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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 02-24-12, 11:56 PM   #1
djork
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We commuters have an advantage

When gas prices go up, as they're going up right now, we are prepared to take alternative transportation such as bycycling. For those who aren't "hardcore" everyday commuters (like me), it'll be easy to jump on a bike without having to acclimate our body and mind to riding to work or wherever. I can imagine it might be difficult or even stressful for those who have never or rarely ridden a bike or don't have a bike. I noticed today that the cheapest grade is now over $4.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:18 AM   #2
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I would agree. I do wish employers had an incentive to have their workers take other forms of transportation but perhaps thats in the future.

For me, I love saving the gas money but I also love not being restricted to my truck. I mean I get to enjoy 110 minutes of pure fun outside on my bike. I love it. Peaceful and the exercise on my body is great. Love the feeling of packing in and packing out what I brought into work.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:35 AM   #3
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Locally, our regular is 4.40 a gallon/diesel @4.60, and I already have a couple of family members beginning to eye a couple of the family ride bikes that I have stored at the house.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:52 AM   #4
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After a rough bout w/tick-borne meningitis and encephalitis over the holidays and beyond I'm just now getting my strength/grit back. Was out of work for a month and off the bike for almost 6 weeks. Rode 3 times this week M-W-F and will stay there for a couple of weeks. My commute's long(42.2 miles rt) so there's no 'working up to it'. One just has to grind it out until the conditioning is back. Well, I'm just about there as I look forward to all the ancillary parts of being a commuter. I.e., maintenance, getting dressed for winter, riding in the dark, etc., etc. My attitude when the alarm goes off is no longer one of dread, but anticipation.

Driving costs us 40.00 per minimum for a 5 day work week. @ 4.33 weeks per month works out to 173.20. Times 12 is a whopping 2078.40 per year! That's a used titanium Litespeed or a LHT frameset w/Phil Wood hubs laced to Mavic A719 rims and Ultegra components...well, maybe not quite, but you get the idea.

We live rural, so we've made a commitment to living on the cheap. We sold our other vehicle and bought a 75-90 mpg scooter and a bike cargo trailer for grocery shopping. One cart is equal to one trailer load.

I, also love the feeling of packing in/out @ work. My 2 bike commuter system consists of a multi-geared mule for clothes/food for the week on Mondays and a fg w/a seatpost rack/expandable trunkbag combo for bringing home my daily items be they clothes and/or food containers. Before getting sick I was up to 5 days w/t 3 in the middle on the fg, M&F on the multi and a metric century on the fg every other Saturday. Hope to be back to that level soon.

What I guess I've been trying to say is that I really miss commuting when unable to do so for one reason or another. And reducing one's carbon footprint to the best of one's ability is all of our responsibility.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:52 AM   #5
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To me, it's like stealing a ride.
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Old 02-25-12, 09:02 AM   #6
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I was fortunate enough to take a new position at my company 4.5 miles from my home 5 years ago. My last commute was 22 miles one way in sales and it was before I was even thinking about bicycle commuting and I was doing it in a 3/4 ton suburban with a 454 that we used to pull our camper. (Sold both.) Just the savings in fuel was like a significant raise. Closest job to home I have had since being a pimple faced teenager when I worked at BK in the 80's. In Dec 2010 my office moved.......2 miles closer LOL
2 of the people I work with have over a 1 hour drive in every morning. Summer my 4cyl 4Runner goes about 6weeks on a tank. The family mini van, The Blown Bean (supercharged 4cyclinder Previa), goes about 2-3 weeks depending on how many bikes I chase after.
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Old 02-25-12, 09:08 AM   #7
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I'm very grateful that my bicycle/bus/walking routine for commuting is already in place so I don't have to be forced into it by the rising fuel costs. In El Paso on the TV news there are a lot of interviews where people are complaining about the gas prices, but there's very little commentary on using alternate forms of transportation. El Pasoans look like they're going to get very angry about the gas prices, but they will pay them and just cut back on things like going out to eat, etc, to compensate. Maybe as I'm bombing around on The Rig going to work and shopping people will start getting the idea?
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Old 02-25-12, 09:17 AM   #8
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The downside is that those who still are driving seem more aggressive lately. Some here in LA have noticed that, and think that gas prices are part of that.
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Old 02-25-12, 09:35 AM   #9
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The downside is that those who still are driving seem more aggressive lately. Some here in LA have noticed that, and think that gas prices are part of that.
Time spent idling is wasted gas, of course. I've read of cabbies somewhere (I want to say it was Italy) where, instead of being paid by time, they were paid by mileage -- and they took that to mean that if they sat still, they lost money by burning gas. So, they'd take any route possible, going between lanes or on the occasional sidewalk, to get to where they needed to go.
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Old 02-25-12, 01:16 PM   #10
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I bought my Fargo with gas money savings from last year. When I drive it's almost a hundred miles daily round trip. Even on my old BMW motorcycle (45 mpg) that's a lot of money. Now I ride my bike to Dallas where I catch a commuter bus. Work pays for the monthly bus pass. I haven't yet decided for what I'm saving up this year.
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Old 02-25-12, 01:22 PM   #11
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Gas prices are going up? weird, hadn't noticed...

