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Old 04-30-14, 10:05 AM   #1
WestMass
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Seeing other commuters

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?
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Old 04-30-14, 10:09 AM   #2
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Bike commuting doesn't seem to be that common on the eastside of Cleveland, Ohio. However, commuting on the westside seems to be really picking up. When cycling on the westside during the a.m. hours, I might see from 6 to 10 other commuters. On the eastside, I might see 2 or 3 commuters, max.
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Old 04-30-14, 10:13 AM   #3
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Louisville Ky, pretty common. So much so that "the wave" is not an issue or seen as necessary
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Old 04-30-14, 10:25 AM   #4
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I've seen one everyday this week, with a bright blinking headlight and then 2 others on separate days. I'm riding in later this year so far so that may explain why I'm seeing more on the road. There are a couple of other regulars I would see in previous years but they ride earlier in the morning.
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Old 04-30-14, 10:33 AM   #5
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I would imagine it is directly related to per capita numbers. I live in a pretty rural area - small towns outside of a bigger city (Charlotte, NC). I travel on a couple of rural-ish roads (some homes, some neighborhood development entrances) and through a couple of neighborhoods.

I have only been doing this commute for a couple of months and have yet to see another commuter. On my way home in the evenings I have seen a few recreational riders.
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Old 04-30-14, 10:59 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 04-30-14, 11:09 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-30-14, 11:51 AM   #8
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It's rare that I see another commuter, but I do see the occasional roadie out for a "training" ride. They're usually too cool to wave or say hello.

It's not surprising given the complete lack of bicycle infrastructure and the belief that you need a car to get anywhere. I'm in the suburbs.
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Old 04-30-14, 12:21 PM   #9
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I'm in a town of 25,000. I saw 3 bike commuters this morning - and my commute is at 4:45 AM! I see a lot more cyclists on the road during the day. My town is pretty bike friendly, and the transit system is useless.
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Old 04-30-14, 12:39 PM   #10
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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.
Good point! Small city of 150,000 but most of my commute (~12km of 18km) is either 2-lane highway or away from residential areas so my potential "exposure" to other bike commuters is relatively limited, given the distance I travel.
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Old 04-30-14, 12:45 PM   #11
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I live near the centre of a bike friendly city and skirt downtown on my way to work. I see cyclists almost continuously through my commute and occasionally have to wait with 3 or 4 or even more at a stoplight.
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Old 04-30-14, 12:59 PM   #12
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LOL! I wanted to prove my ^^ point by going to google street view to see if it captures a lot of cyclists on my bike route, and lo and behold I saw...me!

Last edited by cooker; 04-30-14 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 04-30-14, 01:02 PM   #13
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I live in Vancouver and commute to Richmond, I see many more cyclists as the season gets nicer. I only saw a few a day until a few weeks ago. A few days a week I head east to do a day care drop off and I am on a major bike route, which I commonly see bikers. Though this morning I was at a stop light about 8 deep. That is by far the most I have seen on a commute. But I am only on the bike route going east for 3.5 km, so I assume there are lots more if I headed west in the morning .

I used to do my commute from the Burnaby Coquitlam border through New West to Richmond and I would rarley see commuters, I would leave early. I would see more as the weather got nicer, but still not more than a handful a week.
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Old 04-30-14, 01:03 PM   #14
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In Frankfurt, it was very common.

I saw 3 Rolhoff IGHs on one commute!

Where I am in England, it's not as common, but it is still somewhat common (I see between 5 and 10 commuters every morning over 10km).
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Old 04-30-14, 01:19 PM   #15
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Wherever you are, I think the trend is encouraging. Some places don't have many bike commuters, but I see a trend of more TYPES of people riding. In affluent suburbs, I see Hispanic men -- no women -- commuting by bike, presumably because it is economical. I see people in NYC who are clearly not bike lovers; they do it because it just makes sense for them. I'm very glad to see this. The city-initiated bike share program, known here as Citibike, is quite popular, and I've seen some very fat people riding. I imagine some have been thinking of starting some sort of physical activity and this is how they're starting. I think it's great, especially since they are filling an existing need, to go from one place to another.

When you combine commuting with exercise, you save time. Have you ever noticed that? This is true even if cycling is slower than another mode.
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Old 04-30-14, 01:22 PM   #16
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I live in a small suburb in Marin county, CA, north of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge, and I commute into San Francisco, to SOMA/Southbeach area, technically south of the true "downtown" but with many large employers in the area.

I ALWAYS see other commuters, even when I have come home late, etc. Now that the weather is getting nice I am seeing even more again. I see the most in San Francisco as the routes I take are very popular to get from a number of neighborhoods to downtown or SOMA. I usually see some commuters on the Golden Gate Bridge, and through Sausalito and the MUP I ride here. I rarely see commuters on the short part of my commute on side streets between my house and the MUP. I often wonder if I took the more major route if I would see more riding in my little town. Maybe I will try that route one day and see.

