The Chainlink

Woo, so today marked the first day I biked to work. I live up in Logan Square and work down in the loop, so it's a bit of a ride (5.5 miles to be exact).

I'm an ex-scooter rider, so I've got some leftover habits from that, but riding a bike (though sometimes similar) has a lot of different habits I should be picking up.

So I'm asking you chainlinkers to give me some advice. What are some valuable tips for riding during the morning and evening commute?

I've got a 2010 Langster (just the normal one, no crazy colors or anything) and I'm loving it. I always wear a helmet, so no need to give me that tip. But I could use some advice as far as lane changes, left hand turns, best/worst streets in Chicago. And I could also use some tips for locking up the bike. Right now I've just got a u-lock through the front tire and frame locked to a bike rack. Gonna grab a second ulock with a cable to take care of the back wheel and saddle, but I don't have quick release bolts on anything, so I'm not too worried for now.

Anyway, thanks for any and all advice!

B

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Agree with Tony here. I have a virtual museum of no-longer-used clipless pedals and shoes to document my journey towards regular platforms . . . which leads me to one big tip nobody's brought up--

If your commute is reasonable (under 5-8 miles) consider riding in your regular work/street clothes, and riding slowly enough to avoid breaking much of a sweat. A 5-mile ride at a leisurely pace takes only 30 minutes.

Tony Adams said:
Bryan D said:
True, but I like to think most people don't take a (relatively) anonymous internet forum as the end all be all. I'm taking all this information in (and it's a LOT of good information, thanks guys!) and applying it in the ways I see fit.
I've been riding bikes since I was old enough to ride a bike, but have never really invested much in it. That's why I bought this commuter and decided to start riding to work. (plus, it'll pay for itself in one summer vs. riding the CTA).
Anyhow, all the great tips are greatly appreciated (bought a second u-lock, front and rear LED lights, and got some clipless shoes. Just gotta wait for the pedals to arrive!).

Clipless shoes are overkill for a 5 mile commute. Why limit yourself to riding with a special pair of expensive shoes and crippling your bike in the process? Consider using the pedals that are already on the bike for your first few weeks of commuting. Then see if you think the marginal gain provided by foot retention will really be worth the expense and inconvenience of going clipless.
Tony Adams said:
Clipless shoes are overkill for a 5 mile commute. Why limit yourself to riding with a special pair of expensive shoes and crippling your bike in the process? Consider using the pedals that are already on the bike for your first few weeks of commuting. Then see if you think the marginal gain provided by foot retention will really be worth the expense and inconvenience of going clipless.

1) I like to ride fast, that's why I bought a road bike. This is part commuting/part fitness oriented, so riding slowly defeats the purpose.
2) I'm familiar with clipless pedals and am actually more comfortable getting in and out of them then into clips
3) I got the Shimano PD-A530 pedals that have a platform side and a clip-in side, so for quick trips and set.

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