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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 03-03-09, 09:52 AM   #1
vja4Him
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Reasons for Cycling ...

Some of the benefits that you get from cycling:

* saving money on gas, train fare, and parking
* endorphin buzz and aerobic exercise, which helps you to get ready for the day
* environmental benefits
* fitness

Some answers to excuses for not cycling:

1) It's not safe to ride in rush-hour traffic.
Answer: It may be possible to get around on streets with less traffic. Even if you have to ride a few extra blocks, or even miles, you will get more exercise and enjoyment from riding!

(Source: "Bicycling Magazine's 1,000 All-Time Best Tips," edited by Ben Hewitt)

More answers coming up ....

Last edited by vja4Him; 03-03-09 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:08 AM   #2
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Benefit:
* Not having to be crushed on the London Underground by crowds of people
* Quicker than using public transport

Excuses:
1) When you get into it, it can get expensive.
Answer: Yeah, but it is nothing compared to travel costs otherwise - I was spending Ģ80 a month on a travel card.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
SomeSome answers to excuses for not cycling:

1) It's not safe to ride in rush-hour traffic.
Answer: It may be possible to get around on streets with less traffic. Even if you have to ride a few extra blocks, or even miles, you will get more exercise and enjoyment from riding!

More answers coming up ....
I keep (optimistically? naively?) expecting that the more people do it the safer it will get as cagers eventually get the search image.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:24 AM   #4
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parking is 20 seconds away instead of a very cold and slippery 15 minute walk. And yeah, it is strange to worry about the cold on a 15 minute walk, but not on a 30 minute bike ride. I'm not exactly sure how to explain that.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:27 AM   #5
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You stay warm pedaling, but you freeze walking?

I ride because I'm tubby, and I want to change that. Besides, it sends a message to my students when they see me biking to school in a blizzard. Well, two messages: "He's crazy" and "if he can do it, anyone can"
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Old 03-03-09, 10:28 AM   #6
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It's funny but I never gave It a thought. Ive biked since I could put my leg over the bar./ Sailed and rowed since my early teens.both are like drinking water./Kenneth
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Old 03-03-09, 10:29 AM   #7
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Any of your "reasons for cycling" can be pretty easily deconstructed or argued against. Better than trying to come up with some list of arguments for cycling (and who are you arguing against, exactly? and for what purpose), say instead that each person who rides, finds their own reasons for doing so. Evangelists tend to wear out their welcome in a hurry.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:30 AM   #8
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You don't have to wait 15 minutes for a parking spot to open up.

Paul
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Old 03-03-09, 10:31 AM   #9
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You arrive at work awake and with the blood flowing, rather than the usual "aaaaaaarg, where's the coffee?". :-)

For some people, just not having to deal with the aggravation of sitting in stop-and-go rush hour traffic is worth it! One friend of mine in particular described how much he enjoyed not sitting on a 4 lane each way highway doing the "stop and go" thing to get to work - and with that traffic, biking was just as fast as driving.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:32 AM   #10
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You don't have to wait 15 minutes for a parking spot to open up.

Paul

I especially love when I get to Kroger, and someone just HAS to blow past me in the parking lot, then spend 5 minutes finding a spot, while I bike right up to the door, lean the bike against a post and walk in.

And as far as environmental...I'm not saving any money right now, because I'm just starting out, but once I start saving, every dime is going to my big-honkin-engined drag car...Last time I had it on the road, it got 18 mpg highway...
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Old 03-03-09, 10:35 AM   #11
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one thing that's good about the place I work is that most people understand the riding. Getting a parking space near the building has gone up from 15 years to over 20. And even that is looking more remote. And there was a respected professor that rode his bike everywhere, including the 8 miles out to a remote testing location.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mickey85 View Post
You stay warm pedaling, but you freeze walking?

I ride because I'm tubby, and I want to change that. Besides, it sends a message to my students when they see me biking to school in a blizzard. Well, two messages: "He's crazy" and "if he can do it, anyone can"
Yeah, that's actually true. Your body generates a lot of heat when you're exercising. This, combined with the right gear (windproof stuff) means that you're actually fairly comfortable biking.

To be fair, you could do the same thing walking if you just wore a lot more winter gear for your walk between your car and your office, but most people don't. The other advantage to cycling is because of that extra heat generated, the clothes you wear outside are pretty much the same level of warmth you need to wear them inside (unless it's really really cold outside).
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Old 03-03-09, 10:41 AM   #13
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More Excuses and Answers ...

Excuse #2: Can't afford to invest in a bicycle

Answer: Use whatever bike you have, or pick up a cheap junker for now. You will save enough from cycling to buy a better bicycle.

(Source: "Bicycling Magazine's 1,000 All-Time Best Tips," edited by Ben Hewitt)
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Old 03-03-09, 10:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Any of your "reasons for cycling" can be pretty easily deconstructed or argued against. Better than trying to come up with some list of arguments for cycling (and who are you arguing against, exactly? and for what purpose), say instead that each person who rides, finds their own reasons for doing so. Evangelists tend to wear out their welcome in a hurry.
Well that's pretty boring. At how's that supposed to work? Someone asks you "What so great about cycling in?" and you answer "each person who rides finds their own reasons for doing so". Yaaaaaaaaawn - not helpful.

