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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 06-16-06, 08:04 PM   #1
o-dog
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imagine an ideal bike commuting situation

what would it be like? what factors would create the absolutely perfect, ideal situation for bike commuting?

here's a list of things I came up with:

- the job is a desk job or otherwise sedentary occupation
- the office is 5-8 miles away from home, or less
- the route is all low-traffic sidestreets and/or paths all the way from home to office
- the route also doesn't go through any rough neighborhoods
- unusual hours that don't put you on the road during rush hour, such as 10-7
- bike lockers or a secure indoor bikepark are available, or you're allowed to bring your bike inside
- shower facilities and lockers are available
- liberal dress code, or no dress code. business casual and you don't have to "walk in suited up"

I know some of you can do without some, or most of these conditions. I know I do without some of them. but, my point in this thread is to be theoretical for a minute and talk about the most absolutely perfect, ideal, no-excuse-not-to bike commuting situation.

does anyone have anything else to add to the above list? how does your commute/situation compare?
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Old 06-16-06, 08:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o-dog
I know some of you can do without some, or most of these conditions.
As a matter of fact, some of us might object to some of those conditions!

Fast riders won't want to go through side streets and stop every 100 m for a stop sign. They also might want a bit more than 5-8 mi to ride (although it's easy to take detours, of course - but that doesn't work phychologically for all folks!)

Many people would dislike the odd hours because they want to spend as much time as possible with the family, for example. I personally would hate a 10-7 job: one doesn't really have any extra time in the morning (mornings are utter waste from my point of view anyway) and an hour or two of valuable evening time is eaten up!

Many people would absolutely hate a sedentary occupation.

And, hey, some people might even like the thrill and challenge of riding through heavy traffic and rough neighbourhoods. Seriously, there is at least one member of these forums who says he likes playing the traffic game!

So out of the conditions you mention, I think that only the relaxed dress code, secure bike storage and availability of showers will be universally hailed.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:47 PM   #3
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i went down the list and said check check check to it all. I have the perfect commute. I do prefer to rip the traffic at it's densest instead though....it keeps my (retired) messenger mojo in a happy place and the aquired mad crazy skills wired tight. The off hours are every other week, I get to go faster safely. 9-5 on the other shift. For some reason the street washers have taken to washing my lane only about 15 mins before i leave. It's wet for about 13 blocks. Totally bites when I head out of house with a head full of coffee. WOw I have the perfect commute.

The biking does help deter the computer professional pear shape ....thank god.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o-dog
what would it be like? what factors would create the absolutely perfect, ideal situation for bike commuting?

here's a list of things I came up with:

- the job is a desk job or otherwise sedentary occupation
- the office is 5-8 miles away from home, or less
- the route is all low-traffic sidestreets and/or paths all the way from home to office
- the route also doesn't go through any rough neighborhoods
- unusual hours that don't put you on the road during rush hour, such as 10-7
- bike lockers or a secure indoor bikepark are available, or you're allowed to bring your bike inside
- shower facilities and lockers are available
- liberal dress code, or no dress code. business casual and you don't have to "walk in suited up"

I know some of you can do without some, or most of these conditions. I know I do without some of them. but, my point in this thread is to be theoretical for a minute and talk about the most absolutely perfect, ideal, no-excuse-not-to bike commuting situation.

does anyone have anything else to add to the above list? how does your commute/situation compare?
This is exactly my situation.

I'm happy.

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Old 06-16-06, 09:26 PM   #5
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Hah... the ONLY thing on your list I don't have is the showers.

I have a great route to work... Only two stop signs, a few traffic lights, over half is on a MUP which is fairly lightly used (at least during the hours I commute!)

I work 8-5, but there's no rush hour on my route.

I bring my bike into the office and stash it in my server room (the one that the server isn't occupying yet, as we haven't finished the space off...

It's a roofing company... standard attire is jeans and a T.

