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Tell Me What you like Most about Commuting by Bike!

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Tell Me What you like Most about Commuting by Bike!

Old 02-06-17, 11:43 AM
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Rusty904
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Tell Me What you like Most about Commuting by Bike!

So I am pursuing an MBA at the UNC Charlotte and am doing a group project for my design thinking and innovation class. The first goal for the project is to choose a target market and interview people in that market to try to identify their likes and dislikes in order to determine a need.

My group has chosen bicycle commuters or people who ride their bikes around the city for transportation and recreation. Bikes, particularly mountain bikes are my main passion but I have only been commuting by bike exclusively over the last year.

Anyway, I'd love some input from anyone here in the commuting forum. Feel free to answer as many questions as you want and be as brief or thorough as you want!

1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

3. What were your principal annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

I REALLY appreciate everyone's time on this, any input from you guys will help me immensely, like I mentioned above, feel free to answer as few or as many of these questions as you like!

Thanks again!

Last edited by Rusty904; 02-07-17 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 02-06-17, 12:27 PM
  #2  
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Pros:

- Not being stuck with the 6:15 or 7:08 trains to NYC in the morning. Flexability is king.
- Getting some exercise in that I'd otherwise almost never get.
- Not needing to ride on the weekend since I ride weekdays. So can spend it with family.
- Meeting other cyclists who also commute. Also meeting crossing guards.
- Being fitter. Have lower triglyceride and cholesterol. Can also keep up with my 4 year old son more.

Cons:

- Bike maintenance. More drivetrain and sealed brearing R&R needed if you ride in the rain.
- Cost. Last I computed it, it came out more than the monthly train and subway costs.
I also do park and ride so have some car cost in there as well.

Edit: Forgot to answer your other questions.

I think #1, #2 and #3 are answered above. For #4, three and a half years solid now (year round). #5 I don't really travel anywhere else by bike nowadays. Most extra time is with the family and my son is only starting but doing well on his tiny bike with training wheels. #6 I only use a backpack and cycling clothing (bibs, jerseys, bib tights for winter, shoes with look cleats, etc). Since I only carry work clothes and bike tools, its not much weight. Also like flat resistant tires like Conti Gatorskin. They seem to be a nice compromise between flat proof, heavy and too stiff vs light and supple but doesn't last.

Last edited by ptempel; 02-06-17 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 02-06-17, 12:30 PM
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1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

I just enjoy cycling, and this is a way to fit a ride into my schedule, every day. I also believe in the health and social benefits, such as less use of cars.

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

Reassure them that they don't have to do anything special. Practically any bike will work, and they can start out slow if they want -- just once a week in good weather.

3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

Weather. I deal with it just fine, but there's no point pretending that riding a bike isn't affected by weather.

4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

35+ years, with some periods when I didn't.

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

Pretty much anywhere that I can reach by bike, or that has lunch at the other end of it.

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

Well, a bike, for one thing.

Decent clothing for inclement / cold weather. I commute year-round in the upper midwest.

Something for carrying cargo conveniently.

A nice beer waiting for me when I get home.
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Old 02-06-17, 12:44 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
So I am pursuing an MBA at the UNC Charlotte and am doing a group project for my design thinking and innovation class. The first goal for the project is to choose a target market and interview people in that market to try to identify their likes and dislikes in order to determine a need.

My group has chosen bicycle commuters or people who ride their bikes around the city for transportation and recreation. Bikes, particularly mountain bikes are my main passion but I have only been commuting by bike exclusively over the last year.

Anyway, I'd love some input from anyone here in the commuting forum. Feel free to answer as many questions as you want and be as brief or thorough as you want!

1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

I REALLY appreciate everyone's time on this, any input from you guys will help me immensely, like I mentioned above, feel free to answer as few or as many of these questions as you like!

Thanks again!
1. I like riding my bike. Commuting means getting a ride in nearly everyday.
2. I don't try selling the concept. It works for me; it may not work for you. But if you think it might, I'm happy to share what I've learned to make it easier, safer, more efficient.
3. Sweat in summer; rain in winter. Same as ever.
4. 18 years.
5. Tahoe, Sonoma Coast, Tuscany, the Sacramento Delta.
6. A good backpack.
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Old 02-06-17, 01:12 PM
  #5  
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1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

I like the daily solitude, and being outdoors. Also it feels good, physically.

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

Start with the health and fitness, since everyone already accepts that for bike commuting and it's the first thing that most people (non-cyclists) mention. But I'd emphasize that you have to enjoy it, and that cycling is one form of exercise that you easily can enjoy.

3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

As an absolute novice: being out of shape, riding in the rain.

