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  1. #1
    Senior Member DeafLamb's Avatar
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    Research Paper Help I Need YOU!!!

    I am taking a research writing course this semester and I am writing a paper on bicycle commuting. My instructor says I need expert voices in my paper, so I figured you guys where the experts. I mean where else am I going to find experts on bicycle commuting

    Basically I'm just going to write down a few questions, answer whatever you like. Here is the catch though. In order to use it in my paper I need your real name, and where you live. Not your address or anything I, just need to be able to quote you accurately in my paper.

    For example if I was going to use something I would say I would write it like this:

    Ray Tiley from Ocean Township, New Jersey says "Just the financial benefit of not having to pay for car insurance makes bicycle commuting way more practical for me than owning a car."

    Thats why I need your name and location. Thanks for helping.

    Here are some questions, feel free to mention anything else also.


    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    5. How are you treated my motorists?

    Basically the point of my paper, or thesis if you will is that bicycle commuting is practical for a large majority of motorists and that by adopting a more cycle focused transportation system many societal concerns such as pollution, health, and financial struggle can be helped.

    Thanks again.
    Blue Skies and Happy Trails.

  2. #2
    Car(e) Free! koine2002's Avatar
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    Well, I don't commute yet since I live next to work, but as one who worked through 2 degrees (B.A. and M.A.) I can tell you a bit about writing. We'll be giving you great testimonials as to our experiences and why we feel it is better--excellent evidence to your research. You'll need some authoritative statistics (regarding savings, pollution, road rage, etc.) from a good source as well as some work by experts in the field of urban transportation to back up your claims to lay the foundation so that the evidence will make sense. In day to day writing, our testimonial would suffice (as it unfortunately would in politics), but in the academic and intellectual environment, you'll need some additional sources. Anyway, I like the topic and keep plugging along--you'll do great. I hope you get many, many responses. I'd answer, but as I said, I don't commute--yet--since I live next to work. I'll be making a thread here explaining the yet in a moment.
    "There is hardly a man or woman who dares to be just what he or she is without doctoring up the impression." --A.W. Tozer

  3. #3
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Me: Tom Theisen of Madison, WI

    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    There is not a single answer, but there are many reasons that would independently be sufficient. They include:
    • Health - Riding a bike every day keeps me in great health.
    • Fun - My commute is frequently the funnest part of my day.
    • Economics - Bicycle commuting allows me to avoid the expense of owning a car.


    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    At least 21 miles per week day, in other words 105 miles. Sometimes it is more when I decide to take the long way.

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    It has improved my health and given me more energy during the day. It lets me sleep better at night.

    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    Same thing I do in any other weather. Except tornadoes. In the event of tornadoes, I stay home.

    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    It varies widely. Some are actively hostile and some are actively friendly, but most are tolerant, which suits me fine. The hostile ones account for less than 1%.
    Bring the pain.

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I've been commuting by bicycle since age 7, when I started riding to school. When I left home at 21, I still hadn't bought a car, so I continued. I'm now 52 and plan to commute by bike as long as possible.

    My reasons keep changing. When I was a child, the bicycle was freedom, the power to effectively go where I wanted. I went much farther than the limits my parents set. But that forced me to be very safety minded so that they would not find out.

    As a young adult, I simply loved bicycling. I had other things to spend my money on while living with my parents. After moving out, the bicycle's cheap transportation was essential in my early financial survival. Spending money on cars has always been problematic. The only real reason to buy one was that women expect you to have them. When I am driving and see cyclists, I want to be on a bike. The older I become, I realize that no one is going to become more environmental because I am on my bike. So the reasons of money and now I'm realizing that I am slimmer than my motoring contemporaries. And now that I am older, women look at cycling as a positive, not a negative. They all have cars already, and they figure that a fellow who can spend a half hour exercising daily, still has a little stamina in the bedroom. I'm going through divorce, so the economic boost of bicycling is very appreciated right now. While I was living with my wife, I noticed that the minimal costs of the bicycle was the difference between us remaining financially afloat and increasing debt.

    My commuting bikes tend to be older bikes. My favorite commuter was a 10 speed made in 1973. Having moved to Arkansas, I adapted a 15 year old 21 speed mountain bike for street use. I traded a load of scrap wood for the the older bike, and the newer one was a gift.

