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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 06-17-13, 03:53 PM   #51
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Yeah me too, which is I think why I am not realizing weight loss since starting my commute. Usually I end up basically "going for a walk" (atop two wheels), and I need to focus or set a stopwatch to make myself work.

Still, "going for a rolling stroll" is better for me than sitting my fat a@@ in a car
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Old 06-17-13, 05:11 PM   #52
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I must be lazy because when I ride my bicycle, my quads do not burn, I never get out of breath, nor do I ride so fast that I get bugs in my mouth/eyes/nostrils. Helmets? The less said the better. I ride at a pace that doesn't bring about those masochistic pleasures. I would not enjoy cycling otherwise.

A lot less people would ride bicycles anywhere if they had to be amongst the "weird folks" and make a g-d hammerfest out of every ride.
That might be true for you, but for most of us, even in my locale, flat Silicon Valley, we have over and underpasses, some with 15% grades for just a brief 100 meters or so. Quads will burn, and some will be out of breath, and we do have bugs flying around. Great protein and crunchy. But it's not for the faint of heart. Many have to get off and push. And those that make it look easy do so because we've ridden so many miles in our lives and hurt a little bit for so many years that it's not longer a labour that induces acute pain.

A lot less people already have gotten into cars and don't ride a bike anywhere if they can afford the choice. A hammerfest isn't usually a choice that people make, and that's why such a small fraction of the population rides, because there are times when we have no choice but to hammer to overcome an obstacle. Bicycling to work is the path less traveled and it should be obvious why. It's not fear of death. It's fear of exertion and pain from that exertion and all the accompanying embarrassment associated with failing in some cardiovascular endeavour. Easily done for those with training and already established VO2-max levels. But for the majority of folks who'd easily find someone caring to help them at a 24-hour fitness club and maybe even find a date with that person, you're pretty much one your own when you commute on your bike most of the time unless you already belong to that club of non-exertion, pre-developed quad cyclists with VO2-max levels above normal who can hang with most of us seasoned commuters. And even then, my own destiny means I usually commute when I want to and I'm not bike-pooling with some grouppees who wanna hang out and chit-chat and ride side by side on the bike lane - which makes it more dangerous.

I have 2 pins holding my left ankle together due to a commuter accident on a bike in Tokyo. I'm not dead. But it was life changing. Safer than a car? Heck no. Safer per mile than a car? Heck no. Safer in any other aspect to unmaintained roads, potholes, bad drainage grates? Heck no. But I'm still riding because I can and I'm different and I'm a cheap bastard who hates paying too much for gas and taking longer to drive and park than to ride door to door. Weird isn't always bad. It's just not the mainstream, who are lazier.
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Old 06-17-13, 07:53 PM   #53
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I feel safer in my car
I feel safer when I'm hiding at home in the dark.
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Old 06-17-13, 08:42 PM   #54
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I must be lazy because when I ride my bicycle, my quads do not burn, I never get out of breath, nor do I ride so fast that I get bugs in my mouth/eyes/nostrils. Helmets? The less said the better. I ride at a pace that doesn't bring about those masochistic pleasures. I would not enjoy cycling otherwise.
I can't speak to your laziness but I can speak to the fact that you are obsessed with how other cyclists ride. When I pass a slower cyclist I don't think to myself, "Gee that poor masochist is not experiencing the joy of cycling very fast." I could care less about their speed, their clothing, their form, or their bike. I am just glad that there is another cyclist in the bike lane, not in the lane, obeying traffic laws, or not obeying traffic laws! Drop you obsession with what other cyclists are doing and just ride your **** bike.
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Old 06-18-13, 12:20 AM   #55
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Being in the life insurance industry, I tend to prefer looking at all-cause premature mortality rather than just accident rates. Many activities that don't kill you with accidents increase your risk of death from disease or disorders. Driving is one of those activities -- it increases not only accidental death rates, but also cardiovascular disease, diabetes, emphysema, and some cancers.

Cycling to work reduces the all-cause risk of premature death by 40%, even after controlling for other athletic activity. (Copenhagen Heart Study, Andersen et al., 2000)

Life years gained by cycling outweigh life years lost in accidents by 20 to 1 (Baden et al., 1998)

We're all going to die. Some people obsess over *how* they're going to die, but personally, I care more about *when* I'm going to die, and I'd like to delay it as long as I can maintain quality of life. Compared to driving, cycling does both -- it dramatically reduces premature mortality, and it significantly improves quality of life, with reductions in stress, obesity, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, osteoporosis, and some cancers.

