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Old 02-17-2009, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Albany Park, Chicago
20 posts, read 55,316 times
Reputation: 19

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I recently acquired a bike. It is an old 1981 Raleigh. Great shape and everything. Then again, I know nothing about bikes.

I have yet to ride a bike within the city. I went out today and felt really intimidated.

Do you have any tips for me? What should I be weary of as far as bike parts/maintenance?

Also...how do I keep people who ride bikes from laughing at my amateur bike skills, haha. Kidding.
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Kent, Washington
10,254 posts, read 20,098,036 times
Reputation: 10281
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLineBlueLine View Post
Also...how do I keep people who ride bikes from laughing at my amateur bike skills, haha. Kidding.

Punch 'em in the nose.

Keeping a bike is pretty simple; mainly keep air in the tires and keep the chain oiled. Of course there are people who are "into" bikes and make the simple complex but that's another story.

There are many websites out there on bicycle upkeep, this site is a good place to start.
Harris Cyclery Articles
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Albany Park, Chicago
20 posts, read 55,316 times
Reputation: 19
Thanks a lot!
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:03 PM
 
7,297 posts, read 14,349,706 times
Reputation: 3727
As far as tips on riding, just avoid the major streets (because who needs that?) and keep moving. Treat biking like driving, in that if you're the slower traffic, just stay to the right and don't be bothered by people who pass you. If you're passing others, give a nice audible "On your left!"

Don't wear your ipod. (If you're on super quiet streets you know well, you might be able to do one ear at a low volume, but seriously... not worth it to try to jam to Journey's Greatest Hits whilst pedaling.)

Don't talk on your phone.

Avoid potholes like the plague, as a little Raleigh road bike will cost you a fortune in tubes if you go barrelling into every pothole on the road.

Work those calfs and feel good about biking.
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,930,668 times
Reputation: 1948
I am a major biker with 7 bmx 7 road bikes and 2 mtn bikes. Essentailly, what you gotta carry around with you is tools and gear to fix a flat tire, pump it up, lock up your bike, and maybe night lights of you bike in the dark. The Light & Motion brand lights are good and cheap on ebay.

Otherwise, join and look at Cyclingforums.com for lots of bike advice; I'm a 5 year member there!
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Edgewater
72 posts, read 247,700 times
Reputation: 27
try to be aware of car doors opening (of parked cars while you pass them) - happens very often.
besides that - make sure your bike is in good shape: breaks, light etc and there you go!

for some more info: Chicago Bike Map (http://www.cityofchicago.org/Transportation/bikemap/keymap.html - broken link)
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:47 PM
 
3 posts, read 7,146 times
Reputation: 10
Just remember, Loud Pipes Save Lives
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:47 PM
 
7,297 posts, read 14,349,706 times
Reputation: 3727
Quote:
Originally Posted by StopMADD View Post
Just remember, Loud Pipes Save Lives
Bicycles. Bicycles, friend.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:58 PM
 
504 posts, read 1,374,055 times
Reputation: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLineBlueLine View Post
I recently acquired a bike. It is an old 1981 Raleigh. Great shape and everything. Then again, I know nothing about bikes.

I have yet to ride a bike within the city. I went out today and felt really intimidated.

Do you have any tips for me? What should I be weary of as far as bike parts/maintenance?

Also...how do I keep people who ride bikes from laughing at my amateur bike skills, haha. Kidding.
You're going to have to remove the derailleurs and brakes if you're planning on riding your Raleigh in the city. Sorry, I don't make the rules.

In all seriousness though, the advice in this thread is pretty good. If you don't want to carry an extra tube, pump and tire levers with you, bring your CTA pass. Because you're going to get flats now and then. Also, get a decent u-lock if you're going to leave your bike anywhere. I'm thinking a low-end kryptonite (used like this: Lock Strategy) should keep thieves away from an old Raleigh.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,930,668 times
Reputation: 1948
No, you don't have to remove your derailleurs or brakes. Just don't leave your bike locked out overnight in any area where it can be stripped of parts. Yes, carry a CTA card with money on it because I had a puncture flat so bad running through NAILS on the road that no flat repair kit could fix and the CTA buses with their front bike racks took me home!

Besides, hardly anything is of value to strip on a 1981 Raleigh. That stuff is too old and unique, unless the stuff is useful to another old biker thief... It must be a road bike because Mtn Bikes didn't exist back then!
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