Just over a year ago, I finally stopped thinking about riding my bike and actually started doing it. The height of summer might not have been the best time for this undertaking, but I did it and haven’t looked back.
It all started with little rides in my neighborhood at the beginning of July on a mountain bike I bought new in San Francisco in … 1995. The first rides made me want to puke. But I kept at it and tried to avoid the mid-day sun. And at the beginning of August, I started commuting to work 2-3 days a week, 9ish miles each way. And, it’s awesome!
After doing some 20+ mile weekend rides, it was time to think about getting another bike, a lighter road bike. I found this Fuji Finest on Craigslist. It fit, the price was right and it passed Matt’s look-over with bike mechanic eyes. It’s much more fun to ride than the commuter. Probably weighs half as much.
And we’ve had some fine adventures. Riding out to Stone Mountain and back. The ITP/OTP Ramble – 47 miles! And the Beltline Bike Tour – 27 miles. Quick rides to meet friends for dinner.
And, no, riding in Atlanta isn’t that bad, at least in town. Sure, there isn’t a ton of infrastructure, but cars have been pretty respectful to me on city streets. It helps that I’m mostly using 35mph or less roads and do my best to avoid dangerous roads.
Here are the resources I use the most:
Bikeforums.net: if you have a question, it has probably been answered on this site. If you can’t find your answer with their search bar, try using google – site:bikeforums.net your search string here
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition: nervous about riding city streets? These guys have a class for that! They also have organized rides for all levels, provide a bike valet service at events and are awesome advocates for cycling in the community.
Sheldon Brown: this is pretty much the encyclopedia for cycling on the internet. Learn how to do anything from installing brakes (I’ve done this!) to adjusting your saddle properly.
Zoic: ladies, want cute cycling clothes? Zoic has cute shorts and skirts that you won’t be embarrassed to wear around.
Shebeest: They make the normal road cycling shorts, but in matte fabric. Love mine. Hate having a big shiny ass. They also have some nice commuter shorts, capris.
This is getting long, so I’m not going into what I carry on my bike, exactly what I wear for commuting, sweat, stinkiness, winter, sore butt, etc. Feel free to ask about these things or I’ll eventually post about ‘em.