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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

View Poll Results: Do 50+'rs utility bike and commute
Answer as many as you like 1. No, I do not "utility bike" 10 13.89%
Yes, about once per week or less 9 12.50%
Yes, about two or more times per week 26 36.11%
I have a bike especially fitted for utility biking 25 34.72%
I commute regularly 35 48.61%
I have a bike especially fitted for commuting 23 31.94%
I am "car light" or actually car free 17 23.61%
Something else? Please tell us below. 6 8.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-05-09, 10:03 AM   #1
DnvrFox
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Do 50+'rs "Utility Bike" or Commute?

Do 50+'rs "Utility Bike" or Commute?

Do you use a bike regularly for chores and errands, or commuting?

How often?

Do you have a bike especially fitted for your errands and chores, or commuting?

Post a picture.

Tell us more about what you do.

Thanks.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:12 AM   #2
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My dedicated commuter:



It sees other duties on occasion but the vast majority of miles on it come from my daily commute.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:19 AM   #3
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Commute: 20 mile round trip, 3 to 5 days a weeks, year round.

Own a dedicated commuter (a vintage touring bike) and a "heavy duty" bad weather commuter (a vintage converted mountain bike) but am likely to sell both and get one, single, new dedicated touring bike at some point in the next 6 to 9 months (likely next spring after I get the current bikes through this winter).

Also increasingly use the commuter bike or bikes for short errands - grocery runs, go to a restaurant for take out food, run to the health club, hardware store, etc.

I am not so "car lite" that I can give up a car but the miles I put on my car has dropped dramatically and am likely to trade in my current car for something that is more useful for my wife since she now uses my car as much/more than I do.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:22 AM   #4
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I bicycle everywhere - to the store, bank, gym, McD's, etc., and have bike just for that purpose, which includes lights.

My wife uses the big van, and we use it when we go some place together. My little Neon pretty much just sits there in the garage.


Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-05-09 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:39 AM   #5
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I commute up to 4x/wk during daylight savings time and depending on my work schedule. The time it takes to drive to work, drive to the gym after work, change, exercise, change and drive home takes longer than a round-trip commute and provides less exercise. I have a headlight and blinky for the spring and fall months. I commute on any of 3 bikes depending on my mood and the weather: IRO Rob Roy when it's not too hot to single speed up hill home, Karate Monkey for most occasions and Specialized Roubaix if I want to take a longer ride in the evening. I have work clothes and shoes at both offices. If I might need a car at work during the week I will drive in with a bike and leave the car at the office.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:47 AM   #6
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Commuting/Utility

Retired, so don't have a commute per se. I do have a Cannondale Quick which I use for all of my shopping/utilty needs. Also have a Electra which I use for day trips to the beach and so forth. Use one of the bikes in all cases except when the weight of the load is obsessive or when I have to go out of town.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:53 AM   #7
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My DH and I live close to the campus where we work, so we have always either walked or biked there. We're also close to the bank and a small grocery store, so the same thing applies. I use my Salsa for these trips, and I built her especially to be my everyday commuter. Tough as nails, but still pretty nimble.

Our main grocery store is a little further away (still only ~ 3 miles), and sometimes I take an extracycle that I built up from an old hybrid. Slow and heavy, but lordy, that thing can haul some groceries (you should see the look on the sackers' faces when we walk up to the extracycle instead of a car!)

My main limiter is heat. The hotter it gets during the summer (over 100 predicted for the remainder of this week), the less I'm inclined to ride the bike to the main grocery store. I'll still ride to places closer, but just can't seem to make myself get excited about going that little extra bit if I need to make a trip in the afternoon.

(The one thing I've noticed about getting older is that I seem to tolerate the heat less well. Everything else seems to crank along about the same...)

Anyway, if the heat (and time, for longer distances) is not a factor, I can ride my bike anywhere in town, for just about any errand, and have on plenty of occasions.

Does that make me car-lite?
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Old 08-05-09, 10:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
I bicycle everywhere - to the store, bank, gym, McD's, etc., and have bike just for that purpose, which includes lights.

My wife uses the big van, and we use it when we go some place together. My little Neon pretty much just sits there in the garage.

Nice commuter!
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Old 08-05-09, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Own a dedicated commuter (a vintage touring bike) and a "heavy duty" bad weather commuter (a vintage converted mountain bike) but am likely to sell both and get one, single, new dedicated touring bike at some point in the next 6 to 9 months (likely next spring after I get the current bikes through this winter).
*cough* Salsa *cough*
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Old 08-05-09, 11:34 AM   #10
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commute daily 22 miles/rt year round. basic FUJI hybrid is only bike I own. sold 'my car' a while back. wife has the van for commuting her 2.5 miles to school. right so I get the 22 mile RT and she gets 2.5 mile drive. go figure.
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Old 08-05-09, 11:39 AM   #11
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I consider myself a "year-round" commuter (back & forth to work) though I'm not religious about it. It's a ten mile round trip but I usually take a longer way home. I have also been known to drive for a few weeks to a few months at a time just to mix it up a bit.

I can use bikes for utility purposes but instead my bride and I run errands together. It gives her an opportunity get out and about and it's time we can spend together.

This is my warm weather commuter....


...and here's my cold weather commuter, complete with studded tires.....


For utility purposes, if the load won't fit in the rear crates, I can always hitch my Cannondale Bugger up to an upright bike and haul the bigger loads, though like I mentioned earlier we usually just use the truck.

