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  1. #51
    Senior Member Pliny the Elder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    These are not mutually exclusive categories.
    I agree, normally if I see a commuter though I see either a pannier, backpack or messenger bag. I could be mistaken though. Either way it's great to see other riders on my way to work.

  2. #52
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saving Hawaii View Post
    I don't disagree. My data set is atypical but it is my local community and it does have a lot of bike commuters. Of 20 employees at my workplace about 4 commute, none of whom are using backpacks or saddle bags to carry clothes. That's pretty typical here. I think some of you live in communities that are more difficult to commute in. Longer trips, more challenging terrain, lots of bad drivers (not that drivers here don't suck but they're very used to cyclists), inclement weather, etc. A "long" commute here is doing a 3-mile ride on flat ground...
    There are probably different cues that can be employed depending on where you are at, time of day, size of group, etc.

    If I see 10 riders on the Greenway all wearing matching kit at 7:00 pm in the evening, they probably aren't commuters. A single rider wearing lycra and a backpack near downtown at around 7:30 am probably is, and so is the guy wearing business casual clothes with no backpack or panniers. Take the backpack away from the guy wearing lycra and it's more of judgement call.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  3. #53
    Yogi on Wheels schiiism's Avatar
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    I pass several K-12 schools on my commute, so most of them are children on the sidewalk. Probably 5-10 on a nice day. I've only seen one of them actually in the bike lane--I'm not sure if the "no sidewalk riding" rule should apply to these kids? They are definitely not steady in their riding or completely spatially aware, but some of the sidewalk paths are pretty treacherous too.

    Concerning adults, most of them in the residential areas seem more like recreational riders, mostly because they are of retirement age and don't seem like they're in a hurry. The only adult commuters I see on a regular basis (maybe 1-3 a day) is in the last bit of industrial stretch of my commute, and most of them are in casual clothes on mountain or hybrid bikes.

  4. #54
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
    I pass several K-12 schools on my commute, so most of them are children on the sidewalk. Probably 5-10 on a nice day. I've only seen one of them actually in the bike lane--I'm not sure if the "no sidewalk riding" rule should apply to these kids? They are definitely not steady in their riding or completely spatially aware, but some of the sidewalk paths are pretty treacherous too.

    Concerning adults, most of them in the residential areas seem more like recreational riders, mostly because they are of retirement age and don't seem like they're in a hurry. The only adult commuters I see on a regular basis (maybe 1-3 a day) is in the last bit of industrial stretch of my commute, and most of them are in casual clothes on mountain or hybrid bikes.
    Kids up to about age 11 should ride on the sidewalk and, as such, should be allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Beyond that, they're better off on the street. The final call is with the parents.

    The fraction of kids who walk or ride to school has fallen a lot in the last generation. I don't think it's a good thing.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  5. #55
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Kids up to about age 11 should ride on the sidewalk and, as such, should be allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Beyond that, they're better off on the street. The final call is with the parents.
    I'm not an expert on child development, but suspect the "ride in traffic" age should be a little higher than that. This is based on observations of my normally bright 13 year old grandchild. She's almost ready. In general I agree with this comment.
    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    The fraction of kids who walk or ride to school has fallen a lot in the last generation. I don't think it's a good thing.
    Sad but true.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  6. #56
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    You're probably right, depending on the conditions, CC.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  7. #57
    Senior Member pavemen's Avatar
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    I commute from the central valley to the bay area via train here in CA and by the time I get off at the the "middle" stop of the whole route, the bike racks are full on each car (7 cars with 20-25 racks per car) with several people standing with their bikes. Some ride year round regardless of weather, they just change bikes, but its definitely getting busier as weather warms up. When I get on in the afternoon, its usually standing room only with a bike for the next 1-2 stops when enough folks get off and make room.

    I see all types of people, from those that look like they are about to start a race on their full carbon and TI rides with no backpacks or bags to women in skirts on cruisers. On my route to the office and back I see maybe one rider every 2-3 rides though we have several folks that commute via bike.

