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Success story - and thank you!

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Success story - and thank you!

Old 05-10-05, 05:43 PM
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Quadzilla
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Success story - and thank you!

Hi everyone!

I know you usually get the "Hi I'm new and I want to start commuting by bike" intro, but I'm going to introduce myself otherwise - let me tell you the story of how I successfully became a bike commuter!

Two summers ago, I bought a cheap department-store mountain bike to get in shape (I was maybe 10 to 15 lbs overweight, but I mostly yearned for the exercise). I used it mostly for recreational rides, until one day I got the idea of riding it to my girlfriend's house, a little less than 10 km away. I wasn't used to thinking of the bicycle as a practical transportation device, though, so I spent the summer doing maybe 5 or 6 recreational rides reaching up to 30-50 km each, and riding my bike to my girlfriend's house occasionally. I then stored away my bike for the winter, but I did take it out for 2 or 3 rides during or after snowstorms just out of curiosity - to see how it would handle.

Last summer, after a few early-summer rides, I decided it was time to buy a faster bike, but didn't have a lot of money. I ended up finding a retired bike mechanic who fixes up old bikes, and I bought an old rebuilt 10-speed road bike. I bought a rear rack for the bike, along with some small rack bags with the intention of bringing stuff on recreational rides. But I quickly realized that I could use this "new" and more practical bike to get around to the places I needed to go. By summer's end, I had bought a wide range of clothing and accessories, and I was using the bike to get to school (50 km round-trip), my girlfriend's house, and to run errands at nearby stores (sometimes even not so nearby). I was so excited by my new lifestyle, and by then had developed a sense of environmental consciousness, so I decided to find a way to keep using the bike in the winter.

Last winter, I gradually bought things I would need to survive a winter of commuting, including an old beat-up mountain bike. Though I never rode more than an hour at a time and had a job about 5 km's away, I still felt pretty good about biking in the winter. With that winter now over, I have decided to make arrangements to become more capable of withstanding longer commutes, as I will perhaps attempt to commute to my current school (40 km round-trip) by bike next winter (legitimate safety concerns have come up, though, mostly dealing with a very dangerous route).

However, right now, I have no trouble getting to school by bike. I ride about 250-300 km per week, most of which is mileage ridden to and from school. Rain or shine I am on my bike, with a wide range of accessories and gear that enhance my riding. I have found solutions and equipment that allow me to haul almost anything, from large boxes to tools to clothing, even a plate of spaghetti! I used to drive a car almost 20,000 km's per year, but I've rid myself of cars once and for all by selling my car a couple of months ago (I still buy a couple of bus tickets once in a while for days when I'm sick, etc).

Throughout my experience and throughout my struggles, I have lurked in this commuting forum for advice, solutions and encouragement. So I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who's contributed to making this forum what it is! You can be proud to have helped me achieve the status of bicycle commuter.

I'm in my early twenties, I have great physical and mental health, and I will never buy a car again in my entire life!
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Old 05-10-05, 06:02 PM
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Violineb
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Woah...is this guy for real? May I ask what country youre from? Just curious. I was commuting everywhere by bike until my bike got stolen a month ago but Im just going to get another one Its true that commuting by bike gives you a special self satisfaction (especially in the winter)
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