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Old 05-02-06, 11:28 AM   #1
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Why DON'T you commute?

It seems we get a new thread monthly asking folks why the DO commute (especially in the Commuting forum, obviously), but a thread asking why people DON'T commute was started in the 50+ forum and I think it is a darned good subject for a thread for everyone, especially in these times of high fuel costs and environmental damage.

So tell us, why DON'T you use your bicycle to commute to/from work or school?

Note: No lambasting, calling people lazy or other such nonsense. This thread is for discussion of the reasons why folks don't commute and suggestions/perspectives that might help them to do so.
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Old 05-02-06, 11:36 AM   #2
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Because my office is 10ft away from my kitchen???
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Old 05-02-06, 11:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Because my office is 10ft away from my kitchen???

Same here. I kept running into the furniture. When I did work outside the home, I rode the current beater from new, a 96 Raleigh MTB. It's been a good $300.
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Old 05-02-06, 11:48 AM   #4
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I commute at least three days out of five. At least.

However, somedays I'm, um, lazy. (Wait, I wasn't supposed to call myself that under your ROE. Sorry, self! )

And on Tuesday I have violin lessons, and call me paranoid, but I just don't want to risk busting up, getting wet, etc. etc. my fairly expensive fiddle. Therefore, on Tuesday I drive, and go to lessons after work.
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Old 05-02-06, 11:48 AM   #5
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Here's why.

First. My lightrail ticket is $53.00 dollars a month for unlimted rides. It doesn't make sense to to buy this ticket and bike half way to work. The amount is so insignificant, that buying it enables me to remain car free and it saves wear and tear on my bike and body during the morning.

2. Second. The problem isn't biking in the day but riding home at night in some rather tough neighborhoods. I did it once and the situation was stressful. If the lightrail didn't exist, I would do it no question.
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Old 05-02-06, 11:50 AM   #6
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Sometimes I do... but frankly it is a lousy bike ride filled with fast cars on multilaned roads... it does very little to lower my blood pressure.

My commute is on 45+MPH multilaned (4-6 lanes) roads that are very crowded, noisy and hilly. Not to mention all the fast intersections and business driveways... and of course the irratated rush hour drivers.

Part of my commute requires I get on the interstate (legal) and about 2 miles of my commute have been under construction (and sometimes underwater) for the 4 years I have been at this location.

All told, as a bike ride, it rather sucks. On the plus side, it is only about 8.5 miles each way, and it can be much faster on bike than in car to commute, depending on the time of day. For instance, I have had early evening obligations at 5 or 6 PM that I would not have otherwise been able to attend if I tried to drive to them. (well unless I left the office at 2-3 in the afternoon). I have then bike commuted and found, not to my surprise, that the motor vehicle traffic was at a complete standstill along every road I rode. In fact, this was my justification for commuting for many years to a different location that shared some of the same route... One particular road and intersection would typically be at a standstill for upwards of 45 minutes to an hour while motorists used this "shortcut" to a different freeway on ramp. Meanwhile, I would "zoom" past these waiting motorists at a whopping speed of 8MPH while climbing a steep hill... I never failed to make it to the top of the hill before motorists at the bottom could crawl up it. I found that quite amusing. It was probably the high point of that commute.

These days I do most of my riding on a very nice wide bike path just a few miles from my office... Quick 20 mile round trip at whatever pace I choose... with very little chance of meeting intersecting motor traffic... unlike the commute, where my focus has to be on traffic, not riding intensity (speed).
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Old 05-02-06, 12:15 PM   #7
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1. One-way trip by car, express bus or train is about 12 miles. By bike it's 24 each way. I work long hours. 48 miles r/t is a burden on a work day.

2. Route has a few huge hills that can be fun to tackle on the weekend but are a bit much before andy after a workday.

3. Much of the trip is just plain unpleasant because of high speed traffic and gridlocked congestion on roads with inadequate or no shoulders. I'm an experienced city rider; this stuff is BAD.

4. I often work until well into the evening. After dark, #3 feels like I'm really taking my life in my hands.

5. Only way to have adequate bike security is by paying the $10 motorcycle charge to park in a garage three blocks away. That's more than bus fare. I used to have a cheaper and closer deal but they kicked as part of their post-9/11 security measures. I do have a folder that I could bring inside, but it's not enough bike for this kind of a trip.

