Pedal Bikes

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Richard
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Pedal Bikes

Postby Richard » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:12 am

Just as I get a second-hand bike, my first bike in over 40 years, the 'Car Crazy' car and bike shop at 120 - 122 Queens Road, which used to service bikes and supply bikes and parts, has moved its operations off to Silverhill. The rest of the outfit will probably move eventually.
I don't know if anyone else services bikes locally.

Well, it's a whole new world nowadays with many varieties of mountain bikes, tires with treads that look like tractor wheels, floor-standing pumps and as many gears as you can handle.
I will have to read a manual on which way to switch between high and low on the front and rear as it is all guesswork for me currently.
The handlebars seem a little short and this increases my tendency to wobble a bit - like I have a nervous twitch.
Alexandra Park is quite good for zooming around when the place is quiet.
Next stage the seafront - watch out you promenaders!
:D
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seahermit
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby seahermit » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:04 pm

Getting a bike is a really useful thing to do in somewhere like Hastings. It makes the beautiful East Sussex countryside and a lot of interesting places (and pubs!) very accessible but you don't have to cycle very much at first if you aren't that fit, just take your time getting into it. You can cycle along the shore all the way from the Old Town to Bexhill, most of it on flat ground, without ever going near a road and on a sunny day you will have a job getting yourself OFF the bike and taking a break!

One of the best websites is cycling.org.uk (the CTC organisation) - lots of essential info about how to buy a bike, how to ride it, maintain it etc. The gearing is a bit tricky to understand at first, I found some advice by just typing questions into Google. You have to understand how the two gear levers work together, I ended up leaving one gear lever more or less on the same setting (when I had found one I was comfortable with) and merely adjusting the other one according to the gradient. In other words, in normal cycling you don't really need to use all the gears (20 or more ?!) and most people hover around the same few average settings.

The bike shop in St Andrew's Market is not bad but the owner (is he still there?) always behaves as if his mother has just died tragically and you and the whole world are against him. The bike shop on the Marina (near to Hastings Arts Forum) is excellent, has a changing range of good s/h bikes and the staff are very friendly and helpful. The shop in Hastings centre (opposite the old public toilets) is expensive and the bikes are largely for enthusiasts. The bike shop in George Street is a little odd - sells a lot of expensive bikes from Japan etc. which seem to be sort of "retro" - old-fashioned looking with baskets and so on. For ladies who fancy poodling around the prom on a sunny day but they probably aren't practising for the Tour de France!

Depending on what age of bike you have bought, you need to be a bit careful adjusting the handlebar height - on an old bike you can just undo the bolts, lift etc. but modern bikes have a much more complicated set-up which needs specialist knowledge. On some, you can't even adjust the height, only tilt the handlebars forwards/backwards. But if you are not comfortable with the handlebars, they can of course be changed - I prefer drops to straights because they offer a wider range of different hand positions, depending whether you want to crouch and speed along or sit up straight and take it easy.

More later. One could write a book about this subject!

cbe
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby cbe » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:30 pm

I've not ridden a bike in decades. Every now and then I think it would be
nice to start up again but I just lie down until the urge passes.

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seahermit
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby seahermit » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:36 pm

One or two things which occur to me. One could go to Halfords for servicing and my experiences were ok, but it is very much pot luck. They employ young staff who are not properly trained, sometimes they are very helpful and do a decent job but there are many stories on the internet of vital jobs being done badly or not at all - the shop is commonly referred to as Halfrauds!

My friend went to the Marina shop for servicing and seemed quite happy.

If you enjoy the cycling and want to continue with it, you will need accessories. Lights are essential, battery ones on brackets are best, they can be removed when you go into the pub! (I used to remove lights, pump and toolbag if the bike was to be left outside for a long period). A long bendy cable with end-loops is better than a U-bracket or a chain - lighter and more versatile, can be looped round frame, rear wheel and lamp-post/railing/whatever is nearby.

Your lungs will feel like bursting after a short uphill ride but will recover quite quickly. But your legs will be killing you for a while at first - it slowly gets better, you just have to persevere! Once you start feeling fitter, the exhilaration is addictive.

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seahermit
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby seahermit » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:53 pm

And oh yes, you don't need an ugly helmet unless you are regularly cycling on busy roads. The risk of serious head injury is miniscule, unless you do stupid things like speeding too fast down steep hills and not checking your brakes, wheelnuts etc. regularly. Far more important is to be seen by others at night - wear a high-visibility jacket or belt, even a white jacket or trousers would do the job.

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Richard
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby Richard » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:15 pm

Thanks for all the helpful advice seahermit,

I will take it easy at first, I believe there is a bike group who go along the Prom and on the Pier once a fortnight but this isn't generally allowed. Something involving fancy dress or luminous gear...

Richard

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seahermit
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby seahermit » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:14 am

I suppose I got a bit carried away really, but it brought back a lot of happy memories! Which is why I have been looking at bikes again lately (and the summer weather influenced me). I saw a beautiful purple Dawes bike with drops in the Marina shop, low and lean looking and very light, but the frame was just an inch or two too tall - meant for a 6ft 2in guy.

I have seen the fluorescent bike group, not sure what the point is but they seem to be enjoying themselves. But I'm not sure that I would want to show off like that!

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Richard
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby Richard » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:36 am

The old problem of how to secure a bike against theft is vexing.
Which part to put a chain through and what type of chain and lock, or is it the loop cabled device that is more effective?
Do I look for a place with railings to chain it to?
:?

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seahermit
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby seahermit » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:17 pm

Chains and U-locks are heavy to carry. The best solution I found (at Halfords I think) was quite a long cable with a welded loop at each end. That enabled me to put the cable through BOTH wheels (important especially if the wheel nuts are quick-release ones) and also round some fixed object (otherwise of course they will just lift the whole bike away). As big a padlock as you can afford - just a deterrent. If they are really serious, no lock is totally impregnable.

Don't put the bike up a side alley. Lock it in full view of passers-by and under a lamp!

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Richard
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Re: Pedal Bikes

Postby Richard » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:01 pm

Thanks seahermit!

I well remember the remnant frames of bikes left chained up in many London streets whilst the 'easy-meat' of the wheels have been carted off.
Sad really but why does the owner never return to claim the rest?
I will now take suitable precautions...


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