Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-26-01, 12:33 PM
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LittleBigMan
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Kiss

Keep It Simple (Stupid)

No offense..."stupid" actually refers to me.

Anyway, now that I am getting closer and closer to virtual "car-freedom," the phrase, "keep it simple" has a profound meaning.
Simply put, I love my bike because unlike my car, I don't need fuel and I don't need anything but the simplest repairs, which are do-able by "yours truly" (if not now, eventually I will learn.)

What other kind of transport (besides walking) makes you stronger for using it?

Bicycling is like a simple "way of the future," yet available in the present.

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Old 07-26-01, 01:56 PM
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Amen!

I would love to be even more car-free.

I've been pretty lucky. I've been able to do almost all my maintenance the last few months. The only thing I had to take my bike in for was to have my pedals put on. I don't have a pedal wrench, and they charged me only a couple bucks, much less than the cost of a wrench that I may not need for some time to come.

I could argue that living car-free - or as I do, more car-light - is good for the environment, or good for the body, or good for local traffic problems, or good for my wallet. It is all of those. In my head, though, it feels more whole than that. Something is missing in an explanation that only enumerates the benefits. Just moving my 160lb self around without the need for a 2000lb piece of equipment seems wholly right.

After commuting on the bike for a while, driving to work or short errands begins to sound like driving a thumb tack into cork with a 24lb sledge hammer. It's very much the other common hammer metaphor - when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. There's a certain all-around sensibility that has to be realized.

After a century of cars, we've grown too accustomed to the question,"Why cycle, walk?" The question should be,"Why motor?"

Jonathan
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Old 07-26-01, 03:03 PM
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Chris L
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Originally posted by Pete Clark

What other kind of transport (besides walking) makes you stronger for using it?
None, and that's why I get around with a combination of cycling and walking.

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Old 07-26-01, 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by jramsey
I could argue that living car-free - or as I do, more car-light - is good for the environment, or good for the body, or good for local traffic problems, or good for my wallet. It is all of those. In my head, though, it feels more whole than that. Something is missing in an explanation that only enumerates the benefits.
I've been puzzling for some time over the same thing: it's not just that cycling does this, that, and the other that benefits the rider and his or her environment, there's something more to it. I don't know how to explain it--there's something romantic about a bicycle that makes me feel fond of it in a way I never could feel about any of the (few) cars I have owned. I suppose it's partly the visual elegance--but that's not the whole answer, either. Why does a bicycle seem so much like a living being?
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Old 07-26-01, 08:11 PM
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Originally posted by JonR
I don't know how to explain it--there's something romantic about a bicycle that makes me feel fond of it...
JonR,

To me, especially from my youth, the bicycle was a magical doorway to another world.

Somehow, I left that world and got lost.

I am so, so glad to have found my way back!

I was thinking about you today, how you are car-free, or rather, that you are bicycle-dependent. (How is it that we call cycling by what it is not?) All things being equal, you should be around and strong and happy and healthy for much longer than most. Enjoy the quality years!
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Old 07-26-01, 08:23 PM
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I can tell you from experience, though, that living car free only creates a simpler life IF you simplify your lifestyle.

That is, you have to plan your life more locally and less hectic than most other Americans. You can't have tennis on the west side of town at 5:15 PM and then pick up your kids and them to piano lessons on the east side of town by 6:45 PM.

My wife complained that I was not helping out enough with transporting the kids because of my commitment to bicycling . I told her that was not a lifestyle choice I made for myself, but it was a choice she made for herself. She argued that the various activities were a lifestyle choice for the children, not for her.

I asked the boys to take a vote, "who wants to continue taking piano lessons?" Result: piano lessons cancelled, money saved, nightly b*tching reduced, lifestyle simplified.

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Old 07-26-01, 10:08 PM
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It saddens me to see children so often forced into a relentless rat-race of largely superfluous and often combatively competitive activities, largely to stroke parents' vanities. (And witness the rash of stories in the past few years of parents becoming violent at their childrens' sports practice sessions and games!)

And I'm not too taken with bumper stickers that read "My child is an honor student at La-Dee-Dah High School." How come you never see one that says, "My child is a sweet, precious human being."

Three cheers for Mike's family for voting for sanity.
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Old 07-26-01, 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by JonR
It saddens me to see children so often forced into a relentless rat-race of largely superfluous and often combatively competitive activities, largely to stroke parents' vanities. (And witness the rash of stories in the past few years of parents becoming violent at their childrens' sports practice sessions and games!)

And I'm not too taken with bumper stickers that read "My child is an honor student at La-Dee-Dah High School." How come you never see one that says, "My child is a sweet, precious human being."

Three cheers for Mike's family for voting for sanity.
Thanks for the vote of support, Jon.

Interestingly, many of the parents I talk to agree with Jon's comments about the rat-race children are forced into. Still, the parents feel so competitive that they can't stop themselves from forcing their children to do so many exhaustive things.

Few of us were raised that way so it is difficult to know where this idea came from. I think you have to give a child time to think his/her own thought or else they won't know how to do it safely when they finally do have their own time.
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Old 07-27-01, 01:56 AM
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Originally posted by JonR
It saddens me to see children so often forced into a relentless rat-race of largely superfluous and often combatively competitive activities, largely to stroke parents' vanities. (And witness the rash of stories in the past few years of parents becoming violent at their childrens' sports practice sessions and games!)
Well said, Jon. That all reached ridiculous levels in this country about four years ago after a brawl in a schoolboy football game, after which, the teachers were openly condoning the actions of the participants! These were the same teachers, who along with some irresponsible parents, have been pumping these kids full of steroids for years. Sad.

