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How do you convince yourself to commute EVERY day?

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How do you convince yourself to commute EVERY day?

Old 12-02-16, 09:07 AM
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zze86
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How do you convince yourself to commute EVERY day?

Four days of wet roads, two days of light rain; one of those days without rain gear (thanks weatherman!) in high 30's and low 40's. Another cold, dreary, cloudy day today and I couldn't quite work myself up to dealing with bundling up, riding in, changing and carrying my stuff around. Getting here though, I wish I had. I feel weird not being all hot and sweaty and I forgot how much it sucks taking the bus and walking.

So how do you convince yourself to go through the routine?

As an aside, much respect to those in the PNW and other rainy locations. I don't think I could do rain every day of the winter. Snow? Fine. Ice? doable. Rain? ughh.

Last edited by zze86; 12-02-16 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 12-02-16, 09:50 AM
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Old 12-02-16, 09:55 AM
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Confession - I don't ride every day. I drive in on Monday (due primarily to an after-work commitment) and use that day to bring in clothes, fruit, etc. for the week. Also, I travel (fly) for my job on average 2x per month. Add to that my work schedule gives me every other Friday off. So, all told the most I commute is four days a week (though I think I average about three days a week).


For me, what keeps me on the bike is just the thought of driving on the freeway with all the other traffic out there. It's been said before, Californians do not know how to drive in "bad weather" (defined as rain here - if it ever snows, the freeway will be one giant bumper car ride).
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Old 12-02-16, 10:01 AM
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I don't try to convince myself to ride every day. I decided long ago that I didn't like commuting in lousy weather -- eg, heavy rain, fog, snow, sleet, temperatures above 100F, poor air quality, etc. One of my biggest reasons for riding is my health, but I don't consider it healthy to be riding in more hazardous or unhealthy conditions. I have trouble seeing during rain and fog because I need to wear glasses and they continually fog or spot up. If I'm having trouble seeing, I assume that many drivers do too. My commute is also fairly long (32 miles round trip), and that's a lot of distance and time to riding in bad conditions. Snow, sleet and ice are unrideable and sunsafe conditions as far as I'm concerned. I tried riding one day on my mountain bike after a 4-6" sleet storm and fell over within 100 yards of my house.

Everyone makes their own call on what conditions are rideable. There are some bike commuters who ride every day, regardless of weather conditions, air quality, etc. That's not a decision I would make, but I respect it. I generally ride about 3 days a week, and many of my friends and coworkers cannot believe that I ride on many days when it's cold, windy, hot and humid, etc. So, what I do is extreme to them, even though I'm a lightweight compared to some bike commuters.

I also drive some days just because my legs are tired and I need the rest. I often do long rides on the weekends, and it can be tough commuting to work on Monday morning when I rode 60+ miles the day before. I could have ridden to work every day this week, but ended up riding 3 days because my legs were really tired one day and because the weather forecast was really iffy another day. I still ended up with 96 miles commuting.

Last edited by tarwheel; 12-02-16 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 12-02-16, 10:02 AM
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Easy. I don't!

At 12 miles each way cycling every day would get tiring for me. Physically and mentally. Just like driving every day would get tiring... and aggravating. It's nice to be able to switch it up. As a side bonus I almost never have to carry any extra junk or supplies on the bike... I carry them in/out on car days. Sorry if my answer doesn't help your situation, but you asked!


Now if my commute was shorter, likely I would do it (almost) every day.

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Old 12-02-16, 10:13 AM
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I did it every day when my commute was 4.5 miles. Now it's 12 each way, and I have 1 day where I need to drive my daughter out to the burbs before work, and I work on Saturday so traffic is so light I just drive. So I shoot for 3 days bike commuting per week, which as others noted is nice because I can bring in ironed shirts, etc for the week.

