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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 03-28-01, 11:30 PM   #1
Biking ZED
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Im looking to relocate where i can commute by bike more easily, im in the tennessee hills now and 30 miles roundtrip would be a little bit much on asteady basis, do y'all know any really commuter friendly cities, on the east half of U.S.? Thanks for any suggestions
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Old 03-29-01, 11:59 AM   #2
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Biking ZED,

I live in Stone Mountain, Georgia, about 14 miles outside of Atlanta. I don't have a problem cycling the whole 28 to 30 mile round trip, as far as finding a pleasant route goes. I find it very enjoyable.

Check out these websites for more information:

www.atlantabike.org (Atlanta Bicycle Campaign)
www.bikesbl.org (Southern Bicycle League)
www.chainguard.org (Chainguard advocacy)

Atlanta may have good employment opportunities if you're interested.

Last edited by LittleBigMan; 04-02-01 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 03-29-01, 12:32 PM   #3
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I have noticed that college town or citites are pretty commuter friendly. Richmond Va., Charlottesville Va., Roanoke Va., Raleigh N.C., Durham N.C., Beach towns are pretty cool. Va. Beach, Rehobeth beach, Myrtle Beach S.C., Nags Head N.C. , Kitty Hawk N.C. , Norfolk Va. , Hampton VA., I am not to familiar with Ga. DO NOT GO TO D.C.!!!!!
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Old 04-01-01, 09:15 PM   #4
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I second the opinion regarding college towns, which can be great places to live, anyway. I realize you were asking about cities in the Eastern time zone, but Eugene and Corvallis OR and Davis CA all meet the bicycle friendly college town paradigm. Despite the great weather, San Diego County is a mixed bag for bicycle commuting, although it is better than Los Angeles, where I grew up.
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Old 04-01-01, 10:16 PM   #5
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LA is definitely not a good commuting city. If you can find a job that's close by to where you live, you're lucky. My town does have some good bike lanes, but not enough. If you work in Downtown, and live in the suburbs, then you could take a commuter train into downtown--provided of course, you live nearby the train station. There's just too many damn cars out here!
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Old 04-10-01, 10:02 AM   #6
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Hunter writes, DO NOT GO TO DC!!! Hmmm, well have to take issue with that. We've got a trail system which is extensively used by cycling commuters. I ride about 12 miles to the Pentagon and spend only about a quarter of my ride on roads. Very pleasant, I ride alongside the Potomac and often at a faster clip than the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Now, DC is a major metropolitan area, so riding into the into the thick of the city meanings duking it out with commuting cars, if you choose that option. Most people lock up their bikes at the Metro station and train the last leg of the trip. Bikes are allowed on the Metro trains on weekends and off-peak hours, though that doesn't help commuters. My biggest problem with commuting on trails is that in the afternoon I have to content with more bikers and runners and, worst or all, people who are trying out their roller blades for the first time! Scary.
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Old 04-10-01, 12:30 PM   #7
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Where is the best place for you to work? If you find a job then you can pick where you live.
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Old 01-25-08, 12:40 AM   #8
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Wow! nobody has posted to this thread for a long time! Lacey/Olympia, Washington get my vote for great commutes! Awesome MUP's and bike lanes on many major roads.

I wonder if the original posters in this thread are still commuting bi bike??... Maybe they have retired by now.
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Old 01-25-08, 12:53 AM   #9
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Chicago is flat and wide open...plenty of bike lanes
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Old 01-25-08, 01:46 AM   #10
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Davis is the only town in the US to get the highest rating from the League of American Bicyclists. We have so much bicycle parking here that there is never a situation in which you can't find a secure place to lock your bike. We are quite spoiled.