    I currently commute 25 miles a week. This has varied depending on how far away work is. It's been as high as 170 miles a week. 70-90 miles is probably about average. But this route, though short is by far the hilliest route I've ever had. I've had cars, but much more than half my career has been made possible by bicycle commuting.

    In bad weather I ride. Most of my riding has been in California, so the rain was warm. There is no feeling like sitting at home, drying off and warming up after a rainy ride. In warm rain, I just carry a change of clothes with me in a plastic bag. Now I am in Arkansas. I don't mind the cold. I haven't ridden on ice yet and the only riding in snow I have done was one time in Bristol England on a European bicycle tour. Sand storms are very unpleasant as well.

    Lots of motorists, each one treats me differently. Mostly benign neglect. But I have been jeered, had objects including food and cans thrown at me. My bike has been run over accidently once, and a gang used their '64 Impala to force me to the curb and rob me of my bike. Other's have offered rides, and friends have given me and my bike rides in their cars.

    I haven't converted many people to bicycling. An alcoholic, a junkie, and my father who rode about 100 miles a week when bycycle commuting to his job as an satellite engineer.

    I think that the main concerns when trying to adopt a cycle centric transportation are poor land use, bad road construction.

    You know Sandberg's poem about the road not taken.... It was a bicycle route....

    Gordon Fisher - Little Rock, Arkansas

  5. #5
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    Because I love to ride.

    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    90-240 miles a week, depending upon the time of year and my work schedule. My total commute is 90 miles round trip.

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    Can't say, it's been part of my life for over 30 years.

    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    Slow down and wear the appropriate outerwear. If the weather is really bad, I'll drive or just stay home.

    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    Mostly courteously, with the occassional moron.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeafLamb
    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    David Mills, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    1. I commute by bicycle because I really enjoy cycling, and I enjoy the challenge [such as it is] of getting places under my own power. One of the criteria for choosing our current house was the fact it is a reasonable cycling distance to work. Also, parking downtown is $20/day, and I don't really enjoy taking the bus.
    2. I ride 50 km/week. No, it's not much, but it's so much better than driving or riding public transit.
    3. It has brought my wife and I closer together. We often will ride into work together, kiss goodbye while waiting for a light and then ride off in different directions. Also, I am in pretty good shape. The commute burns off just enough calories that i can get away with eating some questionable food without putting on the pounds. For example, I forced myself to ride all through the holiday season, and instead of gaining 10 lbs. like usual, I only gained 2 - and that's gone already.
    4. Put on more clothes. I have a bike I ride when there's snow on the ground - it's a single-speed mtn bike with spiked tires. It's slow, but I can ride in virtually any conditions. When the ice is off the road, I ride my other commuting bike with skinny tires.
    5. Motorists are pretty good [for the most part]. If you ride in a predictable fashion, they're more likely to respect your place on the road. I also concentrate on what's going on around me when riding. You have to be aware of where the cars are and try and make eye contact whenever possible. Signalling turns helps a lot, as does accelerating with traffic. I always cringe when I see a biker filter up to the front of the line of traffic and then hold the entire line up because they can't go more than 20 km/h.

    Calgary [pop. ~1 million] is one of the most active cities in Canada. When you ask a person what they do, there's an even chance they'll describe the sport they're in instead of what they do for a paycheque. I think that helps to give cycle commuters a place here. Our co-workers think we're a little nuts, but there's a grudging admiration behind the awe.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  7. #7
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    Because I love to ride.

    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    80-170 miles a week, depending upon the time of year and my work schedule. I've had total weekly commutes between 30-100 miles (different jobs).

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    Good physical condition I suppose.

    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    Slow down and wear the appropriate outerwear. If the weather is really bad, I'll use another method of getting to work.

    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    Mostly courteously, with the occassional moron.

    (thanks chipcom, hope you don't mind that I "borrowed" some of your responses)
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  8. #8
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Don of Olympia, WA

    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    Mainly for my mental & physical health. I'm 65 years old and have always cycled for recreation. I commuted daily during 3 stages of my life: from 1960-65 in the beach area of Los Angeles to LAX, from 1980-84 in Portland, OR & from 2001-Present in Olympia, WA.

    2. How many miles a week do you commute? In Olympia, I ride 9 miles round trip & with an hour for lunch, can do 2 circuits daily if I wish. Last year I logged a bit over 3100 miles, so 62 miles weekly for 50 weeks.

