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A woman came up to me today and asked me how I shifter my bicycle with so many gears. She has a bicycle with two gears in the front, and seven or so in the back (14 speed). She said she never shifted because she was afraid if she got it wrong, she would flip over the bars. We went on for a while about shifting and it came down to this. She was under the impression that the back gears controled the revolutions of the back wheel, and the front gears controled the revolutions of the front wheel. So if she didn't get the two wheels coordinated, the wheels would spin at different RPMs and cause her to fall. Finally I had to show her on my bike that nothing was controling the revolutions of the front wheel, that the front wheel was independent of the drive train.

So can anybody top that?
 

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Not nearly that good, but I came across a woman at a road/MUT intersection, who was standing there looking puzzled with her bike. Apparently, she hit something with her rear wheel and took it out of true enough that it was rubbing heavily on her brake pad. She had no clue what to do, so I showed her how to open the toggle release that lets you take the wheel off (get the tire past the brakes). She wasn't going to get a lot of use from the rear brakes, but at least she could ride it home.

I wasn't about to start into wrenching the spokes.
 

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I have a dumber questioner story. Not cycle-related, but mechanical.

I was a pro ski patroller in Jackson Hole for some years and had to ride the Tram for years, crammed in with all the "turkeys" as we fondly called them. I got some real doozies of questions but my best was as we passed one of the tram towers on our way to the top of the mountain, the turkey asked me "Hey, what was that orange thing (Tram tower) that just went by?" A close second and oft asked was "which way's down?" That one was always answered with "Drop your glove and follow it"..
Don Hanson
 

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A lady that goes to our church rode her bike to a church function a few days ago. She knew I was a "cyclist". She proudly showed her bike to me, I noted it was a Schwinn cruiser bike. I asked her where she bought it, she said "Target". She asked where I bought my bike and how much I paid for it, "$300.00"? I told her closer to $5,000. She looked at me like a deer frozen in a set of headlights. She had no clue. She asked if I wore tank tops when I rode. I said, "no a cycling jersey". She said "cycling jersey"? I elaborated. She turned and walked away. She was beyond comprehending.

We live in a different universe.

But at least she is out there riding, if only an hour a day.

I don't think our discussion is over yet.
 

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Every time I mention biking from here to my aunt's or sister's, which involves crossing major bridges, he asks, "Do you have to pay the toll?" For some reason, he thinks it's really cool that peds/bikers don't need to pay the toll. Jeeeez, it's the *least* the city DOT can do to encourage fitness!!
 

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I'm with you on this one. As incredible as it seems, there are lots of people (my mom, her husband, my wife, etc.) who are mystified by the act of shifting gears on a bicycle. I don't understand why this is so hard to comprehend either.

Use the one on the left to make big shifts.
Use the one on the right to make little shifts.
If pedaling gets harder when you want easier, shift the other way (and vice versa).

I honestly think that people actually get more confused by the numbers that they put on the shifters of low end/beginner bikes. If they left the numbers off, maybe people would just shift by feel (as it should be done) instead of concentrating on the numbers (should I be in gear #6? #7?? Is 7 harder or easier than 6???) and confusing themselves.
 

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We had a new rider in our club who was going to help out marshaling at a race that we were putting on last week. He sent out an email asking if the race would still be held if it rained. I replyed to him that dry races and rainy races were the same, except that in rainy races, there were more crashes. I thought that my answer was rather kind.
 

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When my wife and I were first dating, she knew I liked bikes and bicycling, so she rode her bike from her apartment to mine to try and impress me a little.

When she got to my place, she asked me to check out her bike, because something was rattling on the front wheel.

Turns out she'd ridden all the way across town with her front quick-release not just open, but really, really, really open and loose.

I'd never appreciated lawyer lips until that moment. (not c0de.)
 

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Nice! JHAF, swift, silent ,deep!!
Gnarly 928 said:
I have a dumber questioner story. Not cycle-related, but mechanical.

I was a pro ski patroller in Jackson Hole for some years and had to ride the Tram for years, crammed in with all the "turkeys" as we fondly called them. I got some real doozies of questions but my best was as we passed one of the tram towers on our way to the top of the mountain, the turkey asked me "Hey, what was that orange thing (Tram tower) that just went by?" A close second and oft asked was "which way's down?" That one was always answered with "Drop your glove and follow it"..
Don Hanson
 

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Learning to Shift

My LBS owner tells a great story about a very fit lady who wanted to expand from running to triathlons. She purchased a nice mid-level tri bike and proceeded to start placing and winning local sprint through Olympic distance races, often with top-three bike splits.

When picking up the bike after the third tune-up (a year later), she asked them to show her how to shift. After the initial response of "What do you mean?" she explained she did all of her training and races in whatever gear the bike was in after a tune-up...I think the fact I'm in Florida is the only reason this is even possible. The shop mechanic on reflection noted he normally left bikes in the big ring, mid-cassette.

Regards
 
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