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Gonna commute one half of the distance anyway

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Gonna commute one half of the distance anyway

Old 08-09-06, 10:17 AM
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Gonna commute one half of the distance anyway

I work about twelve miles from my house as the car flies. My carpool for the fall term fell through so I came up with a Plan B.
Riding to RIT is incredibly dangerous since you have to cross a busy highway in the last mile. I'm not up to that, but I can easily get down to U of R (the rival firm) on the bicycle, riding along a very pleasant and safe river trail. I'm arranging to meet a taxi daily at the bus stop at University of Rochester's library. That way I can park the bike at one university and take a car to the other one. It's not perfect, but it does ensure that I get about forty minutes' ride time per day. The bicycle is actually faster than the bus. And I have the bus available if the weather is inclement; it stops very near my house. For a wonder the buses all have bicycle carriers on the front, so I can put the bike there and ride the bus home if I'm feeling ill.
I think it makes the best of a bad situation and I don't have to worry about broken down cars or the availability of car poolers. RIT does have a free shuttle to U of R in late afternoon, so I'd only need to pay taxi fare in the morning, or so I hope.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:19 AM
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I have two pannier bags by Rixen and Kaul but these are filthy through long grocery hauling, so I'm buying one Ortleib Business pannier bag. I'm even getting it for below retail price since it is a floor model. Cross my fingers that everything fits into it.
I did the home-to-U of R ride this morning and even when I got lost on the campus I was able to make the round trip in less than forty minutes.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:20 AM
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There's no other way to cross that highway?
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Old 08-09-06, 10:40 AM
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fore curiosity sake what firm do you work with?
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Old 08-09-06, 10:51 AM
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Fire up Google Maps and find a better way. There HAS to be a way to get to your destination without hitting a busy highway. I have found that Google Maps and some creative routing has always been able to get me to my destination without nearing an interstate in this incredibly bike-unfriendly-road-system city. Good luck!
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Old 08-09-06, 11:11 AM
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I'm guessing you're referring to the NYS Thruway aka I90? It's busy and wide, but the overpasses shouldn't be too hairy and they usually have sidewalks so you can hop on those if it makes you feel safer.
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Old 08-09-06, 07:34 PM
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Nope, there really is no other safe way.

I work at RIT and there really is no way to the campus from my home that avoids one horrible, and very busy intersection and a run along Jefferson Road for about a mile. This is a highway with a lot of traffic from semis, a lot of potholes, and a lot of crazy drivers. A lot of people have died there. Bicycles are seen occasionally and they have my prayers.

Riding halfway along a safe bicycle path is a nice compromise.
If you GOOGLE RIT you will see that the campus is in an outstandingly poor location. Even if I got down Jefferson road there's still the campus roads to negotiate--these are also deathtraps, full of student drivers. One of the other professors was killed in a crosswalk by a student driver two years ago.

The taxi/bicycle/bus commute is as far as I am willing to go. Literally.
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Old 08-09-06, 07:36 PM
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And ivossarian, I wish there WERE overpasses on that hideous highway. They spent two years rebuilding it and it's an even bigger mess than before. Anyone who tries to cross it on a bicycle has to do so at speed, dodging turning cars from three different directions.
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Old 08-10-06, 05:01 AM
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One other RIT professor lives in my building and commutes by bicycle. He's an experienced rider in good health He warned me not to chance the Jefferson Road ride and that there was no way of avoiding it. It's just the poor way the campus was designed.
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Old 08-10-06, 06:45 AM
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Do you have a car you could leave at U of R overnight? That way, you could ride to the U on your bike, then drive to RIT instead of taking the taxi.

I remember back in the day when walking the quarter mile from the dorms to the academic buildings seemed like a drag. Woulda been nothing on a bike!
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Old 08-10-06, 10:11 AM
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I don't have a car. I don't even have a license. Believe me I'm happier that way.

And I don't have to insure or park the taxi.
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Old 08-10-06, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by gizmocat
The bicycle is actually faster than the bus.
Oh, yes, here too. No comparison. And the bike is "free." (Well, you know what I mean... )
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Old 08-10-06, 11:52 AM
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You could always skitch over the overpass. Just grab onto a passing car and catch a ride.

j/k Good luck w/ the hybrid commute!
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Old 08-10-06, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Oh, yes, here too. No comparison. And the bike is "free." (Well, you know what I mean... )
A co-worker asked me if it "really" was cheaper to get to work via bike than via automobile. She was interested, mainly because it seemed to her that plunking down a few grand for a bike and accessories, plus occasional maintenance, tires, chains, bike-specific clothes, etc wasn't exactly cheap.

Rather than make something up based on anecdotal evidence, I decided to actually figure it out.

Since we can assume the IRS's standard mileage rate of $.445 per mile for an automobile is more or less accurate, we need to come up with a per-mile cost for riding a bike. Without repeating all the maths here (mostly because I don't remember and I can't find my work!), I added up the cost of all the equipment, then figured out what it would cost per year if you expected to get 5 years out of your bike (pessimistic, I'd think). Then, I figured out an average number of calories per mile traveled, and the cost of those calories (since I was assuming that you'd basically eat that much more when you were biking vs. driving.)

In the end, taking into consideration every cost I could imagine, a bike was between $.08 and $.12 per mile - much, much cheaper than a car at $.445 per mile. And that was assuming a really nice, brand new bike (I think I allowed two grand for the bike itself) that was worthless after 5 years - considering that many of us are probably either spending less than that and/or keeping bikes longer than 5 years, our real numbers are probably much lower than that.
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Old 08-10-06, 06:50 PM
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I believe that if you add in insurance, tune-ups, etc. the car is far more expensive. A friend told me it cost her $25.00 every time she just started the car up.
Plus the bike is better for your help.

And thanks for the joke, but (a) there is NO overpass near RIT; and (b) I'm not hitching a ride with any cars. Phew! and it's dangerous besides.
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Old 08-10-06, 06:50 PM
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that should be 'health' but it helps in other ways too. I have to drop some weight and the doctor heartily approved of this new exercise regimen. So I consider the taxi bills to be my 'health club dues'.
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Old 08-10-06, 07:16 PM
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Did you include bike maintenance equipment such as tools, chain lube, bearing grease or fees paid to LBS' for tuneups and incidentals such as tubes, tires, patch kits, plus clothing costs into your calculations? Also, will you be commuting year round, in snow, rain and cold weather? After all those calculations, it doesn't matter. What matters is that almost no one looks forward to driving their car back and forth to work. Lots of people look forward to riding their bike, even if it's to work.
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Old 08-10-06, 07:31 PM
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Well, if you want to get technical, go ahead. As for me I failed math. I don't wear fancy biking gear; the lube and grease's costs are measured in pennies, and I'm due for free tuneups for the rest of 2006.
The car is more expensive in every respect: and I look forward to the *SAFE* bicycle commute. I'm sorry that I cannot ride all the way to work but that is RIT's fault, not mine.
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Old 08-11-06, 07:37 AM
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There has to be a safe way over the busy road, even if it's getting off the bike and walking it across (which I rarely see as safer - but to each their own).
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Old 08-11-06, 06:24 PM
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There is no safe way over the busy road on a bicycle.

I'm middle aged, in average to below average condition, and I'm taking a road that I know is safe. Why is it so important to people here that I risk my life every day on horrible roads? I can do half of the commute by bicycle and that is enough.
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Old 08-11-06, 06:38 PM
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Heheh...cuz some of us are hardheaded...
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Old 08-12-06, 03:57 AM
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To quote myself, I'd rather look stupid (wear a helmet) and safe (a cab for the dangerous part of the commute) than dead.
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