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life? I wear a helmet now, I'm more alert mentally, feel healthier & generally appreciate life more.

    4. What do you do in bad weather? I ride. We seldom have really bad weather, if its raining I wear rain gear but don't need the pants unless its really wet out. When it's colder, wool sweaters of varying bulk work down to about 26F, below that I wear a jacket. I drive if it snows or gets icy(my wife would scold me if I fell again)

    5. How are you treated by motorists?
    I ride a mix of country roads & city streets, most drivers give me lots of room but I occaisionally have close calls when drivers aren't paying attention or get distracted by kids, cell phones & food. I rarely encounter hostile drivers, it was much worse in the 80s. In the 60s I never experienced any hostility(altho some did communicate they thought I was crazy to ride in traffic).
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeafLamb
    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    Ok. I'll bite.

    Seth Howard - Seattle, WA

    1. It's fun, it's cheap, it's fast, it's good exercise, and it's not too bad for the environment either.
    2. I ride 70 miles/week minimum to work, not counting errands and other riding for transportation.
    3. I don't own a car anymore. I have a built in workout to my daily routine. I own more silly clothing.
    4. The climate here is pretty mild. I have a dedicated "rain bike" with fatter tires and fenders and some foul weather clothing, but basically I ride, I get wet, and it's fine.
    5. Seattle is pretty commuter-friendly. The few negative experiences with drivers I've had seemed to be with individuals who took issue with a cyclist riding on "their" road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cgchambers's Avatar
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    I want to know what you end up with!

    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?

    I enjoy it. Honestly, mostly health reasons. I work at a desk for 10-12 hours a day, and need stress relief, exercise, and time to think. My bike commute gives me all of these. If I don't commute I just don't feel the same during the day.


    2. How many miles a week do you commute?

    I commute 50-60 miles a week, depending on weather and route. Another 50 on the weekends.
    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?

    Healthier, happier, more relaxed. People are not scared of me in the mornings anymore! Has made me a more organized person, have to to be able to remember everything I need.
    4. What do you do in bad weather?

    I ride. I have snow tires, poncho's, cold weather gear. If I don't ride I don't feel right. Built an old beater specifically for use in salt.
    5. How are you treated my motorists?

    Fairly well. I have had a few close calls with angry cagers, but I have made my share of dumb moves as well. All in all I cannot complain.

    Hope this helps, good luck!

  11. #11
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    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?

    I enjoy it. Also, I live in a congested area with limited parking, so riding is more convenient than driving. My savings (mostly in parking fees) are over $2,000 per year. During the winter, I avoid expensive salt damage to my car. Finally, I can't get motivated to exercise unless there is some practical goal to the ride, like commuting or shopping. If I didn't commute, I would rarely ride.

    2. How many miles a week do you commute?

    I commute 50-60 miles a week

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?

    I've lost about 20 pounds, and am a healthier and happier person. I look forward to rush hour. When it snows at work, I have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that I will get home just about as quickly as I would with clear roads. There is also a pleasure from experiencing the yearly change of seasons. Spending an hour outdoors every day keeps me in tune with the seasons. Right now, for example, it is remarkable how much lighter the sky is on each successive trip home.

    4. What do you do in bad weather?

    I ride. There are huge traffic backups here when it snows or even rains. In fact, bad weather is a good reason to ride instead of drive. I've got studded tires, so that my bike is vastly better on snow and ice than my car.

    5. How are you treated my motorists?

    Very well. Motorists here are angry and impatient with one another, but rarely get upset at cyclists. I've had just a handfull of bad experiences in eight years.

    Hope this helps, good luck!

    Paul

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeafLamb
    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    My car is 16 years old. I believe using it for short trips every day would finish it off, so I only use it when I need a car - shopping and long trips. The bike is more comfortable, anyway. I can stretch out, move around, stand up. Try that in a Honda Civic! The moderate exertion limbers me up and gives me an energy boost. I like fresh air, morning breezes, sunsets, birds, old people walking their dogs. I like noticing the subtle changes in the weather, sunlight, the texture of the ground, traffic patterns, and myriad other inputs that the windshield is designed to repel. Riding a bike does not force me to deal with these things, it invites me. I hear that riding a bike is good for the environment. That's secondary motivation.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafLamb
    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    About 30 miles. Eight mile round trip four days a week.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafLamb
    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    I have to plan my days and weeks more carefully. That's a good thing. I'm used to going slower and taking more time to get ready, get going, and get there, but I still get everything done with less stress. The winner of the rat race won't be on a bicycle. Never cared for rats, anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafLamb
    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    Bundle up, hunker down.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafLamb
    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    This is a relatively small college town, so bikes are not unusual. I've never had a problem.

