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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 09-05-05, 05:43 AM   #1
slickrock
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Gas prices and commuting

As gas prices skyrocket, I'm going to expand the number of days I communte. Also, I'm going to commute on days when I used to think I couldn't. I was wondering if anyone else is also expanding their commuting experience?
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Old 09-05-05, 05:57 AM   #2
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I plan to start commuting 7 miles a day (round trip) to where I work. That's 35 miles a week -- almost two gallons. That's $6 a week, plus I get some exercise. I go to work at 6 a.m., when the road is lightly traveled. Going home, I will be on a four lane highway for ten minutes or so, then I take back streets for the rest of the ride. I also ride my bike around town, to the post office, bank, grocery store. I figure this saves 500 miles my car doesn't have to be used. I am a great believer in rear view bike mirrors. I watch what is happening behind me and get off the road if I see someone overtaking me too fast or too close. I wlso watch out for parked cars with doors suddenly opening. If I continue to ride defensively, I think I will be okay. I carry a cell phone, so if I get in trouble, my wife can come get me.
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Old 09-05-05, 05:58 AM   #3
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I'd been increasing my commuting anyway, and gas prices are another reason to do so. And I'm not sure if I'm just more aware of it or what, but I'm noticing more riders. The idiots are still out there though that drive like it's 50 cents a gallon....i.e. speeding up right before a stop only to slam on the brakes.

Last edited by billwatson58; 09-05-05 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 09-05-05, 06:26 AM   #4
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Absolutely. I work 2 jobs. My first job is 14mi west of my house. My second job is 10 east of my house. I put in a request to move my hours around so I could commute at least 6 days per week to both places.

I also put in a request to my day job to go from 5/8hour weeks to 4/10hour weeks. We'll see if any of it works.

I have been commuting more. Running errands, especially. My wife and two boys are doing the same.

To me, it's an attitued about conserving energy. Any energy.
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Old 09-05-05, 09:07 PM   #5
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Between my bicycle and the Chicago El, I rarely have to drive. Recently, when I mentioned to someone that I fill up my tank once a month or less, they turned so green with envy that I thought that they had turned into a watermelon rind.

In nature, many forms of life can thrive by learning to live on limited resources. A cactus, in the desert, for example, has adapted itself to get by with limited water. A plant that grows in the shade learns to get by with little direct sunlight. A cactus doesn't gripe about not having enough water, a plant in the shade doesn't gripe about the lack of direct sunlight; they learn to thrive within the limits imposed on them.
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Old 09-06-05, 06:28 AM   #6
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If I can get a "winter beater" put together I am going to try at least once to go in snow.
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Old 09-06-05, 11:26 AM   #7
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Winter commuting is SO MUCH FUN! In my opinion, all you need is a really good set of lights, and some semi-slick tires. A yard-sale 26" MTB can't be beat for winter commuting. Oh, and some cold-weather clothing helps greatly (full-finger gloves and warm socks are a must). I'm already looking forward to cold weather.

In response to the OP, yes, I have expanded from my usual 3 days/week to 4 or 5 days in response to gas prices. My car has a 12-gallon tank, and I fill it once per month. Right now the gas in my tank (3/4 full) is $2.79 gas. Current prices are $3.19 in my area.
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Old 09-06-05, 11:32 AM   #8
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This is sort of preaching to the choir; an audience already receptive to the idea of transportation alternatives.

There was a great headline a couple years ago on The Onion:

98% of Commuters Favor Public Transit for Others.

I fear that this is much closer to the eventuality.
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Old 09-06-05, 12:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
I plan to start commuting 7 miles a day (round trip) to where I work. That's 35 miles a week -- almost two gallons. That's $6 a week, plus I get some exercise. ... I figure this saves 500 miles my car doesn't have to be used.
Heh...I just figured out that between my 20 (was 17, but just got transfered to a different terminal) mile commute, and the toll booth I hit in the morning, that I'm saving $8 a day. At the end of the week, that basically gives me a $1 an hour raise!
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Old 09-06-05, 02:20 PM   #10
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I already ride every day I can except in the middle of a snowstorm. Maybe this year I'll ride in a snowstorm, just to see what it's like, and if I can do it in the slicks I have or if I should do something else with my tires. (Opinion that I've solicited seems to differ on this matter.)

