Yesterday I biked to work for the first time. This would surprise the younger me, as I recall thinking at 21 when I bought my first car, "I hope I don't become one of those people who drives their car every day." I'm 33 now and think "how naive" when I remember that.
4 mile commute by car or bike, takes 15 minutes by car, 45 by bike yesterday (each way). Bus would take an hour and involves sitting in a bus station downtown for 18 minutes waiting on a transfer.
My bike commuting route is fairly safe by my standards. Greenway about 1/3 of the way - and it's a nice greenway, although it's actually not quite finished in places. Yesterday's commute didn't reveal any hostility from motorists nor any areas where I was uncomfortable around them.
I'm pretty comfortable with vehicular cycling around cars, can fix a flat on the road side, and I'm in pretty good shape (for example, I'm not at all sore today).
BUT, I have a pretty harried lifestyle as it is right now, with kids, wife who works full time (she's a teacher who's off in the summers), house maintenance and repairs, etc. My biggest problem with the bike commute yesterday was the time. It adds up to an extra hour away from either home or work, which I can't really afford right now.
So, give me some pointers or encouragement to get me to do it again. I'd really like to for environmental and political reasons and for just plain enjoyment, but how do I justify it, especially the time away from my family? Among other concerns, I don't want my commuting choice to become a burden to my wife (maybe there's an angle - my choice to car commute is a burden on the environment and our military).
BTW, the ride yesterday was beautiful. I saw 22 turtles on one log in the swamp along the greenway, saw a 16 inch long ring-necked snake (far bigger than any I've ever seen before), chatted in passing with fishermen, and just generally had a great ride.