    Gordon Carrie. Norman, Oklahoma.

  13. #13
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Contact Transportation Alternatives and other cyclocommuter advocacy groups to speak to experts in the field. You may also want to contact your local city planning office to speak to them about what they're doing to make streets safer for cyclists. Looks like you're getting good comments about personal experiences, but acknowledged experts like TA will have compiled stats and information on initiatives to make the streets safer for all commuters.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  14. #14
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    Oh, you hate your job? There's a support group for that, it's called EVERYONE and they meet at the PUB!

  15. #15
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Jeff Adams from Manassas, VA

    1: Why?

    Better for the environment, better for me. I don't see any particular cost savings because my car was paid off anyway, what I would have spent on gas and oil I spend on neon clothing and bike stuff , and I can't get rid of all my cars because I've got a wife and kid (however that statement would be hotly debated in the "living car free" forum).

    2. How far/week?

    9 miles a day, I probably average 4 commutes a week (I get lazy, or have an appointment 20+ miles away or something). So around 36 miles a week.

    3. How has it impacted my life?

    I did allow me to get rid of one car, which means I have a parking space free for visitors (my neighborhood has assigned parking). I'm a whole lot healthier than I used to be, I get 40 minutes of aerobic exercise most days.

    4. What about bad weather?

    Ride anyway. I'm proud to say I've never skipped a bike commute because of the weather. That includes rain, snow, wind (although not tornados or hurricanes or anything truly suicidal), freezing rain (probably the worst weather I've ridden in), and 100+degree weather (probably the second worst weather).

    It's really just a state of mind. People are surprised when you ride in cold rain, but your skin is waterproof and most bike commuters change clothes when they get to work anyway (I do). So water isn't a big deal, and you just dress appropriately for the temperature (and wear wool or synthetic fabrics that are warm even when wet).

    5. Motorists?

    Most of them are tolerant. I should point out that I abide by most VC (vehicular cycling) rules. This means, I ride in the lane with traffic, I stop at traffic signals, I get in the appropriate lane (I.E. get in the left lane if I am going to turn left), etc. Some are over-polite, for example they let me go first at a stop sign even when they have right-of-way. This is usually more trouble than it's worth, it's easier for everyone to behave normally as far as right-of-way goes. And there are a few who honk or yell things, but I've never been physically threatened. Usually they honk or yell as they pass me in the left lane (in other words, they're still driving correctly, no one has tried to run me off the road or anything). That happens maybe once a week at the most... I see at least as many idiots when driving.
    Treasurer, HHCMF Club
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    But working at a job where I can't surf BikeForums all day any more...

  16. #16
    Shut Up and Ride MyPC8MyBrain's Avatar
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    Here's my 2 cents worth....
    Don McKay - Colorado Springs, CO

    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    Several Reasons...here are the biggest ones:
    • Commuting by bicycle is much more fun than driving. When I drive, other drivers tend to make me angry... When on the bike I could really care less because I'm having fun.
    • Being chained to a keyboard all day provides very little exercise. I get 2 workouts every day while on the bike.
    • When gas hit over $3.00 I decided to boycott…it was time for a change of thinking. I’ve gone from spending $120/month on gas to less than $50 now.
    • Chicks dig sexy biker legs

    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    Work and back is about 65 miles a week... assorted errands can push that toward 100 on bigger weeks.

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    • My girlfriend thinks that I’m a geek now, but I think she knew that already.
    • Cycling and commuting has brought about a greater awareness of what I eat to fuel the engine. If I eat McDonald’s the night before, my legs will feel like lead the next morning. [I don’t eat McDonald’s anymore]
    • Now I get exercise every day…twice a day in fact
    • I now only drive when I have to. I think differently about driving a car. I’d rather not drive, but when I do I’ll plan ahead to avoid multiple trips.

