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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 07-26-08, 04:23 PM   #1
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Bicycling culture

I work as a contractor, so I get to move work locations frequently. On my current gig, I was surprised to notice that quite a few people in my area are cycling enthusiasts. At least three of them ride to work regularly. Another left recently for her first Ragbrai ride. Yet another commutes infrequently. The company itself seems to have some cyclists in upper management, with great facilities for biking to work.

The net result is that quite a bit of water cooler type conversation seems to revolve around bikes -- repairs, Tour de France, local events. No one ever bats an eye when I show up with my panniers. Nor are there any inquisitions about why I choose to ride a bike.

I've never run into this before.

Have you ever worked with a group of cyclists?
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Old 07-26-08, 05:46 PM   #2
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At least two other people in my department bike to work part of the time. Several others in different departments also bike to work at least part time. There are inside and outside bike racks for employees. People also talk about recreational riding now and then. Biking is fairly in Madison.
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Old 07-26-08, 09:47 PM   #3
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I wish I could work in an place where there are other cyclists. Usually what happens for me is that one or two co-workers observe me and give cycling to work a try. Right now I have one woman who will ride her bike to work every once in a while.

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Old 07-27-08, 08:02 AM   #4
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4/16 at my place are care free but we don't often chit-chat about bikes or car free. I guess we aren't enthusiastic enough.
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Old 07-27-08, 08:56 AM   #5
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I definitely don't work with cyclists. In fact, aside from my brother, the only people I know personally who are "enthusiast" are the guys at the bike shop.
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Old 07-27-08, 09:11 AM   #6
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This city has a strong cycling culture... we just reached the 1% ridership level for commuters and I read that 25,000 people commute by bicycle on a daily basis.

I work as a mechanic / facilitator in our community shop that is operated by our commuter's society which has been working on behalf of cyclists here for nearly 30 years.

You would have to say I am immersed in things.
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Old 07-27-08, 11:20 AM   #7
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I have a coworker that bikes, and we share part of our commute route. There are a couple others at the building I am in, but I do not know them, and they are not full daily riders.

The amount of bike and commuter traffic is on the rise as well.
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Old 07-27-08, 12:26 PM   #8
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There are cyclists at my work but they mostly ride because they cant afford cars.
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Old 07-27-08, 01:22 PM   #9
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50% of the people at my office ride to work.

The other guy drives an SUV.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:26 AM   #10
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I work with 30 other people or so, and only one other person rides a bike to work, but not every day. My co-workers do not give me a hard time for riding to work, though. In fact, most have expressed their approval of my choice. A few have asked me detailed questions about car-free life (as if it required special knowledge), but none have acted on it so far.
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Old 08-04-08, 11:59 AM   #11
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Today I started my new job as an intern at my city's DOT Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning Department, but I only have met one other person who commutes by bike! No wonder this city is so backwards.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I work as a contractor, so I get to move work locations frequently. On my current gig, I was surprised to notice that quite a few people in my area are cycling enthusiasts. At least three of them ride to work regularly. Another left recently for her first Ragbrai ride. Yet another commutes infrequently. The company itself seems to have some cyclists in upper management, with great facilities for biking to work.

The net result is that quite a bit of water cooler type conversation seems to revolve around bikes -- repairs, Tour de France, local events. No one ever bats an eye when I show up with my panniers. Nor are there any inquisitions about why I choose to ride a bike.

I've never run into this before.

Have you ever worked with a group of cyclists?
Man, we really need a green-faced icon.

In answer to your question, no. Although on fine days, the amount of bike commuters is getting high enough to cause a little bit of congestion on the MUP.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:41 PM   #13
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Quite a lot of people commute by bicycle or public transit. Then again it's downtown San Jose (Bay Area). So nothing really special.
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I work as a contractor, so I get to move work locations frequently. On my current gig, I was surprised to notice that quite a few people in my area are cycling enthusiasts. At least three of them ride to work regularly. Another left recently for her first Ragbrai ride. Yet another commutes infrequently. The company itself seems to have some cyclists in upper management, with great facilities for biking to work.

The net result is that quite a bit of water cooler type conversation seems to revolve around bikes -- repairs, Tour de France, local events. No one ever bats an eye when I show up with my panniers. Nor are there any inquisitions about why I choose to ride a bike.

I've never run into this before.

Have you ever worked with a group of cyclists?
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Old 08-04-08, 04:48 PM   #14
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My company is full of cyclists, who bring their bikes to work with them and do lunch rides and rides after work. The corporation even has a cycling club. But interestingly enough, very very few commute to work on bikes. Most drive in with the bikes strapped to the roof. I think it is mostly a distance thing. Most folks live 30-40 miles away and there is little public transportation that is convienient.
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Old 08-04-08, 08:05 PM   #15
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One good thing about having a group of commuting/carfree cyclists in an organization is that they can build momentum to a degree. For example, at my current location, a popular cyclist with a radio show, spoke in the auditorium on commuting and other issues. That was a remarkable change in culture from my last work site, where all the feedback I ever got was a lot of remarks like "you must be crazy to bike to work on a day this cold."
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Old 08-04-08, 09:47 PM   #16
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One good thing about having a group of commuting/carfree cyclists in an organization is that they can build momentum to a degree. For example, at my current location, a popular cyclist with a radio show, spoke in the auditorium on commuting and other issues. That was a remarkable change in culture from my last work site, where all the feedback I ever got was a lot of remarks like "you must be crazy to bike to work on a day this cold."
Where I work they'd tell me I'm crazy to ride the bus (instead of biking).
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Old 07-13-14, 06:27 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I work as a contractor, so I get to move work locations frequently. On my current gig, I was surprised to notice that quite a few people in my area are cycling enthusiasts. At least three of them ride to work regularly. Another left recently for her first Ragbrai ride. Yet another commutes infrequently. The company itself seems to have some cyclists in upper management, with great facilities for biking to work.

