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  1. #1
    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    Change thinking/Change behavior

    I decided this weekend that, barring a volcanic eruption or freak snow storms, I would commute to work this week.

    Wet this morning, with a nice rooster tail of water/muck/grit flying up into my face from the front tire. It actually made me kind of laugh. I don't know that I want to put something else (like a fender) onto the bike, but I might need to.

    I'm still new to commuting. I've realized that if I think about it too much, my mind will move toward the negative aspects (it's wet/hot, I'm going to be cold/hot, it takes longer, people in cars want me dead). I decided my thinking is all wrong. I need to focus on the positive aspects (I like to ride my bicycle, I don't have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic, I'm not burning gas, it's good exercise, and I can figure out safer routes to travel) to keep myself on the bike. I want bike commuting to stop being a novelty & become simply the thing I do to get to/from work. It's pouring down right now, but should let up by quittin' time. And even if it's still raining, I know that I have all the gear I need to stay dry & warm while I ride home. Rooster tails & all.

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Fenders - we call them mudguards over here - are good. It's not as if rain is rare where you live...

    As for the rest, you're absolutely right. Riding your bike isn't something you do when you feel like it, or when the weather is nice, it's just the way you get to work. And it's a better way than the alternatives, because you feel better when you get there, it costs very little, it's more enjoyable and so on.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    I consider myself pretty lucky. I have a flexible job in doing software and can come into work at varying hours and even tele-commute for part of the week. I've tried to change my thinking and my way of commuting for simple health reasons. Burning the brain cells debugging kernel code ain't exactly aerobic exercise and too much desk time will kill me, said the doctor.

    But even with the health imperative and a life-long love of cycling, there are days when you just can't be in all those places without a car. For example, if I have a meeting with directors half way across town and can't arrive all sweaty, I need a car, and if I need to buy anything big or heavy or sensitive to G-shock, like computer hardware - my panniers just don't cut it.

    That said, I've gotten to love the days I get to commute on bike and loathe the drive. I guess I've fallen into the rhythm of pedalling and enjoying my commute. It's practically the only time I have to simply get outside and be with myself and worry about not much else except getting to work. I do spoil myself a little with hardware - I have 4 bikes I switch out just to change things up a bit. My foul-weather bike has fenders, and I kept a couple of sets of polypro tights and long sleeves, full finger gloves and glove liners and a coated nylon shell and helmet cover. I don't have windshield wipers for my prescription glasses, but I was riding quite comfortably in winter (what do you expect in California!) and the rest of the time, I ride my other bikes. I vary my commute over 4 bikes during the year, and I think that makes a big difference.

    Most of these bikes are pretty low-end. A couple are old better 1990 Bridgestone MB-6 - bottom of the line bikes - but they've been modified over the years, or came that way when I bought them off Craigslist. My single speed is a modified Nashbar Hounder. Different brakes and saddle and pedals and new decals plus fatter 700x32c commute tires were about it. And then my fun/lazy bike which was a vintage 1988 Bianchi Limited. 600 Ultegra tri-colour. I picked that one up for around $250 not long ago. I figure I save about $15/wk in gas on average. That means I budget about $750 I can spend on parts and toys for my bike. And that adds more encouragement to the "change" in behaviour/thinking. Doing the math makes all the riding pretty evident that biking can be cheaper than a car.

    But I can see where it doesn't always end up that way. I order tubes and patch-kits by bulk or make my own patches out of an old tube. Someone who doesn't fix flats in 5 minutes might find they have to go to the LBS and wait an hour, which takes them out of the way, and costs both time and more money. I had a friend like that who wasn't so big time on the repair. He had a nice hybrid and spent close to $300/yr on repairs and upgrades only to have it stolen, less than 1000 miles later. He figured, it was costing him about $1/mile to ride his bike and $0.40 to drive. I got him into some bike maintenance and he spent some money to get his own set, and then splurged on a CF road bike that he keeps indoors all the time. He just did the Davis Double in 17 hours. Not bad. He's lowering the cost per mile daily and commuting a lot and training too. But he's another example of how an upgrade in HW can change thinking/behaviour.

    I guess what I'd conclude is that knowledge is power, and ultimately, whether it's passion or logic that dictates your reason to ride, the more you know, the more you'll tend to have fun and ride. Part of that fun is experimenting to get there.

    Getting the equipment is half the fun I think, and then experimenting with what works/doesn't work.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  4. #4
    ouate de phoque dramiscram's Avatar
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    At first I felt a bit strange and I was afraid that people at work might make fun of me or think that I lost my driving license for some reasons. I was afraid of the automobilist reaction on the road. I was afraid of my first commute at dark, afraid of my first commute in the rain, afraid of my first flat, afraid that I wouldn't make it home every other night and need to call my wife to come and pick me up!
    In the end it was really rewarding to overcome all those fears ( at the time they were real big fears for me) Now I commute every day, rain or shine(61 kms/day), no matter what and, when I get a stupid joke I think to my self : hey, who's stupid !?!
    Originally Posted by Leebo
    Headwind is like a hill without a soul. Just gear down and suffer.
    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    Headwinds are hills dipped in evil!
    Tabarnac de vent!!!

  5. #5
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    commuting to work has been a blessing. Gets me out, exercise...twice a day! He11 with the gym!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    fenders are a must and if you have no bought panniers yet. go waterproof with ortliebs. Never have to worry about stuff getting wet.... EVER!

  7. #7
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    "Change thinking/Change behavior"

    or conversely, "change behavior/Change thinking."

    Once a person starts commuting by bike, they tend to see many things differently. It's almost always for the best.

    Fenders usually make things better for commuters too. People won't think you are crazy for commuting, most will secretly wish they had the energy/drive/ability to do the same. But they may think it's crazy when you walk into work with a muddy rooster tail every morning, especially when it is so easily prevented.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    fenders are a must and if you have no bought panniers yet. go waterproof with ortliebs. Never have to worry about stuff getting wet.... EVER!
    I actually do have Ortliebs. Bought them back when I was commuting on my Giant hybrid a few years ago. I like them very much. Especially now that I bought a Topeak Pro Tourist DX rack. It's really solid & I no longer kick the panniers, which was really annoying. Although my regular rear blinkies won't fit any of the holes on the built-in bracket, which I thought odd. I have it jury rigged on right now with a zip tie & some gaffer's tape. I'll need to find some sort of adapter when I go shopping for the fender.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikinPotter View Post
    . . .I like to ride my bicycle, I don't have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic, I'm not burning gas, it's good exercise, and I can figure out safer routes to travel . . .
    These all work for me, especially the bumper to bumper thing. I have the added luxury that since I have an x-treme commute (>50 mi), part of it is by train, where I get to catch up on reading, or sleep.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

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