The only inconveniences now: when the creek floods, when I change my schedule due to storms, and the extra 15 minutes that the commute takes each way. These wouldn't be inconveniences if I didn't ride every day; in that case I'd have to say carrying stuff and dealing with vehicular traffic.

4. How long have you been commuting by bike?
Since 2008, short commutes at that time, and 21 miles round trip starting in 2010.

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

Retail businesses in close range, within a couple of miles. Plus recreation & training.

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

Cycling apparel works for me. Decent jerseys, wind-breaker, shoe covers and gloves. I'll include bluetooth headphones though that's controversial . Decent tires have to be somewhere in that list.
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Old 02-06-17, 01:15 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?
2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?
3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?
4. How long have you been commuting by bike?
5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?
6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?
1. I enjoy riding and this means I do it every day. I get a better look at what's going on in the city. I can take it easy or make it a workout. I barely put any miles on my car and it's more fun to drive now.
2. Consistent time to work and back. Arriving at work without frustration and with energy.
3. I'm sweaty and as a novice I didn't think workout clothes were necessary. It made a huge difference to be able to change when I got to work. I'm only inconvenienced now by surprise weather and inattentive drivers.
4. Since September 2015 (17 months)
5. I ride urban and rural routes on the weekends, including urban trails.
6. My REI daypack (Flash 18) and my Garmin Edge 25.

Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?
I use a bike rack at work. I use a u-lock around the rear wheel and rack and cable locked to the front wheel. I've never had a bike stolen but a bike was stolen last year from the rack. A bike shop two blocks away has free day storage. When I ride a nicer bike I can also bring it up to my office.

Last edited by Tiniest jorts; 02-06-17 at 03:13 PM. Reason: additional question
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Old 02-06-17, 01:39 PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses, this is really useful stuff, keep em coming!

As a bike commuter, I guess I should include my own responses as well so here it goes.

1. Time to think and be alone/stress management (on the quieter sections of the commute anyway), I don't have to pay for parking and can ride right up to my building, burning calories instead of gas, general enjoyment of being on the bike.

2. I'd tell them it's a great stress reliever and it's not as scary as you might think. I second the idea of taking them for a ride along with me.

3. I tend to sweat a lot and that's an issue here in the Southeast, no shower or locker room at my destination so looking professional is tough. Securing my bike requires heavy and somewhat annoying to use locks. Transporting heavy or bulky items. There is no easy way to determine the best/safest commuting route other than trial and error. More variables that can lead to being late than traveling by car, requires more time and planning. Inconsiderate motorists.

4. 1 year continuously, I commuted and got around town by bike occasionally in years past including riding to class by bike in undergrad.

5. Singletrack. Around town I like to ride to the gym, built in warm up! I also like to go to breweries, parks, restaurants and the grocery store.

6. I like using a bike computer or strava because it's fun to see the miles add up. I like my serfas thunderbolt lights because of the form factor even though the battery life isn't too great. My new Roubaix Pro 2br tires, great ride, hold air well, and seem to be very flat resistant plus they aren't too pricey.
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Old 02-06-17, 01:42 PM
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[QUOTE=Tiniest jorts;19360984]1. I enjoy riding and this means I do it every day. I get a better look at what's going on in the city.

This! I forgot to mention this one but it's also a big reason for me. Once every couple months I like to do a big slow cruise of different neighborhoods in the city looking for new/interesting places and new things to do. I also like to do this in my hometown when I come back for a visit.
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Old 02-06-17, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
So I am pursuing an MBA at the UNC Charlotte and am doing a group project for my design thinking and innovation class. The first goal for the project is to choose a target market and interview people in that market to try to identify their likes and dislikes in order to determine a need.

My group has chosen bicycle commuters or people who ride their bikes around the city for transportation and recreation. Bikes, particularly mountain bikes are my main passion but I have only been commuting by bike exclusively over the last year.

Anyway, I'd love some input from anyone here in the commuting forum. Feel free to answer as many questions as you want and be as brief or thorough as you want!

1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

I REALLY appreciate everyone's time on this, any input from you guys will help me immensely, like I mentioned above, feel free to answer as few or as many of these questions as you like!

Thanks again!
1. No gridlock, no parking, no bus, exercise... and I like riding.
2. I wouldn't try to convince anyone. What if they had an accident? (Not talking about legal but moral responsability)
3. My main concern were and are distracted/drunk/reckless drivers.
4. More than 40 years.
5. I like road cycling and group rides.
6. Fenders, rain cape, racks/bags, lights.
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Old 02-06-17, 01:51 PM
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The thing I like best is that a commute takes me 45 +4/-8 minutes each way. If I drive home because it's raining, that 20 minute drive has taken 50 minutes because of a wreck. There was a fender-bender a couple years ago on the road in that stopped all traffic -- except for this guy on a bike who rode around the incident and kept going.


