junction of four lanes of traffic from three directions, not one clue how but I came through that too hot, on to the pavement, around a granny, back out to the road as a mailvan pulled out too far, in between two buses and on up the road. For somewhere more extreme than SF for hills glasgow is one place, one way for cyclists, up to 20% grandients on stretches of hills, thanks to the one way system and the signalling you can usually have a straight shot across the whole city in five minutes...
crestind6 years ago
This is a great Instructable! Where is that in your main picture? That would be an amazing place to bike. I suggest using Windows Live Maps. It has a great tool that lets you plot out paths very easily and save and share them. It also measures distances and stuff and I use it quite often to plan my routes!
killerjackalope (author)  crestind6 years ago
i mentioned the place, it's stormont parlaiment buildings in belfast, the hill is about a mile, there are hunreds of dirt or gravel trails spanning through the forests, the building themselves are very nice aswell, I've been in the actual place with the cadets...
Oh and thankyou.
crestind6 years ago
If you've got a cheap Huffy brand bike, add a wrench to the list, in case the pedals ever fly off while you're riding...
killerjackalope (author)  crestind6 years ago
Yeah, I made the mistake of taking one of my crankarms off too often as a theft deterrent, now I have to tighten it every now and again while riding, I get warning because I get a little creaking noise from the torque nuts...
Calltaker6 years ago
From a safety perspective, I would also add a form of photo ID to that pack. Simply put, if you are injured during your ride and unable to speak for yourself, it can. Otherwise, looks great!!
killerjackalope (author)  Calltaker6 years ago
Lol I was emptying my bag today, turns out my passport has been in there since westminster abbey, which means I was already following your advice before hearing it...
killerjackalope (author)  Calltaker6 years ago
The pack isn't mine, I linked to it because it's a good 'ible in my opinion. However having your wallet is generally advisable...
ll.136 years ago
Nice job!

it's amazing, going at over 40mph on a bike with zero effort,

I've only reached 44mph on a 1970's odd racing bike. =)
killerjackalope (author)  ll.136 years ago
Well you can coast all the way down that hill and reach obscene speeds... If you really go for it then I don't know...
I used to bike a lot - there's this local trail called the green belt. I used to do about 10 miles every weekend, and 6 miles total per week. This year, I've had way too much work to go outside =/.

Great job, and awesome pictures =)

By the way, how's it gong?
killerjackalope (author)  T3h_Muffinator6 years ago
It's going good man, bout yourself? Cheers... Yeah the path I use bits of is about twenty miles total and the same idea, a green belt...
Glad to hear!

I've been alright - hanging in here =).

Went to that MIT art exhibit @ MoMA, this awesome chinese guy's exhibit @ the Guggenheim, and this thing called Absolut Quartet in the lower east side (all in NYC).

I'll post pictures eventually, but as of now I'm still studying for AP's (last one's on thursday), then MIT's freshman evalutaion essay is on may 27-30, which is the very last standardized test I'll be taking in a long time. After that, I should be coasting my way to happiness =).

Again, your trail looks beautiful - wish mine were more like that. I guess that's what I get for living in suburbia.
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Nice job! + and vote
oops, can't vote yet
killerjackalope (author)  LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
lol thanks linux, jump on to the chatroom
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