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Why did you start & why do you continue?

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Why did you start & why do you continue?

Old 05-06-07, 11:30 AM
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m00n
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Why did you start & why do you continue?

I'm sure there have been threads like this in the past, but maybe I'm too lazy to look. I'm interested in why you started commuting on your bike and why you continue today.

For me, I started for two reasons:
1 - Being on my bike has historically been the only real form of exercise that I enjoy. It had been 18 years since I'd ridden much before starting, and I finally "remembered" how much I enjoyed it.
2 - I wouldn't consider myself terribly overweight, but knew that if I continued my lifestyle into my 40s I'd just get fat and tired. I knew that being on my bike would solve these problems.

...and why do I continue? It's fulfilling. I feel better about myself every day I'm on my bike, and I know I'll be more healthy and able to participate in life with my wife and kids. Sappy? Sure...but true.
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Old 05-06-07, 11:52 AM
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$3/gal gas got me to start last summer. Didn't have money for a scooter or small motorcycle, bike was sitting in the garage. The idea just clicked on.

I'm only a fair weather rider for now, but continuing because it's the only exercise I care for. The gym is awful.

Did about 500mi last year on a hardtail MTB. Just bought a used touring bike, aiming for 1000mi this year. Shouldn't be hard.
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Old 05-06-07, 12:12 PM
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I started bike-commuting 'cause I didn't want to buy/own the kind of crappy beater car that I could actually afford (and the bus system sucks). Continue 'cause I like it a lot.

I don't doubt that a learning curve and some personal high maintenance have cost me as much $$ as that hypothetical beater would have in purchase, care and feeding (net of car insurance, however), but it's just been tons more rewarding to me.
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Old 05-06-07, 12:13 PM
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i started commuting because my doctor i needed to exersize more, high cholesterol and high blood pressure was going to shorten my life .

i continue because of a few reasons
1-since i began i have lost 26# to of belly fat.
2-i have more energy, sleep better, and just plain feel better
3-i have found i really enjoy it
4-i also find that i perform better at work .
5-of course $3.00+ per gallon of gas
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Old 05-06-07, 12:32 PM
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I wanted to exercise more; hated the commute down the 680 corridor; wanted to put in a lot of base miles for touring this summer; wanted to live a "greener" life.
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Old 05-06-07, 12:56 PM
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I took a 10 year hiatus from cycling at the age of 17 or so. When my car started acting weird, and the part to repair it was on national backorder, I bought a cheap bike to get to the bus stop and back. I ended up liking it. I sold my bike-shaped toy, and now I have three real bikes. An MTB, Hybrid and Road bike.
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Old 05-06-07, 01:27 PM
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For me, commuting grew out of utility cycling. I started using a bicycle to run errands (grocery store, library, etc.) after work and on weekends, but was still driving to the office. I decided to try bicycle commuting for the first time on Aug. 25, 2005 and I've kept at it ever since.

In addition to the reasons other have already posted, I guess for me it boiled down to a realization that a bike was the right tool for the job. Using a 3,000 pound vehicle move me and my briefcase 2.5 miles to work everyday was like using a steamroller to press my shirts — they'd be wrinkle free, but an iron would be a better choice.

Last edited by chocula; 05-06-07 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 05-06-07, 01:52 PM
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I started after my wife quit her job (too much stress). Shortly there after my wife was driving my car and an imbecile rear ended it at 40 miles an hr while my wife was stopped waiting for a pedestrian to pass. Thank goodness she and my son were all right. The heck with the car.
A few months before I had found BF and was pondering starting cyclocommuting. These events provided the impetus.

