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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 08-20-05, 07:01 AM   #1
Cyclaholic
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Is it just me or does it seem that almost daily there's new velocommuters coming in to this forum?

The rising gas prices are cited so often here as the reason why new commuters are taking to their bicycles and leaving the car behind. These younger people are healthy enough and young enough not to be too set in their ways to embrace the change, and ofcourse their younger bodies readily adapt to the new levels of activity. I hope it's a trend that continues to gain momentum into the future.

Maybe there's hope for the future after all?
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Old 08-20-05, 07:13 AM   #2
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Actually I want to see the attrition rate.
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Old 08-20-05, 07:25 AM   #3
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Yeah.

The question for me is not how to get new bike commuters but how to keep from losing them. If we never lost bicycle commuters except through death, we'd have some pretty serious numbers. Think of all the people who ride only during bike to work week or bike to work day. What's keeping them from riding other days of the year? (And why do they bother just that one week or one day, I don't get that.)

Is it a case where people don't get conditioned before they get discouraged? Do they get put off by the hassle? Is there route so hostile that they can't stay with it? Would having a commute buddy make it easier?

Exactly what is the dynamic?
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Old 08-20-05, 07:52 AM   #4
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The mechanic at my LBS said they've had a very busy couple of months selling bikes to more first-time cyclers than usual. The salesman at the scooter shop where I got my electric bike said they've sold more scooters and bikes (including the $2500 to $3500 TidalForce) in the last two months than the previous six months, which they also considered good months.

And beleive me, it's not "normal" to think about riding a bike in August in Austin.
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Old 08-20-05, 09:58 AM   #5
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The LBS I go to is very busy, 5 day wait just for a tune up. They are also selling allot of road bike because of all the lance wanabes.
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Old 08-20-05, 02:58 PM   #6
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In one of my university classes on adult aging and development we visited older folks at the community senior center. One of the ladies there (not "old old" by any means, maybe in her 60's?) said something I think I'll always remember -- "We've messed up the world so much. It's nice to see younger folks in here learning about what we've done and how they can fix it". She wasn't just talking about pollution and resources, she talked a lot about culture and society too.

She was in my group a few times, so we talked about car-free and cycling a bit. She was so impressed that I was out there on my bike every day instead of wasting money on a "wasteful, evil" (her words!) car. She said she wishes she could still ride too, but she wasn't allowed to medically. She got a few others in our class interested in cycling too through some pictures she had of her cycling/walking trip in England about 10 years ago. Talk about a generation of change!
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Old 08-20-05, 03:29 PM   #7
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I think rising gas prices and cost of living are causing people to think of other ways to get to work.

I must admit I purchased my new road bike as a "lance wanabe" with the intention of cycling for exercise however, I've contemplated commuting to work for a number of years. When I purchased my bike a month ago I had no plans of commuting on a regular basis. I started commuting via bike on Fridays only. Last week I rode my bike to work 4/5 days. This Monday my car will be sold and I will commute to work everyday. This is huge for me, I am a car nut and my S4 was a real joy to own. My wife is supportive but her and my co-workers think I'm nuts. My borther is now starting to look at bikes... look out!

This forum helped me to realize how easy and fun commuting could be. I really enjoy it and wish I would've started earlier.

I've noticed in the short time I've been commuting to work that the power of example is strong.
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Old 08-20-05, 03:54 PM   #8
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I'm pleased to announce that i'm apart of the generation. i'm selling my stereo system out of my car for all my gear. and it feels good, oh soo good.
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Old 08-21-05, 02:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Actually I want to see the attrition rate.
Ditto. Every year I see a whole heap of new commuters ready to take to the roads around here. Few of them stick with it for any length of time.
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Old 08-21-05, 03:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
The question for me is not how to get new bike commuters but how to keep from losing them. If we never lost bicycle commuters except through death, we'd have some pretty serious numbers. Think of all the people who ride only during bike to work week or bike to work day. What's keeping them from riding other days of the year? (And why do they bother just that one week or one day, I don't get that.)
A big part of the answer to the first question is cyclist education. Few of them understand how to deal with traffic, or the softer skills like carrying a commute, making one's self presentable after a ride, or keeping things dry in a downpour.

In answer to the second part, I'll ask a question of my own -- does bike to work day, in it's present form really help all that much? A lot of the people who do ride on that day generally only turn up for the free breakfast or some prize giveaways, and then spend the rest of the time whining about having to actually ride to work (and that doesn't include the ones who just park their car around the corner). A much better idea for ride to work day would be to do it on an informal basis say monthly, or even weekly. Have a group that meets up at a particular place and time each day, and rides to the city centre before descending on a local eating establishment for breakfast before heading off to work.

That way, you'll only get the people who are generally interested in riding to work to start with, you'll get the chance to impart some of the information I described above in a friendly, casual setting, and the chance to offer support and answer any concerns they might have. Of course, you might miss out on the politicians' speeches that way, but these rarely lead to enlightenment.
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Old 08-21-05, 08:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chris L
Ditto. Every year I see a whole heap of new commuters ready to take to the roads around here. Few of them stick with it for any length of time.
I'll second that.

Out of 50,000= 2 become commuters
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