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Fun, Fitness, Convenience, Money?

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Fun, Fitness, Convenience, Money?

Old 01-17-17, 09:31 AM
  #1  
InTheRain
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Fun, Fitness, Convenience, Money?

I commute by bicycle for fun. I love starting my day out in the elements. I love being away from cars and traffic (90 percent of my commute is on a scarcely used, beautiful MUP.) I love the breeze in my face, the relative quiet, and the free feeling of being on two wheels.

I get the feeling my reasons are different than most in the commuting forum. So many posts and discussions centered on fitness and saving money.

Rank 'em... why do you commute by bicycle? For me:

1. Fun
2. Convenience
3. Fitness
4. Money.

Fitness and money really are not much of a consideration for me as far as bicycle commuting goes. I commute on a fabulous touring ebike. For fitness I ride a carbon fiber road bike ( it's my fair weather commuter... not a lot of fair weather in this area.)

You might have other reasons for your bicycle commute. Go ahead and add them.
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Old 01-17-17, 09:45 AM
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Too cheap to pay for parking.
Too lazy to walk.
Too impatient to take public transit.
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Old 01-17-17, 10:31 AM
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All of the above plus

can no longer tolerate the road rage
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Old 01-17-17, 11:42 AM
  #4  
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1. Getting outside
2. Exercise
3. Avoiding traffic and road rage... for the most part.

Now, the part I hate most:
1. Bundling up/down in the winter & the whole changing process
2. Packing/unpacking panniers/bike at home (I live in a condo and can't store it outside so I have to put it in the basement every time)

I probably just need to streamline my process.
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Old 01-17-17, 12:22 PM
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My reasons for commuting begin with us being a single car family, by choice and finances. The thought of having to buy/fuel/insure/maintain another car gives me fits. Yuck. I'm the cyclist in the family, so my wife drives the car.

Secondly, I like to feel the elements, "good" or "bad." I find it refreshing to start my day with a bike ride. I used to be a fair-weather cyclist, and took public transit in the winter. Four years ago I decided to bike commute year round. Prior to that, winter would get me down, not quite SAD, but just somewhat depressed. Now that I cycle through the winter, I don't get that way, I actually enjoy the winter (although I've had my fill of snow and freezing temps here in the Willamette Valley).

Thirdly, I really dislike driving, it makes me impatient, frustrated, and angry. I feel freedom on a bike; I feel limited and constrained in a car, and the poor driving habits of many motorists is irritating. Obviously bikes are slower than cars, but I always feel like I'm moving too slowly in a car. I attribute this to the fact that the bicycle has been my primary mode of transportation since I was five years old.

Fourthly, I would say is environmental/cultural: there's just too damn many cars spewing noxious exhaust already, and I resent that here in the USA, car culture dominates. Bicycling is mostly looked down upon by that car culture. I think I would have been better off if I was Dutch or French.

Last edited by johnnyace; 01-17-17 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 01-17-17, 12:27 PM
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Well it's certainly not for convenience or money.
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Old 01-17-17, 12:30 PM
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1. Fitness and health--you can't buy this kind of stuff. I used to run quite a bit, but because I'm riding almost two hours a day I can skip out on running for the sake of my fitness. Riding that much does plenty to get the heart rate up and develop cardio vascular fitness.

2. Fun--I enjoy being on my bike. I like working on my bikes and then enjoying the fruits of that labour afterwards.

3. Money--it's not really saving much money with all the riding I do as we still own two cars, and whatever savings I get from fuel costs goes out just as quickly on bike parts, and then some. But I do enjoy riding to places in the city to pick up used bike parts, and distances that I wouldn't have done in the past are well within my comfort zone now.

4. Because no one else I know does this, to this extent. That makes me a bad-ass. Period!
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Old 01-17-17, 02:01 PM
  #8  
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1) Fitness - I was doing nothing to work out before I started cycling. I have gotten a bit fit, but more importantly than that I get energized on the days I ride. When I don't ride I feel like a slug.

2) Money - my small truck is a 4-banger so it doesn't cost a lot to fuel it up, but not spending money at the pump every week is a bonus.

3) Fun - there is so much freedom when out there riding, and I love it when I roll into spots that are quiet and peaceful.

4) Convenience - most of my co-workers think a 10-mile one way ride is pretty far, but once I got conditioned to doing it, it's almost nothing for me now. When I ride on the weekends I do a minimum of 40 miles.

5) Road rage - you can't rage on a bike, so that's good for me. I have little patience when driving, but riding really takes the edge off, even when cagers do something stupid.
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Old 01-17-17, 02:06 PM
  #9  
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Fitness, stress relief, solitude/quiet
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Old 01-17-17, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TheNormanRider View Post
5) Road rage - you can't rage on a bike
Strongly disagree. But I wish I was more like you.
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Old 01-17-17, 02:45 PM
  #11  
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For my fitness is the first and best reason. I now weigh what I did in high school, I am 58. My last blood pressure was 102/60. I sleep very well. My energy levels are through the roof. I haven't felt this good in a very long time.

I certainly don't bicycle to save money. I spend more on my bikes than I do on my car. I love puttering around on my bikes. I pay someone else to change the oil in my car. When my car finally gives up, I won't be in a rush to replace it.
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Old 01-17-17, 03:52 PM
  #12  
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all four are pretty big factors for me. if i had to rank them:


1. Fun - i love riding a bike!

2. Fitness - i'm not generally inclined towards other kinds of physical activity (other than kayaking which i have no time for these days), so bike community at least gets me off my lazy ass and doing something remotely physical twice a day, everyday. i'm not a "fitness" guy, but i figure that daily bike commuting is still better than my default of doing nothing at all.

