I hypermiled a bicycle

Discussion in 'General' started by MT bucket, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    OK, I have really gone over the deep end now! OK I know bicycles dont burn gas, but I am sooo out of shape I need to conserve energy :)
    I used to cycle alot, but I have got really bad arthritis in my right hip and quit around ten years ago.
    I kept one bike incase I ever got better.
    Well this year I have been feeling better. I needed to drop my car off to get serviced about 2 or 3 miles away and decided to be a little adventurous. Instead of getting my friend to pick me up in his fsp, thought I would dig out the bike and throw it in the trunk and pedal home.
    pumped up the tires (sidewall max?):p and tried a test ride around the block.
    it was an ordeal getting on the thing, my hip is sooo stiff, but was able to get rolling and pedaling, a little uncomfortable, but not really painful.
    OK I can do this! threw the bike in the car and off I went. Parked, left a note with my key and began the ride home.
    Pedaling to many times was quite uncomfortable, I tried different gears, seat hights ect. I finally settled into a routine that worked pretty good pedaling best I could to get going then coasting til I slowed too much. Pulse and glide? ;)
    except on uphills, had to keep pedaling all the way up while losing speed, but rewarded with a downhill coast on the other side. DWL?
    Stopping and starting were the hardest part for me, I used to do a fairly good trackstand, but now I am scared of falling., I had a few lights that were red so I started coasting early when I saw them and had them go green just as I was getting close so I didn't have to stop. DWB?
    Well I made it home alive and pretty much painless. I guess I will have to do this more often and see if I can get in better shape!

    MPG... N/A no gallons needed! :)

  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Congratulations! I know how hard that must have been for you to even think about doing that. Good for you! :thumbs_up:
  3. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    It was kind of hard, but definitely worth it. :)

  4. Nanci

    Nanci Well-Known Member

    Congratulations! Maybe, if you really get into riding again, and your hip doesn't stop hurting, you could get one of those step-through bikes that you don't have to swing your leg over. My mechanic is about ten miles away- I've frequently used my bike to get home rather than trying to find a ride or sitting there waiting.
  5. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    well done, michael. i used to bike 11 miles to work, and took several week long bike trips out west. it's a great way to travel, you see so much more than in a car. but i also know they can be quite painful if you have a body part that doesn't want to cooperate......

    good for you!
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Catgic:

    ___You have some very interesting experiences and darn funny ones to say the least :D

    ___I was talking my wife and son last night into riding our bikes to Church this morning. I had them convinced and we were going to do exactly that. We arrived home last night and found my oldest boy took my youngest boy’s bike to a friends house in WI somewhere and left it there??? (2) bikes and (3) people mean that plan is shot to pieces :(

    ___Good Luck

  7. mintsk8er

    mintsk8er Well-Known Member

    Too bad one of your bikes wasn't a tandem, Wayne.
  8. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Oh My! I'm speechless! :D :D this thread has evolved very intrestingly today! :p
    Carry on! I am gonna grab some popcorn and enjoy this! :)
  9. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Interesting bike that whizzer...
    I grew up riding a schwinn stingray, blue and chrome, one speed and coaster brakes.
    Some of the other kids had 2 wheelers of one kind or another with motors on them, I never did, I was afraid of them! ;)
    I sure did put on the miles on that old bike. no crash helmets, and no ritalin (I would have been the poster child for ADD too) and I survived! :D
  10. jamesqf

    jamesqf Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, back when I was a kid riding your bike to the next town - all of five miles away - was an all-day adventure and gave you a certain amount of bragging rights.
  11. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    I just lay my bike down, then step over it, then pick it up. :)

  12. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Thanks , I am going to try to do more and see if it makes my hip better.
    I was a little nervous, I actually had a friend do this around 8 years ago this to get his truck fixed and never made it home. I think heart problems caused the accident, but still...:(
    I am going to stick to bike paths as much as I can. I used to be fast and was able to keep up with traffic on many city streets, but not no more:rolleyes:
  13. fixedgear

    fixedgear Member

    MT Bucket -

    Nice to hear from a fellow cyclist! I've been an avid rider all my life, and have applied my basic cycling techniques to driving my truck. That brought me up to what I considered pretty good mileage (30+). The 'hypermile' techniques yielded another 6-7mpg, which doesn't sound like much, but is really 20%.

    You sound like a person who knows about riding (at least you know the term 'trackstand'). My only suggestions are to make sure your position is right (maybe seek some expert advice), that your bike is in good condition, and that you be safe. You might also look to see if there are any active cycling clubs in the area. There are probably other arthritis patients in their mix.

    Good luck!
  14. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Hi fixedgear! cool name :)

    I used to be a bike commuter for many years, rain shine snow and i c e , I would be out there, didn't have a car, hated the bus, but i loved my 2 wheelers!
    I did some riding with the twin cities bicycling club in the mid 90s I did both road and off road riding.
    My problem with my hip is I have little range of motion, so I cannot bend on the up part of pedaling without significant discomfort. and I cannot pedal smoothly either.
    I have tried all the adjustments and installed more up right handlebars, with little improvement.
    I only hope I think would be to put a shorter crank on my right side, I don't know if that would work too good either. there has got to be something I could do, I remember one time reading about a mountain biker with only one leg that seemed to do just fine. (that might be all downhill though, I don't remember).

  15. buurin

    buurin Little Pig

    Mixte frames (top tube meeting seat tube at halfway point) is for ladies. :p

    If only my work is not so conveniently located right on top of a subway station, and me being so out of shape, I'd ride mine again.

    On to hypermiling related stuff.
    Cyclists do draft each other - very closely. :D Then again riding single file is safer. :p
    There's no tire pressure placard on a bike so all you can do is to pump it to sidewall. My MTB tire says 40psi. Tire wear is insignificant. :D

    For maximum efficiency the seat should be raised up so that your leg can go completely straight when the crank is at dead bottom. Get off the seat just before you stop.

    I have 3 bikes, one mountain bike with stubby tire bought in 1995, two picked up from a neighbor that moved out then spent from $20-$100 each to refurb. Now all are almost neglected and rust are everywhere. :eek: Still, two are operational. The other is a 10 speed chick road bike. I have them all to myself because no one else know how to ride them. :D
  16. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    Shorter cranks sound like a good option. I'm not so sure about mis-matched lengths. If the "good" leg has a longer crank, the bad leg won't get to straighten as far. But whatever works!

    Let us know how it goes.


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