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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 03-05-01, 01:02 PM   #1
mike
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I may have convinced a colleague of mine to join the community of bicycle commuting (at my work of 1,000+ employees, the bicycling community is presently a population of one - me).

She was telling me how she goes to the gym every morning to do spinning and oh how she likes to keep fit.

I asked her if she ever noticed all the steam condensation dripping from the big glass windows of the gym. "Yes!" she exclaimed, "It's really humid in there."

I asked her where she thought all that humidity came from. Hmm... somehow the answer eluded her. "That water dripping from the windows is condensed Human Vapor", I explained, "It is natures way of letting you share the exhaust of the sweaty guy across the room."

Of course, that thought was not appealing to her. I suggested that instead, how about she rides her bike to the gym and then turn around and ride home without ever going inside the sweaty gym. She would get the same amount of spinning time and could do it outside.

"Hey, that's a good idea!", she realized. But, hmmm, why doesn't everybody do that?...

"Well, hey, why don't you just ride your bike to work, save yourself the hassle of going to/from the gym, get the exercize along with fresh air, and save your auto for better purposes. Plus, you will be an enviro-hero!"

My colleague still seems bewildered as to why this makes so much sense, but is so overlooked.

Let's hope I see her bike chained up to the "handicapped parking only" sign-post one day soon (we don't have bike stands here...yet.
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Old 03-06-01, 08:00 PM   #2
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Mike, isn't is a little sad that so many people don't experience what we do? The fresh air, the scenery, the freedom. Man, a gym would give me cabin fever! I can't bear the thought of working out indoors on a stationary machine of some kind. I hope your friend follows your lead. She will be grateful forever.
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Old 04-13-01, 10:20 PM   #3
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This is a significant thought, and so far, no one else has answered! Well, maybe that's because you said it all, Mike.

But what's up with that? I passed some guys while walking on the catwalk the other day and overheard one saying, "Man, if I ever make enough money I'm going to go to a fitness club, too."

I turned around and said, "You don't have to make that kind of money, just start walking! )" They politely agreed.

Followers, all followers! As Cambronne stated, "Paris is the best fitness club in the world (referring to the need to walk everywhere in Paris)." Just step outside, take in the available airflow!
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Old 04-14-01, 01:25 AM   #4
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People don't realize how easy it is to start a fitness program by walking, then if they can or want to, jogging or running, and it just requires a pair of running shoes. Even cycling doesn't have to cost a lot of money. For the average person to get into the sport an inexpensive, (not cheap) bike will allow them to see how they like it and then they can move up as they can afford it.
The thing about cycling is all the other advantages as well as the fitness aspect - transportation, covering greater distances, meeting guys like us on the forum - you name it.
Let's face it, most people just talk about starting a program and never do it. The desire has to be there to really get into some type of activity and stick with it, but I think I'm preaching to the converted here!
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Old 04-14-01, 10:07 AM   #5
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I agree Pete, spinning in a room would drive me nuts. The shop I worked at did that in the evening I never understood it. People brought their bikes in set them up on a trainer and went at it. I also have never understood the concept of a gym. It seems to me to be a meeting place and a way to socialize or establish a pecking order in the office environmet. Very weird but hey are we not weird also? I don't know if you have a bike ride it a trainer is not riding your bike.
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Old 04-14-01, 11:27 AM   #6
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Spinning in a room drives me nuts too, but I do it in the winter when I don't have my bike on the road as a supplement to cross country skiing. I don't enjoy it as much as being out on the road or trail of course, and I don't put in near the time or distance, but at least it's exercise. When you can use your own bike, it makes the training more comfortable and easier to do. As soon as I get the bikes out in the spring, the trainer gathers dust.Some people here ride year round, but I don't.
I used to have a membership in a gym too, but I have enough equipment at home now, and we have some at work, so I can do weight training without having to buy a membership. Some people like or need to have other people around to get their workout done though, and if that works for them, that's fine, at least they're doing something.
You're right, some people think we're weird for riding around in rain, cold temps etc. sometimes in shorts and at all hours of the day and night, but variety is the spice of life, right?
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Old 04-14-01, 04:41 PM   #7
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Hey weights at the office is cool! I just think the whole gym thing is over rated. I can understand a trainer in Canada. I mainly was speaking of down here in Tx. You can ride year round here in my location.
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Old 04-14-01, 07:16 PM   #8
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Can we add the lack of common sense for the people who take the elevator one floor at work. I get up and take walks because I have a desk job to stretch my legs and the blood flowing again.
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Old 04-14-01, 07:56 PM   #9
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Look, let's face it bubbas: people who live in this techno-world who don't exercise at all (God help them, nothing against them at all) are dying a slow death. I would call it, "Dead Man Walking". I know, I was one!
Cigarettes: didn't count em, just breathed em like air.
Coffee: like water; dead without it, drank a cup before sleepy time and still out like a light. Plus other unmentionables (which I won't mention). A pulse rate of 90 - 100 was not uncommon for me.