If you could bottle the health and longevity benefits of cycling and sell it as a painful injection every month for the rest of your life, you'd make billions...
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Old 06-18-13, 12:23 AM   #56
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if safety was first priority, over everything else, we'd never leave our homes.
Ironically, that would kill most of us decades earlier than bicycling. Sitting at home is very dangerous in the longer term, almost as dangerous as sitting at a desk. Perhaps more dangerous, depending on what you eat and drink while staying home ;-)
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Old 06-18-13, 08:38 AM   #57
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I was just about to unsubscribe from my own thread because it is growing tiresome, but then...
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Being in the life insurance industry...
That's the kind of informed feedback I was hoping for. Thanks so much for weighing in! And your perspective is verified by the existence of the life insurance industry (which would not be making money and still existing if this was a view that did not line up with reality)

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If you could bottle the health and longevity benefits of cycling and sell it as a painful injection every month for the rest of your life, you'd make billions...
Nice! I'm sure the same could be said for all sorts of activities, like running, swimming, hiking, etc. But perhaps what makes cycling unique is that it can take a very utilitarian form; throw a rack and bags on and it's commuting to work. Take the rack and bags off, and it's a ride for exercise or pleasure.
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Old 06-18-13, 10:10 AM   #58
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That's the kind of informed feedback I was hoping for. Thanks so much for weighing in! And your perspective is verified by the existence of the life insurance industry (which would not be making money and still existing if this was a view that did not line up with reality)
You misinterpreted the feedback from jputnam. He is in the insurance industry. The statistics he quoted about "life years gained by cycling," and any inference that cyclists live longer than non cyclists was not gathered by the life insurance industry nor was this alleged "reality" verified by the life insurance industry.
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Old 06-18-13, 10:15 AM   #59
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You misinterpreted the feedback from jputnam. He is in the insurance industry. The statistics he quoted about "life years gained by cycling," and any inference that cyclists live longer than non cyclists was not gathered by the life insurance industry nor was this alleged "reality" verified by the life insurance industry.
OK, so I'll back off only enough to say that I appreciate the perspective of a life insurance industry professional, who is trained to think about these questions quantitatively.
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Old 06-18-13, 11:23 AM   #60
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OK, so I'll back off only enough to say that I appreciate the perspective of a life insurance industry professional, who is trained to think about these questions quantitatively.
It's also been estimated (medical study, not insurance industry) that for every hour you spend commuting by bike, you add an hour in life expectancy. That's taking into account the chances of fatal and debilitating accidents.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:11 PM   #61
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It's also been estimated (medical study, not insurance industry) that for every hour you spend commuting by bike, you add an hour in life expectancy. That's taking into account the chances of fatal and debilitating accidents.
Now searching for cross-country traveling sales jobs I can apply for...
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Old 06-18-13, 02:27 PM   #62
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Now searching for cross-country traveling sales jobs I can apply for...
Well, you're only breaking even unless you enjoy the biking for its own sake. One hour in the saddle, one hour longer life. Or the other way around: if you hated the cycling but do it for health only, you waste an hour for every hour gained. Fortunately most of us here do enjoy it, and I personally take it in the spirit that every hour riding is an extra hour out of time. Kind of like a two-wheeled Tardis that way.
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Old 06-18-13, 03:51 PM   #63
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Breaking even is all I need. I can live forever (as long as I stay on the bike!)

I'll have to find a closed course where I can ride and sleep at the same time...
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Old 06-18-13, 04:12 PM   #64
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Well, you're only breaking even unless you enjoy the biking for its own sake. One hour in the saddle, one hour longer life.
You might gain even more hours of life if you spend a couple hours on the Internet searching for a different and even higher estimate of cycling's unverified/unsubstantiated life extension power; maybe an estimated two-fer can be found.
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Old 06-18-13, 04:18 PM   #65
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You might gain even more hours of life if you spend a couple hours on the Internet searching for a different and even higher estimate of cycling's unverified/unsubstantiated life extension power; maybe an estimated two-fer can be found.
Nah, I don't need to live for two forevers.
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Old 06-18-13, 05:38 PM   #66
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You might gain even more hours of life if you spend a couple hours on the Internet searching for a different and even higher estimate of cycling's unverified/unsubstantiated life extension power; maybe an estimated two-fer can be found.
No, that would be a waste of time. Stick with verified and substantiated, you'll be much better off.
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Old 06-18-13, 05:43 PM   #67
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Breaking even is all I need. I can live forever (as long as I stay on the bike!)

