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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 12-11-13, 03:09 PM   #1
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Shift work--days, evenings, midnights

Does anybody here work different shifts or unusual hours? How does that affect you when you're carfree or carlight?
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Old 12-11-13, 04:31 PM   #2
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I work from 6 pm to 6:15 am and some days to tired to ride. I think this is my lack of fitness.
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Old 12-11-13, 04:45 PM   #3
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I work from 6 pm to 6:15 am and some days to tired to ride. I think this is my lack of fitness.
May not be so much your fitness as your "natural" clock.
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Old 12-11-13, 05:15 PM   #4
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I work from 6 pm to 6:15 am and some days to tired to ride. I think this is my lack of fitness.
That's similar to my new shift, 7 PM to 7:30 AM. I'm also very tired after my shift, but I could do a short bike commute if I had to. Having only 12 hours off between shifts, I would hate to have a long commute that ate into the time I need to eat, sleep, etc. But the four day weekends are great!
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Old 12-11-13, 05:33 PM   #5
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From 3:30 PM to midnight, usually later on Fridays and Saturdays if things are busy. I haven't had a problem riding after work, but I don't have the most physically challenging job in the world either. When I ride, I usually ride to work and take bus or the Metro home. If I work late and miss the connecting bus then I ride home from the Metro station and save the taxi fare. Car free is a lot easier with decent public transportation.
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Old 12-11-13, 05:50 PM   #6
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From 3:30 PM to midnight, usually later on Fridays and Saturdays if things are busy. I haven't had a problem riding after work, but I don't have the most physically challenging job in the world either. When I ride, I usually ride to work and take bus or the Metro home. If I work late and miss the connecting bus then I ride home from the Metro station and save the taxi fare. Car free is a lot easier with decent public transportation.
And that's the shift (3:00 to 11:30 PM, actually) that I worked most of my life until recently changing to 12 hour night shifts. I loved having those daylight hours available for bike rides and other activities. The drawback was that most buses in my city don't run after about 10:30 PM. I didn't mind riding my bike home, except when I had flare-ups of a knee problem. I usually had to take a taxi at those times. Now I have buses available at both ends of my shift, but I only live one stop away from my work place so it makes no sense to even take a bus.
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Old 12-11-13, 06:01 PM   #7
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I used to do 5 miles for a 7pm to 7am shift. The ride there was awesome, it left me alert and aware and ready for work. Riding home is tough but if it's the only option, you don't have to talk yourself into it, and it turns out to be not that bad.

Riding on shift is the same as doing anything else on shift: you have to have a routine because the sun isn't there to set one for you. I knew guys that would try to flip to a dayshift sleep schedule on the off-rotation and then come back to mids for shift. They were zombies.
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Old 12-11-13, 07:08 PM   #8
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At a previous gig in a manufacturing environment, I worked with a lady that, on the weeks where she had 4 day weekends, would spend one day switching from nights to days, then work two days, then transition back to nights on the fourth day before finally going back to work on her regular schedule.

Management was pretty good about making sure she always took off at least one day per week, but otherwise letting her work whenever she wanted to.
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Old 12-12-13, 11:41 AM   #9
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I have worked third shift, (11:00 PM-7:00) going on twenty-five years (in April). The last five I have been car light. I haven't noticed any insurmountable issues.
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Old 12-13-13, 10:18 AM   #10
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I work the 8 to 4:30 shift normally, but when I have worked oddball times, I do appreciate the easy commuting traffic. A few times I've had to show up at 12:00am or so and hang around till 4:00 am. Not many cars on the the street at that time.
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Old 12-13-13, 11:31 AM   #11
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If I'm doing a long ride, I like to leave at around 3:00 AM. Get back around 7:00 when people are just starting to wake up. Commuting wise I get to work at 6 to beat traffic.
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Old 12-13-13, 01:06 PM   #12
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I work 14:30 - 23:00. My commute is 1.5 miles. Over the last few years, I have gone car-light including, but not limited to, a subcompact car and hypermiling.

I haven't bike commuted yet for a few factors. One is that my route is through a residential area that seems to attract idjits and drunks. I have seen many, shall we say, interesting driving feats on my way home.