I've been at this since the weekend before Katrina hit New Orleans.


No products make it easier, but a good jacket helps enormously with cold rain. Likewise, I rely on utterly dependable dyno lights for dark commutes.
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Old 02-06-17, 01:57 PM
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1. Some exercise, some time to myself
2. I don't know that I would. It's not for everyone, here in the burbs
3. I've been riding my bike since I was five, so it all seems normal. My principal annoyance now is my congenital heart defect slowing me down.
4. since I was five, which is 35 years ago this May. With some interruptions when I owned a dog who needed walkies, or working at a Navy base in the desert where the heat and travel distance were too much.
5. When not bike commuting I prefer MTB and there are a lot of local options in central CA.
6. I have my own preferences but don't expect them to be for everyone. We like talking about products here. The common thread is to be prepared for your conditions... temperature, rain, darkness, security, cargo, repair.
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Old 02-06-17, 03:05 PM
  #12  
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I know I've already asked a lot but I need to add one more query here. In our interviews with local cyclist, the issue of bike security has come up a lot so I think it's worth asking about here.

How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?
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Old 02-06-17, 03:48 PM
  #13  
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1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?
-staying fit, better health, mental stress relief, endorphins and a sense of adventure I don't get driving to work.

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept? -All the above, plus as far as daily workouts go, unlike a treadmill or stationary bike, you can't cut it short...you have to get where you're going. (Well, I suppose I have called to be picked up once or twice in 25 years).

3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?
-Novice annoyances: physical discomfort, weather related discomfort (Too Cold, Too Hot, Too Wet) Unease in Traffic, beligerent drivers and how to carry supplies, clothes and incidentals, flats, and repairs.
-Annoyances now: (all are minor) Discourteous motorists, Overly courteous motorists, "salmons" who ride against traffic in the bike lanes, salmons in the roadway, trash and litter.

4. How long have you been commuting by bike?
-Twenty-five years as a serious bike commuter, but I had been riding in traffic since I was seven or eight

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?
-I live in Colorado...everywhere is a good destination! I just pick a local landmark or town and ride. An errand or light shopping run makes a great excuse to ride.

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?
-The number one product that has made my bike commuting more enjoyable is the AirZound Airhorn. Having a voice in traffic really helps! A very close second is my glasses mounted Tak-A-Look mirror, being able to see so much behind and around you really helps. Mr. Tuffy tire liners have reduced flats from one or two a week, to one or two a year. Modern LED lighting. Fenders. A back rack, fenders, baskets, studded snow tires in the winter. And for the last 4 years my smartphone which lets me listen to spoken-word podcasts (one ear curbside) make and take calls while riding, provides maps and gps, take pictures and videos and more.

7.How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?
-I have always used a lock and chain or cable; never a U-Lock. At home I keep my bikes locked up to each other in a locked shed. I have been fortunate to have been able to bring my bikes into a secured space in the building where I have worked for the past 25 years. I have never had a bike stolen.

Last edited by BobbyG; 02-06-17 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 02-06-17, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
I know I've already asked a lot but I need to add one more query here. In our interviews with local cyclist, the issue of bike security has come up a lot so I think it's worth asking about here.

How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?
My workplace has indoor storage, because I'm a fairly senior employee, and I allowed it. Since then, several co-workers have also begun bringing their bikes in and storing them wherever there's space.

But I live in a fairly low crime town, so when I go to the store, I just use a flimsy cable lock. For my nicer bikes, in areas such as the university or downtown, I bring a better lock.
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Old 02-06-17, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
I know I've already asked a lot but I need to add one more query here. In our interviews with local cyclist, the issue of bike security has come up a lot so I think it's worth asking about here.

How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?
It's pretty secure. It's a Kryptonited to a rack inside a key-card access cage inside a key-card access garage. I don't hesitate to lock up my race bike there. I have had several bikes stolen, but not from here.
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Old 02-06-17, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?
2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?
3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?
4. How long have you been commuting by bike?
5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?
6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?
1. My commute time is independent of traffic. Exercise, twice a day. Just being out and riding a bike.
2. Pretty tough sell in our car-centered culture. Would never try to sell it to anyone. If they are keen on doing it and they see me as an example, well, then that's okay. If they ask for advice I'd give it.
3. The weather is a big thing up here. The wind is a pretty big annoyance, novice or veteran. Commuting in winter means frequent cleaning.
4. Almost three years.
5. Picking up bike parts around the city. Furthest I've ridden to pick up a part was 50 km for a $20 part. If I had to drive I would never have done it.
6. Panniers.
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Old 02-06-17, 04:16 PM
  #17  
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As for security, I keep my bike indoors at work. It's completely secure.

