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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 10-08-04, 02:11 PM   #1
rog
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This is why I've started commuting

God, I so want to get away from anything to do with cars...I swear, sometimes they seem to represent the absolute worst our society has to offer. A buddy of mine just had his car keyed twice in six months at a train station, my mothers car, the first new one shes ever owned has been hit 5 times in parking lots (at least once at her church), nobody leaving a note, of course. And now it's my turn. Last March I bought a 2001 RAV 4 L, which is by far the nicest car I've ever owned. And it was actually a big part of the reason I started commuting - I want it to last as long as possible, and I have a 17 mile commute, which translates to 8840 miles over the course of the year, round trip. When you factor in all the driving I have to do when not on the job, it's really going to get prematurely aged...so, bought a bicycle. And really paying a lot of attention to preventative maintenance. My check engine light came on, so I took it in to have it taken care of (under warranty), and they told me I was ready for my 15k mile service. Sure, fine, do it - I want the car to last. So I pick it up today, stop at a supermarket on the way home, am psyched to get a parking space right in front, go in, get what I gotta get, am out less than ten minutes later. To see a huge dent right on the drivers side front corner of the car. So now I'm going to have to either drive around with a dent, or pay my deductable, cause of course, no one stuck around, and no one saw anything.

I drive a tractor trailer at my day job...the one thing I think all day in the truck, and the one thing I think when I'm on my bike commuting or riding for fun: I hate being near cars. I now understand, that although I originally thought I was buying the bike to extend the life of my car, lessen my imact on the environment, and get into better shape, I was wrong. I really bought it to get away from cars and the idiots who drive them. >:-(
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Old 10-08-04, 02:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rog
A buddy of mine just had his car keyed twice in six months at a train station, my mothers car, the first new one shes ever owned has been hit 5 times in parking lots (at least once at her church. So I pick it up today, stop at a supermarket on the way home, am psyched to get a parking space right in front, go in, get what I gotta get, am out less than ten minutes later. To see a huge dent right on the drivers side front corner of the car. (
These stories have been repeated a million times. I can't count all the times my car (when I was a motorist) was broken into and scratched by other vehicles. It got to the point that I used to go all the way to the back of the parking lot where there were NO cars. I wanted my car to be all alone away from everyone else to avoid my car getting slammed.

I remember once sitting in the parking lot and counted three cars whose owners' slammed their door on my vehicle leaving a new dent each time. People have no conscious when opening their door even if your inside!
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Old 10-08-04, 02:32 PM   #3
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Since I started dating my lovely aussie girlfriend, who points out acts of inconsideration, I've become acutely aware of how rude and inconsiderate people are in this part of the world. I almost laughed when I saw that you're also from Jersey, Steve. If I wasn't a musician who depends on my car to get my gear from place to place, I'd sell it in a second, and just bike. I'm so envious of the people in here who are able to live like that.
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Old 10-08-04, 03:56 PM   #4
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rog, how much stuff do you need to carry? You'd be surprise of how much stuff you can carry with a bike and the proper equipment.
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Old 10-08-04, 08:44 PM   #5
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my car, like cycling its about performance, not looks. who cares about scratches on my car when i have over 300 fine tuned horses under the hood? nothing better than leaving some fancy shinny car behind at the stop light!! just like dropping the guy on the colnagos or litespeeds!!
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Old 10-08-04, 09:39 PM   #6
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I was just thinking this stuff today. I was driving back from lunch with my brother caught in afternoon lunch rush, along with folks heading out for the weekend, getting a jump on traffic. I was playing a familiar tune on my horn, with some colorful lyrics. All I could think of was how glad I was to be getting home and out of the car and on the bike for the commute to work. I crossed a major arterial highway and saw bumper to bumper, and further cemented my ride, even with the head wind.
What made all this the more unusual, is I've been considering selling the beast I drive, this Dodge Caravan, that has been useful for hauling stuff, but I don't need it. I commuted all last year, through the winter without owning a car. I pass gas stations with gas at 1.95 or more. I imagine it isn't coming down any time soon. I'm in a cash crunch and the 200 simolians I throw at the insurance company, (a high premium cause I didn't own a car for 6 months!!!!) would be a wonderful addition to living life a little easier. This is really a difficult time to be making financial decisions.
ARGHHH!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-09-04, 05:43 AM   #7
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The longer I ride the more I hate cars. I mean I am really getting to despise them. I live in Pensacola in the Panhandle of Florida and as towns go it isnt huge. However, it seems like every man, woman and child own a car and they all drive all the time. There aren't that many places to go but they are always going hither and thither constantly...
Unfortunately for me my job requires me to be out there with them all day which makes riding my bike all the sweeter...
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Old 10-09-04, 04:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BenyBen
rog, how much stuff do you need to carry? You'd be surprise of how much stuff you can carry with a bike and the proper equipment.