    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    Blizzards and extreme winds will call for driving the Jeep. Snow, rain, and cold are no problem with the right gear. I have studded snow tires, and plenty of clothes to stay warm.

    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    You have to ride like everyone in a car is trying to kill you. Not that they are really trying to kill you, but they are on the cell phone and can’t see anything ahead of them while chatting. In general motorists cross ˝ into the next lane and provide plenty of clearance. The motorists that are problems are the ones that did not see you due to either inattentiveness, or due to the fact that they are only looking for car sized objects on the road. I’ve never had a negative comment from someone that wasn’t a complete idiot.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Itsjustb's Avatar
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    B J. Witkin, Durham, NC

    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?

    I love it. It adds to my exercise routine, keeps me in shape during my off-season, puts me in a better mood at work, is physically and mentally challenging, and saves gas. I've never been one to do what "everyone else is doing", and this is just one more way for me to be different.

    2. How many miles a week do you commute?

    ~50 miles/week

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?

    It has improved my mood generally (and my wife confirms this). It has altered my perspective on some issues such as gas consumption and driving habits (mine and others').

    It's made me more aware of the weather.

    I appreciate life a lot more after an accident in December.

    4. What do you do in bad weather?

    Since my accident on ice in December, the new rule is if it's wet and below 40 degrees, I take the car (Ollo_Ollo, I'm right there with you...my wife would scold me too if I fell again). Other than that, it's dress as appropriately as possible and get on the bike.

    5. How are you treated my motorists?

    Generally, tolerance. Maybe 1% actively do things that annoy/frustrate/endanger me, and most of those are minor (like pulling way to the right at a light so I can't pull alongside or pass them to make a right turn).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeafLamb
    I am taking a research writing course this semester and I am writing a paper on bicycle commuting. My instructor says I need expert voices in my paper, so I figured you guys where the experts. I mean where else am I going to find experts on bicycle commuting

    Basically I'm just going to write down a few questions, answer whatever you like. Here is the catch though. In order to use it in my paper I need your real name, and where you live. Not your address or anything I, just need to be able to quote you accurately in my paper.

    For example if I was going to use something I would say I would write it like this:

    Ray Tiley from Ocean Township, New Jersey says "Just the financial benefit of not having to pay for car insurance makes bicycle commuting way more practical for me than owning a car."

    Thats why I need your name and location. Thanks for helping.

    Here are some questions, feel free to mention anything else also.
    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    - It's my primary form of exercise.
    - It's more fun than driving.
    - It's cheaper than driving.
    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    70-120, depending on the routes I take and the errands I run. Another 50 recreationally on the weekends.
    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    - Lost weight (30#) and waist sizes (from 42 to 34). Much better health.
    - More energy at work
    - More in touch with nature, neighborhood by not being in a steel box
    - Less expense
    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    Ride! I like playing in puddles. I change clothes when I get to work anyway. I live in SoCal, so the weather is never that bad anyway. But sometimes I envy those in colder climes - I like a challenge.
    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    Not badly, with the occasional idiot. Big improvement when I started to follow VC guidelines for lane positioning and traffic negotiation.

    Basically the point of my paper, or thesis if you will is that bicycle commuting is practical for a large majority of motorists and that by adopting a more cycle focused transportation system many societal concerns such as pollution, health, and financial struggle can be helped.

    Thanks again.

  19. #19
    Dog is my copilot. GGDub's Avatar
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    Geoff Webb of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    1.) A number of factors which have come together. A few of these are: A) I hate just doing something because society says its the norm (i.e. driving). I like to explore other options and decide for myself. B) Parking and fuel are wastes of money. There are no benefits to spending money on either. C) If I don't do any other exercise during the week, I still get 1+ hours/day of good cardiovascular exercise commuting (which I don't have to plan around). D) The bus route on my way to work is full of self-conscious and loud teenagers. E) I just love riding my bike(s).

    2.) 100km and change per week (62 miles).

    3.) Like Pinkrobe, we bought a house that was specifically an easy commute from downtown Calgary. We paid more than someone who owns farther out, but they lose all that savings with the above-mentioned parking and gas. Our money goes into equity (ok right now its mostly interest, but I digress). I eat what I want and I sleep really well at night 8 to 8.5 hours straight most of the time.

    4) Bad weather? Just giv'r!

