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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 09-07-05, 06:44 PM   #1
gew0419
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is bike commuting a slower life style for you, too?

It occured to me that since I started riding to work I seem to have slowed down. I know there are people who try to "beat their time" to work and at first I was the that way, too. Faster is the key, but I think about how I was when I was driving and how I am now. For example:
I always tried to find shorter, faster routs to work, too. "If I go this way I will have one less light and two less stop signs."
When work is over I used to rush out to my car so I could be one of the first ones out of the parking lot so I wouldn't have to wait in line to get across the intersection.
Now, When I get up in the morning I start out slow I go a longer route to avoid a hill. I don't worry about stops, just "how can I avoid traffic?"
After work I sit in the shade and wait for the traffic from the three plants letting out at the same time to let up so I can get home without fighting cars. I go an even longer route so I can get some riding time in and I don't worry about when I get home.
Does any one relate to this...or is it just me?
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Old 09-07-05, 07:36 PM   #2
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We might laugh at a lot of the stuff our grandparents said, but I've just got to ask. Now that you've slowed down, how do the roses smell?
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Old 09-07-05, 07:39 PM   #3
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"There is more to life than increasing its speed."
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Old 09-07-05, 07:40 PM   #4
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I relate and even admire. I've tried on certain days to tell myself, "hey, just go your own pace and get there when you get there" only to find that I post and above average time.

I totally respect the rider who's comfortable enough with themselves to go their own pace, but I can't seem to do so my own self.

Instead it's hammer hammer hammer. Perhaps one day I'll grow up enough to not do that, but for now, don't step, I have something to prove.
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Old 09-07-05, 08:42 PM   #5
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I'm so with you on that. I don't feel like I have anything to prove, but my legs seem to...they aren't happy unless I arrive winded...
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Old 09-07-05, 08:54 PM   #6
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I'm too scared to go fast.
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Old 09-07-05, 09:08 PM   #7
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I can't help going fast. I have to ride with a group that rides slower than myself to get slowed down. I do find those slower rides more enjoyable though. But I think that has more to do with the company than the pace.
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Old 09-08-05, 06:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gew0419
It occured to me that since I started riding to work I seem to have slowed down.
Does any one relate to this...or is it just me?
I have noticed this also. It was a bit surprising. I still have the same schedule at home--hurrying to walk dogs, feed dogs, feed kids, pick up kids, drive kids somewhere, wash dishes, make lunch for next day--so logically there should be no difference. In fact, it should be worse since my travel time to/from work is 15-30 minutes longer. But I FEEL like things have slowed down a bit. Peculiar.
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Old 09-08-05, 06:46 AM   #9
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Absolutely true for me. My commute is 14mi one way. I have slowed down a bit. Become a little more carefree. I enjoy my rides more now than ever.

However! It isn't just my commute that has slowed. It is my lifestyle. It is rubbing off on my wife and boys as well. Simpler, less fast pace. More enjoyment.

BTW, the roses in my area smell great.
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Old 09-08-05, 06:47 AM   #10
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...tis too Dark to go Fast... well maybe
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Old 09-08-05, 06:55 AM   #11
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Actually, since I have a few alternate routes in the evening, my quest is always to questimate which route is the fastest way home, factoring traffic, wind, hills, and my energy level. My 20 mile commute (each way) actually saves me time- since it would take me at least 40 minutes to drive/ 70 minutes to ride- and I'd still want to go ride.
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Old 09-08-05, 06:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
We might laugh at a lot of the stuff our grandparents said, but I've just got to ask. Now that you've slowed down, how do the roses smell?
The roses smell GREAT! The sunrise in the morning is beautiful! There is a hawk that hangs out abouve the bike path on my way home who has become my friend. (Sounds like a John Denver song)
The other morning it started to rain on my way to work and I was a little bummed, until I came to a break in the tree line and saw a DOUBLE rainbow. And instead of staying bummed I just said to myself, "God is good!" and finished my ride a little wetter. When I got to work I went to the janitor's closet and got a towel and dried myself off. No one who drives to work saw the rainbow...I know, because I asked everyone.
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Old 09-08-05, 08:24 AM   #13
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I dont think I slow down at all but I sure do feel a lot less stress. Knowing that I'm saving money, getting excersize and seeing some hot chics running makes me less stressed about life.
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Old 09-08-05, 09:29 AM   #14
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I'm still stuck in "speed racer" mode, where I occaisionally get shouts from pedestrians to "be careful", "d**n dude, you trying to kill yourself", or similar statements.