Today, the bicycle has not only saved me from a fate worse than death, but I never knew how fantastic I could feel getting (and staying) healthy! Now, breathing heavily is like a thirsty man drinking a tall, cold glass of water. Pedaling uphill is like a invigorating
tonic. The "afterglow" of exercise (cycling) lasts for hours and is unbelievable. All this while at the same time, no guilt for killing myself, in fact, having a little pride in that I am helping my body. And I eat right, too!

Ok, I'm through (for now)!
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Old 04-17-01, 09:54 PM   #10
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If any of you have ever "riden" in-doors, how often do you think, "how 'bout a few more miles", Yeah Right!

Out side though, I've turned a half hour ride into an all day adventure!

Ahhhh; The joys of my bike and the great out-doors
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Old 04-17-01, 10:11 PM   #11
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You're right, Hobbitt. Just today, I finally did my first commute of the year! It's normally 32 km round trip, but the day turned out beautifully after work (actually I took some vacation time, and got off early - when would you do that to ride indoors) and took the long way home, eventually putting in over 75 km for the day, and feeling great. Just can't beat that bike for motivation!
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Old 04-18-01, 05:18 PM   #12
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Today was my first commute to work also. Man was it cold, but it was definitely worth it to see the sun rise. Thats just something I don't notice when I'm In my truck!
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Old 04-18-01, 08:28 PM   #13
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Welcome to the community of bicycle commuters, Hobbitt.

I hope and encourage you to commute by bicycle again

and again

and again

and again.
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Old 04-18-01, 09:45 PM   #14
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Actually, I've been commuting for two years, Today was the first day this year.
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Old 04-23-01, 11:10 AM   #15
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When I was bike commuting, I almost never caught a cold. When I bus commuted, I caught several a year. I don't think it's a coincidence.

Another big advantage to bike over bus is that you don't have to listen to the embarrassing chatter of people with no sense of privacy--and no self-respect.
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Old 04-23-01, 12:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
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When I was bike commuting, I almost never caught a cold. When I bus commuted, I caught several a year. I don't think it's a coincidence.
Disclaimer: I am a user of mass-transit on my "cycling-off" days.

However, it certainly is no coincidence about colds. People call them "colds," so they think you will "catch one" if you cycle in the cold.

Pshaw! Sometimes that's my favorite time to cycle, it beats the heat.

"Colds" can be caught in any temperature. They are viral infections transmitted from one person to another, not from "cold air" or rain, although these may sometimes increase one's susceptibility to a virus. The basic strategy to avoid a cold is to avoid getting the virus into your nose. Crowded buses, trains, classrooms and workplaces can increase the odds of losing that battle.

One reason "colds" are associated with cold weather is the tendency of people to crowd together inside when the outside is cold, and there is more nose-blowing when it's cold.
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Old 04-23-01, 07:43 PM   #17
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I like cycling in the cold weather, too. At least twice, I cycled (commuting) in minus 2 degrees (F.).

