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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-10-17, 08:33 PM   #1
Tbone2
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Newbie

Hello,
I just started commuting this week, it is my third week on new bike.
My commute is 6 miles one way and pretty flat (I'm OK with that)
Most people seem to think a bike is a toy but if you are riding to work every day that is a game changer.
Of coarse if commuting is the goal it takes more than just a bike, got to have other stuff and it all cost money, helmet, lights, lock, something to haul stuff in, pump, flat repair stuff and OMG where does it end. Did I mention I don't have a money tree in my back yard.

My car ride to work took me about 15 minutes on mostly a four lane race track, aggressive driving and drivers, since it is what I have always done I never really thought about how aggravating the obligatory commute is.

My bike commute takes me 35 minutes, have to stop and cross 3 four lane rodes of death but other than that it is casual neighborhood ride. I do stop (rolling stop unless there is actually another car around) for numerous stop signs as well. But it is peaceful, easy, not stressed out. When I get to work I am wide awake and in a good mood, not always the case when car commuting.

But I'm preaching to the choir right?

Happy to be aboard, sure wish I had figured this out a lot sooner.
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Old 03-10-17, 09:56 PM   #2
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Welcome to the other side.
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Old 03-10-17, 11:25 PM   #3
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Welcome newbie. Yea, my wife can tell if I drove instead rode. Nothing like getting home from a bike ride instead of getting home from work. What are you riding?
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Old 03-11-17, 08:00 AM   #4
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Welcome TBone. You've just started, yet seem to have discovered both the benefits and the downsides (yes, it does cost and yes, it does require maintenance). My commuting routine is so ingrained that I feel uncomfortable on those rare days when I have to drive to work.
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Old 03-11-17, 09:55 AM   #5
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Welcome!

Gear doesn't have to be fancy (see our current lights thread with a discussion of the super cheap Chinese lights via Amazon) and a lot of the clothes you need are normal athletic or outdoorsy stuff you already have, unless you want to get bike-specific
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Old 03-11-17, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Welcome newbie. Yea, my wife can tell if I drove instead rode. Nothing like getting home from a bike ride instead of getting home from work. What are you riding?
Hah, yup. I'm cranky when I drive.
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Old 03-11-17, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Welcome TBone. You've just started, yet seem to have discovered both the benefits and the downsides (yes, it does cost and yes, it does require maintenance). My commuting routine is so ingrained that I feel uncomfortable on those rare days when I have to drive to work.
Well sure it costs in the sense that it is not free, but it's less expensive than driving no matter what way you cut it. A couple tanks worth of gas money will cover all the accessories you truly need...lights, lock, helmet.
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Old 03-11-17, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbone2 View Post
Hello,
I just started commuting this week, it is my third week on new bike.
My commute is 6 miles one way and pretty flat (I'm OK with that)
Most people seem to think a bike is a toy but if you are riding to work every day that is a game changer.
Of coarse if commuting is the goal it takes more than just a bike, got to have other stuff and it all cost money, helmet, lights, lock, something to haul stuff in, pump, flat repair stuff and OMG where does it end. Did I mention I don't have a money tree in my back yard.

My car ride to work took me about 15 minutes on mostly a four lane race track, aggressive driving and drivers, since it is what I have always done I never really thought about how aggravating the obligatory commute is.

My bike commute takes me 35 minutes, have to stop and cross 3 four lane rodes of death but other than that it is casual neighborhood ride. I do stop (rolling stop unless there is actually another car around) for numerous stop signs as well. But it is peaceful, easy, not stressed out. When I get to work I am wide awake and in a good mood, not always the case when car commuting.

But I'm preaching to the choir right?

Happy to be aboard, sure wish I had figured this out a lot sooner.
Actually, you do have a money tree. Keep track of how mich you are saving in fuel, maintenance, and parking fees. The initial investment might seem like a lot but You will save more than enough to offset it.
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Old 03-11-17, 02:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Welcome newbie. Yea, my wife can tell if I drove instead rode. Nothing like getting home from a bike ride instead of getting home from work. What are you riding?
I am riding a Giant Escape City. I really should figure out how to get a few pics in here but I don't have a photo bucket account.
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Old 03-11-17, 02:15 PM   #10
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welcome to the forum
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Old 03-11-17, 05:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbone2 View Post
When I get to work I am wide awake and in a good mood, not always the case when car commuting.
I've been commuting the same basic route for 25 years. Car traffic keeps getting denser and driving to work gets more frustrating; the bike commute hasn't really changed much, and in fact where it has changed, it is because of fewer cars and even quieter streets as the city expands outward.