Heh...ok, well, I'm a semi - pro musician, drummer, and my usual set up is a 5 piece kit, though it is occasionally as much as 7. I usually have a 18" x 22" kick (bass drum), 8 x 10, 9 x 12, and 12 x 14 toms, occasionally a 14 x 16 as well. Usually a 5.5 x 14 snare, and I bring out my 5 x 10 a lot as well. Anywhere from 3 to 10 cymbals, which will all fit in the same case. Then there's my trap case - which weighs about 120 lbs. Also my cart, which you simply have to have when gigging in the city (this is assuming there is no house kit, of course).

Whaddya think, can I fit that in my panniers? ;-)
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Old 10-09-04, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oaxacarider
my car, like cycling its about performance, not looks. who cares about scratches on my car when i have over 300 fine tuned horses under the hood? nothing better than leaving some fancy shinny car behind at the stop light!! just like dropping the guy on the colnagos or litespeeds!!
Yeah...well, as I said, this is the first nice car I've ever owned. I do take pride in the appearance of it, as well as my bike, as well as other high cost things that I own that I've killed myself to save up and pay for. I refuse to accept that I have to own something that looks like ****, when I just paid 15 grand for it, you know?
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Old 10-09-04, 08:42 PM   #10
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Hey Rog, I too am a part-time professional musician, bass player. I have a drummer friend who has a system down to load up a full drum kit on his bike. I'll see if I can get the details and forward them to you. But really for some gigs it's not practical. I'm lucky enough to live near a lot of the clubs I play at and walk with a ruxxac handtruck, 2 2X10 cabs, bass head and the bass on my back.
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Old 10-10-04, 07:58 PM   #11
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Hey Rog, I too am a part-time professional musician, bass player. I have a drummer friend who has a system down to load up a full drum kit on his bike. I'll see if I can get the details and forward them to you. But really for some gigs it's not practical. I'm lucky enough to live near a lot of the clubs I play at and walk with a ruxxac handtruck, 2 2X10 cabs, bass head and the bass on my back.
Yeah, actually for most of my gigs it would be virtually impossible...it's not just how much I have to carry (though there's no way it's all going on a bike, and I'm not bringing less than a gig requires just to ride my bike), but for most gigs, I have to do a bit of driving to get to. Rarely playing within 20 miles of where I live. Do please send me the details, though..I'd love to see them. :-)
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Old 10-10-04, 09:23 PM   #12
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for cargo utility hauling I use a bluesky brand trailer made in eugene oregon. it's a two wheeled trailer that attaches at the seat post. I used it for my 4400mi x-country tour with 70+lbs. and have had as much as 300+lbs on it no problem. and it can double as the cart!
http://blueskycyclecarts.com
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Old 10-11-04, 01:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by naisme
I commuted all last year, through the winter without owning a car. I pass gas stations with gas at 1.95 or more. I imagine it isn't coming down any time soon. I'm in a cash crunch and the 200 simolians I throw at the insurance company, (a high premium cause I didn't own a car for 6 months!!!!) would be a wonderful addition to living life a little easier. This is really a difficult time to be making financial decisions.
ARGHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Auto insurance companies are a huge rip-off in the north east. I think we have some of the highest rates in the country because of all the accidents on our highways. You would think the insurance companies would give you a break driving six months out of the year instead, they rip you off even greater.

I didn't know the price of gas was a $1.95! It's been a while since I've look at the price but I think a barrel is now selling for $55.00 dolars and headed up!
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Old 10-11-04, 03:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rog
God, I so want to get away from anything to do with cars...

Welcome to the Dark Side. Soon my bike mounted STC* missiles will be ready for deployment and I will rule the world.


