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Thread: Bike 1 - Bus 0

  1. #1
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Bike 1 - Bus 0

    I cycle to work most days, both for fitness, and to make a car available to my teenage step-daughter, without having to buy one with funds that would otherwise go towards her college studies, which may include med $chool. As I started training for cycling under the direction of a coach, I began having both indoor trainer days, and recovery days, drive to work for either of those. This concept of me actually using my car naturally did not go over so well with the family. After weeks of increasing household tension, the light bulb finally went off in my feeble brain. "I can take the bus! It's a straight shot, with the stop just a couple blocks away! Good for the environment! Good for everyone!"

    So, yesterday being a 'recovery day', I took the bus. Neighbors wondered what the heck I was doing.

    Getting to work wasn't too bad. 7 minute walk to the bus-stop; 23 minute bus ride; 15 minute walk to the office from the bus-stop. I didn't realize the walk at the work end would be that long, but hey, no big deal. Walking is nice.

    Then I took the trip home. Much busier bus. 32 minutes, plus an extra few for the driver to check the engine compartment. Loud crowd. Hot weather. Total transit time almost an hour, and I was more beat up than if I had just peddled home the 8 miles easy-like, which takes only 30 minutes!

    The bike kicks public transit's butt for this sort of commute, at least for mine. So I got coach to agree I could ride, even on recovery days, if I go slow and easy.

    Anyone need some one-day Phoenix Metro passes?
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  2. #2
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    I ride the bus occasionally... occasions being the weather/surface conditions being too icy/nasty to ride.

    I don't have a coach. (I do have a few cheerleaders, though, most notably, my kids!)

  3. #3
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I generally commute via transit -- one direct bus trip with a 1.1 mi walk at the home end and a 1.6 mi walk at the office end, which adds up to about 5 1/2 miles of speedwalking per day.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  4. #4
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    My strategy was to argue that a monthly bus pass cost $70. times 12 = $840 per year.
    I would commute by bike and spend the savings on bike stuff! Koga Miyata Terraliner... ortlieb panniers, Blackburn rack... (that was before I knew about Tubus) night hawk light. If anything broke, I would replace it with an upgrade.... sometimes upgrade just for the sake of an upgrade.

    Now a divorcee, the bitter sweet note is that I don't have to justify bike expenses to anyone.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  5. #5
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    My strategy was to argue that a monthly bus pass cost $70. times 12 = $840 per year.
    And I forgot to mention it cost me $3.50 for the round trip. the cheaper passes are "consecutive days".
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    I ride the bus, work picks pays for the bus fare. In good weather, I ride my bike to the bus, put it on the front of the bus, then 45 min min later get off the bus, ride my bike and ride 5 min to the office.

  7. #7
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Public transportation sucks so badly in Indy, that the bus isn't a viable option for most folks.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  8. #8
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    Around here, we call the bus "The Incubator". If you want to know what strains of colds and flues are making the rounds, just ride the bus and you will know first hand.

  9. #9
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    The only thing buses are good for is when there is a catastrophic failure on the bike between work and home. I have put the bike on the bus bike rack when I've broken chains, or had the rim explode from the brake pads wearing it to the point that it cracks, and the rim sidewalls are not strong enough to hold the inner tube, which explodes and takes the rim with it. And even then it usually takes way longer than cycling, especially if there's more than one bus involved. I just hate buses.

    The only public transportation that makes sense is trains. Most city metro systems arrive about ever 4 or 5 minutes, and they breeze along at 80 kmh above or below the traffic. But they usually don't have enough room for bikes during rush hour. But that's OK; taking a bike is still way better.

    L.

  10. #10
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I also find cycling to be fast and practical in the city. Driving a car or taking the bus, not so much.

    In Chicago we have a new parking fee system that adds to the cost of driving the car by a factor of 2. I often need to spend $2 to $6 just to park on the street for two hours. If I go downtown or to Michigan Ave, parking can cost $7 per hour!

    Chicago buses are usually slow, dirty and at $2.25 a ride, not all that cheap.

    I’m not a regular bike commuter, but will bike commute about 50 to 75 days a year. I have 30 mile commute when I need to travel to the office in the suburbs. The distance is not the biggest issue, it’s the heavy traffic near O’Hare Airport that makes bike commuting the whole distance a little too stressful and unsafe. However, I will commute to the suburbs as an inter-modal cyclist & bus commuter. I’ll cycle 8 miles, put the bike on an express bus for 9 miles, and get off the bus and cycle the last 13 miles. It allows me to enjoy a safe cycling route near my home and office. The bus is fast and travels by expressway, allowing me to avoid congested roads and homicidal drivers.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-19-11 at 09:14 AM.

  11. #11
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    In London (England) I find the bike beats public transport for any journey up to about 8-10 miles. Point-to-point (i.e. from train station to train station) the train is faster but as soon as you have to factor in the time it takes to walk to the station the bike wins.

    I've got friends who live a whisker under 5 miles away. By public transport you're doing well to make the journey much faster than an hour, by bike it usually takes about 20 minutes. It would be faster still on a road bike.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Philipaparker's Avatar
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    I started commuting to work seriously last year on my bike, now that winter is here in San Francisco that means rain I take MUNI (our light rail system) it is actually a little quicker, gives me time to read. I get a Fast Pass tax free from work so why not. Living in a urban city has advantages in that nothing is really too far away.
    To me the life is a glass half full, I love optimism, life's better that way.
    Riding the streets of San Francisco, the roads of West Marin and Northern California...

  13. #13
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    Personally, I would heed the coach's advice. Otherwise, you won't go anywhere in your racing ambitions. I used to commute by bike because I was free of car ownership, but there were occasions when I chose to commute by bus. I found it quite relaxing, even if it seemed a little longer and convoluted. But then, where I chose to live at the time was very well served by bus services.

    I also wonder why you step-daughter can't get out there and work for her own transport. Why isn't she riding a bicycle at least occasionally, freeing up your motor vehicle for your use?
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  14. #14
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    A recovery day is an easy ride on the bike. Sounds like you know more than the coach does.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

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