Someday I may become slower, but right now I have a hard time accepting a slower pace.
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Old 09-08-05, 09:30 AM   #15
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I go by feel. If i feel good, i push. If i feel like crap, i take it easy. I dont like to go too slow and lazy because it reduces my sense of awareness of the traffic around me. I dont ride on trails, my route is all roads and it gets really insanse around Jessup/Columbia dodging 18 wheelers getting on and off 1-95.
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Old 09-08-05, 09:38 AM   #16
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Meh. I've never in my life driven to work so I can't compare. However, as my commute is now 100% Manhattan and I don't like risks, I don't care about exactly how fast I got to work. When I commuted out of the city, and if / when I do again I expect to be a "timer" again. That being said, even when I'm "trying to beat my time" I take some days easier than others. Going all out every day isn't going to work for me.
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Old 09-08-05, 11:36 AM   #17
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I don't know, I haven't had a car for six years. It all just feels totally normal to me. But I rarely feel rushed or stressed.
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Old 09-08-05, 11:40 AM   #18
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When I drive to my NJ office from Manhattan (40 miles on highways, 60 miles by local routes), I just want to get there and get home asap. When I ride to my Manhattan office, I just go w/ the flow and not worry about beating times. No roses to smell though. My life hasn't slowed down, I just appreciate what I see on my rides more. And I have more time than when I had to drive to NJ everyday.
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Old 09-08-05, 11:59 AM   #19
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There are more at stake in a commute. I actually avoid riding through certain streets just to get away from the stupid traffic jam. Like the Chamber street to West Side bike path. Since I use my commute as a slow training ride, I have my power meter with me. Who actually rides to work with a powertap wheel??? I just make sure I don't go over certain power output but I still can go 18 mph pace. I can probably commute 4 days straight if my week does not include any racing. Otherwise, 3 days straight is the most I could do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gew0419
It occured to me that since I started riding to work I seem to have slowed down. I know there are people who try to "beat their time" to work and at first I was the that way, too. Faster is the key, but I think about how I was when I was driving and how I am now. For example:
I always tried to find shorter, faster routs to work, too. "If I go this way I will have one less light and two less stop signs."
When work is over I used to rush out to my car so I could be one of the first ones out of the parking lot so I wouldn't have to wait in line to get across the intersection.
Now, When I get up in the morning I start out slow I go a longer route to avoid a hill. I don't worry about stops, just "how can I avoid traffic?"
After work I sit in the shade and wait for the traffic from the three plants letting out at the same time to let up so I can get home without fighting cars. I go an even longer route so I can get some riding time in and I don't worry about when I get home.
Does any one relate to this...or is it just me?
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Old 09-08-05, 01:32 PM   #20
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For those who enjoy slow commuting some great essays:

http://www.living-room.org/bikepeople/
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Old 09-08-05, 02:35 PM   #21
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I have a fairly packed schedule, and I like to get where I'm going pretty quickly. My longest ride is about an hour, but even 10 minutes longer seems like a lot, when its 9:30 at night, and I need to be up at 4:30. So, I try to maintain a steady, heart-rate raising pace. This doesn't feel like a stressor, and biking this way actually helps me feel energized, but maybe that's because too much background stress makes this stressor seem normal.
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Old 09-08-05, 03:07 PM   #22
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I'm one of the hammer hammer hammer guys. The only way I seem to slow down is to ride with a slower rider. However I have noticed that cycling every day has made me slow down my driving. I don't watch my speedometer near as much and I'm usually going the speed limit instead of 10 over.
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Old 09-08-05, 03:16 PM   #23
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I ride as fast as I feel like when I'm riding and I rarely feel like going less than all out. But it is far from a stress, it is instead a very relaxing, peaceful feeling. It lasts after getting to my destination.

While riding as fast as I can I don't let any potential 'obsticals' bother me. I stop for pedestrians preparing to cross. I stop at stop signs when the is no other car around. I signal to let motorist merge in front of me if two lanes are merging to one. It is part of the relaxing intensity for me, to be hyper aware and courteous of those around me - flowing and communicating with all modes of traffic.

I 'race' home in the summer to, to minimize the exposure to the heat. I find 24min in 115F at high intensity to be more tollerable than 35min at a slow pace with lots of stop signs (the alternate route). It fits in with the feeling I have that when I drop my intensity, it makes things feel harder as I get more distracted by things like the heat.

Al
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Old 09-08-05, 03:36 PM   #24
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Definitely relate.

I tend to ride a bit slower in the mornings, but if I'm feeling good and awake I'll hit it harder. No computer on my commuter, as I really don't care how fast or how long. I do find that getting there quickly isn't as important as it once was, no matter what the vehicle (though it's been quite a few years so my memory of 'was' is fading...).

If riding a bike to work takes more time, you just learn how to structure your life better. The important things stay just as important as ever (eg family, friends, health), while the less important things fade out (eg TV, stress). I relax so much riding a bike that the hours I have available at home are far more enjoyable and productive.

Main difference, me compared to you, is that these days I often take the longer route so that I can find more hills, not avoid them !
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Old 09-08-05, 03:48 PM   #25
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The commute by bike is less stressful, less 'gotta go, gonna be late' than any other commute I've had... bus or car. Riding the bike is also faster because I don't have to find a place to park.

I want to get on my bike, so for me it's about getting the stuff done that I need to get done at home before I head to work. I try to ride as fast as I can go in the mornings and get my miles in then. I'll go out of my way to do hills.

Generally on the way home I tend to take it a little easier... though there is a stretch of road along the lake with a hill at the end that is just too much fun to do slowly.
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