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New Commuter, Maybe

Old 08-17-16, 08:08 AM
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wphamilton
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New Commuter, Maybe

My son starts college on Monday, the Georgia State U at Alpharetta! I know that he's going to drive the first week or two, just because everyone else does, but he's tentatively committed to become a bike commuter on nice days in the fall at least.

It's just about the perfect beginning bike commute in my opinion, a little over three miles not counting parking lots, crossing one road but the rest on the Greenway. Shaded forest by the creek, flat, uncrowded in the morning. It will take about 20 minutes to ride at a lazy pace, or almost the same as driving (8-15 minutes) at a normal pace. It's on my way to work so I can help him out with it, at his pace of course. Or not, if he wants to go it alone, but he doesn't even have to worry about flats or mechanicals this way.

He's got a mountain bike in good condition, which he's taken sometimes to his part time job or just out tooling around. I've set him up with lights and a rear rack, no fenders yet as I don't really expect it to be out in the rain very much. It's low end, but perfectly fine for this commute especially when locking up on a campus.

The main thing I want is for him to have the chance to clear his head before classes, with the peaceful calming of the natural forest, getting the blood oxygenated. Instead of the stress of that last minute rush driving in morning traffic. But the only way to convey that I think is to actually do it. Maybe I'll play the lonely Dad riding partner card, but I'm hoping he'll figure it out for himself. The sympathy ploy might not work anyway since I've been riding alone for almost 10 years, but you never know
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Old 08-17-16, 08:13 AM
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Old 08-17-16, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
LOL we'll start with a bike ride, and go from there.
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Old 08-17-16, 09:46 AM
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Congrats to you and he WP
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Old 08-17-16, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Congrats to you and he WP
Thanks, I'm excited about it. He'll want to do his own thing, even still living at home, but I'm hoping he'll want to take advantage of my experience in riding. Or in school for that matter, but that's up to him.
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Old 08-17-16, 02:21 PM
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I thought chloroplast would figure in here some how. Does he have your engineering gene?
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Old 08-17-16, 02:49 PM
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College is one place where bike commuters have a clear advantage. There's never enough auto parking, it's too expensive to park if you can find a space, and getting to different buildings on campus is way faster on a bike.
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Old 08-17-16, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
College is one place where bike commuters have a clear advantage. There's never enough auto parking, it's too expensive to park if you can find a space, and getting to different buildings on campus is way faster on a bike.
Definitely.
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Old 08-17-16, 02:54 PM
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WP, Jr., following in the old man's tire tracks. Nice!
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Old 08-17-16, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
College is one place where bike commuters have a clear advantage. There's never enough auto parking, it's too expensive to park if you can find a space, and getting to different buildings on campus is way faster on a bike.
Bike rack is literally at the steps at the front door, I can't really imagine preferring to drive and park.

Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I thought chloroplast would figure in here some how. Does he have your engineering gene?
Poly-science and a psychology course so I guess not. But he might still want a sleek tail-box, so I'll have to ask him about that.
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Old 08-17-16, 10:58 PM
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You can't plan their behavior when they get to that age. My kids are 27 and 24. You can give them friendly advice, and that's about it. They'll take some and leave the rest.

If he does agree to going on the path with you, maybe, just maybe, you can show him the secret joy if you offer a detour. Spring it on him mid-ride. If he says OK, go somewhere new.
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Old 08-18-16, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
WP, Jr., following in the old man's tire tracks. Nice!
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
You can't plan their behavior when they get to that age. My kids are 27 and 24. You can give them friendly advice, and that's about it. They'll take some and leave the rest.

If he does agree to going on the path with you, maybe, just maybe, you can show him the secret joy if you offer a detour…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an "English Racer," and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture. In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting
Dittoes to all the above, @wph. My now-28 year old son was only perfunctorily interested in cycling, and was learning to drive at age 14. When he went to Ann Arbor (U of Michigan) for college in 2007 we bought him a used Schwinn road bike and he used it much while there, and for getting around Boston after he graduated (currently borrowing our car frequently). That bikeshop owner still remembers me as we diligently searched for the best (used) bike.

I once took him on a 25-mile charity ride as an adolescent, and it rained. He admitted it was a nice ride, even though it "sucked." As a post adolescent, our only long (~20 mile) ride together was about five years ago. It was congenial, and he rode faster than me, though I complained he didn’t give me a chance to warm up, and he complained his derailleur wasn’t working right.

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Old 08-18-16, 08:54 AM
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Not many people bike commuting that near where I grew up, but I remember being pretty young and seeing people biking around Ann Arbor, connecting the dots like "they can ride a bike... to get places... whoa." I could already tell that seemed like a pretty sweet deal.
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Old 08-18-16, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
It's just about the perfect beginning bike commute in my opinion, a little over three miles not counting parking lots, crossing one road but the rest on the Greenway. Shaded forest by the creek, flat, uncrowded in the morning. It will take about 20 minutes to ride at a lazy pace, or almost the same as driving (8-15 minutes) at a normal pace.
Sounds like commuter heaven...
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Old 08-18-16, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
Sounds like commuter heaven...
It is pretty amazing, with the only road he has to ride on is about 2/10 of a mile long, 45 feet wide and physically closed off to traffic on both ends. We do have to cross a high speed 4-lane, no traffic light, immediately leaving from home but that's it for traffic, or even stops.
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Old 08-18-16, 01:03 PM
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good luck with that but congratulations on the milestone!
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Old 08-24-16, 08:42 AM
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Dont necessarily dismiss fenders even if you're not riding in the rain: they also help for after the rain when wet roads make riding unfendered bikes unpleasant. For me, I think this happens more often than rain while riding. Good luck your son.
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Old 08-24-16, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by fatso View Post
Dont necessarily dismiss fenders even if you're not riding in the rain: they also help for after the rain when wet roads make riding unfendered bikes unpleasant. For me, I think this happens more often than rain while riding. Good luck your son.
+1 - it could mean the difference in riding through a puddle or riding around it to avoid it, but then that might bring you into a car's path. with fenders you can ride right through it and keep your predictable "line"
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Old 08-24-16, 09:25 AM
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...and full fenders help keep your drivetrain clean even if there's been no rain at all
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