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Old 02-25-12, 01:28 PM   #12
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I bought my Fargo with gas money savings from last year. When I drive it's almost a hundred miles daily round trip. Even on my old BMW motorcycle (45 mpg) that's a lot of money. Now I ride my bike to Dallas where I catch a commuter bus. Work pays for the monthly bus pass. I haven't yet decided for what I'm saving up this year.
What are the differences in time? Negligible? I've always been interested in the 'long-distance commuters' and what the time difference is vs. driving. I enjoy a short commute and its cost savings, but I imagine if I was on the bike for 2 hours every day that I might start to think it wasn't worth it.
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Old 02-25-12, 01:45 PM   #13
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it all depends on where and how you ride. i can make most any ride i need to here in a reasonable amount of time (normaly 1.25 - 1.5 times what a car trip is but for short trips to the grocery and such i get there faster than i did when i had a car) and way faster than the bus (i left for an doc apt at the same time i would board the bus to go to the same place and made it to the office in half the time the bus did).

i just got lucky tho my work relocated 1.5 blocks from my home so i just walk to work now unless ive got stuff to do before or after work.

i only have one thing that usess gas anymore and thats a moped (70+ mpg) and some times its faster to bike than to use it because on a bike i can use trails to shortcut as to having to stick to the road on the moped.
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Old 02-25-12, 02:09 PM   #14
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Gas prices are going up? weird, hadn't noticed...

Go to the supermarket, you'll notice. Before bike commuters get too gleeful about rising gas prices we need to remember that besides automobiles other aspects of our society are effected by high gas prices.
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Old 02-25-12, 02:16 PM   #15
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yea like the fact that shipping is going up, food, clothing. while i dont spend money on gas i still cant save much money up because how much everything has gone up because gas going up.
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Old 02-25-12, 02:37 PM   #16
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Yeah I understand how fuel prices ripple through the entire economy. I haven't noticed much of an increase in my weekly grocery bill yet but expect it sooner or later.
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Old 02-25-12, 03:08 PM   #17
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Go to the supermarket, you'll notice. Before bike commuters get too gleeful about rising gas prices we need to remember that besides automobiles other aspects of our society are effected by high gas prices.
The demagoguery from some of our leading political figures alone makes this bad for everyone!
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Old 02-25-12, 03:11 PM   #18
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Unfortunately (or, fortunately maybe) I am getting closer to being forced to ride to work. I like riding to work, so, that isn't such a huge problem but I just don't like the feeling of being forced to do so. My income was 20% less last year than the year before and this year isn't looking much better. My house payment went up 11% this month (in a declining housing market, my county government decided my house was now worth a third more this year than last year meaning higher taxes), phone/internet bill went up about 40% last month plus groceries are getting outrageous. I see rising gas prices putting another nail in the economic coffin, so, I am trying to ready myself by riding more and cutting my outlay of cash (Monday I will be having phone/internet service disconnected). Hope and Change isn't working out so well for me.
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Old 02-25-12, 03:46 PM   #19
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I drive a first-gen Honda Insight that gets stellar mileage, so I don't really save much money riding To save a gallon worth of gas I'd have to ride at least 55 miles I try to ride as much as possible, not so much for savings (though that's a plus) but for the enjoyment of it and impressing this woman I'm madly in luuurve with at work The thing about owning a hybrid is that they don't like to sit for long periods of time due to the batteries losing their balance, so there are days when I have to drive my hybrid so as not to shorten the life of the battery. On some occassions I drive just for that reason with really no main destination. Of course, I try to make the drive useful, but still it's something I'd rather do on a bike.
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Old 02-25-12, 03:49 PM   #20
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I've been noticing a definite uptake in riders lately, figured it had to do with gas..
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Old 02-25-12, 04:07 PM   #21
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the crazy thing im seeing an increase in people driving.

like my neighbors went from one old gas hog to 3 ths month. my thery is the people that have more money and depend too much on there cars are switching to more fuel efficent cars such as hybrids and theres an increase in less gas friendly cars entering the market at "good" prices (low price because they burn money instead of gas lol) and its tax season now so people are grabbing up the cars and think there doing good. i give my neighbors 3 month max and they will be back to one car ... maybe if they are smart they will traid all 3 in for one car that does better on gas.

its crazy that the number of registered cars is increasing at a point when it should be dropping.

heck my grocerie bill is double what it was this time last year for the same food. at this rate im going to lose another 20lbs weither i want to or not. heck i barly buy meat any more unless its on a killer sale. i cant beleave that chicken and pork have gotten so high now too.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:38 PM   #22
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After a rough bout w/tick-borne meningitis and encephalitis over the holidays and beyond I'm just now getting my strength/grit back. Was out of work for a month and off the bike for almost 6 weeks.
I hear you, bro. Right before holidays landed at the hospital for two days with vertigo attack (later diagnosed as labyrinthitis). Recovery is slower that expected, or the medical protocol is written for non-cyclists. World is still swimming with sudden head movements. Took myself on the trail today, had to dismount every time trail crossed a street. So humiliating.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:11 PM   #23
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What are the differences in time? Negligible? I've always been interested in the 'long-distance commuters' and what the time difference is vs. driving. I enjoy a short commute and its cost savings, but I imagine if I was on the bike for 2 hours every day that I might start to think it wasn't worth it.
Excellent question. I guess I'm spending an extra 1 - 2 hours a day (depending on where I work) commuting, after subtracting the time I would have to spend going running after work when I drive. I've known for the last 20 years that my commute was too long (over an hour each way driving) but I live on 32 acres in the woods that I'm not willing to leave but which, so far, can't support me financially.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:26 PM   #24
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This forum is a great source of motivation for me. Whenever I find that I am growing a little bit tired of bike commuting and contemplate buying a scooter or something of the sort, I come back for a visit and inevitably find the motivation to carry on in short order.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:52 PM   #25
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I actually own 3 V8s myself and just traded my VW Beetle for a new 3/4 ton 4X4. I burn ethanol in the new truck and my conversion van is a camper. My wife's truck is a grocery getter and transports dogs to the vet when needed. I ride a bicycle most of the time but I do have a farm and I need truck around the property
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