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Old 02-05-14, 09:26 AM   #26
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I don't think obsessive is the right word. We don't think of automobile commuters as obsessive simply becasue they always drive their cars.

In fact, I'm no more committed to my preferred mode of transportation than the typical car owner.
You've captured quite eloquently what I've wanted to put in word with several friends and co-workers.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:58 AM   #27
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I have had to surrender more often than I care to this winter not only due to the weather though. If at all possible, I always commute by bike. Its only when I have to haul computer equipment etc. or work far away out town that I have to drive. On a good note, I have reverted to doing more ice skating which is helping me stay in shape for spring riding. I always scout out where local ice arenas are whereever I travel to for a little public skate session at lunch time or something.
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Old 02-05-14, 10:05 AM   #28
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Don't feel too bad. I've only ridden 3 times this year because of this weather. It's either too snowy, too icy, or just too cold.
I am in the same position this year, myself. I haven't ridden any where near as many miles (commutes) this winter, as in previous ones.
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Old 02-05-14, 10:58 AM   #29
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I don't think obsessive is the right word. We don't think of automobile commuters as obsessive simply becasue they always drive their cars.

In fact, I'm no more committed to my preferred mode of transportation than the typical car owner.
Agreed.

My bike is just how I get around and while I have alternatives where I live- excellent public transportation in several forms: express bus, local bus, commuter rail as well as 3 or 4 Zipcar locations in walking distance and an Enterprise car rental. I make use of all of these options when I feel like it but my preference is overwhelmingly the bike whenever possible and often for short local transport that means I bike, even in inclement weather.

With all that said, today, the college I teach at cancelled classes so I may cross country ski to the market later instead of take my bike.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:02 PM   #30
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I too ride every day regardless of conditions because frankly it is easier and less stressful than driving. Several of years ago, my snow and ice commutes could be very challenging and a little sketchy. Because the local bike trails were covered with snow, I was forced to ride in the streets. But approximately three years ago, the county wide parks division undertook responsibility for trail maintenance and snow removal. Now, when there is snow and ice the trails are cleared immediately and snowy days rides have become completely ordinary. Today, we had about 7 inches of snow and the bike trail I was on was clearer than many of the streets I crossed.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:07 PM   #31
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I too ride every day regardless of conditions because frankly it is easier and less stressful than driving. Several of years ago, my snow and ice commutes could be very challenging and a little sketchy. Because the local bike trails were covered with snow, I was forced to ride in the streets. But approximately three years ago, the county wide parks division undertook responsibility for trail maintenance and snow removal. Now, when there is snow and ice the trails are cleared immediately and snowy days rides have become completely ordinary. Today, we had about 7 inches of snow and the bike trail I was on was clearer than many of the streets I crossed.
I wish that were the case for me. Unfortunately, as a cost saving measure the Montgomery County portion of the Schuylkill River Trail (a significant part of my commute) is no longer maintained during the winter.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:24 PM   #32
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I wish that were the case for me. Unfortunately, as a cost saving measure the Montgomery County portion of the Schuylkill River Trail (a significant part of my commute) is no longer maintained during the winter.
Yes, I express my thanks to the metroparks division whenever I can. In the past several years, Franklin county voters have generously passed tax levies to help fund metroparks programs and acquisitions.
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Old 02-05-14, 02:42 PM   #33
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My bike is just how I get around and while I have alternatives where I live- excellent public transportation in several forms: express bus, local bus, commuter rail as well as 3 or 4 Zipcar locations in walking distance and an Enterprise car rental. I make use of all of these options when I feel like it but my preference is overwhelmingly the bike whenever possible and often for short local transport that means I bike, even in inclement weather.
Like Buzzman, I too live in Boston with the amenities described. Even on the other end of my commute, in a suburb 14 miles from downtown, I have Commuter Rail about two short blocks away, bus outside the door; and Enterprise Car Rental about two miles away will pick me up. No Zipcars though.

For errands:

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...almost all my personal service needs like barber shop, dentist, dry-cleaner/tailor, supermarket and drugstore, and good take-out restaurants are all within walking distance, or a short hop on the bike.
Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.
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Old 02-05-14, 02:58 PM   #34
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Let the record show, bus today. Then they sent us all home after 90 minutes. Spent more time on the bus than I did on the clock.
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Old 02-05-14, 05:32 PM   #35
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Never ever give up and surrender...Today it was really bad, I had a choice and could of taken a bus but I didn't, instead I rode my bike. It was hard and I was tired as hell when I got home. This is my 7th winter. The sense of well being and satisfaction I get from doing this is priceless.
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Old 02-05-14, 06:10 PM   #36
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Thanks for the inspiration, folks. I've gotten tough over recent winters, but I haven't ridden much in the last two or three weeks. The ground is covered in several inches of slush and ice here in the city, and I even considered going for a joy ride in it, just for the crazy challenge. But I didn't even do that. Maybe later tonight.
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Old 02-05-14, 08:26 PM   #37
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I don't think obsessive is the right word. We don't think of automobile commuters as obsessive simply becasue they always drive their cars.

In fact, I'm no more committed to my preferred mode of transportation than the typical car owner.
Yes... of course you are right.

I guess I'm committed about my riding too, even if I take the bus once in a while.
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Old 02-06-14, 09:16 AM   #38
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I'm curious as to why it is such a big deal to commute every single day.... I wonder if our obsessiveness turns some lurkers and occasional commuters off.

I ride when I want. I take the bus when weather is crappy.

Luckily that isn't too often.
I don't believe it is. I think I would qualify as a lurker/occasional commuter, and I was rather encouraged by this thread. My wife and I have 5 (motorized) vehicles, so I never HAVE to commute, but for me it is a goal :-)

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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I don't think obsessive is the right word. We don't think of automobile commuters as obsessive simply becasue they always drive their cars.