Back home in San Jose, I got pretty good at locking my bike around trees and staircase rails and so on. Davis is much nicer for biking.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:59 PM   #11
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Can you beat my commute in DC? I ride on the Capitol Cresent Trail (Rails to Trails project) which snakes along a ridge overlooking the potomac river. It spits me out in Georgetown where I follow the potomac river, past the Kennedy Center, past the Lincoln Memorial, past the Jefferson memorial, past the Washington Memorial, then along Independence Ave where I ride past Smithothian Castle, past the Air and Space Museum, past the Museum of the American Indian, then head north on 3rd Street which takes me past the Capitol Building and the US District Court, and then into downtown D.C. 14.5 miles door to door. I love it.
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Old 01-25-08, 07:19 PM   #12
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I would say the Washington DC area is as good as any for bicycle commuting. My daily commute takes me from the edge of Northern Virginia, straight through DC, and out the other side into Maryland. Traffic moves slowly enough that I am generally riding just under traffic speed.

As far as bike paths, I know of them & ride them when I must (as when I am riding with my children), but generally avoid them, even when a path parallels my route. I find the paths marginally more dangerous and less relaxing than riding on the road with normal vehicular traffic, and there are generally very low speed limits set on paths.
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Old 01-25-08, 07:37 PM   #13
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LIve in Newport, Ky. or Ft. Thomas, Ky., and work in downtown Cincinnati, Oh. Great riding, close access to nice countryside riding, nice people, low taxes, cheap cost of living. Lots of hills! To build up your legs.
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Old 01-26-08, 07:45 AM   #14
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I've seen numerous videos and articles about Portland, OR. From what I've seen and read, it seems they have a huge commitment to the bicycle there. That makes me happy as I'm moving there in a month.
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Old 01-26-08, 12:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertlinthicum View Post
I would say the Washington DC area is as good as any for bicycle commuting. My daily commute takes me from the edge of Northern Virginia, straight through DC, and out the other side into Maryland.
Man, I would dread driving that kind of route, whether trying to go through the District or taking the long way around on the beltway. It probably makes a lot more sense to bike it.

I don't really have much of a commute at all since I live & work in the Capitol Hill area. However, it's remarkably easy to get to, say, Rosslyn or Crystal City by bike; if I had a folder, the Metro would be even more practical than it is already.
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Old 01-26-08, 12:12 PM   #16
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Houston is. NOT!!!
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Old 01-26-08, 12:14 PM   #17
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Houston is. NOT!!!
You forgot the "pause", as in "Houston is. ... .. .. Pause... ... . ...... NOT!"

[/Borat]
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Old 01-26-08, 12:35 PM   #18
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You forgot the "pause", as in "Houston is. ... .. .. Pause... ... . ...... NOT!"

[/Borat]
Thanks.
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Old 01-26-08, 07:34 PM   #19
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I am partial to Denver. However, with the exception of Boulder the suburbs stink. I'm not even sure if you would call Boulder a suburb of Denver but whatever.
I think the suburbs are starting to come around a bit. At least I am starting to see more riders as of late.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:07 PM   #20
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I have noticed that college town or citites are pretty commuter friendly. Richmond Va., Charlottesville Va., Roanoke Va., Raleigh N.C., Durham N.C., Beach towns are pretty cool. Va. Beach, Rehobeth beach, Myrtle Beach S.C., Nags Head N.C. , Kitty Hawk N.C. , Norfolk Va. , Hampton VA., I am not to familiar with Ga. DO NOT GO TO D.C.!!!!!

I suppose it depends on what makes a good commute to to OP. My kneejerk reaction was to say hell no on Raleigh. After contemplating a little more I guess I can say that I would probably be on the bike a lot less if I lived in Wisconsin.

So... I would be interested to hear the OP and others state why they think a place would be a good commuting city.

Raleigh:
- has inconsistent roads. Wide lanes, narrow lanes, good paving, bad paving. I've never seen a bike lane (don't really want one), though I heard mention of one on here recently, and the trails that exist aren't suitable for commuting (with the rare exception). Nearby Cary has some [bike lanes] though.

- drivers don't like cyclists, although I expect that's the case in most places. At least in the REALLY popular cycling cities they're used to seeing them though, which has to help some

- weather... I guess this is the big thing I tend to forget. It hardly ever snows, and if it does, most everything shuts down anyway. It gets hot, but not blistering hot.

