Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-22-14, 04:38 PM   #1
dveit84
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
dveit84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Virginia
Bikes: 1985 Peugeot PH 501, 2013 Fuji Sportif 1.7
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Commuting in Houston

Hi there-

So I'm considering taking a job in Houston located near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Because I do not have a license I will have to commute by bicycle daily. I've been hearing from many people that getting around in Houston without a car is simply not possible. Are there any of you on here who commute in Houston (or even better, specifically this area of Houston)? Is it just unbearable in the summer heat?

I'm trying to locate an apartment around that area but most (read: all so far) of the apartment complexes have a maximum income restriction. Because of that I'll probably have to rent a small house.

Dan
dveit84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-14, 07:22 PM   #2
Sirrus Rider
Velocommuter Commando
 
Sirrus Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
Posts: 2,638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dveit84 View Post
Hi there-

So I'm considering taking a job in Houston located near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Because I do not have a license I will have to commute by bicycle daily. I've been hearing from many people that getting around in Houston without a car is simply not possible. Are there any of you on here who commute in Houston (or even better, specifically this area of Houston)? Is it just unbearable in the summer heat?

I'm trying to locate an apartment around that area but most (read: all so far) of the apartment complexes have a maximum income restriction. Because of that I'll probably have to rent a small house.

Dan

Hi Dan,

I'm a little south of George Bush IA in Spring Branch specifically and I work at University of Houston Central campus. To answer your question, it ranges from difficult to impossible to commute 100% by bike; however, there are pockets in this town where it's doable.

As for the heat it boils down to planning. Allowing for plenty of time to get to your destination and to cool down. Shower facilities are helpful but not essential. Typically, I shower the night before and when I get to UH I'm reasonably clean and odor free for an 8 hr shift..

It also helps to commute before the sun comes up and drink water like a fish..
Sirrus Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-14, 09:58 PM   #3
andyprough
Senior Member
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Bikes: Motobecane
Posts: 282
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Hi Dan, you might find that one of the problems in Houston is the humidity. If you aren't used to high humidity you might need an adjustment period. Having access to shower facilities isn't a bad idea, and like Sirrus said, you definitely want to drink water like a fish throughout the day. The heat itself isn't really unbearable though if you are in decent shape. I bicycle commute in Austin where we normally have slightly higher temperatures but lower humidity than Houston, and the summer sun doesn't bother me.

Welcome to Texas!
andyprough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 09:15 AM   #4
bkj
Senior Member
 
bkj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston
Bikes:
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Hi Dan,

I commute every day in Houston, but from the west side to just north of downtown, so I can't comment on the IAH area. You'll do fine with the summer after an adjustment period. It is not unbearable. Give it time. You'll adapt much quicker by being outside than those that stay in the A/C all day. You'll love the winter!

It's been a long time since I was in an apartment. I've never heard of a "maximum income restriction."

Welcome to Houston. You will eventually get a car.
bkj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-14, 04:46 PM   #5
the sci guy 
bill nyecycles
 
the sci guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston TX
Bikes:
Posts: 2,032
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Hi Dan. I'm also Dan.

My wife and I are about to start commuting by bike again (we have't since we moved to Houston in August). We aren't in your area either, but it will most likely just take some planning and exploring on your part. For our commute, there is a road that will take us straight to work, but it is very busy, especially in hte morning and evening, and it's 'bike lane' is more of a faded line debris field. It's completely unsafe. So instead I mapped out a route through the neighborhoods between our apartment and work. It's got a lot of turns and crosses 3 busy roads, but it's infinitely more safe than taking the 'main road.' I would get on google maps, and see what lies between your apartment and work.

As for the apartments with maximum income restriction, I'm not surprised. This usually happens in more depressed areas of a city (I lived near such a complex when I lived outside of Washington DC). It's made for specifically for people who have low incomes.
IAH is also in a kind-of sketchy area, and very close to Greenspoint - also lovingly referred to as Gunspoint. So I'm not surprised. It's not the safest of areas from what I hear so I'd be very careful where you're biking.

Are you working for Exxon? I know they have a campus up there, but are eventually relocating to the Woodlands. Haliburton also has a campus right on the other side of the beltway from IAH as well.

Good luck!

Start saving for a car. I know we all want to bike everywhere, but it's not feasible in Houston. It's just the reality.
__________________
Twitter@theSurlyBiker
Instagram@theSurlyBiker
the sci guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 08:40 PM   #6
dveit84
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
dveit84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Virginia
Bikes: 1985 Peugeot PH 501, 2013 Fuji Sportif 1.7
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the input all. The company is actually Baker Hughes, located off Rankin Road. It's not a matter of not having enough money for a car, unfortunately I got arrested for a DUI so I will be without my license for some time. I think I'm going to pass on this job as most people say that it's unfeasible to commute year round, especially for that area (Gunspoint).
dveit84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 09:30 PM   #7
genesplitter
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Bikes: couple lugged steel bicycles, 1 fixie, 1 aluminum MTB
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sounds like a reasonable choice. Chevron has a major presence in Danville, CA, which is a great bike commute area, and you get to watch the Tour of California go up Mt. Diablo each year. Also an easy BART ride into San Francisco and you might want to try an S24O (Learn About Bikes with Rivendell Bicycle Works) with the Rivendell gang in Walnut Creek.
genesplitter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 09:40 PM   #8
Sirrus Rider
Velocommuter Commando
 