8.5 miles each way

oh... I'm IT administrator. Doesn't get more 'desk' than that... once in a while I have to lug computers around...

So... to recap. Storage at work, check. Minimal dress code, check. High-speed, low-traffic route to work, check. distance, check.

And people wonder why I haven't quit my job, even though the pay is fairly low.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:27 PM   #6
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I have the ideal situation. I can even keep my bike next to my "desk" at work. My commute is 2.85 miles and I have a choice of sidestreets or main roads. I have a shower and liberal dress code.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:40 PM   #7
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I need to have something to whine about. The perfect situation needs to be....well imperfect to a certain degree. Maybe I'm not meant to be 100% happy but adversity is the spice of life for me. Just used to fighting for everything I want.
Anyhow, I'd say about 75% of the items I have.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:57 PM   #8
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I'm looking for a new place to live... I'm actually looking farther out, so I can ride more! Thornton seems nice! Maybe I'll have a commuting neighbor to ride with!
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Old 06-16-06, 10:08 PM   #9
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I wouldn't be interested in commuting on side streets. Gimme the arterials. I'm the priority traffic. You puny cringing side-street dwellers may wait until I have passed and then go about your business peacefully

Add "diligent plowing of the entire width of the roadway & shoulder / bike lane" since many of us commute on ice & snow.

Indoor bike parking is a keeper. Also, how about healthy dining options either in the workplace or within a block of it.
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Old 06-16-06, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Also, how about healthy dining options either in the workplace or within a block of it.
... Within a block?????? What kind of a cyclist ARE you? I regularly ride the 3 miles downtown to eat, then another three to get back!
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Old 06-16-06, 10:21 PM   #11
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- the job is a desk job or otherwise sedentary occupation
- the office is 5-8 miles away from home, or less
- the route is all low-traffic sidestreets and/or paths all the way from home to office
- the route also doesn't go through any rough neighborhoods
- unusual hours that don't put you on the road during rush hour, such as 10-7
- bike lockers or a secure indoor bikepark are available, or you're allowed to bring your bike inside
- shower facilities and lockers are available
- liberal dress code, or no dress code. business casual and you don't have to "walk in suited up"


Well I qualify for some of those, with a few exceptions.

- My job is 23 miles away.

- The route has some low traffic in the country, and some busy city riding.

- I do have one 3 mile stretch of fairly rough road

- I work odd hours, some swing and night shifts.

- I work in a secure building with no one else around. I keep my bike in my office next to my desk, so I can lube and clean it all night.

- I have my own bathrrom and shower with a locker.

- I wear blue jeans, or whatever I feel like.

Overall, my commuting situation is pretty good.
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Old 06-16-06, 10:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
I'm looking for a new place to live... I'm actually looking farther out, so I can ride more! Thornton seems nice! Maybe I'll have a commuting neighbor to ride with!
That'd be cool. I have no clue what I would do if I ever found myself riding with someone else. Probably forget what I was doing and try to drop them. j/k

Still, thornton is a ways away but it is a nice suburb.
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Old 06-16-06, 11:52 PM   #13
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- the job is a desk job or otherwise sedentary occupation- mine is anything but... (and I love it- it's my warm up)

- the office is 5-8 miles away from home, or less- mine is 11 miles from home-perfect for me

- the route is all low-traffic sidestreets and/or paths all the way from home to office-bike paths with city streets is mine and I love it.

- the route also doesn't go through any rough neighborhoods- a soccer mom in an SUV can be more dangerous than a gang of kids. but night times in rough places are definitely creepy. my commute varies at times so I get all conditions. I'm not crazy about areas with high crime rates but I'm not too wild about investment bankers in rush hour gabbing on cellphones while driving their SUV up my butt


- unusual hours that don't put you on the road during rush hour, such as 10-7- my hours vary from rush hour to mid-afternoon to 1 am. I would freak with too much routine

- bike lockers or a secure indoor bikepark are available, or you're allowed to bring your bike inside- we have an indoor facility but it's very inconvenient. I lock mine outdoors and would prefer to have it inside.