- city layout... this is the catch here. A fairly large percentage of the population of Raleigh, Cary and Durham leave town to go to work (in research triangle park), meaning they rely heavily on the highway system to get to their destination. The density is relatively low so you would want to keep your house and work relatively close together.

Most larger towns in NC are about the same. I might rate Durham/Charlotte/Greensboro slightly better for commuters. Most towns in the southeast aren't going to have decent mass-transit if that's a concern, so a bimodal commute would be difficult.

Dropping down to a medium size town, my NC vote would go to Asheville. The entire town, inside the "beltline" is accessible by bike, with hills that aren't that bad. I guess this is more of a car-free concern though than strictly a commuter one.

My feeling is that the majority of the southeast is going to be the same from a road perspective. I have been casually researching alternative places to live and with the possible exception of Asheville, all of my options are central or west coast.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:27 PM   #21
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I would not have said Raleigh, either, but then I don't mind my commute at all, so it really depends. If I worked down town, a bike commute would be more difficult as there are few bike-friendly roads that head directly down town, at least from my direction. If I worked with everyone else in the Triangle Research Park, I think commuting would be even harder. I've biked there before, but on the weekend. I bet some of those roads would be pretty unpleasant to bike on during rush hour.

But you're right, the weather definitely gives us an edge over a lot of places, and Raleigh does seem to have some interest in promoting cycling with the Greenways and the posted bike routes, but the circuitous route I have to follow to get downtown without worrying about being run over shows me that they've got some room for improvement.

I can't figure if Durham would be better or not. There's places in Durham I'd be nervous about biking through. Their Greenway does run right through down town, which is nice, but does anyone actually work down town? And are there any trails other than that one?
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Old 01-26-08, 10:17 PM   #22
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LA is definitely not a good commuting city. If you can find a job that's close by to where you live, you're lucky. My town does have some good bike lanes, but not enough. If you work in Downtown, and live in the suburbs, then you could take a commuter train into downtown--provided of course, you live nearby the train station. There's just too many damn cars out here!
LA's a bit better now in some spots but it's still dangerous in some areas, and in my opinion requires courage to cycle daily into downtown....hell, I'm afraid to drive in this city at times. People are really aggressive drivers here.



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I've seen numerous videos and articles about Portland, OR. From what I've seen and read, it seems they have a huge commitment to the bicycle there. That makes me happy as I'm moving there in a month.
You're going to love Portland. A close friend of mine (and her husband) have been commuting into and out of the city for the past 5 or 6 years. The air is fairly clean over there and it's a very cyclist friendly city. Here's a brochure and an article taken from a generic search from the official Portland site. Good luck with the relocation.
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Old 01-27-08, 12:58 AM   #23
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I know you're looking for the Eastern half of the U.S., but you should check out Olympia, WA where the "rush hour" only lasts about 30 minutes. Lots of bike lanes, generally short commutes for work with great road cycling in every direction and plenty of offroad mountain bike opportunity.
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Old 01-27-08, 01:49 AM   #24
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I'm sure this individual has long since moved but since they were from Wisconsin, I'll go ahead and mention Minneapolis, since they'd be used to the climate (more or less). Of the course the climate might be why they left Wisconsin in the first place ;-)

If you consider the Mississippi to be the division between the Eastern part of the country and the Western part, then Minneapolis is partially in the Eastern part so it qualifies.

Lots of bikeways, MUPs, and bike lanes. The terrain is relatively flat. Scenic routes along the Mississippi or through the lakes area/Minnehaha creek are available. The climate is, well..., good for cycling most of the year. It's not terribly wet. It can get hot and humid but most of the summer is great.

During the winter the bike lanes may not get cleaned up very quickly but the MUPs and the bikeways are plowed as good or better than any of the streets. The city recognizes that many people commute year round.

One problem is that you don't see a lot of bike racks. I don't think that stops anybody from commuting but I find it surprising. There's a bar not far from where I live that's extremely popular with cyclists and even they don't have a rack that I can see.
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Old 01-27-08, 02:04 AM   #25
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Richmond is great.
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