Sirrus Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
Posts: 2,638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dveit84 View Post
Thanks for the input all. The company is actually Baker Hughes, located off Rankin Road. It's not a matter of not having enough money for a car, unfortunately I got arrested for a DUI so I will be without my license for some time. I think I'm going to pass on this job as most people say that it's unfeasible to commute year round, especially for that area (Gunspoint).
Been there and done that. About to get my Intoxalock taken off.. (Then the 2 year wait to have my record expunged.) (I'm in the Divert Program)
Sirrus Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 09:44 PM   #9
dveit84
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
dveit84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Virginia
Bikes: 1985 Peugeot PH 501, 2013 Fuji Sportif 1.7
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry - I'm from Virginia and am not familiar with Intoxalock but it sounds like the "interlock" we have here in Virginia. Basically a breathalyzer in the car. Good luck buddy and no more drinking and driving.
dveit84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 10:06 PM   #10
Sirrus Rider
Velocommuter Commando
 
Sirrus Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
Posts: 2,638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dveit84 View Post
Sorry - I'm from Virginia and am not familiar with Intoxalock but it sounds like the "interlock" we have here in Virginia. Basically a breathalyzer in the car. Good luck buddy and no more drinking and driving.
Same thing.. Also, if you have a DUI pending don't come to Texas. Thanks to MADD the courts will put a hurting on you.. I hear in Michigan the DUI is like a slap on the wrist.. Only way to beat it here in Texas is to be a first offender and be recommended to Divert.. And yes I quit drinking and will never drink again on a night on the Town.. Stone sober like Wyatt Earp for now on..
Sirrus Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 11:41 PM   #11
the sci guy 
bill nyecycles
 
the sci guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston TX
Bikes:
Posts: 2,032
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dveit84 View Post
Thanks for the input all. The company is actually Baker Hughes, located off Rankin Road. It's not a matter of not having enough money for a car, unfortunately I got arrested for a DUI so I will be without my license for some time. I think I'm going to pass on this job as most people say that it's unfeasible to commute year round, especially for that area (Gunspoint).
sorry you won't be coming to Houston now. It IS feasible to commute year round here, it's just going to be really hot in the dead of the summer afternoons. And like we said it depends on where you need to go.

in other news, the wife and I are starting our commuting to work tomorrow!
__________________
Twitter@theSurlyBiker
Instagram@theSurlyBiker
the sci guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-14, 12:38 AM   #12
Dirt Farmer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Madison, Wi.
Bikes:
Posts: 371
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Just curious, how does the local Tea Partyin', ***-totin' Cruz lovin' crowd feel about pansy-a$$ed bicycle commuters? I'd think you'd be looked at a bit crooked-like, no?

(by the way, that blocked out word above is "g u n". WTF??!!)
Dirt Farmer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-14, 12:48 AM   #13
Sirrus Rider
Velocommuter Commando
 
Sirrus Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
Posts: 2,638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
Just curious, how does the local Tea Partyin', ***-totin' Cruz lovin' crowd feel about pansy-a$$ed bicycle commuters? I'd think you'd be looked at a bit crooked-like, no?

(by the way, that blocked out word above is "g u n". WTF??!!)
Well, as a Tea Partyin', *** toting Cruz admirer I'd say "Welcome to Texas" Don't put stock in the liberal party line it's likely between wrong and dead wrong.
Sirrus Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-14, 12:24 PM   #14
schiiism
Yogi on Wheels
 
schiiism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Cypress, CA
Bikes: 2010 Orbea Diva Dura-Ace, 2012 Fuji Finest, 1986 Univega Gran Turismo
Posts: 138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll put another nail in the "unfeasible" coffin. I lived in Houston for two years and, being a coastal California native, I never got used to the humidity. It's just miserable to go outside during most of the year, much less have to depend on an outdoor exercise to get to work every day.

It's not impossible, but if you have other options, I would definitely consider a drier climate for a better quality of life considering your situation. The heat isn't really the killer, as biking in deserts like Arizona and Nevada is actually quite pleasant. But that humidity... ugh, I still have nightmares
schiiism is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-14, 01:21 PM   #15
chas58
Senior Member
 
chas58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Michigan
Bikes: too many of all kinds
Posts: 1,632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Want another option?

I spent $500 and put an electric motor on one of my bikes. 25mph, 25 mile range, less sweat. That would be a good option, it seems to me. And, with Houston being so flat, you don’t need a very big motor. Adds about 10 lbs to my bike. Purchasing a complete bike like that would cost about $3,000.
I think it is a great alternative. I’m selling my convertible because I would rather be on my bike.

Personally I like the exercise I get from pedaling, so I most often am on the regular road bike, but taking the ebike to work is a lot of fun. 25mph on a bike is a pretty good clip, and no one knows I am on an electric bike (except for you guys here).

I grew up bike commuting in Houston – just drank tons of water and sweated a lot!
chas58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:30 PM.