- shower facilities and lockers are available- in the summer I like to grab a shower, in the winter it usually isn't needed.

-liberal dress code, or no dress code. yeah, that I've got. I can wear loose comfortable clothing to work, in fact it's essential. big reason why I took the job.


I feel like my commute is pretty ideal. If I'm commuting to work by bike I'm a pretty happy guy no matter what but there are definitely things that make it better.
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Old 06-17-06, 08:13 AM   #14
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I would be willing to swap traffic for no complicated intersections. Riding in traffic isn't such a big deal, especially if there's enough of it to brng the speeds down to my level.

My commute/job meets most of the criteria (to my satisfaction) but there's one really weird intersection - 3 streets intersecting - one a 4-lane, people turning everwhere. In fact, based upon watching the lights, there does't seem to be any point when one lane of traffic can't cross another. I alter my route to avoid it.
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Old 06-17-06, 08:50 AM   #15
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- the job is a desk job or otherwise sedentary occupation
I work in the commercial printing industry in the pre-press dept, very little sitting.

- the office is 5-8 miles away from home, or less
7.5 miles

- the route is all low-traffic sidestreets and/or paths all the way from home to office
80% along a very busy highway with a few nice climbs but on a nice wide bike lane.

- the route also doesn't go through any rough neighborhoods
Ha, I live on the shady side of town.

- unusual hours that don't put you on the road during rush hour, such as 10-7
12 hour swing shifts 7am-7pm & vice versa.

- bike lockers or a secure indoor bikepark are available, or you're allowed to bring your bike inside
Bike gets parked 20 feet away in a storage room.

- shower facilities and lockers are available
Both.

- liberal dress code, or no dress code. business casual and you don't have to "walk in suited up"
Pretty liberal dress code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
I need to have something to whine about. The perfect situation needs to be....well imperfect to a certain degree. Maybe I'm not meant to be 100% happy but adversity is the spice of life for me.
+10 ... I like some challenge in my commute. I complain about stong headwinds at times but truth be told, I like the fight it gives me. The same with mashing up a hill -vs- spinning it, depends on my mood (and legs).
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Old 06-17-06, 09:08 AM   #16
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I live 2.5 miles away from my job, I ride out of the way to get more mileage in so I average about 4.5 to work and the same home. I have nice wide streets with nice wide bike paths. 1 traffic light, one stop sign on the way in, 3 traffic lights on the way home and a couple stop signs but they are not heavily travelled streets so I usually don't stop, just slow down and look carefully. I do have a locker, I can park my bike inside with no problem. No showers but its only a couple miles so I am good there. My biggest problem is carrying all my food every day. I work 8am - 7pm with an hour lunch. I stand and walk around all day, very very little sitting. I like it. I do wish it were a bit longer of a commute but I am happy.
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Old 06-17-06, 10:23 AM   #17
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I'd consider mine perfect. 9 miles, two miles of hill going TO work in the AM, so it's done when it's cooler. We have showers but I rarely use them, downhill on the way back when it's hot, so more breeze. Long enough that it's a good workout, but usually do it in about 40 minutes each way. A nice LONNNG park, (washington park), but since I moved I use all streets, but side streets, and although there are cars they go slow- just one lane each way.

Keep my bike inside, no dress code, but I bring different pants every couple days and keep some nice shirts at work, and and good public transportation if weather turns bad.