I have quite a few reasons I continue. A few are:
1) It is fun. Who actually enjoys driving to work?
2) Due to excessive traffic in the Denver metro area I simply do not enjoy driving.
3) It is one of the few outdoor activities I am good at.
4) Extra energy
5) The rocky mountains are a blast to ride in.
6) Less of a slave to gas prices.
7) The environmentally friendly activity is a plus.
8) When bored buy a new bike. What can I do with a car? I'm bored time to buy a new car? Too expensive.
9) Cycling has helped me recover from severe self esteem issues and a negative body image problems.
10) Loosing 40lbs+
11) It is enjoyable to actually do something different than the average sheep. I am not much for tats or piercings. Though, those are more mainstream than anything nowadays.
12) I have a 3 year old son who loves riding with me. Unfortunately, riding at 3 mph does not provide me with much exercise. Commuting gives me ample time to exercise.
13) There is a certain activity that generally occurs between 2 persons. This activity is drastically improved when you are in a decent shape and not winded the entire time.
14) Food food food!

...and on and on
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Old 05-06-07, 02:07 PM
  #9  
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I started when gas prices went all the way up to $2/gal and my employer continued replacing parking lots with "green space." If one didn't get to work before 7AM, there wasn't any place to park. And if one left during the day, the vacated parking spot was quickly filled and one had to park three or four blocks away.

Now that gas prices have passed $3 and will (probably) hit $4 this summer, I continue to commute via bicycle. The added advantage is that I can park my bike right outside of my office, coming and going to lunch or run errands as I please and my bike's parking spot is always there.
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Old 05-06-07, 02:25 PM
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I'm a student, and i cannot afford a car.
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Old 05-06-07, 02:46 PM
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I honestly don't give a crap about gas prices, other than I'm happy to see them go up in general because people waste too much (at the same time I wish it didn't impact the working poor so horribly much; I have some in my family that can barely afford to get to work). I have always tended to ride though never did it regularly. I often took 30 mile rides when I had free time in college.
I started riding about 50/50 environmentalism and to keep me from going over 200 pounds while sitting on my can at work for 8 hours a day. The only thing that's changed is that it's moved to about 60% environmentalism and 40% "because it's fun". I'm in the shape now that I'd be happy staying in forever, and cycling helps me keep that, but I'm not cycling to "get" in shape anymore and that rarely enters into it.

I've made the transition to where cycling is just the normal thing I do, and there has to be something odd going on to make me get in a car in the morning.
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Old 05-06-07, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by m00n
I'm sure there have been threads like this in the past, but maybe I'm too lazy to look. I'm interested in why you started commuting on your bike and why you continue today.
Why did I start? Because the idea of riding my bike to school in 2nd grade was so cool! Commuting to work was just an extension of commuting to school.

Why do I continue. Well I hadn't bought a car by the time it was time to leave the nest, so I learned to be on my own in L.A. with only a bicycle. I continue because I enjoy it. I don't feel quite right on the road in a car.

It's helped me a lot. When I was married, my ex-wife bugged me to get a car till I had her do the math and she realized that my bicycle was what kept us in the black each month. In the past two years, riding my bicycle everywhere has helped me pay off 20K of credit card debts.
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Old 05-06-07, 03:00 PM
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Its the fastest way to get to work.
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Old 05-06-07, 04:23 PM
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I started it to lose weight. Now 1 year and 80#s later I do it to keep the weight off and to keep me healthy. Avoiding paying for gas is always nice too.
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Old 05-06-07, 04:29 PM
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Started:
1 Inabillity to find a parking space.
2 Gridlock

Continue:
1 Only way I can imagine getting exercise
2 Avoid driving my car in salt
3 Fun

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Old 05-06-07, 04:38 PM
  #16  
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Started
get back in shape for mt biking, bike touring, snowboarding, hiking
quick way to get around downtown Seattle
relax my brain
get back into a hobby/activity/sport I used to love

Continue
all the above are working out well
I knew it would be fun, but I had no idea it would be This fun
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Old 05-06-07, 04:50 PM
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A perfect storm of reasons really.

