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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 08-27-13, 09:31 PM   #1
Badger6
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Best commuting story

Not sure how to figure what the best was, but I had a pretty cool exchange with a guy next to me in a car today.

I'm riding home, and on a road that I go about 1.5 miles down, starts with a shared lane (marked by sharrows), and then picks up a dedicated bike lane for the last 600 meters or so. I pull into the bike lane, knowing there was a car behind me from the light 5 blocks back, and the car never passes. But, I can't be too concerned because I've got a wicked headwind, and heading uphill (slightly), and then just as I am about to turn right off the road, I hear the guy next to me saying something through an open window.

I can't hear him clearly, so I ask him if there is a problem. He just smiles, points at the speedo, and says, "Do you always ride this fast?" So being a smartass I say, "No, usually faster, but the damn wind is holding me back." He laughed, and told me to enjoy the rest of my ride.

Gotta say, it made my day...too bad some idiot turned right on a "no right turn on red" at the next light, where I had a clearly lit walk/ride signal and narrowly missed clipping my front tire...laying on his horn, and accelerating through his illegal right turn so he could make sure he got home 30 seconds sooner.
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Old 08-31-13, 09:10 AM   #2
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My favorite commute moment ever.

Got stopped and held at a stoplight by a police officer, I wasn't sure why. Suddenly 30 or so Shriners in tiny cars and full fez's came flying around a blind corner single file and through the intersection. It reminded me of a page from Go Dog Go.

Everyone waiting at the intersection was smiling and laughing and perfectly happy to be held up.
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Old 08-31-13, 10:07 AM   #3
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Go Dog Go!
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Old 08-31-13, 11:09 AM   #4
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For the first few months after I switched branches to my current library branch a couple of years ago, I paid a lot of attention to the patron names and addresses at check-out so I could learn the regulars names and get a feel for their distribution in the neighborhood. A group of pre-teen boys all had the same address on a street I use for my commute home. I told them I went by their house nearly every day. “Just look for a guy on a bike with flashing lights.”

Of course they didn’t believe me that
  • a white guy would be on their street,
  • that he’d be on a bicycle, and
  • that it would be at night.
Since then, nearly every night when I make the turn to their street, shouts of “Hey library guy!” come from the porch. I yell back and wave. It’s like having my own cheering section on the Tour or something. I miss it when they’re not there. Ordinarily I use a longer route to work, but one afternoon I was running late and took that route instead. As I came past their house, there they were on the porch. “Hey library guy, stop, stop, stop!”

This was different.

So I drop anchor and circle back on the sidewalk to their house. Thinking there’s some sort of emergency, I asked, “What’s the matter?”

“Can you take our movies back?”

I waited while they found all the DVDs—one proved to be elusive—and had the boys stuff them in my panniers. Then I rode the rest of the way to work.

Yes, we’re a full-service library!

Postscript: They've since moved. I really miss them.
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Old 08-31-13, 11:21 AM   #5
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Go Dog Go!
My daughter, now 6, has loved that book since pre-school. We read it once a week, at least. I love the image, jess!
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Old 08-31-13, 11:23 AM   #6
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tsl, that is awesome!
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Old 08-31-13, 12:59 PM   #7
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tsl's story shows us how we become more intimate with our communities we are when we ride bikes instead of driving cars or taking mass transit. We become individuals, and people want to hear our stories. And they're eager to tell their stories to the person on a bike. It's not just great for travel, it's great for commuting and shopping.
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Old 08-31-13, 06:59 PM   #8
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how we become more intimate with our communities
I didn't know it at the time when I interviewed for the transfer, but the branch head later told me what put me on the top of her list was that I like getting to know the regulars, calling them by name, and having a laugh. This isn't typical behavior for city government employees in general, or library staff in particular. She sees the library as an anchor in our neighborhood, not just some place with computers, movies and books, and to be that, you have to become part of the neighborhood, even if it's for only a few hours a day.

We do our bit to become a bright spot in the blight, not because we're bleeding hearts liberals (I've even voted Republican, and two of my co-workers are in the GOP hierarchy) but because it's nice, and decent, and right. And usually fun too!
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Old 09-02-13, 12:11 PM   #9
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I was riding my usual 6 miles to work and a car turned right in front of me causing evasive maneuvers to not slam into them. I then received a "one finger salute" from the diver of that car even though they had turned right from a stoplight and I had just kept my speed and had the green. So, that happens enough but then they slowed down so I came up to them again, rolled down the window and starting with the "small penis, you like members of the same sex, etc" (not their exact words, you can figure it out) comments. They were so busy I saw the next stop sign AND noticed the cops sitting behind a tree next to it. I came to a full, complete stop while the guys in the car, trying to show off and piss me off, barely slow and gunned it away from me. I got to watch the cop pull them over and rode past as he was writing them a ticket. Karma's a b....

And I know it's not in the same category as all the other motivational stories in this thread but it gave me a good feeling the rest of the day
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