6. I have to wear suits. Yes, there are plenty of workarounds like leaving it in the office, but that's just one more thing on top of the others.

I LOVED commuting when I had a mostly pleasant 13 mile trip each way and am really sorry it's become impractical where I now live. Still, I'll do it once in a great while if it's the only way I can fit in a ride that week.
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Old 05-02-06, 12:19 PM   #8
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cuz i'm lazy..... cuz it would be a PITA to take my clothes.. and NO DOUBT i would forget something! plus i'd have to shower... dry my hair.... fix my face....

and if i forgot my shirt... or shoes... or undies *gasp* what would i wear all day????????????????

no.... i'll just drive my 10 miles in a nice air conditioned or heated car!
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Old 05-02-06, 12:22 PM   #9
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Because I do construction.
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Old 05-02-06, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Because my office is 10ft away from my kitchen???
I remember when I worked from home...I envy you Danno old bud!
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Old 05-02-06, 12:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
Sometimes I do... but frankly it is a lousy bike ride filled with fast cars on multilaned roads... it does very little to lower my blood pressure.

My commute is on 45+MPH multilaned (4-6 lanes) roads that are very crowded, noisy and hilly. Not to mention all the fast intersections and business driveways... and of course the irratated rush hour drivers.

Part of my commute requires I get on the interstate (legal) and about 2 miles of my commute have been under construction (and sometimes underwater) for the 4 years I have been at this location.

All told, as a bike ride, it rather sucks. On the plus side, it is only about 8.5 miles each way, and it can be much faster on bike than in car to commute, depending on the time of day. For instance, I have had early evening obligations at 5 or 6 PM that I would not have otherwise been able to attend if I tried to drive to them. (well unless I left the office at 2-3 in the afternoon). I have then bike commuted and found, not to my surprise, that the motor vehicle traffic was at a complete standstill along every road I rode. In fact, this was my justification for commuting for many years to a different location that shared some of the same route... One particular road and intersection would typically be at a standstill for upwards of 45 minutes to an hour while motorists used this "shortcut" to a different freeway on ramp. Meanwhile, I would "zoom" past these waiting motorists at a whopping speed of 8MPH while climbing a steep hill... I never failed to make it to the top of the hill before motorists at the bottom could crawl up it. I found that quite amusing. It was probably the high point of that commute.

These days I do most of my riding on a very nice wide bike path just a few miles from my office... Quick 20 mile round trip at whatever pace I choose... with very little chance of meeting intersecting motor traffic... unlike the commute, where my focus has to be on traffic, not riding intensity (speed).

I didn't look, but tell me Gene, did you just copy and paste your reply from 50+ ?
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Old 05-02-06, 12:38 PM   #12
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I don't like riding on concrete and I find it boring. I do commute if I am running behind but I leave my biking to enjoyable pleasures like downhill or single track. The other reason would simply be my love for walking. 30 minutes with blaring music in my ears and just zoning out. Its my only chance to revive my imagination in a day filled with facts and computers.

Oh I do commute if and only if I am going for a post work ride, which will be happening a lot now the snow has started melting.
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Old 05-02-06, 12:39 PM   #13
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Why I don't commute

Because I work 150 km from where I live...fortunately, I only have to do it once a week.
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Old 05-02-06, 12:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caligurl
cuz i'm lazy..... cuz it would be a PITA to take my clothes.. and NO DOUBT i would forget something! plus i'd have to shower... dry my hair.... fix my face....

and if i forgot my shirt... or shoes... or undies *gasp* what would i wear all day????????????????

no.... i'll just drive my 10 miles in a nice air conditioned or heated car!
You sound just like my GF - I always tell her that she is beautiful without fixing her hair or face and that clothing is entirely optiona!
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Old 05-02-06, 12:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander
Because I do construction.
I worked construction and rode to the site on my bike when I was a kid. Tell us more Mr. 'that state up north'.
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Old 05-02-06, 12:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Because my office is 10ft away from my kitchen???
Thaaat's no excuse. Just ask my wife, it's not at all unusual for me to ride my Townie around the livingroom.
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Old 05-02-06, 12:47 PM   #17
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Because i am supposed to have a car for my job. I do commute when i can, but part of my job is to service customers out in the field. Doing this requires a car. If I wheeled up to an account to complete a repair with my bike i would be fired.

