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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-19-05, 03:02 PM   #1
sydney_b
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Thunder and Lightnin' -- but ya gotta get to work

OK, those of you who have taken the leap and gone car free, how do you handle delays of dangerous weather like a severe thunderstorm?
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Old 09-19-05, 03:49 PM   #2
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I'm no car free, but I commute rain or shine to work. I carry extra clothes in my waterproof bag, I have an extra pair of shoes, and I don my frogg toggs. I always have clear lens safety glasses on and these are my windshields.
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Old 09-19-05, 04:32 PM   #3
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I just turn on all my lights, put on the reflector vest (like I do every morning), put on the ball cap, rain jacket If it's cold, then grit my teeth and do it. I don't mind rain, but yeah, big storms early in the morning when the drivers around me are tired and can't see does require a blind leap of sorts for me as my whole 11 mile one way commute is all on super busy, narrow, 35-45 mph main roads.
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Old 09-19-05, 05:27 PM   #4
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Eat a hearty breakfast, put on your high visibility raingear, waterproof gloves, boots, turn on your lights, and get after it!
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Old 09-19-05, 05:35 PM   #5
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The previous responders are heartier than I! For me success in living car free means having an alternative means of transportation. Both work and home are just a short walk from Metro (subway) stations. So if the weather looks ferocious I will either wait it out (thanks to weather radar over the internet!) or just hoof it home.
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Old 09-19-05, 08:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney_b
OK, those of you who have taken the leap and gone car free, how do you handle delays of dangerous weather like a severe thunderstorm?
It's my extrordinary good luck that I live in NYC, so a car-free commute in miserable weather is just a MetroCard away.
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Old 09-19-05, 11:23 PM   #7
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Rain gear and lights.
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Old 09-19-05, 11:28 PM   #8
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The only difference between a shower and a severe storm is the wind. Which is why I have given up on rain ponchos. My rain jacket / wind breaker is water proof and fluorescent yellow. Clear lense glasses and a baseball cap are good too. Actually, the cap is essential. It keeps wind and flying debris out of your face and eyes.

I put my pants and shirt in a plastic bag and stick it in my panniers. Get to work, dry off in bathroom, and put on shirt and pants.
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Old 09-20-05, 12:33 AM   #9
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My commute is only 3 miles round trip so I just put my rain suit on over my work clothes and go for it. We had a pretty bad storm here about 2 weeks ago, blowing wind and lots of flooding. With my rain gear I arrived much drier than those who only had to walk from the parking lot.
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Old 09-20-05, 08:26 AM   #10
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Seems that no one is concerned with sever electrical storms. ??
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Old 09-20-05, 08:27 AM   #11
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So, nobody is scared of lightning? I suppose the odds aren't high on being hit but I still find it a bit nerve-wracking.
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Old 09-20-05, 08:30 AM   #12
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Seems that no one is concerned with severe electrical storms. ??
Not particularly.

...seriously, just understand the odds/risks and use common sense.
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Old 09-20-05, 08:47 AM   #13
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this happened yesterday morning, in fact. i just keep riding....

and...turn on the lights, put a cycling cap under the helmet to keep some of the water off my glasses, and add various bits and pieces of clothing depending on the temperature.

i make no pretense about keeping dry. i just try to stay warm. most raingear sucks, so i don't bother with that very often.
lightning isn't much of a risk around here -- i'm just about never the tallest thing in the landscape.
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Old 09-20-05, 09:01 AM   #14
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Bike on the bus. Any riding at all would just be a couple of blocks. I could really just walk my bike to the bus stop and walk the bike a block or two (depending on which bus I take) home from the bus stop.

Yesterday I forgot my bus money so I had to ride home in the rain but I did have my raincoat. Still got my legs and feet soaked!
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Old 09-20-05, 11:22 AM   #15
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Lightning is no problem as you're on rubber tires. =)
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Old 09-20-05, 11:30 AM   #16
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If you're concerned about getting zapped by lightning, don your chainmail faraday cage and ride along...
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Old 09-20-05, 09:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney_b
OK, those of you who have taken the leap and gone car free, how do you handle delays of dangerous weather like a severe thunderstorm?
I ride regardless.
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Old 09-21-05, 05:18 PM   #18
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No weather stops me from my commute except lightning and severe icing (not snow, glare ice).

For ice, I have walked to work twice rather than take my bike. It was fun. Alot of coworkers who drive did not show up or were late.