I'm a truck mechanic in my mid-fifties and many nights I am just too beat up by the end of my shift and just want to get home.

The plus side of the afternoon shift is that my morning rides are nice but I delay them until the morning rush is over and crazy drivers are off the roads.

I intend to start commuting by bicycle when the weather gets back up into evening lows above 40F.
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Old 12-13-13, 03:54 PM   #13
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I work 14:30 - 23:00. My commute is 1.5 miles. Over the last few years, I have gone car-light including, but not limited to, a subcompact car and hypermiling.

I haven't bike commuted yet for a few factors. One is that my route is through a residential area that seems to attract idjits and drunks. I have seen many, shall we say, interesting driving feats on my way home.

I'm a truck mechanic in my mid-fifties and many nights I am just too beat up by the end of my shift and just want to get home.

The plus side of the afternoon shift is that my morning rides are nice but I delay them until the morning rush is over and crazy drivers are off the roads.

I intend to start commuting by bicycle when the weather gets back up into evening lows above 40F.
When I worked evenings, I almost always left home a little early, took the scenic route, and expanded my short commute to work by 15 or 20 miles. I did my fastest sprinting on my commute home, when there was little traffic and most of the traffic signals were on blinking mode. I do miss that shift.
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Old 12-14-13, 12:26 AM   #14
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I used to work swing shift, getting off at 11pm. Since I was close to Hollywood, there was usually something still happening and plenty of stores and restaurants to visit. I could see a matinee before going to work.

A more recent job had no set hours so I was as likely to be going to work in the pre-dawn hours as coming home.

The set up I really hated was a company that started at 8:30 am. My commute was a long one, so if I didn't go in an hour early, I'd hit all the worst of the morning rush hour.
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Old 12-19-13, 08:48 AM   #15
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Many yrs ago, for a short period, worked 5pm-1am most nights, 11pm-7am and 7am-3pm others. Being car lite wasn't a problem at the time. Sometimes it was hard to figure out what day it was. Or even if it was day or night. Some weeks were 6 days, some 7 days and some 8 days. Going by the number of times I got up and went back to bed.

I was really glad after a few months to get a steady 11pm-7am shift. My sleep pattern, if not normal was at least regular.

Overall biking to work most of the time had nothing to do with it tho. At least for me.
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Old 12-19-13, 10:50 AM   #16
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I'm not working right now, but over time I've worked all sorts of shifts and have commuted by bike in any hour you could name at some point. My favorite time to commute by bike is late in the evening or in the predawn hours, when traffic is light and my lights make me far more visible to vehicles than I am during the day. There's something about riding under moon and stars on a dark night that I really enjoy.
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Old 12-20-13, 05:26 AM   #17
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During my car free years I worked a fair bit of shift work. I was working at a hospital and we had rotating shifts. I also worked as a bar tender part time. Rolling home at 2:30 in the morning was great, there was zero traffic and you could see and hear cars coming long before they got there. The only ass ache was getting hassled by the cops for using the MUP through the park because is "closed" at sundown.

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Old 12-20-13, 07:06 AM   #18
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During my car free years I worked a fair bit of shift work. I was working at a hospital and we had rotating shifts. I also worked as a bar tender part time. Rolling home at 2:30 in the morning was great, there was zero traffic and you could see and hear cars coming long before they got there. The only ass ache was getting hassled by the cops for using the MUP through the park because is "closed" at sundown.

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We had the same situation here a few years ago--cops harassing cyclists after dark. It was finally ruled that the park was closed but the MUP was open 24/7, just like a regular street. Once in a while you still hear about a rogue cop hassling people, but it's not as bad.
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Old 12-20-13, 07:13 AM   #19
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I did a 4:00 to midnight shift for a while ... riding home at midnight was usually quite nice.
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Old 12-20-13, 07:28 AM   #20
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I did a 4:00 to midnight shift for a while ... riding home at midnight was usually quite nice.
Yes indeed, and going other places late at night was also fun. We used to ride all over the city.

Mountain biking at night is spectacular but spooky. I used to hit the trails with my son and a friend about one night a week, even in winter. I was the only one with a headlight--a cheap little LED--so I went in front. That was fun. I should reinstitute those rides.
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