Still, like i said, i do ride some days, like this morning, when i know I don't need my car.
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Old 05-02-06, 12:56 PM   #18
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If I didn't own a car I'd cycle commute 100% of the time.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:06 PM   #19
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OK, just to be clear, I wasn't really directing this thread at those who, like me, commute some or most of the time, but not all the time, but rather to those who don't do it at all.

I live 48 miles from where I work. My normal commute is to drive to the park-n-ride or a fairly secure parking area somewhere on the route, then ride the rest of the way to work, then back to the truck afterward. My usual distance is between 15-16 miles each way, though I do like to do the entire 48 at least once a week during the non-winter months. The full route is pretty challenging, consisting of narrow lanes with no shoulder, 30-55mph speed limits and way too many climbs for a big feller like me who also carries everything but the kitchen sink on my bike.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
I worked construction and rode to the site on my bike when I was a kid. Tell us more Mr. 'that state up north'.
200 pounds of tools needing to be transported to a site 30 miles away by 7:30 AM and a persistant need to run around to hardware stores negates a bike commute.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:29 PM   #21
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I don't commute TO work because I'd have to get up at 4:30am, leave by 5:30am to make it to work by 7:00am. I need at least 7 hours of sleep, which means I'd be going to bed at 9:30 pm. On nights I am in class until 10pm this makes it impossible. Because of this I don't spend a lot of time with my wife, so the nights I do not have class I am enjoying my time with her. In my life my wife has a higher priority over cycling. Even when the semester ends the middle of May I still won't get up to ride to work that early.

But I do commute home from work as often as I can, when I do not have class. I would ride to school but I am not off work early enough to make it on time. And because the Mandatory Overtime is picking up again the only riding I will get in during the week will be from work to home. I do not commute if bad weather is predicted. When I do my wife drops me & the bike off at my office in the morning. I change cloths put my street clothing in my saddel bags & ride home.

I guess you could say I commute half way as much as I can.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:54 PM   #22
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I don't commute (though I would love to, as I only live a few miles away) because I need my car throughout the day. Part of my job entails overseeing a few franchise hair salons throughout the area, and I spend a lot of time shuttling between them and my office, usually delivering large cases of inventory or things like that.
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Old 05-02-06, 02:13 PM   #23
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I start my first professional job in June, probably won't commute cause I'll be 40 miles away, but have considered doing it some of the time. And since its my first job, I want to be worried more about working hard and doing a good job then my ride home. And the only reason I'm 40 miles away is because I'll probably living with my parents until I can find a cheap place to stay near my work, hopefully that'll be less then 10 miles away, then I'll commute.

Even if gas hits $4/gallon, it'll still cost me less than half of that of a very cheap apartment close to work. I'll still own a car no matter what, so insurance is a constant, but wear and tear has to accounted for somehow even though I do, and enjoy doing, the maintaince on my car. Assuming I do just under 25k miles per year, I should get at least another 4 years out of my car, probably more, and the money saved by not renting a closer apartment could easily buy me the same car again with a few grand left in the bank. Not to mention mouching food off my parents, which, even though I eat like pigeon on my own dime, would save me a few hundred over the course of a year.

I don't know what the future holds, saving money is my main objective right now so no matter what happens I can do as I please and not be reliant on anyone. Hopefully in a few years, like 4-8, I'll have enough, and the market will cool down allowing me to buy myself a small house close to work.
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Old 05-02-06, 02:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
I worked construction and rode to the site on my bike when I was a kid. Tell us more Mr. 'that state up north'.
Depends on what you do in construction. If you just show up and drive nails, biking is no problem. If you have to haul supplies (and/or crew), then it's a lot less practical.
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Old 05-02-06, 02:31 PM   #25
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I don't commute because my wife leaves for work earlier than I do, and I have to get the kids ready for school. By the time I got them off and then rode in, I'd be pretty late.

However - my wife is a teacher, and the school year will be over in a month, so she'll take over the kid stuff in the mornings. When that happens, I'll be commuting regularly.

Even better - my wife is leaving her current position at the end of the year (which is about a 25-mile drive each way), and starting in a new position that is less than two miles from our house. She'll drop the kids off on her way to work, so I may even be able to commute after school starts in the fall.
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