Keep in mind a perfect commute can get boring, I enjoy going downtown where it's really hectic as a change, but if I did that all the time probably get sick of it real fast. If I did all trails, I'd miss seeing the daily goins-ons of different people at their houses, getting the paper, doing their gardening, etc...
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Old 06-17-06, 10:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o-dog
what would it be like? what factors would create the absolutely perfect, ideal situation for bike commuting?

here's a list of things I came up with:

- the job is a desk job or otherwise sedentary occupation
- the office is 5-8 miles away from home, or less
- the route is all low-traffic sidestreets and/or paths all the way from home to office
- the route also doesn't go through any rough neighborhoods
- unusual hours that don't put you on the road during rush hour, such as 10-7
- bike lockers or a secure indoor bikepark are available, or you're allowed to bring your bike inside
- shower facilities and lockers are available
- liberal dress code, or no dress code. business casual and you don't have to "walk in suited up"

I know some of you can do without some, or most of these conditions. I know I do without some of them. but, my point in this thread is to be theoretical for a minute and talk about the most absolutely perfect, ideal, no-excuse-not-to bike commuting situation.

does anyone have anything else to add to the above list? how does your commute/situation compare?
My ideal would be:
Winery tour guide with someone else driving
15 to 25 miles to work.
I favor old dances with traffic as long I have an adequate shoulder in rural areas.
Rough areas here have rough pavement, pass.
unusual hours for unusual rider, fine.
Showers, dual long lockers and inside parking, ok.
Dress casual for tour guide, can't win them all
Tailwinds both ways, Had that once.
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Old 06-17-06, 11:01 AM   #19
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I would add several route choices with different levels of difficulty.
also route length choice like 10 miles to work and 50 miles back.
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Old 06-17-06, 11:14 AM   #20
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I do a 28 mile round trip commute in Los Angeles. Only thing I would ask for are bike paths - the kind they have in more bike friendly places that are completely separate from the automotive roadway, and undeterred by stop signs and lights.
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Old 06-17-06, 12:55 PM   #21
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my job is so frikkin' sweet,i can park my ride in the warehouse after a 9 mile vacation every morning. Most of the trip is on wide roads( a little exploring and advice from others helped). my boss is o.k. with me wearing shorts year round, which is cool because i am a production manager for a small company. I ride hard but am not much of a sweater so don't need to do much more than a sink wipe in the morning. I keep my hair short and an extra set of clothes at work in case i get bloody or rained on unexpectedly. Yeah everything is exactly like you stipulated except the first because i still get to work with the crew, and it's 8:30 to 5:00 so i have to mind panicked drivers trying to save three minutes doing ten plus miles over the speed limit

America needs traffic calming like England did, imho...............................................
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Old 06-17-06, 01:14 PM   #22
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Lets add to that list, no morning temps under freezing(and of course none on the commute home either) and never a snowflake to interfere with traction.
And while we are at it, a route free from broken glass and any other debri that might bring a flat.
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Old 06-17-06, 03:14 PM   #23
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I have a great set up too...live 4 miles from my office, located in a small rural town. Only have one interesction that is "major" to navigate with traffic, I wear shorts and a t-shirt in my office, we have a shower and room to park bikes inside. We all keep extra clothes at work and have a washer / dryer in the utility room to use in case we need it. My boss will have to fire me to get me to leave this set-up!
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Old 06-17-06, 03:24 PM   #24
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I think I have a near-ideal setup: 7.5 miles from work (which is actually starting to feel too short), mostly suburban streets, a MUP, but serious city traffic for the last 1 mile (I like the variety), secure, indoor bike parking, my own office where I can change, flexible hours, and a pretty liberal dress code.

We don't have showers at work, but I probably would take the time or getting together the necessary stuff to use it before work. Go in a little slow, wash up in the sink before changing. Hammer home.

As others have said, though, variety is the spice of life. It is always fun when work of family make me ride off my usual route. So, perfection might involve a job that takes you to multiple bike-friendly different locations. Anyone got that?
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Old 06-17-06, 03:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMN21601
I have a great set up too...live 4 miles from my office, located in a small rural town. Only have one interesction that is "major" to navigate with traffic, I wear shorts and a t-shirt in my office, we have a shower and room to park bikes inside. We all keep extra clothes at work and have a washer / dryer in the utility room to use in case we need it. My boss will have to fire me to get me to leave this set-up!
....

You hiring?

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