    5) Generally pretty good, I ride really predictable. I always try to be courteous until someone gives me a reason not be. For example, when I filter I make sure I don't hold traffic up behind me by accelerating quickly and staying over as far as I safely can when I can't ride traffics pace.
    Rubber Side Down

  20. #20
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    1) Economic reasons (parking in downtown DC is $15/day, wear and tear on a car driving on DC streets is expensive as well), environmental reasons, and health and happiness (exercise I wouldnt otherwise have time to squeeze in my day, and I replace the stress and aggravation of rush-hour commuting with a nice ride)
    2) 15 mi. RT commute
    3) I'm healthier, and I find myself riding or walking on a lot more errands now than before I started commuting.
    4) rain's not that big of a deal, but I don't ride in snow or if conditions are really icy. below 30 degrees, I often wimp out as well - those days I take the bus or metro to work.
    5) 4 years of commuting and never had a bad experience with a motorist.

  21. #21
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    1) Health followed by economic reasons. I have lost quite a bit of weight and feel much better. With my wife's medical problems, raising a toddler, and remodeling a house I could not justify replacing my destroyed car. Now I do not need to.
    2) Min: 12 miles RT. Max: 60+ RT Average: 30+
    3) Health is much better. I have found many more interesting places to visit. My stress level is generally reduced.
    4) I dress appropriately. If it is excessively bad I take the bus.
    5) Generally good with a few idiots from time to time.

  22. #22
    Urban Biker jimmuter's Avatar
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    I'll PM you with my name. I like the relative anonymity of the forums.

    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    I started commuting over eight years ago when we only had one car and my wife needed it most days. It was purely financial at first, but I began to like the exercise, and being able to say hello to neighbors as I slowly rode by. It may seem ridiculous, but it made me feel more connected to the community.

    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    Now, generally between 12 and 16 miles. I have a short 3+ mile round trip and usually do 4 or 5 days a week. When I had a 9 mile round trip, I rode much less (maybe 1 or 2 times/week). I ride at lunch and on weekends in spring/summer/fall and usually average a total of just over 100 miles/week.

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    I'm obsessed so I spend a lot of time on the computer researching bike related stuff. My legs look really good. My kids think I'm cool (they're young). I get a lot more exercise than I used to. It has also given me confidence that I can achieve things like riding 100k's and the like. I also feel more counter-culture than I did before which is fun. I can also adapt better to extreme weather now. I don't get too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. My body seems to regulate better now.

    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    We have 2 cars now. If it's cold, I'll ride the bike. If it's raining, I'll ride the bike. If it's cold AND raining or snowing, I drive. It's such a short commute that it really doesn't matter what I do. I tend to like all weather generally. It's just that I think some weather is better suited to biking than other.

    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    Generally fine. For every 30 cars that gracefully pass me leaving plenty of room, there is one that either cuts me off, passes too close or otherwise shows impatience. I've had one real close call, but never an accident with a vehicle. Half of my ride is on a path anyway, and the other half is straight through downtown where traffic isn't moving all that fast anyway. I do obey all traffic rules.

  23. #23
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    -- saves time by combining exercise time and commuting time. It only adds 5 minutes to commute and I'm not really in shape yet.
    -- saves money. Car fill ups are once a month now instead of once a week
    -- I hate exercising as it's such a waste of time, but biking is fun and not exercise
    -- safe bike lockers at work and showers make it easy

    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    -- it's a short 5 mile commute, about 3 to 4 times a week so 30-40 miles

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    -- removed flabby legs
    -- added more energy to rest of life


    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    If it's "bad weather", then I drive. Bad weather for me is: 1. lightning forecasts, 2. snow falling or on roads, 3. rain in morning, or winds over 50 mph. Low temps are more dressing right than a hinderance. Rain in the pm is a nice refreshment.


    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    Some jerks, most try to be flexible. Inattentive drivers are much bigger risk than jerks.

    Most drivers objections to cyclo-commuting themselves are:
    1. it takes too much extra time
    2. I can't bus kids
    3. I have to carry heavy loads
    4. I'm worried about safety when park bike
    5. I'm worried about safety on the roads
    6. I'll look funny
    7. it's too hard work
    8. I'm embarrassed to let world see how horrible of shape I am in

    Evaluation:
    #1 invalid if distance between home and work is less than 10 miles. You save time by riding into work 3x a week versus driving to work and going to workout gym 3x a week.

