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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 03-05-07, 12:20 PM   #1
egmell2190
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What keeps you going?

The day after Presidents' Day I pedaled in even though the day was starting out bad. My commute was more of the same with everyone seeming to drive half-awake and grumpy. None of the drivers did any thing absolutely stupid but there was more of not paying attention and not giving me much room. The ride home was only a little better. The next day was along the same trend. All-in-all the stress reduction from pedaling was nearly negated from people driving absent-minded and/or grumpy.

I normally only try to get 2-3 days a week in between Tuesday thru Thursday because Mondays and Fridays have a higher idiot factor.

Commuting for me is mostly to sneak in miles/exercise to something I have to do anyways. The environmental, cost savings, and stress reduction factors are just added bonuses.

With all of the environmental, traffic, and other hazards to deal with, what makes you say "f@#$-it I'm riding my bike today!"?
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Old 03-05-07, 12:30 PM   #2
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I found that all of the rationalizations made a big difference in the beginning, but after a while what keeps me going is that it's become a part of my daily routine. I mostly do it just because it's consistent to keep it up.
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Old 03-05-07, 12:30 PM   #3
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I've only recently been on the commuting side of things, and I must say, I've really enjoyed the added energy I've received from it. I wake up in a better mood, and as many on here have posted, I start to actually look forward to my commute, as opposed to the commute just being a way to get from point a to point b.

I haven't had any real issues with vehicles/bad drivers though, so perhaps I'm luckier than most, so far.
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Old 03-05-07, 12:31 PM   #4
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Mental state. My commute isn't bunny rabbits and greenbelts. But the side streets I take are long, straight, and stress free for the most part. I've been doing my commute long enough I know all the potential dangers, (knock on wood).

But it's a great workout, perfect distance for me, and I fell great during the day and the effect of exercise carries into the evening (more energy) and next day as well.
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Old 03-05-07, 12:32 PM   #5
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I'm with NeezyDeezy. I guess you could call it a paradigm shift. After awhile it just becomes The Way I Get To Work.
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Old 03-05-07, 12:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egmell2190

With all of the environmental, traffic, and other hazards to deal with, what makes you say "f@#$-it I'm riding my bike today!"?
A lack of a car, and being a fan of getting paid...
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Old 03-05-07, 12:44 PM   #7
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I agree with NeezyDeezy and caloso. After more than 30 years of cummuting by bike, it's a way of life. The same drivers and attitudes are out there no matter what form of transportation I am using.
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Old 03-05-07, 12:50 PM   #8
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No car helps motivate
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Old 03-05-07, 12:53 PM   #9
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I've passed the point where I need a reason to ride. I need a reason not to.

From the sound of it, you pay way more attention to people in cars than I ever have. It makes me wonder why you think you're any safer in your car.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdenver
My commute isn't bunny rabbits and greenbelts.
Mine is

However in the end it is about the workout. I'd be one fat slob if it weren't for my bike and the 20 mile (long way) round trip commute
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Old 03-05-07, 01:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egmell2190
"f@#$-it I'm riding my bike today!"?
I say that everyday because I love riding and really really hate driving.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:26 PM   #12
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A few weeks ago I rode home in a freezing drizzle and by the time I got home I had a thin coating of ice on the front of my jacket and tips of my gloves. My motivation to bike commute? Being able to impress people with stories like that.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffS
I've passed the point where I need a reason to ride. I need a reason not to.
Same here. Things would have to be grim indeed to get me thinking about buying a car. And it would have to be one cool-ass car.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffS
From the sound of it, you pay way more attention to people in cars than I ever have. It makes me wonder why you think you're any safer in your car.
I guess it's just my motorcycle safety training kicking in. I'm always trying predict were the next driver trying to squish me is going to come from.