If, on the other hand, I had to lock it up outside I would be riding a piece of junk beater that is not worth stealing, but at the same time I wouldn't enjoy the commute, and I mean at all. So, if I had to lock up a bike outside for the day I probably wouldn't be commuting by bike.
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Old 02-06-17, 07:17 PM
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1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?
Not having to pay for parking. Integrating fitness needs into daily routine. Being awake when I get to work.

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

I'd certainly be supportive; however I would express my concerns that road savvy is paramount for safety and advise that the commuting environment is not the best starting point.

3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?
Highly annoying use of "principle" instead of "principal". Annoyed me as a novice and annoys me now. As far as cycling goes, flat tires for both questions.

4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

I've commuted by bicycle routinely for the past 6 years. Prior to that, I was off and on since the late 70's

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?
To any destination. It's more about the ride, though.

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?
Not sure what to say here. All of the equipment, accessories, and clothing are integrated into the experience so nothing takes precedence. I will say that wheels help considerably, especially if they are round.
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Old 02-06-17, 07:56 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
So I am pursuing an MBA at the UNC Charlotte and am doing a group project for my design thinking and innovation class. The first goal for the project is to choose a target market and interview people in that market to try to identify their likes and dislikes in order to determine a need.

My group has chosen bicycle commuters or people who ride their bikes around the city for transportation and recreation. Bikes, particularly mountain bikes are my main passion but I have only been commuting by bike exclusively over the last year.

Anyway, I'd love some input from anyone here in the commuting forum. Feel free to answer as many questions as you want and be as brief or thorough as you want!

1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

I REALLY appreciate everyone's time on this, any input from you guys will help me immensely, like I mentioned above, feel free to answer as few or as many of these questions as you like!

Thanks again!
1 Sense of freedom
2 cost savings, health benefit
3 lack of commuting knowledge, inattentive drivers with electronic devices
4 off and on for many years, 10 straight until I retired. Continuous use on errands, going places for most of my life. Car free for years
5 anyplace where my friends are and the coffee is pouring
6 new consumables for the bike

Good luck with your research and project.
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Old 02-06-17, 08:24 PM
  #20  
alan s 
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
So I am pursuing an MBA at the UNC Charlotte and am doing a group project for my design thinking and innovation class. The first goal for the project is to choose a target market and interview people in that market to try to identify their likes and dislikes in order to determine a need.

My group has chosen bicycle commuters or people who ride their bikes around the city for transportation and recreation. Bikes, particularly mountain bikes are my main passion but I have only been commuting by bike exclusively over the last year.

Anyway, I'd love some input from anyone here in the commuting forum. Feel free to answer as many questions as you want and be as brief or thorough as you want!

1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike? Riding

2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept? I never try to convince anyone to bike commute. The fewer the better!

3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now? Flats/flats

4. How long have you been commuting by bike? About 20 years, but I also rode to school when I was a kid, so a long time. I'm not a numbers guy and don't keep track of stuff like this.

5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike? Europe

6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable? Lycra

I REALLY appreciate everyone's time on this, any input from you guys will help me immensely, like I mentioned above, feel free to answer as few or as many of these questions as you like!

Thanks again!
See above
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Old 02-06-17, 08:38 PM
  #21  
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I'm just now getting back into commuting. Back when I was younger I remember feeling like I was immediately free oh work and not on 'free time' fun. Seems like when you leave in a car it's fighting to get home and it's not 'free time' until I get home.
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Old 02-06-17, 08:54 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
I know I've already asked a lot but I need to add one more query here. In our interviews with local cyclist, the issue of bike security has come up a lot so I think it's worth asking about here.

How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?
I leave my bike in an open area at my workplace locked with a cable lock. Never had a bike stolen at workplace - someone once took my front wheel though. It was a stoned guy who later tossed it.
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Old 02-06-17, 09:05 PM
  #23  
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The exercise helps my brain function at work. It also makes me happier.

I enjoy the scenery, which has natural beauty, architectural beauty, and also lovely fit bodies of people jogging and cycling along the waterfront.

Bike commuting actually saves time, since I'm exercising and commuting at once. I don't belong to a gym.

I get a huge feeling of satisfaction from arriving places under my own power.
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Old 02-06-17, 09:08 PM
  #24  
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I'm lucky as I keep my bike in my office. The thing I like best about commuting is that it keeps me active in the winter so I don't turn into a couch potato. Plus it's a great time for me to get my thoughts together on the way to work. On the way home, I get to unwind.
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Old 02-07-17, 01:58 AM
  #25  
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I despise driving, so pedaling is just more pleasant. While I don't have the passion for it I once had, it's still fun, and a tiny bit adventurous, because I like to make the routes creative...And the bike can take it, even under my #250+!

Downsides are heavy snow and ice, distance limits during some times of year, and the fact that Father Time is a relentless SOB.
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