A day in the life of a bike commuter, looking at cars that take over the bike/bus only lanes. I'm an advocate of the "Share the Road" program and would like to see police enforcement of the cars illegally driving in the bike/bus lanes.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Chicago Biking!

I received a comment on my last post that pointed out that I haven't yet written anything about commuting in Chicago. It's true! So I thought I should start. The only problem is that my route is a straight shot down Milwaukee Avenue, and there is the skinny bike lane that cars can't fit in for almost the whole path. That means that I will have to shift my blog focus. I can't write about cars driving in the bike lane! I suppose I could complain about the cabs that sometimes try to block you out...but that's sort of expected. And by law, they have a right to sit in the bike lane if they are picking up or dropping off customers.

So I bought a Jamis Aurora, a road bike that is durable enough for touring. It was within my price range and fulfilled my needs. I think that somewhere down the line i might buy a very lightweight aluminum frame road bike (single gear?), but for now, I'm happy. I purchased it at Rapid Transit Cycles on North Avenue. My only complaint is that I felt like some of the components weren't put on very well. The brakes were over-tightened and the cord was fraying after a week and a half. I had them fixed and the following week my front brakes were useless because they had loosened up. I know that this happens naturally, but I feel like my bike shop in DC would have noticed that it was loose and fixed it before it became a real problem. But the guy who appears to be the head manager (or owner) rigged a piece of metal that allowed me to use my grocery paniers. That was cool.

So I have a question...What is the rule on tipping when you're getting your bike fixed or tuned up? Do people usually tip? Would it be different if you just purchased the bike?


Blogger CabbagesAndKings said...

Tipping hmmmmm?

I usually make an offer of coffee or water or some such. "I’m going to grab a cup of coffee across the street, do you want anything?" I find it shows that you are thinking about the mechanic, but not insulting him by offering cold hard cash, because really; how much is too much? or too little? You don’t want to piss off the dude fixing your bike now. And really, a warm cup of coffee or a cold Mt. Dew usually is more remembered than some folding; and, I must say, a bit more personal.

Wednesday, 26 September, 2007

Blogger Lindsay said...

I like that idea! I gave cash last time for the piece that was rigged to my bike and made from scratch...but I think the money ended up in the hands of the other guy--not the one who made the piece! Oh well. Coffee or croissant next time!

Tuesday, 02 October, 2007


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