3. Money - my bike commuting/transportation cycling helps allow us to remain a one-car family, which is a pretty big savings. we could afford a 2nd car, but i don't want one. i generally dislike cars and view them mainly as necessary evils.

4. Convenience - bike commuting is very convenient. i have good transit options to get to work as well, but the bike allows me to just hop on and go, go, go, which dovetails nicely with my inherent impatience of being tied to someone else's, at times highly unpredictable, schedule (i'm glaring at you, CTA).

Last edited by Steely Dan; 01-17-17 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 01-17-17, 04:45 PM
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Fitness and fun are of equal importance to me. I get a huge feeling of satisfaction when I get somewhere on my own power, and that counts as fun. So does the scenery.

I spend too much on bikes, so I can't say I'm saving money. Then again, I might spend just about as much if I weren't using my bikes to commute, and each time I don't take the subway, I'm saving $2.75. The subway is my other mode of commuting. I don't have a car.

I can't say bike commuting is more convenient, either, because it takes longer to get dressed to ride 14 miles than to ride the subway, what with my helmet, mirror on my glasses, ankle bands, etc. And it takes considerable effort to pedal all that way up a steep hill and through miles and miles of wind. When I'm feeling lazy, I ride the subway.
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Old 01-17-17, 06:00 PM
  #14  
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Necessity. I began bicycle commuting the first time years ago because there was no alternative. I was a military rookie, couldn't afford a car and the local bus didn't run early or late enough to get me to and from base on time for every shift.

After that I learned to like it.
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Old 01-17-17, 06:47 PM
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Fitness and concern for the environment are the top two reasons I do it.

I also enjoy it a lot of the time but some days are more challenging than fun.

Saving money is a side benefit and the level of convenience varies depending on the road conditions. Some days it would definitely be easier to take the car or train. On the other hand, it's door to door on a bike. Not true with car or train.
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Old 01-17-17, 07:21 PM
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What about environmentalism ?

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Old 01-17-17, 07:25 PM
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1. Mental Wellness - time to think clearly
2. Environmentalism - less pollution than car & public transport
3. Convenience / Efficiency - as fast as a car, almost as convenient
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Old 01-17-17, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jbucky1 View Post
What about environmentalism ?
I tell people I'm trying to reduce my carbon ass-print.

1) Fitness
2) Stress Relief
3) Mood Elevator
4) Fun

I tell people I employ a device that can quadruple my gas mileage...it's my bike when I commute 4 days a week.
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Old 01-17-17, 08:44 PM
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1. Adventure
2. Physical/Mental fitness
3. The joy of experiencing the change of seasons.
4. A legit excuse to spend absurd amounts of money on cycling bits.
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Old 01-17-17, 10:32 PM
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1. Fitness
2. Enjoyment
3. Can't stand sitting in rush hour traffic

I keep a couple of cars licensed so I'm not really saving any money. Tonight ranked as one of the top 2 or 3 most miserable rides of the year. Hard rain, strong headwinds and I managed to find the last bit of ice around and had a low speed fall. While riding home I convinced myself to ride the trainer and drive tomorrow. Now that I'm warm and comfortable I'll probably ride again in the morning even though the forecast is for more of the same.
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Old 01-17-17, 11:19 PM
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1. Convenience - Takes me 30-40 mins to ride to work. Takes 50-60 mins to take the street car.
2. Stress Relief - The ride home always clears my head even if I had a bad day.
3. Money - Costs about $1800 a year for transit monthly passes. I like to lie to myself and say I spend less than that on bikes a year
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Old 01-18-17, 01:08 AM
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For me it's fun and good exercise (allowing me extra food). The extra money (about $6/day) is the excuse, that lets me ride and spend money on it, for the wife.
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Old 01-18-17, 07:11 AM
  #23  
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I ride to work because I enjoy riding my bike. I also enjoy being outside. Work gives me the motivating factor to ride earlier than I would if I did not have to work. My outlook is I awake to go for a bike ride everyday and end up at work. Riding my bike as much as I can does a world of wonder for my mood!

Fitness-since I lead a sedentary life at work the two bike rides are a great way to get in activity.

Money-I do not keep track of expenses pertaining to commuting by bike or car.

Convenience is not really an issue for me as I have my vehicle sitting in the driveway of my house for the times I am not able to ride my bike. Traffic and parking non-issues.
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Old 01-18-17, 07:33 AM
  #24  
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I can't separate out the reasons.

I ride my bike because I need to get to work; I need to get to work because I need the money. I don't drive unless I need to; and I rarely need to drive.

True, I like to ride my bike; that's why I ride it on the weekends.

Fitness is a benefit, not a reason.

Environmentalism is a way of life. Environmentalism figures in why I don't drive, why I don't fly, etc. I don't even think about environmentalism when I ride my bike, though.
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Old 01-18-17, 10:18 AM
  #25  
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Fun and fitness. That's it. It's occasionally more convenient, but only on days where I have after work plans with the Better Half. Otherwise, it takes at least twice as long. I do a lot more riding than just commuting. I like to hit the trails on my mtb, I like to join friends for a road ride, I like to find some dirt roads and enjoy those.
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