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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 09-21-06, 01:26 PM   #1
slowandsteady
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Partial commute??

I have been wanting to commute for quite some time, but the logistics is kind of annoying. I live in New Jersey and work in Pennsylvania. I have to drive over a large bridge that spans the Delaware river/bay to get from Jersey to PA. I cannot ride over this bridge. No bikes allowed. My driving commute which uses all highways is just over 26 miles and takes me anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour.

So for me to commute to work by bike, I would have to drive with the bike over the bridge, then park somewhere, and then start the ride. It isn't a very good neighborhood, but I figure I could park at the college campus where I suspect things aren't as shady as in Chester.

The other issue I have, are the rather scary roads. Frankly I wish I could ride on the highway. It seems safer than the back roads, that are hilly, windy, in bad condition, lack shoulders of any kind, and are riddled with car traffic.

I figured my maximum bike commute would be around 14 miles each way, but I could always decrease this by just parking somewhere else. Because of the bridge issue, and the bad neighborhoods, I can't make it any further, but 14 miles is pretty good anyway.

Does anyone do anything like this and have some advice for me?
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Old 09-21-06, 02:00 PM   #2
marcoocram
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I feel your pain. My advice, take a Sunday to get lost. Maybe bring a compass or map. Maybe ask the folks at a bike shop near the area, I've had luck that way.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:31 PM   #3
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Find the absolute best biking route from your work to ANY neighborhood within fifteen miles then move to that neighborhood.

If that's not an option, 14 miles each way is plenty, and the partial commute sounds like a good way to do more riding and less driving.
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Old 09-21-06, 03:33 PM   #4
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Find the absolute best biking route from your work to ANY neighborhood within fifteen miles then move to that neighborhood.
Yeah, no thanks. The houses near work are multi-million dollar monstrocities. I may have to drive over a bridge, but I get to live in a really nice house with five acres and my horses and goats. I would need about 7 million to have the same thing near work. And the traffic is just plain evil!!
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Old 09-21-06, 04:02 PM   #5
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I drive in past the death zone on my commute and stage out of a parking lot. I can always add miles to my commute loops and typically do. What I don't do is try to ride the hilly, curvy, two lane, 60mph, no shoulder, no fog line, heavy car and truck traffic, long since overwhelmed farm-to-market road that extends in both directions for about 5 miles between my house and any road ride. It and similar roads like it have been the location of several fatalities to cyclists in my area of Texas, including a cyclist from my neighborhood whose death inspired the Ride of Silence events that now take place around the world.

No complaints at all in terms of the trade-off. I can stage out of the back of my car or using a rack as I choose. Nobody has ever messed with my car or anything. The folks at the building where I park know me and look out for my car just they would for one of their own. In return I donate a part of the money that I save on gas each year to them, as they are a non-profit children's advocacy outfit and a good cause on top of that.

Each leg of my commute typically comes in at about 12 miles. It's fun and definitely worth doing.
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Old 09-21-06, 04:06 PM   #6
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I do this exact thing. I live in a fairly small city, but the commute from home to work would be 25 miles one way, plus the traffic in the city is bad. I drive just outside the city and bike through rural areas. VERY nice ride. It's only 16 miles one way then. Works out great. The area I park in isn't the best either, but it's near a major road, so I don't feel that vulnerable. Better than nothing....
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Old 09-21-06, 04:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rule
I drive in past the death zone on my commute and stage out of a parking lot. I can always add miles to my commute loops and typically do.
Same for me, on the (unfortunately) rare days when I commute. I live on a two line, hilly, winding road that's one of the more popular local roads for cyclists. But at 6-7:30am, it's a high-traffic nightmare with parents taking kids to school or heading to work, pea soup fog with blind curves, etc. So I drive about halfway to work, to a shopping center parking lot, then have about a 22 mile round-trip commute on better-at-that-time-of-day roads, which can be stretched nearly infinitely in the afternoons, if desired.

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