Bike commuters her do not tend to wave. In San Francisco, most don't even say hi. Too many SF bike commuters I encounter in SF seem downright rude (the filter in front of you at the light even though you are faster then them type or the cut you off in the bike lane from the sidewalk type). Some of the Marin to SF commuters like myself are more polite and will often say hi to each other while passing or at a light, and maybe make brief conversation on how nice it is, or how windy it was, or how glad we are not sitting in the traffic on 101 as we ride through Sausalito.
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Old 04-30-14, 01:24 PM   #17
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I live in a medium sized place, population of the metro area is about 900,000..

I see a TON of commuters, recreational cyclists, hardcore cyclists and mountain bikers daily on my routes..

I'd guess on average I see 30-40 a day during my 30-40 mile rides..
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Old 04-30-14, 01:26 PM   #18
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When you combine commuting with exercise, you save time. Have you ever noticed that? This is true even if cycling is slower than another mode.
Yes, this is part of how I justify my bike commuting. It is a long commute, but at the end of it I have gotten a good workout in and no longer needed a gym membership. The alternatives are driving (faster but very unproductive time) or riding transit, which isn't really much faster and the emails I get through on the bus isn't as much of a timesaver in my day as getting my workout done. Best part is, if you commute by bike, you don't have to worry about missing your workout because it gets to late, etc, something that I found too common for me when I tried to work out after work.
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Old 04-30-14, 01:28 PM   #19
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South Orange County California. Mostly the towns of Irvine and Tustin. On my directest 5 mile route I see an average 5 bike commutes per day. Mostly the same ones. On my longer after work rides it is dozens.
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Old 04-30-14, 01:39 PM   #20
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(whispering in The Sixth Sense style: I see bike commuters!)

Common, in summer, yes. Crowded, not by any stretch of imagination.

I may have a couple of red lights where I actually have to pay attention to how I filter with other bike commuters on the MUP. But for the most part it doesn't matter if I turned the bike upside down and danced polka around it waiting for the green light. Not that I've tried. If I'm late, I may have to get creative to find something solid to lock my bike into at work, as our proper bike rack only takes about 8-10 bikes That's about it.

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Old 04-30-14, 01:50 PM   #21
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Tons. Everyone from day laborers on crappy X-mart bikes to folks in office clothes on Dutch-style bikes to roadies in bibs/jerseys. It helps that there's a repair project that's causing major back ups on the cross-town freeway.
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Old 04-30-14, 01:52 PM   #22
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Cambridge looks like China, not because of the race of the people but because of how popular bikes are
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Old 04-30-14, 01:56 PM   #23
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Bike commuters her do not tend to wave. In San Francisco, most don't even say hi. Too many SF bike commuters I encounter in SF seem downright rude (the filter in front of you at the light even though you are faster then them type or the cut you off in the bike lane from the sidewalk type). Some of the Marin to SF commuters like myself are more polite and will often say hi to each other while passing or at a light, and maybe make brief conversation on how nice it is, or how windy it was, or how glad we are not sitting in the traffic on 101 as we ride through Sausalito.
I think here in Vancouver they are just oblivious and want to be first in line. That being said I am an unsuspecting speed demon with a toddler on the back, so it is mildly acceptable when they try to skirt by.

The waving thing is hit and miss. Usually I am too far separated from the other bike lane on Cambie. And on Tenth it is too busy and normal to say hi. Otherstretch people usually give some greeting. That being said I got a snide look from a roadie yesterday after I waved. I thought I should turn around and show him not to judge a biker by his bike.
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Old 04-30-14, 02:28 PM   #24
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Bike commuters her do not tend to wave. In San Francisco, most don't even say hi. Too many SF bike commuters I encounter in SF seem downright rude (the filter in front of you at the light even though you are faster then them type or the cut you off in the bike lane from the sidewalk type). Some of the Marin to SF commuters like myself are more polite and will often say hi to each other while passing or at a light, and maybe make brief conversation on how nice it is, or how windy it was, or how glad we are not sitting in the traffic on 101 as we ride through Sausalito.
I agree with you on the filtering to the front - it's rude. However, not waving is a different issue. There are a million situations where we don't wave to everybody - walking on the sidewalk, driving, strolling through a mall. I suspect you don't wave to other shoppers in the mall, and nobody calls you rude for it, because it's not expected there.

We only wave to strangers in situations that are novel or rare, or where we feel a kinship or identification with the other person. Most pedestrians in Manhattan don't wave to each other but if I was dressed as Batman and you were in a Superman costume, we would probably wave to each other as we would feel we had something in common.

So the SF commuters who don't wave to you are acting normally - it's no big deal to see other cyclists in SF and no point in waving to them all. Perhaps in suburban Marin County there are a lot fewer of you and you feel more of a bond, hence you wave.
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Old 04-30-14, 03:01 PM   #25
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I've seen a few that I thought might be commuters, but only when I'm driving a motor vehicle. When I'm riding my bike in rural Polk county I never see other commuters, and vary rarely see other bicyclists. But I'm only guessing the ones I do see aren't commuting due to a lack of any luggage.
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