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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 08-02-08, 03:03 AM   #1
uke
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Commuters with cars: What do you use them for?

If you ride your bike to work (daily or occasionally), do you also have a car/SUV/van/truck/motorcycle?

If so, what do you use it for? And how often do you use it?
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Old 08-02-08, 03:19 AM   #2
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I have a car, but it usually just sits in the driveway not being used. I use my bike (and sometimes public transit) for everything in the city/surrounding suburbs. The only time I use my car is if I have to haul something or go somewhere outside the metropolitan area.
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Old 08-02-08, 04:07 AM   #3
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I have an '84 Toyota Corolla (called a GT in the US, Sprinter in Aus and AE86 in Japan - as in the Initial D Anime). I've had it since new and love it to death. It drove less than 1500km last year as I cycle pretty much everywhere - if I'm going somewhere on my own I almost always cycle there. However, I have three children under 10 who all need to be ferried places like netball, scouts, hockey, ballet etc ... so we still need the sprinter.

The part of Sydney I live in has pathetic public transport, and if you believe this article, it has the most aggressive drivers on the planet - so cycling with the kids is still strictly recreational - however, we allow our 10 year old son to cycle to/from band practice which isnt all that far. (Although Sydney drivers are bad, I personally doubt they are the worst on the planet - I've seen some crazy aggressive stuff from the US on YouTube).

So ... my car is for me to muck around in drifting on wet days and ferrying the kids to whereever... If I have the option, however, I almost always cycle.
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Old 08-02-08, 04:18 AM   #4
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Car and license free, though mite get my license soon for "emergency's" and for insurance in the future, i.e.. can say i have been accident free for 3 years (only cus i don't drive). Being license free is good though, never have to be the designated driver
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Old 08-02-08, 04:38 AM   #5
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I ride my bike everywhere 6 days a week then I drive an SUV 1 day a week to go to Oakland since there is no bike lane on the Bay Bridge. I drive an SUV because i need the cargo room. I also Travel cross country a lot though thanks to current gas prices i have been unable to road trip for a bit
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Old 08-02-08, 04:54 AM   #6
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I use it for grocery shopping and allergy shot days. (I'm not supposed to exercise on days when I get a shot because I could have a generalized reaction...anaphylactic shock and all that. Not really a good thing while riding a bike.)
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Old 08-02-08, 05:10 AM   #7
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We have a full-sized station wagon--- a toddler, and a pregnant wife. A car is still useful. I really need to buy my wife a mtn bike, however. It is actually faster to bike to the beach than to drive and find parking. We also drive to our summer home. It is possible to bike to the ferry, but we need to take so much stuff with us that we drive. (I've been known to bike while she drives).

I cannot remember the last time I drove to work.

We usually walk to the grocery store.
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Old 08-02-08, 06:15 AM   #8
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I have a small truck. I use it to carry things and when the weather is bad or I'm hurt. Hard to carry demolition debris on a bike. I usually end up commuting with it one or two times a week when I have other long distance/heavy errands. I live a good distance out from "civilization."
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Old 08-02-08, 06:43 AM   #9
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2002 Windstar.
I use it for:
Groceries
Picking up my son from grandma's house when need be.
Trips to club rides and organized rides.
Misc sudden errands that I do not have time to bike to.
More often in winter.

It moves at least once a week. Sometimes less. Sometimes more.
I hated being car lite with a kid in day care and his two parents working full time. Work for both of us is spread throughout the metro.
I could have made it work but I could not stand turning riding into a constant chore.
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Old 08-02-08, 07:01 AM   #10
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I have a Hyundai Elantra 5 Door.
Basically anytime I want to go somewhere far or quickly with the kids. Cottage, Costco, buying lumber. The car only gets used on the weekends. My wife walks to the grocery store during the week with the kids on their bikes.
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Old 08-02-08, 07:03 AM   #11
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i live alone and am embarrassed by how many vehicles i own. 2 sedans and a motorcycle.