I'll have to find a closed course where I can ride and sleep at the same time...
Just commuting - riding forever doesn't count. In other words the hour or two of cardio exercise daily added a similar total time to the life spans of the subjects. Taking it to excess probably doesn't work.
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Old 06-18-13, 10:48 PM   #68
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No, that would be a waste of time. Stick with verified and substantiated, you'll be much better off.
100% agree.
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Old 06-18-13, 11:15 PM   #69
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I'm sorry, that's just dumb. Unless you are being sarcastic and mocking the "1 person/1 death" guy, in which case it's brilliant and incisive. But with that perspective, why even bother discussing anything? How about you just give me your wallet, because the chance that you'll drop it and I'll find it on the road are just 50/50, it'll either happen or it won't, so I'll flip you for it!
Okay, let's use your sarcastic logic -- remembering that NO ONE GETS OUT OF LIFE ALIVE, why do you cling so hard to life? FALL under that truck, you're gonna die anyway. Death is 100%, not 50/50, so why bother? *THAT'S* what your silliness is saying.

I'll instead suggest to you that you COME GET my wallet; it's 50/50 whether you'll get up, travel here, and try; 50/50 that, if you try, you will succeed. 50/50 that your attempt could also end with the 100%.

It's THE wonderful thing about this country -- we can agree to disagree, and if we are both MATURE, we won't call each other "dumb" or "stupid" for having different opinions.

Careful getting into this debate -- I may have you out in the field behind the castle, wolfing grass........
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Old 06-19-13, 12:21 AM   #70
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You misinterpreted the feedback from jputnam. He is in the insurance industry. The statistics he quoted about "life years gained by cycling," and any inference that cyclists live longer than non cyclists was not gathered by the life insurance industry nor was this alleged "reality" verified by the life insurance industry.
Correct, these are from decades of peer-reviewed research in medical and public health fields, not from the life insurance industry.

One study or two can easily be a fluke, but the large number of studies of bicycling's impact on health and longevity, conducted over decades and in diverse locations, strongly suggest the correlations derived are real, and the benefit ratios I cited are towards the lower end of the spectrum found in published studies.

Life insurance companies generally aren't that granular about what improves your physical condition -- there are just too many possible lifestyle variables to make a reasonable underwriting model. Instead, life insurance focuses on matching the individual's physical condition and major lifestyle factors to actuarial analysis of the population. It generally doesn't matter what non-medical means you use to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, or how you maintain a healthy weight for your height. As long as you're in excellent physical shape without medical intervention, you'll satisfy that part of the underwriting requirements whether you cycle, run, swim, etc.
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Old 06-19-13, 08:14 AM   #71
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Okay, let's use your sarcastic logic -- remembering that NO ONE GETS OUT OF LIFE ALIVE, why do you cling so hard to life? FALL under that truck, you're gonna die anyway. Death is 100%, not 50/50, so why bother? *THAT'S* what your silliness is saying.
I agree "my sarcastic logic" is silly; that's the point. I think that that silliness is the same silliness as your original silliness. I'm just trying to show you how silly you look by showing you something equally silly. Or I guess, rather, I'm just showing everybody else how well I understand your silliness. I don't really think you care. (But now I see that you care passionately!)

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I'll instead suggest to you that you COME GET my wallet; it's 50/50 whether you'll get up, travel here, and try; 50/50 that, if you try, you will succeed. 50/50 that your attempt could also end with the 100%.
I don't need to expend any effort to take your wallet. I'll just sit around and wait for you to drop it and then pick it up. Odds are 50/50 that plan will work. Not only that, but there's a chance you'll suddenly go crazy, decide you hate money and leather, and throw your wallet at me. And that chance is 50/50, so two 50/50's and I'm already up to 100%! Or wait, since all chances are 50/50, is it still only at 50/50? Your math is confusing to me, I must be stupid.

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It's THE wonderful thing about this country -- we can agree to disagree, and if we are both MATURE, we won't call each other "dumb" or "stupid" for having different opinions.
Another wonderful thing about this country is that when people say stupid things, you can say "hey, that's stupid". Even if the person is rich and powerful. Or even if they're just some guy on the internet.

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Careful getting into this debate -- I may have you out in the field behind the castle, wolfing grass.......
I don't know what that means. Sorry, I guess I'm stupid. But I'm content that everybody else here (and every other place) would agree that "Not only 1 person/1 death, but odds and percentages are pretty much a game -- the odds are 50/50 for everything, it'll either happen or it won't." is stupid.
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Old 06-19-13, 08:30 AM   #72
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FWIW, the original comment by locolobo was also stupid ("The death rate is the same for everybody. 1 person, 1 death."), which is why I said "unless you are mocking..." All you needed to do is say "yes I was mocking that other guy" and I'd say "I'm sorry I misinterpreted you and called you stupid." But now you've canceled all benefit of the doubt you might have been entitled to, and confirmed that, yes indeed, you said something stupid on the internet. It's ok, it happens to all of us, even me.
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Old 06-20-13, 12:19 PM   #73
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Before or after I get hit?

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