I drive the same way but there is a much lower possibility that someone will try to pass me in my lane, at three times my speed, and with six inches clearance while I'm in a car.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:58 PM   #15
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I agree with the couple of posters up there- it just becomes routine after a while, and you don't think of reasons to ride, it just becomes your default way of getting to work.
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Old 03-05-07, 02:06 PM   #16
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It's just what I do. It's not a decision, I just do it.
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Old 03-05-07, 02:27 PM   #17
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It's always better on the bike.
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Old 03-05-07, 02:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeezyDeezy
I found that all of the rationalizations made a big difference in the beginning, but after a while what keeps me going is that it's become a part of my daily routine. I mostly do it just because it's consistent to keep it up.
Well said.
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Old 03-05-07, 02:46 PM   #19
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My dang gut grows exponentially when I do not ride. That and my legs loose their definition.
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Old 03-05-07, 03:03 PM   #20
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All replies so far ring true for me as well. I was initially motivated by the money saved not buying gasoline. Exercise was secondary. When I first got back on a bike about a year ago, after a twenty year hiatus from regular cycling, I complained about going the few blocks to the library. I remember that trip well.

But then it started to grab me. I started commuting in fair weather, then foul weather, and each seemingly insurmountable obstacle gradually lost its power to intimidate me, to the point where I hardly think of it, like people who hardly think twice about driving in rain or snow. The pros so heavily outweigh the cons, that any alternative to biking seems unacceptable. Yesterday, after I took a hard spill on ice, a friend who meant well suggested I just drive at least until the ice melted. In fact, he met me shortly after the accident and saw my banged up face, my banged up left shoulder and hip, and offered to throw my bike into the trunk of his car and drive me home. I politely declined. Later that evening, another friend said I reminded him of that protagonist in the movie "Oldboy", who was so focused on his goal that no amount of physical beatings would deter him. I took it as a compliment.
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Old 03-05-07, 03:26 PM   #21
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Pros >> Cons.

Let me ask it this way. How many times have there been when you rode that you wished you could have driven? How many times have you driven (taken the T in my case) when you wished you could have riden?

Over the past 6 years, my count is probably getting around 1 versus 100.
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Old 03-05-07, 03:28 PM   #22
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It doesn't take much to "keep me going." I wake up and I can't wait to get on my bike! I love it! I keep trying to break my record time for my commute - It's 7 miles and I hit 27:57 one day.
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Old 03-05-07, 04:14 PM   #23
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The lack of a full drivers license.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:27 PM   #24
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lots of reasons... I live on campus now, and am not working this semester, but in the past I rode to save time and money. I worked with a bunch of health-conscious people, many of whom would drive to work in the morning, drive home for dinner, and then drive to the gym to work out for an hour or two. I wanted to stay in shape, loved the open, connected feeling of riding, and didn't want to make exercise into something separated from the rest of my life. Bike commuting was the perfect solution. plus I'm cheap.
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Old 03-05-07, 11:53 PM   #25
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i too started commuting for the exercise more than anything else and it is a powerful reason to continue. but i have to say that life is more interesting when riding a bike to work... and for more reasons than i can list.
i understand the OPs frustration.
i have been there too and then, maybe i woke a little late one day, or just said 'screw it' and i took the car.
in spite of the odd guilt i always feel when driving to work, the first days in the car are usually nice... but after a few more days i start feeling anxious. not only in the car but in general.
then after a week i start feeling soft and i know it is time to use it or lose it.
i have opted to lose it at times and the regrets i suffer later when i get back on the bike tend to make me less inclined to do so again in the future.

in the last few years i have been riding a lot of charity rides with friends and for me this is a good way to stay motivated for the commute.
century training is not competitive so it won't interfere with a commute and for myself, the daily commute is enough training for most local century rides.
and keeping up with my friends on the weekends is a good incentive keep fit... i prefer to be able to wear someone else out before i expire.

but mostly... and this will sound corny as hell... i have experienced some rare moments of contentment or maybe, moments of personal rightness, while on my ride to work.
and no, i am not some metaphysical freak with an overactive heart chakra.

my point is that i never experience these driving to work and i like these moments... they are peace with side of kinesis
and they are the best motivation and reminder of why i ride.
i just have to remember these moments when new ones evade me.
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