i drive to work 1 day per month (evening meeting 40 miles from home). but i only fire up a car when i have to travel more than 20 miles 1 way AND i don't have time to bike it
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Old 08-02-08, 07:24 AM   #12
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88 Bronco. I use mine depending on the situation. I get called in to work at all hours and when that happens I need to be there as quickly as possible. e.g., 3 weeks ago at midnight I had a yard driver immediately removed for a safety violation. That time of night I'm not going to get someone else in. It is all up to me to get in there as one person is 50% of the shift. Also, when someone calls off at the last minute.

I also use it for my 'heavy' grocery runs. I don't do 'tap' water, so hauling all my drinking water on the bike is not practical.

I still manage to fill the tank only every 2-3 weeks.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:13 AM   #13
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The wife uses the car mostly (Honda Fit). I have an MGB that has done less than 100 kms this year. We also use it when we visit her grandparents (about 45 miles), my parents, when someone wants to go out to eat on a whim. In semi-rural areas it is A LOT harder not having a car than the city.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:14 AM   #14
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Driving

I do not live in a bike friendly place. My kid will not be on the streets I ride till that changes. Car is a necessity.

1970 LeMans Sport Convertible (think Lance Armstrongs GTO its same year same body). Hobby car that is being restored. The motor thats a about to find a home in it is about 340 hp. In a couple years when I change out the heads it will be about 450hp.

1986 Toyota 4Runner. General driver. If I don't need it my wife drives it. Its a 4cyl gets 24hwy It gets about 5000 miles a year on it toting the family around town. More if I go solo camping cross country. It will be in West Virgina this month and OBX camping on the beach at the beginning of oct.

1988 3/4 ton 454 powered Suburban... It can pull a house off its foundation and drag it down the road. Its a beast. Love the 10 mpg

Pulls our vintage 1959 Airstream camper. Its the wife's driver if I have the 4Runner. Gets about 1500 miles a year on it not counting when its pulling the camper. About to sell it becasue it is way overkill for our current needs. It was pulling cars and trucks around for a while. I plan to replace it with either another Suburban (with a 350 and over drive) or a Toyota Land Cruiser for a little better mpg and 4wd.


I drive what I like and I generally like older vehicles. I'm not a believer in any of the whooo ha becasue I understand their was the same temp change on mars and Jupiter as there was earth negating a lot of the BS that people claim have happened. I remember the "global cooling" scare of the 70's as well. I also understand GW was from sun spots that have been on the decline for the last 7 years. I also understand MAN has prevented normal occurrences like forest fires that would burn for months over 100,000 of thousands of acre's and easily matches what man has done. The opportunistic self absorbed POS Al G can suck my left one.

I do believe in controlling pollution though just becasue it is the right thing to do and make the the world a better place to live. Thats why I live 4 miles from work and limit the use of the gas pig I do have.

Last edited by Grim; 08-02-08 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:18 AM   #15
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I use mine to carry my kids when we are going further than their bike range.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:47 AM   #16
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I have a Nissan Xterra. I use it to haul my boat up at the cabin, and I use it to go play hockey. It mainly sits in the driveway now, and gets used once a week.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:00 AM   #17
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Lincoln LS that just...sits...

Going to get rid of it, hard to justify the payments since I spent about 330 days on bike this last year. My old beat up Toyota PU is coming home to roost for those car days.

One motorcycle left out of 4. Hasn't moved in over a year? Prolly part it out.

I'm really liking being back with bicycles and what they do for me. As much as I'd like it, going car free in Denver with my shift work hours and all just won't work. I have one of those jobs you have to show up for even when the blizzards hit and everyone else goes home/stays home.

That being said, I'm good for commuting in up to 4-5 inches of fresh snow, depending on type, and past that I need a car. PUblic transit doesn't work for me unfortunately...