*Surface to Car
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Old 10-11-04, 08:47 AM   #15
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I started communting about 5 months ago and never plan on going back to a vehicle. With in 12 months before I started commuting I had been rear-ended 3 seprate times. Each time the vehicles were totalled. After the third time I got a '78 VW van because it was cheap and big so people could see me. After having it for about 2 months it started to die after driving it for about 5 miles, and would start after about 20 min of letting it rest the die again. I got fed up and since I had spent a lot of money on my bike I decided to ride every where I needed to go. I have only driven a vehicle about 8 or 9 times since May, and the longer I go with out a vehicle the more of an anti-motorist I become.
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Old 10-11-04, 09:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Snakesvudo
The longer I ride the more I hate cars. I mean I am really getting to despise them. I live in Pensacola in the Panhandle of Florida and as towns go it isnt huge. However, it seems like every man, woman and child own a car and they all drive all the time. There aren't that many places to go but they are always going hither and thither constantly...
Unfortunately for me my job requires me to be out there with them all day which makes riding my bike all the sweeter...
my thoughts exactly. i get so frustrated with the constant never ending flow of traffic. it's so ugly to me. the people mindlessly driving around, the noise, the smell, the spaces that are taken up. not to mention the road rage, the environment, and all the safety hazards. urg!!
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Old 10-13-04, 06:53 AM   #17
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If I may enter the conversation with my thoughts as a newbie commuter and also introduce myself. I just recently began commuting the 5 mile round trip from the subway stop to work and I just joined the forums.

In only THREE days of commuting the short distance Iíve realized just how much of a bloody hurry we as a society are in!!! Yesterday I saw people running up the stairs at the subway station...at the END of the day!!! They were in a mad rush to get to their cars. Iíve noticed the insanely mad rush people are in in their carsÖ.it amazes me!!! I never saw it when I was part of that it in my own car. Iím glad Iím doing the bike commuteÖI had 30 minutes of riding yesterday. People at work laugh, but I see it this way: my total commute is 5 hours/day round trip (a combination of car, train, subway, and bike), but during that that period, I get my ď30 minutes of daily exercise.Ē Iím thinking of it as more of a 4Ĺ hour round trip. The bike time is ďMEĒ time in the guise of getting to and from work. Granted, itís not like a road ride with a club through the New Hampshire or Virginia countryside, but itís better than NOT riding!

So I guess I'm in the discovery phase everyone else has probably gone through.

Anyway, thanks for indulging me.

Paul
(in Northern VA)
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Old 10-13-04, 07:57 AM   #18
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I started commuting for fitness. But, then more reasons to continue surfaced. Saving money by not owning a car to get to work (about $6500 a year which I would have to earn over $10,000 before tax to have $6,500 left over. Thus I consider my bike a $10,000 raise!). The environment, the enjoyment etc. As well I have begun to hate cars the more I ride. I guess that is the natural evolution of bikers, we begin to hate cars the more we ride!
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Old 10-13-04, 03:08 PM   #19
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I have lived in Toronto and LA. I dont own a car, but my moms car has never been keyed. When the teenage kid next door dented her car, she came next door, apologized, and then paid for the repair. Maybe its just New Jersey where people are generally *******s.
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Old 10-13-04, 04:08 PM   #20
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Commuting to university is fun for me, but those bloody motorists are just plain evil if you get in their way. I totally wiped out on a busy road last week (went through a red light thankfully, so no car to run me over) got up, cleaned meself up, and continued riding home with bloody knees and elbows... Then when i get to the lights, this crazy dude looks at the driver behind my, and yellws out "HIT HIM HIT HIM!". And it was even more akward because we were alls topped at a light... It totally sucked because i was all bloody too! guh, ive shyed away from commuting for a little bit.
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Old 10-13-04, 06:57 PM   #21
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http://maxp.net/bike/bikemove.php

For those contemplating a carfree life style but needing to move large loads.
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Old 10-14-04, 09:18 AM   #22
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http://maxp.net/bike/bikemove.php

For those contemplating a carfree life style but needing to move large loads.

wow! that's pretty impressive.
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Old 10-15-04, 08:05 PM   #23
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I have lived in Toronto and LA. I dont own a car, but my moms car has never been keyed. When the teenage kid next door dented her car, she came next door, apologized, and then paid for the repair. Maybe its just New Jersey where people are generally *******s.

Nice, man, thanks for contributing. I'm sure there's never been an ******* in Toronto. Oh, wait - I've been to a Leafs game. Shoots that theory right down...
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