    I go 6 miles from home to the bus in the morning (to make sure I make the train), then 5 miles each way between the train and the office and finally 23 miles one way to home. I wear my cycling clothes and run saddle bags on a QR rack with my laptop, accessories, clothes, etc. I could not ride that far in jeans. I leave work shoes at the office so I don't have to carry them and shower there as well. I think a lot of it has to do with the distance and facilities at the office. No way to clean up after a decent ride would keep me from commuting via bike to work. Well, not myself, but my co-workers would probably not want me commuting via bike.....

  8. #58
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    Kids up to about age 11 should ride on the sidewalk and, as such, should be allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Beyond that, they're better off on the street. The final call is with the parents.

    The other day I was out riding and came to a place where the bike path crossed a road using a cross walk. There was a father and daughter(about 11 years old I'd say) at the crosswalk. The father was instructing her how to ride safely, and told her it's best to walk across crosswalks. I liked how the father was taking the time to teach his daughter safety skills. I was actually tempted to get off my bike and walk across when the time came to set a good example. However, the father may have sensed that he should say something because I was there and he knew I would probably ride across. So he told her that when you get older and more experienced it's ok to ride across. In doing so he let me off the hook, but otherwise I would have walked. It's nice to see people spending time with their kids and teaching them about life.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by turky lurkey View Post
    This is one of the greatest things about bike commuting. While bike commuting you get to ride your bike (fun, and good exercise) with none of the guilt that can sometimes accompany recreational activities due to the time spent on them. When I was single it didn't matter, everyday after work I would play in the ocean from the time I got off until it got dark (surfing used to be my big thing) without feeling any guilt. Now that I have a family, if I am out doing something fun for too long I begin to feel guilty. I know my kids would like to see me, and that my wife could use some help with the kids.

    That said, the last several Saturday's I have been doing some long recreational rides for the enjoyment of them, but also as training for some distance charity events this summer. I have to say that by the time 3-4 hours goes by I begin to feel kind of guilty. It's ok, because I don't do it year around and my wife is OK with it, plus I try to make sure she get's some time for her hobbies as well. But it is great getting your exercise on the way to work.
    Yea, even being married without kids its a bit harder to come home, then go for a ride/run or to the gym as then we really don't see each other much during the week. I have tried riding with my wife after work, but its a very different ride as she isn't as strong a rider, so not a great workout, just a nice way to spend time together. COmmuting gets me that fun/workout time without significantly taking away from other time. This, plus health benefits of riding, makes the wife happy (happy wife = happy life)

  10. #60
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavemen View Post
    I commute from the central valley to the bay area via train here in CA . . . (7 cars with 20-25 racks per car)
    Seven Bike cars per train? Way cool. Do you have a link to the transit agency?

    I ride the Southern CA Metrolink from the furthest point south, and get off halfway to LA. They have one bike car per train, and not on all trains. There are “officially" 18 bike spots on the car, but they will hold more.

    The train I catch at 5:15 has two to four bikes board at the first stop. By the time I get off, there are five to ten more. The conductor told me that it often fills up by the time it gets to union Station
    Quote Originally Posted by pavemen View Post
    I see all types of people, from those that look like they are about to start a race on their full carbon and TI rides with no backpacks or bags to women in skirts on cruisers. On my route to the office and back I see maybe one rider every 2-3 rides though we have several folks that commute via bike. .....
    I board just about every day with my steel road bike in full kit. One other rides nearly every day-Trek road bike-Kit. Another, always boards another, car-steel road bike-cargo shorts, sneakers.

    Return trip I board with three to five other regulars. There are usually half a dozen bikes already on board. One other on a road bike. A guy with an old Motobecane tourer who never misses a day, Two other guys who work together, one on a touring bike the other CX bike. Along the way we pick up more, including some high school students on mountain bikes, and two women. An RN new to riding on a Next MTB and another on a Schwinn Cruiser.

    Quote Originally Posted by turky lurkey View Post
    The other day I was out riding and came to a place where the bike path crossed a road using a cross walk. There was a father and daughter(about 11 years old I'd say) at the crosswalk. The father was instructing her how to ride safely, and told her it's best to walk across crosswalks.
    Full agree that this makes sense for kids. I would hope that many such parents are cognizant of the dangers peculiar to riding of sidewalks, and take these into account. It is rare, but I have seen fully grown adults bombing down sidewalks, then dismount at intersections and walk their bikes across.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  11. #61
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    My gut reaction is that I usually see a few other commuters most days -- lots in the summer, not so many in the winter.

