the Commuting 101 Booklet!

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caitlin
Participant
#

Is there a thread about this yet?

I got one at hothouse and looked at it yesterday… it’s like, everything that you’ve ever tried to tell a person who asks about commuting! For real!

so good job bike pgh! I like how its sort of photos of the city but illustrated :)


anthony
Participant
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Im really excited to get my hands on this booklet. Unfortunately I could not make it out to hot house..

Any more details on the kickoff party?


BradQ
Participant
#

This booklet is quite awesome. I was blown away when I saw the black and white proofs… and then once again when I saw the finished full color version.

BikePGH is raising the bar, big time.


alankhg
Participant
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A bunch of my college friends are getting into biking and ask me all these sorts of questions. I could definitely go for a stack of these.


Lou F.
Participant
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Glad to hear Bike Commuting 101 is being well received. Thanks for the feed back. Glen Johnson, the same illustrator who did the graphics for the the bike map, also did a bang up job of creating these illustrations.

We did a limited print run this time around. If you have any suggestions or comments for the next printing please let us know either on this thread or at info@bike-pgh.org. Thanks.


erok
Keymaster
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did anyone notice that the main character is also on the bike map?


eMcK
Participant
#

Where can I get a copy?

Have a pdf available? Or at least an electronic teaser?


gimpPAC
Participant
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I’d definitely like to see/have a copy! The screen shots look pretty sweet. Then I would love to give it to my friend who might become a new bike commuter…


Bikelove2010
Participant
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As a new bike commuter, I’d definitely like to get one of these, even if only a pdf. Sounds like it’d be a big help.


Lou F.
Participant
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We’ve got a pdf that will be posted to the website soon. Stay tuned.


caitlin
Participant
#

<i>did anyone notice that the main character is also on the bike map?</i>

I thought the main character on the map was female and the one in the book is less androgynous and probably male? I think that the more 3-d/sim’s looking illustration made me assume it was a boy.

not that it should matter. but with the bike map character i think its easier to think it’s either sex.


salty
Participant
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Haha, glad I’m not the only one who couldn’t figure out the gender :)


coley
Participant
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this sounds sweet. :] will def be looking for the printed ones next time they are available.


erok
Keymaster
#

hey, here’s a sneak peek for the messageboard.

haven’t even gotten a chance to put it on the site or blog yet.

plus, i wanted to be the first to tell everyone about something cool for once..

check it out!

http://www.bike-pgh.org/101


erok
Keymaster
#

oh, and ps. we know there are some typos, etc. these are being fixed for the next printing, and i’ll have them up soon too


dwillen
Participant
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This booklet is all kinds of awesome. I can’t wait to get a few of them.

When did a right turn signal turn into sticking your right arm out? I always thought it was the left arm out, 90 degree at the elbow, pointing up. This keeps your steering hand near the rear break, to prevent a front-only brake endo.


erok
Keymaster
#

yeah. that’s debatable. i found most people don’t know the actual signals. a quick right hand to the right usually portrays that better, in my opinion


dmtroyer
Participant
#

I usually do whichever I feel is most visible to the parties who need to see it


eMcK
Participant
#

I bet those signals are based on motorcycles. Your right hand has the throttle, not some thing you want to let go of to signal a turn.


BradQ
Participant
#

The signs are based on cars before they had turn signals… can’t very well point from the drivers side with your right hand, eh?


erok
Keymaster
#

in england, the rear brake is on the other side


eMcK
Participant
#

Good call Brad.

Motos on the mind.


netviln
Participant
#

I usually to the right arm out for right turn. I agree that too many people don’t actually know the proper signalling so I think the right arm just makes it more clear. Always thought the left arm up was like the “halt” signal you see in movies.

Also, does anyone here actually signal stop? I don’t I was just curious what other people do.


erok
Keymaster
#

sometimes i left my butt when i stop. don’t really know if that signals anything, but it might at least give a few people a thrill.


netviln
Participant
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Does “left”ing it mean you wiggle it in a leftward motion?


Mick
Participant
#

“Stop signal”

If I’m going downhill with someone tailgating me, I might flip my left hand down to let them know I’m going to brake.

It’s usually at high speeds. By necessity, I do it quickly and it could be interpreted (correctly) as “back the f*ck off.”

After reading Erok: I need to find a good mental image cleanser.

Mick


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Every licensed driver in PA should know that a left arm in a 90-degree angle means right turn. It’s one of the first things you learn in Drivers Ed.

I do use a stop signal, sometimes per what Mick said, more as an equivalent of a brake light when it is not readily apparent to someone else that I have to slow down, such as when I have to pull over to take a cell phone call.

@eric, I switched my Raleigh’s brake handles, since I was doing so much m/c riding when it was new. Front brake is & always was right hand, to me. (Left handle on m/c is a clutch. THAT’s the one you don’t want to grab fast on a bicycle.)


netviln
Participant
#

I agree every driver SHOULD know it, but every driver SHOULD also know that bikes share the road, or that you are supposed to run your headlights when raining.