    #2 valid, kind of. Why can't they bike? How that for a novel suggestion?

    #3 valid. Can schedule some riding days and driving days though. I never ride on Wednesdays for example because of distant meetings so I arrange doctor/dentist/shopping tasks on that day.

    #4 valid, for most people. We have bike lockers so not a concern.

    #5 partially valid. You can't just take a stock bike and ride it safely. You need to add safety lighting and safely clothes to your wardrobe, and learn how to ride with traffic.

    #6 invalid. You can find and wear bike clothing that does not make you look like a jester.

    #7 partially valid. It's a sport and so the first months are getting in shape and then it is fun. Skiing is too hard if out of shape and don't know skills to gliding, but once they are gained, it is fun.

    #8 valid. Kennedy's shape up America plan is so far away from now, that it is an issue for people. I think this is the real reason behind the interest in MUP bike riding. I can ride there with fewer people seeing me as I am getting in shape.

    I think #1, #6 and #8 are the real reason's there are fewer people cyclocommuting. Rememer also you can PM anyone if you need more information. Good luck on your paper.

    Now this will cost you

    1. a copy of your paper
    2. sharing of your grade

    Hi 'o Silver away

  24. #24
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    5. How are you treated my motorists?

    Excellent responses and interesting to read. I'll bite since I have a little different spin.
    1. Excersize. Without doing this I really turn into a vegetable. I have a desk job. I quit most sports because my kids are growning and I instead go watch them play or coach them. I just don't use a fitness center like I should--I'm pretty busy.

    Riding to work is different. Sure, it takes me twice as long, a half hour instead of a 15 min. drive. That's an extra 30 min. total for a day. Yet, I get that with no drive time to the gym. All total, I get a full hour of good quality (fresh air type) cardiovascular excersize. Also, I have a purpose to my excersize, so I feel good about it. I never quit halfway through.

    Plus, I love outdoors. You just get a different experience riding a bike than driving a car. It is more serene, peaceful, and more senses are used. I really feel alive.

    2. 13 miles R/T per day. I typically ride in 4 days a week.

    3. Commuting has helped me lose weight (15 pounds) and keep it off, get in shape and stay in shape, gain strength, reduce stress, and enjoy life. I now feel pretty good when I look in the mirror.

    4. I ride home in bad weather, since I can change when I get there and it doesn't matter what I look like. However, I rarely start out on a trip when it is raining or snowing.

    By the way, I consider bad weather precipitation. Cold and windy doesn't stop me--neither does snow if the roads are clear. Wet roads are ok, too--I have fenders. Just rain and snow stop me.

    5. Sometimes I'm treated very rudely with loud close honks, curses, and drivers coming real close to scare me. Once a driver going the other way crossed the yellow line and came at me. He veered away at the last moment. More often than not, these are young male drivers who feel pretty macho behind their 3500 pound vehicle.

    Usually, however, people just drive by and life goes on.

    You need to know that many of us have special equipment on our bikes that help us. Lights, fenders, bike racks, pump, tools, bells, locks, helmets, patch kits, panniers, trunk bags, waterproof clothing, microfiber tee shirts, and other gear. Most of us are well prepared to handle difficult situations we face on the road.

    Dave Plachta, Cleveland OH.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  25. #25
    Seńior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I'll PM my ID to you.

    1. Why do you commute by bicycle?
    - #1 - Every day I ride is 20 pounds less CO2 in the atmosphere
    - #2 - Getting/staying in shape

    2. How many miles a week do you commute?
    - 105 miles/week

    3. What are some ways bicycle commuting has impacted your life?
    - I'm in much better shape, and am much happier - it's a wonderful stress relief.

    4. What do you do in bad weather?
    - Continue to ride. With proper clothing, bad weather is not a deterrent. I do not feel at all uncomfortable even in a 35*F rain.

    5. How are you treated my motorists?
    - The vast majority of motorists here in SE Michigan are great. Perhaps 1 in 2000 cars honks at me, and some of those later turn out to be people I know saying hello. I get about 1 car a year that actually is trying to mess with me, and to date I have not had any aggressive actions towards me, just honking. I don't think I've ever had anyone pass me so close that I was uncomfortable with it, but I do demand my rights on the road.

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