Makoa, no offense, but it must be easy for someone in Virginia to look forward to "cold" weather. What's it get down to down there, 20 F, 10 on bad days? Personally, I'm looking forward to trying out my new myler/polypropolene glove liners underneath the regular gloves, for single digits or below... (Sorry, my New England weather machismo is getting the better of me! )
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Old 09-06-05, 08:38 PM   #11
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I started commuting every day when I was in Taiwan for four months on business at the beginning of this year. When I came home I kept up the practice. The rise in gas prices only serves to confirm my decision. However, last winter I rarely commuted so I've got winter cycling issues to address. That's even though, according to JohnBrooking, our winter weather down here in Southwest Virginia hardly qualifies as cold. And compared to Maine it surely doesn't. But still, 33 degree rain is miserable.
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Old 09-06-05, 08:48 PM   #12
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Thanks to my new semester school and work schedule, I'm up to riding 5 days a week with a 50% increase in mileage. My legs and metabolism are having to make the necessary adjustments. I'm looking forward to riding every day this winter after an investment a new jacket and some long sleeve shirts.
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Old 09-06-05, 09:18 PM   #13
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I am planning on commuting everyday that it is not raining or snowing.

I am from Nothern Vermont and would not ride in the winter if I still lived there, it is to dang cold. Northern Arizona winters are not to bad, so we will see how it goes.
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Old 09-06-05, 09:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickwilliams
However, last winter I rarely commuted so I've got winter cycling issues to address. That's even though, according to JohnBrooking, our winter weather down here in Southwest Virginia hardly qualifies as cold. And compared to Maine it surely doesn't. But still, 33 degree rain is miserable.
Well, you've got a point there. 33 degree rain means freezing rain, and that's definitely something I would hesitate to do even more than snow; it's much more dangerous. Even if you could handle your bike okay, you've got the car drivers to watch out for. Even here, if we get freezing rain, more often than not my manager will call us all and tell us not to come in. (I'm a computer programmer and we all have laptops we carry back and forth, so we can work from home on those days.) So I'm lucky in that regard. In fact, that often happens with heavy snow, too. So I guess I'll have to take back some of my bravado.

But I have ridden is sub-zero temps! It's just a matter of dressing for it. (And don't forget visibility issues in the winter, when it gets dark early.)
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Old 09-06-05, 11:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swwhite
If I can get a "winter beater" put together I am going to try at least once to go in snow.
Oh yeah, Man, snow cycling is fabulous! The problem is rust. Get a beater mountain bike - like one you junk pick. You need to really lube the chain like slather it with motor oil.

Almost every metal part will corrode - steel, of course, and even aluminum. So, you don't want to be riding a good machine in the snow.

Anyway, it is a lot of fun. As a rule, once the snow gets as high as the bottom braket, the fun is over, though.

Check out icebike.com for some winter riding pointers.

Cheerio!
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Old 09-07-05, 12:20 AM   #16
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And the movie "ice ice" in the videos in www.digave.com :-)
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Old 09-08-05, 10:08 AM   #17
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And compared to Maine it surely doesn't. But still, 33 degree rain is miserable.
I've ridden in blizzards and below 0 degrees on many occasions, and the worst conditions I have encountered is 33 degree rain. Absolutely my least favorite weather.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:20 PM   #18
tkiisel
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I plan on increasing my commute to 5 days a week. I figure I'm saving about $2.50 per day by commuting by bike. Not to mention how much better I feel at the end of the day.
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Old 09-11-05, 05:14 PM   #19
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I started commuting (9 miles each way) about a month and a half ago to rehab my ankle and get in better shape (now averaging 200 miles a week). We now go through 1/2 to 3/4 of a tank of fuel a week as opposed to 1 1/2 to 2 we were and actually spending less on fuel now compared to when it was cheaper. I live in AZ though, much easier to commute year around I'm sure. I think my grocery bill has gone up though but I still feel better about it.
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Old 09-12-05, 07:21 PM   #20
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I gave up my car three months ago and do everything on a bike now. I live three miles from my job, so I get at least 12 miles a day. I bought a Croozer bike trailer for the big grocery shopping and I can carry more food then I did in my car. This will be my first winter commuting on a bike in over 20 years so I have a lot to learn but I am going to stick with it.
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