1. Requisite mid-life crisis
2. New found interest in exercising
3. Eco-friendly
4. 3.5 miles to work - why not?
5. Like being an oddball
6. Can eat more without weight gain
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Old 05-06-07, 05:09 PM
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I started b/c I was low on $$$

I continued b/c I was to save $$$
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Old 05-06-07, 05:21 PM
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I started because some jackass lady hit my car and I started commuting by bike while the car was in the shop. I've continued because I want to minimize the wear-and-tear on my old '93 car; gas prices in the SF Bay area are ridiculous; my wife is trying to get back into shape and we bike the 8-10 miles to her work together. (I have a few more miles to travel and work longer hours, so she has to ride home by herself.)
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Old 05-06-07, 05:26 PM
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Another mid-life crisis here. In my effort to undermine every deep-rooted cultural institution I could, the most logical target for me was car culture. Gas hitting $3/gallon last year was the spark.

I continue because biking affords me the lifestyle I've always wanted. My daily commute(s) are also my exercise, and I'm getting more exercise than I ever would belonging to a health club. So, I'm in much better shape than ever before, I'm eating better and more (only gaining muscle, not fat). This results in a happier, more confident person, accomplishing more than before. The money I save not buying gas or paying for parking goes towards my favorite luxury, dining out. I really hate sandwich lunches, or microwaveable tupperware leftovers. I feel like I'm supporting the local economy by avoiding the chains and frequenting whenever possible the small independent eateries that use locally grown produce. It's more expensive, but now I can afford it, and when all is taken into account, I still end up with change in my pocket.

Oh yeah, I also continue because I have a fascination with those kids riding fixed gear bikes. It used to be skateboards (which I never got into). These days, you see packs of kids on their brakeless bikes. While it's not for everyone, I've discovered it certainly is for me. Still trying to master the trackstand, however.
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Old 05-06-07, 05:44 PM
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My doc told me that I needed more exercise. Since I am very busy I figured that if I rode my bike once or twice a week to work that would take care of the exercise I needed. That was last April. Who would have thought that a year later I would have lost 45# and ride to work 4 out of 5 days. I continue becasue it is now the best 2 hours of my workday. One other bennefit is that I save about 150.00 a month on fuel for my car.
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Old 05-06-07, 05:59 PM
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I started thinking about bike commuting after moving closer to work in 2005 (33 miles down to 8 miles). One of my coworkers commutes 3 days/week and that was inspiring.

I finally started commuting after I got back from Iraq last year. It seemed like a good way to support the troops and get some exercise at the same time.
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Old 05-06-07, 06:08 PM
  #23  
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A combination of what a lot of people have written.

Started:
I remember sitting in traffic after work one day and it just hit me that this was *really* stupid. As a student I had always driven for pleasure (road trips, camping, out to dinner) and now that I had a real job I drove to get to work. The car was getting older and I started worrying that if something broke what would I do. My car was a gift and there was no way I could afford a new one. I sized it all up and realized that driving just wasn't sustainable to me. I'd be poor, living paycheck to paycheck forever if I kept at it. Sold my car 4.5 years ago.

Continued:
I agree with Soreyes: I thought it would be fun but I had no idea it would be this much fun. I absolutely love getting on the bike. I love the pace, I love what I see while biking, I'm never late anymore because biking is so consistent. Its a life change. One of the best things I've ever done.

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Old 05-06-07, 06:33 PM
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I actually had a revelation when I took a trip with some friends to the Netherlands last year and saw bikes being used as a primary transportation means first hand. I thought to myself "WTF, why the hell don't I do this?" My wife and I had always been interested in trying to live green, and that was a natural off-shoot of that. Since then we have bought a home in a city where almost everything we need is within an easy bike ride, and I now commute by bike everyday.
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Old 05-06-07, 06:36 PM
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I don't commute to work yet, since it's 15 miles and I work second shift, but I am using the bike for errands and local travel. Why?

1. Because I am a new bicyclist, and I need the practice.

2. Because I am about 30 pounds overweight.

3. Because I want to reinforce my identity as a bicyclist, and that means appearing in public as a bicyclist, even at such places as the local market or church.

4. Because 3 dollar gasoline sucks.

5. Because we have only one planet, and using the bike means I burn less fossil fuel.

6. Because I was 385 pounds not long ago, and I want to celebrate my new-found mobility and new-born life as much and as deeply as possible.

7. And, because it's fun.
 

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