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Old 09-29-04, 07:55 AM   #1
rock star
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"No one commutes after 45"???

Hi there- I am a grad student in industrial design and an advid bike rider. I'm doing a project on bike security and had a favor to ask. The other day my professor disagreed with my research that there is a large sector of commuters over the age of 45. Being from Portland,Or. and Seattle I strongly believe there are many of you out there. He said he needs proof. So if you are out there, could you please write back and tell friends who commute or ride over the age 45. Even better, if you have pictures of yourself riding please e-mail them to me@jgorma21@scad.edu.com. I aprreciate your help. Let's prove him wrong!
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Old 09-29-04, 09:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock star
Hi there- I am a grad student in industrial design and an advid bike rider. I'm doing a project on bike security and had a favor to ask. The other day my professor disagreed with my research that there is a large sector of commuters over the age of 45. Being from Portland,Or. and Seattle I strongly believe there are many of you out there. He said he needs proof. So if you are out there, could you please write back and tell friends who commute or ride over the age 45. Even better, if you have pictures of yourself riding please e-mail them to me@jgorma21@scad.edu.com. I aprreciate your help. Let's prove him wrong!

my husband tries to commute 3 days/week which equals very close to 150 miles/week. He is 47 years old.
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Old 09-29-04, 10:13 AM   #3
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I'm 53 and I do one way commutes, 17.7 miles, whenever I can. Some weeks I ride four out of five days, some weeks I'm doing good to get one ride in. I ride a recumbent and am running a 14-15 MPH average, not to bad considering I've only had the bike since June. Most of the members in the cycling club I belong to (Silver Wheels Cycling Club) are over 50. We have two octegenarians in the club, one actively rides and competes in centuries and can ride 50 miles without breaking a sweat. You dare not call him old or he will drop your a$$ in a heartbeat and hand it back to you on a silver platter, he is a world caliber cyclist. We have a couple of members who actively do cross country rides (Ohio to Florida or wherever) and even tow trailers. There are a few commuters, one of which tows her Kayak loaded with camping gear behind her bike on a special trailer! I would say your prof needs to do some research. A good share of the membership is retired and guess what they do all day? Ride their bikes! A fair number of them cross country ski in winter. They are an active lot. Myself, I show horses when I'm not doing things that are bike related. Hope this sheds some light on us older folks.

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Old 09-29-04, 10:35 AM   #4
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I work in a manufacturing plant and a ton of our guys commute every day, rain or shine, year round. Plenty of them are 45+. In this part of my town, and across a lot of Texas, you routinely see a large number of bicycle commuters. This is mostly due to the rising prices of gasoline, insurance, and upkeep related to automobiles. I think what your prof is missing is that there are a ton of folks so situated in this country who choose to commute via bicycle because it is so much more affordable. In the south especially, the weather makes it pretty easy to commute year-round, particularly for a bunch of guys who are used to working in the weather anyway. We have a good light rail and bus transit system here too, but these guys like the flexibility they get by riding their bikes. Most of them live close enough that it is a lot easier than dealing with the transit system anyway. Once again, it is cheaper too.

So at least from the perspective of what I see every day...to assert that an arbitrary change of age would result in it being easier or somehow instantly accessible for workers to just get a car for their transportation is pretty short sighted.

Sounds like your prof may need to get out more. I know that they sure did back in my grad school days as well.

BTW...I'm also 46, ride 150-200 miles a week and if your prof thinks that I am ready to hit the rocking chair just because I am over 45, he couldn't possibly be more wrong.

Keep the faith rock star!
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Old 09-29-04, 10:51 AM   #5
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I am 45, and ride over 200 miles a week. That's just commuting and errands.
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Old 09-29-04, 12:35 PM   #6
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I'm 53 and commute 6 miles four days a week April to November here in Minneapolis. Tell your prof that it gets better as you gain "experience".
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Old 09-29-04, 01:19 PM   #7
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I didn't buy my first bicycle as an adult until I was 49. That was four and half years ago and I find it difficult to keep out of the saddle. This summer I have gone about 2500 kilometers, I have only just started touring, with a recent three day trip of about 325 kms. My plan for next summer is to cycle around Lake Ontario from Ottawa, a distance of about 1000 kilometers.

I am healthier, and enjoying life far more than I have in years. Many of the folks I see on the road are my age or older, often commuting. I believe there are more of us who are recognizing that to stay healthy, you have to stay active. Cycling is a great way to do it.
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Old 09-29-04, 03:18 PM   #8
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I'm 53. I commuted today. Gonna commute manana. Big hairy deal.
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Old 09-29-04, 04:29 PM   #9
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Commuted 5 days a week to work until I was 63. Now retired . . . and still ridin!'
Does your prof commute to work on a bike?