    Yesterday on my way home (10 miles) I counted 16 other people on bikes. I'd guess that between half and two thirds were commuters. Yesterday was unseasonably warm, but windy. This morning, despite even better weather, I didn't see a single other person on a bike.

    I think for me it depends on the route I take. Almost all the people I saw yesterday, including all of the ones I thought were commuters, were on arterial roads. About half my commute home yesterday was on residential streets, and I just saw a few kids on bikes there. This morning, when I saw no one else on a bike, about 80% of my route was on residential streets. I'm not sure how to interpret this. The cynic in me says that the other commuters aren't very particular about route planning and just use the obvious roads. The optimist in me says that there are lots of other commuters out there and they're just using different residential streets than I am so I don't see them. The lack of streets that cut through the maze of cul-de-sacs in my county speaks against the optimist. On the other hand, at my campus alone there are at least 100 people who biked to work on any given day and they've got to be getting there some way.

  12. #62
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Great Falls, MT with a population around 60,000.

    I know of two others who commute. One is a fair weather only commuter and the other rides in all but the nastiest weather.

    I'm sure there are others I don't know about.
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  13. #63
    Senior Member pavemen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    Seven Bike cars per train? Way cool. Do you have a link to the transit agency?
    It might not be all 7 cars, but its 4 sometimes 5 depending on which train. Sorry to get you all excited :-) Its the ACE (Altamont Commuter Express) from Stockton to San Jose. Fours trains each way, every day, the 4th train is 4 cars only though.
    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    I ride the Southern CA Metrolink from the furthest point south, and get off halfway to LA. They have one bike car per train, and not on all trains. There are “officially" 18 bike spots on the car, but they will hold more.

    The train I catch at 5:15 has two to four bikes board at the first stop. By the time I get off, there are five to ten more. The conductor told me that it often fills up by the time it gets to union Station

    I board just about every day with my steel road bike in full kit. One other rides nearly every day-Trek road bike-Kit. Another, always boards another, car-steel road bike-cargo shorts, sneakers.

    Return trip I board with three to five other regulars. There are usually half a dozen bikes already on board. One other on a road bike. A guy with an old Motobecane tourer who never misses a day, Two other guys who work together, one on a touring bike the other CX bike. Along the way we pick up more, including some high school students on mountain bikes, and two women. An RN new to riding on a Next MTB and another on a Schwinn Cruiser.
    We have such a mix. Athletic types, regular folks, young and old, $50 bikes to $5000+ machines, I see a recumbent get off when I am getting on in the afternoon, a few folders with internal gears, etc. But the racks are full at the stops either side of the half way point, if not sooner. I might ride Monday and I expect it to be full.

    What gets me is the one guy that rides everyday, rain or shine, hot or cold. Just swaps out a road bike for an old mtn bike in the wet. He will ride 40 miles round trip daily I think it was no matter the conditions.

  14. #64
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestMass View Post
    I saw TWO other people on bikes on my way to work, in the rain today!!!

    I have seen a total of 5 other people on bikes on my way to or from work in the past 3 years combined. So strange.

    Is bike commuting common where you all live?
    Nope! I go for weeks without seeing anyone . . . El Paso, home of cage addicts.
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  15. #65
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huffandstuff View Post
    Portlands commuter load can vary(on weather). Some days I've seen 60+ people on my five mile ride to work, other days I will maybe see one or two. Here's a video I took the last week or so of my commute into work if you want to see the Portland commute, though it's from Nopo which is kind of the least bike friendly, even though I'm on a bike path the whole way.

    Great vid! It's hypnotic. I'm gonna try that perspective the next time I video one of my bike rides.