The net result is that quite a bit of water cooler type conversation seems to revolve around bikes -- repairs, Tour de France, local events. No one ever bats an eye when I show up with my panniers. Nor are there any inquisitions about why I choose to ride a bike.

I've never run into this before.

Have you ever worked with a group of cyclists?

Most places I've worked have had a few cyclists.

The place I worked before my current job had a small group who were quite actively into cycling and other endurance sports. They did triathlons, paddle, bike, run events, and of course, lots of cycling events.


And the place I work now is also quite active, with several people who cycle ... and there is some talk about the TDF and other cycling events.

In fact, there are so many people who are active and watching what they eat etc. that it's embarrassing to eat anything that isn't a healthy food choice ... and if we haven't been the gym or been cycling or something active in an evening, I feel like I'm letting the side down.
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Old 07-13-14, 11:55 PM   #18
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Have you ever worked with a group of cyclists?
I enjoyed a few Critical Mass rides but my work schedule conflicted. They were mostly younger riders, and I enjoyed their company and their enthusiasm about cycling in the city.

I'm involved with a statewide bicycle advocacy group. After years of mainly sponsoring road rides and races, they now do a lot more stuff with transportation cycling. They got a law passed recently that greatly increases penalties for motorists who hit a cyclist or walker with their cars. They also got the state to legalize right turn signals with the right hand, and they're setting up a program to educate police and judges about cyclists' issues.

I briefly volunteered with a guy who taught kids and homeless people how to repair bikes, then gave them bikes when they passed the course. Unfortunately he got sick before I really got involved, and has now passed away.
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Old 07-14-14, 06:29 AM   #19
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The city I live in was just ranked 2nd or 3rd (I can't remember, but it was just behind Davis, CA) as the city with the highest % of cyclecommuters. The place I work has massive bike racks, but finding a spot to chain up can still be tricky.
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Old 07-14-14, 09:02 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=gerv;7140791
Have you ever worked with a group of cyclists?[/QUOTE]

Sadly I live in a Car centric Region where the cities in which I commute claim to be bicycle friendly but all that has been done is some paint on some sections of the road. Our bike lanes are mostly incomplete, in fact we may have the world's shortest bike lane. Community pathways are constantly clogged with joggers and dog walkers making cycle travel there difficult and some what dangerous. Best choice is to stay on the road with the cars. The culture at work is typical with all the employees driving to work. Two people smoke and two others are noticeably over weight. The area is ingrained with drive through restaurants, coffee shops etc. so the driver does not have to leave their car. I m unable to share any bicycle related topics with anyone except of coarse right here and a few friends outside of work.
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Old 07-14-14, 12:32 PM   #21
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Sadly I live in a Car centric Region where the cities in which I commute claim to be bicycle friendly but all that has been done is some paint on some sections of the road. Our bike lanes are mostly incomplete, in fact we may have the world's shortest bike lane. Community pathways are constantly clogged with joggers and dog walkers making cycle travel there difficult and some what dangerous. Best choice is to stay on the road with the cars. The culture at work is typical with all the employees driving to work. Two people smoke and two others are noticeably over weight. The area is ingrained with drive through restaurants, coffee shops etc. so the driver does not have to leave their car. I m unable to share any bicycle related topics with anyone except of coarse right here and a few friends outside of work.
I know. Thank goodness for bikeforums.net!!! It's my main connection to bike culture also.
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Old 07-14-14, 02:54 PM   #22
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I work for a high technology manufacturer near Toledo, Ohio. We have a gym, showers and a bike rack with over 1000 employees and I'm the only real bike commuter. Co-workers think riding is great but way to much hassle.
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Old 07-14-14, 06:25 PM   #23
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Old 07-14-14, 07:31 PM   #24
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I enjoyed a few Critical Mass rides but my work schedule conflicted. They were mostly younger riders, and I enjoyed their company and their enthusiasm about cycling in the city.

I'm involved with a statewide bicycle advocacy group. After years of mainly sponsoring road rides and races, they now do a lot more stuff with transportation cycling. They got a law passed recently that greatly increases penalties for motorists who hit a cyclist or walker with their cars. They also got the state to legalize right turn signals with the right hand, and they're setting up a program to educate police and judges about cyclists' issues.

I briefly volunteered with a guy who taught kids and homeless people how to repair bikes, then gave them bikes when they passed the course. Unfortunately he got sick before I really got involved, and has now passed away.
Glad to see you are involved as a volunteer. Volunteering is very much part of bicycle culture. We all like to work together to make things a little better.

Plus it's a great way to make real friends.
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Old 07-14-14, 11:34 PM   #25
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People at my place of employment (a university) don't think it's strange that I bike to work. They do think it's strange that I bike to work year round.

In my office, there are three walkers, one good weather cyclist, and me (out of 13 people); this is probably a higher than average rate of car-light/car-free commuting. Across the campus, I notice a good number of employees riding in during the warmer months, but the bikes disappear around November and return sometime in April or May. There's another woman who rides all winter; there might be a guy, too.

More generally, bike culture in this area is wonderful in the summer - plenty of people commute, and there's also great road biking/mountain biking/trail riding, but it disappears during the 6-7 months of snow and cold. Year round riding isn't mainstream here...yet.
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