I ran into the (now former) Mayor of Kansas City one Saturday, at a drugstore. I was in my absurd Lycra-Spandex getup, helmet in hand, dirty gloves, etc., so we discussed cycling a while, as His Honor's bodyguard looked around nervously.

I told him about the minus-2 experiences. His jaw dropped. He said he'd pray for me. (He's an ordained minister.)

I said I'd pray for him.
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Old 04-24-01, 08:42 AM   #18
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Here is an interesting note about colds. Infection usually gets to you through your eyes. The enzymes in saliva and other digestive juices apparently pretty much protect you from cold viruses but your eyes don't have such protection. Dr. Dean Edell (sp?), the guy on the radio and sometimes TV, says if you never touched your eyes you would almost never get colds. Of course, if someone coughs right in your face you could get it that way. Now you have even more to think about every time you touch a door or anything else in a public place. As if seeing 3 out of 4 people not wash after going to the restroom were not enough to think about.
Ewww!
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Old 04-24-01, 08:57 AM   #19
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Originally posted by RainmanP
Here is an interesting note about colds. Infection usually gets to you through your eyes. The enzymes in saliva and other digestive juices apparently pretty much protect you from cold viruses but your eyes don't have such protection. Dr. Dean Edell (sp?), the guy on the radio and sometimes TV, says if you never touched your eyes you would almost never get colds.
Rainman, I certainly left out eyes. But my memory tells me that cold viruses also attack through the nose. Yet,
as you also say, you can pretty much drink out of the same glass as your sick kid without concern. Hey, I just thought of something. Maybe we're both right!

Bear with me: do you remember the strange trickster who could drink milk through his nose, then squirt it out
through his tear duct? Of course, you do! Amazingly, this guy has actually proven our case for us. The tear ducts
in the eyes are physically connected to the nasal cavity! Viruses can get to the recesses of the nose by both routes. And you thought Mr. Milk Squirt performed no useful function for science!

(Since I have a dubious reputation for jesting, let me add: "This is NOT A TEST.")
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Old 04-25-01, 12:20 AM   #20
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Fortunately for me I never have to think about where colds, infections or any other such calamity comes from.

My girlfriend who is a nurse, keeps track of that for me, and never ceases to inform me of these types of dangers.
All in the name of love, of course!
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Old 04-25-01, 11:27 AM   #21
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Aerobat:
I'm with you on the nurse as significant other thing.

My wife is a nurse, and you're right - they'll warn you about every disease you might fall prey to. And man, I never saw so much handwashing before I met her and her friends.

carl
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Old 04-25-01, 08:35 PM   #22
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Amen to that, brother!
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Old 04-29-01, 09:54 AM   #23
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When I lived in Montana I had a paper route for a year or so. Thats how I saved up for my first bike. It was Roadmaster with really fat tires. I loved that bike, I rode it until it fell apart. But anyway, Montana gets cold in the winter and I can remember biking all over the Base doing errands for my mom in -20 degree weather and 40-50 mph wind. I would get home and my jaw muscles would hardly move and my hands would be on fire. Then we moved off Base, we moved to a house on top of a hill, the average wind up there was 60 mph, but there were days when it got to 90. There was a gas station about a 1 1/2 miles away and I would go there anytime for anything. I biked up there to pick up pizza one time in heavy wind because the pizza place wouldn't deliver any further. I guess I could have gotten my mom to drive me instead of biking all those errands, but then, I wouldn't have the great memories I have.
After Montana we went to Mississippi. The winter there is nothing compared to Montana, but the people there couldn't believe it when I would go biking in short sleeves in 20-30 degree weather. They thought sure I'd die, but they didn't know what I've been through before!!!
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Old 04-29-01, 06:04 PM   #24
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Fubar5, with this post, you have just earned my respect as a true bicyclist.

It is the bicyclist who transports by bike even in the most cruel weather that I appreciate most.
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Old 04-29-01, 06:18 PM   #25
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MIKE!! Your alive!! This is soooo great!
Thanks for the nice words Mike.:blush:
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