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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 10-20-04, 05:20 PM   #1
pinerider
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Is Bike Commuting getting more popular??

I've been on this forum for a coupla years now, and find it just amazing how busy the commuting forum is nowadays. What was a week's worth of posts a year or so ago is covered in a day now. I find it difficult to stay ahead of things!
I've also noticed more and better equipped bike commuters around the city. Is it just expensive gas or are people getting smarter???
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Old 10-20-04, 07:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pinerider
Is it just expensive gas or are people getting smarter???
Both (I hope)
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Old 10-20-04, 08:48 PM   #3
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10,000 bike commuters in a city of 8,000,000 is 1/8th of a percent.
5 or 6 people a week in a county of several hundred million is small but every little bit brings a little closer.
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Old 10-20-04, 08:58 PM   #4
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they recently did a segment on the news here (Amarillo, Texas) interviewing people that had bought or were planning to buy a bike because of the rising gas prices...

I didn't get interviewed, but I'm in the "had bought" category...

there were around 20 people (just showed a tiny bit of a response for each)
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Old 10-21-04, 07:28 AM   #5
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I think the rising gas prices are creating more bicycle commuters. I know that gas is not the most expensive part of owing a car, but its the one that we notice the most when it goes up. Also, I bet the recent bic pen lock coverage helped a lot of people discover these forums.

Last edited by Kabloink; 10-21-04 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 10-21-04, 08:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
10,000 bike commuters in a city of 8,000,000 is 1/8th of a percent.
I was featured in the newspaper last year as a representative of bike commutters in our region and in the article, it said I was one of 34,000 bike commutters in the region.

I thought that ws a very large number of cyclists, but then I noticed that was based on a 2% rate of bike commutters (our region has a 4% rate and the provincial average is 2%) so there are 68,000 of us.

I think thats a pretty big number. I also think, the worse traffic and bottlenecks get, the more cyclists will go to work on their bikes.
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Old 10-21-04, 08:34 AM   #7
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There's folks riding helmetless, often with aluminum cans in baskets on their bikes and then there's me riding to work around town here. Six miles away in Auburn there's loads of young people riding bikes to class.

No change in over five years that I can see.
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Old 10-21-04, 09:58 AM   #8
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The forums have gotten a few loudmouths lately too. Sorry about that. LOL

Seriously, I can't really say if there are more commuters around, but I'm trying to do my part to recruit coworkers (both to commuting by cycle and to bike forums.)
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Old 10-21-04, 10:39 AM   #9
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I dunno. Has gas become more expensive lately? I hadn't noticed... probably because I ride my bike to work everyday.
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Old 10-21-04, 10:49 AM   #10
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I also think it is partly due to rising gas prices. I won't be bold enough to tell what we pay in MO (It will just angry those of you on east and west coasts!) The tough part for me is that we have quite a few people here at my work that WANT to ride to work but there isn't any place to park their bikes! The company hasn't embraced the idea about bike racks yet. I just keep plugging away at it.
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Old 10-21-04, 10:51 AM   #11
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I don't see more ppl doing the bike commuting in my area. I'm still a lonely commuter @ work, and most ppl here are joe motorheads who think I'm crazy to STILL be biking @ 3C.

Perhaps if I was downtown I would notice it more.
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Old 10-21-04, 11:03 AM   #12
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I was shown the light!
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Old 10-21-04, 11:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinerider
I've been on this forum for a coupla years now, and find it just amazing how busy the commuting forum is nowadays. What was a week's worth of posts a year or so ago is covered in a day now. I find it difficult to stay ahead of things!
I've also noticed more and better equipped bike commuters around the city. Is it just expensive gas or are people getting smarter???
Both are controling factors for a growth in bike commuting.
However, the bike makers will be/are caught flat footed by the
sudden rise in gas prices as to making enough 'commuting' bikes.

The reason for the lack of bike commuting are detailed in these
threads...........

Will America turn to the bicycle?

so many bikes, but none in america

It should be noted that until the causes of excessive use of
cars for simple utility use stops and is replaced by MORE use
of bicycles for simple urban utility,as they are in the rest
of the world,the car and it's excessive expense and pollution
will continue.
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Old 10-21-04, 12:59 PM   #14
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I notice no increase in bike commuting here in Texas. Car use is driven (pardon the pun) by cultural and emotional factors I think, not by gas price.
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Old 10-21-04, 01:25 PM   #15
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I haven't seen any meteoric rise of bike commuters in the short term but I have seen an increase of the immigrant workforce in my area and a lot of them can't afford cars, so I have seen a larger bike commuter demographics in the long run from say 20 years ago.

I say hello and good morning to all of them that I see when I'm on my bike.

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Old 10-21-04, 01:33 PM   #16
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Jay H, funny that you shoud mention that ("I say hello and good morning to all of them that I see when I'm on my bike.") I do the same. I go through some rougher neighborhoods and always speek to the other brave souls out at 5:30am. I figure if they see me enough, I may have an ally if I need. And of course, they will have one in me as well.
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Old 10-21-04, 04:39 PM   #17
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I pass one or two guys pretty regularly, and we are now in the habit of waving and saying hi to each other, which I think is good. It's odd because normally when I'm out just riding around, not commuting, I have a helmet rule where I don't wave to anybody not wearing a helmet. But when I'm commuting and see these folks on their department store bikes, I can't help but smile and wave and say "morning". Like you, I am on the roads by 6;15am and pass these guys. I have my helmet, clipless pedals, 32W of lights, 2 red blinkies, etc. etc. on my $1000 mtb and these guys are on the department store special but there is a kindred spirit that I respect. I don't have to bike to work, I have a very nice job, a very nice car, but I choose to bike because I enjoy it more, I bike in rain, winter, snow. I respect that when I don't feel like biking, I don't have to. Some of these folks don't have that choice and I respect that.