Last edited by ban guzzi; 08-02-08 at 09:02 AM. Reason: spelin'
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Old 08-02-08, 09:06 AM   #18
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i have 2001 jeep cherokee lifted 4.5" 33" tires locked and loaded... i drive more than commute lately due to a broken hand.

but i generally drive more anyway because it's 15 miles and i like to ride my bmx bike as much as possible before i get too old to. so it's easier to drive that bike and all my friend around to the skateparks and street spots
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Old 08-02-08, 09:20 AM   #19
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I ride home from work for my part-time job (helping build suburban sprawl ), after getting a ride to work with my bike in the back of my dad's truck. I save an average of 60 km of driving a day (which is about 8L of fuel, or ~$10 at today's prices) that way. I ride everywhere in the city unless I have to haul something.

I use my truck mainly for my main job as a wellsite geologist. Outside of that, it gets filled up roughly once a month.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:25 AM   #20
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I've got a Jeep XJ that sits in my garage most of the time.

Friday I drive to work because of a cross-town meeting I have to attend, so I take the opportunity and re-load my locker with clean clothes for the week.

Some weekends I take the dog out hiking, or go camping with my friends. The XJ gets us to trailheads where my friends' cars would be highbottomed the second we turned off the pavement.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uke View Post
If you ride your bike to work (daily or occasionally), do you also have a car/SUV/van/truck/motorcycle?

If so, what do you use it for? And how often do you use it?

My car is paid off and I maintain minimal insurance on it.
In VT and PA I drove it when the snow was fresh and deep.
Here in FL, its been covered and I cant remember when the
last time I drove it was. It actually feels good to ride in the
rain here so thats not an issue. Ive only registered it once
just to keep something that looks like an official tag on it so
I save money that way, too.
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Old 08-02-08, 01:37 PM   #22
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A mint condition 93 Miata LE which is my "daily driver" when I choose to drive. A '72 Porsche with a modern 3.2 conversion which is my race car for when I choose to drive FAST. The wife drives a '94 E320 on a daily basis. She was a daily bicycle commuter until she was 34 years old. Yes, I'm a car guy and a bicycle guy. Although I tend to trade cars every couple of years for various classics, I keep bicycles forever.

Later,
HB
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Old 08-02-08, 01:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uke View Post
If you ride your bike to work (daily or occasionally), do you also have a car/SUV/van/truck/motorcycle?

If so, what do you use it for? And how often do you use it?
I have a pickup. I tend to need to haul heavy objects around town, either for myself or for friends. Houston is not a very bike-friendly city when it comes to going across town (which will take up to an hour by car). I take a trip or two out of the city (150 miles round trip) to go shooting out on my family's land in the "country".

I typically drive once a week...
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Old 08-02-08, 02:40 PM   #24
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My boyfriend has a car, but he's just started a new job and will be working from home. I don't drive and will be taking lessons very soon, but I either bike or take the subway to work. The car may have a lot of time on its hands in the foreseeable future.

We're members of the local astronomical society and we go to meetings, which are once a month in the summer and twice a month the rest of the year. The meetings are in a lecture hall in a museum that's fairly far from home, and they end after dark, and then we tend to all go for dinner at the pub (that's called the gastronomical society). By the time we're done it's 11:30 or midnight, and it's quicker to get home by car than public transit. So the car usually goes to those. On a related note, if we're going observing somewhere, we need the car to carry telescopes.

We also have a camping trip or two during the year (in a comfy campground with amenities and parking), we have friends that we visit in a nearby city, we have organizational meetings out of town for a science fiction convention, and if we foresee being very busy we might do a big grocery run with the car and take bottles back to the beer store while we're at it.

I think we may be settling into a lifestyle where the car is only used rarely, and everyday life does not require it. W00t!
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Old 08-02-08, 03:13 PM   #25
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I just use it for big stuff like 13lb cat litter, 3 gallon water jug, or to visit distant friends. Other than that it's bike, bus, or train.
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