In fact, I'm no more committed to my preferred mode of transportation than the typical car owner.
^good point as well.




Edit:
Also, I live in Florida. We don't really have any weather related reasons to not commute.
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Old 02-06-14, 09:51 AM   #39
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I don't think obsessive is the right word. We don't think of automobile commuters as obsessive simply becasue they always drive their cars.

In fact, I'm no more committed to my preferred mode of transportation than the typical car owner.
I'm not sure I buy that unless you somehow have become unaware of how you're swimming upstream and how strong the downstream current is. I don't mean that as a put-down. I wish I could get there with you.
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Old 02-06-14, 10:16 AM   #40
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I'm not sure I buy that unless you somehow have become unaware of how you're swimming upstream and how strong the downstream current is.
Simply because I choose not to go with the flow does not make me obsessive. While it certainly puts me in the minority, and you could say I'm counter-culture, follow the beat of my own drummer, that I'm non-conformist, or whatever, that is not the same as being obsessive.

Please consult either your Funk & Wagnall's or the DSM if you've forgotten what the word obsessive really means.

When consumers buy a car and own only a car for their transportation needs, they are not considered obsessive. If you strip away all the social constructions surrounding car ownership, at its most basic level, that consumer has made a committment to using their car for their primary transportation. They bought this thing to get around, and that's what they use to get around. A tool being used for its intended purpose.

So why is it that when I buy a bicycle and own only bicycles for my transportation needs, that you think me obsessive? I've only made the same committment to my transportation choice as a car owner has--I bought this thing to get around, so that's what I use to get around. I use the tool for its intended purpose.

Yet I'm obsessive and they're not?

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Old 02-06-14, 10:33 AM   #41
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A tool being used for its intended purpose.

So why is it that when I buy a bicycle and own only bicycles for my transportation needs, that you think me obsessive? I've only made the same committment to my transportation choice as a car owner has--I bought this thing to get around, so that's what I use to get around. I use the tool for its intended purpose.
That I understand.

I go everywhere on a bike, except when I take trash to the county dumpsters. It's only 2.5 miles each way and downhill loaded to get there. I just don't have a way to carry an overstuffed tall kitchen trash bag on a bike--securely. I could buy a trailer but that's not cost effective at three trips/gallon and I make one trip a month.

I use a bike when I can, the truck when I have to. Both are just transportation tools, although I do like the bike better.

I don't see using one tool over another as being obsessive as long as either will do the job.


BTW........tsl---is that a Specialized helmet???
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Old 02-06-14, 10:54 AM   #42
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Let the record show, bus today. Then they sent us all home after 90 minutes. Spent more time on the bus than I did on the clock.
That sucks - it must be just awful weather there.

On the sidebar topic, I don't see it as "obsessive". It's just how we get around, after awhile it's normal to ride the bike. I haven't missed a day this winter (not the same as your winter of course), and I hear comments ranging from "dedicated" to "nuts" but it's really just going to work. "Obsessive" would have been driving to work the morning of our zombie/snow apocalypse knowing that it could take hours to get home, or not get home at all. The drivers were obsessive about using their cars, against all reason, not the one or two on bikes.
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Old 02-06-14, 10:56 AM   #43
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tsl---is that a Specialized helmet???
Yes. That's a 2007 edition of the Specialized Decibel. I bought it after my first major crash. I chose it for its light weight and excellent ventilation. By then I'd discovered that I sweat profusely from the head, and ventilation was my primary concern. I also like it because it came with a detachable visor. These days I use it only on rainy days.

My current default helmet is the now-discontinued Giro Ionos. Also lightweight and extremely well ventilated, it fits the size and shape of my head a bit better and the rear size adjuster thingie clears my ponytail better. It's so well ventilated that they included a winter liner in the package. It reduces airflow enough that even in the single-digits wearing only a thin balaclava, my head doesn't freeze. Yet it permits enough ventilation that I don't sweat in it until the mid-30s or so, depending on how hard I'm riding.
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Old 02-06-14, 11:00 AM   #44
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That sucks - it must be just awful weather there.
Yes and no. It's really just a return to what used be typical winters. During the past several mild winters, the city--strapped for cash--changed the street clearing policy. Where they used to salt and plow with the merest hint of flurries in the forecast, now they wait until it's all on the ground before sending the trucks out. Plus yesterday there were visibility issues as well.
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Old 02-06-14, 12:27 PM   #45
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tsl, you're absolutely right, and I apologize. Obsession implies excess, and you are not doing anything in excess.

Thanks for the dictionary recommendation. I respect it, since you're a librarian.

Good point about buying a car and what the implication is. It's the biggest investment in transportation you can make, so it is a commitment more than any other mode.
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Old 02-06-14, 07:14 PM   #46
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tsl, you're absolutely right, and I apologize. Obsession implies excess, and you are not doing anything in excess..
Thanks, Tom. Knowing you I figured it was just a misunderstanding.

Yeah, plunking down five figures before interest and expenses certainly is a committment to a car. Funny how it's difficult sometimes to see it that way.

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Old 02-07-14, 05:42 AM   #47
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That's a 2007 edition of the Specialized Decibel.
Thanks. I had just about settled down to a Propero, both of both lightweight and ventilation. Although ponytail clearance is certainly an issue.

I shouldn't have shown Cheryl my new CatEye cadence feature. I was scrolling through the function screens when I realized my mistake. I hurried past the max mph and she asked "What was that????". Screwed. She hasn't been off my tail about a damn helmet since.
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Old 02-07-14, 05:48 AM   #48
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Thanks for the dictionary recommendation. I respect it, since you're a librarian.
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Thanks, Tom. Knowing you I figured it was just a misunderstanding.



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