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Old 08-05-09, 12:56 PM   #12
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I have a rear rack on the Surly with an expandable Topeak trunk large enough to carry a jacket, extra bottle(s), big lock, etc. I commute to local shops or to run local errands when time allows (if I have only 30 minutes to run a quick errand, then I have no choice but to use the car).
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Old 08-05-09, 12:59 PM   #13
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FYI, in May 2008 I asked for 50+ers who commute to talk about their commuting (frequency, distance, etc.). As I recall, the last time I counted, there were more than 50 folks who logged in and said they commuted, but I haven't looked as this thread for a long time.

But lots of good commuting stories in here:

Roll call: who will commute by bike in 2008?
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Old 08-05-09, 01:47 PM   #14
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I commute 36 miles RT, usually 4 or 5 days/week, year-round, on a recumbent.

Over June and July, the Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association held the Tour De Redmond, during which we logged our commute miles. I was an "individual team" and logged 1,440 miles for both months. That placed me second out of 234 individual teams, and 4th out of 844 total riders (all riders -- not just those on individual teams). That included riding last week, when we had at least 3 days of 95+ on the commute home.
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Old 08-05-09, 02:17 PM   #15
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Most of my riding is recreational.
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Old 08-05-09, 03:13 PM   #16
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I combine trips o the bank and store with my bike rides. The bike depends upon the ride and amount of groceries. I guess this is my utility bike:

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Old 08-05-09, 03:13 PM   #17
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My dedicated knock around town/commuter: 1996 WCF 4.0

Commuting is not really a big deal for me since I only live 1.9 miles from my office......... on nice days I often take the long way home along the beach highway and circle back through the next town over just to get in a decent ride. (18 miles)
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Old 08-05-09, 04:04 PM   #18
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This summer been commuting most days, have outfitted my Gary Fsicher MTB with Paniers and fenders, only a torrential downpoor will stop me (we have had a lot of those this summer). Commute is only a few miles. I wear my office clothes and in the AM I go slow so that I don't to get sweaty.
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Old 08-05-09, 04:35 PM   #19
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Well, I cheat. I've all but given up my car except when there's snow/ice/salt on the road for the past four years. But I haven't been pedaling; I've been scooting. Same as a lot of you, I started with them just for fun, started looking for reasons to ride, then pretty much parked the cars. Now that I'm bicycling again, I'm hoping to get into the same mode.

I picked up a Burley D'Lite like the one I used to have, took out the seat, and have hauled a few things. I folded down the sides and strapped on 3 bags of mulch the other day. That sure made little hills seem bigger!

I commuted on this bike a few times many years ago, but didn't really like it. I hate getting up early, got to work all sweaty with no place to shower, and didn't really enjoy having to dodge traffic at that hour. So I'll probably still scoot to work, and run around town on the bike.

I selected "Once a week or less"
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Old 08-05-09, 04:35 PM   #20
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Yesterday, coming home from picking up 11 free tire tubes* (craigslist) and three library videos in my front pack , and a half-gallon of milk in my jersey pocket, I started to wonder if I can add some more carrying capability to my road bike (vintage Bottecchia). Perhaps one of the rear racks that attaches only to the seatpost??

*these take up more space that you might think.

------------

I wish I could utility bike more. However, it's 8 miles to a tiny, expensive grocery store and 20 miles to the closest real grocery store.

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Old 08-05-09, 06:33 PM   #21
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Here is my Kettler Silverstar:

There's a trailer (used to be for my daughter; now is for groceries from the wonderful market with insuficient parking spaces) and a Trail-A-Bike (approaching the end of it's usefulness as daughter is rapidly growing). All my cycling is utility or commuting. I'm car light, in that I cycle more miles than I drive, but not anti-car.

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Old 08-05-09, 07:35 PM   #22
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I work by appointment, so I don't really commute. I ride for all other purposes, about 100-125 miles a week. Until gas prices reached $2 consistently, I used my old TREK 560 for everything, but this year I bought a Jamis Commuter and outfitted it with Wald folding baskets to use for errands. These days I ride anytime I don't specifically need my car. If I don't have a useful destination I can't get motivated. Club rides seem like riding in circles with no purpose but to go faster in circles.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:13 PM   #23
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I ride a '06 REI commuter bike, 4-6 days and 80-120 miles per week. Have trunk-bag, paniers, lights, and foul-weather gear if necessary. I'm hoping I'll be able to continue the commute even in our Denver winter-time.

I use my car only when I must, to meet time commitments or transport items too big or bulky for the bike rack.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:25 PM   #24
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Granted, work is only a few blocks off the same street I live on (different county, different street name, but still the same strip of pavement), but work and home are more than 20 miles apart. No off-street trail between the two, so a commute would be exclusively on the street, and not a bike route the entire distance. Also, I get off work after dark no matter the time of year, and a goodly portion of the trip would be through neighborhoods even my male coworkers say they wouldn't ride through. So most of my riding is recreational, and every three weeks or so I make sure my Sunday recreational ride takes me to a certain farmers' market.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:11 AM   #25
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Here in the outer ring 'burbs of Detroit, the roads are so "bike hostile" that most places I'd want to bike to for errands (and even pie!) within a few miles would be nearly suicidal. Especially if they're on the other side of the major east/west highway here (M-59). Tried going the 2.5 miles or so to the local Grand Traverse Pie Co. last month & nearly got hit twice.

Similarly, commuting from here to just about anywhere would be an, um, adventure...if I had a job. I do see some brave folks using the sidewalks. No thanks.

My last gig was a 95+ mile round trip - a bit far for biking. I did try driving to the nearest town & biking the last 5 or 6 miles, but it was too much hassle after fighting rush hour traffic for nearly an hour each way.
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