As for reversed brake levers, its also very common on Cyclocross bikes in order to facilitate rabid dismounting.


Lyle
Participant
#

They use different hand signals in different parts of the world. One consistent thing is that at least one signal (depending on whether it’s a left-drive or a right-drive country) involves pointing in the direction you are turning.

I started signalling right turns the newfangled way about ten years ago. Yeah, motorists *should* know what the official left-handed turn signal means, but I don’t want to make them stop and think.

I also signal stops whenever I can. I can’t think of a good reason NOT to signal, so long as I have the time before I need to put both hands on the bars.


Andrew
Participant
#

I just read the guide online. It is really nice. The comic book style makes it much more fun to read. Good Work!


greenbike
Participant
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nice job! I just read thru the whole thing myself and found myself thinking, “Huh! I should do that!” or “Huh, never thought of that.”

two thumbs up. :)


Andrew
Participant
#

ID proof tucked into the handlebars was a nice idea.


Bikelove2010
Participant
#

love it! so much detail in the pics, very nice. also, a lot of good tips and things i wouldn’t have even thought to ask an expert about (like IDing your bike).


Kordite
Participant
#

I put a copy of the Commuting 101 guide and the map in a ziplock to carry in my trunk bag so that I can hand it out to anyone I meet that seems the least bit interested in bike commuting.


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

sheldon brown has a nice little bit on which sides for which brakes and how this affects signaling. he preferred the right side for the front brake for just this reason, and was bothered by the laws that said shops had to sell bikes the other way.

in my experience, i find that i only signal when it’s either absolutely necessary, or when it’s easy to do and i want the folks around me to know what i’m doing (which is most of the time, actually). many times, though, i want my left (signaling) hand on that brake, because the front brake provides the most stopping power. and most of the time i’m slowing down, i’m also downshifting like mad, so i need that right hand on the hood also.

and trying to track stand on a geared bike while waiting to turn left becomes exponentially harder when you only use one hand!

also: i’ve been meaning to incorporate the right hand out = right turn thing for a while now, as i do believe it’s more clear, but a left fist up with a 90 degree elbow bend just looks sooo cool.


brian j
Participant
#

Swapping lever locations with brifters would be interesting….

I swapped them on my fixed gear when I was commuting to Hampton. It was difficult to signal a left turn coming down Wetzel to Little Pine Creek with only a single brake lever. I’m back to “normal” thanks to brifters.

There’s a story about Grant Wood (painter of American Gothic, among others)–apparently he two hand-carved wood arms that he would use to signal in his car.


Andrew
Participant
#

You don’t actually need to swap the location of the brake levers. All that you need to do is re-route the brake cables. Personally I think that the right-hand-front-brake setup makes more sense if it your dominate hand.


Lyle
Participant
#

“and trying to track stand on a geared bike while waiting to turn left becomes exponentially harder when you only use one hand!”

Silly – you don’t need to signal continuously on a bike. It’s not like a turn signal in your car (and good thing too, your arm would get tired from going on, off, on, off…). Once you’re hanging out in the left side of your lane, it’s pretty obvious that you’re turning.

From experience, I’m not all that crazy about swapping the brake levers. I tried it, and quickly discovered that the argument that it lets you stop harder while signalling doesn’t really work in practice.

When you brake a bicycle or a motorcycle, you make the wheels slow down, and that makes the frame slow down because it’s attached to the wheels. But you’re not really attached to the bike very well. Basically, your body wants to keep going at whatever speed you were doing previously. There’s a little friction between your seat and the saddle, but if you’re decelerating at any kind of interesting rate, you have to push back on the handlebars to keep yourself on top of the bike instead of out in front of it.

But if you’ve only got one hand on the bars, when you push your body back onto the seat, you’re also steering. Whoops. (ok, if your brake lever is really close to the stem, you can apply more force to the bar without steering. Most bikes aren’t set up that way).

It doesn’t matter if that’s the right hand or the left, really, but what matters is that you just can’t decelerate very well at all with only one hand on the bars. And given that you can’t decelerate anyway, the availability of extra braking power from the front brake is completely moot.

To summarize: if you’re braking hard, keep both hands on the bars. Your collarbone will thank you.


caitlin
Participant
#

it is good form to signal you are stopping if there are other cyclists behind you. just like it is also good form to point out hazards, etc that would make the cyclist behind you wipe out (ie the hell grate on smallman, giant potholes, etc.)

I always try to signal, mostly as a cover my ass move to cars… if I point very obviously in the direction I am going in they can’t pretend I didn’t do whatI could to help them out. Also, sometimes you get the Pittsburgh left on a bike go ahead from opposing traffic.


Lyle
Participant
#

Oh, by “keep both hands on the bars”, I didn’t mean to suggest never signalling. Just that you should signal while braking lightly, and if you really have to brake hard, then use both hands.

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