  16. #66
    Pedalin' Erry Day lasauge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turky lurkey View Post
    I see them daily, there are some regulars and some I only see once. There aren't hoards of them or anything but the West side of Colorado Springs has nice MUP's that make bike commuting safe and attractive for some of us.
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
    In Central and South Colorado Springs in the winter I see a few bike commuters along my route, with many more close to Colorado College, and a few more downtown and south who look to be the homeless or near homeless variety
    Likewise, I always see traffic on the paths when I ride them, especially around downtown, but I don't see many people riding on the north end of town where I live since it's not very bike friendly. At the moment I have one coworker who rides 80% of the time, and I see maybe 3-4 other riders per week. Still haven't seen the one regular who I often shared part of my route with last year (a lady, always with one pannier) out yet, but twice this past winter I did witness another cyclist riding through a snowstorm, and I saw tire tracks in the snow in front of my workplace quite a few times, so I know there's a handful of diehards up in Briargate.

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    My summer assignment is supervising a group of EMTs on the beach (south shore Long Island NY for reference point). Out of 14 bosses between the Lifeguard and EMT staff, 9 of us commute by bike at least semi-regularly. Most are coming from a distance of around 10 miles, 2 are within a mile or so, and one comes from about 20 miles away. Out of the 130 or so remaining lifeguards, many of the young and/or local ones commute by bike. Mostly that's who we see actually commuting, although there are lots of recreational riders out there. It's a great atmosphere to be part of. I wasn't initially into biking outside of the neighborhood, but it's a huge support system and also a wealth of knowledge when troubleshooting or looking into new toys. I didn't believe the guys at first, but they were right- I feel guilty on days I drive instead of biking. Hoping to do at least 3 of my 5 work days a week by bike this year.

    Oh, and we wave to other bikers!

  18. #68
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    I live in Brooklyn and commute to Manhattan. On the worst days I will still see other commuters, and I'm not usually one of them. I watch on the Manhattan bridge as I go over on the subway. When I'm riding I'm always far from alone, except hmm, no exceptions. Even in my quiet neighborhood there are others out there. As we approach the bridge the cycling crowd thickens. In Manhattan it thins outs again as we all go our own way, but 1st Avenue has a steady stream in the dedicated bike lane. Just 3 or 4 years ago I'd be by myself on 1st once beyond 23rd st, but now there are riders up to where I turn at 42nd. And then there's Citibike. They're all over the place.

  19. #69
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    It's more like almost 1 per second while on the Hudson river Greenway.
    I commute in to NYC from Northern NJ with a group of people who work in midtown, downtown. I go all the way to Brooklyn. The 2 Bridge Commute :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    It would help if your answers included the type of place you're in, i.e. big city, suburbs, small city, rural, etc. In my neighborhood of the biggest city in the US, I see more than one bike commuter per minute. There are over 100 bikes locked up per mile on some streets.

  20. #70
    Senior Member mustridebikes's Avatar
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    Southern town of about 100K here, moderately bike friendly for the region. I see probably one fellow commuter a week since I started commuting later in the morning. When I was riding in at 6:45 am in February the roads were all mine

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    I typically see at least 10 people commuting in either direction on my rides home in the late afternoon, and about half that in the morning (Auckland, NZ). When the weather is good I've found myself sitting at the lights with 4-5 other commuters. Weather is taking a turn for the worse now, though, and with it the numbers are dropping off as the fair-weather folks return to their cars.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustridebikes View Post
    Southern town of about 100K here, moderately bike friendly for the region. I see probably one fellow commuter a week since I started commuting later in the morning. When I was riding in at 6:45 am in February the roads were all mine
    haha sweet another Wilmington commuter! I've never seen one so it's nice to see one online at least. I live on Hinton Avenue (near Casey's on Oleander) and take the River to Sea bikeway downtown.

  23. #73
    Senior Member trailmix's Avatar
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    I was pleasantly surprised this morning, I saw 3 other commuters. I also saw a fourth guy on a bicycle who appeared to be drunk crash into a curb and land in somebody's front yard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
    I was pleasantly surprised this morning, I saw 3 other commuters. I also saw a fourth guy on a bicycle who appeared to be drunk crash into a curb and land in somebody's front yard.
    I think I would have been doubly pleasantly surprised to see that crash.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
    I think I would have been doubly pleasantly surprised to see that crash.
    It probably sounds better than it actually was, he was going pretty slow.

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