At least sanity got the last laugh in that one, when the sponsors of the competition withdrew and took their money elsewhere.

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Old 07-27-01, 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by Chris L


Well said, Jon. That all reached ridiculous levels in this country about four years ago after a brawl in a schoolboy football game, after which, the teachers were openly condoning the actions of the participants! These were the same teachers, who along with some irresponsible parents, have been pumping these kids full of steroids for years. Sad.

At least sanity got the last laugh in that one, when the sponsors of the competition withdrew and took their money elsewhere.

Chris
Excellent outcome. It's probably too much to hope, that the now-unsponsored team learned to balance their children's lives.

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Old 07-27-01, 03:39 PM
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Originally posted by jramsey

Excellent outcome. It's probably too much to hope, that the now-unsponsored team learned to balance their children's lives.
It was an excellent outcome until they found another sponsor. I just think it's sad that these people (the parents) seem to have given up on their own lives to such an extent that they get so fired up about what others might do. I pity them more than anything else.

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Old 07-28-01, 04:17 AM
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Originally posted by Chris L


I just think it's sad that these people (the parents) seem to have given up on their own lives to such an extent that they get so fired up about what others might do. I pity them more than anything else.

Chris
Right, ChrisL! That is what the real problem is. Parents don't have their own lives - they missed the boat on their own dreams and are now desperate to live through their children.

It is so disturbing to see parents all frothed up yelling and screaming at children who are playing sports.
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Old 07-29-01, 05:55 AM
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Originally posted by mike
It is so disturbing to see parents all frothed up yelling and screaming at children who are playing sports.
And then the children miss out on their dreams because they are too busy trying to live up to their parents' expectations, then they have kids of their own and the cycle starts again. *sigh*

How did this thread become so sombre anyway?

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Old 07-29-01, 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by Chris L
How did this thread become so sombre anyway?

Any thread touching on modern society is apt to be pretty somber.
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Old 07-30-01, 07:48 AM
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Originally posted by mike
That is, you have to plan your life more locally and less hectic than most other Americans. You can't have tennis on the west side of town at 5:15 PM and then pick up your kids and them to piano lessons on the east side of town by 6:45 PM.
Right on! An excellent book entitle Margin by Swenson, makes the point that we need to simplify our lives around what is really important. If for example, piano lessons were important, I'll bet there are several teachers in bike riding distance for your kids. In some cases, that may not be true...but today, parents tend to think they have to do everything. Supermom, superdad, whatever.

Good job Mike! If Dad and Mom don't control the family schedule, it will drive EVERYONE crazy!
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Old 08-05-01, 03:50 PM
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HI all, this is my first time here. I just signed up today. I've been riding my bike to work for over a year now. Rode all winter even when it was in the teens out. People that i worked with thought i was crazy. Kept asking if i wanted a ride home. Why would i want a ride home . i had my ride home. Thats what I love about the bicycle. its so simple. I rode home and laughed at the gas prices when they went up and up and up. Now its time for the next step. get rid of that old gas guzzling lawn mower and get a old fashion reel mower. I did that last year too. it's great. no gas, no oil, starts every time. Its such a simple piece of machinery. And it'll help keep them legs in shape. It's just as easy for me to push my reel mower as it is for the guy next door to walk behind his belt driven gas mower. U know what i mean?
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Old 08-05-01, 04:10 PM
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Welcome to the forums, heybulldog! You sound like a real cool dude. I too have had a lot of fun laughing at higher fuel prices, which brings me to a point.

The media have whinged and b*tched about high fuel prices for ages, but at no point have any of them suggested what can actually be done to lower them. Price is driven by supply and demand, so guess what? If you leave your car at home and cycle to work, there's only one way the fuel price can go.

Simple? More than you can imagine!

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Old 08-05-01, 05:20 PM
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Hi, heybulldog! Yes, I see people operating the old push mowers now and then, and it doesn't look like they're dying from the effort. I used one when I was a boy, and then my parents got power mowers and I used those.... Now I would object, but then I didn't know any better.

Is Salem where Abe Lincoln lived as a young man, or is that New Salem? I visited the place when I was eleven years old.

I don't think I ever really convinced people that it isn't cold on a bike after you get moving. Most people, unfortunately, don't know what "moving" really is. They just sit still all day. In their office, in their car, at home in front of TV....
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Old 08-05-01, 10:14 PM
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heybulldog, I think you will fit in just fine around here.

The only internal combustion I need comes about an hour and a half after a tasty meal at El Rancheros.
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Old 08-06-01, 08:05 AM
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yea, I know what u mean on the gas price's chrisL. After they started falling a little I would tell the guys at work that they oughtta thank me for bringing the price down...lol.


linclon was in New Salem. we r right on route 50 and there is an old halfway house just east of here that i think LIncon stayed. I'll have to take my camera and get a pic sometime.



I here ya on the el ranchoritos.....!
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Old 08-06-01, 08:08 AM
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We have a Elranchoritos...lol ( atleast i think thats the name of it)
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Old 08-08-01, 11:52 AM
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Welcome, heybulldog!

It doesn't get too cold here in New Orleans so winter was not a big deal. Now summer is a different story, but I have found that just as cycling in winter keeps you warm, the little self-generated breeze actually keeps me pretty cool even on very hot, humid days.

I love to ride and can't imaging getting to work any other way now.

Regards,
Raymond
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Old 08-08-01, 06:12 PM
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Heybulldog,

And the physical benefits are too amazing...
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