Aubrey

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If you're just starting to commute I would recommend not getting the most expensive bike you can.

I started commuting on a Fuji (the 2015 model was on sale for just under $500) and have yet to find something I don't like about it. The tires get good traction even in rain (the reason I don't use a road bike), and we get a good amount of that here in Florida. I have a 3 mile ride into work and make it about a 15 mile ride after work to run errands and the bike is a perfect fit.

But people will also drop names like Giant. And I can see why they like t

Don't forget a helmet, can't stress that enough.

Then for me it is storage (I use a backpack), lights, water bottle, etc. The biggest thing I would recommend is to go to a couple of bike shops and test ride a couple different bikes. Different geometries will feel different.

That is why a professional bike fitting can help. They'll check the geometry of your body and make sure your bike is setup for you. That's pretty critical.

Aubrey

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I have heard again and again that NYC has the most bike commuters in the nation. Now the qestion is: Per capita or overall?

Because if it's overall, duh of course.

So I sat down and started doing some wikiresearch shows top 27 cities as % of population. NYC doesn't make the list.

That said, I think the title of this post really harms the purpose of this article and does it an injustice. The article brings in and wow's readers with the shear volume of cyclists in NYC on any given day (450,000), which is a lot! It also gives shout outs to other cities doing their part to appropriate bike culture and is trying to give non-commuters a glimpse into the growing bike culture.

I also found this article on the NYTimes. I'll be honest, it is not a fantastically well written article if you're looking for actual data. Which is the feeling I have about a lot of their articles as of late.

Aubrey

There is a weird satisfaction with "beating the system" and preparing foods for our babies.

I've always been baffled by the foods one kid likes, but the other one can't stand. I remember when I was growing up that my little broter loved carrots. He would eat them everyday, in fact he ate them so much that he turned slightly orange. My mother was humiliated.

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I'm not sure how people survived pre-immersion blender days. If We have been doing smoothies with yogurt and pureed foods. I guess you could just do breast milk and pureed foods too. Once you realize how inexpensive it is to make baby food then it's like, "Damn, those baby food companies really screw us over!"

And once you learn how to make it and and actually start doing it seems so much fresher than the stuff in the jars or even the organic stuff in the bags. The only problem we had was with meat. It seemed gritty no matter how we tried to make it.

Aubrey

A bike seat isn't for safety like a car seat. It should be clear, but I will say it anyay, cars and bikes have different safety concerns.

  • the most likely accident in a car would be a front end collision at some speed. On the bike the most likely accident with a child seat is a zero speed tip over.
  • with a car seat, safely loading the child is done from a safe position. On your bike, you load the child while balancing the bike
  • there is effectively zero chance of whiplash in a bike seat because the bike wheels, then bike, then you crumple, all before your neck. A car is much stronger.

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You should mount the seat in a way where you can safely load and unload your child.

Pretty much all of the big brand E-bikes with child seats are similar. Especially if on the rear and not carrying two kids. Find one that's comfortable. I spent alot of time looking at them a few years ago.

The thought behind rear facing is that most car accidents are frontal collisions. Since the body is thrust in the direction of impact, the rear-facing seat means the spinal cord is more or less supported and doesn't shift much.

I don't think this would apply to bike collisions. Even if you're hit from the front, you're likely going to snap backward, to the side, etc.

The main things for safety really come down to the driver and maintenance. If you are a competent rider who pays attention to whats going on around you and you are riding a well maintained bike in safe areas, you and the kid will probably be okay. Though there is not guanrantee.

And please, please, please make sure that the child is in a helmet (and you should follow suite).

Aubrey

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We had one of the Graco travel systems for my first.

It isn't bad. And I will admit that it's a decent lightweight stroller, but I did find it to be a bit too bulky for things like shopping or taking a casual walk around the neighborhood. It was good for going to large outdoor events, Disney, basically any place where there would be a lot of walking and I would need to bring along a diaper bag or other crap to put in the bottom bin.

Then we received the City Mini from my sister. Her son is two and a hald and didn't use it anymore.

And what can I say? After using the Graco Snugride, well, I love it soooo much. And I wish I had it from day 1. It's so lightweight and easy to steer, it's easy to fold up for the car. A pricier stroller is worth the money, but they aren't all created equally.

We actually originally wanted to go with the iGo. When we broke it all down, I realized that the chairs were really uncomfortable to hold. The Evo has little hand holds where the buttons to take the chairs on/off are, and it's really easy to switch them out and hang onto them (especially if there's a sleeping baby in the bassinet part). I found the iGo chairs to be really awkward to handle without the handles.

If I had to say two things that are a must, they should be lightweight and easy to break down.

I never in a million years would have thought I would get so excited over a stroller, but it's the one thing you really learn to appreciate and the City Mini is not the stroller I wanted, but the one that I needed.

Aubrey

Don't be afraid to get a used one. Bike maintenance is simple (relative to a car) and routine so you'll need to do it regardless. As long as none of the components are worn out, i'd say to buy used and save the money you would otherwise spend on a new bike.

You could try Bikes Direct if you trust your mechanical skills which you should develop anyway if you own a bike. Bike shop bills add up.

I'd suggest something fairly upright so you can see better in traffic. Single or three speeds for ease of maintenance, since NYC is mostly flat. Fenders for the rain, chubby tires for the mediocre roads, and a rack for your briefcase/bag. Nothing wrong with a used bike, but if you don't want to go used...

The Trek Earl is right around $500. Single speed but lacks fenders and a rack. Pretty, though.

The Windsor Oxford has fenders, a rack, and a three speed hub for $400. Bikes Direct is a pretty reputable site even if it looks fly-by-night. It's available without the rack for $50 less.

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The Breezer Uptown 3 with proper length fenders, a rack, a suspension seatpost (meh), and lights powered by a generator hub can be had on sale for $415 because it's a 2011 model. This would be my choice, if one of the available sizes fits you.

The Schwinn Coffee is similar to the Windsor but closer to the $500 mark.

A lot of things are a luxury, this bike called the The Brooklyn Cruiser Driggs includes a wood box and some leather parts that probably won't do so well in the rain comes to mind. It is quite distinctive looking and has fairly fat tires. Almost $100 over budget, though.

Look for something that fits you and is comfortable to ride. If you are not confident that you can accurately size a bike for yourself, you might be better off buying from a shop and getting fitted. Remember, you'll be spending a lot of time on the bike so get one YOU like and not one someone talks you into.

If you're interested in this general type of bike but none of the above suit you, a Google search of "single speed city bike" or "three speed city bike" will probably find you many more options.