I try to do 3 days a week, but I make exceptions. If major thunderstorms are ongoing or expected, I don't commute. If it's warm and just a bit of rain, I'll still ride. I'll ride through cold weather. I've sort of decided I'm not up for 30s and light rain though...it just isn't fun.
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Old 12-02-16, 10:19 AM
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we only have one car, and i like to leave it for my wife to use. i will occasionally drive it to work if i have a compelling reason to do so (and as long as she doesn't need it), but on a day to day basis, the car stays home for my wife.

if i don't bike, then that usually means that i'm on the train instead, and while the train isn't terrible, it still involves a whole lot of being outside anyway (the walk to the station, the wait on the platform, the walk to my office on the other end), so i figure if i'm gonna be outside either way, why not just ride my bike? it's way more fun! and it's free! (roundtrip train fare is $4.50)

Last edited by Steely Dan; 12-02-16 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 12-02-16, 10:20 AM
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I commute essentially every day in almost any weather, but my commute is short (4 km one way plus some train in the middle). When it is really very rainy I buy a lunch box instead of going back to town.
Depending on the year, there may be a few days or up to 2 weeks when road conditions are really bad, and in this case I may end up only using public transportation.

Ah, and the question was "how do you convince yourself". Well, it is not that difficult. Usually I don't need to be convinced, I just like this short moment on the bike. If it happens, then options would be driving, but it is rarely possible because my wife uses the car most days. Or bus to the station then bus from the station, and it takes longer than riding, and I get much colder waiting for the bus than pedalling. Not so appealing. I might be more easily tempted if I had a car of my own, and this is one of many good reasons not to have one.
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Old 12-02-16, 10:22 AM
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Yeah. I try to force myself to ride unless I have a very compelling reason not to...38F, massive thunderstorm. I just try to think about how long I'm going to be sitting in traffic pissed off if I decide to drive. Especially on my way home, driving only saves 10 minutes or so on a 12 mile commute. Most days the challenge isn't actually riding, it's just getting geared up and motivated.
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Old 12-02-16, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fastturtle View Post
I commute essentially every day in almost any weather, but my commute is short (4 km one way plus some train in the middle). When it is really very rainy I buy a lunch box instead of going back to town.
Depending on the year, there may be a few days or up to 2 weeks when road conditions are really bad, and in this case I may end up only using public transportation.

Ah, and the question was "how do you convince yourself". Well, it is not that difficult. Usually I don't need to be convinced, I just like this short moment on the bike. If it happens, then options would be driving, but it is rarely possible because my wife uses the car most days. Or bus to the station then bus from the station, and it takes longer than riding, and I get much colder waiting for the bus than pedalling. Not so appealing. I might be more easily tempted if I had a car of my own, and this is one of many good reasons not to have one.
Are you in Switzerland?
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Old 12-02-16, 10:34 AM
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I commute every day with very few exceptions. My commute is 20 km. Some days I push hard; some days I take it a bit easier. I enjoy the effort, but it's not for everyone. I treat each ride that's completed as a small victory, and sometimes I'll indulge myself in some sweet treat or a new piece of equipment or accessory.
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Old 12-02-16, 10:46 AM
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I do commute every day - for the last several years I've only missed 2 or 3 times other than due to injury. My commute is half an hour more or less, 8 miles.

Honestly I never force myself or convince myself to get on the bike. I don't really think about it at all - it's just getting to work. But I've been doing the same commute for years so it's more of an ingrained habit than any sort of virtue. I recall when I first started, in the mornings I would sometimes think of the ride home and what an opportunity wasted if I drove - to me, walking to the bus stop, waiting and then riding the bus for a half hour would be even more contrast with an enjoyable evening ride so I'd probably focus on that.
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Old 12-02-16, 11:06 AM
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I don't have a goal to bike commute every day, and I think the most I've commuted by bike in a week is four days. If the weather is unpleasant or I have to carry stuff I can't carry on the bike or I just can't afford the small difference in time, I take the subway. The subway has its own reasons to recommend it. Even though it's crowded and dirty, it's not that way the whole way through, and I can read and listen to music, so it's pretty low stress.
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Old 12-02-16, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
Four days of wet roads, two days of light rain; one of those days without rain gear (thanks weatherman!) in high 30's and low 40's. Another cold, dreary, cloudy day today and I couldn't quite work myself up to dealing with bundling up, riding in, changing and carrying my stuff around. Getting here though, I wish I had. I feel weird not being all hot and sweaty and I forgot how much it sucks taking the bus and walking.