For lightning, I will not ride in it or walk in it. Ever. I have known two people who were struck by lightning, and I have done a lot of research. There is no way you are safe in it. Period. I watch the weather. If lightning is likely during commute time, I will come in early to avoid it. Around here, lightning storms usually last less than an hour, so I go places between storms.
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Old 09-21-05, 06:23 PM   #19
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Rain, shine, or ball-lightning... I ride. I get wet, but I ride.
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Old 09-22-05, 06:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
No weather stops me from my commute except lightning and severe icing (not snow, glare ice).

For ice, I have walked to work twice rather than take my bike. It was fun. Alot of coworkers who drive did not show up or were late.

For lightning, I will not ride in it or walk in it. Ever. I have known two people who were struck by lightning, and I have done a lot of research. There is no way you are safe in it. Period. I watch the weather. If lightning is likely during commute time, I will come in early to avoid it. Around here, lightning storms usually last less than an hour, so I go places between storms.
Roody, the one year we had very thick ice storm here I found that biking was better than walking. I slipped and fell very hard twice while walking but never really fell on the bike. I put the seat low and put both feet down when I would feel the bike going down. I rode very slowly but faster than walking. The way I looked at it was that when you have both feet down and some weight on the bike through the handlebars you are like a dog with 4 points of contact on the ice. When walking you only have two points of contact and always have an unstable direction. Sometimes you can put just one foot down and have more control over the bike with the other foot. Oh yeah I used a basic bike with no toe clips or fancy shoes. You will have a chance to try on ice again before I will.

For lightning, I seek shelter until it is over. It usually occurs in the afternoon here. It never lasts long here. Like Roody I have this paranoia about getting zapped when out in the open. If I'm in the city near tall buildings I feel safer than out in the open near the airport. If it is just wind and rain or snow I ride.
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Old 09-23-05, 12:20 PM   #21
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You've all given me a bit more courage.

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Old 09-23-05, 01:34 PM   #22
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Carradice rain poncho, Marmot light rain jacket, ton'o lights, baseball cap very low and billed like ^. Courage. Go slow.


Singing helps, specially since nobody can hear you. = )


edit: WOOL SOCKS. omg.
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Old 09-23-05, 04:13 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwd
Roody, the one year we had very thick ice storm here I found that biking was better than walking. I slipped and fell very hard twice while walking but never really fell on the bike. I put the seat low and put both feet down when I would feel the bike going down. I rode very slowly but faster than walking. The way I looked at it was that when you have both feet down and some weight on the bike through the handlebars you are like a dog with 4 points of contact on the ice. When walking you only have two points of contact and always have an unstable direction. Sometimes you can put just one foot down and have more control over the bike with the other foot. Oh yeah I used a basic bike with no toe clips or fancy shoes. You will have a chance to try on ice again before I will.

For lightning, I seek shelter until it is over. It usually occurs in the afternoon here. It never lasts long here. Like Roody I have this paranoia about getting zapped when out in the open. If I'm in the city near tall buildings I feel safer than out in the open near the airport. If it is just wind and rain or snow I ride
.
I think you're right about a bike being steadier than walking. But it's not falling that I worry about in the ice. I'm very used to falling and it hurts a lot less to fall on ice or snow!

It's the moronic drivers who don't slow down for the conditions that scare me. I feel a little safer walking on the sidewalk than riding in the street. However, in any ice storm you do see one or more cars that have slid right onto the sidewalk, so that isn't the safest either.

BTW, I'm a reasonably good winter driver, but driving on ice seems more risky than either cycling or walking, something the OP might want to consider.
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Old 09-23-05, 04:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becnal
Lightning is no problem as you're on rubber tires. =)

a common misconception. you'll get zapped all the same. in fact, seeing as how you aren't grounded, you would probably build up more static electricity, possibly making you more of a target.

However, the chances of a bicycle getting struck aren't good. Unless you're biking to work through a flat meadow
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Old 09-24-05, 09:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becnal
The only difference between a shower and a severe storm is the wind. Which is why I have given up on rain ponchos. My rain jacket / wind breaker is water proof and fluorescent yellow. Clear lense glasses and a baseball cap are good too. Actually, the cap is essential. It keeps wind and flying debris out of your face and eyes.

I put my pants and shirt in a plastic bag and stick it in my panniers. Get to work, dry off in bathroom, and put on shirt and pants.
So, you wear a jacket, glasses and a baseball cap to work, then put your pants on when you get there? I bet you get alot of attention while you're on your bike, don't you? j/k...
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