Welcome, ride safely and enjoy!
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Old 03-11-17, 08:43 PM   #12
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Is this it?
Looks great. When you start tacking on miles after work because your having so much fun and want to ride on the weekends too for kicks ... n+1...
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Old 03-12-17, 07:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Actually, you do have a money tree. Keep track of how much you are saving in fuel, maintenance, and parking fees. The initial investment might seem like a lot but You will save more than enough to offset it.
Well, I figured that at $2.50/gallon, the fuel costs of driving to work would run me about $115 per year. I easily spend more than that on my bike and related gear.

Before I started cycle commuting, I walked to work (did so for over 10 years). Cost of shoes (new pair every 6 months) easily exceeded fuel costs.

Yes, I know that I am excluding cost of vehicle maintenance, insurance, etc.; however since I use my truck for other purposes those are costs that are not affected by whether I commute by bike or drive.

My situation is based on having a short driving commute (less than 2 miles one way). I imagine that there is some distance beyond which I would spend more on fuel than on my bike needs. My bike commute is about 7 miles one way and chosen to avoid traffic (and get some exercise).
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Old 03-12-17, 05:03 PM   #14
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what kind of light do you have? I recommend the ThorFire Led Bicycle Lights 1400LM XM-L2. fantastic rechargeable 8800mAh, I feel I get more respect from cars at day and night.
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Old 03-12-17, 06:56 PM   #15
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Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by bnmotive View Post
what kind of light do you have? I recommend the ThorFire Led Bicycle Lights 1400LM XM-L2. fantastic rechargeable 8800mAh, I feel I get more respect from cars at day and night.
I bought a BrightEye 1200 lumen light for $45.00.
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Old 03-12-17, 07:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Well, I figured that at $2.50/gallon, the fuel costs of driving to work would run me about $115 per year. I easily spend more than that on my bike and related gear.

Before I started cycle commuting, I walked to work (did so for over 10 years). Cost of shoes (new pair every 6 months) easily exceeded fuel costs.

Yes, I know that I am excluding cost of vehicle maintenance, insurance, etc.; however since I use my truck for other purposes those are costs that are not affected by whether I commute by bike or drive.

My situation is based on having a short driving commute (less than 2 miles one way). I imagine that there is some distance beyond which I would spend more on fuel than on my bike needs. My bike commute is about 7 miles one way and chosen to avoid traffic (and get some exercise).
Is your parking free? Where I work it's $10/day, so that adds up very quickly. I could probably justify a new bike every year.
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Old 03-24-17, 09:56 AM   #17
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Commuting savings

I think the IRS estimates the average cost of driving/mile to be $0.55, so I'd say that your estimate is a bit low. Or you could use that to justify spending more on gear
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Old 04-03-17, 07:50 AM   #18
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I think the IRS estimates the average cost of driving/mile to be $0.55, so I'd say that your estimate is a bit low. Or you could use that to justify spending more on gear
This, right here.

Also, although I have spent lots of money on gear (SKS fenders, Axiom rack, Ortlieb panniers, Cygolite front light, Radbot 1000 rear light, expensive rain gear, etc), it lasts a long time. I have yet to wear any of it out and I have been collecting it since 2004.

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Old 04-03-17, 08:15 AM   #19
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The expensive gear is more of a choice than a necessity. I like the cycling gear as much as anyone and I'm a sucker for whatever will make it easier or more comfortable or more interesting, but I can and often do commute with nothing more than the bike and whatever athletic clothes I'd have had anyway. Other than consumables like chains, tires and cassettes, chain oil, the expenses basically end wherever you want them to.

OP you're dead on right about the reasons "peaceful, easy, not stressed out. ... wide awake and in a good mood..." and I'd just add "fun". My driving colleagues have such a hard time accepting these as real reasons, that I think of them as our "secret" which you're now in on.
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Old 04-03-17, 11:20 AM   #20
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You discovered a wonderful, well-kept secret.
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Old 04-05-17, 10:06 PM   #21
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Welcome! Bike commuting brings joy to my life everyday.
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