So how do you convince yourself to go through the routine?

As an aside, much respect to those in the PNW and other rainy locations. I don't think I could do rain every day of the winter. Snow? Fine. Ice? doable. Rain? ughh.
17 miles one way, 2-6 trips per week, so not every day. 35 to 40F rain is tough, got some good gear? Ever had your eyelid freeze shut or the gatorade be solid? Slush, frozen footsteps, deeper wet snow, all challenging. HTFU.
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Old 12-02-16, 11:32 AM
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I'm finding that non-waterproof clothing is better for me than rain gear, because I tend to ride hard, which makes me sweat. I make sure I have enough layers that it will take longer to soak through than my ride is, which is about 70 minutes.
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Old 12-02-16, 12:07 PM
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The only "forcing" I do is leaving the spare car at work. After my wife goes to work, a bicycle is the only way I'm going to get there.
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Old 12-02-16, 12:36 PM
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There is no convincing necessary. I enjoy the ride most days. I tend not to ride in am rain, no sense arriving wet at work. I do not ride if there is ice on the roads or snow due to a big hill at the end of my ride and also I do not feel very safe in the dark with ice and bad road conditions. I will ride if it is cold down to 15f degrees with good road conditions. I really enjoy being outside and turning the pedals.

If you pack your bag the night before it just takes getting up in the morning and hopping on the bike to go for a ride. What better way to start the day?
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Old 12-02-16, 01:44 PM
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Back in graduate school, I came to think of cars as for sunny day sport and recreation and bikes as for utility transport. Consequently, it simply does not occur to me that the car is an alternative, except on days when a car is required.

There is no "routine." I ride in office clothing and throw on overcoat, rain pants, overshoes and gloves as weather dictates. Less hassle than going for a walk, as I use lighter clothing. In snow or heavy rain, the traffic here goes into gridlock, so car commuting is only for the truly hardcore motorists.
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Old 12-02-16, 01:46 PM
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I find that I commute more often as the weather gets worse. In the summer months I'll drive sometimes because I know I'll get to go on a long ride after work. In winter, I commute because that is often the only ride I get in.

Bottom line is that I just remain committed to riding my bike 4-6 times a week.
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Old 12-02-16, 02:07 PM
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At the moment, I don't have to commute every day.

But I let my car insurance lapse. So... when I go out, it is by bicycle.
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Old 12-02-16, 03:03 PM
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Easy. the bike is still more dignified and civilized than the trains and Subway.
More reliable WRT ETA too.
It'll pretty much take sickness or injury before I give the bike a rest.
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Old 12-02-16, 03:25 PM
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Have kids, raise them to driving age, decline to buy them a car of their own ... boom, you're bike commuting.
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Old 12-02-16, 04:01 PM
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Bike commute is my best choice/option. Others are walk (7 miles), bus (1+ hours), scooter (more dangerous and cold), take the car from my daughter and force her to make one of the above choices for her commute to school.
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Old 12-02-16, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
. . . I just try to think about how long I'm going to be sitting in traffic pissed off if I decide to drive. Especially on my way home, driving only saves 10 minutes or so on a 12 mile commute. Most days the challenge isn't actually riding, it's just getting geared up and motivated.
To paraphrase an old saying, "The worst day biking is better than the best day driving" - especially true when talking about commuting.

I've told co-workers many times "There have been many days I haven't felt like getting on the bike at 5:30 am, but there haven't been any days I've regretted riding in."

P.S. My commute is about 15 miles each way.
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Old 12-02-16, 04:13 PM
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It doesn't take much convincing for me: I commute 5 days a week, year round, the only exception being for black ice roads (rare in these parts). I would be grumpy if I DIDN'T ride as much. I've got rain gear, and fenders on my XO-2, which may just be my favorite winter commuter bike, ever.
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