I agree with you that the "trying to convince you" evangelists wear out their welcome in a hurry. I find people find it much more interesting if you're fair in your explanations - for example, list a benefit, but also mention a drawback. Like, "I love arriving at work in the morning feeling good from getting the blood flowing. That feels great. But I admit that going out to lunch is rather inconvenient, I have to stick to the restaurants that are close are find someone with a car who's going out."
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Old 03-03-09, 11:19 AM   #15
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my reasons for cycling
it is safer than a car imo, cars go too fast to be safe to ride in
i think better when i ride a bike and forget about my problems
it is a more interesting ride than traveling by car
it is more affordable than a car
i like the idea that you have to pace yourself when you ride a bike and i like the tempo of riding a bike
i have less worry about a breakdown with a bike as i can afford to fix the problem, not neccessarily so with a car.
compared to my car, my bike is more reliable mechanically speaking.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:23 AM   #16
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I ride for the pure enjoyment of it. When I lost my license a couple of years ago, I ride for necessity and for light traveling. Last year I went on tour and basically realized there is no better breath taken than that on a bike in the middle of some place you have never been before.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:28 AM   #17
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* I can drive a crappy car. Or I can ride a really nice bike.
* It keeps me connected with the weather.
* It's a workout plan I can't get out of.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:30 AM   #18
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Benefits:
= Smaller carbon footprint
= Rehab my back
= Fun exercise
= Great way to see the city
= Fast transportation
= Saves money

Excuses:
E: It's dangerous!
A: You're more likely to die in a car than you are on your bike. So shut up and ride!

E: It's too cold/rainy/snowy/icy/hot/humid/whatever to ride.
A: Not if you pay attention to the forecast and dress accordingly. Suck it up and ride!

E: Someone might steal my bike.
A: Invest in a good u-lock, park in a high traffic area and never leave your bike unattended for more than a few minutes. Try to keep your bike within eyesight. Or buy a folding bike and take it inside with you whenever possible.

E: I'm too tired...
A: Biking invigorates you and gets you pumped up so, again I say, suck it up and ride!

Last edited by KitN; 03-03-09 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:16 PM   #19
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"because I think it's fun"

Argue against that.

Sure, I count other benefits, carbon footprint, pollution, money saved, etc, but I'd ride a bike even if gas and cars were free, and maybe even if they had the same carbon output as a bike (which no existing car, not even full electrics, can do).
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Old 03-03-09, 12:45 PM   #20
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I'm a licensed teen driver, with access to a car, but choose not to drive unless I have to;
I ride because it's fun.

There's also no cost benefits for me, since I have free access to the town bus with my part-time university job, and the school bus goes to the high school...
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Old 03-03-09, 12:51 PM   #21
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I too have a driving licence and access to a car but after taking my driving test I hardly ever drove the car as the traffic was too heavy and caused the drive to be boring and tedious.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:03 PM   #22
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Fun. Get to feel like a crazy person. Too lazy to deal with a car.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:06 PM   #23
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When I drove to work, I never, ever, ever sat at work thinking about how I couldn't wait for the drive home. I quite often sit at work thinking about how I can't wait to ride my bike home.

When I drove to work, I never even considered trying to find a longer way to work. On the bike, I do.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:07 PM   #24
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I like the exercise, the fresh air and the stress-burn. Also, I love being outside during the golden hour just after dawn, hearing the birds sing in spring and occasionally startling a polecat scrounging for its meal.

Having a hawk glide beside me on a lazy afternoon or battling a gale forced wind in the midst of a snowstorm makes it all worthwhile, reminding me what it is like to really be alive. None of that happens behind the wheel of a car.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
You arrive at work awake and with the blood flowing, rather than the usual "aaaaaaarg, where's the coffee?". :-)

For some people, just not having to deal with the aggravation of sitting in stop-and-go rush hour traffic is worth it! One friend of mine in particular described how much he enjoyed not sitting on a 4 lane each way highway doing the "stop and go" thing to get to work - and with that traffic, biking was just as fast as driving.
What you describe is the typical sedentary and predictable urban lifestyle made possible by the car. One of the benefits of cycling to me, in particular by bike commuting, is that I introduce an element of what I would call "ruggedness" into that lifestyle. The trip to work becomes more of an adventure and requires more planning and flexibility to deal with the vagaries and surprises of cycling year round. I feel empowered when I arrive rather than transported, as by the alternatives of train or car.

Yesterday was a particularly adventuresome ride in the midst of an snowstorm that the plows and sanders could not keep up with and with cars unable to get up relatively shallow inclines. I even stopped to push two cagers off of slick snow. So the nimbleness of bicycle in these extreme conditions even trumped the convenience of the car.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-03-09 at 02:01 PM.
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