And of course, the ally helps too. I pass the homeless as well and will say hello if they happen to be on the same trail. In fact, I've been considering paying them to sweep garbage and glass off the trail for a few bucks...

Jay
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Old 10-21-04, 05:04 PM   #18
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I'm planning to start at least a partial commute soon for a few reasons.

First, I now take public transit, which consists of me walking to a bus stop, waiting for the bus, then taking the bus to a light-rail train station. That takes about 20 minutes, when I can actually ride to the train station in 10-15. The train accomodates bikes, so I can then ride in to work. My one-way total commute is about an hour. I would then ride all the way home at the end of the day, which is about 12 miles. This way I can avoid the "smelly cyclist guy at work" thing and will only need to worry about being the "smelly cyclist guy at home."

Second, I've renewed my passion for cycling (which I last had as an 8th grader putting around to my friends' houses - I'm about to turn 36).

Third, in relation to my age mentioned above, I'm in crappy shape (not overweight, just really soft) but don't have much time to exercise. I can't think of a better way to exercise without taking additional time out of my day.
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Old 10-21-04, 05:17 PM   #19
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I can't think of a better way to exercise without taking additional time out of my day.
This is the main reason I started riding to work. Originally, it was because I was training for a triathlon and I found that it was a lot simpler to do my riding directly from work rather than get on the bus, go home, change, etc., first. And now that my work and family life have gotten busier, it's about the only exercise I get.

I realize that there are folks who start bike commuting because it saves on gas and parking expenses, but for me, that's just gravy.
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Old 10-21-04, 09:13 PM   #20
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I haven't really noticed any change either. As far as the "gas prices" thing goes, have they really changed all that much? Admittedly, not owning a car means I don't have to pay any attention to them, but I read somewhere recently that prices in this country are still below 2000 levels. Hardly an increase, nevermind enough to drive people from their cars.

Having said that, I have noticed a slight increase this week with half of Surfers Paradise being closed off, and the resultant increase in traffic. Interestingly though, traffic levels here right now are still below what they normally swell to during school holidays, and I don't see any marked increase in bicycle commuters at those times. Can someone please explain to me how that works?
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Old 10-21-04, 11:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikdes
I'm planning to start at least a partial commute soon for a few reasons.

First, I now take public transit, which consists of me walking to a bus stop, waiting for the bus, then taking the bus to a light-rail train station. That takes about 20 minutes, when I can actually ride to the train station in 10-15. The train accomodates bikes, so I can then ride in to work. My one-way total commute is about an hour. I would then ride all the way home at the end of the day, which is about 12 miles. This way I can avoid the "smelly cyclist guy at work" thing and will only need to worry about being the "smelly cyclist guy at home."

Second, I've renewed my passion for cycling (which I last had as an 8th grader putting around to my friends' houses - I'm about to turn 36).

Third, in relation to my age mentioned above, I'm in crappy shape (not overweight, just really soft) but don't have much time to exercise. I can't think of a better way to exercise without taking additional time out of my day.
I also forgot to mention that I'd rather smell the exhaust from behind a bus than I would the smell of some of the crazies I now sit next to on the bus! Holy Shnikees!
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Old 10-22-04, 12:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikdes
...but don't have much time to exercise. I can't think of a better way to exercise without taking additional time out of my day.
Yeah, I commute about 45 minutes each way which would be about 30 minutes by car. Even including an extra shower, I like to say I get a 90 minute workout for the time of 45. (Car time: 60 minutes. Riding time: 90 minutes. Extra shower: 15 minutes. So 90+15-60=45.)

If you search around, you'll find a bunch of hints for quick sponge offs in the bathroom that keep you from being stinky. If it's taking you 60 minutes to get 12 miles by mass transit, could actually save time on your bicycle. Just a thought.
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Old 10-24-04, 08:10 AM   #23
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There is Definately an increase in bicycle commuting here in Dayton, slowly but surely. I think in part because of bike paths, bike racks on city busses, awareness of the enviroment and sprawl, more people living downtown, etc. There was always some sort or interest, or at least awareness, in cycling here in Dayton because of the Wright Bros., and the headquarters of Huffy (ugh!)
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Old 10-24-04, 03:05 PM   #24
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Here in the Washington, DC, area, I think there is definitely an increase. Six years ago, I might see one or two on my way to work. Now, it is unusual to see fewer than six. Of course, the real mystery is why anyone still commutes by car around here, given the traffic and shortage of parking.

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Old 10-24-04, 05:18 PM   #25
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At the park and ride that I pass by every day, and occasionally use, I have noticed that there are two more bikes locked up to the rack almost daily. Mine used to be the only lonely bike there, so it is pretty cool to see more folks peddling in to meet their carpool.
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