. . .
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Old 09-29-04, 06:47 PM   #10
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I'm 59 next month and comute year round in New Hampshire. I am only about 5 miles from work so it is an easy ride. Most days I take an alternate route that gives me a total of 22 miles.
Good luck in your research for the close minded prof.
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Old 09-29-04, 07:35 PM   #11
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I didn't start commuting by bike until I was 45. That was 12 years ago.
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Old 09-29-04, 07:49 PM   #12
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Oh, and I might as well add some info about the commute(s):
  1. Short On Time Commute Direct and flat, 33 miles roundtrip
  2. Normal Commute Scenic hilly route in, slightly shorter scenic route out, 45 miles roundtrip
  3. Tandem Commute One Ride scenic route to wife's office, leave tandem, take train to my office, use backup bike stored at work for lunch, errands, take train back to wife's office, 24 miles roundtrip
  4. Tandem Commute Two Ride scenic route to my office, wife takes train back to her office, returns in the evening for trip home, 40 miles roundtrip


edited for typo
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Old 09-29-04, 07:53 PM   #13
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I guesss next year will be my last year of commuting then. I wonder if the boss will miss me?
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Old 09-29-04, 10:31 PM   #14
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I'm 64 years old, I bike commute to & from work almost every day. I only drive if we are having really dangerous weather (like snow or icy roads) or if I have a work or church meeting which requires car speeds to be on time. My one way distance is only 4 miles but that means I can ride home & back for lunch giving me 16 miles a day. My bike buddy at work is 57 years old & he rides a hilly 8 miles each way daily plus he belongs to a Randonneur club & does 80 to 200 mile rides on weekends! Summer of 03, he rode Paris/Brest/Paris. There were two other youngsters (under 45 Y.O.) in our office (of 90 souls) that commuted regularly by bicycle but 1 moved to Arizona & the other promoted to HQ in downtown Olympia. Don
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Old 09-29-04, 11:02 PM   #15
rock star
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I appreciate you writing in. And yes, my professor needs to get out more.
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Old 09-29-04, 11:06 PM   #16
rock star
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Are you kidding? That will be a special moment
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Old 09-29-04, 11:12 PM   #17
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I'm envious. California, hills, dry weather, lots-o-miles. Why did I pick Savannah,Ga.for school? Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-29-04, 11:17 PM   #18
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Thank you for your input. Believe it or not I grew up in Shelton and have fond memories of Oly. Not the beer however. I feel your pain with the rain. Your bigger than me. I scuffled off to the South.
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Old 09-30-04, 12:17 AM   #19
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I'm 55 and never rode to work on a bicycle and never even knew anyone who did.

The number of people who reply positively to this inquiry will be fairly meaningless. Not the people, the number.
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Old 09-30-04, 05:55 AM   #20
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I'm 59 and commute by bike 4-5 days a week. You can see pictures of my bikes at the bottom of this post.
Here are a few links to older pictures of my commuter bike (from past years) set up for fall/winter riding (shorter days - less daylight). Since shorter days are right around the corner, I'll be installing the headlights again very soon.

http://home.mindspring.com/~rhorne/Raleigh1.jpg
http://home.mindspring.com/~rhorne/Raleigh2.jpg

FYI: My commute was 14.3 miles one way when I started commuting in 2001. I now have a new job and the commute is only 8.4 miles one way.
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Old 09-30-04, 08:36 AM   #21
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I personally know five people over 45 who commute to work by bike. One is nearing retirement and has been doing it for 30 years.
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Old 09-30-04, 11:14 AM   #22
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I'm 51 and commute to work until the snow flies. 21 kms each way.
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Old 09-30-04, 01:19 PM   #23
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I work in a satellite office with 25 employees. There are 3 of us between 50 and 60 that commute by bike. I do a partial commute of 11.5 km each way, the others do about 20 km each way. All 3 of us are every day April - November, I ride all winter as well. The other 22 employees are all car bums.
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Old 09-30-04, 01:55 PM   #24
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Rockstar, I always love Savannah, GA! My wife's dad and stepmom live out there on Skidaway Island. We're visiting mid-October when the kids are on fall break. I'll be lugging my bike, for sure. But, yeah there are no hills anywhere near there....kind of like the Netherlands in a way. Tropical Netherlands, I guess!
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Old 09-30-04, 02:53 PM   #25
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Hey there-- I am 51 and have been commuting 20 years-- 20-25 miles/day roundtrip on one of my 4 bikes through the Memphis traffic. No big deal, keeps the fat down and the joy up. I don't own a car-- I am going to wait until I get too broken and worn out to bike before I get another car.
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